Wednesday, May 4, 2016

2 Corinthians Highlights

2 Corinthians 1:20

“For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.”

How many promises of God are there? 1000's
2 Peter 1:3,4 We are granted everything pertaining to life and godliness. It is through the true knowledge of Him that we gain access to these promises to be real in our life. It is as we live to the manner we are called to give God glory and excellence.

In Him. What does it mean to be in Him? In Jesus. 2 Cor 5:17 Being in Jesus is being a new person in Christ. When we receive Jesus as our savior we have become in Christ. When we set our minds on Christ and the things He desires for us and take them off our flesh and the things we want, we allow the promises to become active in our life. With this situation the promises become yes. The promises are real but only work when we believe them.

Amen can be said when we believe. Amen is used as an ending to a statement. But it is much more than that. It is saying that what we have said is going to happen. Amen is a confession of faith that what we have asked will happen. Let us believe the promises with an emphatic amen! Let us not quit our belief but remain in belief and stand by what we first believed.

It is through Christ we can state with belief that we believe. We can't believe in ourselves. But we are not of the old. We are of the new. We are a new person, a born again person with God within us. It is through Christ that we state our belief. It is through Christ that we believe. We have Christ and because we have Christ we can believe. As we renew our mind in the word, belief springs up and faith is released. This is why it is important to meditate in Scripture during the day. As we let the word soak within us our old way of thinking is replaced by a new and living way of belief in God's promises.

To the glory of God. This is the purpose of the new creation. To glorify God. Test yourself to see if you are in the faith. 2 Cor 13:5 Are we believing to glorify God? Or are we believing to better ourselves? Is our purpose to glorify God? If it is, all the promises are active. If it is not the promises are hindered because of wrong motives. James 4:3

God will work through us to do great things as we live to glorify God. How do we shift from being focused on ourselves and be focused on Christ? Set as your purpose to serve God and rely on Him to take care of you. If you take care of His business, He will take care of your business. Matt. 6:33 Trust and believe.

Monday, May 2, 2016

2 Corinthians Highlights

God of mercies and comfort. God comforts us in our afflictions so we can comfort others that experience what we have experienced. The verse starts out with blessed be … God. This shows the proper attitude in Christian service. No matter what we are going through we are to bless God. 2 Cor 1:3,4

Then Paul makes the statement God is the Father of all comfort. Does that mean that Paul has already been comforted or is Paul stating this in anticipation of the comfort to come? We should take it both ways. If we are not comforted we are to expect that comfort to come from God. If we are comforted we are to thank God for the comfort. 2 Cor 1:3,4

Who comforts us. The comfort comes on a continual basis. How? Not looking at ourselves but to Jesus.  Having Jesus and the Scriptures we have comfort. John 16:33; Ps 23

8 Sources of Comfort (mostly from Dake notes Ps 119:52)
> God Isa 51:3; 2 Cor 1:3
> The Holy Spirit Acts 9:31
This is described as the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us in Romans 8:26,27
> The Scriptures Rom 15:4; 1 Thes. 4:18
> Preaching or prophesying 1 Cor 14:3,31
> Love Phil 2:1
> God's rod and staff Ps 23:4
> Others 1 Chron 7:22; 19:2; 1 Thes 5:11
> Remember God's past works. Ps 119:52
I find comfort in remembering how God has brought me and leads me in life.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sowing and Reaping

We always will have victory in life or death, so keep serving.
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 NASB

Share good things with the one who teaches you, and you will be rewarded.
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9 NASB

God will cause what you have lost to be restored.
“Thus says the LORD, "Restrain your voice from weeping And your eyes from tears; For your work will be rewarded," declares the LORD, "And they will return from the land of the enemy.” Jeremiah 31:16 NASB

Don't weep for what you have lost, but do weep for people that are lost.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed,
Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him. “ Psalm 126:5,6 NASB

Spread out your investments and the increase will find you.
Cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.
2 Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth. Eccl 11:1 NASB

God has good things for us that accompany salvation.
“For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,” Hebrews 6:10,11 NASB

There is a reward for sowing righteousness.
“The wicked earns deceptive wages,
But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.” Proverbs 11:18 NASB

Lend but don't borrow. Help the poor in all they need.
“ You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.” Deuteronomy 15:10

Proverbs 19:17
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.

Isaiah 32:20
how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Modern Idols

Modern Idols are:

When you have an overriding desire for something that pushes God to the side for more than a short period of time.

When you have some free time. Where do you turn? Do you turn to God or to the passion that consumes you.

It could be that busyness is an idol. For there is not time for God.

Can religion be an idol? Can we be too busy with the things of the church that we have no time for God?

Would you be willing to give up the passion you have?

Money, power, sex, food, sports, body building, comfort, drugs and alcohol, shopping, internet, TV, movies, marriage, family, work. These things all could be summed up with the term of: personal peace and affluence.

So the response is: are we to be glum and miserable?

Jesus offered us life with abundance. John 10:10 so no, we are not to choose misery over personal peace and affluence. Jesus is not pleased with us unless we are living in faith. Hebrews 11:6 So instead of living for personal peace and affluence we should live by faith in the direction God has given us. Habakkuk 2:4; Ephesians 2:10

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christianity by Sevens

First Section:
Bible reading by 7s Read 7 chapters a day.

OT Genesis - Song of Solomon
A chapter a day.

A chapter a day

Proverbs and key Bible chapters
A chapter a day. Read Proverbs a chapter a day. When you get through the book of Proverbs then read one chapter a day from your list of key Bible chapters.

Here are my list of key chapters. Change this list to fit your needs.
   Joshua 1               Romans 4, 8, 12
   Judges 6,7            1 Cor 13,14        1 Samuel 17        2 Cor 4,5
   2 Kings 4             Eph 1,3,6   Nehemiah 4         Phil 2,3
   Isaiah 6, 35, 40, 42, 49, 52, 53, 55, 58, 60
    Jeremiah 12,18,23     1 Tim 6    Hosea 6      2 Peter 1
   Ezekiel 22                  Heb 3,4,10,11
     Daniel 3                     James 1 2,3 4 5  
     1 Jn 2,3  Matt 5, 6, 7, 25           Psalm 91
    Luke 12,16, 18            Psalm 34    John 14,15,16
When you get done with the key chapters go back to reading Proverbs.

Prophets Isaiah - Malichi
A chapter a day

Matthew - Acts
A chapter a day

Romans - Revelation
2 Chapters a day

This does not have to be all at once. Sometimes I read like the list below.
Read 2 chapters when you get up.
Read one at breakfast.
Read one at lunch.
Read one at supper.
Read one after supper.
Read one before bed.

When you get through a section just start it over again.

Second Section:
Commit to praying each day of the week.
1 In your Bible reading pray over an area that speaks to you.
2 Pray for your family and friends.
3 Pray for Missionaries you know.
4 Pray for yourself, your health, your job and ministry, your finances, your future and your walk with the Lord.
5 Pray for your leaders.
6 Pray for the world in the news.
7 Pray for God to speak to you at night when you sleep.
Write down what you hear from the Lord when you wake up.

Third Section:
Commit to meditating on a verse for 7 days.
Read that verse multiple times in a day and have it memorized at the end of the week.

Forth Section:
Share your faith with 7 people a week.
Evangelism, acts of kindness, hand out gospel tracts.

Fifth Section:
Write about your faith in Christ. Journal your thoughts from your Bible reading.
Study a passage of Scripture and write your study out.

Sixth Section:
Get and stay in fellowship. Go to church each week. Worship and give thanks to God daily.Seek to have close friends.

Seventh Section:
Give at least 10% of your gross income to God.
Church, missionaries, charitable outreaches

None of this makes me worthy. I am worthy because of the blood of Jesus. All this is done to come closer to God.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Freely Give

Romans 8:21
“that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”

When Christians walk in freedom they walk in God's glory. Walking in God's glory is walking in God's power. Living in God's glory and power will give us victory over the problems that we face. The earth itself can be changed by faith. John 14:12; various Scriptures of Jesus having power over this world.

Always remember that having power without the willingness to live through the suffering (Romans 8:17) of the gospel negate faith and express selfishness. We can't live in the power of God and live in selfishness at the same time. (Also unforgiveness Mark 11:25; Pride Habakkuk 2:4 John 5:44)

The freedom that comes from Jesus will give us the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. When we learn to freely receive from Christ we can freely give. Matthew 10:8

Romans 5:1-5 teaches that God's grace comes by our accepting it by faith. Faith accepts God's grace and also looks to Christ instead of the flesh when trials come. We rejoice in Christ in the trial Romans 5:3 not because of the trial but because of the confidence that we have in Christ. There is victory in life. We don't fear an evil report, because  of our trust in God. Psalm 112:7 Trials just bring us into more glory and victory.

Our hope will not disappoint because the love of God brings us victory. Romans 5:5; Rom 8:39; Love brings the ultimate victory. Jesus overcame the world by His love expressed on the cross. The baton has been passed to us and we overcome the world by living in the spirit and not the flesh. Romans 8:5-13. We live in the Spirit Rom 8:13 and bring this life, John 6:63 taught in the Scriptures and experienced by having a relationship with Christ. And the relationship with Christ is expressed by loving others with faith in practical ways.

Understanding Scripture is not just mental assent. Our minds need to be renewed with the Scriptures so that when we go through trials of life we respond from our hope in Christ and the promises from the Scriptures instead of our minds and natural selfish defense or desires. Trials are a test of faith. How we respond shows if we are passing the test (2 Cor 13:5) or not. If I am not passing the test, I continue to renew my mind in Jesus. Romans 12:1,2.

If I am passing the test, I should continue to renew my mind as I meditate on Scripture. Psalm 1:2,3; Joshua 1:8; John 15:7

Freedom comes from knowing the truth. John 8:31,32. But again knowledge of Scripture is not mental assent but is spiritual knowledge which is expressed by works. If we don't use spiritual knowledge we really don't know what we think we know. James 1:22 We come to know by hearing and doing not just by hearing. Faith without works is dead. James 2:17 The way to learn spiritual knowledge is to hear and believe and apply what we believe with love towards others. Sunday morning church often times does not provide this outlet for learning. After the morning teaching the word they heard is plucked out of their heart Matthew 13:19; Mark 4:15; Luke 8:5  (notice I did not say out of their mind) and becomes just a vague memory or for the diligent a point of arrogance. 1 Cor 8:1.

Let us not be sluggish or arrogant, but instead let us respond to Christ and His teachings in love for others. Freely you have received, freely give.

Hebrews 6:11, 12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Mercy and Abiding

 photo IMG_0306_zpsc2ef3403.jpg
Lightening shredded wood fibres.

 So here is the idea of Hebrews 4:16 of coming to God to receive mercy and grace not on the basis of works but on the basis of Christ's blood. We don't come to God on our works but on Christ's blood. So how does that line up with John 15:7 that if we abide in the Word and in Jesus we can get our prayers answered?

There are 2 points here. One is if a person is sowing to the wind, and sowing to the wind, and sowing to the wind and reaping the whirlwind and their life is crazy and confused and turned over, they can go to God for help. But you are not going to go to God after spending years of sowing to the wind and come out of prayer and be an on fire evangelist with miracles following the next day.

We approach God for mercy and grace by the blood of Jesus. But we don't advance the kingdom of God by just being humble. God wants faith. Heb 11:6; Col 2:6; Hab 2:4. As we spend time with God and His word faith is built. We can from this faith get answers to prayer if we still approach God in humility not from our works and of study and prayer and meditation but still on the basis of the blood of Jesus.

So on the one hand we are working, meditating and seeking God. And on the other hand we approach God on the basis of His blood, not our good works. That does not mean our good works are for nothing. Our works of faith with love from obedience advance the kingdom. This only happens as we pray and pave the way with prayer from approaching God from our humble approach trusting God because of the blood of Jesus.

The 2 go hand in hand. Humble prayer trusting in the blood of Jesus. And aggressive works of faith from obedience, coming from being with God and His word. And you don't have these aggressive works of faith without a fight in prayer. There is the humble prayer for guidance with mercy and grace and there is the prayer of fighting to gain the victory. Now if you are like I have been you go out without fighting in prayer to gain the victory and you get beat up by the enemy. I have learned you have to fight in prayer also.

Romans 8:11 IF. If is a big word in this verse. Do we assume we have the Holy Spirit living within if we have our mind in the gutter watching TV. Do we assume we have the Spirit living within if we are lusting after material things instead of meditating on God's word. Do we assume we have the Spirit of God, the creator of the heavens and the earth living within if we are complaining of some puny problem? Or do we have the Spirit of God living within when we are wasting  time instead of utilizing the gift of time God has given us? Can we have the Spirit living within if our mind is on the flesh?

Just as there is a difference between getting the Spirit of God at salvation, Ephesians 1:13 and getting the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4. There is a difference between having the Spirit of God from salvation and having the Spirit of God live within Romans 8:11; John 14:23 John said in Revelation 1:10 that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. Meaning that it was possible for this apostle to not be in the Spirit at times. This is the question of Romans 8:11 Are we in the Spirit now? The simple prayer of Hebrews 4:16 gets us back in the Spirit. Faith on the other hand, takes some effort and focus and does not flow from a lukewarm heart.

People reason that we have the Spirit Eph. 1:13 and we approach God because of the blood Heb 4:16. Therefore we can pray and get anything we want. That we are OK with God and living the lukewarm life is fine. Now people don't say then are living the lukewarm life. But they are deceived if they think they can watch movies and TV 10 or 20 hours a week and many more hours in amusements and pray 10 minutes and just read a couple of chapters of the Bible a day. NO. To live this way is not living humble before God. James 4:6 says that God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble. Humble people will repent from living a lukewarm life. Humble people will change to serve God from fear and then continuing on to serve from love. If we don't repent of our lukewarmness we are continuing in pride. We can't serve God effectively with pride. Pride needs to be done away with and then faith will grow.