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What Must I Do To Be Saved?

What Must I Do To Be Saved?

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Do you ever worry about falling away? Or do you go through life without considering your eternal destination, “knowing” that you will live eternally with God?

I try more and more not to question another’s salvation and focus more and more on my own. It is not my job to judge whether or not someone is recorded in the Book of Life, but to love them in a way that they will want their names to be there as well.

Let’s read these verses to study and define salvation:

Ephesians 2: 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

Mark 16: 8 … Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sacred and unfailing message of salvation that gives eternal life.

John 4: 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.

Acts 4: 11 For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says,
‘The stone that you builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.’
12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”

1 Peter 1:9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

Titus 3: 4 But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.

Romans 10: 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

OK, but does that mean that because I trusted Him as a child and prayed a prayer to receive Him that regardless of my actions since that I am saved? In other words is the familiar phrase “once saved always saved” correct? Or another way to put it is, “Can someone lose their salvation?” I don’t know, let’s keep reading…

Here is one passage that seems to support “once saved always saved”:

John 10: 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

But what about free will? We are not robots or puppets and that is why we will always have a choice to worship God or the Accuser, Satan. The aforementioned verse states that “No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.” And that is great news, but I don’t think that includes our choice to leave the Father’s hand.

Don’t these verses imply that it is a choice to remain in Him or not to remain in Him?

John 15: 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

If you are choosing to remain in Him, what does this mean to you and how are you living up to it?

Is this not consistent with these verses from Ezekiel? I know that they are Old Testament, but  God’s character does not change.

Ezekiel 33: 12 “Son of man, give your people this message: The righteous behavior of righteous people will not save them if they turn to sin, nor will the wicked behavior of wicked people destroy them if they repent and turn from their sins. 13 When I tell righteous people that they will live, but then they sin, expecting their past righteousness to save them, then none of their righteous acts will be remembered. I will destroy them for their sins. 14 And suppose I tell some wicked people that they will surely die, but then they turn from their sins and do what is just and right. 15 For instance, they might give back a debtor’s security, return what they have stolen, and obey my life-giving laws, no longer doing what is evil. If they do this, then they will surely live and not die. 16 None of their past sins will be brought up again, for they have done what is just and right, and they will surely live.

What do you think? Do these verses not apply to us today? I think they are consistent with Christ’s teaching above in John 15: 5-8.

Here is a problem I have with “once saved always saved”, especially when it is preached to the masses. This phrase is a horrible paraphrase of several scriptures and it is not considering other scriptures that might lead us to think otherwise. Such as these verses:

2 Peter 2: 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

Why would Jesus say these words if salvation was as easy as saying a prayer once in your life and forgetting about it the following year?

Matthew 7:  13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

We read above that salvation is simple, but this clearly says that it is not easy.

Another issue I have with “once saved always saved”, is that for many in my estimation, it is a false sense of security. When the theology of these four words penetrate the minds of the spiritually lazy (like I used to be), or the “saints on the sidelines”, there is no motivation for them to get to know God any better.

Let’s review these verses that I think beautifully summarize what we should all be focusing on in our daily walk:

Philippians 1:11 May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

Philippians 2:12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.

1 Timothy 4: 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.

1 Peter 1:5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

Hebrews 3: 12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. 15 Remember what it says:

“Today when you hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled.”

What if we were to change “once saved always saved” to say “once saved always saved when we continue to put our faith in Jesus”?

Are you saved?

“Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Son to die for me and pay for my sins on the cross. Lord, I am sorry for the many sins I’m guilty of. Sins for doing wrong and sins for not doing right and not loving you with a whole heart. I will put my trust in you. I choose you to be Lord of my life. Please help me to change my ways and get to know you better daily. I know many that do not take your calling seriously, but today I choose to follow you with my whole heart. Please lead me down your path and thank you for guiding me. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Photo by Anthony Tori on Unsplash



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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Are You Working Alone?

Are You Working Alone? Loving God, part XL

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This is it! This is the last installment of the Loving God series, I hope you enjoyed it!

I want to focus on the work He’s given us and how we do it.

So what work do we have to do? Read these verses carefully:

Luke 13:  22 Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?”

He replied, 24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.

John 6: 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”  28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”  29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

Jesus was talking to the general public in both of these passages, not just His chosen twelve. I take this to mean that, at the very least, we should be working hard to seek eternal life. I don’t think this is something that should ever stop.

So how do we do this work? If we know that God/Jesus is the only One who can offer eternal life, then where do we seek it? It’s not a trick question. You got it, the only Book that God takes credit for writing, the Bible!

John 17: 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.

Reading and careful study of His Word with prayer is the best way to get to know Him. Asking others is a good way too, but make sure that they are in the Word as well or you could easily be led astray.

I know that there are many things that God can ask of us, but I believe that this is one task that is common to all of us. It is this task that leads us into all truth and establishes a growing relationship with and in Christ.

Here is another passage that I think relates and it was directed to just the 12 disciples:

John 15:   “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

To summarize, our work consists of seeking eternal life and remaining in Him. This is at the very least.

Have you ever been given a job to do that took a long time and you started out doing it alone? Then eventually someone is told to work along with you? Wasn’t it nice to have someone share in the work?

It causes me to think of this verse:

Genesis 2: 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

I believe the part that says :”It is not good for the man to be alone.” not only applies to needing a partner in marriage but in life in general.

This verse reinforces the idea:

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.

Just as this states that we are sharpened by a friend, I think it implies that we are dull without a friend.

Of course, Jesus knew this as He sent them out in pairs:

Luke 10: 1 The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit.

Luke 22: 8 Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”

Here are examples of the early church imitating what Jesus did:

Acts 13: 4 So Barnabas and Saul were sent out by the Holy Spirit. They went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus.

Acts 17: 10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.

They even wrote letters together:

2 Thessalonians 1: 1 This letter is from Paul, Silas, and Timothy. We are writing to the church in Thessalonica, to you who belong to God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What do these verses mean to you? Are you doing work for God in a vacuum? Are you reading the Bible and not discussing what you’re reading with anyone? Do you have someone in your life that will challenge you and raise your standards?

The philosophy of the Lone Ranger is not compatible with God’s plan for our life. We were designed to work together with others. If there is no one working along with you, then you might consider praying about who you could meet with or ask God to send someone to you.

Will you work with someone?

“Dear Lord, thank you for the friends you put in my life. Help make it clear to me what my work is and provide someone for me to do it with. I know that your faithful love endures forever and you’ve designed me to work with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

Photo by Nicolas Cool on Unsplash



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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Will You Weep Before Him?

Will You Weep Before Him? Loving God, part XXXIX

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Do you weep (cry)? When was the last time you cried? Of course, there are a lot of reasons that people cry, an emotional song, a good movie, pain, when someone hurts you, when things don’t go your way, or the loss of a loved one.

Of course in our society crying is not a hip or popular thing to do, especially for us guys. I’ve seen women that don’t like to see guys cry. Football coaches are mocked when they choke up after a game. It’s just not a “cool” thing to do.

I never saw my father cry, and as I reached adulthood, I didn’t cry either. It just wasn’t something I did. At least not until I returned to the Lord after a period of straying from Him. There was something about the presence of the Holy Spirit that brought tears of joy to me. But not only that. I think that keeping an open heart and abiding in Him keeps us sensitive and our emotions come out easier. I know that when I’ve strayed, I’m a bit more callous and of course “hard-hearted”.

Why discuss crying? What is the significance?

The Bible has many examples of people crying or weeping and for many different reasons. Let’s look at some examples of weeping in the Good Book:

Exodus 2: 23 Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. 24 God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act.

The Israelites were experiencing a time of great oppression and it brought them to tears. God heard it and knew it was time to act. Why did He let it get to that point? I don’t know, I guess that it wasn’t the time, until then.

When Nehemiah was a cup bearer for the Persian king, his brother Hanani brought him this news:

Nehemiah 1: 3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

This was Nehemiah’s response:

 4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.

What love he had for his homeland! He was clearly heartbroken.

I know that these people were all under extreme circumstances and as an American, I can’t even begin to relate to them.

Do you think King David ever cried?

Psalm 6: 
6 I am worn out from sobbing.
All night I flood my bed with weeping,
drenching it with my tears.
7 My vision is blurred by grief;
my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.

 8 Go away, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord will answer my prayer.
10 May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
May they suddenly turn back in shame.

Apparently, this was a low point in his life, and he had many.

Here’s a popular verse form our Lord:

John 11: 35 Then Jesus wept.

What about the weeping prophet, Jeremiah?

Jeremiah 9:
1 If only my head were a pool of water
and my eyes a fountain of tears,
I would weep day and night
for all my people who have been slaughtered.
2 Oh, that I could go away and forget my people
and live in a travelers’ shack in the desert.
For they are all adulterers—
a pack of treacherous liars.

Here is another popular passage, from a man who had it all, riches and wisdom!:

Ecclesiastes 3:4 
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.

And later on in the book, King Solomon shares some of his wisdom on this subject:

Ecclesiastes 7:
2 Better to spend your time at funerals than at parties.
After all, everyone dies—
so the living should take this to heart.
3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
for sadness has a refining influence on us.
4 A wise person thinks a lot about death,
while a fool thinks only about having a good time.

Wow, this says a lot!

Is this counter-cultural or what? How many people are saying “think happy thoughts” these days and do not allow themselves to be sad? Like he said earlier, there’s a time to cry.

Here’s a good reason to cry, in our love and support for one another…

Romans 12: 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

Here is a very interesting and unique passage:

Ezekiel 9: 4 He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all who weep and sigh because of the detestable sins being committed in their city.”

This was a vision that Ezekiel experienced. And what happened to the marked and unmarked?

5 Then I heard the Lord say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! 6 Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin right here at the Temple.” So they began by killing the seventy leaders.

Isn’t this wild? Only those that sincerely mourned, evidenced by shedding tears about the detestable sins, lived! Those that were indifferent or complacent by the sins were killed, in the vision at least.

Psalm 119: 136 Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey your instructions.

Now it’s time to learn from our Master.

What that Ezekiel passage reminded me of is this:

Luke 19: 41 But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 43Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not accept your opportunity for salvation.”

Unlike the city of Nineveh (read Jonah), Jerusalem did not accept their opportunity for salvation. This brought Him to tears.

Jeremiah 4:
22 “My people are foolish
and do not know me,” says the Lord.
“They are stupid children
who have no understanding.
They are clever enough at doing wrong,
but they have no idea how to do right!”

Does this sound like the United States or what?

Do you think it’s time to start weeping?

Are we weeping enough over our current spiritual condition? I see Christians complaining more about politicians than weeping over people’s rejection of Jesus. I admit that I don’t weep enough over this and I think it’s because I am still being transformed and God is still changing my heart.

This is not something that you can make yourself do, but only by constantly seeking Him and abiding in Him will we be joyful for what brings God joy and we will weep for that which God weeps for.

But even for our personal life, it’s OK to cry. When you are distressed over circumstances or just plain sad, spend time on your knees and plead with God. Discuss it with Him as though He is right there (which He is). Pour out your heart to Him and when you feel like “letting go”, let it out, cry your eyes out.

Here are words that bring comfort:

Psalm 56: 8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.You have recorded each one in your book.

Will you weep?

“Dear Lord, you are my Comforter and Wonderful Counselor. I love that I can come to you with my every need and problem. You give the bread of life that feeds my soul. God, I want to be more like you. I want to have joy over things that bring you joy and I want to cry over things that make you cry. Change my heart and teach me your ways, I want to know you more. Thank you for what you’re teaching me in your Word. In Jesus name, Amen”

Photo by Tom Pumford on Unsplash



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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
What Foundation Are You Building On?

What Foundation Are You Building On? Loving God, part XXXVIII

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Today I’d like to discuss building. The Bible has a lot to say about building, generally speaking. The foundation we will discuss is one that we can all build upon. When choosing to live a life on this foundation we can stand strong through bleak times and circumstances.

When we have this foundation we can relate to this:

Psalm 112
7 They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.

Would you like this passage to describe you? Read on…

I think most of you understand that our foundation is Jesus Christ, read what Paul had to say:

1 Corinthians 3: 10 Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

What do we know about Jesus?

John 1: 1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

… 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

Jesus is the Word, in the flesh.

And what does Jesus have to say about building a foundation?

Matthew 7: 24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand.27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”

The key here, of course, is to listen to His teaching. What better way than to read the Word directly?

Now let’s read what King David had to say about this subject:

Psalm 127: 
1 Unless the Lord builds a house,
the work of the builders is wasted.
Unless the Lord protects a city,
guarding it with sentries will do no good.
2 It is useless for you to work so hard
from early morning until late at night,
anxiously working for food to eat;
for God gives rest to his loved ones.

What foundation have you been building?

Are you focused on work so much that you are failing to get to know the one and only Person that can meet all your needs?

Do you take your relationship with God seriously? Are you content with your relationship with Him or do you want more?

2 Corinthians 1: 24 But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.

This is what I want for you, to develop your own faith. Let’s do it together!

Will you commit to reading the Word?

“Dear Lord, Please help me get to know you more. I want to build the foundation that is described in your Word. Teach me your ways and lead me into your truth this year. Help me to develop this habit this year which I will one day soon cherish. Thank you for what you are stirring in my heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen”

Photo by ANDRIK ↟ LANGFIELD ↟ PETRIDES on Unsplash



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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Will You Get To Know Him More?

Will You Get To Know Him More? Loving God, part XXXVII

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I used to wonder why God had to send Jesus and thought “Of all the ways to save us, couldn’t He think of a better plan of redemption?” I just didn’t get it, I was ignorant. I accepted the truth for most of my life, but I did not understand why His plan went the way it did. I also thought about why He waited so long before He sent Jesus. It was those kinds of thoughts that had me question God’s master plan.

But then I read passages such as these and it helped me understand:

Romans 16: 25 … This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time.

Ephesians 3: 9 I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

2 Timothy 1: 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.

I don’t know about you, but these verses blow me away. Jesus wasn’t some kind of “last ditch effort” to save mankind from judgment, He was the plan all along!

Now I get it.

What a grand mystery! How in the world did God have this plan all along, from the beginning of time through Jesus birth and no one on earth knew exactly how it would unfold? Did we even have a clue?

Let’s reveal some of the clues that God gave us about His grand plan:

Genesis 12: 1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.

Genesis 49: 10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants,
until the coming of the one to whom it belongs,
the one whom all nations will honor.

Isaiah 9: 6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7 His government and its peace
will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David
for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!

As most of you know, the list of these Old Testament prophecies goes on and on. There are over 300 prophecies fulfilled regarding Jesus, by the way. It is incredible how God told us almost everything about Jesus long before His arrival.

So what is the big deal of Jesus’ arrival, and what is the big picture?

Read this passage from Ephesians carefully…

Ephesians 3: 6 And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. 7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. 9 I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

12 Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

Wow, that is a grand plan!

It’s something I really can’t comprehend, but I know that I want a be a part of it, how about you? And how can we be part of it?

Matthew 28: 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Each one of you, the ones who are regularly reading His Word and seeking Him are either disciples or becoming disciples (If you’ve committed your heart to Him). How do you “make disciples”?

John 1: 45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

For Philip, it was pretty simple and although his brother Nathanael was skeptical, that didn’t stop Philip. Philip’s reply was simply “Come and see for yourself”. Invite others to know Jesus and walk along side them.

So I say, “come and read the Word for yourself”. How can we invite people to get to know Jesus? The best way I know is by reading His Word and seeking the Spirit for ourselves.

Will you get to know Him better?

“Dear Father, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this earth to show us who you really are. Thank you that you made a way for us to know you personally. Please help me to get to know you more. Please teach me your ways so that I can become like you. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash



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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Are you pleasing God? part 3, Loving God, part XXXVI

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This is the third and final post in the series “Are You Pleasing God?“. Thank you for reading!

As the crowd of people gathered at Golgotha, Martha was standing beside her sister Mary and brother Lazarus. She glanced over at Mary and noticed the tears streaming down her face. Lazarus appeared empty, staring into space with a glassy look in his eyes. He was truly perplexed and despondent. 

Martha didn’t know what to think, she was numb. As she was watching the Roman soldiers nail her friend’s hands and feet to the cross she couldn’t help but think of the recent events that led to that day. “What on earth is happening? How did we get here?” she thought. “It was just last week that Jesus was in our home and we were having dinner.” She started to reflect on that day. She recollected the people there and the hope they all shared after having Lazarus back and in good health.

Then, she remembered the perfume…

John 12: 1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

“What was Mary thinking anyway?” she pondered. “That smell filled the whole house!” Then she thought of Jesus’ rather strange rebuke of Judas. “He knew this was going to happen. What? How could he know? Why? I don’t understand.” She said to herself.

It was then that they raised Jesus on the cross.

Jesus’ face was barely recognizable. Mary started weeping uncontrollably as Lazarus took her in his arms. It was a gruesome sight as they heard some onlookers scoff. “I can’t believe what they are saying?” Martha thought.

Mark 15: 31 The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself!

“How could they do this to such a humble and gentle man? What did he do to them? After all, he called Lazarus out of the grave.”

Immediately she thought about the day Jesus finally came back to Bethany, too late to heal her brother Lazarus…

John 11: 20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

25 Jesus told her“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

Later, when Jesus arrives at Lazarus’ tomb…

39 “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.

But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” 41 So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. 42 You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” 43 Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!”

Jesus wasn’t late, after all.

“What a glorious day that was.” She thought“Jesus wasn’t late, after all, he was right on time!” A tear started rolling down her cheek. “I was so angry and upset with him for not being there for us. It didn’t make any sense to me. But now as I look back, it was perfect timing. Even our cousins in Jerusalem came to believe in him. But now this?”

John 19: 28 Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30 When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

“It can’t be!” Martha cried out. “Why has this happened? What happens now? Where do we go from here?” she screamed inside. Then she thought of an earlier time when Jesus was in her home. She recalled the first day they met, “I was so busy preparing that meal…”

Luke 10: 38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”

41 But the Lord said to her“My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

It was then that a rush of indescribable emotions flooded her body. “Mary got it, she truly appreciated Jesus and I missed it! I was so concerned about having things ready and ‘perfect’ and I even interrupted Jesus and Mary in the process. “Her emotions overcame her. She started wailing as she realized it was too late. “Jesus is gone.” she thought. She then felt deep regret. “I missed the one thing worth being concerned about. I was a believer all along, but I didn’t fully experience Jesus.” After spending a seemingly long time weeping together, the three of them left the site for their home in Bethany. They were drained and devastated over what just took place. All they had now was each other for consolation.

Did Martha regret not spending more time with Jesus?

I don’t know if Martha was there to witness Jesus’ death or not. I believe it’s likely. It is clear from these passages that she was a woman of service, and had a gift of hospitality. She seemed to take responsibility and made sure that her guests were taken care of. I can’t say for sure that she felt regret, but I believe she probably did. I like to think she met with Jesus after His resurrection. Oh, what joy that would have been. I can only imagine Jesus restoring her soul as Jesus restored Peter’s. (John 21: 15-19) 

Do you have any regrets? Have you been spending time at Jesus’ feet, spending time in His presence and listening to what He’s teaching? Jesus’ Spirit is there for us, just as He was then. Mary got it and was deeply blessed, Martha was a believer, but missed the main message, the person, and presence of Jesus Christ. 

Matthew 11: 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Just one last thought as I close, because none of us want these regrets:

2 Peter 3: 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief…”

Did you receive the Teacher’s lesson?

“O Holy God, you are the bread of life. Apart from you, I can do nothing. Please help me to understand this same lesson Jesus taught while on earth. Help me to commit to spending time with you daily. For my life is but a breath and a whole year passes by before I know it. Thank you so much for not only sending your Son to die for me but also for the capability to know you on a personal level. You are incomprehensible and nothing compares to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen”



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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Are You Pleasing God?

Are you pleasing God? part 2, Loving God, part XXXV

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In my last post, “Are you pleasing God? part 2“, we began our discussion of growing our faith, which we learned is essential to pleasing God.

First, let’s give credit to the One who makes our faith grow:

1 Corinthians 3: 7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.

How has your faith endured this year so far? Were you able to stand firm by putting your trust in God knowing that He is always there for you? Or was it a difficult year, one without peace? Would you like knowledge of how to grow your faith?  Knowledge that is based on Biblical truths backed by God’s steadfast promises that will rely only on your efforts to seek Him? If this is the case, then read on…

I love this definition of faith:

Hebrews  11: 1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

When someone first comes to God it makes sense that there are few basic requirements which are stated very well in this verse:

Hebrews 11: 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

We only need a little bit of faith:

Matthew 13: 31 Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

We are learning how to grow that mustard seed. Isn’t this exciting?

Listen to what the Apostle Peter wrote to the newly converted:

1 Peter 2: 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

What I love is the words “grow into a full experience of salvation” which I take to mean that salvation is not only a gift, rather it is an experience and something to look forward to when I continue to grow.

 

Continue seeking, growing in faith

I hope that by now you’ve learned that we all share a common purpose of growing in spiritual maturity so that our faith will develop and we will live up to our potential in God’s eyes. Let this purpose be the driving force that causes you to continually seek Him. This is why Jesus says:

John 6:27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

Speaking of perishable things: Let go of your bills, family issues, tax issues, job issues, school issues, money issues, marriage issues, and every other “fill in the blank” problem of your life and cast these cares on Him. Let go of all of it so that you can focus all of your attention on the One that can truly deliver you into a greater peace. Which leads us to the next practical way to grow your faith. Last week was reading the Word of God and this week is prayer:

Don’t worry about anything

Philippians 4: 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

This is verse is most worthy of putting on your wall, dashboard, nightstand and book marker until it gets burned onto your heart.

It goes without saying that prayer is absolutely essential to develop our faith. We need to continuously turn to God in prayer in order to develop our relationship with Him. This will grow our faith.

Are you praying about everything?

“Dear Lord, you know my heart. You know that I have a great tendency to worry. You are the One who gave me life. You created heaven and earth, and here I sit worrying about you not taking care of me. Help me to grow up, Lord. Change my heart and teach me your ways. I want to look at my life and those around me through your perspective, not mine. May your will be done, not mine. Thank you for the wonderful things that you will be teaching me. In Jesus precious name, Amen.”

Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash



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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Are You Pleasing God?

Are You Pleasing God? part 1, Loving God, part XXXIV

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Before we discuss pleasing God, I just want to share something personal.

It is my goal to encourage and inspire millions of people to seek God through the Spirit and regular Bible reading. Will you join me in this vision? If I haven’t shared this before, my passion is to help people develop their own faith.

2 Corinthians 1: 24 But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm.

Do you stand firm in your faith?

In other words, it’s like teaching people to fish rather than serving baked fish. Instead of inviting people to church, why not invite them to get to know your God personally by reading the Bible and prayer? Why wait until Sunday (or Saturday) when there’s something you can do today?

The main question is not “Are you living without sin?”, “Are you serving in a ministry?”, or “Are you in a Bible study?”. The main question is “are you pleasing God?”

What is essential to pleasing God?

Hebrews 11: 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.

So at the very least, we know that we need faith. I can personally testify that you can play the part of being a Christian, say all the right words, and go through the motions without having faith. I’ve done it.

Here’s my favorite example of faith…

Daniel 3:  14 Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you refuse to serve my gods or to worship the gold statue I have set up? 15 I will give you one more chance to bow down and worship the statue I have made when you hear the sound of the musical instruments. But if you refuse, you will be thrown immediately into the blazing furnace. And then what god will be able to rescue you from my power?”

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

Can you imagine? This is amazing! God did not promise that they would live but they stood firm in the face of death.

Let’s discuss how we can stand firm in our own faith, are you ready? This is the first of at least three messages on how to grow your own faith.

Are you eating enough?

If you buy a plant and the plant expert tells you to water it every day, what will happen if you water that plant only one or two days out of the week? What results would you expect? Will the plant be strong, able to withstand the sun? Will it develop a strong root system so that a strong breeze won’t affect it?

In order for anything to grow, we need to take the time to care for it and give it nourishment. Time is something that we can control, and we recently spent 3 messages discussing time. Care is treating it carefully or being serious about it. This is commitment.

Nourishment is feeding it. Let’s see what Jesus had to say about this:

John 6: 32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me.

In verse 34 the people said, “give us that bread every day”. Jesus then makes it clear what that bread is in the next verse. So how do we consume this bread and living water?

What other word describes Jesus?

John 1: 1 In the beginning the Word already existed.  The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He existed in the beginning with God. 3 God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. 4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

To summarize this I think that we can say that consuming the Word of God, whether it be through reading or listening to it is how we feed ourselves in order to grow spiritually. It is my opinion that daily devotionals, Christian books, and sermons are NOT substitutes for the daily Bread. They may contain a crumb or two or maybe even a half a slice, but is that enough? Even if it is enough, it is relying on the sermon, devotional, or book which are human sources. Add to that those sources are not necessarily divinely inspired (they might not be Spirit-led). There are plenty of “universalist” churches out there that serve up heaps of garbage on your plate. Sure it will fill your stomach, but with what? Did you ever eat a whole package of Twinkies?

Learn to feed yourself.

The real problem with other people spoon feeding you is that you are relying on a fallible person to process the bread for you and they put their own “spin” or perspective on it. While this may provide you with nutrition, I believe that when we choose to go directly to the Source and eat the organic Word of God with enough faith that He will speak through His Word, then it becomes a feast. When we’ve developed a habit of feasting on a daily basis, what started out as “I need to read the Bible” turns into “I’m really hungry and I strongly desire to read the Bible”. But let me explain something so that you are not misled. This growth that we are talking about is not visible from day to day. Growth takes months and years and it’s not always obvious.

Keep reading or listening!

The foundation we are building takes time and this is why we need a commitment. When we get to a point when we’ve been reading daily for a long period of time, the sermons, the books, the devotionals no longer satisfy. They are not enough. Our appetites have grown and we are hungry for more, day in and day out. The growth of this daily habit is seen here:

Psalm 1

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

What side of this equation are you on right now? Are you delighting in the law of the Lord every day? Notice that the trees bear fruit all season as their roots are getting fed from the river. (See also Josh 1:8, Ezek 47: 1-12)

Compare that to this passage which basically says the same thing:

John 15: 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

Are you a true disciple?

“Dear Lord, I choose to be your disciple. I will commit to seeking you with every fiber of my being. I know that I do not feel spiritual and that I am mostly a casual follower. But you’ve called me to love you with all my heart and that’s what I would like to do. Please forgive me for not taking your Word seriously. Thank you, Jesus, for what you have in store for my future, for I believe that you will lead me to truth and everlasting life as long as I continue to follow you. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

Would you like to get the most out of your reading, check out the website for reading tips: theBibleTeam.com/Tips.asp

Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash



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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
What Are You Thankful For?

What Are You Thankful For? Loving God, part XXXIII

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Today I’d just like to discuss some things that I think we, as Bible believers, can be truly thankful for.

I understand that there are around 7,000 promises mentioned in the Bible and they are all reasons to be thankful for, but today I just want to present what I consider to be the greatest promises.

Before we get to that, what comes to your mind when you think of a promise? Do you think of a promise that was broken or one that you kept? Have you known someone that is good at keeping promises? Do you know people that don’t keep promises?

Are you good at keeping promises?

Do you follow through with what you’ve committed to? Do you casually tell people “Sure I’ll be there at 6:00” or “I’ll call you tomorrow” and later think of little reasons why you shouldn’t show up at 6:00 or call them?

I must confess that my actions have not always been consistent with my words and I still catch myself not doing as I’ve said, being late, or just “flaking out” altogether. I’m still working on it. You see I like to please everyone which makes me want to say “yes” to everyone and not always thinking about what I’m “signing up” for.

The very fact that I am more aware of the promises I make and more sensitive to it tells me that I am making progress. That is just one way that God has been changing my heart and I am thankful for that. God has revealed to me that it is another “inadequacy” that I need to give over to Him.

The more I learn about God as I read His Word, the more I realize how great He is. Remember the hymn “Great is thy faithfulness”? Well, I’d much rather talk about His faithfulness than my unfaithfulness.

I know He’s made thousands of promises, way too many to list here, but I have come up with three that I think are some of the greatest promises we have to be thankful for.

Promise 1 – We can get to know Him

This promise is found throughout the Bible. I find it truly incredible that the Creator of the universe desires for us to know Him. Of course, that was the point of creating us, to begin with, so it makes sense.

Hosea 6: 6 I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.

1 Chronicles 28: 9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

Psalm 14: 2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.

And more from the New Testament:

Matthew 7: 7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

John 17: 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.

Promise 2 – We can be reconciled with Him

Not only can we get to know Him, but since being separated from God in the Garden of Eden, we can be forgiven for our sins and we can be declared righteous before Him.

Psalm 103
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.

2 Corinthians 5: 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”

Galatians 4: 4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. 6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.”

Promise 3 – We can have eternal life

Psalm 49
15 But as for me, God will redeem my life.
He will snatch me from the power of the grave.

Daniel 12: 2 Many of those whose bodies lie dead and buried will rise up, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting disgrace.

Isaiah 26
19 But those who die in the LORD will live;
their bodies will rise again!
Those who sleep in the earth
will rise up and sing for joy!
For your life-giving light will fall like dew
on your people in the place of the dead!

John 6: 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

Romans 2: 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.

Titus 1: 2 This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.

How is that for promises? Doesn’t that get you excited? Isn’t it wonderful that in a world where it is hard to find someone to count on, we can always count on God wherever we are?

Just one more promise:

Matthew 28: 18 “… And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

What are you thankful for?

“Dear Lord, Thank you for the many promises you’ve made. Your love for me is overwhelming and I pray that I can love you back. Please teach me your ways and help me to understand and get to know you better. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash



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If you desire a closer walk with Jesus, just want more fellowship or "Bible Time" come join us at TheBibleTeam.com. We have weekly calls where our sole focus is spending time in God's Word.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
What Do You Remember?

What Do You Remember? part 2, Loving God, part XXXII

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Today we’re continuing the message on remembering. Last time we focused on the Old Testament and now we’ll focus the New Testament.

Before we start with that, however, I’d like to share some things that can help us to remember.

If you’ve been reading my messages for a period time, you might know one of my favorite verses:

Joshua 1: 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
I love this verse. It’s so clear. This is one verse I’ve remembered. Have you ever read the Word in the morning and thought about it in the afternoon only to forget what you’ve read? It’s like watching a movie one night, then completely forgetting about it the next day. Apparently it didn’t make a lasting impression.
So the question is, “How can we take what we read and make it last so that we are thinking of it later in the day?”  I realize that the impression the content makes may vary from book to book. Reading Numbers 2 is nothing like reading Luke 2. Although I am convinced that there is something to be learned from each of the 1189 chapters in the Book, some are more interesting than others. This is understandable, learn what you can where you’re reading.

Here are some ideas to get the most from reading and for meditation:

Invite the Teacher to join you and open your heart
This is by far the most important tip. This is a great way of clearing our mind of whatever thoughts we might have as we open up our Bibles. When we are serious about seeking God, He will acknowledge it and see to it that we hear His voice. Simply pray “Lord, help me to focus on your Word. Please open my heart and give me understanding.”

Discuss it with someone
This would be the second most important tip. This can be very exciting and everyone learns when spiritual truths are revealed and ideas are exchanged.

 What version are you reading?
If you are reading the King James Version and have a hard time with King James English, like me, then maybe it’s time to find an updated version. My preference is the New Living Translation. The book of Job went from somewhat confusing (reading the NASB) to an incredibly beautiful and thought provoking book when reading the NLT.
Expect to learn something
Even when reading the most familiar passage, there is always something new to be learned or at the very least it will be fresh in your mind and may be of use to share with a friend that day.
Ask questions
Don’t just gloss over the text, try to understand it. For example:
Matthew 11: 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
What does this mean anyway? I think I understand it, and even if I do, do I find this to be the truth in my life? I truly think that few Christians completely understand this and experience it.
Highlight or underline verses
As the questions are asked and the revelations are made, highlight the intriguing verses and put question marks in the margins. For many years for whatever reason I chose not to mark up my Bibles, I’m glad I broke that rule!
Keep a journal
What are you learning from your reading? How is it being applied to your life? What questions will you ask God when you see Him?
For more tips visit the website: TheBibleTeam.com

 Now for the rest of the message…

Here are some things to remember from the New Testament…
 Luke 17: 31 On that day a person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. A person out in the field must not return home. 32 Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! 33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

Here we see Jesus reminding His audience about Lot’s wife. Many people even today know about Lot’s wife. When reading about her in Genesis it is shocking and it may not be obvious why it happens, but this verse illustrates the meaning and He uses it for application.  If you don’t, I won’t spoil it, you can read about her in Genesis. Read Genesis 18-19 to read the account.

Luke 22: 19 He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.”
 The practice of communion is all about remembering the work that Christ did on the cross. God is a practical God and it’s not just some religious thing to do, but it should remind us of this:
 Hebrews 10: 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.
 Isn’t this a great verse to remember?
Later in that same chapter:
Hebrews 10: 35 So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! 36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.

And then in chapter 12 the author has this to say…

Hebrews 12:  5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,

“My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and don’t give up when he corrects you.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

Who wants to live forever? Count me in!

I’ll leave you with just one more verse on remembering:

3 John 1: 11 …Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.

If we can only remember what we read, we can then meditate on it and that leads to a life changing process.

What will you remember?

“Dear God, Please help me retain your Word so that I will follow you more closely. You are the Bread of life and I never want to take you or your Word for granted. Thank you for leading me into your Truth and for the grand journey ahead. In Jesus’ name, amen”

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash



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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.