DON’T GROW FAINT HEARTED IN DOING GOOD….

Spiritual Blog - Quit

Galatians 6:9-10 – “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”  NKJV

             We have all known people who just seem to always be doing good things for other people.  It was or is their heart and no matter the recognition or the reward they did it.  Then we have known those who do good things if the recognition or reward is there and as long as the accolades roll in they continue their efforts and actions.  I’ve known parents, spouses, and even workers and bosses express their weariness at doing good things for others only to have it go unappreciated and frequently I have seen them cease their actions and some even fallen into bitterness over it.

            If what you are doing is based on the immediate gratification of recognition then you are doing it for the wrong reason.  If you do what you do “in the name of the Lord” and “for the Lord” then your reward is beyond this life as well as in this life.  Paul encourages us to not give up and not grow weary in our efforts to do good things.  He assures us what we should all have settled deep in our hearts – GOD SEES ALL!  Just like farming, there is a time of preparing the soil, a time of planting the seed, a time of germination of the seed, a time of growing, and then finally a time of harvest.  We reap WHAT we so, we reap LATER than we sow, and we reap MORE than we sow.

            When we are doing good things for anyone, God sees it.  When we are doing good things for those of the household of faith according to Paul here this is especially noted.  Let me give you a Roy reason for this:  Those of the household of faith are already in the fight and are either sowers of the Gospel or potential sowers of the Gospel.  They are laborers in God’s harvest and when we do good things for them and help them continue their efforts we are furthering the cause of the Kingdom in a very tangible way. 

         Therefore, even if no one recognizes your efforts or even expresses appreciation for what you do – DON’T LOSE HEART!   God will never forget what you do or have done and even if it is in Heaven He will honor your labors, especially if they are labors of love out of a pure heart for the right reasons.

            As you go through this day and this year look, for opportunities to bless others and especially those of the Household of Faith!  May God be with you, guide you, guard you, protect you, and richly bless you in all things and at all times!

JESUS DID A COMPLETE WORK…..

Spiritual Blog - Forgiven

Hebrews 10:11-18 – “Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; 12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, 13 waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET. 14 For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, 16 “THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” He then says, 17 “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.” NASU

            When I consider the Law in the Old Testament and read in the New Testament that it was a “Schoolmaster” to bring us to grace this passage leaps off the page for me.  When I consider the words of Jesus on the Cross, “IT IS FINISHED,” this passage takes new life for me.

            The writer of Hebrews reminds us of the priestly function under the Law and the daily sacrifices for sin that had to be conducted.  Then, he turns his attention to Jesus and His work on the Cross and tells us that it was a ONE TIME FOREVER offering and does not and will NEVER need anything more to make it satisfactory to satisfy “Divine Justice.”  Of course, we still have a part to play in personal repentance and acceptance by faith what He has done but HIS WORK IS COMPLETE!

            The writer reminds us that Jesus did His work then “Sat down at the right hand of God.”  He would then wait until enemies be made a footstool for His feet.”  Through Jesus’ ONE TIME OFFERING He opened the door to Eternal Salvation for us all.  Through that work comes, the NEW COVENANT, a covenant in which God writes it upon our hearts and places within us His laws, solidifying it in our minds.  He promises that because of the work of Jesus HE WILL REMEMBER OUR SIN NO MORE!

    We have TRUE FORGIVENESS not man’s kind but COMPLETE and TOTAL forgiveness.  What Jesus did on the Cross opens the door to God’s Love, Mercy, Grace, and Forgiveness for ALL TIME!  It is up to us to receive it.  So if you have not I urge you today to run to the foot of the Cross and bow before Him confessing your sin and receiving His mercy!

            May God be with you as you go through this day!

THE BLESSED MAN OR WOMAN……

Spiritual Blog - Blessed

Psalm 1:1-3 – “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” NIV

             What a powerful insight into a personal relationship with God we find here in the 1st Psalm.  We have insight, instruction, and information that is not only valuable as a teaching tool but as a living example.

THE BLESSED MAN:

  1. DOES NOT walk in the counsel of the wicked.
  2. DOES NOT stand in the way of sinners.
  3. DOES NOT sit in the seat of mockers.

     That would be enough if there was nothing else in the passage but there is more and worthy of our consideration.

THE BLESSED MAN:

  1. DOES make the Law of the Lord or the Word of the Lord his DELIGHT.
  2. DOES mediate on that Law or Word day and night.

     The result is that he becomes like a tree planted by a stream of refreshing life-giving water.  He produces fruit in his life in season and he does not succumb to the pressures of life or the heat of temptation.  He PROSPERS in “whatever” he does.  Why?  Not because he is such a special individual and accomplishes it in himself but because of the aforementioned items.  It is the things HE DOES NOT DO and the things HE DOES DO that condition his heart and life to the place that God can use him, mold him, and make him into that which God has designed and desired.  He is one of whom it can be said, “He/She fulfilled the purposes of God in his/her generation….”

    So as you go through your day go with the commitment to live Psalm One on a daily basis!  May God be with you as you go through your day and enable you to be a light shining into darkness!

     BLESSINGS!

DO YOU HAVE BEAUTIFUL FEET?

Spiritual Blog - Feet

Romans 10:14-15 – “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” NASU

            This last part is a quote from Isaiah 52:7 – “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” NKJV Paul, a preacher, teacher, apostle extraordinaire calls attention to the importance of PREACHING or SHARING THE GOSPEL of Jesus Christ to the World.  I love his simple but detailed and to the point transition.

  1. How can you expect someone to call upon God if they have not believed in Him?
  2. How can you expect anyone to believe in God if they have not heard of Him?
  3. How can they hear unless someone tells them about Him?
  4. The one telling them is designated a PREACHER.
  5. Those who preach are SENT ONES from the Lord.

        Then quoting Isaiah he uses a most interesting picture about “Beautiful Feet” of those who bring the Good News!  The feet are not normally associated with body parts that are beautiful.  I say that with respect to most of us at least.  Yet, the feet were the primary means of transportation in Paul’s day.  You and I who spread the “Good News” could be identified as “foot soldiers” for Jesus.

THE FEET ARE BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE:

  1. As a means of transportation, they brought light into darkness.
  2. As a means of transportation, they brought the power of the Gospel to the world.
  3. As a means of transportation, they brought Salvation to a lost world.
  4. As a means of transportation, they brought Hope to the Hopeless.

         I don’t know about you but if something brings me HOPE when there is DISPAIR it is a beautiful vehicle in my eyes!  In Paul’s day, it was a common expression that a student would “sit at the feet” of the teacher and learn.  The feet were associated with the bringing of information, knowledge, and even wisdom.  Therefore, it is not the actual body part that holds the beauty but the fact that it enabled the PREACHER to come forward with the GOOD NEWS!  Therein is the beauty!  So, if you are sharing the Good News I declare that you are one of which this speaks as having “beautiful feet” and a “beautiful heart.”

         May God be with you as you go through your day!

TRUE WORSHIP…

Spiritual Blog - Worship

John 4:23-24 – “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  NASU

            I love reading about the encounters Jesus had with people especially those who had a stereotypical attitude or a preconceived religious bias about Him or anything.  He had a way of cutting through the layers of man-made limitations and getting to the heart of the matter and bringing light and life to the situation.

            Here he encounters a woman of Samaria who had a skewed view of the Jews.  Jesus went outside the norm in speaking to her and in so doing completely dismantled all her preconceptions and brought her face to face with the Light of Life in the Son of God.  He addressed “false worship” which is still prevalent today in many people and may religious circles.  He tore down the man-made rules and regulations and ideas of what “worship is” and “how it is performed.”  He came to the ultimate truth that each of us needs, that truth is that TRUE WORSHIP is “in Spirit and Truth.”  It is not in some religious catechism, methodology, or lists.  It is allowing the heart to fully and completely respond to God.  The only possible way to worship God, who is a Spirit, is by the Spirit!  It is a heart function!

            When the heart connects with God there is transformation.  We may connect with just the mind and have a different attitude but our hearts are not changed and there is no transformation in our inner beings, nature, or character.  But, when the heart connects we become NEW CREATIONS and are translated from Darkness into His Marvelous Light and Love.  We become NEW PEOPLE because there is a change in us from the innermost part of our being to the outworking of our daily lives.  The change does not come in actions first but the heart.  Out of the heart flows life and change in actions and attitude.

            Therefore, if you are struggling to be at peace with God and live the Christian life, stop trying to “turn over a new leaf” or “transform yourself” instead allow your heart to reach out to His love and the change will be done IN YOU not BY YOU!

            May God be with you as you go through your day!

HOLDING FAST OUR CONFESSION…..

Spiritual Blog - Confession

Hebrews 10:23-25 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”  NASU

            Those of us who have “confessed” or “professed” Jesus as our Lord and Savior need to hear this passage in the deep recesses of our spirits!  We dare not waver in our commitment to that “confession” or “profession.”  The devil would bring doubt, question, vain discussions about the Bible’s validity, supposed errors, and interpretations but IS JESUS THE SON OF GOD?  If you believe that He is you have settled the most important question in life and have an anchor upon which you can hold in good times and bad!  

            We should seek to “stimulate” or “encourage” each other in that commitment and profession or declaration of our faith.  We do so through LOVE and GOOD DEEDS.  We do so by becoming a part of a “local assembly” where we can unite with other believers and use the “strength in numbers” truth to help us make it through both good and bad times.  We are part of each other.  None of us are islands to ourselves and need each other.

            It is more than just getting together for “fellowship” and “mutual sharing” it is a time when the “Master Builders” those whom God has chosen for that Body are able to do the work of “fitly framing us” into a Spiritual House through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  It is a time when we as “living stones” are assembled into a fully functioning arm of the Lord to accomplish His purposes.  Does that mean you will agree with everything that the leadership does or the church as a whole does – I doubt it!  I doubt that they will agree with all you think, do or say either.  We all are still human in case you have forgotten. 

           When I find people who cannot or will not submit to legitimate Spiritual Authority I find people that are easy targets for the devil in deception and are easily swayed into wrong and even false doctrine.  Do I think that any local congregation has everything totally right?  NO!  Do I think the local assembly is needed and serves a ministry?  YES!  Do I think there is room for improvement in becoming more in harmony with the pattern of the New Testament Church?  ABSOLUTELY!  So how do we accomplish that?  We work together we encourage each other and we refuse to allow schisms and divisions to be among us.

            May God be with you as you go through your day in Him!

I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE…..

Spiritual Blog - Bread of Life

John 6:33-35 – “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.”  34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” NASU

 

            Jesus was addressing the crowd and informed them that he was fully aware that they were following Him based on the Miracle of the Loaves and Fish.  He used that moment as a classic teaching opportunity to bring them to the ultimate spiritual truth regarding who He was.  He went back in their history to the “Manna” from heaven in the wilderness as well as the miracle He performed in their midst and advised them that the bread from heaven did not come from Moses or any man but from The Father.

            That Bread brings life not just momentary sustenance and satisfaction.  It gives Eternal Life and they crowd was so moved that they cried out for Him to give them that bread and Jesus stepped forward saying: “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.”  He brought them to a moment in time when they had to make a decision regarding who He was and what He had to offer.  It was like when He asked the disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”  Peter’s immortal response is the only acceptable on – “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

            We live in difficult times materially, socially, emotionally, politically, and even spiritually but our concerns and even fears about what we will eat, wear, drive, or where we will live pale in comparison to the ultimate question – – WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH JESUS?  Will you receive Him as the Lord and Savior of your life or will you list Him in the category of a prophet, a good man, or some figure from history?  It is an old cliché but true – – Jesus is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all! 

            Today I encourage you to come to Him and receive the Bread of Life and never hunger spiritually and believe in Him and never thirst.  You will find complete and total satisfaction in your heart of hearts when you receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior.  Make that day of acceptance today!

            May God be with you as you go through this day!