What does God Really Want?

Keep your eyes on Jesus…everything else is fleeting…

It only took Peter a split second to begin sinking when he took his eyes off of Jesus…

Matthew 14:25-30 (KJV)

And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.

26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.

28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.

29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.

30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

The following Scriptures are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

God doesn’t just want to exist in us…He wants to live in us!  He designed us for His Glory!   This is why in the beginning He created us and why He died for us in the form of Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew).  When He died for us, He sent His Spirit to dwell in those who believe He is the Son of God and who are obedient to God. 

Please read the following blogs in regards to obedience. https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/13/knowing-god-and-obeying-the-gospel-pt-1/ and https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/19/knowing-god-and-obeying-the-gospel-pt-2/

1 Corinthians 14:15 So it is written: The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving Spirit. When we are born again, the Holy Spirit of God comes to live in us and we’re given the free gift of eternal life. John3:3-6 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 3:16 “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.

John14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commands.

Jesus asked in Luke 6:46 “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say?”  Then He follows up with the parable of two foundations: in Luke 6:47-49 I will show you what someone is like who comes to Me, hears My words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great!”

Is your foundation on sinking sand?  Matthew 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

When we choose Jesus as our Savior, and the more we want and allow Christ to fill us day by day, we become like Him. I chose the word allow, because we can quench the Holy Spirit by our thoughts, words and actions. God is fair and man has been given free will to make our choices in this world. We can either choose to build a solid foundation on the WORD (John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.) or we can build our foundation on the WORLD of sinking sand!

A Warning about the World

1 John 2:15-18 Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.

The more our words, actions, and countenance express Him (Jesus) the more we become pleasing to God. 2 Corinthians 2:15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.

When He lives in us and through us ALL of our virtues will be a reflection of Christ; Our love and our compassion, our kindness and forbearance will be His because we can have none of these qualities without Him.  Jesus by nature is loving, forgiving, kind, patient, compassionate, humble & gentle (Matthew 11:29), self-controlled, just and merciful.

This is what God really wants!

Keep Your Eyes on God!

When the world is falling apart all around you, keep your focus on God and he will hold you up!

Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Isaiah 41:10-13 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. 11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

No matter whats going on around us, God is with His children, taking care of us. When we asked His son, Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew) into our lives as our Savior, we were adopted into His family and we belong to HIM and HE wants us to trust HIM to take care of us! Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? When things go wrong in this life, we have a tendency to focus on ourselves, to allow the pain to envelope us and this inward focus takes us away from God and and our eyes away from the promise of eternity with Jesus. Do you truly trust him with everything in your life no matter how big or small? Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

We go to church on Sunday, we read our Bibles and we Pray. Yes, these are all the outward signs of being a Christian, a follower of Jesus, but what’s on the outside doesn’t mean anything to God, it’s whats on the inside, it’s what’s on your mind and in your heart that He cares about. It’s how we Love God and how we treat our fellowman. Matthew 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. When met by a task, either larger or small, do you say: “I can handle it on my own, I don’t need any help”? God wants us to ask him for His help and because he numbers the hairs on our heads, why would He think anything we need is of no importance to Him? Psalm 91:14-15 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

Keep this in mind when you experience pain and disappointment…

Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Remember when Jonah was swallowed by the whale, he was desolate until he focused on the Lord. Jonah 2:7 When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. We’re all human, so now and then, we’ll become so wrapped up in the flesh that we’ll forget to turn to God. Sometimes we have to become like Jonah; find ourselves in a dark place and recognize that in order to see the light, we have to give it ALL to God and keep looking forward, not backwards. Yesterday is gone forever and today may be All we have, so we must make the most of it.

Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

As believers we will triumph! In the Book of Romans, Paul asks: If God is for us, who can be against us?

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Where is Your Focus? What is the END ALL – BE ALL of your life?

In the Light of Eternity…what are you striving for?

What are you choosing to chase in this life? What brass ring are you reaching out for? What are you throwing away that is more valuable than all the gold on this earth?

I’m quoting Scriptures from the King James Version of the Bible.

There’s absolutely nothing more important in this life than relationships. MOST especially your relationship with Jesus and your Father in Heaven! I’m here to tell you that following Jesus isn’t about religion…following Jesus is about relationship. Our relationship with Jesus is the only relationship that gives us all the opportunity to change our lives as well as someone else’s life for eternity. We’ve all been put on this earth by the creator…God…Our Heavenly Father to advance the Kingdom of God and that through Jesus Christ, His Son, we may all be saved and given the Crown of Life on judgement day.

Once you’ve formed your relationship with Jesus Christ then the focus of your life should be to point your fellowman to Him. If you haven’t already done it…then start today to care about your relationship with Jesus more than all others and once you know that He is where your heart is…start the process of prioritizing your life! Be generous with your time and your money and then most all of your relationship issues that you may think you have will dissolve and fade away into the past where they belong.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

It’s never too late to look back at past relationships that are broken, such as a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to for a time, possibly because of a moment of pride or disrespect. It’s never too late to say thank you to the people who have made a difference in your life. Being humble is the example that Jesus set for us in…Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly (humble) in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. What does it mean to be humble? I believe it means don’t put yourself or your desires above those of others. Jesus tells us in Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Sadly… an example of the lack of humbleness is the “ME” generation; but I’m not just talking millenials here! Every generation that I’ve known since the generation that survived the depression is standing pretty solid on the “ME” platform. I know so many men and women that have put their career ahead of family. They worked overtime to afford the new car or the big house not because it was needed by the family, but it was needed as a status symbol…another marker of success. I know of people who even put sports events ahead of family time. I’ve heard the saying, it’s TGIF, so it’s Friday night beer time, so what…I worked all week, I have the right. Then Saturday comes and we work in the house and in the yard all day and when Saturday evening comes along, we deserve a few cocktails instead of taking time that could have been spent with their children just enjoying each other. And the next thing you know they’re walking down paths that you don’t approve of and the parents are asking…what happened? I’ve heard them say: we gave them everything! Yes…they did give them everyTHING, but not what they needed…they needed a relationship with their parents who have a relationship with Jesus. I’m quite certain that most of us can look back and see these “ME” moments in people around us as well as “ME” moments within ourselves. Now if you’re the child of one of these parents, then you need to forgive, if they’re still living, you need to mend the relationship. If they’re already gone, you need to let go and forgive the past. If you’re a parent and see yourself in this description, now is the time to let your children (even grown up children) know that you’re sorry and that you want to change…in other words, you need to humble yourself to your child. Matthew 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

It’s never too late to humble yourself with others, just as Jesus came to earth and humbled himself for us. Philippians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Luke 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

In the Light of Eternity…how are you spending your time?

Psalm 90:10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

If you are allowed to live the 70 years that God says he gives us that’s 25,550 days (613,200 hours) and if you’re particularly healthy and live to 80 years that’s 29,200 days (700,800 hours). Keep in mind that you sleep approximately 1/3 of this time. So once again, I ask…how are you spending your time? Every hour you live, you’re making a withdrawal and it’s not like a bank account…you can’t deposit time back in, you can only make time withdrawals. If you haven’t thought about it before, maybe the numbers will wake you up. If you’re 30 years old, you only have 14,600 days left before you’re 70 years old.

Does this put a new perspective on the value of your time? If you don’t like what you’ve just realized, then WAKE UP and make a decision right now to change it. Think about the hours that you waste on Social Media. Think about the hours you waste texting and looking stuff up on your cell phone. Think about the hours you spend watching television shows. Think about the hours you spend reading fiction books. Think about the hours you’ve spent trying to solve a problem because you couldn’t humble yourself to ask for help. Think about the time you spend dwelling on the past. Think about the time you waste worrying about what others may think about you. Think about the time you waste trying to sort out a problem instead of giving it up to God.

Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. JUST PRAY about it asking for God’s help in the name of Jesus and then make a conscience decision to let go and give it up to God.

Now that you’ve figured out how you don’t want to spend your time, you need to decide how you do want to spend your time. I know most of you dislike the idea of it when someone says make a list…but I’m telling you that’s a good place to start. A list of things that will give you time to know God and also to bring quality moments with family into the time you have left.

Now keep in mind! When I talk 70 or 80 years, I’m talking “best case” scenario. More than 150,000 people die everyday! Do you think they woke up this morning and said today is my day to die? I don’t think so…but we need to live everyday like it’s our last…with NO regrets! Most important of all have you taken the time to repent and ask Jesus to be your Savior? https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/05/03/the-plan-of-salvation/

Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” We don’t know when He’s coming back, but we do know that we need to be ready. We need to be able to stand before him with clean hands and a pure heart. We need to take the time to prioritize HIM to number one in our lives and everyone we care about and everyone around us will recognize His love in us. https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/05/06/clean-hands-and-a-pure-heart/

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Do You LOVE & CHERISH Things instead of People?

Your answer to this question is probably the most telling of your relationship with God and humanity. If you care more about things than you do people, what are you thinking? I’m going to start out by using Scripture to show you why people are so special to God… and that God loves us in spite of our sin. He had a wonderful plan for us that we thwarted! That after all of these 1000’s of years He’s not giving up on us! God created man to be loved and things to be useful or advantageous to our existence on the planet. He didn’t create things to be loved and create man to be used. The world we live in has given license to “love” things…it’s time to reject the devil’s plan and put into action God’s plan!

John 15:12 KJV This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Human beings are created in the “IMAGE” of God!

Genesis 1: 26-27 KJV And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

In only six days God created from NOTHING this planet, the heavens and all that’s on this planet including us…and then God actually loved us enough to put “us” humanity in charge… over the dominion of the earth – over ALL of His wonderful Creation! WOW! He said in Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21 & 25 “It was GOOD!” And after God created man and looked at His creation in Genesis 1:31 He said “IT WAS VERY GOOD”! It’s not exactly clear how long Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony with God in the Garden of Eden, but we do know that before sin entered in, it was perfection beyond anything that we can imagine.

His creation is so incredible: I’m awe struck by his diversity in every aspect of it’s intricate designs. However, in this world of sin that exists today, even the most physically beautiful person is far from perfection because their insides are filled with the filth of sin. Even the most gorgeous rose is but a shadow of what it would have been in God’s Garden. Just think of how sin has caused some plants to become poisonous, some bugs to spew poison and some animals to become predators!

Humans too have become less than what God had in mind for us to be and given the choice, more often than not, we choose to hate rather than love for many reasons: the color of skin, the politics of a man, the religion of a man. Sometimes man has become so used to being angry with their fellowman that the slightest offence will cause them to flare up in anger and spew hatred. Now you might be saying to yourself…”I’m a Christian and I only have love in my heart”…and I pray that this is true, but I do know for a fact, that all you need to do is go to social media and you’ll see that proclaimed Christians aren’t exempt from outrage, anger and division. Matthew 12:25 KJV And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: Mark 3:25 KJV And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. Luke 11:17 KJV But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. So how can we as Christians take part in a heated debate that causes division, a debate about conspiracies that cause fear, debates about politics, debates about how to dress, debates about what movie or music is the best, debates that ALL involve the world! What are we thinking to be caught up in such ugly discussions? When this happens, our minds are a long ways from Jesus and the Love he professes when we allow ourselves to become involved in these sordid things of the world. I really don’t know of a single instance when anyone changed someone else’s mind, but they did possibly cause pain to another human being over something that most likely didn’t amount to a hill of beans in the scope of eternity.

Jesus makes it very clear that He and Our Father Who art in Heaven made the plan for how we are to love our fellowman. Luke 6:27-28 KJV But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Romans 13:10 KJV Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Now you might be saying but what about that person…look what he or she has done to me? I’m here to say that there’s “NO” buts about it…so don’t even go there…Jesus called us to Love God and to Love One Another. When you are born again and the Holy Spirit comes to live in you, it will lead you into love…because God’s love for humanity is so powerful that He set the standard for love. Jesus told us in John 15:13 KJV Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. So if you’re inclined to walk away from that friend or acquaintance whom you feel only needs you around as a sounding board…give them an ear and a shoulder to lean on. They’re not asking you to lay down your life in the sense of a crucifixion, but they are asking you to take a few moments of your life and give it to them.

Jesus doesn’t say that the greater love is for “things and stuff”… the evidence of the power of His Gospel is how we love one another. It’s not evidenced by how we love to do things, or love to go places, love that fancy car, love our pets, love that movie, love that particular food, love the bottom line of our bank account and investments. Jesus is telling us that a sign of our faith and our proof that we are following Him is how we demonstrate our love for mankind.

When we look at the plants and animals that exist in today’s world, we say “OH! HOW BEAUTIFUL! Can’t you just see God’s hand in it?” YES!!! We can see God’s hand in it, but we must also be aware that the beauty that we do see is tainted and that what we do see isn’t eternal! The only true realization we should have is that we as humans are created in His image and because of Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew), we have been given the chance to live eternally with Him in Glory and we’ll be able to experience creation as he originally planned it – COMPLETE PERFECTION.

Psalm 8:3-8 KJV When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

***God Loves man so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us! See John 3:16

For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

***This was the original plan for man before we fell into sin, but now it refers to the deity of Jesus, the Son of God who came to earth to save us from our sins.

Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

***Man was given dominion in the beginning and still has dominion over the earth…but sadly, because of sin, we’re in a relentless course of destruction.

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 KJV But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Matthew 5:46-48 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

***It’s obvious that because ALL of humanity is made in the Image of God that we are to uphold one another, share with one another, not only the Gospel, but the Love which he so generously poured out on humanity through the gift of His son’s life. We are to share a smile, a kind word, do a charitable deed…not for thanks, but for love. Sincerely cultivate the fruits of the Spirit!

Today, I’m going to mention a couple of things that people claim to love and in future blogs, I’ll touch on a few others…my goal is to give you food for thought.

Now let’s take a look at what that “THING” called a computer or phone has done to our capacity to LOVE one another. I can’t think of a single instance where technology has improved the LOVE quotient of the World. We need to learn to put our phones away and give undivided attention to the people around us. When we go on the internet, we must be aware that we’re all human and although we can’t actually look one another in the eye and that we may not always agree on a subject, but that we need to treat one another with love and respect…don’t dehumanize someone just because they’re sitting at a keyboard and they don’t agree with you. As a society, we’ve gotten to the point that we’ve decided that any attention, whether negative or positive is better than no attention…and sadly, a lot of people will say that they “Love” technology. What a travesty! There’s only so much information that your brain can process and only so much stimulation that will bring you anything but momentary happiness…nothing you get from the internet can actually give you love in return. It’s fleeting and impersonal.

This next subject is likely to make many of you distraught! People say that animals aren’t things…I’m here to tell you that there are people, places and things…yes animals are living things, but they are in no way people, so as a matter of the process of elimination, they are things. They can be a comfort and very enjoyable to have around and when it comes to feeding the world they are very useful and of course should be treated with gentleness and compassion, but I reiterate…they are not people! They are NOT made in the image of God! Jesus pressed the Pharisees and Scribes into a corner when he exhorted and scolded them for rescuing an animal on the Sabbath, but not caring to rescue their fellowman who was suffering on the Sabbath. That’s not to say that Jesus wasn’t okay with them rescuing their animals, he was just trying to put in to perspective that their love for man was waxing cold and their laws were man’s rules not God’s rules. I’ve heard many of you say…your pet is a member of your family and you would do anything for it; you love your pet and you’d even put it first before your fellowman…possibly even your neighbor? I’ve actually heard people say that they “love” animals more than they do people. What a sad testimony in a world that needs love of mankind more than anything else.

Fasting and Praying

The definition of fasting is to go without food for a designated period of time.  Jesus fasted 40 days and nights and we assume that it was from food and not from water as the Bible specifically states that “He hungered”.  It doesn’t say that He thirsted.  Reminds me of the woman at the well ~ He told her He was the LIVING WATER…

When we fast, we abstain from something we take pleasure in…usually food, but it can be other things too. It’s a time to take our attention off of ourselves and give it to God. A time to draw nearer to God. The examples I’m talking about in this blog are Daniel, Esther and Jesus who all fasted. Daniel for the purpose of understanding a vision and Esther to save her people. I believe that Jesus fasted to strengthen and solidify His Power.

Daniel 10:3 KJV I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled. At the end of 21 days (3 weeks) Daniel was visited by a Messenger of God. When the Jewish people who were in Persia were condemned to Death the Queen Esther fasted and prayed. Esther 4:16 KJV Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.

WE are all born for a purpose…what a wonderful realization!

Jesus was baptized by John and He went into the Judean desert and fasted for 40 days and 40 nights.  At His baptism Heavenly Father sent the Holy Spirit to Jesus in the form of a dove. And the Holy Spirit led him out into the wilderness.  The first time I read this, I remember wondering why?  Since He had the Holy Spirit…why go out into the Wilderness?  Why did the Holy Spirit direct him to do this?  After all, HE was the Son of God…what else did HE need?  I read this many times, but it wasn’t until recently that I actually realized the WHY.  During the 40 days and 40 nights, Satan tempted Jesus to use his power in ways that God didn’t intend for it to be used…instead, Jesus used prayer, fasting and the Word to defeat Satan. (Matthew 3:13-17, 4:1-11)  After 40 days and nights we see His Power Perfected…totally enabling the Holy Spirit and teaching us that when we ask him to be our Savior and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us, we can have this power too.  WOW!!!  PRAYER (Pray in the Spirit), FASTING (Shield of Faith) and JESUS the WORD (Sword of the Spirit)!  Ahhh…the Armor of God!

When the Apostles were unable to cast out a demon, Jesus cast out the demon from the possessed young man (Matthew 17:14-21).  When the Apostles asked why they couldn’t cast out the demon, Jesus told them that they needed to pray and fast to defeat this kind of demon.  From this reply, I understood that Jesus not only fasted in the desert, he must have fasted during his ministry on this earth.  I also grasped that when going up against a demon, we must be wearing the full Armor of God!

You may be asking by now, how can I fast? It sounds impossible!  First of all, I believe that no matter the results, acceptance that it’s His will, not ours and that we need to have a genuine, heartfelt reason for our prayer and fasting.  Desiring a bigger house or new car, boat, etc. are probably not good reasons for fasting.  Perhaps a loved one or even your self needs be rescued from drugs or alcohol, pornography, etc.  Perhaps, someone you know and care about is ill.  I can’t tell you why or what to fast for as that’s between you and Heavenly Father.

If you’ve never fasted before, I suggest you decide on a strategy.

1. The faith that you can fast.

2. Why are you fasting?

3. How long do you intend to fast? (1 meal? 1 day? 3 days? I don’t suggest you consider 40 days!) 

4. Unrealistic expectations, like world peace, may thwart future opportunities to fast.

5. Find a quiet place to pray and focus and thank Heavenly Father for answering your prayers. Matthew 6:6 Jesus tells us we should go into a closet and pray in secret. 

6. Jesus tells us that if we pray and fast, keep it between ourselves and the Father. If you’re married, maybe you should let your spouse know what you’re plans are and ask please don’t bring things like ice cream, Twinkies, etc. into the house until I’ve finished my fast.  In other words, this is really important to me, so PLEASE don’t make it difficult.

7. Be ready for Satan to try to thwart your fast: unexpected trip to the emergency with one of the kids or cake at a birthday party or the in-laws drop in unexpected.  You name it!  When you decide to pray and fast, Satan realizes your power.

8. Stay determined and don’t let circumstances lead you away from fasting!  Times like this is when your loyalty as a Soldier of God is tested!

My heart tells me that fasting from food is what Heavenly Father has in mind, but since to some extent, it’s a learning process, maybe some may need to start more simply.  Here are some things to pray and fast from: coffee, dessert, chocolate, social media, the news, fast food, TV and movies, video games, etc.

This is Amazing Grace!

Saved by Grace! Jesus is GRACE, our Gift from God!

Romans 5:15-17 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

ALL Scriptures come from the King James Version Bible

Jesus said Pray like this:

In Scriptures Matthew 16-20 a young rich man asked Jesus, what can I do to be saved? Jesus asked him if he’d kept the commandments of God and when he said yes, Jesus told him to sell his goods, give the money to the poor and follow Him; at this, the young man turned away sorrowfully.

Now you might be asking…why did Jesus ask the young man about God’s commandments? Was he going to judge the young man by the 10 Commandments? NO…I don’t believe so…He was showing the young man that keeping the commandments of God was just the beginning…although he might be obedient to the law, he must give up the world to follow Jesus. It was indeed, truly a matter of the heart! Did the young man love his neighbor enough to give up his riches to help them? It emphasizes that he had many possessions, so Jesus is making it apparent to us that his love of riches was his stumbling block.

Matthew 19:23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 19: 25-26 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Are we guilty of putting the Law ahead of the Gospel? Or are we guilty of putting the Gospel before the Law? Do we sometimes stir them together into a religious soup of Salvation? If this is the case, we’ve sadly distorted the purpose of the Gift of Grace! When Jesus came to earth, he showed us that the law is “designed” to prick our conscience in such a way that we recognize that we need HIM! That we need the gift that God has given us via His SON Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew). JESUS is GRACE!!! JESUS is the GIFT!!!

Now back to the Bible Scripture that I started this blog with:

Romans 5:15-17 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

The Law wasn’t given until the time of Moses in the book of Exodus, but sin had been flourishing on this earth since Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command to NOT eat of the tree in the middle of the garden or they would surely die…they didn’t believe Him when He said that they would die. When Noah built the Ark, it was because by this time (only 1,056 years after Adam) the earth was so corrupted by sin, that the only way God could cleanse it of sin was to start over…therefore he destroyed all of the earth with a flood and saved only Noah and his family. Then came the tower of Babel, built by Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah. Nimrod built it in rebellion against God. So sin was and is alive and well since the Garden of Eden and in this world we live in, sin flourishes today more than it ever has in the past!

God gave the Law (10 commandments) to Israel after Moses led them out of Egypt; they’d been in Egypt long enough that although they knew about God, they didn’t know God. The 10 Commandments were given by God out of Love so that they would have a moral compass to obey and also have a better understanding of who God is and the role that He was going to play in their lives. They’d seen the miracles of God: the 10 plagues on Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea, water from the rock and manna, but they still didn’t really know God. The 10 commandments were designed to teach them right from wrong in their relationship with Him and with their fellowman…this is why Jesus summed them up in Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Once we know Jesus, our Gift of Grace…should we now trample His law? The law is not dead…however, if Jesus is your Savior, the penalty for sin is no longer death, but the law still remains as the compass by which we understand right from wrong because we Love Him! How can we possibly say that we know Him if we don’t follow His commandments! JESUS is GOD, GOD is JESUS, JESUS is GRACE, JESUS is the GIFT of GOD. JESUS and GOD are ONE in and with GOD the HOLY SPIRIT! JESUS is the SAME Yesterday, Today and Forever! GOD never CHANGES.

Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

Now there’s probably many men and women who believe that they can buy their way into the GRACE of GOD, but what they don’t see is that the GRACE of GOD can’t be purchased! It was already bought and paid for by the blood of JESUS on the cross. You can’t ever do enough good works, or keep enough of the commandments to undermine the magnitude of what JESUS did for us sinners!

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Galatians 2:16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. “NO ONE”, but Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew) the perfect man, can or ever will be able to keep the 10 Commandments, but by giving our hearts and minds to belief in Jesus, we will be “born again” and when God the Holy Spirit comes to live in us…we will be changed. We become the Temple of God. https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/04/27/dont-you-know-youre-the-temple-of-god/

The great 20th Century Evangelist Billy Graham (November 7, 1918 – February 21, 2018) said: The Holy Spirit has all knowledge. The Bible says, “The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10). It is the Holy Spirit who teaches us and takes us deeper and deeper into God’s truth as we go along in our Christian life. We are to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, but we can grow only by the help of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is called holy. The Bible says, “Be holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). And one of the Holy Spirit’s ministries is to help make us holy. We ought to be more holy today than we were yesterday. We should always be conforming more to the image of Jesus Christ, and it is the Holy Spirit who helps us in this growing process.

Do you know the story of the thieves who were crucified on crosses next to Jesus? One thief mocked Jesus and the other thief recognized Jesus as his Savior and he believed and he confessed Jesus!

Luke 23: 39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/2020/03/24/at-the-cross-journey-to-heaven-or-hell/

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

Romans 10:9-12 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. 11 Now the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on Him will not be put to shame, 12 for there is no distinction between Jew and Greek (Gentile), since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

NOW is the TIME to call on JESUS! INVITE JESUS into your heart, mind and life and you will live with Him forever! Not because of how good you are…but simply because you are forgiven! Ask JESUS ~ YESHUA to rescue you before it’s too late!

https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/https://jesusamazinggrace.com/category/the-plan-of-salvation/

Acts 16:30-31 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

2 Thessalonian 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,

Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared,Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior;That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Invisible God? God’s Image?

The following Scripture is in the New Testament; the “WHO” and the “WORD” are in reference to Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamaschiach (Hebrew Translation). I’ll be inserting Yeshua frequently instead of Jesus…just to give you a feel for His Hebrew name.

Colossians 1:14-17 (KJV) In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: 17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist(all things are held together). John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

In the beginning, when God created the Earth and all that’s in it including “man”, the world and man were perfect because there was no sin yet. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis 1 gives us the overview of the creation process and as well as His plan to give man dominion over the His creation. Genesis 2 gives us a closer look at the creation process as well as man’s purpose to tend the Garden in Eden and for God to have someone to walk and talk with. In Genesis 3 we learn of Adam and Eve and that after eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they hid from God’s presence so that He would not see their nakedness. Presence is the existence of a person or thing in a certain place; opposed to absence. This, I believe to mean that until they had recognized sin and disobeyed God’s commandment, that they could actually see and hear Him during their walks and talks in the Garden in Eden. Genesis 3:8 says “They heard the sound” of the Lord God. Whatever form God took, it certainly allowed for the physical production of sound. I take this to mean that His walk (footsteps) were audible and that His steps made noise as He walked in the Garden. Once man had sinned, he could no longer stand in the presence of a perfect and holy God. So Adam and Eve had to leave the garden, or they would die…from study of further Scriptures, I believe that God and man could no longer occupy the same piece of ground as man’s sin made them vulnerable to death in his omnipotent omnipresence (all powerful presence).

***It seems to me that God had created an absolutely beautiful and unimaginable domain for mankind…it may have been the Garden of God’s Temple or home on Earth and He shared it with man (this comment is my thoughts – NO Scripture to back it up).

Therefore until God returned to Earth in the form of Jesus, (part man through the line of Adam, King David and then Mary) and part God, His “perfect holiness” is so “glorious” that man could not look upon Him without being destroyed.

Genesis 1:26-27 (KJV) And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the Earth.27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

If you have read your Bible, you recognize that “LET US” make man in our image refers to more than one; the Father and the Son (Jesus/Yeshua) and the Holy Spirit that moved over the deep and currently resides in “born again” Christians. Right at the beginning of scripture this is where the Trinity or Triune-God comes into being. Generally speaking, when you read in the Bible about the visions of the throne of God, the Son of Man also known as the Lamb of God is standing at the right hand of God. Once again, because of his holiness the description of God on the Throne is so glorious that the person seeing the vision cannot actually see His face, so instead describes Him using what the human minds recognizes as beautiful and precious (rare and colorful stones). Therefore, the description of God and the Temple in Heaven is completely beyond our limited imagination. Just like what is said in 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. This Scripture is in reference to the New Earth that God has prepared for us. God and Jesus will be with us again on the New Earth once sin has been completely destroyed.

As human beings, we can only identify with what man and Earth have become since sin manifested in the Garden; everything is now contaminated by sin and made filthy. As long as man chose sin, we would never be able to look on God the Father or He on us. Yeshua’s death on the cross has changed that scenario for those who believe in Him and who follow and obey Him as we are covered in His blood of Righteousness. We have been given free will by God so that we can make a choice, to either choose to follow the moral law of God or the immoral law of a world that’s been blinded by Satan. This is why there’ll be judgement in Heaven with God on the Throne and Yeshua (Jesus) as our mediator. Because Yeshua became flesh (Immanuel – God with us), he understands the poison darts that Satan throws at us on every turn. This is why in Ephesians 6:10-18 that we’re told to put on the full armor of God…without it, we cannot withstand the assault of the enemy of God, who wants to take as many with him into Hell as possible. Satan knows that he’s only been allotted a specific period of time to work his will against man.

In the following Scripture, we’re given the description of Yeshua when he returns to earth to destroy evil for good. See the reference to His name “Word of God”.

Revelation 19:12-14 (KJV) His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture (robe, garment) dipped in blood (represents His death on the Cross and the blood He shed for us): and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Have you ever seen anyone who’s really angry…have you noticed that their eyes seem to throw out sparks…Yeshua’s eyes, when He comes to fight the final battle, are flames of fire because of the fury that has built up over 6000+ years because of the destruction that Satan has done to His perfect creation of Man and the Earth.

Satan, also known as Lucifer was one of His (Yeshua’s) most excellent and perfect creations: as a covering Cherub of the Throne, he had beauty beyond what we can imagine, he had the most gorgeous singing voices, he had honor among and above all the other angels and fully one third of the angels were under his authority and this is why they followed him to earth when he was cast out of Heaven. I believe there was a point in time, when even Lucifer could have repented and asked God’s forgiveness, but it’s gone way beyond that now. This is why we’re given the description of the last days in Daniel and Revelation. By the way, Daniel and John were the only men in Scripture referenced as “Beloved” by God, so these were both men that God knew He could trust to write down exactly what he wanted us to know about what’s coming in our future.

Yeshua by nature is loving, forgiving, kind, patient, compassionate, humble & gentle (Matthew 11:29), self-controlled, just and merciful. But he also felt disappointment(Matthew 14:31), sadness (He WEPT!)(John 11:35)(Luke 19:41-44), anger (John 2:13-22)(Matthew 21:12)(Matthew 23:13,16 & 33). All of these attributes and more make up Yeshua including omniscient(all-knowing, omnipresent(everywhere), omnipotent(all-powerful), immutability(never changing) and so many more. He and His Father are alike in every way, they are of one mind and one spirit.

Yeshua’s diciples were both concerned and confused that He was going to go to Jerusalem to die, so he tried to explain it to them…

John 14:1-12 (KJV) Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

My thoughts from reading Scripture is that God is only invisible to mankind because of our sin. Looking upon him would cause us to die immediately!

Romans 3:23-26 (KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Clean Hands and a Pure Heart

Clean Hands:

James 4:8 (KJV) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!

What does it mean to be double-minded?  The definition of double minded according to the Miriam Webster Dictionary: 1 wavering in mind : undecided, vacillating a doubleminded man unstable in all his ways 2 : marked by hypocrisy : insincere.   

As you can see from the language of James in this scripture, he wasn’t talking to true believers and followers of Jesus, he was obviously talking to people who were content in their sin or people who were trying to walk on both sides of the fence; claiming to be followers of Jesus, but still hanging on to their sin and not wanting to change. Not believing that they need to change.

I’m deeply concerned in today’s world that’s where most of the churches are …they deny the value of repenting and turning away from sin and instead they “preach or tickle” the ears of their congregations with what they want to hear, therefore they’re leading them to believe that as long as they say they’re Christians, that’s all that they have to do…that they don’t need to repent and that God is going to grant them every wish or desire including wealth.

2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

In the New Testament scriptures, Timothy was an early Christian evangelist, the son of a Greek father and a Jewish mother, referred to by Paul as “my true son in the faith”. He was trying to follow the instructions given to him by Paul in regards to the church. Paul instructs in 1 Timothy 4:12 (KJV) Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. We know from the scriptures and 2 books in the New Testament that Paul wrote 2 letters to Timothy in order to hold him up in the Gospel and to give him strength with instruction and advice so he could lead the church and continue evangelizing (sharing the Gospel and planting the seeds of faith). He also warned Timothy about false teachers.

There’s only one way to clean our hands and purify our hearts and that is through our faith in Jesus! His righteousness covers all of our sins: this is the only way we can stand before our Father in Heaven. There’s nothing we can do on our own to fix us! WE are sinners and even when we repent from our sins, it becomes a daily battle that we fight against the enemy and can only be won with the help of the Holy Spirit, who keeps us from repeating our sins. REPENT is turning away from sin and truly regretting with every fiber of you heart and mind that you ever partook sin. This cannot be achieved without giving your heart, mind and hands…“YOUR ALL” to our Lord and Savior who gave us “HIS ALL” Jesus the Messiah ~ Yeshua Hamaschiach.

Keep in mind, that we should always be in a state of repentence and always asking forgiveness…as humans we can sin without intending to sin…we can sin by omission when we neglect to do what’s right and what Jesus told us to do in:

Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV)

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

3This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

We need to be recognize that when we allow the world to keep us from these two commandments, which as you see by verse 40, incorporate ALL THE LAW…we don’t have clean hands or a clean heart. WE are walking in darkness and there’s only one way out:

John 8:12 (KJV) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Psalm 24 (KJV)

The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?

He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Pure Heart:

Proverbs 20:9 (KJV)  Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Matthew 5:8 (KJV) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

I’m now going to refer you again to Scripture found in the Book of James:

James 4:8 (KJV) Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!

Sadly… double-minded is the state that we’re in because we’re human! There’s only one cure: give your mind over to the Holy Spirit so that the Spirit can lead you away from indecision and onto the path of righteousness. You can’t have a relationship with Jesus and also have a relationship with sin, so you must fully surrender yourself to Him by walking away from whatever it is that is keeping you in sin. Keep in mind that even Jesus was tempted by Satan, although he never gave in, we must remember that we cannot get through a day without Satan trying to pull us into darkness! This is why we need to be “born again”, so the Holy Spirit can guide us away from the darkness and keep us in the “LIGHT”. Paul tells us in Galations 5:16-18 (KJV) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

I can hear some of you right now say: SEE!!! We’re not under the LAW!!! YES, we are! This is why we need to ask for forgiveness when we do inadvertently sin! We cannot continue in SIN and if we allow the Holy Spirit to Guide us we won’t continue in SIN, therefore when we’re not sinning and we’re giving our minds to Jesus, then the LAW has no power over us and it becomes a mirror for us to examine ourselves!! Everytime we sin willingly, we are the same as slapping Jesus in the face and saying that his death on the cross means nothing to us! As said many times in the New Testament: GOD FORBID!

When we decide to follow Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, we becoming pleasing to God because we’re covered by the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Savior…therefore, our hands become clean and our hearts become pure. We will find peace unlike anything that we’ve ever known. There will be an end to double-mindedness because we’ll be sharing in the LOVE and PEACE of Christ.

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!!!

“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.