Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Always Abounding In the Work of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in (B)the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord."

The work of the Lord is the result of faith hopefully, not just doing good to been see by others.

Love is the foundation of Christianity. God is love and we are to love God and others. Love is not primarily a feeling but is practical. And our works flow from the love we have for God and others.

Our prayers and the answers we request from God are based on our works . John 15:16 says that our works (fruit) are to remain as a condition for answered prayer.

Our learning is not just for knowledge but also to pass on this vital knowledge to others.

Learning is not only intellectual but is also learned through example. Again love is the basis and to learn is not to understand but to love with deeds.

Do we study to learn or do we study to love. Our purpose is love and what we do always should be evaluated in the end product of love for God and others.

We can't love God if we don't love other's for how can we love a God who we can't see if we don't love those who we do see?

Love is the basis to understanding. If we do not love we can't see because we are blinded by our unchristian behavior. There is no ability to understand Christian principles when there is no love. 1 John 2:10,11

Jesus led by example not just by lecture. Our works come from following the examples of those who have gone before us in faith. We are taught love by doing things for others as our leaders show us by example how they love others.

Paul said, we are to follow his example as we see the outcome of his faith.

Our works are not in vain!!!

What we do for Jesus is what will last. What we do for ourselves will perish. There is a testing of our life. The things that come through the fire will pass the things that are burned will be lost. What will pass the test? It is what is done for Jesus not for show.

We do things for Jesus as we are led in the Spirit. This is faith. Faith produces strength. And will pass through the fire unharmed.

Our works for Jesus, our works of faith are not just busy work.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Take Every Thought Captive to the Obedience of Christ

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
"For though we walk in the flesh,
we do not war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh,
but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God,
and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ."

Destroying fortresses by:
No speculation about what will happen.
All thoughts are captive to Jesus.
Reject what the world says against God.

We are not our own and our thoughts are not our own either. If I am going to war in the spirit I need to watch what I think and say at all times.

When there comes a desire to complain, I must reject that complaint and speak what Christ has me to speak not what I want to speak.

I have no right to speculate on what will happen especially according to my experience or others. I am to hold fast to the promise of God. If I confess the promise of God instead of my experience or others, there is the hope of fruit in the spirit.

When the world laughs at me when I hope in Christ I am to not pay attention to the world but pay attention to the Word of God.

My purpose is not to go along to get along, but to live by faith in Christ Jesus.

I am not to walk the road of least resistance but on the highway of holiness.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Let My Light Shine

Let my light shine Lk 12:35

We are to be lights for Jesus. But we can't shine if we don't have contact with our Lord Jesus Christ,

How do we shine?

Do works before men that they can see your good works. The key is to have light to shine. Our heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. A yieldness to Christ will prepare our heart to give up our self will and willingness to follow as Jesus leads.

Praise in the midst of trials is a light that shines. Because we then are not self centered but Christ centered.

A yieldness to prayer is a light. Why?

Because it says we are not adequate in yourself to have anything come from ourself. Prayer states that we are dependent on Jesus.

Our light shines if we can speak the word to people in a timely situation.

Our light shines as we represent Christ. If we represent ourself we only give out darkness.

When we love others we are giving out light. if we don't love others we have no light to give.

When there is light darkness leaves. To shine the light of Christ is to show love to others. Faith operates through love. God gives us faith to love others.

Yield your heart to Christ to love others. As your heart is cleansed you will be able to love and then you will be able to shine light.

Be directed by love. If there is no love go back to Jesus and wait before Him and receive love for others. Then go in faith to shine forth the light, love, faith from Jesus.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rejoice Always #2

I was thinking, why is God good?

Is it because I have a wife and kids with a job, house, car, health, good hobbies, and extended family with investments and savings?

How would a Christian who was persecuted for his faith say God is good? He would not have said what I said above. Nothing of this world would have a hold on him. But a vibrant Christian who had been persecuted for his faith would still say, God is good. Why?

God is good because of the benefits of eternal life. We have the hope of eternal life. We have the joy of salvation. We have peace in our hearts. We have the direction of the Holy Spirit. We have fellowship with the believers. We have the purpose of life to live by faith. We have the excitement of serving God and seeing Him work. We have the peace that comes from the Word of God. Our sins have been forgiven. We are friends with God. We have the expectation of what will He do next.

God is good. Psalm 136 - His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Meditate on the Word Day and Night

Joshua 1:8 "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success."

The Bible is the life knowledge of Christianity. Without knowledge we will perish.

Job 36:12
"But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge."

Faith is built by hearing the Word of God and without hearing the word of God life in the Spirit would be very hard. God gives us manna each day just as He gave it to the Israelites on their way out of Egypt. So also in our walk with God we need to go and pick the manna from God that is in the Bible.

There is a danger that we will forget Jesus while studying the Word. John 5:39,40 If we have an open heart for the truth from God we will see the error of our ways and return to Jesus and not just be a student of ideas.

Christians are known by the Love they have for others. Not by the knowledge of the Bible. Let the Bible energize you to serve others. Follow the teachings of the Bible to reach out to a brother in need. Know that God will strongly support those whose heart is completely His. When we are following His teachings and looking to Him for help we can rest assured that Jesus will come to our aid.

It is meditating on the Word of God that allows the ideas of the Bible to go from our head to our heart. Learning an idea is the easy part. Having that idea to become part of our soul and spirit is not as easy. Meditation allows Jesus to speak to us and show us the spiritual applications of the Bible.

When we love God's laws we will be considering them all the time. We will pick up the Bible in the morning and refer to it at lunch and read it some more after supper.

Memorization is a good way to have the Bible in our mind so that we can go over it from time to time throughout the day as we are able. Sometimes I set out to memorize a passage. Other times after reading it over and over it starts to come to me when I am not directly thinking about it.

The Holy Spirit will bring to our remembrance all that we have heard. Therefore it is important to be reading the Bible and listening to teachings from the Bible. Then the Holy Spirit will have a lot to work with.

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you. Col. 3:16 To read and meditate on the Scriptures continually will enrich our life.

There is a cost to majoring on the Bible. Things have to be given up to free up time to meditate on the Bible. But look back and consider what you have done in the past year or two. What was worth the time and what was a waste? I will guess that time spent in the Bible was productive and time spent watching TV was not.

Are we dead to the things of the world. We can't be a friend of God and be a friend of the world at the same time.

James 4:4
"You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

Lord help us to give up our personal peace and affluence to find your ways.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rejoice Always

"Rejoice always." 1 Thes 5:16

I remember a time when a Bible teacher said that he did not understand why we should rejoice in trials that James 1:2-4 talks about. And down through the years many people have ignored this Scripture. I don't think many people have an understanding of rejoicing always.

But here in 1 Thessalonians it says we are to rejoice always. James 1 says to give thanks in everything. With our heart set on this world we will be hard pressed to rejoice in disasters. 1 John 2:15 says that if we love the world the love of the Father is not in us. I have come to realize that I have a lot of love for the world. Life is good in America. Even if I lost my job and had to move to a smaller house life would still be good here on earth.

But the question before me is what am I doing for Jesus. And am I willing to pay the price to continue doing things for Jesus? I just had a $700 car repair bill. Was I rejoicing in that? No. But I now give thanks for the car and the money to pay for the car. Why did I not give thanks at first? Because I am holding on to my money and not looking to God for my supply!

I know when I stop and think about it that God is the source of my supply. But it is not from my gut reaction. That is where I want to live. I want to look instantly to God when life does not go just as I would want. Lord help me to live always with You as my source. Thank you Jesus. Thank you for helping and teaching me.

God wants us to live with an attitude of thanksgiving no matter what life brings. That does not mean we won't cry or feel pain. But it does mean that it is not of this world that our needs are met but it comes from the Kingdom of God.

"For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Phil 1:21 I want to have this verse as a reality in my life. To live for Jesus and not for my personal peace and affluence.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pray Without Ceasing

Pray without ceasing. 1 Thes. 5:17

When I run across something in the Bible that seems impossible it seems to be ignored. I don't think that was God's intention. We should at least consider what God is saying to us. God would not tell us to do something if we sere not capable of doing it.

I think we should at least consider what Jesus is telling us here in 1 Thes. 5. What would it take to pray without ceasing? For me it is a deep need. If we are praying for the things God has for us then there may be a continual prayer going up to God.

When we pray according to the direction of God and His leading in our life there is a faith because of that direction and as we pray for God to fulfill the direction that He has shown us we come to realize the need for God. As we see our complete dependence on God we come to rely on Him more and more by prayer.

Life brings many things in our way. For one prayer without stopping is tiring. It is only in great need that we come to God on a continual basis. Our needs are met through a prayer of faith.

God wants us to live by faith. Heb 11:6 and I can't pray with urgency and continually unless I have a great need.

Putting the 2 together God wants us to step out in faith and then pray like crazy for the answer.

Is this really what God wants? Does He want us to live in this urgency and expectancy? Does He want us to live in this spiritual struggle?

Phil 4:6,7 God also wants us not to be anxious and to trust in Him. It takes a lot of prayer to rest in what He has promised when the need is great. We can't enter into the rest of God until we pray through the problem and come to rest in His goodness.

2 Cor 10:3-5 Warfare is needed to counteract the doubt that will come back to us from time to time. This continual prayer and warfare will go on until the problem is resolved.

Isa 62:6,7 On your wall O Jerusalem I have appointed watchman. All day and all night they will not keep silent. You who remind the Lord take no rest for yourself and give Him no rest until He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

Don't live in your personal peace and affluence. Live in expectation of God doing great things on your behalf. Then you will pray.