Thursday, November 30, 2017

Especially Prophecy - 1 Corinthians 14:1-4

1 Corinthians 14:1-4 ESV

Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophecy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit. On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation. The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church.

The spiritual gift of prophecy seems more desirable than speaking in tongues with regard to building and strengthening the church body. Speaking in tongues is similar to prayer, a spirit to Spirit conversation between God and the believer. This is at the core of our relationship with God, whether spoken or silent, and gives consolation and assurance to the children of God. 

Prophecy is the word spoken with a focus and concern for the people around us, that they may increase in the love, knowledge, and assurance that is theirs by the mercy of God. Speaking in tongues is a one on one communion between a person and God. Both reflect the grace of God. 

The Son of Man left behind the perfect communion of the Trinity to speak the word into the ear of mankind. As the body of Christ on earth, we are to be and speak the word that is Jesus Christ. This is the tongue of the kingdom of heaven here on earth. 

Speaking in tongues is a sign of our love for God. Speaking the word is a sign of our love for others. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Love Builds Up - 1 Corinthians 8:1-3

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 ESV 

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

True knowing means loving God. Being known by God means we have come into His presence, which is the fountain of all wisdom and knowledge. We are sealed with His Spirit which gives us access to the mind of Christ. 

The knowledge of man is full of the air of the world, while love is the most solid thing around. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Examples For Us - 1 Corinthians 10:1-6

1 Corinthians 10:1-6 ESV 

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.

We are in the midst of our own wilderness journey, just as the Israelites were on their way to the promised land. Despite incredible experiences with God, most were lost in the wilderness. 

Paul warns us not to make the same mistake. No one can snatch us from the hand of Christ, but we can wander off and get lost. 

1 Corinthians 10:11

Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Into Another Man - 1 Samuel 10:6-7

1 Samuel 10:6-7 ESV

Then the Spirit of the Lord will rush upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. Now when these signs meet you, do what your hand finds to do, for God is with you.

These verses describe what happens to everyone who receives the testimony of Jesus Christ through the witness of the Holy Spirit. That person is transformed into another man, a new creature of God. The influence and presence of Christ is with us, for He is in our midst, even within each of us. 

Whatever we do, we are to do it in His name, for it’s through His name we live and have life. What we do now we do as the children of God. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Witness - John 1:6-8

John 1:6-8 ESV 

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

John was the greatest prophet of his people, but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Why? 

Israel bore witness to the light, but was not the light. John was a prophet of those who would bear the law which would enable the world to understand sin and lead to repentance. Jesus is the light of the world and everything prior to His coming paved the way for His arrival. 

Those in the body of Christ become the children of light and the sons and daughters of God. We are part of God’s ultimate will for mankind. There will be a remnant He will call His own and they shall be known as the Bride of Christ. 

The many come from the one seed and grow into the mighty tree of life. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Way To See It

Believe who you are is who you’re going to be. That is the way God sees you. 

Only The Baptism Of John - Acts 18:24-25

Acts 18:24-25 ESV 

Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.

It is possible to experience the baptism of repentance and not know the baptism of the Holy Spirit. To know the way of the Lord with a sincere and eager heart, and yet not know the Lord in an intimate relationship. 

John Wesley, the father of Methodist denomination, is an excellent example of this phenomenon. He was well into his ministry of spreading the gospel before the gospel finally reached his heart. He felt a “strange warming” of the heart when this happened when he was sealed in the assurance of his salvation by receiving of the Holy Spirit. 

Knowing the baptism of John only leads to the baptism of Jesus Christ. That is the endgame and the will of God. 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Taught By God - 1 Thessalonians 4:7-9

1 Thessalonians 4:7-9 ESV 

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,

How does God make an impure people holy? By giving them His Holy Spirit, just as He gave us His only Son. 

God taught us in the form of a man, that being the man Jesus. Once the seed of the word died and fell to the earth, the seed began to grow and multiply and fill the earth. The seed enters the earth of man through the giving of the Holy Spirit. The teaching begun by Jesus continues with the Holy Spirit given to every heart who answers His call. 

We have received the love of God and that love teaches us how to respond to Him and each other. Forget what you knew and live in what you know. This is true and holy love, and all this is made possible by the Holy Spirit. 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

But Now - Acts 17:29-31

Acts 17:29-31 ESV 

Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

The art and imagination of man is unable to capture and contain the infinite God. This is the apex of man’s ignorance which distracts from the knowledge of the true God. Paul says that ignorance was overlooked until now. 

The time was right for the truth to be revealed. Mankind has reached the age of accountability. The ignorance of a child protected us from the judgement of a righteous God, but now the mystery and salvation of God has been revealed. Mankind is old enough to choose between life in Christ or the fruit that leads to death. The question now becomes will we have the wisdom to make the right choice. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Falling Away - Galatians 5:1-6

Galatians 5:1-6 ESV 

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Grace that is once accepted can be discarded. The idea of the need for perseverance in our walk with Christ confirms this. The letters to the churches in Revelation warn and encourage us in this matter. 

The only thing that counts is “faith working through love.” Faith without this work is dead. James says this and Jesus repeats this warning. 

“Unless you repent...” 

Then nothing can snatch you out of His hand. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Different Path

To follow Jesus we must take a different path. 

Keep In Step - Galatians 5:22-25

Galatians 5:22-25 ESV 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.

When we are led by the Spirit, the work of the Spirit bears the fruit of God working in us. This is a collaborative effort between God and man. He leads and we follow. If we keep in step with the Spirit, we will find ourselves at the wedding feast of Christ. 

Being made alive with the Spirit is only the beginning of the journey to God. We must walk with Him in the fullness of life. Keeping step with Him becomes the work of God which is made possible by faith. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

At Death’s Door

Christ has turned our fear of death into the joy of the doorway to life everlasting. What lies behind the door is now up to us. We get to decide if we win or lose. Life is ours to lose. 

Who Are The Sons - Galatians 3:7-9

Galatians 3:7-9 ESV 

Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

In a sense, Abraham had two sons, or lines of descendants. One was earthly in nature and will find their inheritance in the promised land as prescribed in the original covenant with Abraham. This is the son the Lord brought out of Egypt. 

The second son is the body of Christ. The older son will serve the younger. The younger son will receive the blessing from the Father and will receive the double portion as His due. This is the son the Lord is bringing out of the world. 

What has been done, is being done. The Old Testament speaks to us in word and deed. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

House Of Prayer - Mark 11:17

Mark 11:17 ESV 

And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

Prayer is part of the house of the Lord. It is the vehicle that brings us into a conscious awareness of the presence of the Lord. It plays the part of the mortar which binds us as the temple of the Lord, the body of Christ. 

Through prayer we enjoin the Holy Spirit in silent or vocal praise and appeal to our Lord and Savior. It is the gateway for all people to pass into the Holy of Holies where the Most Holy God abides. 

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. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Was Praying - Luke 3:21-22

Luke 3:21-22 ESV

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

When Jesus became a man He gained the spirit of a man. When the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form, the Son of Man would become the Son of God in bodily form. In this account we see that the Spirit is given when Jesus begins to pray. 

We become sons of God in the same way. 

Adam is the first son of God, but he did not receive the blessing of the Holy Spirit, the blessings of our Father in heaven. It was the second Son of God who was blessed. This pattern is repeated a number of times in the Old Testament. 

We become sons of God when we enter the body of Christ. It is through prayer that we access the Holy Spirit. Prayer can move from asking Jesus to come into our lives to a life that becomes a living prayer, a prayer that never ceases. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. 

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Sojourner - Psalms 119:17-19

Psalms 119:17-19 ESV 

Gimel Deal bountifully with your servant,

that I may live and keep your word.

Open my eyes, that I may behold

wondrous things out of your law.

I am a sojourner on the earth;

hide not your commandments from me!

The Hebrew word translated as “bountifully” here includes the idea of a weaned child, one who has received the milk needed by a newborn child and is now ready for solid food. The Lord provides the sustenance we need to grow in spirit and into the maturity of one that seeks to attain the mind of Christ. 

He has opened our eyes to His salvation and grace, though we see but dimly the wonder and landscape of the kingdom of heaven. The Psalmist prays for the ongoing and continual revelation of the wondrous things out of the word of the Lord. When the Lord speaks through His word, the eyes of our heart can behold the truth of God. 

As residents of the kingdom of heaven, we are now foreigners and visitors here on earth, passing through on our way home. The bread from heaven will feed us on our wilderness journey and His word will sustain us until we arrive at our destination.  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Perfection Of Beauty - Psalms 50:1-2

Psalms 50:1-2 ESV 

A Psalm of Asaph. The Mighty One, God the Lord,

speaks and summons the earth

from the rising of the sun to its setting.

Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,

God shines forth.

The light of God is the perfection and beauty of the earth. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Seen The Father - John 14:8-10

John 14:8-10 ESV 

Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

If you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen the Father. Jesus is the glory of the Father and the radiance of His light. He is the exact image of God and what we aspire to be. 

Can you see yourself being like Him? Do you believe God?

Monday, November 6, 2017

Let My People Go - John 18:4-8

John 18:4-8 ESV 

Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.”

Jesus answers the mob with the name God gave to Moses. This translation renders His response as “I am He.” The Greek says “I am.” Jesus not only admits He is the man they seek, but that He is the God of Israel whom they should seek. Though they are blind to this fact, they experience some of the power of the name of the one who brought their fathers out of Egypt. 

He repeats the command given to Pharaoh by Moses, “let my people go!”

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Human Being - John 16:19-21

John 16:19-21 ESV 

Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.

Jesus was the first human being made in the image of God. He was born from above and delivered into the world. The divine spark of life would enter the darkness of man and would allow mankind to choose that life. This is the true human being. The word “being” captures the essence of a person who has entered the fullness of life. Fullness of life is a choice. Nothing need be done for something less. 

God chose our darkness that we might choose His light. 

Our life has begun in the womb of mankind, but when the childbirth of the reborn is complete, the children of God will be revealed. The anguish and tribulations will be behind us, lying in the dust of the world that has been shaken from our feet. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Seed - Luke 8:11

Luke 8:11 ESV 

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Jesus received the spirit of man when He entered the flesh of man. This might be thought of as the seed of the word being sown in the earth of man. The seed is sown by the Holy Spirit and the man Jesus is born. Jesus is the word of God. 

The Holy Spirit again descends, but this time on the man known as Jesus. He then was filled with both like any child of God and son of man, except He is the only begotten Son of God and the Son of Man. As such, He is the cornerstone of the final and true temple of God which is the Bride of Christ. 

He was then driven into the wilderness by the Spirit to show us the way to the Father. We follow in His steps for our own wilderness journey and we become the dwelling place of God on earth. 

He overcame the wilderness challenges and has returned in the Holy Spirit to accompany and guide each of us to that distant shore of the promised land. Our inheritance and portion will God, rather than the promised land on the earth that is part of the covenant with Israel. 

Only He can take you there.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Difference - Matthew 7:22-23

Matthew 7:22-23 ESV 

On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Jesus did not tell us to make Christians, but to make disciples. 

Anyone can say they are Christians, but being a disciple means believing what He says and doing it. 

That could be the difference between staying for the dance at the wedding feast to come, or being thrown out because Jesus doesn’t know you. 

Be the difference. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Filling Our Emptiness

Jesus emptied Himself to become a Son of Man. 

He fills us that we might become a son of God. 

Became Flesh - John 1:12-14

John 1:12-14 ESV 

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Jesus became flesh, born of God through the Holy Spirit. We who are born in the flesh can follow the way of Jesus to become children of God. The life we receive does not reside in the flesh and blood of man, but is of the life of God which is Spirit. 

The Spirit can overshadow us as He did Mary and begin a life within each person to produce a son of God who will one day rise from the grave and ascend to the Father. 

The word is made manifest in the flesh of each one who receives the word. He dwells among us for He is in us. We have seen His grace and truth, and for that reason we place our faith in Him. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Get Real

The word of God represents a reality more real than the reality of man. That is the reality in which we live. Getting real may not be what you think it is. Really. 

As I Have Loved - John 15:12

John 15:12 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

The love of God is best expressed in our love for each other. Christ tells us to love Him by loving each other as we love ourselves. This perfectly reflects the perfect love that exists between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for He is one. 

His love is true love.