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
Saturday, December 9, 2017
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.
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."
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 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 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.
- 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
- Paul endured the following situations to the honor of God:
- received 40 stripes 5 times save 1
- beaten with rods 3 times
- stoned once
- shipwrecked 3 times
- adrift at sea a night and a day
- Paul faced many perils during his journeys.
- his own countrymen
- from the heathens
- in the city
- in the wilderness
- in the sea
- among false brothers
"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
- 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
- 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.
"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 HenryConcern 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be perfect
- Be of good comfort
- Be of one mind
- Live in peace
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Friday, December 1, 2017
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
- Having the promise of being God's sons and daughters, we need to cleanse ourselves from the filthiness of the flesh and spirit. 7:1
- Clean heart, mind, and soul
- No bad thoughts - take your thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 8:5)
- Focus on being a son or daughter of God
- Lead a holy life - The Holy Spirit dwells in us, therefore let us be holy. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
- Our body is a temple because we received a cleansing of forgiveness by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
- We have to cleans ourselves not by our own efforts, but by relying on God to shape us and mold us. (Jeremiah 18:6)
- wronged no man
- corrupted no man
- defrauded no man 7:2
- Paul loves his followers 7:3
"If the ministers of the gospel are thought contemptible, there is danger lest the gospel itself be despised also; and though ministers must flatter none, yet they must be gentle towards all." Matthew Henry's Concise Bible CommentaryPaul and Titus were shepherds to a widespread flock. They rejoiced to see their flocks change in attitude. 7:12-16
- All good done by us, or in us, is the grace of God at work.
- When we are servants, or useful to others - It is by grace and favor from God.
- Whatever we use of give for God is only giving him what is already his. When we ascribe really good works to the grace of God, it gives God the glory AND shows us where our strength lies - in God.
- Faith - Faith is necessary to please God.
- Utterance, or speaking
- Paul also wanted the Corinthians to abound in charity.
- Jesus was rich in that he was equal to God the Father in power and glory
- Jesus was poor in that he became a man after being rich in heaven with God the Father.
- Jesus died on the cross as a ransom sacrifice for man.
"Good purposes are like buds and blossoms, pleasant to behold, and give hopes of good fruit; but they are lost, and signify nothing without good deeds." Matthew Henry's Concise Bible CommentaryChristians share with each other and achieve a sort of equality. All should be concerned to help those in want.
Paul commends Titus and the brother who was sent to collect the charity 8:16-24
- When dealing with money, or materials you need to take care that you appear to be trustworthy and honest.
- It is needful to be upstanding in God's sight, but it is also needful to be honest in the sight of men too.
- sow sparingly - reap sparingly
- sow bountifully - reap bountifully
- God loves a cheerful giver
"We must show the reality of our subjection to the gospel by works of charity." Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary
- Paul knew who and what he was and didn't let this talk affect him.
- We should be aware of our own infirmities and think humbly of ourselves, even when others reproach us.
"The work of the ministry is a spiritual warfare with spiritual enemies, and for spiritual purposes." Matthew Henry's Concise Bible Commentary
Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5This is impossible without faith and the grace of God. The Holy Spirit is our helper from the Father through Jesus Christ. Reliance upon God helps us win each spiritual battle within ourselves. 10:5
Do you look on things after the outward appearance? 10:7-11
- Remember we belong to Christ and we are Christ's.
- Paul's outward appearance may have been weak and his speech contemptible BUT his letters were and are powerful.
- Comparing others to ourselves is not wise. 10:12-13
- God's measure is not the measure man uses. Plus, God gives to each of us according to his measure.
- Instead of praising ourselves, we should work to approve ourselves to God.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
Friday, November 24, 2017
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
Today, I asked Bill to pray for me and with me before I even tried to sit down and study. As we held hands and prayed, I could feel peace and serenity flow through me. My thoughts settled down, and I was able to begin the process of reading and taking notes with focus and clarity.
However, one random thought did make it into my mind,"Maybe I should have asked Bill for prayer the first time."
Do not lose heart if you are in a god-given ministry. (4:1)
The signs of a god-given ministry are:
- You have renounced secret and shameful ways (4:2)
- No deception
- No distortion of God's Word
- In the sight of God, you are setting forth the truth plainly
The word of God is veiled to the perishing because the god of this age - Satan - has blinded the minds of unbelievers. (4:3-4)
- Unbelievers cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. (4:3-4)
- Jesus is Lord and we are servants for Jesus' sake. (4:5)
- God's light shines in my heart
- God's light gives me knowledge of God's glory
- Christ's face reflects the glory of God.
- Through Christ, the light of God shines in my heart that I might know God's glory.
- hardpressed BUT not crushed
- perplexed BUT not despairing
- struck down BUT not destroyed (4:8-12)
We are dealing with the same world that Jesus lived in. Therefore, we will meet the same hardships he dealt with as we represent Jesus to the world around us.We have the Spirit of God, who is life at work in us.
"I believed therefore I have spoken." Psalm 116:10
- We believe and speak because the one who raised Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus.
- All this is for you, so the grace that is reaching more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God. (4:15)
- Do Not Lose Heart.
- Fix your eyes on the unseen, not the seen. What is unseen is eternal. We live by faith, not by sight. (4:16-18; 5:7)
- Even though we presently live in an earthly tent, our thoughts and minds can dwell on our eternal house in heaven.
- Paul said he longed to be clothed in his heavenly dwelling.
- God has given us the Spirit as a guarantee of what is to come.
- We can be confident we are going to our eternal house in heaven because we have the Spirit of God living in us.
- Our goal is to please him whether we are in our earthly tent or in our eternal house in heaven. (5:7-9)
- For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive what is due him.
- Christ is the judge of the living and the dead. (Acts 10:42)
- Each of us will give an account of himself to God. (Romans 14:12)
- What we are is plain to God.
- For Christ's love compels us because we are convinced that he died for all, and therefore all died.
- We shouldn't live for ourselves, but for Jesus.
- He died for us and was raised again.
- We shouldn't regard people from a worldly point of view because those in Christ are a new creation.
- All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. (5:11-16)
- As Christ's ambassadors, when we speak, it is as though God were making his appeal through us.
- We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
- God made the sinless one to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (5:20)
We put no stumbling block in anyone's path so that our ministry will not be discredited. (6:3)As a disciple of Jesus Christ and God's servant, Paul faced
- troubles in daily life
- distresses in life
- hard work
- sleepless nights
- hunger (6:4-5)
- in purity
- in the Holy Spirit
- in sincere love
- in truthful speech
- in the power of God
- using weapons of righteousness (6:6-7)
- glory and dishonor
- bad report and good report
- Paul and his ministry was genuine, yet regarded as imposters
- known, yet regarded as unknown
- dying, yet living on
- beaten, yet not killed
- sorrowful, yet always rejoicing
- poor, yet making many rich
- having nothing, yet possessing everything (6:8-10)
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." 2 Samuel 7:14; 7:8
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Friday, November 17, 2017
Thursday, November 16, 2017
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Monday, November 13, 2017
Groups following other preachers rejected Paul's ministry and gospel. In 1 Corinthians, Paul warned the church against living a self-centered life rather than a Christ-centered life.
1 Corinthians is Paul's second attempt to deal with problems by letter from Ephesus and was delivered by Apollos. The situation in Corinth was troublesome enough that Apollos refused to deliver the second letter Paul wrote. Instead, Timothy delivered the letter that is now known as 2 Corinthians.
1. Good and Father of Jesus Christ
2. Father of Compassion
3. God of all comfort in all our troubles
- As we receive comfort from God, we are told to give comfort in the same way.
- Christian comfort doesn't mean we will be comfortable.
- God's comfort is giving us strength to meet the troubles that will come into our lives. BUT through Jesus, our comfort will overflow.
- Our strength is in God and that comfort will overflow when we rely on him and not on ourselves. (1:5)
- Rely on God no matter how bad things get. Even if you think death is a real possibility, rely on God. God can raise the dead. Therefore, don't lose hope. (1:9)
- Paul gave credit to his prayer partners for receiving favor from God.
- He wrote that the favor was granted because of the prayer of many.
- Their prayers helped deliver Paul from persecution and trouble. (1:11)
3. According to God's grace. (1:10-12)
God's promises are "Yes" in Christ and through Christ the "Amen", or agreement, is spoken by us to the glory of God. (1:20)God makes us stand firm in Christ because:
1. He anointed us
2. He set his seal of ownership on us
3. He put his Spirit in our hearts
4. His Spirit acts as a deposit,or guarantee (1:21-22)
Church leaders should work with you and cause joy, not lord it over the church.
- Paul's relationship with the Corinthian church was painful, but he knew he had to lead them to Christ's way.(2:2-4)
- Forgiveness is essential for a church. Christians are not free to withhold forgiveness and comfort.(2:5-11)
- Satan can and will cause disruptions within a church body.(2:11)
The Lord opens doors for his leaders and people. God goes before us and leads to victory in evangelism. (2:12-14)
- Paul made a point about profiting from the Word of God. He pointed out that many peddle the Word of God for profit, but he and his leaders did not do this. (2:17)
- I love how Paul writes that we are a letter from Christ, a result of ministry, written not in ink, but with the Spirit of the Living God. A letter not written in stone, but on tablets of human hearts. (3:2-3)
- Paul gives credit to God for his competence as a minister of the new covenant. He followed not the letter of the law, but the Spirit of God that gives life. (3:4-6)
- The law given to Moses came with glory,so shouldn't the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? (3:7-8)
- We who have this glorious covenant should be bold. The veil that separated God's people from him is taken away by faith in Christ.(3:14-16)
- The Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. Our unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord.
We are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (3:17-18)
Sunday, November 12, 2017
I am starting a 4 week reading, or study, of 2 Corinthians. I am using a study bible and I want to invite you to join me.
Post your personal discoveries and revelations as a comment for each weekly post beginning Monday, November 13.
My post schedule will be:
Join me in creating a closer relationship with Jesus, through sharpening the Sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God.
Saturday, November 11, 2017
Friday, November 10, 2017
Thursday, November 9, 2017
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
Sunday, November 5, 2017
And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
When great and notorious sinners profess to be converted - people who have been violent, artful, or malignant - it is natural to ask whether they have not some unworthy motive still in their professed change.
Confidence is a plant of slow growth, and starts up, not by a sudden profession, but is the result of a course of life which is worthy of affection and of trust. Barnes' Notes on the BibleSaul had been gone for three years before he showed up in Jerusalem wanting to join the disciples.
The disciples hadn't heard much about Saul's conversion, or any subsequent preaching. Therefore, they were afraid of him because they weren't sure about his conversion. Saul had been the number one persecutor of the new believers in Jesus. Now, here he was wanting to join them.
Barnabas Stood With Saul
Barnabas, the Son of Encouragement, decided to stand with Saul and to encourage the disciples to believe in what had happened to Saul. Barnabus related what he knew about Saul and felt that Saul was truly a changed man. How different the bible story might be if Barnabus hadn't stood and encouraged the disciples to accept Saul!
My husband's testimony affects people because he dealt with an abusive father until he was ten years old.
In turn, Bill passed on the pain by being a bully. As an adult, he was an aggressive, alcoholic-addict who liked to show people he was powerful. He ended up in an outlaw motorcycle club where his personality fit in with the lifestyle. Bill is the first to tell you that he was not a nice person.
When Bill retired, he moved to southern Missouri and bought some land in the Irish Wilderness.
Bill didn't know that this area had a rural church with active disciples of Jesus in it who were his neighbors. Bill said he couldn't even pick up a hammer without a neighbor showing up offering to help. His neighbors wouldn't accept money. They only asked that he think about coming to church. In Bill's world, obligations needed to be paid off.
Eventually, he went to church several times. God touched Bill and he ended up answering an alter call. After that alter call, Bill joined the church through baptism in a local river.
Today, Bill is an evangelist for Jesus Christ.
He never meets someone without asking them if they are a Christian, or if they know Jesus Christ. He even does this on every phone call that he receives. I sometimes find myself wondering if Saul might not have been a lot like Bill after he met Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Saul spent the rest of his life serving the Lord and my husband is doing the same.
I think this illustrates that no matter how bad a person is in the world, God can turn them into his greatest followers. No matter how bad you think you are, God wants you. Tell Jesus that you want him in your life today. Tell Jesus you know you have done bad, but want to change your life. Find a church and talk to the pastor.
As Barnabus stood with Saul and vouched for his conversion, God will send someone to help you.
David was well aware of his enemies that smiled to his face, but encouraged each other in secret meetings. Don't let people around you encourage you to join the dark side of encouragement such as gossip, slander, cursing others, and planning to hurt others. It is difficult to stand up to a group, but it isn't impossible. When you are in a group that begins to verbally assault someone, ask yourself what Jesus would do. Would He be quiet, or would he remind the group that they have their own faults too? John 8:7 Do not let yourself be pulled into the dark side of encouragement.
Social Media Messages
Today, the hurtful tongue has become the typing fingers that post dark and negative comments on a social media profile. On social media, people can hide behind a user name and send anonymous, negative messages that can hurt others. These secret users type out posts that are as hurtful as being cut with a knife. Words can be wielded like a knife. Words can stab, slash, and cut into your self-esteem and heart, if you let them. Please, do not let these hurtful messages wound, or harm you.
Use Your Faith
I repeat, do not let words harm you. Pick up your shield of faith and extinguish the negative messages. Believe in and repeat God's messages. God's messages tell you who God says you are. Look into a mirror and say,"I am God's chosen. I am a co-heir to the kingdom of God. I am his beloved child. I am priceless to God."
This Is Who You Are In Christ
I added the bold italics to emphasize the point that you are a son or daughter of God through Jesus Christ.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
1 John 3:1
Saturday, November 4, 2017
Sunday, October 29, 2017
Hannah's heart rejoiced, not in Samuel, but in the Lord. She looks beyond the gift of a son, and praises the Giver who answered her prayer. She rejoiced in the salvation of the Lord. Praise God no matter what your circumstances are. Let the Lord be your rock, or foundation, for your life. When you base your life upon the rock that is God, your faith will be unshakable in all circumstances.
Are we rich?
Yes, we are rich in faith. Praise the Lord for what he has done and will do in your life. Trust him in the same way that Hannah trusted him.
God Chooses Differently Than Man
He respects not man's wisdom or fancied excellencies, but chooses those whom the world accounts foolish, teaching them to feel their guilt, and to value his free and precious salvation. adapted from Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary
Monday, October 23, 2017
after services and sufferings, to give law, to give judgment. It is a remaining posture: he sits like a king for ever.
All his enemies are now in a chain, but not yet made his footstool.
And his kingdom, being set up, shall be kept up in the world, in despite of all the powers of darkness.
Has the gospel of Christ been to us the power of God in to salvation?
- Has his kingdom been set up in our hearts?
- Are we his willing subjects? Once we knew not our need of his salvation, and we were not willing that he should reign over us.
- Are we willing to give up every sin, to turn from a wicked, ensnaring world, and rely only on his merits and mercy, to have him for our Prophet, Priest, and King?
- Do we desire to be holy?
adapted from Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary
Wouldn't it be nice if the "www" in the computer address bar stood for "world wide worship"? How powerful world-wide worship would and can be.
One in Christ Jesus
The children of God are a world-wide family. We are not separate sections of the family of God, contained within many church bodies. No, we are one, world-wide body of Christ. At least we are when we engage in prayer and worship at the same time.
One in Unity and Faith
If we focus on worshipping the Lord in unity and faith, can you imagine the effectiveness of our spiritual battle against Satan on a world-wide scale?