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 Hamashiach (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.

“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!

For HIS Glory!

When will YOU give God His Glory? Isn’t now the time to start? What are you waiting for? There’s a day that will come when it will be too late!

Ephesians 1:4-6 For He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted through Jesus Christ for Himself, according to His favor and will, to the praise of His glorious grace that He favored us with in the Beloved.

God created us for His Glory! Isaiah 43:6-7 I will say to the north: Give them up! and to the south: Do not hold them back! Bring My sons from far away, and My daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone called by My name and created for My glory. I have formed him; indeed, I have made him.”

When Jesus walked on this earth, everything He did was for the Glory of HIS FATHER in Heaven. He, the King, became a humble servant, He healed people, He prayed continually, He raised people from the dead, He sacrificed Himself to save us . When we accept Jesus as our Savior (Believe, Repent and Obey), God becomes our Father in Heaven too. We become brothers and sisters in Christ and the adopted children of God!

John 7:18 18 The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. This verse is in reference to Jesus, but it applies to ALL of us! When the Holy Spirit comes to reside in us, we are led to live our lives for God and to bring HIM glory in everything we touch, think, do, and experience. We give Him Glory by our Faith, when we Trust in Him, when we Pray to Him, when we Love others, when we Forgive others, when we Thank Him, when we make a Difference in the lives of those around us and share HIS WORD. Jesus tells us in John 15:8 My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples. “As the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you. Remain in My love.

We have to model our lives to the image of Jesus, otherwise God is too HOLY to recognize our existence…Revelation 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.

In Revelations, Jesus spews out the lukewarm church Revelation 3:14-16 14 “Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. WE the people are the church! Not a building! When you realize that you’ve sinned against God…do you WEEP? Does your body rack from pain and make you shudder in the realization that you took Glory from God instead of giving HIM Glory? To think that when we sin, we actually cause God to gag and vomit us out! God demands us to give him our All and when we do this, we are giving Him Glory! This is why Jesus stands between us and God as our mediator…there’s nothing we can say or do to save ourselves from His Wrath! Only Jesus’s righteousness can protect us.

Satan despises God and us and seeks to destroy us because when we live our lives for the Glory of God, it only adds to God’s Glory. God is not only Satan’s adversary, man is also Satan’s adversary…it says in 1 Peter 5:8 Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Every time we allow ourselves to give in to sin, we are being devoured by Satan! Satan revels in this because when we sin, we’re withholding Glory from God. I believe that this is one of the reasons that GOD can’t look upon our sin and why the Angels are guarding HIS throne…to keep sin from HIS sight: sin subtracts from the glory that God desires and obedience to HIS Laws adds to HIS Glory. Revelation 5:11 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands.

1 John 3:8 The one who commits sin is of the Devil, for the Devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose: to destroy the Devil’s works. When Jesus suffered and died for us on the cross, Matthew 27:46 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemá sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Every sin committed and every sin to ever be committed Jesus took upon Himself on the cross…He was too filthy for God to look upon, so for the first time ever Jesus felt the pain of what it’s like to not have the love and protection of His Father. During that moment, he was cloaked in the unrighteousness of the world.

Colosians 3:17 17 And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Take Up Your Cross…

Matthew 10:38 “And whoever doesn’t take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.

Matthew 16:24 “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me”.

Mark 8:34 Summoning the crowd along with His disciples, He said to them, “If anyone wants to be My follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me”.

Luke 9:23 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me“.

Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple“.

How do we deny ourselves?  Are we being told in this verse that we should give up everything in this life that offers us pleasure?  I don’t think so, however, we’ve all heard the saying “too much of a good thing”. So moderation might be a good place to start.  These are question that we all need to answer for ourselves. If the things you are doing or love to do cause you to sin, then you need to give them up! Could this possibly mean never eating chocolate again, when we really enjoy chocolate? If it causes you in anyway to be less of a follower of Jesus…if it wakens the spirit of gluttony, or the spirt of selfishness or hoarding, etc…then by all means, give it up NOW! Maybe it means never watching football again? If football games and team sports give you occasion to feed the spirits of anger, foul mouth, drunkenness or an excuse to gorge on unhealthy foods, etc…GIVE IT UP! Have you forgotten that once you become a Christian and the Holy Spirit dwells within you that YOU are the TEMPLE of GOD! 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 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, 20 for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. If you’re the person who goes out shopping and drives up the credit card bills every time your spouse watches team sports…then you need to turn to God (two wrongs don’t ever make a right). These are just some examples…there are way too many to list…a whole blog could be written just about the things that we need to examine in our lives and either give up or change our attitude towards. We must choose between our devotion to the things of the world or our devotion to God.

Don’t lie to yourself…everyone knows exactly what drives a wedge between themselves and Heavenly Father…if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to deny yourself and remove the wedge. It seems to me that what He’s saying in this verse is that we should put Him and our fellow man (includes spouse, children) before ourselves in every aspect of our lives…and that when we continue to live self centered, it makes it impossible to be a follower of Jesus. Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

1 Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, that is his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. This verse doesn’t just reference the roof over the head and food in the belly, although these are important to survive in this world. there’s more to providing for your family than meeting physical needs. It’s our duty to provide for their spiritual needs too!

I believe that as a people, we have made up our own meaning to “take up your cross” I’ve heard some say that they consider any of the trials of life a “cross to bear” and I’ve heard others say that the cross is symbolic of what we face daily just for the mere fact that we have to live in this world (that may be true depending on the circumstances involved).  There’s some that consider an illness, accident or addiction as their “cross to bear”.  There are some who believe that if they’re given a task that seems difficult or something they just don’t want to do, they’ve been given a “cross to bear”.   I’ve even heard people refer to their marriage or their children as a “cross to bear”. The family they were born into as their “cross to bear”. Ultimately, with this thought trend, every single challenge we face in this life can be placed in the “cross to bear” category.  However, I’m thinking that taking up your cross has much deeper undertones and it really has very little to do with any of the previous statements.  In my eyes, most of these comparisons make “light” of the cross that Jesus died on!

 Are any of these scenarios what Jesus actually meant when these words were spoken?  After giving it a lot of prayer and consideration, I believe we should be very thoughtful of how we use the phrase “cross to bear”.  How can we compare anything that we endure in this life as even approaching the magnitude of the “cross” that our Lord Jesus died on at Calvary?  Don’t get me wrong…I know that throughout history there have been martyrs for Jesus and I know that Christians around the world die daily rather than deny Jesus…and although they don’t deserve these acts of violence from the world, they are unlike Jesus who was blameless, they are sinners, and because of His sacrifice combined with their faith, repentence and obedience, they’ve been promised and given His gift of eternal life.

But to die daily? WOW!!! Everyday, we are faced with the world…there’s only one way to escape the world and that’s through our faith in Jesus Christ and our decision to go the other direction in all instances…away from the darkness of the world and to the Light of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Now what does taking up his cross “daily” mean to me?  As a Christian, I have to choose between right and wrong practically every day (that’s just the state of the world we live in today)!  You can’t pick up a magazine, turn on the tv, look at your facebook feed, listen to the news without being bombarded with wickedness…on and on it goes! When a wicked thought crosses your mind or a wicked scene comes before you, which will happens less and less each day that you walk away from the world and walk with Jesus. Immediately usher out the wickedness…as it will immediately prick your conscious. As we are taught by Jesus, that thinking something evil is the same as doing it, so I believe that watching it on tv or the news works the same way. Instantaneously ask for God’s forgiveness and through the power of the WORD and in the Name of Jesus, rebuke Satan.

When our lives display the 7 distinct and unique fruits of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith found in Galations 5:22 we are showing the world that the Holy Spirit lives in us! This is the theme though out the Bible… When we begin thinking and dwelling on good things, we have more days when fewer sinful thoughts enter our minds. So “daily” we become nearer to what we need to do to become followers of Jesus. Daily it becomes easier and easier to deny ourselves and “pick up our cross”!

Phil 4: 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Is “MY” sitting on the Throne of Your Life?

“MY”…the first expression of self worship…

Let’s start with the most sorrowful “MY” of ALL:  My Skepticism (which is just another way of saying Agnostic or Atheist).   When a Christian hears those words, the pain we feel is beyond description. Feelings of such intense sorrow and horror that if the person expressing these words doesn’t embrace the Grace of Jesus the Messiah – Yeshua Hamashiach (Hebrew Translation for the “Anointed One”) and repent from their sins, they’ll face damnation – they will be found guilty before God. The Apostle Paul said: 18 For I have often told you, and now say again with tears, that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Phil 3: 18 (HCSB) An enemy of the cross doesn’t have to be a hate ridden bad person…an enemy of the cross is someone who doesn’t recognize what Jesus did to buy them the gift of eternal life and the cost was the blood of Jesus; as the Bible says in Hebrews 10:10 He gave it once for ALL! It’s so simple that it’s difficult for a Christian to believe that anyone would or could turn down such a gift.

The next most sorrowful “My” is: My Beliefs (someone who has their own idea of a belief system totally unrelated to God’s). A phrase that I’ve heard on many occasions is…”don’t talk to me about God, I have my own beliefs!” WOW! That’s really terrifying! I’ve talked to evolutionists (ape to man, etc), humanists (well being, etc), pantheists (humans as nothing special), greenies (environmentalist). I could go on and on…there are so many belief systems that someone could write a book on them…maybe they already have. Contrary to what they like to believe (pun)…they have “blind faith” that they’re on the right track and those of us who believe in Jesus Christ are fools. To some extent this belief system is a sort of religion without a deity….unless it’s themselves…consequently the “MY” sitting on the throne.

Third sorrowful “My” is: My Life! I can do with it what I want! No one or no book (Bible) has the right to tell me how to live my life! This lifestyle usually leads to excess…and “loving” the world. This lifestyle can stand on it’s own or be attached to either or both of the two “My’s” I’ve already mentioned. Regrettably it can also be the mantra of a Christian as they become involved with the idea of the brand new car & the bigger better new house. A financially successful Christian can convince themselves and believe they deserve only the “best” of everything. Their hobbies are the most expensive and their time is spent anyway they desire, regardless of who they hurt or neglect. Then from that extreme, there’s the other side of the coin…the broke person who says I worked for it, if I want to spend it on my friends at the bar until the money runs out, it’s my money and so what if the rent is due. If I want to quit my job and play video games, that’s my business. These are just the tip of the iceberg of a self-centered existence.

15 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. 1 John 2: 15-17 (HCSB)

As Christians, we are to choose LOVE to be the ruling factor of our lives: the LOVE of GOD and the LOVE of our neighbors. Our lives should be the outward reflection of making choices that involve our desire to follow Christ and take His council through the Holy Spirit. I’m not being a legalist when I remind you that “Loving GOD with all your heart” is the first commandment. HE must sit on the “Throne of your Life”!

God Has a Plan for YOU!

What comes to your mind when you think about Christian Education?  A room full of fresh faced energetic children at Sunday school singing songs about Jesus and learning Bible stories?  Vacation Bible School?  Sometimes parents are so thankful for VBS…as the enthusiasm for summer is dwindling and there’s something for the kids to do besides be under foot.  Sometimes we think of Christian education as sending our children to a private Christian school instead of public school.  We tend to focus on the children’s education, sometimes at the danger of forsaking our own. 

It’s not just children who need Christian education…we’re never too old to learn what God has planned for us…by studying His Word daily, by sharing the Love of God with your family and everyone you meet, by associating with your church family more than just on Sunday, by giving generously of your time, by cultivating the fruits of the spirit: 

Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. When we open our heart and mind to the possibilities of what God has planned for us…it’s too magnificent to comprehend…combined with our Faith and His Grace, He has made the impossible…possible…it’s just a matter of what we do with and how we manage the time that God has granted as a gift to each of us.  We never know when time is up…so treat it as the treasure that God means it to be.    

It seems to me that the process of becoming educated as a Christian is not only learning what the Bible says, but living what the Bible says.  So true…it’s the Word of God, but His words are not just for us to memorize or quote…it’s His instruction for how He wants us to LOVE and follow the path of life that He has put before us.  When we don’t take the time to educate ourselves about what His plan is for mankind, we have a tendency to stroll or should I say RUN down the wrong paths.

The following is one of the biggest excuses of “all” who forsake the study of God’s word…

Life is just too busy…as it is,there isn’t enough hours in the day! We are all witnesses to that statement! You might be asking…when am I supposed to fit in time to study the Bible? I know…It’s not easy to slow down and smell the roses…read your Bible, enjoy the company of spouse and children. When we do get a little time to spare, we thoughtlessly use it for our own gratification…maybe it’s just a tv program…after all, you’re there (in body), maybe it’s just that book you wanted to finish reading…Hey! But you’re there physically…if they really need me, it’s not like I’m sitting in a bar, or enjoying a basketball game sitting with a bunch of strangers in the grandstands or out climbing Mt. Everest or someplace where they just can’t reach me I’m here…all they gotta do is get my attention!

Okay…so none of the above is a problem for you? Maybe it’s your hobby, maybe it’s the ME syndrome…the question is…are you there spiritually, emotionally and are you honestly accessible? Okay…let’s put it today’s terms…are you USER-FRIENDLY? Did you really leave work and come home or are you still at work mentally are you thinking about anything and everything except God, Family and Purpose? If you see yourself in any of this description…maybe today is the day to make up your mind to make a change and go where Heavenly Father leads you and do what He wants you to do. Begin to live your life for HIS Glory…not yours.

One of my favorite sayings: when you have to sit on your suitcase, it’s time to take something out. Don’t wait…tomorrow may never come…now’s the time to re-educate yourself on what’s important to God as well as the ones you love.  When you’ve made your assessment and put things in perspective, you’ll most likely find that you have more quality time and are more contented with your life in this world than ever before.  Don’t wait until you’re standing at the doorway to Heaven and wishing you’d had more time…educate yourself today with study and prayer asking what God needs you to focus on with your heart and mind.    

I’ve discovered that by being in the Word and prayer with God, the more I want to be with God and the result is I am with God. The more I follow HIM the more I’m out of “THIS WORLD” and this is where we all need to be! 1 John 2: 15 15 Do not love the world or the things that belong to[a] the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.

I hunger and thirst to learn more of Him…

John 6:35 (HCSB) “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.”

Here’s a quote from Charles Spurgeon:

***Charles Haddon Spurgeon was an English Particular Baptist preacher. Spurgeon remains highly influential among Christians of various denominations, among whom he is known as the “Prince of Preachers”. Wikipedia