What Does God Say About Your Life? – Part 5

This is the last of this 5-part series, which consists of a condensed recap of 50 posts from June 28, 2014 to June 6, 2015 – created for those who have not been present for them all. Admittedly, this series is stark compared to the original posts with the enriching deep discussions of the individual scriptures. I highly recommend that those who have not enjoyed this past year of why God, who God is, who Jesus is, what God wants from us and how Christ takes our efforts to fulfill them and covers us with His salvation so that we are positioned for eternity, go back and do so. You will surely be blessed…

Now that we know all of this and are doing our best to walk our godly walk, what’s next?

First we can take a deep breath and remember to sit back and bask in the grace of the Father and the Son from which the gift of our salvation pours forth. (Ps. 84:11; Rm. 3:23 – 25, 5:21 & 6:14; 2 Cor. 8:9 & 12:9; Eph. 2:8, 9; Ti. 2:11& 3:4 – 7; Heb. 2:9.)

And having been empowered by this grace that gifts us in the Holy Spirit to advance the kingdom of God, we are called to do just that – spread the grace. (Rm. 12:6; 2 Cor. 4:15; Eph. 4:7 & 1 Pt. 4:10.)

Now that you are connected to God, He wants to keep a running conversation with you. How do you do that? You pray, just as Jesus prayed and in the way that He taught us to. (Mt. 5:6 – 8 & 6:9 – 13; Lk. 6:12; 1 Th. 5:17, 18.) As we pray, we must take care to make sure our prayers (and ourselves) align with God’s word if they are to be answered. (Ps. 4:3; Pr. 15:29; Mk. 11:25; Jm. 4:3)

If you see anyone who needs prayer, as a follower of Christ you must not withhold it, regardless of your personal feelings about that person (drop the judgment). (Mt. 5:44)

If you feel you need to pray with greater fervor, you can call upon the Holy Spirit. (Rm. 8:26)

And, as with anything concerning God, your prayers must be laced with faith. (Heb. 11:6)

Now that we’re walking and talking with God, everything we do must be packaged in love. (Pr. 17:17; Jn. 13:34 – 35; 1 Cor. 13:1 – 3 & 16:14; Col. 3:12 – 14; Phil. 2:2 – 4; 1 Jn. 4:21.)

We know what love is because all we have to do is look to our God. He is love. Furthermore, He describes it to us. (1 Cor. 13:4 – 8; 1 Jn. 3:1, 4:16 & 19.)

God wants your love. How do you show it to Him? By walking in His word (Dt. 7:9; Mt. 22:37 – 40; Jn. 14:21 & 23.) and y loving His Son. (Jn. 16:27)

When you love God, heaven opens up and surrounds you. (Ps. 91:14 – 16 & 145:20; Eph. 2:4, 5.) And nothing can take that love away. (Rm. 8:38, 39.)

Like I said, God loves you. How much? First, He created you in His image. (Gn. 1:27; Ps. 119:73.) He fashioned every day of your life in advance. (Ps. 139:13 – 16.) He stays close to you. (Acts 17:27, 28.) And He holds you dear to Him. (Mt. 10:30; Jn. 3:16; Rm. 8:29; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Th. 2:13 & 19; 1 Jn. 3:1.)

Because of all that, He takes care of you. (Is. 54:17; 1 Cor. 1:9 & 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:17, 18; Eph. 1:7 – 9 & 2:19; Phil. 1:6 & 3:20, 21.)

Why does God do all these things? It’s because He is preparing you (and rolling out the welcome wagon) for your heavenly arrival. (Pr. 23:18; Dn. 2:44; 1 Cor. 7:31; Jn. 14:2, 3.)

Our part is to stay aligned in His will (Mt. 24:36, 44; Lk. 21:34, 35; Jn. 8:51; 1 Jn. 2:17) so that our entrance is guaranteed. (Mal. 3:17; Rm. 5:9 & 6:22, 23.)

How awesome will our ‘forever’ be? (Is. 25:6 – 9, 34:5, 11, 12, 16 & 35:6, 8 -10; Zeph. 3:9, 15, 17; Mic. 4:3, 4; Mt. 8:11; Rm. 6:5; 1 Cor. 15:42 – 44, 49 & 53; Rv. 7:16, 17.)

All God asks of you to do is to tell as many people as you can about Him, His Son, His Salvation and His heavenly hope. (Ps. 145:4, 6, 7 & 11 – 13; Mt. 10:27 & 28:18 – 20; Mk. 16:15; Jn. 20:21; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; 1 Tim. 4:2, 5; Jm. 2:1; 1 Pt. 3:15.)

When we willingly do that, God will Himself facilitate our effectiveness, and nothing will get in the way of our delivery. (Mt. 10:19, 20.) We do that because we know we are helping save lives. (Rm. 1:16 & Col. 1:28.)

I pray that this series has reinforced those who have been faithfully following our journey this last year and has inspired those who haven’t, to peruse those earlier posts. There’s a lot of God waiting for you…

I hope to have the pleasure of your company next week as we embark upon a new journey guaranteed to open up your eyes to the obtuse chicaneries of our enemy, help you find out who you really are, free you from how you are keeping happiness at bay, and help others do the same. It will truly be a lifesaver.
Goodnight and God bless.

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July 11 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

What Does God Say About Your Life? – Part 4

A portion of what we looked at in part 3 of this recap of the last 11 months’ worth of posts about how to live a godly life, concerned itself against one of the major roadblocks to your spiritual path – the devil.

Today, we’ll concern ourselves solely with our major ally on that same path, our Lord Jesus Christ – the Centerpiece of the entire Bible. The entire Bible revolves around the promise of His coming, His arrival and completed ministry, His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension to His Father, and of His return to shepherd God’s children to their eternal home.

Only the Bible can tell us accurately everything there is to know about Jesus (with the exception of possible future Holy Spirit revelation), and it does so through the mouths of the Old Testament prophets, Jesus Himself and the New Testament apostles.

Beginning with the prophets, we find that Jesus was with God (in His true Spiritual being-ness) at the time that the universe was created. In fact, Christ was God’s agent of creation for the universe and everything that inhabits it. The apostles corroborated this as well. (Gn. 1:26; Jn. 1:2, 3; 1 Cor. 15:59; Col. 1:15; Rv. 3:14.)

The prophets referred to Jesus as the ‘Messiah’ in a plethora of prophecies before they actually knew what His name would be. In those God-inspired predictions we learn that the Messiah and His followers would be engaged in a struggle against evil (Satan and his followers) until the end of time. Thankfully, we also know that the Messiah’s side is ultimately victorious. (Gn. 3:15)

We learn the He will come to earth and in His earthly incarnation will be a Jew from the lineage of King David and reign over the earth forever. (Job 19:25; Dt. 18:18; 2 Sam. 7:13, 14; Ps. 2:6 – 8 & 72:6 – 8.)

Mind you these prophecies were spoken over a thousand years before the birth of Christ. If we leap ahead to 700 years before Jesus arrives, we hear prophecies of His virgin birth, His forever and peaceful reign over all peoples and how He is the exact likeness (image) of God with all His attributes. [Is. 7:14, 9:2, 6 & 7, 11:1-5 & 10, 49:5, 6; Dan. 7:13, 14; (see also apostolic corroborations: Jn. 1:1; Col. 1:15 & 5:16 – 20; Heb. 1:3.)]

In this same time frame, God sent prophecies regarding the horrific treatment Jesus would receive when He was on earth; and yet, He would purposefully step up and give His life for the salvation of all mankind. (Is. 50:6 – 8 & 53:1 -7.)

We also learn the birthplace (Bethlehem) of Jesus (Mic. 5:2), and at 500 years before His birth, we see that this Messiah-King would enter Jerusalem on a donkey and His sacrifice would cleanse the people of their sins. (Zec. 9:9, 12:10 & 13:1.)

Through the apostles, we learn of the events that led up to and surrounded the birth of Jesus – the actual virgin birth of Mary, the name Jesus divinely given to the baby Messiah, the angelic declaration of who Christ is, and how the Holy Spirit strengthened the Child with the wisdom of God. (Jn. 1:14, 16 & 18; Lk. 1:30 – 33, 35 & 2:10, 11, 29 – 32 & 40; Mt. 1:20, 21.)

Jesus Himself had much to say about who He was and of His mission. When He was baptized, (even though He was sinless) Jesus told John the Baptist the baptism was necessary in order for His ministry to begin (for His indwelling of the Holy Spirit). And when it took place, both John and God Himself declared the identity of Christ. (Jn. 1:29, 30 & 34; Mt. 3:15, 16.)

Early in His ministry, Jesus told Nicodemus how He came from heaven and of His imminent death to pave the way for eternal life for God’s children. (Jn. 3:13 – 16 & 18.) He also revealed Himself to be the Messiah to a Samaritan woman during His first journey to Galilee. (Jn. 4:26)

Once in Galilee, Jesus enters the synagogue in Nazareth and elucidates the nature of His ministry as He professes that He is the fulfillment of the prophet Isaiah’s messianic prophecy:

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery to the sight of the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD…Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Lk. 4:18, 19 & 21. NKJV

And Jesus turned no one away who sought Him out, regardless of their past. (Mt. 9:12, 13.) His preaching brought the ire of the priests in power because He exposed them for the hypocritical, self-seeking, lying charlatans that they were. They were especially riled up when He declared His divine relationship with His Father and that He was the only open door to salvation. (Jn. 5:19-24 & 28, 29.)

Jesus also taught His apostles and an accompanying crowd at the Sermon on the Mount that His professions were an evolvement of the Mosaic Law but by no means did they do away with it. Mt. 5:17) As He continued His travels, Jesus preached about His God-given authority, the unique connection He and He only has with God, and then He humbly invited those present (and all of us) to be a part of that connection through Him. (Mt. 11:27 – 30.)

After Jesus performed many miracles, He sent His apostles out to evangelize – stressing that the message be strong and clear, and to make sure that their hearers learn that there is no middle road. We must be ready to drop everything and follow Him, tell others about Him, and step away from any worldly possessions or endeavors that distract us from that. (Mt. 10:32 – 36 & 40.)

Why?It’s because only Jesus and His message contains the way to life now and eternally. (Jn. 6:27, 31 – 33, 47*, 51 & 53; Lk. 9:23.)

*“Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” Jn. 6:47 NKJV

In the fall of 29 A.D., Jesus went to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He entered the Temple, whereupon He taught that He was the righteous representative sent from God as the embodiment of Jehovah’s salvation promise. (Jn. 7:18, 29, 37, 38; 8:12.)

But when Jesus declared Himself the Son of God and that His nature was similarly eternal, the priests and Pharisees in the Temple blew their tops. (Jn. 8:19, 28, 29 & 58.) Yet that did not deter Christ from pressing His gospel home:

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Jn. 8;31, 32. NKJV

“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” Jn.8:51 NKJV

(Also: Jn. 10:7 -11 & 16 -18, 25, 26.)

After Jesus taught in the Temple for the last time, He gathered His apostles and assured them (us) that He was coming back (second coming) with His angels to gather everyone who had ever lived: those who were His followers to their heavenly destination and those who were not to their condemnation with the devil. (Mt. 25:31 – 34 & 41; Jn. 15:1, 2 & 4 – 6.)

Jesus said He was preparing a place in heaven for God’s children. In the meantime, we were to rest in His peace, knowing that now He was ruling the world. (Jn. 14:1 – 3 & 16:33.)

And with that, our Savior willingly gave His life so that we could keep ours forever…

After Jesus’ ascension to heaven, the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and filled them with complete understanding of everything that Jesus had revealed to them as well as the Old Testament scriptures, and He permeated them with the revelations of everything Christ had yet to teach them – including the grandeur of His nature.

The apostles then began to preach. They reiterated the veracity of the cleansing of one’s sins through faith in Jesus. (Acts 10:36, 42, 43 & 13:38, 39; Rom. 3:22 – 26 & 8:1, 2, 38, 39 & 10:9, 10; Gal. 1:6, 7; 1 Th. 5:9, 10.)

They reassured us of Christ’s second coming. (1 Cor. 15:22 – 26; 1 Th. 4:16 – 17.)

And they revealed the immeasurable grandeur of His person: He is the exact image of God and shares all His attributes and power (Heb. 1:3, 4.), He is our High Priest and our intercessor to His Father (Heb. 2:9,10 & 7:25; Phil. 4:4 – 7; 1 Tim. 2:5, 6.), He has conquered the devil on our behalf (Heb. 2:14), His name is exalted above all names (Phil. 2:9 – 11.), He is the head of the church (Col. 1:18 – 20.), He watches over us and empowers us (1 Jn. 5:4, 5, 11, 12 & 18.), and He places all God’s children in their victorious heavenly state (Rv. 1:17, 18 & 2:7, 10, 11, 17, 26, 28, & 3:5, 12, 21 & 22:12, 13, 20.)

That is your ally on your road to salvation and your gateway thereof. Praise God for Jesus Christ!

 

Goodnight and God bless.

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July 02 2015 | experiencing god's love | No Comments »

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 »