Archive | March 2019

Matthew 28: 18-19 ” Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘ All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…’ “

This week our Bible Study Group wrestled with this verse…The Great Commission, and with Evangelism.  While we all agreed that Christians everywhere are called to share the Good News of the Gospel with others…we also readily acknowledged the intimidation it can bring.  So why are so many of us uncomfortable to evangelize?  Let’s look at it from a completely different perspective…so forget yourself and your hangups, and think of it from the other person’s view.  Imagine you are a beggar telling another starving beggar where they can go and find bread…you wouldn’t have a problem with that, right?    You’d be happy to share that information so they might eat and live.  And that fellow beggar would be appreciative of your actions simply because you hadn’t hoarded or hidden the source from him.  Telling others about Jesus should be just as easy.  For we should be eager to share good news.

Exodus 15:2 ” The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”

Something happens to us as we learn to trust the Lord.  Our reliance on our-self diminishes as our dependence on Him increases.   Our old self, with all its baggage, slowly falls away as we learn to trust and have confidence in Him and His plan for our life.  And as we’re changed from the inside out, true joy, happiness, and hope fill us to overflowing…and we too can then join in this song of praise from Moses and Miriam.

I Timothy 6:9 ” People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”

When a person fails to think through the implications of a “get rich quick scheme”, their decision to act is usually influenced by greed and recklessness, not common sense.   For you hear it all the time – If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is.  But that still doesn’t stop foolish people from being duped and cheated everyday.  For it’s so easy to fall into the devil’s trap of running after riches… and instead ending up in ruin.

Job 11: 13-15 ” Yet if you devote your heart to Him and stretch out your hands to Him, if you put away sin that is in your heart and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear.”

These verses can give us great insight into what it takes to combat doubt and fear in our lives.  The first part gives us clear directions as to what our responsibilities are.  We are to be steadfast trusting in the Lord at all times…calling on Him first, and not as an afterthought.  We are to turn our back on our old sinful ways, but even more importantly, it says  we are to not tolerate or enable sin to remain in our house.  This is called compromise, and unfortunately many a Christian household has crumbled when questionable moral concessions have been made.  As we work on our responsibilities, we can as Job 22:26 says,  ” Find delight in the Almighty and lift up our face to God.” For when there is no longer the guilt and shame of sin weighting us down, we can lift up our head and look straight into the eyes of Jesus with a clear conscience…free of self-doubt and fear.

I Corinthians 11:28 ” A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.”

Paul had not been with the Believers of the Church in Corinth for about three years.  But he had gotten wind of the abuses that were happening concerning the Lord’s Supper…or if you will, Holy Communion or the Eucharist.  Here he was instructing them to stop and soberly scrutinize and determine whether they were worthy of taking Communion…before they partook.   When something becomes so ritualistic and automatic, we tend to perform it without thinking…going through the motions without allowing it to impact us.   We are to examine ourselves first, before we participate…for who better to ascertain our own spiritual condition than us?  And don’t worry, what you choose to ignore…the Holy Spirit will be faithful to point it out!

Psalm 32:7 ” You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

In times of danger and distress let it be You, Lord, I go to first.  Not after I’ve already tried everything myself and failed miserably, but to call on You from the very start.  For You, Lord, are my shelter and refuge…and a safe haven from the storms of life.  And I know You’re with me…ever watching over and surrounding me with Your encouragement and love… constantly reminding me of the promises within Your Word, the Bible.  I thank You Lord for loving me.  Amen.

Isaiah 11:2 ” The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord – and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.”

I admit when I first read this verse and the concept of the Sevenfold Spirit, I was baffled. Here they are listed…God’s empowering of the coming Messiah… the Spirit of the Lord, truth, understanding, counsel, power, knowledge, and piety.  Then I followed this idea to the book of Revelation where John writes about the Sevenfold Spirit four times in his revelation of Jesus Christ, (Revelation 1:4, 3:1, 4:5, and 5:6). Finally, I followed it to Galatians where it is called the Sevenfold Graces (or Fruits of the Spirit) given to Believers by the Holy Spirit…truth, power, love, self-discipline, wisdom, judgement, and life.  The Sevenfold Spirit is one of those wonderful mysteries of God that I may never understand, but still stand in total awe of.