Saturday, November 18, 2017

Being Tempted - James 1:12-15

James 1:12-15 ESV 

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Man is a creature of desire. This is a reflection of being made in the image of God. God seeks men and women after His own heart. 

The desire of man has no restrictions on it to allow mankind the freedom to choose and desire God, or something else. That is shown in the Garden of Eden by the presence of the two trees which signify that freedom of choice. That choice will allow us to respond to love with love. 

This brings the Garden as representing what takes place in the heart of every man and woman. God does not tempt us, but has placed us in a world which competes for our desire. It is by overcoming this world that we reach the presence of the Lord. Jesus has done this and shows us the way. Satan shows us another way which can seem good to a man, but will only lead to destruction. Actually, there are many ways to destruction, but one way that leads to life. 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Deceiving Yourselves - James 1:22-25

James 1:22-25 ESV

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

This may the best way to distinguish between a nominal Christian and a disciple of Christ. A Christian sits on the shoreline of the kingdom of heaven. The disciple gets up and walks into the promised land. 

The promised land is the good soil that accepts the seed of the word which takes root and grows into a majestic tree by the waters of life. Man becomes the Garden which is the paradise of God. He is one of the many trees which will flourish in the Garden to come which is also called the New Jerusalem. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Confounded - Acts 9:22

Acts 9:22 ESV

But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.

The Greek word translated as “confounded” literally means to pour into, or with something else. One might say the more he grew in the strength of the Holy Spirit, the more the living water of Christ would flow through Paul and into the world. 

The message of Christ continues to confound the world. The darkness cannot comprehend the light. A person has to draw near to the light to begin to see what it is about, as did Moses turn aside to behold the burning bush. God will speak at that point of meeting. It is holy ground. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

For The Asking

Does anyone deserve anything just because they exist?

We didn’t deserve life, yet we have it. 

We didn’t deserve to be born in the time or space of our existence, yet that is what everyone receives. This affects our opportunities and the resources that are available to us for getting on in life. 

We don’t deserve the talents and ability which are inherent in the body in which we find ourselves. They affect our opportunities and the resources that are available to us for getting on in life. 

God seems to measure out the gift of life and talents in a unique way to each individual. There are many and various outcomes just as there are many and various people. Though we are a unique creature of God, we will all be judged in the same way because there is one God who is true and just. 

We don’t deserve anything, but everything is ours for the asking. 

Clings To The Dust - Psalms 119:25

Psalms 119:25 ESV 

Daleth My soul clings to the dust;

give me life according to your word!

From the dust we come 

It is to dust we return 

Unless you give life to life 

That your word might stir our breath 

And give purpose and destination 

To our aimless wandering 

Free us from earth’s gravity 

To give wings to your grace 

And soar in the wind of your Spirit 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Lesson From Adam And Eve

Adam and Eve 

We can enter and remain in the Garden of the choice between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but it is a daily choice. Our work is to believe God and to keep believing Him. 

They began not knowing good and evil. We begin as a fallen people, intimate with the knowledge of the forbidden fruit. We have the advantage of knowing the difference.

They believed God, but did not keep on believing. Their desire would become more important than the word of God as the fruit of deception took root. Let us keep believing to ensure our place in the presence of God. 

John 6:29

Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Genesis 3:6

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Number Of Disciples - Acts 6:7

Acts 6:7 ESV 

And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.

The word of God increases as the body of Christ grows. 

It grows in the increase in disciples. Becoming a Christian seems to have little to do with being a disciple of Christ. A disciple is one who learns from the instruction of a teacher. A disciple of Christ follows and learns from Him. When we are led by the Spirit of Christ, we are led by His truth and into His light. 

It is not just enrolling in a school, but actually taking classes.