"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, April 30, 2010

No Respecter of Persons

Acts 10:30-35, KJV

30And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,
31And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.
32Send therefore to Joppa, and call hither Simon, whose surname is Peter; he is lodged in the house of one Simon a tanner by the sea side: who, when he cometh, shall speak unto thee.
33Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.
34Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
35But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
God is no respecter of persons. In every nation that fears the Lord and works in righteousness is accepted in Him.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Blessed are the Pure of Heart

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God,” Matthew 5:8, KJV.

Each day we must examine our motives for whatever it is we may be doing. Whether it is sharing a friendly word of encouragement or extending a helping hand. I’ve found that it’s not so much what a person does that matters but rather what their motives are for doing it. Even our court system rules on motive.

Take for instance, yesterday morning when I found myself walking behind a woman whose shirt was slightly caught up on one side of her body partially exposing her bare skin. She had headphones on and was walking for exercise. She had weights in her hands and appeared to be engulfed in her work out routine. I could have ignored the elevated shirt and look straight ahead as I was about to pass her. My motive for it would have been that I didn’t want her thinking I was trying to embarrass her by drawing attention to the folds of exposed skin. Rather, I thought that if it were me I would want somebody to tell me. I wanted to ensure that nobody else would see what I saw…especially not a male. My motive was out of love…to help her, to protect her body.

Now, let’s take an example of working in a ministry or volunteering with an organization. There are opportunities to assist in various capacities. One could visit the sick and shut-in, feed the homeless, or offer time and services. Someone may counsel another, extend a helping hand, or render a smile all by demonstrating the love of Christ. The contrary comes in when it is done grudgingly or unwillingly. Is there a pure motivation to extend these services by advancing the kingdom of God or is there an underlying motive to get “payback” by those you’ve delivered these services to. Is there an inkling of doing it just to say that you’ve done something by shouting it on the roof-tops or corner of every street?

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward,” Matthew 6:1-2, KJV.

TAKE CARE not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [[a]reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven. Thus, whenever you give to the poor, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites in the synagogues and in the streets like to do, that they may be [b]recognized and honored and praised by men. Truly I tell you, they have their reward [c]in full already,” Matthew 6:1-2, AMP.

In all that you do, examine your motives. What is the reason behind whatever it is that you do? Is it for the glory of God or the exaltation of self? Is it to please Him or to please man? Are your motives pure?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence,” John 14:27-31, KJV.

God gives us peace. He gives the peace that surpasses all understanding. God offers the peace that has you praising Him even though you may be weathering a storm; the peace not as the world gives, but as He gives.

The world, our temporary place of residence, has the tendency to offer a false sense of security. Security that flees at a moment’s notice. The world extends the peace of a momentary fix. For example, one may have a mortgage payment due at the end of the week and they present you with an extension, but at the cost of a fee. You take it, but you still don’t have peace about the situation. You’ve sought out avenues in which to get this bill paid to no avail. Then someone pays it for you. You praise God. But then at the end of the next month, the same thing seems to be occurring. Your money is short and there again you put your hope in a person or the mortgage company to lend you a helping hand. Looking for a ray of hope that offers once again you could just pay a small fee and be done with it until you get paid on next week. But this time they tell you no. They explain to you that it was a one time deal last month and it is no longer offered to you.

During the month, you paid other bills…even went shopping because you trusted in that cushion you thought you had. Your trust was placed in that company, not God. Your peace rested outside of the Lord. It was in the world. See, when you have peace in the Lord you approach each situation with prayer, knowing that God is fully able to answer them. He is sovereign so that doesn’t mean that He has to give you everything that you ask for, but what it does mean is that He will take care of your needs. If something is taken away or not extended to me, that’s an indication that I may not need it. In putting my full trust in the Lord, I know that He provides. It may not be as I think it should come, but it comes and it is not up to us to decide how God is to answer our prayers.

So, that peace Jesus spoke of encourages me; especially when depression, uncertainty, and discouragement may loom. It helped me to understand that (depression, uncertainty, and discouragement) is exactly what the world offers.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

He that Loves the Lord

John 14:12-26, KJV
I've been noticing a recurring theme with God. There are times in the Bible (New and Old Testament) where something will be repeated three times. I consider this to be His way of emphasizing or bold printing in our minds something we may have a tendency to miss. Here in this passage he repeats that if we love Him, we will keep His commands...Do you love the Lord?
12Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled

John 14:1-11, KJV
1Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. 2In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, part 2

In the previous post the focal passage mentioned was Joel 2:1-12 along with passages from Malachi, 2 Peter, Acts 2, and Revelation 1. Today, I would like to focus more deeply on Revelation 1:12-18, KJV.

And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death, Revelation 1:12-18, KJV.

There are numerous passages in addition to what I have posted that describes the great and terrible day of the Lord. One thing that I pondered on was why it was considered terrible. The word terrible means there is something to dread, something awful, something is horrifying. To me this didn’t compute as it relates to the Lord. But of course the Holy Spirit swiftly ministers that this does not apply to me or any other saved person. The great and terrible day will be to those who have not accepted Christ. Those who have rejected invitation after invitation, those who have ripped up planted seed after planted seed. It is terrible to those who want nothing to do with Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation He offers. It was their choice. They have chosen their fate which is hell.

Jesus’ eyes “were as a flame of fire…” This prompts me to think of righteous anger. Jesus offers everything…even his very life on the cross. Still, there are some who offer nothing back except rejection. Consider a person so full of denial that they just won’t believe. It’s the hardness of a person’s heart that makes this day so terrible for them.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,” Matthew 24:29-30, KJV.

For me this will be a glorious day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, part 1

Focal Passage: Joel 2:1-12

Scriptural References: Listed below

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch,” Malachi 4:1, KJV. I recommend the entire six verses in this chapter.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up,” 2 Peter 3:9-10, KJV.

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Acts 2:20-21, KJV. There is salvation.

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea,” Revelation 1:9-11, KJV.

And this writing we now have. What are we going to do with it?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

His Provision for All Creatures

Psalm 104:19-30, KJV
19He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
20Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
21The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
22The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
23Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
24O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
25So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
26There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
27These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
28That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
29Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
30Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

When we reflect upon the provision made for all creatures, we should also notice the natural worship they render to God. Yet man, forgetful ungrateful man, enjoys the largest measure of his Creator's kindness: the earth, varying in different lands. Nor let us forget spiritual blessings; the fruitfulness of the church through grace, the bread of everlasting life, the cup of salvation, and the oil of gladness. Does God provide for the inferior creatures, and will he not be a refuge to his people? (Ps 104:19-30)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

O LORD, My Strength, and My Redeemer

Psalm 19, KJV

1The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
7The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
12Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.
13Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
14Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Let the Lord wash your heart and mind with His Holy Word....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Make a Joyful Noise unto the Lord

Psalm 100, KJV
1Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
The Lord is good….even when we experience bad things. We must remember that God is a spirit and when we worship Him it is to be done in spirit and in truth, not just because of flattering surroundings or favorable conditions. Our praises should not be conditional. What would it be like if God treated us that way in answering prayers? His goodness rains on the just and the unjust and at some point in time we were all unjust. Thank God He’s not like man.

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, serve Him with gladness. This means to come to Him because you desire a meaningful relationship…not to just go through the motions of seeking Him only when you want something.  Come to Him because you know He’s a burden bearer, not just so others can see you in the “church building”. You sing to the Lord to usher in His presence….He inhabits the praises of His people. He lives there. And in living there, that means that He is fulfilling what He (Jesus) spoke when He was in the flesh, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil,” Matthew 5:17, KJV.

His truth endures forever. Think about it, this is the only book that is still on the lips of people today as it was thousands of years ago. God has been spoken of in the days of Daniel as the Old Testament was being written and it is today as the Old and New Testament is being distributed. For the scripture says His truth endures to all generations.

Friday, April 16, 2010

God is in Charge of it All

Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless,” Isaiah 40:21-23, NKJV.

Challenges encounter us each day on varying levels whether it is illness, financial woes, bereavement, or those uninvited thoughts of the mind. We may find ourselves under the leadership at a particular job or even within our very homes that defies our faith. Imagine for a moment, and this may very well be you or someone you know, living with or working for someone who’s an unbeliever. You cry out to God each day hoping for a drastic change in your favor of your surroundings. And you find that nothing has changed…at least as far as you can see.

Change happens on the inside, not the outside. God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. What we need isn’t always what we ask for. We may ask for something that will temporarily bandage our emotions, but the wound needs healing that comes only through Christ. God has it all. He knows what’s going on and what’s happening in our lives. He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Don’t let negative circumstances dictate your joy. Be ever so mindful of the flood of peace that follows or overtakes us in the midst of a prayer—the effectual, fervent prayer (James 5:16). We go to God knowing that He is who He says He is. We bow before Him knowing that He is fully able to answer any righteous request we may place before Him.

He is an all-knowing, all powerful God. And people in positions of authority will still have to submit one day to the ultimate authority which is God. It can be very difficult resting under the leadership of an unsaved person (I personally attest to this), but we must keep our eyes on God and pray without ceasing. Pray for strength, endurance as you exercise the measure of faith given to you. This can be a testimony to another to say that we need God in all that we do. Even when chaos swirls around you, God keeps us in perfect peace.

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee,” Isaiah 26:3, KJV. We have to trust Him.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

As far as the East is From the West

Psalm 103:6-14, KJV
6The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

By the pardon of sin, that is taken away which kept good things from us, and we are restored to the favor of God, who bestows good things on us. Think of the provocation; it was sin, and yet pardoned: how many the provocations, yet all pardoned! God is still forgiving, as we are still sinning and repenting. The body finds the melancholy consequences of Adam's offence, it is subject to many infirmities, and the soul also. Christ alone forgives all our sins; it is he alone who heals all our infirmities. And the person who finds his sin cured, has a well-grounded assurance that it is forgiven. When God, by the graces and comforts of his Spirit, recovers his people from their decays, and fills them with new life and joy, which is to them an earnest of eternal life and joy, they may then be said to return to the days of their youth, Job 33:25. (Ps 103:6-14)

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sharing the Burden

Exodus 18:13-27, KJV 
13And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses sat to judge the people: and the people stood by Moses from the morning unto the evening.
14And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?
15And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God:
16When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws.
17And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good.
18Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.
19Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God:
20And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
21Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
22And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.
23If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.
24So Moses hearkened to the voice of his father in law, and did all that he had said.
25And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
26And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.
27And Moses let his father in law depart; and he went his way into his own land.
This is a post based taken from a daily devotional email I received on yesterday. We must learn to share the burden and assist our leaders. As Pastor Brock stated:
· Spiritual leadership is a collaborative effort between, the leader, God and the people.
· Every leader has a responsibility to train other to help in the leadership process.
· Every leader should be actively preparing someone else to take his/her place.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Foolishness of this World

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent,” 1 Corinthians 1:18-19, KJV.

On yesterday, I encountered someone who stated that they were an agnostic: someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something. She stated that she does not believe or disbelieve about God. My heart went out to her, people like this cause me to go into prayer. As I spoke about Jesus, it looked as if she wanted to take off and sprint in the opposite direction. This is the same woman who purposely stayed in the company of a conversation I was having with another believer regarding how she spent her Easter day last week.

In retrospect, I now know that it was something that interested her. There was something that she did want to know, but sometimes people have lived their lives a certain way for so long that they feel it’s either too late to change or too shameful to admit that they’ve been wrong for so many years. When I looked into this woman’s eyes who appeared to be about fifty plus years old or so, her countenance told me that she really didn’t want to be bothered. But why was she sticking around until I finished a conversation she had barely contributed to with someone else.

As we walked along before splitting into opposite directions, I shared with her my experience with God and the authenticity of supernatural happenings. I asked if she had read the Bible and she unconvincingly nodded. “And there was no conviction?” I asked. She stated that she does not believe in blind faith. I stopped in my tracks and compassionately said, “Jesus is real.” She seemed to almost be grinning and nodded in a condescending way. I realized that I was dealing with a person who may have been hurt at one time or just flat out didn’t want to believe. I shared with her that if she wants to believe all she has to do is ask God. Her eyes said to me that is not going to happen before she walked away.

I went into prayer for this woman clearly understanding that ignorance has no age. She was not stupid and could very well articulate her feelings, but the understanding of what she was saying made no sense. “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe,” 1 Corinthians 1:20-21, KJV.

Not everyone is going to accept the Gospel of Christ, but we must still pray for them and plant those seeds. True, it may be discarded, but we will have done our part (Mark 4:4-8). The wheat grows up with the tares and we don’t know if these people will one day change. I pray so.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Helping One Another

Romans 15:1-6, AMP
1WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves.
2Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].
3For Christ did not please Himself [gave no thought to His own interests]; but, as it is written, The reproaches and abuses of those who reproached and abused you fell on Me.(A)
4For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.
5Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
6That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

Behavior towards the weak

(About the following commentary: Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.)

Christian liberty was allowed, not for our pleasure, but for the glory of God, and the good of others. We must please our neighbor, for the good of his soul; not by serving his wicked will, and humoring him in a sinful way; if we thus seek to please men, we are not the servants of Christ. Christ's whole life was a self-denying, self-displeasing life. And he is the most advanced Christian, who is the most conformed to Christ. Considering his spotless purity and holiness, nothing could be more contrary to him, than to be made sin and a curse for us, and to have the reproaches of God fall upon him; the just for the unjust. He bore the guilt of sin, and the curse for it; we are only called to bear a little of the trouble of it. He bore the presumptuous sins of the wicked; we are called only to bear the failings of the weak. And should not we be humble, self-denying, and ready to consider one another, who are members one of another?

The Scriptures are written for our use and benefit, as much as for those to whom they were first given. Those are most learned who are most mighty in the Scriptures. That comfort which springs from the word of God, is the surest and sweetest, and the greatest stay to hope. The Spirit as a Comforter, is the earnest of our inheritance. This like-mindedness must be according to the precept of Christ, according to his pattern and example. It is the gift of God; and a precious gift it is, for which we must earnestly seek unto him.

Our Divine Master invites his disciples, and encourages them by showing himself as meek and lowly in spirit. The same disposition ought to mark the conduct of his servants, especially of the strong towards the weak. The great end in all our actions must be, that God may be glorified; nothing more forwards this, than the mutual love and kindness of those who profess religion. Those that agree in Christ may well agree among themselves. (Ro 15:8-13)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Will the Real Christian Please Stand Up?

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 10:33, KJV.

As I go along in life now, I try to be mindful of opportunities that God may present to me. Well, last Friday was no different. When I entered a nail salon on this particular day, I soon found myself talking to a lady who I was prompted to ask if she knew Jesus. She stated that she had and we even talked about God a little further. I thought to myself, wow that was easy…thank you, Lord.

Just a few moments later, I found myself sitting one seat over (as we got pedicures) from a different woman who was with her little five year old girl. (I know her age because she was telling someone that her daughter would be six soon.) Anyway, I was thinking to myself that I was supposed to be talking to the Korean gentleman doing my toes, but soon learned that I was there for this young woman who looked to be in her early thirties. I listened as she spoke to others wondering to myself where the open door of opportunity was for me to talk to her about Christ. And then I remembered, hey it’s Easter time!

“What are you doing for Easter?” I asked, or something to that effect. She replied, “Oh, we’re going to a Baptist church where my brother-in-law is a deacon.” I soon thought to myself wonderful. But something in me wasn’t satisfied with her response. I needed to know if she was going for herself or for someone else. She had explained to me that she was down south visiting from her home up north. Her husband is from South Carolina and she was in town to visit his family for the “holiday” weekend.

“So, what do you believe? Do you believe in Jesus?” I asked because she had talked so much about her husband’s family and what they did, I didn’t hear her say anything about herself. I considered the young, blonde-head impressionable little child she had with her and the influence she’d have on her life. Here she was concerned (at the age of five) about her nails while her mother wondered why she didn’t want a manicure along with her pedicure. The only thought regarding Easter was an egg hunt. This disturbs me and it’s not the child’s fault (Proverbs 22:6).

I went on to discuss Jesus with the mother who stated that she goes to church, but her church accepts all religions. They turn no one away (by the way neither do Christians), but the major difference is that we believe that Christ is the only way to God (John 14:6). She went on about Muslims, Buddhists, and Christians all being welcomed and that each book of religion is used in the church. I went on about how this cannot be because there would be a huge contradiction. She then talked about being raised as a Catholic and knowing what the Bible says and I told her if you knew what the Bible said then you would know better than to say what you’re saying.

Understand, I was not trying to argue with her, actually the conversation went on cordially and even-toned, but I was going to be firm in my faith. I went into examples from the Bible and practical applications of everyday life. God instilled in me 2 Timothy 1:7 and provided me with the boldness to speak to this stranger in confidence. Others around us remained quiet, but I was hoping that another Christian would stand up.

We must stand united, not just standby. I don’t blame anyone for not joining in on the discussion, but when eye contact is made and they nod in your favor, sometimes we must speak. I say this because as soon as we parted ways, that woman went to her next station to get her nails done and immediately started talking about what her church believes to another woman. She was not timid to share her false message, but sometimes we behave as if we are. She was too far away for me to carry on another rebuttal, but there were others in close proximity who could have spoken up. Maybe they weren’t Christians at all. Maybe not. Maybe they nodded because they saw my point of view, but didn’t really believe. Or maybe talking loudly about things that don’t pertain to God is more appealing. Clearly, I’m not trying to get people to act belligerent in public, but rather to stand in public boldly for what we declare in private.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

He Who Overcomes

Revelation 21:1-8, NKJV

All Things Made New

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.
2 Then I, John,[a] saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me,[b] “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done![c] I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things,[d] and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
8 But the cowardly, unbelieving,[e] abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Christ overcomes all things. Trust Him and stand firmly on His word.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Yoke of Bondage

Galatians 5:1-15, NKJV

Christian Liberty
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

Love Fulfills the Law
You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in you, in the Lord, that you will have no other mind; but he who troubles you shall bear his judgment, whoever he is. And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!

About this commentary locate below:
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

An earnest exhortation to stand fast in the liberty of the gospel.
Christ will not be the Savior of any who will not own and rely upon him as their only Savior. Let us take heed to the warnings and persuasions of the apostle to steadfastness in the doctrine and liberty of the gospel. All true Christians, being taught by the Holy Spirit, wait for eternal life, the reward of righteousness, and the object of their hope, as the gift of God by faith in Christ; and not for the sake of their own works…. No outward privileges or profession will avail to acceptance with God, without sincere faith in our Lord Jesus. True faith is a working grace; it works by love to God, and to our brethren. May we be of the number of those who, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith…. But without faith working by love, all else is worthless, and compared with it other things are of small value. (Gal 5:7-12)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Everything That Has Breath

Psalm 150

1Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.
3Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.
4Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
5Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
6Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Additional Reference: Psalm 134, Psalm 135:1-3

Monday, April 5, 2010

Eye Has Not Seen...

1 Corinthians 2:1-9, KJV

1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.
2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
6Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:
7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Friday, April 2, 2010

It is Finished

John 3:16-21, KJV

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
 Love the true LIGHT...Jesus gave so much for us, what are we willing to do for HIM?

"After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost," John 19:28-30, KJV.

"And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God," Mark 15:38-39, KJV.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Certainty of God’s Witness

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth:[b] the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one,” 1 John 5:6-8, NKJV.

This is He Who came by (with) water and blood [[a]His baptism and His death], Jesus Christ (the Messiah)--not by (in) the water only, but by (in) the water and the blood. And it is the [Holy] Spirit Who bears witness, because the [Holy] Spirit is the Truth. So there are three witnesses [b]in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One; and there are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree [are in unison; their testimony coincides],” 1 John 5:6-8, AMP.

1 John 5:9-12, AMP
If we accept [as we do] the testimony of men [if we are willing to take human authority], the testimony of God is greater (of stronger authority), for this is the testimony of God, even the witness which He has borne regarding His Son. He who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] has the testimony [possesses this divine attestation] within himself. He who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him out to be and represented Him as a liar, because he has not believed (put his faith in, adhered to, and relied on) the evidence (the testimony) that God has borne regarding His Son. And this is that testimony (that evidence): God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who possesses the Son has that life; he who does not possess the Son of God does not have that life.”

This is directly from the WORD of God…