Friday, April 23, 2010

Judges 3:10 "The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he Judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand. and his hand prevailed over Cushan-Rishathaim".

Some thoughts I had while reading this morning;

1. How important is the topic of judgement that God gave a whole book of the bible with the title of "Judges".

2. Israel's lack of proper Judgement led them into captivity and instead of waring against ungodliness they accepted it and joined themselves to it. Lack of proper or righteous judgement will always lead one into captivity.

The new testament has alot to say about war and the war we are in. Gal 5:17 states that the flesh wars against the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit against the flesh. It's interesting to note that in the beginning of Ch 3 we read where God left some of the tribes of the land in Israels promised land so that the new generation of Israelites would know war. We have a responsibility to fight or war. It's a Spiritual battle now God has given us the victory but we must fight in the Lord and the Power of His might. To not know war or how to fight in a war will lead to defeat. The weapons of our warfare are mighty in God but we must take up these weapons of God and go to war against the flesh and everything in our lives that God has judged as sin and unrighteousness.

3. The Spirit of the Lord led or was the catalyst to proper judgement. The Holy Spirit will always lead us into God's judgement. People make judgements everyday but only when our judgement lines up with or agrees with God's judgement will we truly judge righteously. The Holy Spirit, as part of the triune nature of God, represents Gods nature, will, etc. Our following Him will always bring us into God's judgement.

1 Cor 2:9-11. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.

4. When a man of God led by the Spirit of God, Judged Israel, Israel was set free from bondage and captivity. A man has risen up to bring deliverance to all who are held captive and His name is Jesus.

Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord".

5. 1 Pet 4:17 " For the time has come for judgement to begin at the house of God. And if it begins with us first what will the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God". This verse is written in the context of suffering at the hands of the world for obeying Christ. When you walk in proper judgement you often times will suffer persecution from the world. We should judge our lives today. Are we being persecuted by the world because of our judgement. There will come a day when God's final judgement will be given to those who do not walk according to God's judgement. And a loving God, because He is a just and righteous judge, will condemn all who do not obey His gospel to an eternal hell.

6. The hand of the man prevailed against his enemy. I will say this again, we will always prevail against the enemies of our soul as we walk and use God's judgement. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Be Found In Him

Phil 3: 7-9-"I once thought these things were so very important but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done, yes everything else is worthless when compared to the priceless gain of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ. And become one with Him (be found in Him KJV). I no longer count on my own goodness or my own ability to obey God's law, but I trust Christ to save me. For God's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith"(NLT).

I've been thinking about how easy it is to get lost. In this world where there is some much confusion regarding right and wrong. In this age of tolerance we see where people are doing whatever is right in their own eyes and what used to be wrong is now right and what use to be right is now wrong. We have lost our way as a society. In this chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippine Church, he is admonishing the believers not to put confidence in their religious works to make them right with God. He list his religious pedigree and states that all of that was worthless to him when compared to the priceless gain of knowing Christ. People it's so easy to get lost today. Paul was lost in the strictest of religious life. Many are lost in the philosophies of humanism and humanistic psycology. Jesus Christ and being in a faith relationship with Him is the only way to be found. To be found in Him is to be right with God. The NLT states "to become one with Him". Are you becoming one with Jesus. Are you filled with His Spirit and seeking to obey His every command. Are you so thankful for what He has done for you on the cross. Is your life hidden in Him, or in other words, is the life you now live for and about Jesus and His glory. Do you know Him or just know about Him. I don't think there is anyone left in America who doesn't know about Him but do you know Him. Jesus said my sheep hear and know my voice. Do you know the voice of Jesus. Are you hearing and obeying it on a consistent basis. Jesus is the root and the vine of the plant. He is the source by which all things from God flow. In Him is hidden the wisdom from God that confounds the wisdom of this world. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Jesus is the good and perfect gift from God. He is God's very best so what else do you need. Are you becoming one with Jesus today. It's time get back to the simplicity of knowing and following Jesus. You may be going to church every Sunday but you have lost your way. How would you know? I think you can know by being honest with yourself. Ask yourself the simple question, does my life reflect or prove that I am becoming one with Jesus. One of the great institutions that God has given mankind is marriage. Isn't it amazing how the bible describes the marriage as the two becoming one flesh. You can look at a marriage to see if the two are actually becoming one flesh. So many marriages never get to this point, they never become one. For two people to become one both have to die to their own agendas and desire and to live for a common goal. They have to totally 100% give themselves for the other person. Well Christ has already died and has given Himself for us. What about you have you died with Christ and now you are totally giving your life to and for Him. May we all today ask ourselves these questions and judge ourselves according to the word of God. And if Jesus chose to come back today may we be found in Him.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Establish The Work Of Our hands For Us

I was reading Pslam 90 this morning and the last verse (17) stood out to me. Psalm 90is a prayer of Moses.

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands for us.

The part of this verse that stood out to me was the "establish the work of our hands". When something is established it is settled, firm and reoccurring. Eph 2:10 sates that we are His workmanship (created by his hands) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them". The beauty of the Lord mentioned in Psalm 90 is the reflection that comes from a life that has been created by God through or in Jesus Christ. The beauty of the Lord shines out by the works that we do. We were all created in our mothers womb by God. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are the works of His hands. As the works of His hands we were created to do good works or to continue the works of His hands through the works of our hands. Just like God created us in our mothers womb, He also created works that we all should walk or be established in. The key to being established in the works that God has established for all Christians to walk in is to be recreated in Christ Jesus. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature old things pass away behold all things become new. To be in Christ is to be in unity with Him. He lives in You and you live in Him. Your life no longer belongs to you but to Him.

Gal 3:20 - "I have been crucified with Christ. Its no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son Of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me".

Col 3:3 - "For you died and your life is hidden with Christ in God".

Paul said that the life that he now lives he lives by faith in the Son Of God. Paul's new life of faith in the Son of God was shown by his works or the works of his hands. The works of His hands came out of his faith in the Son of God. To be found in Christ is to be crucified with Him. Christians died and our old life of works died with us. Our life is now hidden with Christ in God. The new life that we are to live is the life of faith. Faith is trusting, believing and obeying Christ. Christ has given us His Holy Spirit who lives in us and creates in us the will and the power to perform the will of God. I see the will of God in this earth as being the redemption of man. Christ was crucified before the foundation of the world so that man could be redeemed. The entirety of the old testament pointed to the redeemer. The New Testament gives us the redeemer and the Acts of the Apostles was telling the world that the redeemer had come.

James 2:17-18 - Faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead. But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works.

What works are you established in today? To put it another way, what are you working for? Do your works point to the redemption of mankind? Are you working to see men to be redeemed through God's only way of redemption, The Lord Jesus Christ and His Gospel. I believe we should all judge what and who we are working for. May the Lord establish the works of our hands and may that work be to lay our hands on man to get them to God. May we with our hands, cloth the naked, heal the sick, cast out devils, freely give what we have been given!!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

They Did Not Ask Counsel Of The Lord

Joshua 9:18 - Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the Lord.

The nation of Israel was in the process of going into the promised land and the inhabitants of Gibeon heard they were coming. They schemed up a plan to deceive Israel into making a covenant with them. They put on old clothes and put moldy bread in their sacks to make it look like they had traveled from a far away place. They met the Israelites as they were coming toward their city. The Gibeonites told their story to Joshua and deceived him into making a Covenant with them. Joshua and the children of God were deceived because they did not ask God before they took provisions from the Gibeonites and before they made a covenant with them. I believe they wanted the provisions and to be in covenant with the Gibeonites more than they wanted to obey God. This condition will always open us up to deception or to be deceived. When we really want something bad enough most of the time we will do whatever it takes to get it. This includes not asking God if it's His will. The scripture talks of people who's god is their belly or their fleshly appetites. Eve never asked God before she ate of the apple. She wanted the apple because it was appealing to her flesh. There was something appealing about the Gibeonites to the children of Israel. Remember there is a way that seems right to a man but the end is destruction. Thee are many things that come our way in life that feel, look, taste or smell right but they are deceptive and will lead to death.

Deception is a big topic in the Bible. Lets look at another verse.

2 Thel 9-10 - The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and wonders, and lying wonders and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.

The lawless one is Satan and he is seeking whom he may devour and to cause people to perish. The lawless one is also our flesh or sinful nature. Rms 8:7 says the fleshly or carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can be. Those who live according to their flesh cannot please God. In the above verse, people will be deceived because they loved not the truth. When you don't love the truth you open yourself up for a lie. The verse would go onto say that God sent them strong delusion that they would believe a lie. The problem with believing a lie is that those who believe a lie think they are believing the truth.

Finally Rm 1:24-26 - "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lust of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural for what is against nature". When we choose to live our lives without seeking the truth of God and seeking His counsel for our lives we are worshipping ourselves rather than God. Many today live their lives like this and yet say they worship God because they follow some religious creed or go to a religious service. Please don't be deceived. Women and men doing what is against nature is homosexuality and is a result of God giving them over because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator. Everyday people are being led down the path of deception because they have a truth they fits the way they want to live and have even changed God's word to condone their beliefs. I know this rubs people the wrong way in our culture of tolerance, but God's word is God's word.

God is the only one who can keep us from being deceived. We must consult Him and depend on His truth in every part of our lives. The Holy Spirit is our helper from God to lead is into all truth. Jesus is our truth. Seek council from God everyday and in all things. Make His word a priority in your life. Pray and be filled with His Spirit everyday and don't make decisions apart from His council. be led by the Spirit and not by your flesh. Follow and learn His every word. Remember Jesus said as he rebuked Satan that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Let Your Conduct be without covetousness

Heb 13:5 - Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said I will never leave you nor forsake you.

We discussed being content yesterday in church from Phil 4:11. Contentment is a state of being and Paul states in Phil that he had learned to be content in all things and in every place. Are you content today? Contentment can be defined as the experience of satisfaction and being at ease with one's situation. In the above verse the writer of Hebrews is encouraging the believer to be content with such things as you have. As a Christian we should live our lives in a state of contentment because God is our provider and He is in control of our lives. The verse also shows the exact opposite of contentment which is to covet or be covetous. Covetousness is a greedy desire to have more or to not be content in what you have. The 1oth commandment is thou shalt not covet. Covetousness is a state of being and a result of a life that is controlled by the flesh and it's appetites. In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were not content with all that God had provided for them in the Garden, they had to have more. The Devil tempted Eve by getting her to look at the things that she didn't have instead of what she did have. She began to covet the thing that was forbidden by God. She began to covet the thing that her flesh told her would bring her satisfaction but ultimately would bring her destruction. The children of Israel did the same thing in the wilderness. God provided Manna from heaven and water from a rock but they craved the food that they didn't have. Their cravings caused them to doubt God and His provision and they began to look back into the place of bondage rather than enjoy the place of freedom. God has provided a garden and manna from heaven that will satisfy every soul. His name is Jesus Christ.

In John 6:35 Jesus said "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me will never thirst". Jesus is God's provision for contentment. No matter what the circumstance is in your life He will never leave you nor forsake you. This is what the end of verse 5 says. To be filled with Jesus is to be content and to not be covetous. Everyday he is the manna from heaven. God has filled us up wit the Holy Spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are filled with contentment and peace. Through the power of the Holy Spirit the flesh that covets is crucified. The question today is what are you being satisfied with. If it is Jesus than Hallelujah. If it's everything but Jesus than you will never be satisfied and in the end your covetousness will send you to hell. May we all be found being satisfied with Jesus and not our circumstances in life.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Walk In The Spirit

Gal 5:16 - I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. What a promise from God's word. Walking is not just what we do to get from one place to the other. It is how we live our life from day to day. It's how we progress through life or make our way through life. Through the New Covenant and God's great gift of grace, God has given us His promise, the Helper who helps us progress through life in victory over the dictates of the sinful nature. The contrast here is walking in the Spirit or fulfilling the lust of the flesh (our old sinful nature). There are two masters competing for our life.

Verse 17 in the NLT says The old sinful nature loves to do wrong, which is just the opposite of what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.

The flesh is every man's master at birth. He controls and dictates our walk from the time we are born until we die unless we are bought by another master. The flesh will always make us to be against God or make us contrary to God's way. The word contrary means to be against or opposite. The Holy Spirit is the master to all who believe and follow Christ. The promise in God's word today is that the flesh or old sinful nature, our old ruler and king is defeated. The Holy Spirit of God has been sent to us and given us the means to victory over the sinful nature. May we all be found walking in this truth today. The means to victory has been provided for all men.

Rms 8: 1 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

All people who walk or live their lives by following the dictates of the flesh (sinful nature) are condemned. The sinful nature dictates that we sin. The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. All men are condemned to death or eternal judgment. But those who are in Christ are delivered from the sentence of eternal judgment. To be in Christ means that we are living or walking according to or by the Spirit.

Rm's 8: 12-14 (NLT) So my dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by it's dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Children of God are those who put to death the deeds of the flesh by being led by the Spirit of God. Wow!!! What a concept in a day of religious confusion. Another verse I've been thinking about that goes along these lines is Jn 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in His name. Jesus gives power to those who receive Him and believe in His name. That power is to be sons and daughters of God. And the proof that we are sons and daughters of God is that we are putting to death the deeds of our sinful nature. 1 John Ch 3 is a great chapter about Sons of God and Sons of the Devil.

1 Jn 3:10 (NLT) - So we can tell who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

To live righteously is to depart from sin and to quit sinning as a practice.

1 Jn 3: 9 (NLT) - Those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God's life is in them. So they don't keep on sinning, because they are the children of God.

May we receive and walk as Children of God today. Let Gods word be true and every mans word that does not line up with his word a liar.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Exhort and Strengthen

Im my reading yesterday this verse really stood out to me. Acts 15:32 -"Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words". What encouraged me about this verse was the result of two men using their God given gifts to exhort and strengthen the brethren. The spoken word can have such a powerful effect on people. Here we see not only did these two brothers read the letter from the Jerusalem church but they spoke many words to exhort and strengthen the brethren. Prov 18:21a -"Life and death are in the power of the tongue". Jesus said in Jn 6:63b "the words that I speak to you they are spirit and they are life". One of the most spiritual things we can do every day is to speak words. Our words just like Jesus' words can bring life or death. The words that these men spoke did something for the church in Antioch.

Exhort - to encourage, comfort, admonish through speaking or teaching.

Strengthen - to render more firm or to confirm. To give more strength.

I don't think they used just any words to accomplish these things. I think they brought and spoke the words of Jesus. They spoke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The words of Jesus or words inspired by Jesus bring life it's that simple. This is how the church and family of God should operate. We are to speak to one another. According to the scripture we are to speak to one another with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. By the gifts and inspiration of the Holy Spirit we are to use prophecy. We are to speak in other tongues with interpretation so that the body of Christ can be edified. In Mark 16 one of the distinguishing marks of the people that believe in Jesus would be that they spoke with new tongues. What a powerful understanding that the believer in Christ should speak with other tongues. I believe in speaking with and in other tongues. What about the tongue that you spoke with before you became a believer. How about the tongues that are being spoken everyday around you. Are you speaking with other tongues or using the same tongue of the world.

I am so concerned with the condition of our nation today. Listen to the words that are being spoken around you in conversations. Many are bitter, hateful, angry, etc. concerning other people. As Christians we have the power through the spoken word and the leading of the Holy Spirit to bring light in the midst of darkness, peace in the midst of turmoil, and life in the midst of death. Folks Jesus and His gospel message is the only thing that will save this world. Not conservative or liberal politics. As Christians are we being caught up in the fervor of the times. If so we cannot bring Jesus to a lost a dying world. May we be found today exhorting and strengthening each other with the words of Jesus.