Archive for June, 2015

What Does God Say About Your Life? – Part 3

What we are doing in this short series is creating a condensed recap of everything God has shown us over the last 11 months about how He wants us to live. I am especially doing this for those who have not been with us for the entirety of that time.

We have concentrated on how God created us, why we should have Him in our lives and the (godly) characteristics He wants us to express – all in preparation for a spiritual life that is centered around our relationship with God and His Son…

The biggest obstacle that presents itself to throw you off your spiritual path is the devil. (Well, that’s not exactly true. It is really yourself when you listen to the devil but that’s a lengthy investigation that we will begin undertaking in the very near future.)

God is very clear about Satan’s intentions: to steal (your salvation), to kill (keep you dead) and to destroy (your life). (Jn. 10:10)

He began his mission with Adam and Eve – convincing them that God had lied to them and that the world had better things in store for them, by making them feel that there was something ‘missing’ in them. (Gn. 3:1 – 5.)

Lucifer showed his face again when he convinced Cain to murder his brother Abel. (1 Jn. 3:11, 12.) As time progressed, he continually threw adversity at God’s children. (1 Chr. 3:11; Rv. 12:17.)

We next see the dragon as he attempts to connive Jesus into sinning against His Father at the time Christ began His ministry. The devil used the same tactics as he uses against all of us – trying to get us to fulfill the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. (Mt. 4:1, 4, 7 & 10.)

Thankfully for our sakes, Jesus came away victorious in that encounter but Satan continued to try to thwart Jesus’ mission – right up to when He was resurrected and ascended to God. (Rv. 12:4, 5.)

Jesus taught at length about the nature of the devil – showing us that he is a perpetual liar, a murderer, how he steals the word of God out of the hearts of new believers and convinces people to sin and follow him, leading to the same condemnation of destruction. (Jn. 8:44, Mt. 13:36 – 43; Lk. 8:11 – 15.)

Our adversary then convinced Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus, which led to His crucifixion. (Jn. 13:2)

He didn’t figure on the resurrection. Angry, the devil led a rebellion against heaven, which he lost and was subsequently thrust down to earth. (Rv. 12:7 – 9 & 12.) After that banishment, he has continually tried to harvest God’s children for himself and unfortunately, does have a measure of success. (Rv. 13:4)

At the end of time, Jesus vanquishes the devil forever. (Rev. 20:10 & 13 – 15.)

Until then, how are we supposed to deal with him? First we honor and live by God’s ways, in faith, so that Satan has no grounds to hurl accusations at us. (1 Tim. 5:14, 15; James 4:7, 8; 1 Pt. 5:8 – 10; 1 Jn. 5:18, 19.)

Second, and equally important, we faithfully cling to our salvation and to the Agent of it (Christ). (Acts 26:17, 18; Eph. 2:1 – 5 & 6:10 – 19; Col. 1:13, 14; 1 Jn. 4:3, 4.)

Since we know that in order to defeat the devil and stay tight with God we need to live by His ways, let’s take a little time to examine how we can apply some of them:

God created ‘family’ for us to live and thrive within and to propagate. Every family member (parents, spouses, children) plays a special part in God’s design and we need to honor His choices by honoring them as well. (Ex. 20:12; Ps. 127:3 – 5 & 128:3, 4; Pr. 12:4, 18:22 & 31:10; Mk. 10:7 – 9; 1 Cor. 11:11, 12; Eph. 6:1, 2 & 4.)

As with any gift from God, we need to practice good stewardship, e.g. faithfulness to our spouse, educating our children in God’s ways and yielding to our spouse’s desires (Ex. 20:14; Ps. 78:5 – 7; Pr. 5:15 & 17-19 & 22:6; Mal. 2:15, 16; 1 Cor. 7:2 – 5 & 10, 11; Eph. 5:22-25, 28 & 33; Heb. 14:4.)

We can take the same loving ways that we practice in our family and insert them in our friendships as well. We need companionship. (Gn. 2:18; Pr. 27;17; Ecc. 4:9 – 12.) And we need to love in order to position ourselves to attract friendships. (Pr. 18:24) It’s also through our love that we keep them. (Pr. 17:17; Jn. 13:34, 35) In fact, we must have love for all others to sustain a love relationship with God. (1 Jn. 4:21) Why? It’s because if we are actively loving, we are not practicing judgment. (Zec. 7:9; Rm. 14:13; James 4:11, 12.)

Furthermore, (just like with your family members) if a friend has committed some offense against you, you must forgive them to keep the love flowing. (Job 6:14; Mt. 5:23; Lk. 17:3, 4.)

Finally, how better to show love than to place your friend’s needs above your own… (Rm. 12:10, 11; Phil. 2:1 – 4.)

Okay, we’ve been looking a lot at how we live a life that cleaves us to God. Let’s look at what separates us from Him:

God knew exactly how He wanted us to be when He created us. There were no accidents. Yet many people lose their way in this life because they feel that they’ve done something so wrong that they could never be forgiven, or they have made themselves to feel ‘less than’ other people on one or more levels. Then they futilely waste that life trying to separate from their real self by creating a false persona they hope others around them will accept.

Guess what? God accepts you the way you are. When you try to be something other than what He made you to be, you are separating yourself from Him.

Likewise, when we don’t feel good about ourselves, we try to separate ourselves from other people, e.g. through nationalities, religions, gender, financial status or social standing. This does nothing but foster ill will and malicious deeds; and that is totally opposite of what God wants us to do. (Rm. 2:11; Gal. 3:28)

When you do these things, you are playing right into the devil’s hands. (1 Jn. 2:11 & 4:20, 21.)

Another way you separate yourself from God is when you try to shut your mind down and indulge in your flesh to run from the predicament that you think your life is. You choose addictions or distractions to live in, as opposed to living in reality. ( Pr. 20:1, 23:20, 21; Is. 28:7; Hos. 4:10, 11; 1 Cor. 10:21; Gal. 5:19 – 21; 1 Pt. 5:8.)

Instead, the only addiction we want to have (the one that draws us to God) is Jesus… (Rm. 13:13, 14; Eph. 5:18.)

Returning to how to live a godly life, every word of God that we follow to stay on our spiritual path must be girded up by our faith – faith in our unseen God, and for us present-day folk, our unseen Jesus. (Jn. 20;29; Rm. 8:24; 1 Cor. 2:5; Heb. 11:1 & 6.)

But when we say ‘unseen,’ we only mean intangible in the physical sense. (2 Cor. 5:7; Heb. 11:3.)

God and His Son require our faith before they can move on our behalf. (Mt. 9:22, 17:20 & 21:22; Mk. 2:5, 5:36, 9:32 & 1:22 – 24; Lk. 7:50 & 18:14.)

We get our hands on faith because God gives it to us by the Holy Spirit, who sends it from Christ. Many times that comes through the mouths of Bible preachers and teachers. In fact, we even need faith to understand what they are saying while they are helping us shore it up. (Rm. 10:17 & 12:3; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4; Heb. 12:1, 2.)

Our faith alone ushers us into God’s presence, whereupon we are justified, sanctified and made Holy so that we can remain there. (Rm. 3:28). When we exercise our faith, we are filled with God’s strength, covered by His safekeeping, protected from the devil, blanketed in joy, imbued with Divine revelation and are able to receive all of His promises. (Ps. 31:23, 56:4, 125:1 & 146:5; Pr. 28;20; Lk. 1:45; Eph. 6:16; James 5:15.)

How can we depend upon our faith? It’s because God is Himself faithful – never lying or changing. (Ps. 118:89, 90; Heb. 6:18.) That includes all of His salvation promises through Jesus. (Jn. 1:12, 5:24, 6:29; Acts 13:38, 39; Heb. 10:19 – 23; 1 Pt. 1:20, 21 & 1 Jn. 5:4, 5.)

Finally, when we get that faith and depend upon it, it is time to share it and share it with love! (Acts 26:18 & 1 Cor. 13:2.)
Goodnight and God bless.

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June 27 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

What Does God Say About Your Life? – Part 2

As we said last time, what this series represents is the undertaking that we have made over the past 11 months, covering all the things that God has said about how to live out our highest and best life; i.e. a summation. In the first part of this series, we revisited why reaching for our salvation and helping others do the same is so urgent, why we would want God in our lives, how and why God created you in His image and the way He fashioned a universe just for you, how He surrounds you on all sides, how He heals you, about the devastation of sin and God’ presents you with a way out of it, and finally, we looked at a godly characteristic that He wants you to possess and express – that of godly giving and demonstrating gratitude for what God’s given to you.

Now, let’s look at another godly characteristic: that of forgiving. God always leads by example. He is a forgiving God, regardless of what we’ve done – if we confess our transgression and repent. (2 Chr. 7:14; Ps. 103:2 & 130:4; Dan. 9:9).

The only reason we have to forgive anyone (including ourselves) is because we indulge in judgment, which is in itself a trespass against God. (Mt. 7:1 – 3). God requires us to forgive that person we have judged before He will bestow His forgiveness upon us. (Mt. 6:14, 15; Col. 3:12, 13.)

Forgiveness is so important to God that He will not even listen to your prayers unless you first make reconciliation with anyone with whom you are withholding your forgiveness. (Mt. 5:23, 24.)

Forgiveness is the highest act of giving. It is where we give our love away regardless of whether or not we think it is deserved. After all, who doesn’t deserve love? When we forgive, we are emulating Christ, who went to the cross for our forgiveness and acknowledging that it was enough…

God also asks us to live in a manner that demonstrates our trust in Him – a life lived by faith, beginning with the belief that He exists and rewards those who seek Him and that every word He speaks is pure truth. (Heb. 11:6; Pr. 30:5; Is. 40:8.) That trust is completely solidified when we also place faith in Jesus as the Son of God, in the fact that He died for our sins and was resurrected to the Father. (Jn. 1:14; 1 Pt. 1:2.)

God and His Son further explained that the way we show out trust in Them is to follow their specific directives. It is how we express our love to Them. (Dt. 10:12,13 & 12:32; Jer. 11:4; Jn. 14:15; 1 Jn. 5:3.) When we do that, our present and eternal blessings abound. (Dt. 7:9, 12:22 & 28:2; Ps. 112:1; Is. 55:11; Jn. 6:63, 8;31, 32 & 51, 15:7, 8; 1 Pt. 1:22; 1 Jn. 2:5, 3:21, 22.)

Another way we demonstrate that love is by giving up our worldly notion of independence and leaning on God to see our way through this life. After all, God had every aspect of our lives planned out for all of us before we were even born. (Ps. 139:16; Jer. 29:11.) In fact, His plans far exceed our expectations. (Eph. 3:20; Phil. 4:19.)

You can lean on God because He loves to help you and He sends that loving help through His Son, His Spirit and His angels… (Lv. 26:13; 1 Kings 1:29; Ps. 9:9, 16:8, 20:6, 27:1, 32:8, 91:10, 11, 138:8 & 147:3; Is. 42:16 & 49:25; Lk. 4:18; Rm. 8:26; 2 Cor. 1:3, 4; Phil. 4:5 – 7.)

Continuing in building our godly character, our Father asks us to be holy. (Lv. 19:2; Eph. 1:4; 1 Th. 4:7; Rv. 22:11.) And yet He tells us that nobody is. (1 Sam. 2:2; Is. 64:6; Rm. 3:9, 10.)

But God does not leave us hanging. He offers us a holy transformation through faith in His redemption through Christ – whose blood cleanses us, so that we shine brightly in righteousness before our Creator. (Rm. 3:25, 26 & 5:17; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:16; Heb. 10:10.) Then, we are privy to every heavenly blessing. (Ps. 5:12, 34:17; 2 Cor. 7:1.)

We don’t have to be perfect. We only have to practice walking in God’s word the best that we can (in faith) and He makes up the difference… (Gn. 15:6)

All our godly characteristics emanate from our spiritual self – that portion of us that connects directly to God’s Spirit (Holy Spirit), which He places within us. (Pr. 20:27; Is. 26:9; Jn. 4:2; 1 Jn. 3:24.)

That same Holy Spirit reveals all that Christ is, all He has ever taught and unveils all that He has yet to tell us. (Jn. 14:26 & 16:13, 14; 1 Cor. 2:9.) As a result, the Spirit sets us on the path to Christ’s salvation – the path of godliness. (Rm. 8:6; Gal. 6:8.)

Yet we cannot walk this path without rendering our free-will sacrifices to God; e.g. a tithe. (Ex. 23:19; Lv. 19:5.) Another type of sacrifice is walking in righteousness in the face of a world that tells you to do otherwise – to persevere in advancing the kingdom of God. (Ps. 4:5 & 51:17; Pr. 21:3; 1 Pt. 2:5.)

Your gratitude is also a form of sacrifice. (Ps. 107:21, 22 & 141:2; Heb. 13:15.)

God receives all your sacrifices, acknowledges them, remembers them forever and blesses you eternally for them… (Ps. 50:8; Is. 56:7; Jer. 33:11.)

Returning to godly characteristics, God also wants you to sacrifice your anger so that you may live in peace with all people. It is one of a group of spiritual qualities that He wants you to possess:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… Gal. 5:22, 23. NASB

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:31, 32. NKJV

If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. Rm. 12:8 ESV.

Anger is destructive to those who practice it and to those for whom they thrust it upon. If one practices it unrepentantly, it bars their own way to salvation. (Pr. 11:17 & 15:18; Amos 1:11; Mt. 5:22; James 1:19, 20; 1 Jn. 2:11.)

God loves you and He wants you to be with Him forever. To accompany Him, that anger must be quelled:

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” Mt. 5:9 NKJV

The last godly characteristic I want to consider today is ‘living with integrity’; i.e. living by our word. (Dt. 23:23) Speaking of our words, God takes the content of them very seriously, letting us know that they can literally determine our outcomes in life. Moreover, He says that we will have to account for every word that leaves our mouths. (Pr. 18:21; Mt. 12:34 – 37 & 15:11.)

If we use our tongue to curse, lie, boast, self-serve or mock, degradation of our lives will follow. (Pr. 11:9, 12:1317:5, 19:9, 20:20, 26:28, 27:1; James 4:2, 3 & 16.)

But when we speak with the wisdom of God, our lives will blossom. (Pr. 12:19, 13:3, 15:1, 4, & 28; Eccl. 10:12; Col. 4:6.)

God gave you a voice to exalt Him and exhort one another. (Ps. 105:1, 2; Eph. 4:29; Heb. 13:13.)

The highest calling for the use of your tongue is to tell others about God’s salvation through Christ… (Rm. 10:8,9; 2 Tim. 4:2.)

So, what are we doing when we consider and act upon all these characteristics God wants us to wear on our persona? We are examining how to prepare for a spiritual life in relationship with God now and forever. (Job 22:21 – 23 & 25 – 28.)

We cannot find any valid information in the ways of the world for that path, so we need spiritual coaching. Thankfully, God provides with the Great Coach, His Son. (Mt. 7:7; Jn 6:27 & 15:5; 1 Jn. 2:15 – 17.)

It’s imperative that we embark on this preparation before we die or before Christ’s second coming (whichever comes first). There won’t be another chance. (Is. 55:6; Mk. 1:15; Rv. 3:11.)

Our preparation consists of walking in God’s word and serving Him by emulating Jesus. (Ps. 15:1, 2; Eph. 5:8; 1 Pt. 2:21 – 24.) We must train diligently, with perseverance, exercising our faith and taking on the tasks that our Creator assigns us. (2 Tim. 2:15; James 2:20; Heb. 6:11, 12 & 11:6.)

Ultimately, we will then rise in His victory. (Phil. 3:12 – 14; 2 Tim. 4:7, 8.)

Amen.
Goodnight and God bless.

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June 18 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

What Does God Say About Your Life?

What He says about your life is essentially what we have been exploring these past eleven months. Because I cannot know for sure when each individual has come on board to read these messages and because the messages are so vital for connecting with God, living our highest and best life and guaranteeing our eternal place in God’s love, I’m presenting a condensed recap:

We began looking at the urgency of reaching for our salvation and then helping others do likewise. The urgency presents itself in our mortality. You will either physically die or Christ will first show up in His ‘second coming’ to harvest the children of God. Either way, you must choose Christ for your salvation before one of these events occurs because there will be no second chance. And because you do not know the date and time when either of these events take place, there is not a moment to waste… (Eccl. 9:12; Mt. 24:2)

Next, we considered why we’d want to have God in our lives in the first place and we listened as God told us:

God has a plan. You are a part of that plan. (Gn. 1:27, 28 & 31; 15:1 & 28:15; Ex. 15:13 & 23:26; Lv. 26:9; Dt. 7:6.) Your part is unique to you and integral to God’s plan.

He looks after you in every area of your life and does so with the utmost love and care. (Ex. 15:26 & 33:14; Lv. 26:6 & 13; Dt. 1:29 – 31; 31:8 & 33:3; 1 Sam. 14:6.)

Our Father created us to be the greatest of all His creations and to enjoy, care and have dominion over the other created things. Yes, Adam and Eve pulled us down temporarily on God’s hierarchy but He redeemed us with the crown of Christ. (Mt. 18:11 & 20:28; Jn. 3:16, 17.)

God is our eternal beacon, always there to show us the best path to take; and He surrounds us with angels to watch over our every step and He never breaks His promises. (Dt. 33:12; Judges 2:1; Lam. 3:22, 23; Job 10:12 & 31:4; Ps. 32:8 & 91:11.)

He listens to you. He comes to your aid without fail, restores you and He showers you with goodness from here to eternity. (2 Chr. 30:9; Ps. 49:15 & 56:13; Pr. 23:18; Is. 43:1 – 3 & 46:3, 4.)

Finally, nothing can keep God from delivering His love to you – unless you reject it. (Rom. 8:38,39 & 11:29.)

What’s not to love?

We also examined how God created your perfect home (with spiritual building blocks). (Heb. 11:3) He created a world that would nurture and sustain you and He put you in charge of taking care of it. (Gn. 1:26 & 2:15.)

You were made in the spiritual image of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Immediately afterwards, He blessed you and perpetuated those blessings through Christ. (Gn. 1:28; Gal. 3:13, 14.) For you to be available to receive your blessings, you must be faith-filled and obedient to God’s word. (Dt. 11:26 – 28; James 1:25.) These blessings are both physical and spiritual, for both now and eternity. All He asks is for a little show of gratitude and for you to share your new abundance. ( Dt. 28: 3 – 8 & 11; Eph. 1:3.)

We had a good look at our humanness and how (out of our weakness) we commit sins against God. (1 Kin. 8:46) Sin is what we do, it is not who we are. (Gal. 5:19 – 21.) Yet sin brings with it devastating consequences that can lead to death unless they are dealt with; and it affects God, the perpetrator and those around him or her. (Pr. 14:21; 1 Cor. 8:12; 1 Th. 4:7, 8; 1 Jn. 3:8.) In fact, it separates us from God. (Is. 59:2)

Thankfully, God gave us rules to live by so that we would know what not to transgress. He also left paths for us to follow to both overcome them and receive forgiveness when we do. (2 Chr. 7:14; Jer. 31:33; Ezek. 18:29 – 32; Mic. 6:8; Mt. 22:37 – 40; Gal. 5:22, 23.) And the path for forgiveness always involves confession of the misdeed and repentance of same, (Ps. 32:5; Pr. 28:13; Is. 1:18.) and it requires the blood of Jesus. (Rom. 6:10; Eph. 2:1, 2, 4, 5; Heb. 9:22; 1 Jn. 5 & 7.) Then forgiveness is guaranteed. (Ps. 103:10, 11; Is. 43:25.)

Then we checked out all the ways God stays related to us. The best news is that He is accessible! (Rv. 3:20) That accessibility is through Christ by our faith. (2 Cor. 5:7; 1 Jn. 4:15.)

We were chosen for this special relationship and God stays by our side when we enter into it. (Ps. 121:7, 8; Hos. 13:14; 2 Th. 2:13). This relationship also includes our Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the angels of God. (Ps. 91:11; Mt. 28;20; Lk. 17:21; Jn. 10:27, 28; 14:16, 27.)

Another benefit of our relationship with God is having access to His healing – both physical and spiritual. (Ex. 15:26; Ps. 103:2, 3 & 107:20; Is. 30:36; Jer. 3:22.) And like every gift from God, you must have faith to have it manifest. (Mt. 9:29).

Next, we spent a great deal of time looking at the (godly) characteristics that our Father asks us to possess and exhibit. First we looked at how God wants us to give. We must recognize that all our gifts (including our characteristics) come from God. (1 Cor. 7:7; James 1:17; 1 Pt. 4:10.)

He wants us to hold all of our gifts in ‘open hands’ so that we may freely pass them on to others and at the same time be ready to receive the next blessing. (Dt. 26:12, 12; Pr. 11:25 & 18:16; Mt. 5:42Acts 20:35; 2 Cor. 9;6, 7; Heb. 13:15, 16.)

Jehovah also wants you to apply the same principles to your money. After all, your money (wealth) comes from God. (Dt. 8:18; 1 Chr. 29:12; Eccl. 3:13; 2 Cor. 3:5.) The quantity of your money is not something to worry about. If you are being a good steward of it, both physically and spiritually, God will not let you run out of it. (Job 36:11; Mt. 6:31 – 33 & 21:22; Lk. 6:35; Phil. 4:19; Heb. 13:5.)

We just want to be sure that we don’t get hooked on our money – idolizing it and / or becoming miserly. (Ps. 62:10; Pr. 11:28; Mt. 19:24; Mk. 4:19; Lk. 16:13; 1 Tim. 6:9.) If that happens, our money separates us from God. Instead, we need to keep our focus on the abundance of our almighty God and of His most precious gift of all – our salvation. (Mt. 6:19, 20; 1 Pt. 1:18, 19.)

Let’s see so far. God blesses you with abundance, saves your soul from death, grants you an eternal home with Him through that same salvation through Christ, heals you and takes care of your every need – all of which He performs with love. What does He want from you? Gratitude.

He blesses you every day when you have faith in Him and love Him by obeying His word. (Ps. 1:1 – 3; 16:5 & 11, 6; 37:4; 63:7; 118:24; 145:20; 1 Chr. 16:8 – 10; Is. 61:10; Jer. 3:41, 42; Jn. 16:24; 2 Cor. 4:15; Phil. 4:6; 1 Jn. 4:19, 10 & 19.)

God loves your gratitude; and being thankful is a small price to pay in exchange for a full and satisfying life with a promise of an eternal abundance lived in the presence of your loving Creator. And you know, all that gratitude is going to rub off…

To be continued.
Good night and God bless.

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June 13 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

What Does God Say About Your Mission?

God gives each and every one of us the same mission (through Jesus) after we ask Him to come into our hearts:

All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Mt. 28:18 – 20. AMP

This scripture is commonly referred to as the ‘Great Commission.’ All followers of Christ are called to honor it.

Jesus asked us to love God and love one another. (Jn. 13:34; 15:12; 15:17.) Our entire spiritual walk is based upon these two divine directives. If we truly love one another, then aren’t we bound to share the source of that love (God) with others? Everyone deserves the opportunity to seek and receive the limitless peace, joy, love, abundance and eternal salvation that our Father freely offers. But they can’t have that opportunity unless we tell them!

So when should we begin our heavenly proclamation? We commence it upon our baptism.

Jesus began explaining baptism with these words:

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with , and experience) the kingdom of God. Jn. 3:3 AMP

Christ is alluding to the fact that you cannot enter the kingdom of God by way of having high rank in government or social circles, nor by riches, race, place of birth, knowledge of the world, or through personal deeds. What He is saying is that the entrance into God’s kingdom is only accomplished by allowing God to birth one anew – by changing what is in their heart and by the recipient of that change doing their continued best to live by those changes.

Jesus continued: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Jn. 3:5 NKJV

He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Who sets it forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal death]… Mk. 16:16 AMP

God requires a water baptism. It is the first formal public confession of your faith. It is also a way that we show others their opportunity to have the same – through our example of faith in God and obedience to His word. Baptism is an outward sign that our faith is blossoming. Without the faith, that act of baptism would be worthless. Water is just water. It is the connection of the water to the word of God through faith, which fulfills our requirement.

Yet water baptism by itself is not the way to salvation. What it is, is a declaration made by the baptized of his or her faith in salvation through the Spirit – a metaphorical demonstration of being re-birthed as a newly cleansed child of God through the forgiveness of their sins.

You are confessing that your old worldly self has been buried (signified by the immersion in water) and that your spiritual self has been resurrected without sin (indicated by rising out of the water).

During baptism we are dying to the life that we had previously lived and to the meanings we brought to the events within it and beginning a new life – the meaning of which is found in the word of God. It begins with the repentance of the actions of your flesh and is sealed as you profess your faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The cleansing blood of Christ completes your true salvation when you ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit in order to be spiritually reborn. Then, your mission begins…

We are instructed to boldly speak of the power of our Creator to everyone around us, including our children:

They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. Ps. 145:6, 7. ESV

One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. Ps. 145:4 NKJV

They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. Ps. 145:11 – 13. ESV

Most importantly, because our message is so vital to the present and future state of our potential recipients, we must not judge as to who is worthy to hear it. Everyone has the potential to open his or her hearts:

…do not hold your faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality. James 2:1 NKJV

Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. Mk. 16:15 AMP

God made us and chose us for this:

…He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Cor. 5:19, 20. NASB

“What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.” Mt. 10:27 NASB

“As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” Jn. 20:21 NKJV

…preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction…be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim. 4:2 & 5. NASB

Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully. 1 Pt. 3:15 AMP

Furthermore, God equips us for it:

…do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given you in that very hour and moment, for it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Mt. 10:19, 20. AMP

Don’t forget that it is our actions as well as our words that call people to God:

…in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 1 Tim. 4:12 NASB

“You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Mt. 5:13, 14 & 16. NKJV

It won’t always be easy because of the resistance from the world, but we can rise above that:

Go your way; behold, I send you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. Lk. 10:3 AMP

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. 2 Tim. 2:4 NKJV

And we will be blessed for our efforts:

“And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Mt. 11:6 NKJV

“Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time…and in the age to come, eternal life.” Mk. 10:29, 30. NKJV

Indeed, there is a curse for those who forsake their mission:

“…I have made you a watchman…Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.

But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.” Ezek. 33:7 – 9. ESV

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is a blessed and holy one, a matter of life or death for those who receive your efforts – a message we have the God-given privilege to bring, that opens the way for the heavenly journey of their spirit:

Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One). Col. 1:28 AMP

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes… Rm. 1:16 NKJV

There is no greater mission.

Bless our Holy Father for the love He gives and entrusts us with. May we embrace a compassionate love for our fellow human beings and be driven with the zeal of the apostle Paul as we deliver it:

…the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. Acts 20:23, 25. NKJV

Turn to the person next to you and tell them the Good News…
Good night and God bless.

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June 06 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »