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Tag Archives: Faith

Cleaning Up Our House

Magic_Broom

It has been awhile since my last post.  It may be a while yet before my next.  I am going through a valley right now and covet the prayers of those who know Christ.  Here is a word that was upon my heart today.  May it be food for thought…

For those of us who still long to see a real movement of God, there is a major problem which exists in many churches and amongst Christians in general that is holding back the healing rain of the Spirit we so desire. Sin in the camp. In our present age, we hear people beat the drum within Christian and secular society saying, “We shouldn’t judge!” The problem is that it is almost always taken out of context and is the very thing that has allowed sin to be in our midst amongst churches. In the Old Testament, we are all familiar with how God brought down the walls of Jericho. And some of us may even remember how a man named Achan hid a wedge of gold and a Babylonianish garment under his tent. No one knew except God and Achan. However, when Israel went to defeat the next town, Ai, they lost and many of their men were killed. Joshua began to pray, wondering why God had not been in their midst fighting their battles. “And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.” (Josua 7:10-12) Notice the Lord says “Neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you.”
Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“Be Ye Therefore…” – Followers of God

photo: earnestlycontending.com

photo: earnestlycontending.com

Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children…

Introduction

This is the sixth in the ‘Be Ye Therefore’ series. The term Christian means literally, to be like Christ. At Antioch they were first called Christians meaning ‘little Christs’. They were identified with and their way was identical to Christ.

Become As Little Children

Jesus in Matthew 18:3 told His followers that they must be converted and “become as little children”, humble and trusting in the Lord for not only salvation but also the daily providential care of the Father.  Remember when we were children?  I never worried where my next meal was coming from.  I didn’t worry about how the light bill would get paid.  I know my Dad would take care of our family.  That is the same trust God wants from His children.  Paul tells us to follow, some say imitate or strive to be like, our heavenly Father.  When I was a child, I wanted to be like my Dad.  I still do.  I remember when he would take me and my siblings walking in the woods.  He seemed to be able to walk so quietly, hardly disturbing the forest floor.  I would try to walk in his footsteps because I wanted to be able to walk like that. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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1 Peter – Hope to the End 1 Peter 1:13b

Scripture Text

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Introduction

Last time we heard Peter’s call “it is time to get to work”.  We discussed what our mindset and demeanor should be while working for our Lord.  It is time now to see the big picture. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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1 Peter – Back in the Old Testament 1 Peter 1:10-12

Photo Credit: wedonteatbugs.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: wedonteatbugs.blogspot.com

Scripture Text

1 Peter 1:10-12  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Introduction

Last time we talked about “Back in the Old Days” with an earthly meaning.  Now it is time to transition that thought to spiritual matters.  In 1 Peter 1:10-12 Peter talks about the old days when God’s children were still waiting on the coming of Messiah.

Better Than the Prophets

Ever considered the time we live in compared to other times?  What would it be like to live in mid-evil times?  How about the American Revolution?  In the revolution there were many prominent people, Ben Franklin, John Hancock, John Adams & Thomas Jefferson to name a few. Many of the signers of the declaration of independence lost their fortunes in the war.  They believed so fervently in the cause of freedom that they gave everything to see the colonies become a nation.  Most of these men never enjoyed the fruit of their labor like we do today. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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1 Peter – Back in the Old Days 1 Peter 1:10-12

Photo Credit: home.comcast.net

Photo Credit: home.comcast.net

Scripture Text

1Pe 1:10-12  Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Introduction

If there is a phrase that makes the younger generation roll their eyes it would be this: “Back in the old days…” With a start like that you can imagine hearing something like this… we used to walk 5 miles, uphill, to school barefooted.  We used to have to go outside to go to the bathroom.  We used to carry water into the house to cook with.  We used to have one set of cloths.  You get the idea; they mean to say it used to be a much harder life.

In our text Peter is going to use this same thought to describe what it was like for God’s children before Jesus died on the cross.

That brings up a serious question; how did things work before Jesus?  Today we confess and forsake our sin believing in Jesus.  What did people do before Jesus came and died on the cross?  This topic is not in our text but we should answer it before we go on.

Old Testament Faith

The best place to go for an answer is Hebrews chapter 11.  This chapter is commonly referred to as the roll call of faith chapter.  It is a roll call record of many well-known Old Testament believers and the faith they showed in God.

We have clearly established before in our studies that salvation comes through faith believing in Christ.  So how did Abraham, Moses and Daniel become believers? 

The answer might surprise you, they came the same way we did, by faith.  They believed forward to the time of Jesus, so their faith was in the promise of the coming Messiah.

Hebrews 11:13  These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

Closing Thoughts

We believe in Jesus, they believed in the promise of Jesus.  Both took faith, both requires trusting in God to keep His promises. Both methods require that we turn our back on the world and follow God.  One God, one Savior, one way to heaven.

Until Night,

A Servant

 

 

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“Be Ye Therefore…” – Ready

Luke 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Introduction

This is the fifth in the “Be Ye Therefore…” series.  Christ had just told His followers not to seek after the riches of this world which are temporal but to seek the kingdom first and then says “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Then the parable starts with blessed are the servants whom, when their lord returns, he finds them watching or ready for him.  (By the way these two thoughts are related, for earthly treasure often keeps us from watching or even loving His appearing)  He goes on to say that if the good man of a house knew exactly what hour the thief would come, he would have prevented him from breaking into the house.  He would have been waiting in that specific hour to catch the thief. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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What doest thou here?

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? (1Kings 19:11-13 KJV)

Introduction

The question the Lord put to Elijah speaks to me. Elijah had, in the previous couple of weeks leading up to this moment, been used of God to defeat over 400 prophets of Baal but now had fled to Mt. Horeb in fear due to the threats of the wicked queen Jezebel. James said that Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are. Too many times we let the devil and this world get us cornered in a cave.  It is so easy to get in the cave and the roaring wind, shaking of the earth, and fires in our lives seem to drown out all else. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“Be Ye Therefore…” – Wise as serpents, and Harmless as doves

blogsensebybarb.wordpress.com

photo: blogsensebybarb.wordpress.com

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Introduction

This is the third in the “Be Ye Therefore…” series. In these last days, a Christian needs spiritual discernment now more than ever.  The Lord is reminding His disciples that as they serve among enemies within and without, they are to combine the wisdom of the serpent and the simplicity and humility of the dove.

We Have Met the Enemy… And He is Us

Christ reminds believers that He is sending us forth as sheep among wolves.  But wolves will also creep into our midst.  The apostle Paul told the Ephesian elders this in his final meeting with them before going to Jerusalem and imprisonment, “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:29-30  This is why it is particularly important in the last days to heed the advice of our Lord. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“Be Ye Therefore…” – Perfect

Photo: grantsplacemn.wordpress.com

Photo: grantsplacemn.wordpress.com

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Introduction

This is the second in the “Be Ye Therefore…” series.  Christ is speaking here during what is referred to as the Sermon on the Mount. He starts out this part of His sermon with verse 20 of this chapter.  For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20) He goes on to describe the kind of righteousness a person must have to enter the Kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is when Christ sets up His everlasting kingdom here on earth and heaven rules here. Anyone who enters will have to be perfect as the Father is perfect. When Christ brings up several points of the law such as adultery, He shows that God’s standard of righteousness is higher than we can attain to. Why, if a man even looks with lust on a woman he has committed adultery. The pharisees had reduced righteousness to just an outward showing of obedience to the law. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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“…And yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

photo: inspirationaldaily.wordpress.com

photo: inspirationaldaily.wordpress.com

Introduction

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner so I wanted to share a thought on love and one of the most convicting passages in the Bible.  Later this week I will be starting a short series on the phrase ‘Be Ye Therefore…’ which occurs seven times in the Bible and each time it appears it is used to encourage God’s people to do something that will be for His glory and their good.  But for now, let’s talk about love…

The apostle Paul had just been dealing with spiritual gifts in the twelfth chapter in his first epistle to Corinth and he finishes with the following verse.  But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. (1Corinthans 12:31)

The Things We Think Are Important

Paul, according to his own testimony in Philippians 3, had at one time considered works and the outward observance of the Law of God to be profitable unto him and the Lord.  According to the standards of the religious elite of his day, Paul was a great man before Christ found him on the road to Damascus.  He said he was, “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;  Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”  Paul had come to realize that all that he used to think was profitable or gain for him was loss for Christ.  His position among the Pharisees, all the keeping of the law, everything that he had at one time considered precious he now saw as dung.  To lose such things was nothing now to Paul for he had gained the excellency of knowledge of Christ.

Friend, we say we love the Lord.  We say we serve Him.  But do we?  Is our works motivated by our love for Jesus?  Or do we do what we do out of some sense of duty?  Remember I mentioned that this is one of the most convicting passages in the Bible.  Well Galatians 5:22-25 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.   And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.   If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  So we see that love is the first of the fruit of the Spirit that should be born by you.  Love is not a gift but rather evidence of the Spirit within you.  Paul reminds us In the first three verses of I Corinthians 13 that to truly love Christ is to love Him with all our heart, all our mind, and all our will or soul.  Read the rest of this entry »

 

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