They saw Jesus Christ and heard the Son of God
The book of 1 John is one of the most detailed books in the entire Bible but it is also one of the most applicable to our lives. I just did a verse by verse analysis on the book of Philippians but John had a different writing style. Internet readers absorbed much truth in the book of Philippians but I needed to know the background as to why Paul said what he was trying to convey. 1 John is a little more simple but the content is filled with so much biblical application that I am still pondering what this great author said because he writes so much in such a short space so ask God for wisdom in this wonderful book.(1) "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life. (2) For the life was manifested, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. (3) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. (4) And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." 1 John 1:1-4.I think it is very interesting that the Apostle John establishes that Jesus Christ was from eternity past in the very first sentence but I will delve into that far deeper as this articles progress. In the most general terms John was saying I am a witness because I heard, saw and touched Jesus Christ Himself.If you are a skeptic and do not believe the testimony of John, perhaps an agnostic or an atheist I want to make a point that you may want to consider before you render a verdict that Jesus Christ is not the Son of God. John wrote the book of Revelation at the end of the first century and in this account chapters 13,14 and 20 all talk about a chip that will be required by all people to take if they want to buy or sell things. At this point in the latter part of the year 2017 it has not happened yet but is indeed a prophecy for the future.I have done much research on this subject and know that all the major computers around the world are programmed for what Christians sometimes refer to as the mark of the beast. This will happen after the rapture of the church but it has already been introduced at present.How did John know this when he wrote the last book of the Bible? His world and reality was not even close to having this technology to implement this on any human being. Here we are approximately twenty centuries later ready for these chips to be implanted in human beings. Here are two verses which prove that John not only knew but that he is a credible witness. Why, because no person in this time frame could have even remotely understood this concept because they were not at all advanced in technology. This is a little off this subject but nobody can receive that mark and go to heaven because it is given and received in allegiance to the antichrist.(16) "And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads. (17) And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Revelation 13:16-17.In a courtroom if a witness answers questions regarding a case generally lawyers, judges and the jury want to know if that person is credible with the truth. I hope this helps you in making your decision about John because I personally believe he has credentials of being nothing but a truthful man.This passage refers to Jesus Christ as the Word of Life. The Son of God did not just utter words to be heard but every truth He spoke was of eternal value for us to apply in this world while we are still in our fleshly bodies. Jesus Christ is the everlasting Word of His Father.This passage says that the life was manifested but a little ways down the Bible says and was manifested unto us. Jesus Christ came from eternity past in the flesh because of His incomprehensible love for mankind. Eternal life came to visit mortals so they could have salvation through Him. The life, the Word of life and eternal life could not be seen or felt but since the Son of the Living God came in the flesh He could be seen, heard and felt. God needed eye witnesses and ear witnesses of His Son but the phrase in verse one is quite interesting because when the text says which we have looked upon, this does not just mean seeing Jesus but a rational interpretation was comprehended for them to make a conclusion that He was indeed the Son of God. We don't really know someone until we spend time with him or her in our life.I believe I made a pretty good case for John being a credible witness in a round about way but think about some of the events he observed in approximately three and a half years. He heard and saw the miracles, healings, sermons, the torture before Jesus went to the cross, the crucifixion, resurrection and heard and saw Him ascend back up to heaven with the promise that He would return at some future date.At the risk of repeating myself the phrase ... "Which we have looked upon" meant all these major events to allow their senses to formulate accurate information because hearing and seeing are registers to the mind. They knew beyond a shadow of a doubt and now John in particular was and still is an authentic witness to the world that Jesus Christ is indeed the Son of God.In this case their senses traveled to reason and judgment as opposed to the Pharisees whose hearts were hardened and consciences were seared. We need to ask ourselves which category we are in because it is one thing to be receptive to Jesus Christ but it is an entirely different reality to be hardened in our hearts against the Son of God. Believe it or not most people are in the middle and according to Revelation chapter three that is the one place we do not want to be because we will be lukewarm. If you desire read my article that was posted at the beginning of 2017 called, "A message to Laodicea." The reference of being lukewarm is in verse 15. John will extensively get into loving God and other people in 1 John but at this juncture he is testifying of Jesus Christ being the Son of God.In light of this sound conclusion that the Apostle John came to would you like to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God into your life by living for Him. This is not just a decision for your life but for all eternity. I hope you just made that choice if you have not already done so because the Apostle John has much to say for your welfare in Jesus Christ throughout the rest of this book.Not only did John want to get his facts straight but he desired to go deeper and have fellowship with his brothers and sisters in Christ because he was truly saved in Jesus Christ. Not only was he redeemed from his sins but the reason he desired fellowship with his brothers and sisters in Christ was because his fellowship was with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.He was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit but I hear Christians say they get together with other Christians because they want a social event. When this happens I never see Jesus Christ at the center of the conversation because the foundation is not present within their spirit. The point John is trying to make here is we should see evidence of our faith when we get together as believers in Jesus Christ. Some Christians have it backwards. The highest Apostle and the lowest believer can have fellowship with one another through the Person of Jesus Christ. Why because our fellowship is with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. This fellowship brings us above both sin and the world into communion with God.One of the purposes John wrote to this body of believers which was not one particular church but to diverse churches was that their joy may be filled according to verse four. Joy is actually an advanced stage in the Christian life. It is a little bit of a mystery that sinful human beings can even have joy in their spirit. John wants them to rise to the top in their revelation through Jesus Christ.If you are not at that point in your Christian journey do not be to hard on yourself but understand that God does desire you to be in that place of your life. Pray about this issue with a sincere heart and see what the Holy Spirit will do in your life. You may be so upset right now that all you will be able to handle is the peace of God flowing through your heart. God knows exactly where we are in life but we must do our part and seek Him for direction.God Bless you,Bob D.
Friday, August 03, 2018
A blessed review and a wonderful goodbyeThis is the very last article in this verse by verse analysis in the book of Philippians. I remember I was about to start a verse by verse study on Revelation chapter one and the Lord interrupted me and directed my review to the book of Philippians. I understood that there were people on internet land that needed to understand these four chapters because there is a tremendous need for Christians to apply the principles of this particular biblical content to their lives. I hope I was able to make this precious book more clear and break down the points Paul was trying to convey in a simple way with the motive of serving you (by the way it is always my pleasure) so you can apply these truths to your life in your church and on your job or where ever you are in your path down here on earth.In the first article which was titled, "A wonderful reunion" it was quite obvious that Paul and the Philippian church went through much together and he was just so happy to be reunited with this very special body of believers even if it was just in the form of a letter. I look at some of these "Reunions" in life and some are, "Well let's get together" but there was a lot of heart and soul with true Godly affection in this come together. Did you ever just like someone or a group of people and your heart just melts at seeing them again? This is the kind of love God desires us to have for our brothers and sisters in Christ because He has tender affection for us.The second article I wrote was called, "Godly love and expansion" and the main theme here involves these two verbs. Paul desired them to have love but with knowledge and judgment. He did not want their love to be blind. For example we should be reading the Bible and making Godly conclusions for our life. When Paul was in prison while writing this letter he knew people were proclaiming Jesus Christ with the wrong motive but all the Apostle cared about was the expansion of the gospel. Right reasons, wrong reasons if people were coming to know the Lord that is all that he longed for but let this be a lesion to every one of us that our motives better be right when we endeavor for the Lord Jesus Christ because there will be no reward in heaven if why were doing what were doing is for the wrong reason.The third article I wrote was called, "To the glory of God through Jesus Christ." Paul makes a transition from examining Christian leaders and their motives because it became apparently obvious to him but not necessarily understood by the people listening to these teachers but they were still inviting Jesus Christ into their hearts. He then goes vertical with his personal relationship with God and empathies giving Jesus Christ the praise and glory. Just one word of advise because we need to be listening to Christian leaders on where their "Empathies" is first and foremost because this observation is going to determine if they are biblically sound and heading in the right direction. If they are off on some tangent with their empathies then the listeners like sheep are going to follow because Jesus Christ is not at the center of the congregation and the body of believers listening are not going to be grounded in the word of God.The forth article I wrote is called, "Should I stay or should I go." Paul goes over this dilemma on whether it would be better if he stayed on Planet Earth or went to heaven. He knew full well that there would be no more temptation of sin in heaven with much joy but he finally settled on the fact that this Apostle needed to stay because the needs of other people were great. We do not determine when we are born nor do we determine when God will take us on home to be with Him for all eternity. This was understood but he was torn between the two and I am one that much appreciated his opening up of his soul being split two different ways because I have faced the same struggle in my path on earth.In the fifth article I wrote, "How to love one another" and I would have to say this may be a good writing to review because there were enough specifics to go over because God places a high empathies on this subject. We can do something without love and as a result all kinds of bad noise comes out of our spirit and hurts other people in a bad way. The domino effect takes place where they encounter other people and this just goes on and on until someone actually makes a conscious decision to express this type of affection to everyone around them because he or she is making the right choice by obeying God and being in His will.Article number six is called, "The essence of Jesus Christ" which has amazing content in it because Paul is reviewing the horizontal (how to love one another) to the very essence of who Jesus Christ is but notice he did not delve into this subject until he explained the horizontal and then Paul goes very deep into the heart of who Jesus Christ is especially in relation to us as Christians. What good is keeping our focus on Jesus Christ without being able to relate it to our lives? Exploring the essence of Jesus Christ is wise so if you have to review this article it is posted and Paul does get very specific in the verses. This should touch our soul when we go on a journey in understanding who Jesus Christ is and His resurrection power especially on how it relates to us in our Christian journey down here on earth.Article number seven is called, "Rejoicing and mourning" and this is so true to our lives but Paul was one of the few people I ever encountered that knew how to blend the two together into one. We will mourn in this world but to just stay there is counterproductive because rejoicing is to be incorporated with our grief. This is when we can just thank, praise and glorify God in pain and hardships. It is an expression to the Triune Godhead that in the middle of our problems we are putting our faith in God, giving praises to Jesus Christ for who He is and what He is going to do in our life because we do love Him and our called according to His purpose.Article number eight is called, "Persecuted or the persecutor." Paul describes the types of Christians that are prone to persecution because of their strong stance for Jesus Christ. They are on the right side of true faith and obedience to Jesus Christ. These individuals would never even dream of persecuting anyone because they are in a position before God to stay the course and endue for Him until the end. The persecutors are very earthy in their thoughts and rely on their own strength which produces pride and often goes to the next step into persecuting true believers in Jesus Christ. This is history and it is also what the Bible teaches will happen in the last days. We are in the general vicinity of the rapture and the seven year tribulation period which the world will soon have to go through but true believers are promised a snatching away before this time period starts so make sure you are right with Jesus Christ or you will be left behind.Article number nine is called, "Living for Jesus Christ and the hope of heaven." I can always tell if a person is living for Jesus Christ. Most decent people do not and it is sad to see them allow the cares of life rob them of their relationship with the Son of God who died for their sins. On the other hand I can always tell if a person is living for Jesus Christ. When I see this there is always the hope of heaven attached to their devotion to the Lord because we are just passing through this old world but our true hope is in heaven because that is our ultimate home. We are not staying down here but are living for Jesus Christ because this is our only true option. He is preparing us for heaven.Article number ten is called, "Reaching and pressing with hope." Paul desired to put his empathies on two words which are reaching and pressing but it was for the high calling in Jesus Christ. How serious do we take the high calling we have in Jesus Christ? It should be our number one priority but we should strive with Godly hope. People reach and press when they run a race and this is what we should be engaging in our Christian life. This high calling involves reaching and pressing to know Jesus Christ and His resurrection power. We are laboring for Him for the right reason of pointing to the Son of the Living God, not ourselves because it is all about Jesus Christ. We are just the vessels in the hands of God.Article number eleven is called, "The peace of God keeping our hearts and minds." We as Christians are granted a very special promise that if we trust in God through His Son Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. The fear and anxiety will not be there because this peace will transcend over our excessive cares in life and work through our spirit by experience. I shared a very touching story of my grandmother who got saved by reading Philippians chapter four every night before she died and finally got saved through Jesus Christ. It just goes to show us we really don't know what God may use in the life of a person to bring him or her to Him.Article number twelve is called, "A special word in observation but content in Jesus Christ." I let loose in the beginning of the article explaining the main problem I was seeing in the average person I observed or talked to which is they never got the sin condition settled before God in most cases because of the cares of this world. Remember demons have about six thousand years of experience in making sure said person has apathy about the truths of God and they probably won't bother you if they know they have you in their possession. Just because everything is fine in your life does not mean you are going to heaven. Unfortunately there is only one other place and that would be hell. This is a horrible existence but if you do nothing then how can you possible expect to go to heaven?I would like to extend an invitation to you to accept Jesus Christ into your heart as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all sins and inviting the Son of the Living God into your life by living for Him. This is a decision for your life and eternity and it will be the wisest choice you ever made in your life because it will last forever.In article twelve Paul expresses how content he was in Jesus Christ. We can not feel at peace through something worldly or earthy because it is temporary and subject to change.Finally at the end of the book of Philippians Paul says his goodbyes to a wonderful body of believers. In verse twenty, "Now unto God and our Father be glory forever and ever, Amen." He just kept giving glory to God and that is what we should be doing in our life.When Paul said goodbye to this church it is obvious that he had a genuine love for all good Christians. Then of course he ends with, "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen." Well I say the same thing to you so ...God Bless you until next time,Bob D.
A special word in observation but content in Jesus ChristThe Lord placed something on my heart but what I'm about to say does not necessarily have a whole lot to do with the text. He wanted me to share something I was seeing in other people. Jesus Christ died for our sins. The more we realize this the Holy Spirit works through our spirit by experience and as a result people see the evidence of the resurrected Son of God working in our hearts. This is a witness for them to come to know the Lord.It is very interesting to me because the one thing in general I see in the average person I talk to or pass by is they never allowed the Lamb of God to take care of their sin issue inside of them. It is usually substituted with some earthy issue or postponed because of the cares of this world and deep down I really believe they feel the matter will go away. Somehow they convinced themselves that not being forgiven of their sins by God through His Son Jesus Christ will not make a difference for them. After all they are trying to meet a deadline on earth so what does my eternity have to do with anything?I am still surprised at how one dimensional people see their relationship with God and their eternal destiny. In laymen's terms they just don't care but I can not deny they are pretty decent people. This still does not abnegate their responsibility and accountably before God because the sin condition lies dormant in their spirit. I don't know if these nice people understand this or not but they are suppressing the truth that God has already built into them.If this describes you please think about what I just said because most people just walk past the good year blimp without even looking at it (I am using that as an analogy to speak in spiritual terms) because they are so tunnel vision on what they have to do in life. Remember all of this is corruptible but our eternity will last forever.(10) "But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. (11) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (12) I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (14) Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. (14) Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. (15) Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Mesedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. (16) For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. (17) Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account." Philippians 4:10-17.Paul took some time to thank them for their kindness toward him. He had a grateful spirit but did you ever notice how slim kindness is in this world? I can barely find it in my surroundings. This was the one church that did all the extras in comparison to the other Christians and some were really good and kind but this body of believers excelled as excellent. This is the spirit of kindness because it goes the extra mile. For example this church was kind to Paul in his presence, outside of his presence and when he departed on other missions they sent him supplies. Most people say, "O.K I gave, I did my part" but this church kept giving all the time out of the generosity in their hearts. In verse ten they wanted to give but they could not so Paul acknowledges that by telling them they lacked opportunity.There is a spirit behind kindness because it just desires to give for the welfare of the other person. If we feel our lack in this area at least the subject is on the table. We can think about this and learn by their example. In verse fourteen they were not only concerned for needs but they took it one step deeper and did something about the situation.Paul was content with the little he had and was satisfied with this but had to depend on God every moment. Do we rely on Jesus Christ all the time? Paul was at peace even with hardships and sufferings. If you will read this passage very close God gives us a special act of grace in all situations for our life. This statement is very unlike what we hear from a pulpit because a conditional message is often conveyed to the congregation. Abased or abound but not proud and secure in Jesus Christ. Being abased or abounding (one is not better than the other) it is just where God has placed us in our circumstances.Now we get to one of the most popular verses in the Bible. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Look at how beautiful this whole thing ties together because we need His strength to teach us to be content in every situation (abased or abounding). Paul was not bragging that he could do this because he gave all the praise to Jesus Christ. The real question is can we give glory to God in all things no matter what happens to us in our life? God gives us renewed strength so we are able to respond in everything His way with His purpose.Paul was in such a good place in life even though he was in prison chained to a Roman guard because when this church gave to him he was just so happy for them. He did not desire a gift but he actually welcomed their kindness because it was added to their account of serving the Lord with the right reason of goodness in their heart. It was once asked, "How much is enough" and answered, "It is never enough." If a person desires more than enough he or she has a covetous heart.As you can see we serve a mighty God through His Son Jesus Christ who meets our needs and desires as long as we are trusting in Him. I started out in this article explaining to internet readers what I see in the average person I observe or communicate with and it is very sad. People just seem very comfortable in their sins and trust me when I say this the Son of the Living God is so low on their pecking order that worldly things choke the truths of God in their life.When I try and talk about Jesus Christ the conversation almost always gets squashed. If you tried to be friends with someone and that person kept saying I am not interested then don't you think eventually leaving his or her presence is the only viable option? How do you think Jesus Christ feels when a person keeps ignoring Him in a blunt or settle way? He is eventually going to honor the will of that individual. He or she may get what they want but they may not want what they get and that would be eternal separation from heaven only to go to the other place.It would be so special to me to extend an invitation to you to accept Jesus Christ as your very own Savior and Lord by sincerely repenting of all your sins and inviting the Son of God to come into your life. This does not just mean that you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart but you are making a decision to live for Him.Do not be like the average person that chooses to put God so low on their priority order that of course the sports game has to come first. This is sad because their thoughts are earthy rather than spiritual and if they live this as a lifestyle they do not have true salvation in Jesus Christ. You read this article and heard me pour my heart out to you but the decision is in your hands. I hope you made the right choice of true salvation in Jesus Christ and then dedicating your life to Him.God Bless you,Bob D.
The peace of God keeping our hearts and mindsDid you ever have someone a little more spiritual than you say, "Stay strong in the Lord?" Paul did but he also urged them once again to be unified in Jesus Christ. That second point has come up many times in the book of Philippians. Today if you will notice many Christians pride themselves in being divided from their brothers and sisters but this misses the point completely. I want to quote nine verses straight because these are some of the most popular verses in the Bible.(1) "Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. (2) I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. (3) And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlaborers, whose names are in the book of life. (4) Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you." Philippians 4:1-9.Paul starts out by using the word steadfast and we are to be strong in our Christian profession. In the previous article I wrote about our conversation being holy as we look for the return of the Lord all the while occupying until He comes with the right motive in serving Him.Two times in verse one Paul expresses love for them (1) Dearly beloved (2) My dearly beloved. There is something about true authentic love that people sense and can not argue against but blind individuals may fight against Godly affection. Paul is exhorting them in the form of encouragement. The love of Paul involved longing, rejoicing and glorying in them because he had a huge heart with them in spirit. Paul talked about living in Christ but to do that we have to stand fast in the Lord. To do this we have to rely on His strength through the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit but the one thing we do not want to do is depend on our own strength. If you find yourself falling into this trap just talk to the Lord about the whole issue. God is not going to withhold wisdom from a sincere child.Paul mentions two individuals because they either differed with each other or had their own opinions regarding church policy. The longing of Paul was for them to walk in peace, live in love and in general be of the same mind with the rest of the church. We have to remember the Philippian church was by and large a good sincere body of believers. I have seen many church splits in my lifetime and many broken hearts become shattered and some Christians take years to get over the pain. Others hold the hurt inside of them and take it out on other Christians. Wise Christians will give their burden to God and just be there for their brothers and sisters. Paul did not desire division for this fellowship.Paul then calls out the "Yoke fellow" to help the ladies who helped him. The reason why he singled this person out is because he was the one person that had both a Godly bond with Paul and the women. He was the perfect middle man for this job. It is a privilege to receive an assignment from God. These ladies helped so now it was their turn to receive assistance. If we truly do something for the Lord in one way or another this will come back to us in a good way.In verse four Paul says to rejoice in the Lord two times. Our joy does end in Jesus Christ but to get there our thoughts must be holy. Actually we are suppose to rejoice in God through every one of our circumstances. We may say that is a lot to ask but this is what the Bible teaches.In verse five Paul talks about letting our moderation be known to all men. This is another way of saying be gentle and controlled to your brothers and sisters in Christ. This is something that I don't see as much as I thought I would observe in Christian fellowships but it is just something to think about regarding our relationship with other Christians. Sometimes when dealing with each other we are not very charitably or don't want to give the benefit of the doubt but if we are not generous in spirit don't you think something is missing? The Philippian church seemed to be very patient for the most part in their fellowship with each other so when Paul says ..."The Lord is at hand" the inference could mean that if they have any enemies because of their goodness in the Lord, God will take vengeance on them but I will leave that open for interpretation.At this point Paul really wants the believers in Jesus Christ to be in constant prayer. In verse six Paul is saying that we should pray about everything. Remember we can not hid anything from God so we need to pray about the sensitive private aspects of our life or maybe I should say especially those areas because that is where we stumble. This is how it works --- our spirit gets burdened but our minds get put at ease through prayer. The Bible in other passages uses verbs like perplexed and distressed (2 Corinthians 4:8) but that just proves we need direction and support.Paul then urges us to throw in thanksgiving with our supplications. In essence when we pray about the bad in our life we are seeking a supply of good; however, God is also saying our part is not only to intercede but have a grateful heart. Once again we see our responsibility but with the promise of God to deliver us in His way and His timing. Prayer is us offering up but our desires become known on the other side (the answer). We are to let our requests be known to God with a sincere heart then we will feel the effect of the peace of God keeping our hearts.This is a true story about my grandmother. She used to go to church every Sunday. She did not know the Lord. At the time my grandmother had no concept of what true salvation in Jesus Christ meant but my Mom decided to bring a very Godly man to tell her the true message of salvation through Jesus Christ. I was there in the other room and I heard him explain that the true gospel is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. There was some resistance but after a while she inquired about the subject of peace. He directed her to Philippians chapter four and she read this passage every night before sleeping. My grandmother read those verses so many times that the truth of the reality of the peace of God became real to her and as a result she got saved through Jesus Christ right before passing away in this case to be with the Lord. Remember the Bible says, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:4. Jesus Christ revealed His glorious light to my grandmother in her blindness through this very popular passage in the Bible.Perhaps you feel that your mind has been blinded to the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ and desire to come to know the Lord. When anyone accepts Jesus Christ into their hearts as Savior and Lord by repenting of all sins the Son of the Living God comes into the life of that person. If you just made that decision read the rest of this article because Paul has some very positive truths for us to pursue for our good.This peace of God which passeth all understanding will keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. If we are having problems with a particular sin the peace of God will be strong enough to abstain because the power of the Holy Spirit is working through our hearts; therefore, it would only be wise to pursue this biblical truth.In verse eight Paul says to seek after things that are true and honest because he wants us to have a good name in Jesus Christ. Believing truth and our behavior go hand in hand because if it is just, pure, lovely and of good report with no additives of sin then people will see God in our life. If we see virtue or praise then chime in because we will be glorifying God. In verse nine Paul says, "Those things which you have learned, and received, and heard and seen in me, do." He knew they would remember this and as a result recall seeing Jesus Christ work through Paul so he threw that in at the end just to give them encouragement through example.God Bless you,Bob D.
Reaching and pressing with hope
If you are a Christian did you know that you have a high calling of God? These two verses are one of the most quoted in the Bible. (13) "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. (14) I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." 3:13-14.Paul was far more interested in the present and future than the past. Our background often times symbolizes defeat so we are supposed to repent and forsake our sins to ..."Reaching forth unto those things which are before." Not only was Paul "Reaching" but he was "Pressing" ..."Toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."Even though we got saved through Jesus Christ we still have to be fit for heaven. Someone may ask, "Isn't salvation in Jesus Christ enough to be fit for heaven?" That is the first step but if you will notice Paul was "Reaching" and "Pressing." That is what people do when they are running a race and by the way contrary to popular belief we are running a marathon not a one hundred yard dash. Passé yourself and allow a little margin for error.Many Christians around me say it would be great if Jesus returned today and I say perhaps today but if I am not finished my work for the Kingdom of God then what would be the point of going home to heaven. If I was a college student and said three years is enough but everybody knows that it takes four years to get a degree. Trust me God will let His children know when He is finished with us. The rapture or passing away to be with the Lord is very obvious when it happens. God has the final say when He takes us up to heaven.There is just one more point I would like to make and that is my education probably is not complete if I am still here on this earth in this age of grace. Sincere Christians talk about laboring for the Lord but what about learning more regarding our Savior Jesus Christ and His resurrection power? Some say, "I can learn more in heaven" but is that a one size fits all law? Maybe in some cases I can learn more on earth in trials and hardships.Heaven is our prize of the high calling. In everything we do our "Reaching" and "Pressing" is supposed to be our aim. Our reward is Jesus Christ Himself and the promise of heaven because ..."The high calling of God in Christ Jesus." is our aim. I like the way Paul phrased this because we are to expect the promise from God but it is through the hand of Jesus Christ that we receive our inheritance.(15) "Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. (16) Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing." 3:15-16.In simple terms we allow Jesus Christ to be first in our lives but our hearts should be on heaven. These verses talk about unity in Jesus Christ so if there is a small issue that you differ with your brother or sister have a forbearing spirit and realize that you agree in the main truth which is Jesus Christ died for our sins, rose from the dead on the third day and is coming again. Always rise to the higher ground when disagreeing with a brother or sister because then you will be able to solve the problem through Jesus Christ. We don't want to judge anybody because we never walked a mile in their shoes so just be content with Jesus Christ in that role as judge.We are going to spend eternity together so if we differ pray that God gives us a greater understanding but the most important thing is to join together in the ways of Jesus Christ because the Holy Spirit will give us the answer in the small issues if we specifically pray for that request.(17) "Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example. (18) For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. (19) Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. (20) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. (21) Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself." Philippians 3:17-21.In this set of verses Paul warns them against false teachers. They were enemies of the cross and apparently their walk did not match their profession. There is a saying that often goes around Christian churches that says, "You can talk the talk but not walk the walk." It sometimes comes across as a cliché because some of the people saying this do not really walk the walk along with their talk. Paul did confess that he was repeating himself but this time with weeping. Whoever these teachers were they must have been really bad for Paul to cry but he did say it with love.The Apostle explains who these people were very specifically. (1) Whose God is their belly. These were people who had their primary focus on their sensual appetites. Righteous people give their void inside of themselves to God and He fills them but these leaders were going in the other direction.(2) This may be the worst because they were glorying in their shame. It should be the opposite because we should be confessing our shame. To place value in ourselves for what is reproachable is once again just the opposite of what we are to be doing for God and serving other people. There is no value in our sins and blemishes unless we confess it and use that failure to help others because of our mistakes. When Peter denied Jesus three times he repented and used that weakness to help other people. These leaders were just taking glory in their shame.(3) Their mind was on earthly things. When you hear people at work constantly quote sports scores take it with a grain of salt. Paul was saying their minds are contrary to the cross of Jesus Christ.(4) This point is the hardest to go over because Paul says whose end is destruction. Their way seemed right but what was at the end? The Apostle said if you follow them you will have the same destiny which obviously is the bad place in eternity. This is why Paul was crying.A genuine Christian even though we may be in this world has their conversation in heaven because this is not our home. Our final destination is Paradise. Paul says ..."For our conversation is in heaven." I always was skeptical of being in a Christian fellowship and then it happens --- the name of Jesus Christ never comes up and when I do mention Him there is silence.In verse 20 and 21 Paul talks about the rapture of the church and gets very excited regarding the truth of our vile bodies being changed or ... "Fashioned like unto His glorious body." I'm sure many Christians are reading this and looking forward to the resurrection. This is the power of God through His Son Jesus Christ.If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord please repent of all your sins and invite Him into your life. If you do not pass on before the rapture of the church you will go up in the great snatching away because you are now a Christian and living for Jesus Christ. The Bible does give us this wonderful promise so I would urge anyone to get right with the Son of God or unfortunately they will be left behind to face many horrors that will take place in this world. I trust you will make the right decision.God Bless,Bob D.
Persecuted or the persecutorI just want to start in Philippians chapter three because Paul is sort of engaging in small talk about the different people that were tentatively going to visit the church or in some cases he talks about past tense issues.(1) "Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.(2) Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision." 3:1-2. The Philippian church was for the most part strong but Paul had to step in because the church was being bothered by Judaizing teachers.It is interesting that he tells them to rejoice in the Lord right away because Paul desires them to be grounded in their faith. He wanted them to cleave to Jesus Christ and suffer if they had to but the one thing he did not want was for them to get discouraged and walk away from the Lord. Did you ever just lose hope in your soul? I have because life can be very disheartening.Paul mentions ... " The same thing to you" ... but he was not concerned with this because it is the same principle as reading a Bible passage twice. We know it but our spirit needs the words again so we can be nourished.He tells them to beware of dogs because these people are against faithful professors for Jesus Christ. They had hatred in their hearts. They may not openly show their malice but that is why Paul used the word "Beware." These people put much stock that they were part of the circumcision and if they were open with their opinions they were called dogs. They were figuratively barking at good people of God especially ministers. If they took it one step further they would bite (inflict some kind of injury) at certain Christians. I see this all the time today and it is usually very blunt, mean and downright vindictive. Even if I am in a simple conversation I get all kinds of objections regarding Jesus Christ and the Bible.Paul specifically addresses the situation. (3) "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. (4) Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more. (5) Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee." 3:3-5.Paul also goes on to say, (5) "Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee. (6) Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is the law, blameless." 3:5-6. Before you get bored with this résumé because Paul does go on and on but he does it with a point. I can fully understand as we read verses 4 to 6 we might say, "O.K Paul could you please stop bragging." He only does this to prove his theme and what the Holy Spirit showed me was very revealing.Apparently some people were not only depending on the fact that they were circumcised for their salvation but they were prideful. Paul in laymen's terms says, "You are small time. I am the one that was born under the strictest circumstances and I put absolutely no stock in any of these duties I already engaged in so let me make my point."If they were depending on their circumcision they were "Not" putting their trust in Jesus Christ. If they had an ego because they did one little thing that is absurd. Do I really have to elaborate on how ridiculous this pride is if you know what I mean? Based on this small thing they actually decided to put the Philippian church through a persecution. When people rely on our their strengththey have the potential of putting a group of believers through a persecution.Well this is what happened but notice the Philippian church was depending on Jesus Christ Himself. It would have been unthinkable for this body of believers to put anybody through a persecution because they were humble and relying on the strength of Jesus Christ.When a group of people are looking at a group of Christians relying on their own strength with an ego then the next step is a possible persecution. Starting at Philippians 3:7 Paul gets into the real substance of everything I just wrote about but he throws his resume out and embraces what his love for Jesus Christ really means from the backdrop of gains and loses in life. For example if you were to go to your accountant and listen to him or her we may here "You gained here" ... "Oh good" ... "You lost here" ... " Oh no really. This is the way the world thinks but Paul had a completely different response on gains and loses but he does it from the perspective of His relationship with Jesus Christ.The moral of what I am trying to convey is these people were putting the Philippian church through a bad trial but Paul is trying to explain how he sees his relationship with Jesus Christ from the backdrop of gains and loses in life. They were depending on the wrong thing for their salvation, they became prideful and they went to the final step of hurting the church. Paul is now interceding and explaining to the Philippians and their persecutors the proper view of true salvation and what we are to do with our gains and loses in life in our fellowship with Jesus Christ. The Apostle puts this whole thing in perspective for life and eternity.(7) "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (8) Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." 3:7-8.We have to remember in verse six Paul just confessed that he was a very busy man in his faith "Before" he got saved ... " Concerning zeal persecuting the church" ... so he had zeal without any kind of wisdom from God through His Son Jesus Christ. Paul was the persecutor but he became the persecuted. He understood this situation from both sides so now he is able to speak with incredible sustenance on the whole issue on how we are to approach our experience with Jesus Christ.When Paul says, "But what things were gain to me those have I counted loss for Christ" he was saying that if I held on to those gains in this world he would have been a loser for Jesus Christ.If we win one million dollars the idea and reality of being intimate with that money in our heart replaces our Savior and Lord so the material becomes first and Jesus Christ is second at best.I am writing to some very sincere readers so if this is where you are the best thing you can do is just talk to the Lord about the situation. Just be honest and ask Him in prayer to help get your priorities right through confession in your heart. Tell God that you are struggling with holding onto this world to tight and let Him gently work through you.We lose so many things in life so additions in our journey down here are something that we just so easily hold on to very strong. We are fearful that we will have another loss in life because after all we have been through so many defeats and of course nobody cares about anybody in this dog eat dog world so it is mine. No God owns everything so we are just managers in what He entrusted in our possession. The question is are we stewards for Jesus Christ or for ourselves?Paul progress deeper into this subject by saying, ... "I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ" ... because he was "Striving" for the knowledge of Jesus Christ and refers to Him as Lord. I can always notice a group of people that are trying to get right with God. It turns me off when I hear someone say, "Oh yea I trusted Jesus Christ into my heart in 1982" but I see absolutely no "Striving" for the knowledge of Jesus Christ.True Christians want to get to know our Savior and Lord, it is not easy and it is about as practical as we can get as opposed to the example I gave in winning one million dollars. By the way I am not advocating gambling because it is wrong but I was and still am trying to make a point in context to this subject. We can lose money but our relationship with Jesus Christ is more precious than gold. Our monetary system is speculative but our fellowship with Jesus Christ is not because it is the excellency of knowledge as opposed to the unknown of knowledge (our earthy gains and loses). We can lose our gains tomorrow but our intimacy in Jesus Christ will last forever. No wonder Jesus said, "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth or rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." Matthew 6:20.Paul counted all things as loss because he knew it was like water in his hand. He could not hold on to it because it is based on the uncontrollable circumstances of life which are constantly changing because in this world the only thing constant in life is change. He counted all things, not most things or some things as loss in relation to his fellowship with Jesus Christ. We need to pray on this because if anything is in the way or in front of God it is an idol. We are worshipping the wrong God.Paul then goes deeper into the subject by saying, ... " I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I might win Christ." Dung is another word for rubbish. What is more valuable (1) the gains or losses in this world or (2) Jesus Christ Himself? The answer should be obvious.For those of you who do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord remember Paul saw anything that got in the way of his relationship to God as contempt because it was in competition with his fellowship to the Son of God. The Father desires you to repent of all your sins and come to know His Son. If you have just made that all important eternal decision invite Jesus Christ into your life by reading the Bible and praying to God to get to know Him. He loves you and nothing in this world can compare to your relationship and fellowship with Jesus Christ. This is intimate and goes straight to our hearts but the world is fragile and can cut our soul in pieces.God bless you,Bob D.
A wonderful reunionThe book of Philippians has so much wisdom from the Holy Spirit that it just staggers my mind that God would be able to say so much in only four chapters. I'm going to start from Philippians chapter one verse one. I am going to quote the verse but I am not going to keep typing Philippians 1:1 andthen go to verse two and say Philippians 1:2. I need the space.Stay with me on this verse by verse analysis because this book in Scripture is so simple yet incredibly profound. Believe me you won't be disappointed. There is no doubta supernatural blessing from God Himself will transpire in our life if application is applied through faith and obedience in Jesus Christ. We need to listen to what the Holy Spirit is trying to portray to us as Christians in this amazing set of four chapters." Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are in Phi-lip'pi, with bishops and deacons: 1:1.The order of this verse is very interesting to me. Paul uses the word servants right away. Remember a superstar and a servant have nothing to do with one another.As believers in Jesus Christ if there is ever a time we don't see ourselves as servants to everyone even if we are the leader then something is wrong. The result will be human strength as opposed to a transparency that emanates from our spirit that is available to meet the needs of others.Very few people have this quality about themselves but I can notice it every single time. I certainly recognize when I don't have this attitude about myself but always try and correct this by becoming a man that is available to people.The body of believers in this fellowship are mentioned first because the bishops and deacons are for the church. The highest call is to be a servant and this principle will be a reality throughout eternity in heaven.If you will notice the phrase ... "Saints in Christ Jesus" we need to understand that everybody was included from the most spiritual to the infant Christian. We need to make sure even the least feel included because they are part of the kingdom of God. If everybody overlooks him or her it would be very "Spiritual" if we extended our hand to make the lowest feel warm. If you feel deep inside they are not a true Christian this is the perfect opportunity to give them the gospel of Jesus Christ in a very clear but meek way so their names can be written in the Lamb's book of life."Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." 2:2. Some people refer to this as the apostolical benediction because this introduction is written in almost every epistle. This is the free favour from God and it is because of His goodness. We as Christians are the recipients of both grace and peace. We do not deserve this so remember your friend who does not know the Lord will not have this divine sustenance working through him or her as they travel through life. They have to fill the void inside them with something worldly which is usually some sort of sin.I remember talking to one of my doctors who has multiply degrees in so many different subjects. He understood there is a void in everyone's heart and asked me, "How do you fill the void in your heart?" I responded the Holy Spirit gives me His supernatural peace because I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. He said a couple of sentences and then replied, "I don't know what you are talking about." I tried to share Jesus Christ with him but sensed he had many preconceptions about the subject. Remember a person has the choice of accepting or rejecting God in his or her life.I noticed this man throughout the years jump from one thing to another and never seemed to be satisfied. Everyone has emptiness but only Jesus Christ can fill the void because that is the way God created us on the inside.The world has so many choices for this emptiness but none will ever satisfy. I can not even count the times when young kids fresh out of high school and into college said," There are so many choices yet nothing." That is kind of interesting and I believe it ties into what I am talking about but realize that nothing but a strong devotion to Jesus Christ will meet our needs and desires."I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." 1:3. Paul was mistreated at Philippi yet that did not seem to be an issue to him. When people say, "I will pray for you" but don't really put much thought into the person how sincere is that when nothing but words are uttered? When we care for someone we put some thought for or about the person or group even if we are busy.I remember buying some cards for family members and said, "Just buy anything because nobody reads these words anyway." I received this response from a lady who said, "Yes we do." I never knew that but I did not forgot what she said because sincere individuals do think about words and people. Paul thought and prayed. My time is very limited so this message is at the very least for me. I need to remember this principle."Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy." 1:4. Joy is something so rare in this world. This comes from God so we should specially pray for this to be an intimate part of our life. Notice the word "Request" in this verse. Making specific requests before God is far more powerful than most Christians will ever realize. This is not the very fiber of who we are as believers in Jesus Christ but it is something that should be incorporated in our prayer life. The request could be intimate or altruistic (for the bigger and greater good of a person or group) and God hears them all and will give us the desires of our hearts in His way and timing."For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now." 1:5. It is always of tremendous comfort when a minister sees a new Christian continue in the truths of the Bible. Then Paul goes into one of the most popular verses in the entire word of God. "That He who has begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ." 1:6. This verse is an example of the grace of God. It is a good work that makes us more like Jesus Christ Himself. The very moment we invited Jesus Christ into our hearts God started beginning a good work in us but this is an unseen process that the triune Godhead executes in our life.If you don't know Jesus Christ then understand there is a dead nature in you that is sinful. Everybody at one point was dead in trespasses and sins and no person in this condition can raise themselves to life. This is why you have to accept Jesus Christ into your life as your very own personal Savior and Lord by repenting of all your sins and invite Him into your heart for the remission of your transgressions. God will then transform you through His Son Jesus Christ from being dead in your sins to being alive in Jesus Christ.This good work that is talked about in Philippians 1:6 will begin to take place in your life but please do your part by reading the Bible and trying to obey the precepts in the word of God. This way it is a two way relationship (you and Jesus Christ working together) and that void that I was telling you about in the beginning of the article will be filled the Godly way. If we try and fill it any other way we will remain empty in one way or another.If you made that all important eternal decision remember the working of the Holy Spirit is not through with you because if God begins a good work in you He will have to complete it because it would forever go unfinished.It is truly amazing to me because God is teaching me patience. When I'm just anxious and sitting in limbo I know God is working in me even if I can not feel His presence. No matter how much pain you are in remember there is resurrection on the other side through Jesus Christ.There will be dry valleys and tall victories in our life but walk through both knowing with confidence God has begun a good work in you and will finish it but don't try and write the script for your life. This is the role and function of God because He is the only one who sees our life from beginning to end.I was just told by a dear lady in the Lord that Jesus spoke to her verbally about me being primed for this particular job of writing before the rapture of the church. I don't know when the Lord is coming but we are certainly in the general vicinity of His return for His bride. Here I am writing articles just as the Lord prophesied years ago because at the risk of repeating myself God sees our life from beginning to end and then we go into eternity available to be a willing vestal for Jesus Christ in heaven. I challenge you to desire this for your life and forever will be a good ending as opposed to the other place which has no purpose because being eternally separated from God means that Jesus Christ will not be in your existence. No beginning, no middle and no end.If you desire that closure in Jesus Christ like I do then accept Him and live for God knowing that He will do a good work in you. Have a silent confidence of faith that this particular biblical principle is a daily reality in your life and it will enter into the wideness of eternity.God Bless you,Bob D.
The forgiveness of Jesus Christ
In one article I wrote about how to abstain from sin. Did you know Jesus Christ is our forgiveness? Are you feeling guilty, impure or just downright low? These are not uncommon thoughts that serious Christians have because they want to be perfect before God. Holy God, imperfect child is something true believers go through all the time especially with besetting sins.(6) "To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Ephesians 1:6-7. I think it is interesting that this verse talks about the grace of God before technical information is given to us about our forgiveness in Jesus Christ. We are accepted in Jesus Christ because of the grace of God.The only reason we have redemption is through the blood of Jesus Christ. This is why our sins are forgiven but even I am amazed that verse 7 once again ends with ... "According to the riches of His grace." In verses 6 and 7 we can see bookends of the grace of God through Jesus Christ.The first bookend refers to the grace of God as praiseworthy for His glory but the second bookend refers to the grace of God as rich. The only reason we have redemption and forgiveness in Jesus Christ is through His blood. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins He shed His blood for us so we could be forgiven but it was because of His love for us.I like when the Bible says, "Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah." Psalm 85:2. Not just some of their sins but all of their sins. When we truly repent before God, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12.Why do you think Paul was able to say, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Corinthians 5:17. Our sins were forgiven and we became a new man in Jesus Christ.John takes this subject to the believers in Jesus Christ. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." 1 John 2:1. Wow this is great news. If I transgress as a believer going to Jesus Christ to confess my sin/sins is what I'm supposed to do and my Lord is faithful to forgive me. Sometimes I say, "Lord I don't even know why I did that" but God usually says, "I know why you did it." Still in the dark but Jesus understands His children. He is our light.I never heard a true believer say that they really wanted to sin against God. A child of Jesus Christ struggles with his or her sin as opposed to an unbeliever who does not wrestle with transgressions against God. Whatever category you are in remember, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." Hebrews 8:12. If we earnestly confess God forgives and in His mercy He never brings the sin/sins up again because they are removed. "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Isaiah 43:25.Does God want us to make a conscious choice to forsake our sins? Yes. Do we have to change our thoughts to righteousness? Yes. If we are on the wrong path do we have to return to the Lord? Yes. Is there a reward in the end if we do this? Yes it is called pardon. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." Isaiah 55:7. "And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their inquities whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me." Jeremiah 33:8.We live in a country over here where everybody seems to be getting in trouble. I can't quite put my finger on this punishment/law mentality but if these people would put half their time in getting right with God through Jesus Christ then maybe we would not need all these prisons. Jesus came to set the captives free through Him. I noticed this reality starting at 9/11 and progressively getting worse every year.We need to also understand that because God forgave us we in like manner need to forgive other people. Let's face facts because people offend us all the time in a world where human beings just don't care about each other. That is why I believe Colossians 3:13 says, "Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye." Forbear means to be loyal to that person as a friend even if there is a disagreement or offense.I still can not believe Jesus Christ forgave me of all my sins because I have many but He had mercy on my soul. Thank you Jesus! The very least I can do is forgive other people for the offences they committed against me. This is a test of character and God wants to see this trait in our life. The other person that committed the offence might even come to know the Lord because of our forgiving spirit because there will be transparency in the love of Jesus Christ coming out of our heart.The Bible does say pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but there is one condition in the Bible. "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses." Mark 11:25.It is impossible to pray to God with an earnest spirit while holding a grudge against someone else. It takes a little courage to forgive but it is worth it because our relationship with Jesus Christ depends on our choice not to harbor bad feelings towards another person. We would be better off if we just prayed for them and showed them love.They may have committed an offence against us but we were dead in our sins before we received salvation from Jesus Christ. Now we have a relationship with Him because we were forgiven of our transgressions. "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses." Colossians 2:13.I think the case is pretty clear that we should forgive people through the Person of Jesus Christ. I used to think this was an option now I see it as a command. When I make this choice to forgive other people God removes the burden from my soul and it is light rather than heavy.I don't exactly know when Jesus is coming back but we are in the general vicinity of the rapture of the Church. No serious Christian wants to sin in this late hour. Our sins being forgiven is a gift from God. We need to check our spirit everyday to see if we are right with God. (1) "Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (2) Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalm 32:1-2. Just look at that word guile. It sounds like something or somebody we would want to run away from yet that describes us at one point in our life. Inspection rather than avoidance is what we should be doing in our life.If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your Savior and Lord then today/tonight repent of your sins and remember the Bible says, "I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins." Isaiah 43:25.When I go to the judgment seat of Christ I am not going to say, "Judge me by the law" or "Remember every one of my sins" because I am forgiven and God is not remembering my transgressions because they are blotted out so I am receiving mercy. This very same thing can happen in your life for an eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ. Pray that prayer today/tonight so Jesus Christ can forgive you and impute His righteousness in your spirit.God Bless you,Bob D.
Jesus Christ is our security
We live in a world that is very dangerous and as a result security has enhanced to the point where big brother is very active in life. Some of it is real and some of it is for fear and control.
I hear many people talk about the good old days but now that big brother is "Big" the joy has been taken out of life in many cases but of course that issue never applies to all people.
When I was growing up government did what they had to do and society went about the business of work and personal life. Now they are intertwined almost as one. We are not quite there yet but the Bible says it is coming. This is just one more sign that Jesus is coming very soon. When I was young we never talked about this subject because it was never a problem.
Scripture tells us that Jesus Christ is our security. This is not to say that we should not have common sense in our lives about the dangers of life but without understanding some key pivotal verses in the word of God we all will be lost regarding who is our protection. This also goes for the subject of money. As you will see through the passages in the Bible I am going to show you money is destined to die.
(3) "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." 1 Peter 1:3-5.
When we accepted the Lord Jesus Christ into our hearts God showed so much mercy on us that we could never measure the depth of love that was bestowed on our life and eternity. We have an inheritance in heaven but it never gets corrupted and nobody can tamper with it because it is reserved for us by the power of God.
Notice the last part of the verse ..."To be revealed in the last time." While I am on this earth do you know what verse I think of when I read these words? "Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6.
We are the children of God through His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is not giving up on us because our inheritance is in heaven. The real question is are we going to continue to abide in Jesus Christ. God will do His part but this is a relationship so we have to be willing to love, obey and have faith in Jesus Christ as we journey through life.
This makes me want to glorify God and serve Him while I am still in this flesh on earth. Our reward will be based on what we did for the Lord Jesus Christ in our life but our motives will be analyzed on the day of judgment. What we did and why we did it then what is left will be our reward.
What we worry about on earth has very little to do with eternal rewards in heaven. We need to stop worrying and start laboring for Jesus Christ. We see in the news messages to start worrying and have a little more fear. Let me make you a deal ------ you fear and I will do something constructive for Jesus Christ. Fretting over issues is not going to add one inch to my height.
There is nothing new under the sun so I would just like to express my feelings that almost every media outlet is saying there is something new under the sun. If anything they keep saying the same thing over and over again.
To be fair about this issue if something really serious happens to our country, another country or the world I will be vexed in my spirit but to blitz fear as a religion is something I will resist as a Christian because our call as believers in Jesus Christ is to have faith in God.
To be honest with you my heart is already vexed because of the evil in this world. Many readers of this article feel the same way I do but we serve a God who is our security even when demons are running all over the place. "But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil." 2 Thessalonians 3:3. Jesus Christ is so faithful to us and He wants to make us strong in Him and shield us from evil so we don't fall into sin.
Some people may be asking, "What if I get caught up in some kind of evil in this world?" We don't have to travel to far for that to happen but we need to be looking to Jesus Christ." (24) Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. (25) To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude 1:24-25.
Jesus Christ knows how to protect us from the evil in this world. Through Him we will be presented faultless in the presence of His glory. I am looking forward to that and I do not believe there is a whole lot of time left in this world as we know it because our Lord is coming very soon.
There will be exceeding joy and we will be able to see and experience the different attributes of God. Jude mentions glory, majesty, dominion and power but there are more described in other portions of Scripture.
We are surrounded by evil but God does not want us falling into sin. Most people do but as Christians we need to understand that we are eternally secure in Jesus Christ and we are sealed but grieving the Holy Spirit through sin in this evil world is a very dangerous position to be in so stay pure in righteousness. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Ephesians 4:30. Don't you find the order of this verse very interesting? The more we sin the more we gradually move away from the security of Jesus Christ and blend in with the god of this world who is the devil. 2 Corinthians 4:4.
We want to stay pure in Jesus Christ because by living this way 2 Corinthians 1:22 becomes real in our life. "Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." This is true security in Jesus Christ.
The world can not and will not give this to us because only God can give us true protection in our life. Being persecuted is a different subject for another article but I can say God will never give us more than we can handle and He will work all things for our good if we love God and are called according to His purpose. "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." Ephesians 1:13. There are different interpretations as what this sealing means but I have enormous comfort in my heart that this is a reality in my heart.
If we want to experience our sealing Romans 8:16 says, "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." What good is our "Sealing" if we can not experience this wonderful truth with the witness of the Holy Spirit in our heart.
If you do not have this testimony in your life it is healthy to question your own salvation. We need to be a little curious and ask questions because we care about our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we don't then we are obviously a little misguided. We need to be honest regarding our evaluation about ourselves regarding our redemption in Jesus Christ.
Questions are fine but if we are always asking about our salvation in Jesus Christ then something is wrong. If this is the case we need to get back to the basics with Jesus Christ ... read the Bible, pray, have fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, witness to people about the plan of salvation and use our talents for God while there is still time. We should "Know" our security is in Jesus Christ. I empathized the word "Know" because if we don't then our life is not right with God.
If we got saved through Jesus Christ and are living for Him how could we possibly question our security before God because we are in the very presence of the Holy Spirit? Why would the Bible say, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." Psalm 2:6.
I look at this world and let me tell you something they are not giving me goodness and mercy. While I live on this earth there is always pretense that something bad will happen. I would rather go with what God says in His Word and live for Him.
I want goodness and mercy. I want to dwell in the house of the Lord on earth and forever. We should not be taking a bunch of pretense from the world and "Worry" that something bad is going to happen. If we do this then we are laboring for meat that will perish." Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed." John 6:27. We don't know what is going to happen to us in our life. As far as I'm concerned two seconds could ruin our life. The main theme is focus on the kingdom of God as opposed to fretting on earth. Worry is mediation to the devil. He does not even care about us.
As I read many passages in the Bible the one thing God does not want us to do is be slothful or lazy to inherit the promises of Him. Obedience and reward are always connected with each other. For example the Bible says, (11) "And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end. (12) That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." Hebrews 6:11-12. It could not be any more clear --- we need to be working for Jesus Christ.
God knows exactly who we are because we serve an all knowing God but we also serve a mighty God who is unlimited in power. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord God will never fail you if you accept Him into your heart today/tonight. It is built into us that we have to serve somebody so it might as well be Jesus Christ. Anything else is temporary at best. It would be wise to repent of all your sins and invite the Son of the Living God into your life. This is an eternal decision that you will never regret but rejoicing for all eternity.
If you made that decision this is a verse you may want to think about because it involves you. "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number : He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth. Isaiah 40:26.
I am called by Jesus Christ through the greatness of His might because He is the All Powerful God. Jesus Christ not only knows your name but He wants to write it in His Lamb's book of life. This is true security in Jesus Christ as opposed to the world system that can not promise you one thing. If we do receive a promise in this world it can be taken away tomorrow.
God Bless you,