Is Your Life about Pursuing Good Things or GOD THINGS?

1 Thessalonians 2:4  (HCSB) Instead, just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please men, but rather God, who examines our hearts.  Galatians 1:10 (KJV) For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. The Greek translation for the word servant is actually “SLAVE”…not servant. Are there Christians today willing to become Slaves to Christ and the Gospel as Paul was? This is exactly what God expects of us when we confess that Jesus is our Savior.

It seems to me that most of my followers are professing Christians, so some of you may wonder why I feel it vital to give a message of Evangelism and talk about repenting (some call it preaching to the choir). I by no means, consider myself on the same level as Paul, but Paul never stopped reminding the believers in the churches of his time of what God expects of us as his children/slaves.  I’ve said it before and I’m repeating it again today…there’s responsibility in Salvation.  Not just to God, not just to others, but also to ourselves, to honestly spend our life in pursuit of becoming Holy, Blameless and above reproach.  We need to ask ourselves…are we in pursuit of good things or God Things in our lives?  Is everything you do for the Glory of God?  Paul never stopped proclaiming the Gospel to believers as well as unbelievers because he knew that we need to constantly uphold each other and keep our eyes on the prize: eternal life in the Kingdom of God with Jesus. 

Are you a good and faithful servant?  When you enter into the presence of Christ, will you be able to stand before Him?  Will he find you to be Holy, Blameless and above reproach?  Do you live your life for HIM?  Or do you want to continue on in your life as before and stay in condemnation? Do you want to continue on the path you were on before you professed Jesus as your Savior?  In the following letter to the Colossians, (who were already established as a church body) Paul is reminding them of the prerequisite that they signed up for when they became followers of Jesus Christ.  Reminding them that they had walked away from sin and are now engaged to become a servant of Christ.

Colossians 1:19-24 (HCSB) For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. 22 But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard. This gospel has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and I, Paul, have become a servant of it.  24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for you, and I am completing in my flesh what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for His body, that is, the church.

At some point in your life, did you say YES to Jesus with joy and excitement?  You couldn’t get enough of HIS WORD, you couldn’t spend enough time with HIM and you shared your excitement with everyone you met.  Then one day, you noticed that today, HE hadn’t even crossed your mind because you are so wrapped up in the world, that without realizing it you have walked away.  Were you ever truly transformed by His LOVE & GRACE?  Examine your life and see what has actually changed since you became a Christian.  Are you no longer intentional when it comes to your walk with Jesus? 

  

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 (HCSB)   Everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, certain that God is appealing through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.”

Once the Gospel enters into us…and we are born again, we are changed!  We are no longer representatives or ambassadors of this world…we are ambassadors to the Kingdom of God.  Everything we think, do or say is for HIS Glory!  We have died to our old self and are now living for HIM!  When we become HIS, we put on Christ!  We become a light in the dark world.          1. The way we live will make a difference to believers and unbelievers alike.  2. Don’t allow the unbelievers to drag you into the mire, remember in Matthew 26, when Jesus was before the powers that be, he held his tongue.  Don’t allow unbelievers to accuse you by the way you live your life 1 Peter 2:12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that in a case where they speak against you as those who do what is evil, they will, by observing your good works, glorify God on the day of visitation. 3. Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek to those who attack us…in Matthew 5:38-40 “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.39 But I tell you, don’t resistan evildoer. On the contrary, if anyone slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 As for the one who wants to sue you and take away your shirt,let him have your coat as well. 4. Spend time studying as in Psalm 1:2-3 Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in seasonand whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 5. Purity is center stage in all things in your life Philippians 4:8 Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things. 

Don’t You Know You’re the Temple of God?

A born again Christian is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit !

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Believe it when I tell you that the entire Bible, from cover to cover, is the WORD of God! Being Born Again is the most important message in the Bible for mankind and the focus of the New Testament…it’s the only way to receive eternal life and spend eternity in the Kingdom of God with Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew translation).

Some may think that they’re born again because they go to church on Sunday, their covering is religion, but most important is their covering the blood of Christ? Outwardly, they have conformed to the standards of the church, but inwardly, they haven’t conformed to the standards of God. This is why it is good to know that YOU are the Temple of God, because when you are truly born again, the spirit enters in and you will be forever changed. You will recognize the change because it’s a heart change…YOU WILL KNOW! It’s also a mind change.

I’m going to present some of the verses of Scripture to you in both the King James Version of the Bible and also the easier to understand Holman Christian Standard Bible. For those of you who are just beginning your study of Scripture, I pray this will be of help to you.

I Corinthians 3:16-17

(KJV) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 

(HCSB )Don’t you yourselves know that you are God’s sanctuary and that the Spirit of God lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s sanctuary, God will destroy him; for God’s sanctuary is holy, and that is what you are.

I Corinthians 6:19:

(KJV) What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

(HCSB) Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,

II Corinthians 6:16: 

(KJV)And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

(HCSB) And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God, as God said: I will dwell among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.

The Bible tells us that when we are born again, we are born of the Spirit.

These are the WORDS of Jesus talking about the Holy Spirit. If we listen to our gift of the Spirit, we will know and understand what God has in mind for us. In Matthew 24:4-5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” Jesus is talking to us about the end times in this statement, so if we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we won’t be deceived! Jesus emphasizes in Matthew 24:11 and Matthew 24:24 that there will be those who are trying to lead us astray! Be aware, that we have everything we need in Scripture to keep us on His righteous path.

These following verses show us that when we are born again, God’s Spirit – His Holy Spirit, dwells inside of us, therefore making us the Temple of God.

John 3:3-6: 

(KJV) Jesus answered and said unto him, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

(HCSB) Jesus replied, “I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” “But how can anyone be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked Him. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time and be born?” Jesus answered, “I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

John 16:13-14:

(KJV) “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

(HCSB) “When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak whatever He hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”

This baptism of the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean that God will remove your “free will” from you and that you’ll never make a bad choice again as long as you live, but learn to be quick to repent (turn away from sin and turn to God) when you realize that you’ve gone astray. 2 Peter 2:15 They have gone astray by abandoning the straight path and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness. This is from Psalm 140:4 Protect me, Lord, from the clutches of the wicked. Keep me safe from violent men who plan to make me stumble. This Psalm is short and gets right to the heart of the matter…it would be good to pray this in Jesus’s name whenever we feel weak. Although the Holy Spirit now lives in you, you may still struggle to keep away from the vices that kept you in sin before you became a Christian. Paul talks about the thorn in his side. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9: especially because of the extraordinary revelations. Therefore, so that I would not exalt myself, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.

You will be lovingly led by the Holy Spirit, but you must want to follow and you must choose to follow. Obviously this will require you to step away from the world as the world will also give you choices and more than likely these are not choices that will enhance your walk with God. If you follow the world instead of the Spirit, you are “quenching” the Spirit. To QUENCH the Holy Spirit is to resist: to fight or struggle against, and in doing so, you may cool or put out the Spirit until you can no longer hear instruction. Matthew 3:11: John the Baptist tells us: “I baptize you with water for repentance, but the One who is coming after me is more powerful than I. I am not worthy to remove His sandals. He Himself will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. In 1 Thessalonians 5:19 , Paul tells the church, “Do not QUENCH the Spirit.” Quenching the Spirit is what happens when we don’t listen to the Spirit, when we do what we know is wrong following our own worldly desires.  (visit this website for definition: https://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/quench.html )

In Ephesians 4:30-32: Paul tells the church, “And don’t GREIVE God’s Holy Spirit. You were sealed by Him for the day of redemption. 31 All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”  

What do you think of when you think about grief? Do you usually associate with death or loss? Is it a time of overwhelming sadness? The usage of the word GREIVE in this instance is a noun: which is synonymous with PAIN! (visit this website for definition:https://av1611.com/kjbp/kjv-dictionary/grief.html ) Why would we want to cause our Father in Heaven this kind of grief? According to Scripture God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us grow, to learn about Him to recognize His voice. We all must learn to listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to us. Please read my blog entitled “My Sheep Hear My Voice” https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/listening/

Once we’ve been born again we have the blood of Jesus covering us and Satan can no longer touch us…but we also have retained “free will” and we can slowly but surely go astray and back to our old patterns and ways of life that can draw us back into sin.

We must not sleepwalk…we must stay vigilant and we must WALK AWAY from the WORLD!!!

Are You Ready to Meet God?

He makes it so easy…why do we resist?

Revelation 3:20 Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.

Take action right now by responding to His call! Answer his knock and repent of your sins and turn away from sin and turn to God! Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew). Just come as you are and HE will change you! His blood shed on the cross will cover you with His Righteousness. He will set you free! You’ll be free from eternal damnation and free to bask in the gift of eternal life with Him.

Isaiah 1:18 “Come, let us discuss this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.

Are You Sleeping?

Revelation 16:15 “Look, I am coming like a thief. The one who is alert and remains clothed so that he may not go around naked and people see his shame is blessed.”

If you’ve been thinking that you’ll change your ways and give up your sin tomorrow…think again…today is the day! It may be the last day of your life; more than 150,00o people die everyday. Don’t wait until it’s too late! At some point very soon…and possibly it’s today…YOU need to decide that the world no longer entices you! You need to decide that your love of Jesus and your desire for salvation means more to you than anything else in your life and more than anything else in this world! You need to walk away from the world and give your life fully to the Lord as you allow Him to do the work to mold you into the image of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 22:12 “Look! I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me to repay each person according to what he has done.

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will reward each according to what he has done.

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Matthew 24:36 “Now concerning that day and hour no one knows—neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son—except the Father only.

If we just go on living day to day – existing in this world…the same old routine, the same old habits, the same old rituals, we become complacent and deadened. We will find ourselves messed up in all sorts of preoccupations that we shouldn’t be entangled with. We’ve become so totally absorbed into the monotonous day to day of this world that we live in. When we seek something to take us away from the ordinary, it’s very seldom our Father in Heaven that we turn to. Instead we turn to the fleeting pleasures of this life…we turn to the world. Whether it’s movies, sports, music, social media, books and magazines, partying and playing: these are generally our first choice. I’d be writing all day if I listed all the things that distract us from our families and most importantly distract us from our walk with Jesus. The very last thing on most people’s minds is to look to Jesus Christ the Messiah for fulfillment. Most people don’t have a clue about the peace and joy that HE gives so freely. Instead we look to the world for that next thrill! I like to say: Take the “L” out of world and you have WORD! The WORD of God is calling us ALL!

Proverbs 27:1 Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring.

James 4:13-14 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” 14 You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

How many of us spend our week killing time so that we can begin to live on the weekend? TGIF…I’ve heard that saying for nearly 30 years…and don’t forget about Hump Day…YAY…It’s the middle of the week! Do you get through your day just so that you can get to tomorrow or the weekend? BE THANKFUL for today and everyday and make the most of it while you can. Seek Heavenly Father in everything you do and do it for HIS Glory! Slow down and spend time with Him reading His Word. Spend time with your loved ones letting them know how much they mean to you! For those who think that there’s not enough time in there lives, they should consider the fact that we ALL have the same amount of time (1,440 minutes in a day) and it’s not about making time to appreciate your life, it’s about making the “MOST” of the time that you’ve been given and every minute wasted is a minute that you will never get back!

What I’m trying to say is forget about yesterday…it’s dead and gone. Right NOW…this moment in time should be your focus. You can’t change yesterday…you can only learn from your accomplishments or your mistakes. If you’ve hurt someone in the process of “the living and learning of your life”, sincerely apologize to that person and make a new beginning for both of you…start the process of healing and forgiveness. Romans 12:18 If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. 2 Timothy 2:23 But reject foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they breed quarrels. Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.

Stop the madness of accumulation of “Things”! Stop the madness of desiring wealth…neither of these unquenchable desires pave the road to God! The time we spend thinking about the worldly things we desire will eat up all of our time, energy, money and resources. The accumulation of things brings us to “worry” about those things. After awhile the “thing” isn’t what we want anymore, so now we need to replace that thing with something different.

Matthew 6:31-34 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The goal of many of us to put some money in the bank for a rainy day turns into an obsession of how you can make your money grow…but let’s not touch it…let’s keep piling it up because, it’s just so comfortable to know that you have plenty of greenbacks. When our focus becomes all about acquiring a lot of money, think of if this way….Satan has just become the highest bidder and has won your life. Do you want to see Jesus outbid for your Salvation because of your greed? Some people actually think that having money will make them “somebody”! A sort of notoriety and a false sense of worth goes with a big bank account. Jesus gave us many parables in the Gospel and 16 out of 38 have to do with money and possessions.

Luke 12:14-21 “Friend,” He said to him, “who appointed Me a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 He then told them, “Watch out and be on guard against all greed because one’s life is not in the abundance of his possessions.”

16 Then He told them a parable: “A rich man’s land was very productive. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What should I do, since I don’t have anywhere to store my crops? 18 I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there. 19 Then I’ll say to myself, “You have many goods stored up for many years. Take it easy; eat, drink, and enjoy yourself.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is demanded of you. And the things you have prepared—whose will they be?’

21 “That’s how it is with the one who stores up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

My point is…beware of what you put your hopes and faith in…surely not possessions or a fat bank account or the stock market! Here’s the parable of the seed that is cast among thorns: Mark 4:19 but the worries of this age, the seduction of wealth, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

WAKE-UP!

Luke 17:26-30 “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man: 27 People went on eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: People went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building. 29 But on the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

My Prayer Song

I was inspired to write this song in celebration of the Birth of Christ.

I play it on my guitar, so if anyone is interested in the melody, just message me… I led the congregation in singing it at the church that I attend and they found the melody fairly easy to follow. Blessings In Christ

My Prayer

C                            Em

Heavenly Father hear our prayer

F                         Em

Create in us a heart that cares

F                                     G7                        C        G7

A heart that serves, a heart that truly loves.

C                            Em

In this world we are so blessed

          F                               Em

Thru love and grace we pass your test

      F                                    G7                       C        G7

You sent the earth Your love from up above.

C                                G

Our trust in You, it will endure

Am                                 Em

Because Your love is kind and pure

F                                    G                           C  G7

You fought our fight and Your Glory won

        C                                     G

You showed us you’re the God of Love

Am                                 Em

We’re the ones your thinking of

F                                          G                        C  G7

You sent to earth Your Light, your only Son

C                                           Em

Your Promise kept our hopes alive,

F                                       Em

We knew your son when He arrived,

F                               G7                                 C       G7

Our lips sing your praise, our hearts do sigh

C                                Em

The star it came to light the skies

          F                         Em

Our Savior came, to light our lives

      F                               G7                      C    G7

 “Believe in Him” will be our lifelong cry 

C                              G

Today we have the Hope of Life

Am                                    Em

We know there is an end of strife

F                                          G                                C  G7

The Prince of Peace will heal a world that’s torn

        C                                     G

The Angles sang their song of Joy

Am                                 Em

As Mary held her baby boy

F                                          G                  C  G7

The King of Kings, the Son of God is born

Hear My Prayer

This is my prayer for this shaken and confused world…

PLEASE Heavenly Father I pray that people will be drawn to the Love and Peace of Jesus Christ as the only Hope for Humanity. Be kind to one another with compassion and honestly care for one another…May their hearts and minds look to God for answers and not to man.

In Jesus’s Name I pray AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!

“Knowing God” and “Obeying the Gospel” Pt. 2

Obeying the Gospel

2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

GRACE is the unmerited favor of GOD! HIS GIFT to those who commit their lives to HIS WILL! The only way we can receive this gift is when we LOVE JESUS and Believe in Him. We can’t earn it! We can’t work for it! That includes our keeping of the 10 Commandments that was given to Moses by GOD…because IT’s IMPOSSIBLE for us to Keep THEM…we are sinful by nature Psalms 51:5 Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me. Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned. If we didn’t require the blood of Jesus to cover us, HE wouldn’t have needed to die on the cross for us.

When we’ve been born again and the HOLY SPIRIT enters in and is alive in us we must stay in non-stop communication with God, asking HIS forgiveness and asking for HIS strength and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us and work within us. Keep in mind though that His 10 Commandments are our template for morality. We have to strive to give up everything that Heavenly Father requires of us to give up in order to model ourselves after HIS Son.

Romans 8:29 For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers.

We need to recognize how we weak we are and that we NEED GOD and that without HIM, we are powerless! It’s at this moment that we, like Christ in prayer to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, should be sweating blood! Jesus begged God with every fiber of His being for God to take the cup from Him, but if it was HIS WILL, He needed the strength to face the battle ahead. What could ever make us think that we can face anything in this world without falling to our knees in prayer. Romans 7:18 For I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my flesh. For the desire to do what is good is with me, but there is no ability to do it. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit came to live in us, and because of the Spirit our hearts and mind have the Law of God written on our hearts and in our minds. Romans 2: 14-15 So, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, instinctively do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts will either accuse or excuse them 16 on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.

OKAY! Now that we’re on the same page, I’m going to talk to you about understanding and living by the 10 Commandments of GOD! Don’t think that I’m talking to you about works or earning God’s favor…once again…I reiterate…if that’s how anyone believes that we can receive His gift of eternal life then that’s a sad mistake.

1 John 3:4 Everyone who commits sin also breaks the law; sin is the breaking of law.

The Gospel is the Good News of what Jesus Christ did on the cross for us sinners. Without His sacrifice, we’d be lost. 1 John 3:21-24 Dear friends, if our conscience doesn’t condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. 23 Now this is His command: that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another as He commanded us. 24 The one who keeps His commands remains in Him, and He in him. And the way we know that He remains in us is from the Spirit He has given us.

Now you’re going to say: Oh My…doesn’t OBEY…sound like legalism? However, it isn’t legalism, Jesus (Yeshua) in John 14:15 tells us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments! I believe that the natural response to knowing God and loving God is our desire to obey and in doing so, we bring Glory to God in our obedience.

Obedience – In simple terms, obedience is compliance with an order, request, law or submission to another’s authority. Jesus respected God’s authority. Philippians 2:8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. REMEMBER!!! Obedience will not gain you Salvation! The point is we are expected to obey. When the prophet Samuel admonished King Saul. 1 Samuel 15:22 Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice,to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.

I find it quite discomfiting when a Christian tells me that the “LAW” of God was nailed upon the cross, therefore it’s no longer applicable to us.  Don’t get me wrong…I totally comprehend that because Jesus died because of my sins and the sins of the world, that if we believe and have faith in him and “obey” him, we will be given the crown of eternal life at his 2nd coming.

I do know that according to the Old Testament, the “LAW” of God was written by the finger of God. This is not to be confused with the hundreds of ceremonial laws that were told to Moses for him to write down as well as the laws concerning unclean foods.  There is a distinct difference.  The “10 Commandments” were placed in God’s Holy Ark.  If you read Rev 11:19 (HCSB) God’s sanctuary in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant appeared in His sanctuary. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings of thunder, an earthquake, and severe hail.

My question is…how does belief and faith in Jesus negate God’s law? If you study the New Testament, you’ll see that Jesus gave us the “LAW” all over again, but in most cases, more specific and easier to comprehend.  Jesus says in Matthew 5:17-19 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (my personal thought: I don’t believe He means to abolish the law ~ read the next verse carefully) 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

When Jesus was approached by the young rich man, when asked how He could get to Heaven and have eternal life? Jesus reiterated the law to him:

Mark 10:17 As He was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call Me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good but One—God. 19 You know the commandments:

Do not murder;
do not commit adultery;
do not steal;
do not bear false witness;
do not defraud;
honor your father and mother.

When Jesus told him to go and sell all of His possessions an give the money to the poor, He went away saddened…was this sadness because even though, he’d kept the other commandments mentioned, maybe this command dealt with Idolatry? That the young man cared more for his possessions than he cared for eternal life with God? Or was he going away saddened because it hadn’t occurred to him to sell his goods for the “love of his fellowman”?

When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, He answered Matthew 22:36-39 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.

These two Great commandments encompass the entire LAW of God!

As Christians, don’t we believe that Jesus is God? He has all the same attributes as God (see part 1 of this article: https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/13/knowing-god-and-obeying-the-gospel-pt-1/).  He’s Immutable (unchanging), Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Love, Truth, Holiness, Eternal, Compassionate, Kind, I could go on and on…but I’ll continue His attributes in another post.  

Woefully, in today’s Christianity, we have been taught that the 10 commandments have been nailed to the cross. However, it’s “OUR SIN” that was nailed to the cross. 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. When we believe in HIM as the Son of God (fully God and fully man) and that God sent Him to us to be born of the Virgin Mary and that HE died on the cross for our sins, rose from the grave, ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God and that He’ll come again someday to judge us ALL! This is our Salvation!

As hard as I look, I can’t find anyplace in the Bible (the OLD Testament or the NEW Testament) that says God has changed His mind about sin. Before Man was created, because He’s omniscient (ALL KNOWING) He and His Son came up with a plan to save us from our sins, however, that doesn’t mean that sinning is okay with Him.

Romans 3:31 Do we then cancel the law through faith? Absolutely not! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Romans 6:1-2 What should we say then? Should we continue in sin so that grace may multiply? Absolutely not! How can we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Absolutely not!

The Apostle Paul tells us of his struggle with sin so if sin is of no importance why would He have said anything at all? It would have been a mute subject. Romans 7:7-12 What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet. And sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the law sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life 10 and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. 13 Therefore, did what is good cause my death? Absolutely not! On the contrary, sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment, sin might become sinful beyond measure.

Does this sound like the 10 Commandments have been nailed to the cross? I don’t see it that way…we NEED the 10 Commandments that God wrote with His own finger that tells us what is GOOD for us ~ in order for us to recognize what’s not Good for us. Why would we want them to be nailed to the cross? According to Paul, if we don’t know the 10 Commandments we don’t know sin.

This next example is of Jesus saving the woman who’s going to be stoned for being a prostitute:

John 8:5-11 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?” They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger. When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.” Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground. When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center. 10 When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

I personally believe that Jesus meant exactly what He said: “Go and Sin NO MORE!”

James 1:14-15 But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. 15 Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. We need to recognize sin in our lives and be in a constant state of repenting (turning away from sin and towards God). We also need to be in a constant state of prayer so we can build a bridge between us and Heavenly Father through His Son. In previous posts, I’ve talked about taking up your cross…walking away from this world of sin! https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/03/23/take-up-your-cross/

Collosians 3: 2-7 Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God. When the Messiah, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them.

When the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we are guided away from sin and when we ask for it, the Holy spirit instills us with God’s wisdom and revelation of what the word is telling us! The WORD is telling us to leave the world! To turn to God in every aspect of our lives…

As children of God and brothers and sisters In Christ..sharing the Gospel isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command:

Matthew 28:19-20 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:1-17 Then God spoke all these words:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
Do not have other gods besides Me.
Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands.
Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy: You are to labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. 11 For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.
12 Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 Do not murder.
14 Do not commit adultery.
15 Do not steal.
16 Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Friday – Sunday Adds up to 3 days & 3 nights?

Jesus ~ Amazing Grace!

I remember when I was much younger… when I first attempted the math between Good Friday and Sunday morning and tried to make it add up to 3 days and 3 nights and no matter how I counted the minutes and hours it wouldn’t add up, I was sad that I couldn’t make the math work. It wasn’t a faith thing or a matter of Salvation…it was a “math thing” because I knew that God wouldn’t say anything that wasn’t “exactly” true and Scripture says in Matthew 12:40 (HCSB) For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish (whale) three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. God doesn’t make mistakes, however, you can depend on man to make mistakes. Believe me, I include myself in that statement…but I try hard to gather…

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“Knowing God” and “Obeying the Gospel” Pt. 1

KNOWING GOD

2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 It is a clear evidence of God’s righteous judgment that you will be counted worthy of God’s kingdom, for which you also are suffering, since it is righteous for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to reward with rest you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful angels, taking vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.

You may say…of course, I know God! Or do you? Do you know the definition of what it is to know someone? It means you’ve met them face-to-face at some point in your life. The number (and length, quality, variety) of times/places that you’ve met in person affects how “well” you know them. How “well” you know God depends on how much time you spend in prayer (face to face) How much time you spend reading HIS WORD (the Bible). How much time you spend with fellow Christians sharing your GOD moments and testimonies. You will soon realize that the more you get to know God, the more “awe and reverence” you have for Him. For me… this pilgrimage has led me to want to “obey” Him in every aspect of my life.

Now here’s a couple more questions: Who is God and what is He like? We’ll start by addressing the attributes of God which you will find when you study your Bible. This is my list so far with a little scripture to back up the attribute.

God is HOLY, HOLY, HOLY immediately comes to my mind. The Merriam-Webster dictionary: Definition of holy. 1 : exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness. I’m not sure that this definition actually encompasses “exactly” what Holy is, but for the sake of our limited human understanding, we’ll accept the definition. Here are some Scriptures that encompass “HOLY” Genesis 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation. Revelations 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings; they were covered with eyes around and inside. Day and night they never stop, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God, the Almighty, who was, who is, and who is coming. Moses removed his sandals because He was on Holy Ground.

GOD IS RIGHTEOUS: Morally correct behavior. Ethical Conduct. Just and fair! Leviticus 19:36 You are to have honest balances, honest weights, an honest dry measure, and an honest liquid measure; I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Revelation 15:3 They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb: Great and awe-inspiring are Your works, Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are Your ways, King of the Nations.

God is Glorious: Brightness! Revelation 21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. Respect, Honor and Majesty are the Definition of the Hebrew word kavod (Glory).

God is Gracious and Loving: Kind and Feeling! Psalm 86:15 But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth.

God is Faithful: True Blue! Loyal! Psalm 52:8 But I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I trust in God’s faithful love forever and ever.

GOD IS TRUSTWORTHY: He deserves our trust because He is reliable. Numbers 23:19 God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill? Psalm 9:10 Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, Yahweh.

God is Unchanging: He’s dependable! 2 Corinthians 1:18 (KJV) But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

God is Omnipotent: ALL Powerful! Jude 1:25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.

God is Omniscient: All-Knowing! Isaiah 66:18 “Knowing their works and their thoughts, I have come to gather all nations and languages; they will come and see My glory.

God is Omnipresent: He’s everywhere! Psalm 139 7-10 Where can I go to escape Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, You are there. If I live at the eastern horizon or settle at the western limits, 10 even there Your hand will lead me;

God is Infinite: The beginning and the end! Revelation 1:8 I am the Alpha and the Omega, saith the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

God is Wise: Good Judgement! Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, observing the wicked and the good.

God is Just and Merciful: Morally Right and Fair! Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God. All who wait patiently for Him are happy.

I’m quite certain that these attributes are just the beginning of who God is…I pray that they’re the beginning of you wanting to get to know HIM better!

Thank You God for Resurrection Day!

John 3:16, 17, 18 “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God. 19 “This, then, is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil.

WOW!!! God must love us beyond anything that we can imagine! Jesus loved us enough to die for us and to give us the Holy Spirit to guide us!

When the Holy Spirit speaks to me I listen…and HE speaks louder and clearer everyday in my walk with Jesus. Every moment I spend with Him in Bible study and prayer makes me want to spend more time with Him…I want to please Him in every aspect of my life. Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When you get a message from Him, it’s the same message that He gave Moses when He went up to Mt. Sinai, and it was the same message given when He was leading the Israelites through the desert for 4o years. The same message when He told Joshua in reference to the heathen tribes in the promise land…wipe them from the land. The same message that we received through the prophets. NOTHING has changed, He sure hasn’t! So why would we think that as His followers, we can play games with his rules? Have we forgotten that part of being a follower of Jesus is not only to repent, but to obey? To bring Him GLORY!

What I’m addressing is our worldly human nature that desires for us to involve ourselves in pagan traditions in the name of Jesus, Yeshua, Immanuel, Beloved Son of God, Good Shepherd, Messiah, Lamb of God, Redeemer – so many beautiful names and titles for the one God Loved and gave to us. Why would we entangle Him with myths, pagan rituals and man made customs? Isn’t there enough to celebrate just in the fact that HE loved us enough to suffer and die for us on the cross; to take our filthy sins upon himself?

Okay…Here it comes!

I do my “very best” to stay away from saying Happy Easter (although until I was led by the Spirit, I will admit that I too was guilty)…now just writing it makes me cringe! Do you really know what this pagan ritual that we’ve tied to the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus is about?

1. The name Easter (Eostre -the Teutonic goddess of fertility and spring ) Babylonians: the rabbit was a symbol associated with Eostre, representing the beginning of Springtime. Then there’s Ostara and Ishtar… names of other goddesses celebrated in the same fashion as Eostre.

2. The eggs (“The egg as a symbol of fertility and of renewed life goes back to the ancient Egyptians (the egg represented the sun) and Persians), the egg represents the hatching of the Venus Ishtar, who fell from heaven to the Euphrates. Likewise, the egg has come to represent Spring, fertility and renewal.

3. The rabbit that lays eggs…that in itself is sickening! In Germanic mythology, it is said that Ostara healed a wounded bird she found in the woods by changing it into a hare. Still partially a bird, the hare showed its gratitude to the goddess by laying eggs as gifts.

We’ve actually taken these pagan rituals and beliefs and incorporated them into the Resurrection of Jesus. Think about it. Can you really justify any of it?

What have these things to do with Christ? What and why have we done this… to turn the most special gift God has given us – eternal life- into a celebration filled with pagan ritual that celebrated a variety of goddesses in different cultures? These cultures were in constant conflict with God all through the Old Testament and were constantly leading His people astray. Are they still leading us astray today? Do you really believe God doesn’t care? God doesn’t change! Deuteronomy 12:2-4 Destroy completely all the places where the nations that you are driving out worship their gods—on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every green tree. Tear down their altars, smash their sacred pillars, burn up their Asherah poles, cut down the carved images of their gods, and wipe out their names from every place. Don’t worship the Lord your God this way.

It wasn’t until 325 AD nearly 300 years after the crucifixion that Emperor Constantine convened a meeting of Christian leaders to resolve important disputes at the Council of Nicaea. Since the church believed that the resurrection took place on a Sunday, the Council determined that Easter should always fall on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the March equinox.

Deuteronomy 12:30 be careful not to be ensnared by their ways after they have been destroyed before you. Do not inquire about their gods, asking, ‘How did these nations worship their gods? I’ll also do the same.’

Don’t take my word for it…spend a little time and investigate this for yourself and then justify it for yourself. The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 2:12 (KJV) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Friday – Sunday Adds up to 3 days & 3 nights?

I remember when I was much younger… when I first attempted the math between Good Friday and Sunday morning and tried to make it add up to 3 days and 3 nights and no matter how I counted the minutes and hours it wouldn’t add up. I was discouraged that I couldn’t make the math work.  It wasn’t a faith thing or a matter of Salvation…it was a “math thing” because I knew that God wouldn’t say anything that wasn’t “exactly” true and Scripture says in Matthew 12:40 (HCSB) For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish (whale) three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.  God doesn’t make mistakes, however, you can depend on man to make mistakes. Believe me when I say that I include myself in that statement…but I try extra hard to gather the facts.  At any rate, time passed by and the question drifted to the back of my mind.

Not too long ago, I was reading a verse in the Bible that I’d read many times before and it had never jumped out at me like it did that day – I believe a question that I’d had for many years that the answer was revealed to me!  Now I don’t believe this answer has anything to do with my or anyone else’s Salvation, however, with the incorrect answer, others can decide that the scriptures aren’t truth, therefore saying that they don’t believe that God exists or that He’s a liar…both statements that actually make me physically sick when I hear them spoken.   Once again for me it was another confirmation that if we believe and study hard and long enough the whole while praying for the Holy Spirit to guide us, the answers will come to us when we’re ready. 

1 Corinthians 6:19 Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, The Bible tells us that we are the Temple of God and until the spirit fills us, we are an empty vessel and as you learn scripture and spend time with God and drink of the Living Water (Jesus), you become filled with the Spirit.  Ephesians 1:17 The prayer of Paul: “The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him”.  There is no way of knowing God and His eternal will except through revelation. We also know that Wisdom is only from God, so when we listen, we are led to truths.  Colossians 1:9-10 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.

The Scripture that got my attention is John 19:31  The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 

I had never given the words in parenthesis the attention that they needed, I’d actually dismissed is as a descriptive thought.  It suddenly registered with me, that this was not the usual 7th day Sabbath that I’d grown up learning about.  This was a high Sabbath (a Sabbath that was above the usual – special).   So I began a study of the Holy Day Feasts and learned that there are 7 High Sabbaths.  One after each Holy Day Feast and since Passover is one of these feasts, it only follows that the day after Passover is followed by the High Sabbath.  Now keep in mind too, that like all the other days and the Sabbaths of Israel, their day starts at Sunset and ends at Sunset. 

If you have never studied the Feasts that God ordained, it’s such an interesting study.  When I realized that Jesus kept all of the Feasts, including Hanukah, it made me want to learn more. Then when I realized the Feasts were a picture of what’s to come, the study became more interesting.