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How Bad Do You Want To Be Transformed? part 2

How Bad Do You Want To Be Transformed? part 2

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In my last post, “How Bad Do You Want To Be Transformed? part 1”, we discussed the absolute necessity of reading the Truth on a daily, if not regular, basis.

This week I’d like to impress upon you the absolute necessity of prayer. Reading and prayer go together like a hand in a glove. It’s prayer that keeps the heart soft so that the Truth of the Word of God can seep in. The Word inspires and encourages us to be in constant prayer.

Without prayer and an open dialog with the Teacher, reading the Word will not yield any fruit. Those that are not seeking may read the Word but unless their hearts are turned toward God they will continue to have “ears that cannot hear” and “eyes that cannot see”.

Prayer is faith in practice.

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

The problem I’ve always had with prayer is that I could not see God. The idea (from a secular perspective) of conversing with an invisible being was always difficult for me. I think I prayed only because I did believe in God and I was always told that prayer works. This means that I did not have a personal conviction about prayer and I did not have much of a relationship with God. What this translated to was I prayed typically when things were going wrong and they were superficial at best.

Perhaps you don’t have much of a habit for prayer now and your prayers are short and superficial. Perhaps you just want to enrich your prayer life. Let’s see what we can do to change that…

Just like reading, prayer started out as a habit for me, something I made myself do. I knew I wanted to read the Bible regularly and that started me thinking more about God and how He operates. So one prayer that I think God was delighted to hear was “Lord, I want to know you more. As I read your Word please reveal yourself to me.” I still pray this prayer and He keeps answering. It’s a wonderful thing to stay hungry for God. This is one way to keep fresh and deepen the relationship. So what started out as a habit, praying because I knew I needed to, developed into a lifestyle. “I should probably pray” turned into “I can’t wait to pray”.

We were two worlds apart, God and I. He was in His realm and I was in mine. I did what I did and He did what He did. Little did I realize that He really wanted me to get to know Him more. Now I know that He’s always been interested in me and that He really has my best interests in mind. So my prayer life brought us closer together and now we’re working together, He and I.

James 4: 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

Another great thing about reading the Bible is all the wonderful prayers that the godly men and women prayed. There is a lot to be learned from the prayers already prayed and had tremendous results.

Would you like results? Consider this:

James 5: 16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

The keywords here are “righteous person” and “prayed earnestly“. Doesn’t this give you hope?

If you persist in this transformation process that I am laying out in these messages I am convinced that God will lead you to the abundant life that He’s promised. He will hear your prayers and your life will change dramatically.

Psalm 105: 4 Search for the LORD and for his strength;
continually seek him.

Will you pray with me?

“Dear Lord, Thank you for calling me into this most incredible relationship. I was a wreck and now I have hope. You’ve led me in ways that amaze me. Nothing compares to you, my Lord. Thank you for your Word that allows me to get to know you better. Thank you for being there when I call on your name. Please lead me down your path. Change my heart, help me to see people from your perspective and love them as you do. In Jesus precious 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.
How Bad Do You Want To Be Transformed? part 1

How Bad Do You Want To Be Transformed? part 1

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This is part 1 in a 5 part series…

Are you looking to grow? Do you want to mature spiritually? Is this something that you think about from time to time or do you crave it?

It is my guess that you are looking for the “abundant life” that Jesus promises.

John 10: 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (KJV)

or in my favorite version:

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (NLT)

Who doesn’t desire a life described as such?  What comes to my mind is being transformed. I cannot personally relate to this described life, yet, but I have faith that I will, on this earth. Although I cannot relate, I can see glimpses of it and I know that I am being transformed. Of course, this does not happen overnight.

Speaking for myself, how does one get from being lazy, selfish, undisciplined, careless, irresponsible, thoughtless, purposeless, and complacency to faithful, loving, patient, diligent, driven and passionate? Don’t get me wrong, I am not there yet, but I can see signs of moving in that direction and because of that I am full of hope.

Let’s look at the method that Paul lays out for us…

Romans 12:  2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

How do we change the way we think? What habits and activities must we engage in in order to allow God to transform us?

May I share with you what’s been working for me? Will it be OK if I discuss with you how God has been transforming my life?

I’ll sum it up with this:

Biblical concepts and truths seem to sink into the heart little by little over time and eventually come to fruition, in His time and blesses us in miraculous ways on a very personal level. This is how transformation happens. Only through regular reading of the Word, prayer, and fellowship does this happen.

The key words in Romans 12: 2 are ” let God transform you“, which means that transformation doesn’t happen unless we give Him our time.

In an ultra convenient, vending machine, ATM, fast food, “give it to me now” society that we’ve all been programmed by, taking the long way is not very appealing.

“Reading? you’ve got to be kidding me. Who’s got time to read anymore?”

Psalm 1:
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.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.

The key words here are ” 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.” Do you delight in reading the Bible?  Do you look forward to reading it every day? The writer, David, did not even have the New Testament!

But let’s get practical. If we are not to “copy the behavior and customs of this world” and “let God transform you“, how does this happen?

Allow me to make a suggestion: Read your Bible daily. (which is not a custom of this world)

Developing a daily habit of Bible reading is not easy, but you can do it. It starts with a desire to know God more and a daily decision of putting Him first.

If you have the desire, God will help you and meet you wherever you are.

Here are a few tips for developing the habit:

  1. Schedule the time. If you are like most people that have busy and tight schedules, this is required. Pick a time when you are alert, not when you are dozing off. Can you imagine telling God, “Sorry God, I did not have time to spend with you today.” He wants you to take Him seriously and this is the first step.
  2. Pray before you read. This is absolutely essential. When our lives are filled with busyness, it can be very difficult to block out all those little thoughts which will distract us from concentrating on our Teacher. When you are trying to tell someone something very important and they are not giving you their full undivided attention, how does this make you feel? Pray “Dear Lord, please speak to me as I read. Help me to focus on your words and help me to listen.” You may have to pray more than once at times.
  3. Think about what you’re reading. As you read try to understand the text and apply it to your life. “How does this apply to my life?”. “What can I learn from this?” The answers may not come right away, but if you take the time to digest what you are reading, these thoughts will revisit you and you begin to meditate on them throughout your day. At that point His “Words remain in you”. You may also want to write your thoughts to be shared with someone later.

If you have no one to discuss what you are reading,  join us on the Bible Team call, which we have Monday nights. Details for that call are below.

Are you serious about spiritual growth?

Pray these verses, I cannot improve on them:

 Psalm 119: 
4 You have charged us
to keep your commandments carefully.
5 Oh, that my actions would consistently
reflect your decrees!
6 Then I will not be ashamed
when I compare my life with your commands.
7 As I learn your righteous regulations,
I will thank you by living as I should!
8 I will obey your decrees.
Please don’t give up on me!

Can I get an Amen!

Details for our weekly Bible calls:

Mondays at 6:00 PM PDT (9:00 PM EDT)
Call in number: (857) 232-0155
Conference Code: 265164

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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.
Who Are You Leading People To?

Who Are You Leading People To?

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Thank you for reading my posts. If you are one of the two people that read my posts then thank you! I greatly appreciate it. I pray that what I write not only interests you but moves you. If what I write does not lead one closer to Jesus and/or His Word then I haven’t done my job. If you have benefitted from any of my posts, please drop me a line and let me know. You can send an email to Larry@LarryPittman.com or comment below.

Please take a few moments and read Jesus’ famous last words…

Matthew 28: 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, 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.”

It’s never about the Church. When I say Church I am referring to the Body of Christ. The people that have faith; whose hearts are sincerely seeking Him and “believe that He rewards those” because of it (Hebrews 11:6). Of course, if you are a part of the Body, then you know that it has flaws, just as you have flaws.

Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.

Do you lead people to church or the Head of the Church?

With that being said, who are you pointing people to? Do you direct them to your church, as in the local body of believers that regularly meet down the street? Or are you leading them to the Holy One, the One who will never disappoint or deceive? Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great churches around, but who would you rather place your neighbor or friend in the hands of? A flawed body of people who can come across as weirdos sometimes or the person of Jesus Christ whose very words are perfectly placed in that big, dusty book on your shelf?

The Holy Word of God never disappoints.

John 1:  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.

People accept Him or reject Him. For those people in your life that you identify as seekers, you can direct them to the Word of God today!

2 Corinthians 6:2 2 For God says,
“At just the right time, I heard you.
On the day of salvation, I helped you.” (Isa 49:8)
Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.

First of all, I think that many people are much more receptive to the Living Word than a strange and sometimes creepy place, with sometimes creepy people. Let’s face it, visiting a church for the first time is intimidating even for believers, let alone the uninitiated.

You don’t have to wait for Sunday services or Wednesday youth night when you can get them reading the Word of God today!

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.”

After your friend meets God, He will lead them to His Church, that’s one thing we can be sure of.

Are you becoming more like Christ?

What is your testimony anyway? Is it “This is what the Church has done for me!” or is it “This is what God, the Creator of all things has done for me!”? A person with an open heart will meet God every time they read the Good Book, but will they meet Christ in church? Maybe.

Very Important: 

If Christ is in you, then your friend or relative will meet Him through you. If their hearts are receptive then they will be open to reading (or listening to) the Word. If their hearts are hardened then you will probably hear every excuse under the sun as to why they will not go to church with you.

If you are not regularly consuming the Word, then I think it’s time to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want to grow in the Lord?
  • Am I meek enough to expose myself to the convicting Word of God daily?
  • Should I consider learning a little more about God every day?
  • Is my faith in God important to me? Why?
  • What am I currently valuing more than God?

For the person that is not actively seeking God through the regular reading of the Bible: If you’d only realize what you’re missing out on. God wants you to get to know Him better and pursue Him. He will transform your life if you make yourself available to Him daily.

Don’t get me wrong

Just one more thing: If God lays it on your heart to invite someone to church, do it. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t. What I am saying is that we should take our relationship with God seriously and when that happens, we become like Jesus and those seekers will be drawn to us and we will not have to wait for Sunday morning to introduce them to Him.

Acts 2: 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

Will you pursue Him?

“Dear Father, help me to know you more so that I can lead people to you. Give me the right words to say and a boldness to speak to others about you. Thank you for teaching me new things and helping me grow. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

Photo by Annie Spratt 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 Does Jesus Mean To You?

What Does Jesus Mean To You? part 3

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Are you frustrated? Do you sometimes feel like giving up? Life can be so harsh at times and it can be rather difficult to have any kind of joy or peace in these times. If that is where you’re at right now, then pay attention to this week’s message. Meditating on the following passages and commentary may be just what you need to endure these “hard times”.

Last time we discussed that Jesus the Creator has invited us, the object of His love, to become His friends. This was in “What Does Jesus Mean To You? part 2”. Today I’d like to analyze that relationship in a bit more detail.

Although God’s love for us is unconditional…

John 3: 16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

2 Peter 3: 9 He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.

There are conditions to being His friend:

John 15: 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

Let’s explore this relationship a bit more so that it is clear what we should or should not do. I am convinced that if we follow Christ and become His disciples in this way, we will care less and less about our circumstances and more and more about staying in Him and being His disciple. This will yield peace and joy (and all other fruit).

Let’s look at some of the most fundamental commands that are key to pleasing Him:

John 15: 17 This is my command: Love each other.

Matthew 6: 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

John 8: 31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings.

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.

2 Thessalonians 3:6 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us.

Translation “Be careful who you spend time with!”

It is clear that not all friendships are equal. Some friendships yield rich and rewarding blessings and some friendships can end in disappointment and betrayal.

What can we expect from our friendship with Jesus? Here is one great promise in two different verses, again with conditions:

Mark 11: 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. 25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

John 15: 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!

Two peculiar conditions

1. “remain in me” (Spirit)

Here are two peculiar conditions, “remain in me” (Spirit) (abide in other translations) and “my words remain in you” (Truth). (John 4: 23-24)

What do you think of the words “remain in me”? To me, it means fellowship with our Lord (read 1 John 2: 27 below). These two verses come to mind:

1 Thessalonians 5: 17 “Never stop praying”

and also

2 Corinthians 10: 5 (NASB) We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Friends these two verses are concepts that I find very challenging to implement into my life. Some days are better than others, but the more we become conscious of our thoughts and the more effort we put into continual prayer the more natural it becomes.

2. “my words remain in you” (Truth)

This is clearly reading the Word of God. Since we read last week that Jesus is the Word, that says to me that all books of the Bible are His words. If you’ve read the book of Haggai, do you remember what it is about? Not that it needs to be memorized, but the concepts, ideas, and events should be stored in the heart so that you can share with others and have your own faith. There is value to all the books in the Old Testament, which is what the New Testament authors understood very well, that’s all they had.

If you remember just one thing… Remain in Christ

I think I’ve said enough. I’ve found and listed other verses relating to “remaining in Him” that I think you’ll enjoy. This is a message worth meditating on, if we can learn and practice at becoming His friend and remaining in Him I am convinced that there is no greater place to be. Can I get an amen?

John 15: 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. 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.

John 15: 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

1 John 2: 24 So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father.

1 John 2: 27 But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. 28 And now, dear children, remain in fellowship with Christ so that when he returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from him in shame.

1 John 3: 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.

Jude 1: 5 So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful.

Just one more passage…

Jude 1: 20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. 22 And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives. 24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.

Will you remain in Him?

“Dear Holy Lord, Your words pierce my soul. Thank you for choosing me as you chose your disciples. As you say in Jude 1: 24, “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” That’s what I want. Please keep me from falling away, for I am weak and have many faults, but you Lord are all powerful and I can trust in you to complete what you started. In Jesus name, amen”

Photo by Jacob Meyer 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 Does Jesus Mean To You?

What Does Jesus Mean To You? part 2

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You can find part 1 here: “What Does Jesus Mean To You? part 1

Close your eyes and think to yourself: “What words come to mind when I think of Jesus?”

Do the words Lord, Master, God, Cross, Savior, Prophet come to mind?

How about Creator? Check out these verses:

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,[a]
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.

I just love these two passages!

Colossians 1: 15 Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see—
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together.
18 Christ is also the head of the church,
which is his body.
He is the beginning,
supreme over all who rise from the dead.
So he is first in everything.
19 For God in all his fullness
was pleased to live in Christ,
20 and through him God reconciled
everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

Here you have it folks, Jesus the Creator, from two different authors, pretty cool, huh? It’s amazing that the Creator of all things seen and unseen decided to come to this earth and live with us.

Friends of the Creator?

Now let’s read another perspective of Jesus:

John 15: 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so thatyou will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

For those of us that trust and obey Him, He calls us His friends.

Folks, this puts us in good company, who else was considered a friend of God?:

Numbers 12: 6 And the Lord said to them, “Now listen to what I say:
“If there were prophets among you,
I, the Lord, would reveal myself in visions.
I would speak to them in dreams.
7 But not with my servant Moses.
Of all my house, he is the one I trust.
8 I speak to him face to face,
clearly, and not in riddles!
He sees the Lord as he is.
So why were you not afraid
to criticize my servant Moses?”

God trusted Moses, how about that!

2 Chronicles 20: 6 He prayed, “O Lord, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you! 7 O our God, did you not drive out those who lived in this land when your people Israel arrived? And did you not give this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham? 8 Your people settled here and built this Temple to honor your name.

Of course Abraham was a friend of God.

Psalm 25: 11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

This Psalm was written by King David, another friend of God. But I love verse 14 which simplifies it and shows exactly how anyone can become friends, which is consistent with the words in John above.

Do you understand what I am trying to illustrate here? The Creator of heaven and Earth invites us to be His friends! Perhaps that is just the purpose for His creation to begin with. Oh how wonderful that is!

Is Jesus Your Friend?

Will you pray this prayer?

“Dear God, You are an awesome and mighty God. Big enough to create everything, yet humble enough to come to this earth to show us a visible image of you. Lord, I haven’t always been your friend. As a matter of fact I’ve been your enemy at times and rejectedyou. Please forgive me for my actions that were not pleasing to you. You know my heart Lord, let me know where I have sinned. I really want to know you more and I’d like to be your friend. Please be patient with me as I learn more about you. Thank you for leading me down your path. In Jesus name, amen”

In the spirit of this message, here is a song that was written in 1855 by Joseph M. Scriven, I’m sure some of you have heard it before. If you know the tune, go ahead and sing it:

What a Friend we have in Jesus

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there

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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 Does Jesus Mean To You?

What Does Jesus Mean To You? part 1

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Who is Jesus? Of all the messages I’ve written, this issue the most imperative. Out of all the questions to be asked, there is not one where the answer has eternal ramifications that this one has.

For now let’s start with this question: Who was this man Jesus?

He lived 2,000 years ago, what relevance did His life have to anyone? Why are people still dying for their belief in Him?

Some say that He never existed. Some people believe he was simply a good man. Some believe He was a prophet, but nothing more. Some people say that He is only one way to God, and there are many ways.

Does it matter? 

Last week we discussed the One who created the heavens and earth. It is clear to me from the scriptures we reviewed that there is one God. Not many gods but one God.

What did God have to say about the Savior through His prophets?

Micah 5: 2 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

are only a small village among all the people of Judah.
Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,
one whose origins are from the distant past.

This is one of many prophecies about the Messiah (Christ). There is said to be over 300 prophecies all of which were fulfilled through the person of Jesus.

There are websites that delve into these prophecies in great detail, see the link below for one such resource.

What did Jesus have to say about Himself?

Mark 14: 60 Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 61 But Jesus was silent and made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

62 Jesus said, “I Am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

John 3: 13 No one has ever gone to heaven and returned. But the Son of Man has come down from heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the bronze snake on a pole in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life.

John 14: 6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

These are just a few statements Jesus said about Himself. The New Testament is filled with similar passages.

Here’s a unique passage where we see the Father and Spirit give testimony:

Luke 3: 21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Yet people still don’t believe.

They choose not to. Even though the text is clear, it still comes down to faith. People that deny these truths always find reasons not to believe. What is the alternative to an inerrant Bible? If the Bible is not the Truth, what is? How could we rely on anything? It is no wonder people have no hope today.

Psalm 39: 6 We are merely moving shadows,

and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.
7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.

I say all this to say what does Jesus mean to you? It really doesn’t matter what other people think, or what they say. You’ve read these scriptures and others, what do you make of them?

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.

If you believe He is the Son of God, does His teachings have any bearing on your life? Does it have any affect on your daily decisions on how you spend your time and the conversations you have?

One more passage, one to meditate on…

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. 25When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’ 26 Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’

I find this to be one of the most challenging passages for me to read. This is why I am determined to seek Him with all my heart. What else even begins to compare in importance?

Will you join me in seeking Jesus?

“Dear God, Help me to understand your ways. Thank you for your grace and mercy as I stumble about trying to please you. I desire to spend eternity with you, please help me to live my life in such a way that brings glory and honor to you. You are a great and mighty God, the One that delivered me from a dark and hopeless past. Please be patient with me as I continue to grow in you. In Christ’s name, Amen”

Messianic prophecy resource page:

http://aboutbibleprophecy.com/messianic.htm

Photo by Jacob Meyer 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 Believe About God?

What Do You Believe About God?

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Why do you read my messages? Why do you read the Bible? If you are a Christian, why? Why do these things matter to you?

I know one thing, if I stop reading the Word, hang out with the wicked, watch a lot of TV, regularly read periodicals such as the newspaper, Newsweek, National Geographic, Self, or People, my belief in God will become more and more irrelevant. The Bible will become meaningless to me. Pretty soon I might either believe that all “paths” lead to God or that there is no God at all.

Do you read the Bible to be good, or to be “made right with God” and learn how to love Him?

Are you aware that some people believe that there is no God?

Psalm 14: 1 Only fools say in their hearts,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, and their actions are evil;
not one of them does good!

Do you know that some people believe that “God is everything and everything is God”?

Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Have you been informed that some people worship the universe, nature, the sun, and the moon?

Job 31: 26 “Have I looked at the sun shining in the skies,
or the moon walking down its silver pathway,
27 and been secretly enticed in my heart
to throw kisses at them in worship?
28 If so, I should be punished by the judges,
for it would mean I had denied the God of heaven.

Has it ever crossed your mind that some people believe that there are many gods?

Old Testament answers:

Deuteronomy 4: 39 “So remember this and keep it firmly in mind: The Lord is God both in heaven and on earth, and there is no other.

1 Kings 8: 60 Then people all over the earth will know that the Lord alone is God and there is no other.

2 Kings 19: 17 “It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these nations. 18 And they have thrown the gods of these nations into the fire and burned them. But of course the Assyrians could destroy them! They were not gods at all—only idols of wood and stone shaped by human hands. 19 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power; then all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you alone, O Lord, are God.”

Isaiah 45:
18 For the Lord is God,
and he created the heavens and earth
and put everything in place.
He made the world to be lived in,
not to be a place of empty chaos.
“I am the Lord,” he says,
“and there is no other.

New Testament answers:

Romans 3: 29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. 30 There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

1 Corinthians 8: 4 So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God.5 There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords. 6 But we know that there is only one God, the Father, who created everything, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom God made everything and through whom we have been given life.

1 Timothy 2: 5 For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.

Isn’t the Bible clear enough about who God is? What do your friends and relatives think about God? Does it matter to you what they think?

Romans 14: 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

What do you think would happen if they started to read these “life yielding” words?

Have you even considered that this special knowledge that you have comes with it special responsibility?

Luke 12: 48 But someone who does not know, and then does something wrong, will be punished only lightly. When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.

What will you do with what you know?

“Dear heavenly Father, You alone are God. Thank you for giving us your Word so that we may know the Truth. Help me to know you more so that I can share your greatness with those around me. Reveal yourself to me so that I may know that you are God. Give me the strength and courage to speak up when you ask me to. This world is defaming you constantly, help me to spread the Word about your true nature and set the record straight. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.”

Photo By: Robin Benad



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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 Am I To Think?

What Am I To Think? part 2

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In my last post, “What am I to think? part 1“, we discussed the contrast between what the secular scientific community says about the age of the earth and what God’s Word has to say with sound Biblical evidence.

What’s important to remember is that it takes faith on both sides of the debate. Will you believe what “the world” promotes as truth, with no witnesses, or will you believe what God said, who we know was there?

Hebrews 11: 3 By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.

Big Bang or a spoken, intentional command?

The Big Bang Theory is one of disorder, chaos, and chance while Genesis 1 lays out a carefully detailed and well-executed plan that could’ve only been completed by a Master Designer.

Of course, there is more to this ongoing debate that I’d like to address this week. I used to believe that the world was millions of years old and I never bothered to reconcile that belief with Genesis 1. I believed that the dinosaurs existed many millions of years ago, died off, and then somewhere in the distant past Adam and Eve came along.

This belief, of course, contradicts the Biblical timeline of a mere week and it also contradicts this Biblical truth:

Romans 5: 12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.

Remember this?:

Genesis 1: 31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day

If God saw that it was very good, there wouldn’t have been any death, which aligns with Romans 5:12. This is after He created the land animals and humans, all in the sixth day.

Are there dinosaurs in the Bible?

At this point, you may be asking, “What about the dinosaurs? Where do they come into play? Does the Bible mention dinosaurs?

Since they were land animals, they were created on day six.

As for Biblical evidence, when is the last time you read Job? In Chapter 39 When God continues to challenge Job, He asks questions about specific creatures, most of which we would recognize. The first to be mentioned is wild goats(v. 1), followed by wild donkey(v. 5), wild ox (v. 9), ostrich(v. 13), horse(v. 19), and finally the hawk(v. 26). It is obvious that God is quite proud of these creatures and asks probing questions that only He could answer. But God doesn’t stop there, He has a couple more creatures that are given more attention than the previous six:

Job 40: 15 “Take a look at Behemoth,
which I made, just as I made you.
It eats grass like an ox.
16 See its powerful loins
and the muscles of its belly.
17 Its tail is as strong as a cedar.
The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze.
Its limbs are bars of iron.
19 It is a prime example of God’s handiwork,
and only its Creator can threaten it.

What sort of creature does this make you think of? Is there any creature today that has a tail as strong as a cedar?

Then for His grand finale, He describes a creature that is set apart from the others, in fact, all of chapter 41 is used to describe this special beast. I’d love to include it all here, but it is quite lengthy. Here are some highlights:

Consider Leviathan…

Job 41: …12 “I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs
and its enormous strength and graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its hide,
and who can penetrate its double layer of armor?
14 Who could pry open its jaws?
For its teeth are terrible!

18 “When it sneezes, it flashes light!
Its eyes are like the red of dawn.
19 Lightning leaps from its mouth;
flames of fire flash out.
20 Smoke streams from its nostrils
like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes.
21 Its breath would kindle coals,
for flames shoot from its mouth.

31 “Leviathan makes the water boil with its commotion.
It stirs the depths like a pot of ointment.
32 The water glistens in its wake,
making the sea look white.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal,
no other creature so fearless.
34 Of all the creatures, it is the proudest.
It is the king of beasts.”

I know this sounds like a mythical creature, but in the context of chapters 39-41, does that make any sense? Especially in light of verses 33-34. Just because we haven’t seen this creature doesn’t mean it never existed.

Creature or Myth?

Where did the idea of fire-breathing dragons ever come from anyway? Isn’t it interesting that among all the ordinary creatures of the Chinese Zodiac there lies the dragon? The word dragon, by the way, is found many times in the King James Version when the word dinosaur had not yet been invented (1841).

A dragon is seen on the flag of Wales and dragons are found to be a part of many ancient cultures throughout the world. Are dragons a common myth among many cultures or could it be that they were once creatures that lived among us and are simply extinct?

Want more evidence? there’s much more

I’d like to point out just two significant “findings” for those that want something tangible:

Soft blood tissue was found in a Tyrannosaurus Rex bone. You can choose to believe that the tissue is still soft after 70 million years, or you can choose to believe that the bone is less than 6,000 years old.

Soft blood tissue found in T-Rex bone (MSNBC)

Here is a very short video about this topic:
Men and Dinosaurs (ICR.org)

We are without excuse

Before we close, here are a few passages that explain that man is without excuse, but also willingly ignorant:

Psalm 19: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Romans 1: 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

2 Peter 3: 5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood.

At the heart of it, disbelief is not a matter of scientific findings, but about the heart. Only if I have a heart for God will I believe Him.

What do you believe?

“Dear God, I struggle with disbelief. Although I believe you created the heavens and the earth I find it hard to believe that you will help me with my daily challenges. Please change my heart. Help me to understand and know you better so that I can know you are God. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Photo by Adam Smith 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 Am I To Think?

What Am I To Think? part 1

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I don’t know about you, but I enjoy watching the Discovery channel. I especially like watching the series called “Planet Earth” and “Planet Earth II”. I can’t get over how God masterfully created our beautiful planet and the incredible creatures that inhabit it. Those shows never cease to amaze me. The only thing about those shows that I dislike is that they never give God the credit. They seem to believe that all creatures evolved over millions of years, by chance, no Designer required. It seems as though all those nature related shows like Nova and those on National Geographic support the belief of evolution and the idea that our planet has been in existence for many millions of years and more.

So what am I supposed to think? When I read God’s Word, in particular, Genesis chapter 1, it seems to contradict the ever-pervasive beliefs that life evolved and that the earth is many millions of years old.

Day 1

Let’s review what the good Book has to say about the beginning, the beginning of time, that is.

Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

OK, according to God, after the first day all that existed was the earth, the heavens, light, and the earth was covered with water. On the second day, He creates the earth’s atmosphere, which is not like ours today.

Day 3

Genesis 1: 9 Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good.11Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened.

On the third day, we see dry ground, the seas, then vegetation.

That pretty much sums up the first 3 days of history. Can you imagine it? No people, no animals, and what else is absent? Let’s continue…

Day 4

Genesis 1: 14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them mark off the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

Ahhhh, of course, on day 4, after the light and after the vegetation, He made the sun, moon, and stars. Their purpose is to light the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness.

Day 5 sees the creation of birds and sea creatures. Sounds like a pretty easy day, for the Lord at least.

Then of course, last but not least…

Day 6

Genesis 1: 24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce every sort of animal, each producing offspring of the same kind—livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and wild animals.” And that is what happened. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to produce offspring of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

27 So God created human beings in his own image.
In the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (remember this for later)

It’s on day 6 that God created His masterpiece, saving the best for last:

Ephesians 2: 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Do you see the significance of the order in which He created our planet? He created the earth for our use!

Other than a simple, plain reading and interpretation of Genesis 1, how can we know that this is over six literal days? I’ll give a few reasons:

Context:

Genesis 1: 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

Here we see the words “day and night” together with “evening and morning” and that it’s the first of six days.

God’s Word:

Is it OK if I quote from the 10 commandments?

Exodus 20: 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

God modeled the six day work week for us. Isn’t that awesome?

Let’s read what Jesus had to say:

Mark 10: 5 But Jesus responded, “He wrote this commandment only as a concession to your hard hearts. 6 But ‘God made them male and female’ from the beginning of creation.

I think we now know where Jesus stands on the subject if we didn’t already.

God’s character:

Mark 10: 15 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

The more I seek God, the more I firmly believe that the simpler, the better. For it is the simple ideas and teaching that reach the masses. I truly believe that the devil is using the “wisdom of this world” to trip up many people and to undermine God’s truth and His great plan of salvation.

1 Corinthians 3: 18 Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise
in the snare of their own cleverness.”
20 And again,
“The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise;
he knows they are worthless.”

In the world’s eyes, is it wise to believe that a man came back to the dead? Do we take this seriously?

Matthew 28: 5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

If I can believe these verses in Matthew, shouldn’t I also believe this verse in Exodus:

Exodus 20: 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

I find it interesting that it is mostly the first 11 chapters of the Bible that are attacked in our culture today. What better way to discredit a book than to cast doubts on the first chapters of it by undermining their credibility. What’s disturbing is that there are many in the pews today that are indifferent or even stand with those that can’t accept God’s Word for what it says.

What’s really incredible is if Genesis 1 did not happen in 6 literal days, it simply makes no sense. For “everyone knows” that the stars and sun were here first though not according to God’s Word!

Why it matters

If a friend that does not know Jesus asks you how old does the Bible say the earth is, what do you tell them? Do you tell them “You can’t really trust Genesis 1 for what it says, it’s not written plainly.”?

Do you see where I’m going with this? This is a foundational issue and we need to be able to stand on the authority of God’s Word, for that is solid ground!

2 Samuel 22: 31 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. (NIV)

I know what to think, do you?

“Dear God, thank you for your Word, for I know that it is Truth and that I can place my trust in it fully. Please help me with my doubts. Please give me knowledge and understanding of those issues that I’m uncertain of. I know that I will never completely understand your ways, but at least I can continue to get to know you more and understand more as a grow in You. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Photo by Adam Smith 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.
Whose Side Are You On?

Whose Side Are You On?

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When you were younger, were you ever forced to take sides on the playground? Perhaps two older kids, maybe bullies, wanted a “side-kick” and that put you in a pickle. If I choose to hang out with Billy, Micky might get angry, and vice versa. Those are hard decisions. For me, I just wanted to run and hang out with people that were less demanding.  I was not a fighter and went out of my way to avoid fights. It is the same with confrontation, I avoid it as much as possible.

The more I read the Word, the more I realize that I am being called to fight and to choose a side, daily. There is a battle going on, on many fronts, and I don’t think the battle lines could be drawn any clearer than how Jesus said it:

Matthew 12: 30 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

This is just like saying if you are not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Have you ever stopped to consider how this verse applies to your daily activities or friends you hang out with?

Here’s another passage that defines the opposing forces:

Ephesians 2: 1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.

This passage startled me when I last read it, of course, that is one reason I love the Word. It helped me to look at the world from a different perspective. If I am not obeying God, I am obeying the devil. I obeyed the devil before I came to Christ and even uncle Bob, who is so friendly, but does not know Jesus, is also obeying the devil. (uncle Bob is fictitious, by the way)

These verses make it clear that there is no middle ground.

I don’t know about you but this really changes my expectations of people. What’s most important for me to remember, however, is who the actual enemy is. Although people I know may be obeying the devil, this does not make them the enemy:

Ephesians 6: 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

But you may ask, “How could people be working for the devil and not know it?”

John 12: 39 But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,
40 “The Lord has blinded their eyes
and hardened their hearts—
so that their eyes cannot see,
and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
and have me heal them.”
41 Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory.

This is where we come in and where our challenge lies. Knowing that we are called to make disciples and lead people to Christ and ultimately give all the glory to God, what do we do? What does any good soldier do? They make sure they hear what their commander says and carries out the orders. Jesus understood this perfectly:

John 12: 49 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”

Do you know what God wants you to say? When people belittle the political party you associate with, do you ask God how you should respond? Do you know His commands?

You do know that God wants us to be like His Son, don’t you?

Romans 8: 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.

That is good news, isn’t it? I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel pretty secure.

Is it time for you to take a stand? Is it time to arm yourself for the great battle before us?

Ephesians 6: 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

There’s no question in my mind that God has a job for each of us in His army. As the last verse states, our weapon is the word of God.

Do you find yourself taking cover because you have no sword in your hand? Or are you prepared to stand up to the enemy because you know how the war will turn out?

Here is one last verse to encourage you:

Revelation 17: 14 Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.”

Will you take up your weapon and fight?

“God I praise your name. Thank you for calling me to be on your side and opening my heart to you.Please forgive me for not taking this war seriously for so long. Will you please help me develop a daily habit of reading your Word so that I will be properly equipped? Lord, please help me to be a light to others so that I may win souls for you. Help me develop a better prayer life so that I can be more effective for your battles. In Jesus name, Amen”

Photo by Andrew Yardley 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.