National Day of Prayer. Join us May 4, 2017 as people and churches across the nation pray for our country, it's people, and it's leaders.
Simply put, this is one of my favorite Bible verses.
- Faith, an absolute requirement
- Acknowledge God's existence
- Expect great rewards, one 1 condition
No amount of work, apart from faith, can save you. The faith spoken of here is an action, not a conception, or thought. It is active reliance on God for everything in our lives. To think we can be a cheerleader for God on social media and gain favor is foolishness. To dress a certain way, or talk a certain way, or groom ourselves a certain way is vanity before God. God looks at the inner man, the heart. Man looks at the outer man, the appearance.
HE IS, the great, I AM
How can a man have faith in something without first acknowledging it's existence? There are some people who do though. They will say things like, "all we need is faith" or "all religions are the same, just different names for the same God". This is also foolishness. Allow me to demonstrate.
Imagine a beautiful and delicious cupcake on a table. What might you learn from gazing upon it? Perhaps it might lead you to believe that there is a baker whom could claim ownership of this delightful creation. You would be correct, let's call him El O. Him. Now another person comes in and says he is in fact the baker, and another one follows him and makes the same claim. How can this be? It can't. Only ONE baker could have made the cupcake, all the others are impostors. They are all bakers, but not THE baker. So it is with the God of the Bible and creation. He alone spoke everything into existence, all others are impostors.
People are always looking for rewards. With God, it is no different. Some people serve God for the rewards, while others serve God out of Love for others. The latter are not concerned about earthly rewards. They are only concerned with bringing people into God's kingdom by saving souls and serving the God who saved their souls from eternal damnation. The rewards spoken of here are spiritual, not carnal. God rewards those who diligently seek Him. Remember in Matthew Jesus's invitation?
He said "learn of me". The God who created everything has invited you and me to learn of Him. The deeper the walk, the greater the rewards. Like the men on the road to Emmaus. After communing with Jesus and abiding with Him, "their eyes were opened". It says Jesus took them from Moses through all the prophets. That was one epic Bible study. They were rewarded spiritually. Those are the rewards we should desire.
2015 is over. 2016 has begun. The resolutions have been made. Plans have been put in motion, some have not. The one thing all new years resolutions have in common is this.
Every person that has made a new years resolution has made a commitment to change. They have examined their past year and decided to do something differently this year. They have found an area of their life that needs to change. For some people it is physical. They want to loose weight, or get in better shape. For some people, it is financial. They want to change jobs, or make more money, or start the business they have been dreaming of. All of these are fine choices and if you have made a new years resolution such as I have listed, I hope you succeed.
Some people choose to make a new years resolution in a more personal area of their life. Their spiritual life. They have choose 2016 to be the year they search for God. They have put it off for years and find themselves ready. They are ready for something different, something new, something better, something permanent. Nothing is more permanent than being "IN CHRIST.
In Paul's letter to Corinth we find this revolutionary verse. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Let's take a deeper look at it.
There are eight key words/phrases in this one verse that have significant implications;
- passed away
This first word is the most important;
This verse applies to the believer. The person who has been born again. The person who has received Christ as their Lord and savior. If you want a to know what this is all about you can get more info by clicking the button below.
ANY man implies that this truth is for Jews and Gentiles, or all mankind, if they of course are found IN CHRIST.
That brings us to our third word;
To be IN CHRIST is the first change that comes about for the believer. Before we are IN CHRIST, we are IN ADAM. We were born with a sin nature due to Adam and Eve's sin in the garden. Every person born since, has the Adamic nature. Slaves to sin and the flesh. When we put our faith IN CHRIST, we are placed IN CHRIST. Our relationship changes positionally. We are no longer outside the family of God, but rather we are joint heirs with Christ. We receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the promise of Heaven.
Our fourth word is;
Now that we are IN CHRIST, we become a new person. We have the Holy Spirit living in us, we have a new Father in Heaven, we have a new eternal home, we have the power to overcome sin and the flesh, we have a new family, the Church. We have so much more than this it would take volumes to list it all.
Our fifth word is actually a phrase;
This is a truth that is crucial to to experiencing a full and rich Christian life. When we do not allow the past to stay in the past, we rip ourselves off. When we keep allowing the past to dictate our thoughts and actions, we run the risk of slipping back into our old life. We remain IN CHRIST (that never changes), but we have no joy, no peace, no resemblance of a new nature. We can become carnal, or even put separation between us and God, or us and others.
Our sixth word is
It should be visible, even obvious. The change inside of us, should be visible on the surface. People should be able to behold something different about us.
Our seventh word is;
All things things become new. First we become a new creation but that is not the only thing that becomes new. Our outlook becomes new. Our perspective becomes new regarding life and death. Our relationships become new. Our mind becomes new. Everything becomes new. When God says ALL, He means ALL. Not some, not many, not few, but ALL.
Our final word is;
When God makes you a new person, he doesn't do it on the outside and let it soak in. He works from the inside out. He transforms us. He renovates us. It has the idea of ripping out everything that is old, rotten, worn and unnecessary and replacing it with everything necessary for life and godliness.
In closing, if you want to experience all of these truths, first you must resolve the IF in this verse. Do you know God? Do you know His Son?
Today I simply leave you with a parrable. After Jesus taught a crowd on the Kingdom of God, a man asked him to settle a dispute over inheritance. It was as if the words went in one ear and out the other. Today we can get so caught up in our affiars that we too can let God's word go in one ear and out the other. We really don't take time to meditate on His words. We go right back to our busy lives. Today I am of to work to move a 55,000 piece of equipment across a facility on uneven ground in 100 plus degree heat. It is a dangerous process at minimum. Before I walked out the door, I thought it prudent to spend time in God's word. Now i will let Him do the heavy lifting.
And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
The world is searching for help for anxiety and the world is offering 166 million ways to relieve their anxiety apart form God
When school children were allowed to pray in school, there was a lot less problems in our schools
- teen pregnancy
There was also more Love, Respect, and Honor.
There is always those who want separation of church and state, but at what cost. They blame all the problems of the world on religion, and more specifically Christianity.
But I never visited anyone in an atheist hospital, or observed atheist gather and build homes or water wells in far off countries for people who have no money.
Sometimes an event happens in life where you have no other choice but to walk by faith. You feel so helpless, so weak, so distant, so inadequate you have only your knees to fall upon. You have come to the end of self, and the beginning of Tribulation Road". We spend our life avoiding it but sometimes life sends a detour and we are forced to travail it. We have a choice to make;
- Go alone, or,
- God with God
Here is how we traveled down "Tribulation Road"
Why has God prospered YOU? Have you ever stopped and really thought about it? If we are being honest, and I hope we are, we know we don't deserve it. Or do we? Have we earned God's favor? Are we so good that God has no choice but to honor our prayers, and give us what we desire? Or is God so good, that He chooses to bless us, in order to use us. Let's take a walk through God's Word and gain some insight.
Every day we navigate through a sea of warnings. One after another, they are there for our own good, and we know this, yet often we ignore them. We make a choice, in that one moment, that can change the entire course of our lives. Was it worth it?
I have a lot of keys, some of which I have no idea what they are for anymore. I have several locks without keys. I have more passwords (keys) than I care to count. I have forgotten more passwords (keys) than I remember. Every day, all day we need keys.
This is the week of contemplation for many. Christmas has passed, the presents are opened, the feasts have been consumed, and the new year is upon us. Many take this week to reflect on the areas of their life they would like to change. Things like health, wealth, relationships, and faith top the list.
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
(Luke 12:15 KJV)
Why do we complain when things go wrong? As if we had no warning. Throughout life we are faced with one decision after another and each has its consequences, both good and bad. We wake up and have to choose;
- use the Bible as our guide
- guide ourselves
Like most people these days, I spend a fair amount of time on social media. I like to see what people are up to and also to share in their life experiences. Births, deaths, ups, downs, praise and tears, joys, and pains. The list is endless, but their seems to be a growing culture of discontent, and lashing out.
Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.
While looking for a very old email, I stumbled upon this "Love Letter" I wrote to some friends I was counseling about five years ago. I read it and found it to be applicable in many lives today. I decided to share it with you in hopes it will help heal someone's marriage. The couple I wrote this letter to is thriving now, after much prayer, sacrifice, work and self examination. The names have been changed to protect their privacy. We will just refer to them as John and Jane Doe.
As a Christian, we often are told by non-believers what we should do, say, or think based on their view of what a Christian is. The world has a definition of a Christian that is flawed, and I will make an effort to correct some of those myths of what a Christian is.
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)