"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." Colossians 3:17, KJV

Praise the Lord

Welcome to In His Name, a devotional site where the Word of God is posted and explored. This site embraces the love of Jesus Christ, encouraging Bible study.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tried with Fire

"Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 1:6-7, KJV.

The first part of the scripture above stated “wherein ye greatly rejoice” is referring to a couple of verses prior, “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” Our hope rejoices in that inheritance that is reserved in heaven for us; the inheritance of eternal life with our savior who loved us while we were sinners. It is an honorable and pure birthright of those who have been born again under the blood of Jesus Christ. It is a birthright that can never be taken away.

Knowing what we have to look forward to, let us consider what we may go through here on earth. The scripture states “though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations…” For a season…for a season is not forever. There may be certain times in life where we encounter burdens through various temptations. Somebody may be going through a failed marriage, burdened down with a sick family member, experiencing job-related problems, struggling with financial issues, or depression from all of the above. But we have to remember that God is our hope, and no matter what we go through here, never lose sight of what we’re striving for.

Our fight is not one of money, a job, a marriage, or maintaining this body that is going to fade anyway, our fight is of salvation. Through it all we must continue to praise God on the road to victory. It can be depressing to witness loved ones sick or hurting, I know. It can be difficult and trying to be on a job where you’re not appreciated and mocked because of your faith and belief in Christ, I know. It can be worrisome to be without income and bills still pouring in, I know. And what I had to learn in the process is that I had to trust and call God at His word.

He said that He would never leave us nor forsake us, this it truth. He said that He will not put more on us than we can bear, this is truth. He said that He will supply ALL of our needs according to His riches and glory in heaven, this is truth…all of it is the truth. So, after I grasped the concept of what God was really saying to me and every other Christian, I stopped trying to carry the load all on my own. And I also had to realize that certain things I brought on myself.

Temptations come, but know that God tempts no man. God is the deliverer, the devil is the tempter. The scripture specifically states “if need be” we experience heaviness through various temptations. Some of things we go through are caused by our own decisions. It’s not always God testing us, often it’s the devil tempting us.

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” Notice also what is stated in James 1:12, KJV, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” Endure—carry on, to the end. When the crying and hurting and aching are all done…the reward, the inheritance, will have been worth the trial.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Heir of God through Christ

Focal Passage: Galatians 4:1-11

Excerpt from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible 
"The folly of returning to legal observances for justification."

The apostle deals plainly with those who urged the law of Moses together with the gospel of Christ, and endeavoured to bring believers under its bondage. They could not fully understand the meaning of the law as given by Moses. And as that was a dispensation of darkness, so of bondage; they were tied to many burdensome rites and observances, by which they were taught and kept subject like a child under tutors and governors. We learn the happier state of Christians under the gospel dispensation.

From these verses see the wonders of Divine love and mercy; particularly of God the Father, in sending his Son into the world to redeem and save us; of the Son of God, in submitting so low, and suffering so much for us; and of the Holy Spirit, in condescending to dwell in the hearts of believers, for such gracious purposes. Also, the advantages Christians enjoy under the gospel. Although by nature children of wrath and disobedience, they become by grace children of love, and partake of the nature of the children of God; for he will have all his children resemble him. Among men the eldest son is heir; but all God's children shall have the inheritance of eldest sons. May the temper and conduct of sons ever show our adoption; and may the Holy Spirit witness with our spirits that we are children and heirs of God. (Ga 4:8-11)

"Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ," Galatians 4:7, KJV.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Walk Worthy

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love,” Ephesians 4:1-2, KJV.

Walking worthy of the vocation in which we are called is a great responsibility. It is important that in our Christian walk we don’t become arrogant, conceited, impatient, or unforgiving. The knowledge we have or will learn of Christ either through His written word or visions and dreams by the Holy Spirit is just that…from the Holy Spirit.

Self-sufficiency is a dangerous road to tread upon when one becomes so filled with intellect that they start trusting in that and not in God. The very ability that we have in sharing Christ with others is nothing that is done on our own power, but in fact of God’s grace and mercy extended upon our lives. The guidance we are to follow is of the Lord and not man…never, ever follow man.

I think of the many blessings that are so often taken for granted by those out of the will of the Lord (Matthew 5:45). Many believe that they are doing things on their own accord or abilities. It is true that God extends to us capabilities in order for us to operate or function in this world, but remember that it is of and from God—the Creator. What would happen to any of us if we could no longer see, walk, talk, or eat for ourselves? Would we still be praising God? I would and pray that others would as well because there are many who carry these burdens everyday. If healthy body and healthy mind Christians were to fall away from the faith at such trials, what does this say to the world?

“…walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called…” Serve the Lord in whatever capacity you work. If you work as an accountant, social worker, doctor, janitor, lawyer, newscaster, journalist, writer, actor, athlete, or whatever… walk worthy of carrying the title Christian. You wouldn’t want your coworker who is a non-Christian to see you cursing God or living in a way that is displeasing to Him. Your life may be the only Bible they’ll ever read. Your contrary actions may drive them away from the Word.

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love…” It can be challenging as a Christian to deal with an unbeliever in any capacity because you want so desperately for them to have what you have. We are to deal with them in a way that shows us approachable. Be firm in the Gospel of Truth also remembering to keep that door open. To show love, we must first know what it is (1 Corinthians 13). It begins and ends with love, the greatest commandment of them all (Matthew 22:37-38).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Be Not Unequally Yoked

“Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” 2 Corinthians 6:13-15, KJV

This passage is very familiar to me as I’ve heard it quoted often over the years of my life. Although I’d heard it so many times, the in depth meaning is worthy of examination. It is clear from these verses that Christians should not be in any relationship where the other party does not profess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, yet it is also important to understand the danger of darkness and what exactly you’re dealing with when you do entertain such relationships.

“…for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?” Yoke means couple: two items of the same kind. It also means becoming joined or linked together. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3, KJV. “…what communion hath light with darkness? If one is truly a Christian, the heart will desire to be with light, not darkness. So this would prompt one to examine himself if they find themselves in a situation like this. Consider those who have gotten married before receiving salvation. And then one part of the couple decides to accept Christ as Lord and Savior and the other still doesn’t. This would make for a tension-ridden home. It could cause strife and chaos and a difficult living situation. But God is still able. I encourage you to pray for your spouse that they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. If a person is really serious about the salvation of their loved ones, continue to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). God changed your heart, He can change theirs too.

This is not to say that a person ought to stay in a situation where there is abuse and a clear sign that this person is not going to change. God allows us to operate in the free will to choose Him. People send themselves to hell because of the decision they’ve made in not following Christ. Don’t allow them to take you with them.

And what concord hath Christ with Belial?” What peace, unity, harmony, friendship, or agreement does Christ have with Belial? Belial is noted to be one of the fallen angels (a demon), being of the spirit of the devil. In some accounts, it is noted as one of the seven princes of hell. We can deceive ourselves by stating that certain people are nice and warm, but do we not know that Satan is the father of lies? He is the poster child for deception. This is not about someone agreeing to sit on a church pew or perform the duty of a Christian, this does not save you. What saves a person is accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and having Him lead our lives.

Do not be deceived by vain words. Let us remember what Christ said…we’ll know them by their fruits.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Out of the Same Mouth

James 3: 5-11, KJV

5Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
6And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
8But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
11Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Upon This Rock

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock,” Matthew 7:24, KJV.

Focal Passage: Matthew 17:24- 29; KJV used throughout this entry.

Rocks are essentially building stones. It serves as a base for something to be founded upon. This is why Jesus said that whoever adheres to his sayings is put in the position of a wise man. Wise men are those who have discernment or understanding. Consider this conversation Jesus had with Peter in Matthew 16:15-18, “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” The rock Jesus spoke of was faith. It was the revelation and the faith to believe the revelation.

When our faith is founded on God and not foolishness of the world, we will be able to stand in the midst of any trial. “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock,” Matthew 7:25. Just because we have faith in God that doesn’t mean that storms won’t come, it just means that God is faithful to get us through them.

Verse 26 states, “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand.” What would happen if we built physical homes upon soft sand? It would sink. The ground is not firm enough, it’s not solid and strong, and it’s weak and failing. This is a literal example of how important it is to take care of our spiritual home. There is going to come a time when each one of us will leave this earth as we know it and it’s not going to be in the same human form of a body that we now own.

The human body reminds us daily of how finite it is. There are varying aches and pains like migraines or as simple as a paper cut on the hand. With each passing decade we can note differences in our appearances that denote aging in some capacity. We can’t even trust ourselves, our own bodies, as it too weakens or fails just as a physical home does. “And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Much emphasis today is commonly focused on the wrong things. Often it’s placed on what we can see instead of those things which are not tangible. Is that faith (Hebrews 11:1)?

Verses 28-29, “And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Jesus is the Rock, the foundation of our faith for those who have accepted Him.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When a Man’s Ways Please the Lord

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies be at peace with him,” Proverbs 16:7, AMP.

Our lifestyles teach or display who we truly are more than our speech ever could. I find it difficult to believe that someone loves me who intentionally slanders or abuses me. It was more than words that led each of us to trust certain people in our lives today. It was their mannerism, their attitude, it was their ways.

God is a sovereign all knowing and all-loving God. He makes provisions on our behalf whether we choose to admit it or not. He offers a way of escape in the midst of temptation for he tempts no man (James 1:13). God wants us to succeed in life and to live a life pleasing to Him. He would never ask us to do something He knows we’re incapable of doing. Now, we may see certain things that way. We may magnify situations in our lives to appear as large as mountains, but Jesus stated “…Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done,” Matthew 21:21, KJV.

So, when I meditate on the verse, “when a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies be at peace with him,” this tells me even when I encounter adversity, I have that peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7). The scripture did not state that He was going to change those enemies into best friends or bosom buddies, the Word just states that our enemies will be at peace with us. There would be nothing in their power that they could do to hurt us (Luke 10:19).

Now consider this, those enemies may be enemies because they truly want what you have. They may be angry and have no rest against the enemies in their lives because their ways don’t please the Lord. So, in a manipulative mind, their pleasure is to make someone else feel as miserable as they do. Oftentimes it’s a result of their burdensome unhappiness. We may have a desire to change them or make them do the right thing, but we can’t. There is nothing we can do to make a person feel a certain way or to correct their action, that is a behavior which begins internally. Now, we can influence others, but ultimately the decision to change is up to them.

What must we do to please the Lord? In order to please the Lord, we must first come to Him in faith regardless of what our request is. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” Hebrews 11:6, KJV. We have to acknowledge Him for who He is and the outward display of love by way of Jesus Christ. In acknowledging God for who He is, we must admit that His word is truth. In admitting that His word is truth, we must surrender under His sovereign control. In surrendering under His sovereign control, we give God the permission to cover us under His hand of righteousness.

Being under God’s hand of righteousness is security because the Lord never changes. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” Hebrews 13:8, KJV. When fair weather friends skirt through our lives we must just accept them for who they are. That doesn’t mean that we have to agree with them or condone their behavior, it just means that we recognize them for who they are. Our trust must be in God…He’s the only one who we should look to please and all of these other things will fall into place (Matthew 6:33).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sons of God

He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God,” John 1:11-13, KJV.

Where did some get the notion that everyone is a son or daughter of God? I think the confusion comes in with the fact that God has created us all. We are human beings carefully put together by the heavenly Father. Now that word, Father, used to identify God pertains to those who have accepted Him. Lucifer was created by God, but he defied God. Is God still his father? Absolutely not, God is still his creator, but no longer his father. He gave up that right. Just as God gives us, his creation, the free will to choose Him we must receive the gift that’s being offered.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is,” 1 John 3:1-2, KJV. The central point in this passage is in becoming a son of God. This is not a birthright that we automatically receive. That was abolished when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. To become a son of God we must accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

I’ve heard so many people in the world say that we’re all sons of God. I’ve even heard a well-known televangelist state this. She incorrectly quoted a scripture. This is why it is so important to search God’s word for oneself. Don’t just take a person’s word for it when you are fully able to read for yourself. And even when people cannot read for themselves, I truly believe that God will provide guidance. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God,” Romans 8:14, KJV. It is impossible to be a son of God when you aren’t led by the Spirit of God.

Jesus even as He taught stated in Matthew 5:45, KJV, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” He was talking to a group of people who had accepted Him. As stated in Matthew 5:1-2, KJV, “And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying.” And later in the chapter, Jesus teaches them how to pray by saying, “…Our Father which art in heaven…” By saying “Our Father” signifies that one accepts Jesus Christ. This is the only way that we can become a son of God. There is no other way, regardless of what society says. Either you believe or you don’t. The decision is ours to make. But do know that it is not God’s will that any man should perish (Matthew 18:14).

Here's another post written back in November '09 that also spoke about sons of God: My Brother's Keeper

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Cross

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God,” 1 Corinthians 1:18, NKJV.

When I think about the cross, of course I naturally think about salvation; the blood that was shed for my sins and for your sins. Jesus was hung on the cross, crucified for nothing He did wrong and so many of us today get away with crimes that we have committed. I then I thought about how Jesus must’ve looked on that cross. He was pierced with His arms spread out wide. It was symbolic to me because that showed me how much He wanted people to embrace Him.

Now, I know that back in those days that’s just what a crucifixion was. It was an extremely painful punishment or suffering where the victim's hands and feet were bound or nailed to a cross. God knew this was going to happen…He knew, so it was no accident that Jesus left His human body this way. This was the kind of death that was ordained for Christ to have many centuries before it actually occurred (Isaiah 53). And for some reason when I went to hug my husband on Valentine’s Day, my mind flashed a vision of Christ on the cross. I saw a man hanging from a cross with His arms extended wide. His arms were wide open as if He was waiting for an embrace.

The Holy Spirit spoke to me and immediately told me that this is why Christ agreed to go to Calvary in the first place. Yes, it is all confirmed in scriptural accounts, intellectually we understand this, but spiritually we must truly grasp the gravity of what was accomplished. I opened a copy of a Holy Bible that I own and there is an image that signifies Jesus with His arms open…open and waiting for reception, open and ready to receive whoever will fall into them. “…Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” Mark 8:34, KJV. Take up the cross…and follow Him.

Also, Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” John 14:6, KJV. So, why would anyone risk going another way? I was flipping through the channels on Thursday and stumbled upon the Oprah show. She had a guest who was a former star football player now living life as a female. This guest had a sex change and no one other than the brother (from the parts that I viewed) objected to what this person had done. The brother of this guest had asked the mother if she believed in the Bible (by film footage shot in the family’s home) and when on stage the mother replied, “I believe in my child.” Now, from how the brother approached the mother, it appeared as if she was one who had a Christian background. This was lunacy to me because how can one say they are a Christian when the Bible clearly speaks against homosexuality?

Oprah made it plain that the person was being their true or genuine self. Clearly, this is not what is stated in the Bible. God’s word states, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient,” Romans 1:28, KJV.

Jesus laid down his life on the cross, no one took it (1 John 3:16). And He opens the door for us to receive salvation, being reconciled back unto God. And we must study His word to truly know who He is. Justly stated by the late Derek Prince, we must meditate on God’s word, speak God’s word, and act on God’s word to live a holy life. Many people’s lives aren’t holy because they take Jesus out of it. They mock the cross by their very lives…

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,” Revelation 22:17, KJV.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Depart from Iniquity

2 Timothy 2:19-26, NKJV

“19Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ[c] depart from iniquity.”
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.
24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,
25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,
26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

Search me, O God

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” Psalm 139:23-24, KJV.

Surrendering to God is the best decision anyone could ever make in life. It places God in the position He’s meant to be in. It catapults Him to the number one slot in our lives versus coming in as a close second, third, or not at all. There has been a point in everyone’s life where God was not number one. Consider life when we were unsaved. We were born into sin, but when we came to understanding we became responsible. In becoming responsible we accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

As I ponder on the verses above, it brings a sense of peace knowing that God is fully capable and eager to answer such prayers. I say this because it is in submission to God. By asking God to search our inner parts is a tell-tale admission that we don’t know everything. For me, it is insurance of my soul’s salvation. It keeps me in check because I don’t want to ever come to a point where I think or feel that I can walk this journey alone. It is quite possible to become complacent in our prayer life, taking God for granted. Many may say that “God knows my heart.” But what we must be careful of is what exactly is in our hearts.

Have we become a victim to circumstance; a product of our environment? I see and hear so often (and have fallen prey to this as well) the comparison of another. For example, some may say, “Well, what I’m doing is not as bad as what so and so is doing.” Who is our standard? What set of rules are we living by? The set man created or the ones set forth by God Almighty?

And see if there be any wicked way in me…” There could be things we’re carrying around that we’re not aware of. For instance, we could walk around with a sour look plastered across our faces and not even know it until someone brings it to our attention. What about the things in our heart that prompts that distasteful expression? Is it from righteous anger or something else?

This is what I desire for God to do for me, “…lead me in the way everlasting.” What an awesome assurance to have the Holy Spirit leading, guiding, and directing us in the way we should go. I summon God’s protection each and everyday for I know without Him I can do nothing and I am nothing. We are made whole through His loving kindness. We must have a desire to be made whole….to have a right relationship with our Creator.

Where do we want to spend eternity? How do we insure this? We receive insurances for our houses, vehicles, and life…what about our souls? It all boils down to one important thing we are (or should be) striving for and that is plainly stated in Psalm 27:4, KJV, “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Spirit of Jezebel

“I know your record and what you are doing, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your recent works are more numerous and greater than your first ones. But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols. [I Kings 16:31; II Kings 9:22, 30.] I gave her time to repent, but she has no desire to repent of her immorality [symbolic of idolatry] and refuses to do so. Take note: I will throw her on a bed [[a]of anguish], and those who commit adultery with her [her paramours] I will bring down to [b]pressing distress and severe affliction, unless they turn away their minds from conduct [such as] hers and repent of [c]their doings,” Revelation 2:19-22, AMP.

How sad it is to see many homes, churches, and relationships out of the order ordained by God. It is in essence expected to see blatant acts of disobedience from the unsaved, those who deny God before others and openly voice their disregard for Him and His commandments. But it is even more disturbing when the disorder, disobedience, and distraction come from those who profess to be saved by the grace and mercy of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Just as quoted in the scripture above, God knows what we all are doing and He knows our faith, our service, our patience, and steadfast endurance. But also He knows our heart and the genuineness of being sold out to Him. There is a distinct difference between knowing the wrong someone is doing and telling them about it to be corrected and knowing the wrong someone is doing and going along with it. I believe the law calls the later person in such a situation “an accessory.” How many of us are accessories to various happenings?

This particular text speaks specifically about an immoral woman; a woman who calls herself a prophetess (claiming to be inspired by God), teaching and leading servants of God astray. The Bible specifically states in the King James Version that this is a woman who calls herself a prophetess “to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication…” This is a woman who defies authority, relentlessly pursuing her own agenda regardless of what God has ordained.

Let us remember that God is a forgiving God. When Peter asked how many times must we forgive our brothers, God said in His word, “…seventy times seven,” (Matthew 18:22). In essence, this means as many times as they ask. But when dealing with a Jezebel spirit, God said in Revelation 2:21, “And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.” This is a prime example of the free will extended to us. He gives us the ability to choose. And when it is in the heart of a person to do whatever they want to do carelessly, indulging in all sorts of sinful nature, they have made their choice. “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds,” Revelation 2:22.

Repent. God reminds us that there is always a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13), but we must be willing to use it. We must be willing to repent. Whether we’ve been an accessory “going with the flow” by remaining silent to a Jezebel who wants to take over, taking on the role of a man, taking on the role of God by replacing His ordinance with her own or a person who has committed the sin along with her by signing off on what she may be doing, repentance is the key. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Accepting God’s Place for You

“Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able,” Matthew 20:20-22, KJV.

Focal Passage: Matthew 20:20-28

There may be things in life we ask God for before counting the cost. Quite often we may ask God for things that aren’t a necessity, but in the asking we must be willing to receive whatever comes along with that request. For instance, just as noted in the above parable the request to sit at Jesus’ right and left hand, did the mother understand what she was asking? “And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”

Was it a selfish motive that this mother made the request for her sons, the disciples, James (the elder) and John? Or was it from a pure heart of wanting to have her sons at the closet to the throne? Was it from a place of arrogance or longing to be close to our Savior? Did the mother consider the other ten disciples who were also doing the work of the Lord who may have wanted the same thing, but knew better than to ask?

And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren,” Matthew 20:24. Can you imagine what this would have felt like if you were working alongside the others doing the work as you were called, and your fellow worker in the faith wants to be exalted? I would say that we would probably have been a little hot under the collar as well. The Bible terms it indignation which means righteous anger. Their emotions were validated by the mere situation. Some may disagree that this was a natural thing for the mother to want the best for her children, but I view it as selfish especially when you have others who are just as faithful.

But look at what Jesus said in response after He called all of the disciples together, “…Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,” Matthew 20:25-28, KJV.

I believe that Jesus wanted them to remain spiritually minded giving those divine decisions for God the Father to make…to God. God promised us all eternal life by accepting His son as Lord and Savior. The position He appoints to us is up to Him. Consider the place for the martyrs: “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held,” Revelation 6:9, KJV.

Let us let God be God for He knows what is best…

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Wheat and the Tares

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also,” Matthew 13:24-26, KJV.

Focal Passage: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-42

There are places that some of us like to go mores so than others. For some people it is home, for others it may be a place away from home. Where ever this place is (on Earth), imagine that it is the place you feel most safe and secure. In this environment you feel comfortable, free, and relaxed. This particular setting embodies all of your favorite people. It could be a spouse, parent, obedient children, or even siblings. There is no place you’d rather be other than Heaven, of course.

Let us remember that the enemy is at work and this beloved environment of ours is not exempt from his possible meddling. The only environment in which we have control over is ourselves. We cannot make another person do anything, no matter how much we may want them to. Well, in the above parable, Jesus stated that the kingdom of heaven is like a man which sowed good seed in his field. Well, going back to this special place that we may cherish, wouldn’t it make sense that we took care of it? We wouldn’t go around in this place throwing trash around, we would be more apt to “sow good seeds.” We wouldn’t kick the door in to enter, we would use a key. But what would an enemy do?

“…But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” Although we have close friends in our lives that may be a sister, brother, mother, father, or best friend, it is important to apply the word of God to each and every individual. Someone we may think has our best interest at heart may not. And the ones we may think is out to get us may only be looking for a way in which they can contribute to our lives. The enemy is conniving to plant bad seed among the good. But Jesus said in Matthew 7:20, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”

We must keep our spiritual eyes open, trusting in God for discernment, understanding also that we are not God and we know not the beginning to the end. He is the only One who is omniscient. In understanding this, it is imperative that we continue to spread the word of God, not giving up on the ones who may look hopeless. “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn,” Matthew 13:30.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Whom Shall I Fear?

Psalm 27

1The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
2When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.
3Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.
4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
5For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
6And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.
9Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
11Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
12Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.
13I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
14Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Separating the Sheep from the Goats

Matthew 25:31-34, KJV

31When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Be on the right side...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Every Idle Word

Matthew 12:32-37, KJV 
32And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
33Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Matthew 15:8-11
8This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
10And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

Repent and be careful of your words from this day forward...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

He came not to send peace, but a sword...

Matthew 10:32-40, KJV

32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Cloud of Witnesses

Hebrews 12:1-3, AMP

1THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,
2Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.(A)
3Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
Heaven is watching...let us keep our eyes on Jesus.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Baptized with the Holy Spirit

Acts 1: 1-8, KJV

1The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
3To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
6When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.