Archive | November 2018

Philippians 2:1-2 ” If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”

In other words…if you have the love of Christ within you, demonstrate it!  Paul calls us here to be like-minded…the Greek word for this meaning the activity represented involving the will, the affections, and the conscience.  This unity involves coming together as a whole in decision-making, with morally right passions, and motives.  For being like-minded is thinking the same thing for the good of all, not just a few.  Yes, being like-minded takes work on the part of everyone.  It calls us to be peacemakers, bridge-builders, and servants to all – for His sake and for His glory.

Ezekiel 37:4 ” Then He said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, Dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord!’ “

Ezekiel was in a valley covered with the remains of a vast army.  As far as he could see, there were skeletons lying in piles.  So when God told him to speak to these corpses, Ezekiel probably thought to himself,  “You want me to preach to the dead?”  In a word, Yes!   And God wants us to preach to the dead also!  He wants us to speak life and hope into people’s lives that are perishing because of sin.  He wants us to share the Message of the Good News of Jesus to those who have never heard it.  For anytime we declare the Word of God to the world around us,  His Word is set free to work and give life to those listening…even if they seem to be ignoring us!  Ezekiel probably thought preaching to the dead would be a total waste of time…but he didn’t realize the life-giving power in God’s Word.  And so he watched in amazement as that vast army took a collective breath and rose to its feet.

Philippians 1:27 ” Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

Paul is thought to have written this letter to the Philippians during his first Roman imprisonment.  He wanted them to be encouraged whether they ever saw him again or not.  Paul especially exhorted them to stand firm in one spirit…something that the modern-day Church should take heed of.  When there is infighting, discord, and division,  the Church cannot function as it should.  For when we are not standing firmly together in unity…contending for the Gospel as one…the message of Salvation through Jesus Christ is lost in the muck and mire and turmoil within the Church walls.  Paul reminds the Philippians, and us, to lead our lives in a manner deserving of the Gospel of Peace.

Jeremiah 16:19 ” O Lord, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to You the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, ‘Our fathers possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good.’ “

Over the course of history there hasn’t been anything made by man that could take the place of Jesus Christ.  From the wooden statues overlaid with gold to the modern-day idols we chase after today…they are and will always be fraudulent, deceitful, and totally worthless.   I Samuel 12:21 warns us, “Do not turn away after useless idols.”  For anytime we take God off His throne and place a man-made object there instead, we’re putting our trust in ourselves. And no man-made idol has or will ever have the power to save our souls…only Jesus can do that.

Jonah 3:4 ” In 40 days Ninevah will be demolished.”

In the Hebrew, this sentence is only 5 words long.  It doesn’t even mention God, nor did it call the people of Nineveh to repentance.  So why did the Ninevites believe what Jonah warned them of?  Jesus tells us in Luke 11:29-32 that the Ninevites had heard of Jonah’s miraculous deliverance from the belly of that fish and that they will, “stand up at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.”  The people of Nineveh heard and believed God…may this present generation do the same.

Isaiah 32:8 ” But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.”

When we allow the wise counsel of the Holy Spirit to direct and guide our decisions…our decisions will be excellent ones.  When we listen to that still small voice rather than  blurting out the first thing that comes to mind…our words will be timely and principled.  When our plans align with God’s plans for us…we can stand firm with integrity and strength, knowing we are right where God wants us…in the center of His Will.

Psalm 36:7 ” How priceless is Your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of Your wings.”

God’s merciful kindness is afforded to all.  Whether great or small…prince or pauper…wealthy or poor,  we can all seek protection and refuge in Him.  And by trusting in God and experiencing His love first hand, His faithfulness will become our shield and rampart in times of trouble. (Psalm 91:4)  For God’s love for us is beyond measure and beyond comprehension…and it’s available for all.