Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Forgiven - 1 John 2:12

Celebrate the birth of Jesus, a birth that reconciled man to God. In Jesus' name, I am forgiven and you are forgiven when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Washed by Jesus - John 13:8

Jesus taught by example.
Can you see the servant king kneeling  before each of his disciples so he could wash their feet? I wonder how each of them felt as they watched Jesus wash their brother's feet?  He laid aside self-seeking and practiced self-sacrifice. He laid aside pride and practiced love.
Let Jesus kneel down before you and wash your feet. 
He wants to be closer to you. You don't have to pay the bills, cook meals, work 12 hours a day, or work on your car alone.
Come on, let Jesus wash away your dirt and stains. He is waiting to wash your sin dirt away. Even the stubborn stains will yield to his cleansing wash. Do not be stubborn and say, "I can do it myself!" You can do it yourself, however you won't know Jesus.
Come on, what are you waiting for?
You can be washed in the water of Jesus' love and forgiveness. Jesus knows how hard it is to lay down your burden. After all, "I can do it myself!" are some of the first words a toddler learns to say. My mom tells me that my first words were,"Do it myself!"
Jesus is a servant king.
He is a king waiting for his brothers and sisters to come to him, weary from their travels through this life, dirty and stained. He is waiting for you, holding a bowl of water and a washcloth in his hands, waiting and ready to wash away the grit and grime of your journey.
Jesus knows what I am and loves me anyway. 
I was an unbeliever, who wanted to do everything myself. I started out with a foundation laid upon Jesus, thanks to my mom. However, I left that behind at the ripe old age of 17. Yes, I had plans for my life. Military service, drinking, drugs, physical relationships, broken marriages, and children were all a part of my plan.
I sought things that made me feel good, but that feeling of being content just didn't stay with me for long until I finally decided that I needed Jesus to help me. Yes, I let Jesus wash the stains and grime from my heart and soul when I surrendered my life to Jesus.

Jesus knows the idols and influences on my life: money, advertisements for alcohol filled with attractive people having a good time, my computer that is a gateway into all sorts of enticements, a tendency to gossip, be sarcastic, and a nasty temper.

But then I accepted Jesus' offer to be washed clean from the dirt and stains that were clinging to me.
I accepted where I was at in life and where I was at in my relationship with Jesus. Yes, Jesus was right there, waiting for me to accept his help. So I say, "What are you waiting for? Get up, get baptized, and wash your sins away, calling on his name."

Do you already know Jesus? Then come on, let him sit at your feet and wash the grit and grime from this world off of you.

Acts 22:16
And now what are you waiting for? Get up, get baptized, and wash your sins away, calling on His name.'
1 Corinthians 12:2
"You know that when you were pagans, you were influenced and led astray by mute idols."
Ephesians 2:2
in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience."

Monday, December 4, 2017

Paul's 2nd Corinthian Letter - Week 4

Chapter 11
Paul and the False Apostles
I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 11:2
  • Paul is in the role of an earthly father who has engaged the saints to be married to Christ. 
  • The church cannot follow anyone except Christ in order to remain a pure virgin. 
Paul was concerned that the church's minds could be led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Christ, as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning. 11:3
Paul wasn't a "Super-apostle" 11:5
  • Paul wasn't a trained speaker, but he had knowledge.
  • Paul reassured the Corinthian church he wasn't wanting their money.
  • Paul's sole desire was that they know Jesus.
Because Satan can hide himself as an angel of light, so can his servants. 11:13-11:15
  • Paul points out that Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
  • It shouldn't be surprising that Satan's servants masquerade as servants of righteousness, but their end will be what they deserve.
  • The followers of Jesus shouldn't be surprised to find Satan's servants hiding themselves among the righteous. What better way to cause strife and disharmony than to masquerade as a faithful believer? 
  • Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15
  • For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Acts 20:29
"Hypocrisy may be looked for especially when we consider the great power which Satan...has upon the minds of many.Satan will allow his ministers to preach either the law or the gospel separately" Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary
 The law as established by faith in Christ's righteousness and atonement, and the partaking of his Spirit is the test of every false system.  Matthew Henry

Paul shares about his sufferings and service as a minister of Jesus Christ. 11:16-11:30
  • Paul endured the following situations to the honor of God:
  1. received 40 stripes 5 times save 1
  2. beaten with rods 3 times
  3. stoned once
  4. shipwrecked 3 times
  5. adrift at sea a night and a day
  • Paul faced many perils during his journeys.
  1. waters
  2. robbers
  3. his own countrymen
  4. from the heathens
  5. in the city
  6. in the wilderness
  7. in the sea
  8. among false brothers
Even though Paul was in peril and endured great hardship, he still considered the care of all the churches.
"It astonishes us to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance, diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all these trials."  Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary
Chapter 12
 Paul's Revelation 12:1-12:5
  • The church is built on the foundation of Paul's revelation
  • Paul is about to tell, or show the greatest of his infirmities and he didn't want to tell more of his revelation because it might encourage them to focus more on him than on his teachings. 12:6
Paul's Thorn and God's Grace 12:7-12:10
  • No one knows what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was.
  • Paul's attitude about it shows he accepted it as a way for him to remain humble.
  • He asked, in prayer, to be relieved of his "thorn in the flesh," but accepted that this was not God's plan.
  • God told Paul that his grace was sufficient.
  • God's strength is made perfect in weakness.
When we continue to praise God and accept his plan, as Jesus accepted his Father's plan, we are made strong in our weakness because we rely on God through Jesus Christ.
"Prayer is a salve for every sore, a remedy for every malady; and when we are afflicted with thorns in the flesh, we should give ourselves to prayer." Matthew Henry
Concern for the Corinthian Church 12:11 - 12:21

  • These verses show the character of a faithful minister of the gospel.
  • These verses also show the excesses the false teachers had taken their deluded followers to.
  •  Christians should be sad that evils should be found among teachers of the gospel. 
  • Evils have been found in teachers of the gospel too often, but it has been so since the days of the apostles.  
Chapter 13
Examine Yourselves 13:1 - 13:10
  • Paul addressed the church at Corinth 3 times and by the third time he was losing his patience with the sinners. 
  • Those who continued to question Paul's authority were those who had the least reason to question him. They had seen the signs and wonders of his apostleship.
  • In verse 13:3, the church members wanted and demanded proof that the voice and power of Christ was in Paul. Paul directs them to self examination, to try, prove, and recognize their own souls. If things were right, they'd find proof of Christ's speaking in him. 
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Cant you see for yourselves the Jesus Christ is in you-unless you actually fail the test? 13:5
  • Paul desired that the body of the church be kept from sin and they would grow in grace and holiness.
  • They should know if Christ was in them, but the indwelling of His spirit.
  • We are either true Christians, or we are deceivers.
  • Unless Christ is in us by his Spirit and power of his love, our faith is dead.
Final Greetings and Blessings  13:11 - 13:14
Do these things and the God of love and Peace shall be with you:
  • Be perfect
  • Be of good comfort
  • Be of one mind
  • Live in peace
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen.

My hope is that you have prospered spiritually during this 4 week bible study. Thank-you for joining me. SalleeB

30 Days of Thankfulness - Day 30