Tag Archives: spiritual growth
PRAYER OF FAITH
Thank you Holy God for your patience, generosity, mercy, and loving grace for someone like me. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But no matter what situation we find ourselves in You are always there for me. So often, it seems as if I am losing the battle against sin and my prayers are unanswered, but later by hindsight, I see how things worked out in ways I never imagined. I am encouraged and strengthened by your faith Jesus.
In Jesus name, amen!
1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.
Galatians 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
BUILDING STONES FOR CHRIST
Have you become petrified or, are you a living, building stone for Christ?
Christians are all part of the body of Christ and have an important role to play in God’s plan. Ask Jesus everyday what He wants you to do? Seek His guidance in everything. Be a useful stone in the building of the Church. Even in the wilderness the Israelites relied on a Spiritual Rock.
1 Cor. 10:3-5 All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. FOR THEY DRANK OF THAT SPIRITUAL ROCK THAT FOLLOWED THEM, AND THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST!
When Christ started His ministry and began building His Church, He selected twelve apostles to train in building His Church. Jesus chose Peter as the chief apostle and rock of the Church to start His building!
Matthew 16:18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church.
The Church has grown in two thousand years to about two billion Christians on the earth. It is still growing as you the building stones of the Church are spreading the gospel of salvation to reach the lost of the world.
Again I ask are you petrified or are you a living stone for Christ? Are you using your life to reach others who are lost? Are you planting and watering so God can give the increase? That is what He commands!
1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.
Ephesians 2:20 Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF BEING THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE. Thess. 1: 6 You became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, WITH JOY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Be moved by the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit dwells in you! Let Him use you as a fruitful building stone for Christ.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO STOP SINNING?
Once in a senior Sunday school class, a man who was a long term member made the statement that he had the rapture and he didn’t need anything else.
Sadly, there are many Christians who feel that “once saved always saved” excuses them from any other duties as a Christian. That is not so!
They lack understanding of the new covenant that Jesus Christ preached about in the “Sermon on the Mount.” Under the old law you literally had to commit an act of sin to be guilty, but under the new covenant Christ makes it very clear that if a person harbors evil in their heart they are guilty of sinning. Everything we do in life should be spiritual, not of the flesh. But how can we do this? Through Jesus who lives in us! Jesus made the supreme sacrifice once and for all so our sins are forgiven and remains our advocate forever.
Hebrews 10:10 We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.
14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them.
17 Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
Matthew 5:21 You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, you fool, will be liable to the hell of fire.
27 You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery.
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
31 It was also said, whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.
32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33 Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, you shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.
34 But I say to you, do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,
35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black.
37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
38 You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
39 But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
43 You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
4 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
How is it possible to be perfect as God our Father is perfect?
1John 3: 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.
The whole book of 1 John is a further expansion of the spiritual laws of Christ.
If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then now is your time, this is why you are reading this now! Jesus is knocking on your door! Open to Him now! Receive Him into your life! God bless you! Amen!
CHRIST CAN HEAL YOUR UNREASONABLE ANXIETY
One hundred years ago America barely had lights and radios so world and national news was hard to come by. The news papers were the main source of news and it was usually months old. People, in general, were concerned mostly about local news. There just was not a whole lot to boggle the mind in those days. But now, the average person gets news about all kinds of things worldwide, nationwide, and locally and the average mind has a great deal of knowledge to sift through.
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY
Anxiety in the West: Is it on the rise?
Published Wednesday 5 September 2018
By Tim Newman
Fact checked by Jasmin Collier
— Today, “anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S.,” affecting around 40 million adults — almost 1 in 5 people. —
—They also noted that millennials were the most anxious generation. In 2018, the same poll was repeated. Anxiety was shown to have risen again by another 5 percent. Millennials were revealed to still be the most anxious generation. —
The average person is spending more time thinking through all the things their minds encounter everyday than ever in history and subject to more concern and anxiety. They have to plan more and make more decisions suffering the responsibility for it all.
What is the best answer to this problem? Could there be a solution? After all, this problem is a social and cultural shock!
Something has to change! God says in the Bible: 1 Corinthians 7:32 I want you to be free from anxieties.
God said and the Apostle Paul wrote: Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
God changes everything!
Luke 15:10 So I can guarantee that God’s angels are happy about one person who turns to God and changes the way he thinks and acts.”
Only God can change the mind of men! When God looks into the mind and sees surrender, He immediately calls the person to Christ.
John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Do you want change in your life? Surrender to Jesus Christ and pray for Him to come into your life and you will: Be anxious for nothing.— Philippians 4:6
Acts 9:34 Jesus the Christ heals you! Amen!
SPIRITUAL LAWS OF JESUS CHRIST
Three things of paramount importance to understand what is meant by the statement that we are not under the law, we are under grace. These three things are works, law and grace. What are works? Biblically, works means moral or immoral acts, deeds, output, or accomplishments. The apostle Paul relates to us the immoral works of the flesh in Galatians 5: 19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like. That is a very clear definition of immoral works. But God says that there are good works also in Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. However, salvation only comes through the grace of Christ, not our works.
Keeping of the law is next! There is a definition and explanation by God concerning the law. What is its purpose? Why did God give the law in the first place? Galatians 3: 19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed.
24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Matthew 5:18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
Both the works and the law point toward grace. As a matter of fact it literally paves the way for grace. John 1: 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. As God begins to open up His truth about law and grace we see that without grace all is of no effect because we have no means of ourselves to be justified to God. Jesus loved us so much He willingly gave His life so that we could live. Jesus died while we were still sinners and took upon Himself the sins of the world and became sin for us. He took our sins and died in our place. There is no greater grace than that. He freely gave Himself.
So now we ask the question, what are the spiritual laws? The answers are always found in God’s Word! Jesus revealed and the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Jesus teaches us in the” Sermon on the Mount” the difference between the old law and the new spiritual law. Under the old law you had to physically break the law to be guilty but under the new spiritual law, if you so much as harbored evil in your heart and mind, you are guilty of breaking the law. Matthew 5: 27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Romans 7: 25 I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. Galatians 6: 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
The old law given by Moses was etched in stone and written in ink but the new law under the new covenant is written in the fleshy heart of man. 2 Corinthians 3:3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
The change of the old to the new took place the night Jesus kept the last Passover and then instituted the communion with bread and fruit of the vine. 1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. Hebrews 12:24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant.
Hebrews 7: 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.
13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.( of the Levites)
14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest
16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.
17 For He testifies: ” You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,
19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
The priesthood changed from the Levitical Priesthood to the Judean Priesthood, Jesus becoming the high priest forever. Any and all laws under Christ are spiritual. Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual.
Jesus says over and over in the new covenant that we need to obey Him. Hebrews 5: 8-9 He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.
BUILD SPIRTUAL METTLE!
Does anyone remember what it means when someone says, “No pain, and no gain”? If we always have it easy and everything is handed to us on a silver platter doesn’t make life better. When a blacksmith works on a piece of metal he heats it at very high temperatures and hammers on it until it is shaped right. To build strong character and integrity we must be shaped the same way. We have the perfect example of how this is accomplished by the sufferings of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. Yes, Jesus was the Son of God and He suffered many things to strengthen His mettle. (Word History: By the 1500s, English metal had also come to mean “the stuff one is made of, one’s character,” but there was no difference in spelling between the literal and figurative senses until about 1700, when the spelling mettle, originally just a variant of metal, was fixed for the sense “strength of character.”) Jesus Christ suffered so He understands how to help us shape our character to have divine mettle!
1 Peter 5:10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
Let Christ shape and perfect you into a fine work of spiritual character, strength, and integrity!
THE SECOND FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS JOY
On June 4, 2016 I wrote about the first fruit of the Spirit which was love. Now I write about the second fruit of the Spirit which is joy.
The fruits of the Spirit are very important to God and He wants us to know what they are for a reason. They are expressly about the Spirit, the character of the Spirit and we should imitate Him, have His character. The ways of the Spirit are Holy to God and He expects us to reverence the Holiness of the Spirit. Jesus severely chastised the Pharisees about being disrespectful of the holiness of the Spirit in Mark 3:29 “but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”
Believers are temples of the Holy Spirit for the Spirit dwells in them. The fruits of the Spirit should be our nature as we follow the Spirit of Christ in us. Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
What more joyful thing could you want than that? Jesus says in John 17:13 “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.”
Later after the church had grown in the Spirit and increased in numbers we find in Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
The Apostle Paul gives us more insight to how joy is an important aspect of our lives when he says in Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Paul tells us what our joy should be like in Philippians 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Then Paul sums up the spiritual meaning of our joy as being like a crown in the hope of glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? 20 For you are our glory and joy.
The fruit of the Spirit is Gods holiness in believers and should be on display and shared with everyone.
WHERE WILL YOU BE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
Do you know what is in store for you in the Kingdom of God? God gives us some happy, encouraging bits and pieces of insight to that future. It is good to go over them from time to time to be nudged if you will to remember how important the resurrection really is in context to the Kingdom of God. Jesus said in the gospel of Matthew that we will not marry in the resurrection but will be as the angels of God in heaven. He explains rules for outgoing love toward others as in Luke 14:12-14 “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
There have been many Christians slaughtered for their beliefs around the world recently and they will be in the better resurrection.
The early Church in the times of the Apostles must have had a deeper understanding of their reward in heaven because there are records of their powerful faith. One such is in Hebrews 11:35 Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. They did not hesitate to give their lives for Christ.
Not too long ago, twenty one men were beheaded by Muslim extremists because they would not renounce their Christian faith and become Muslims.
Revelations 20:4,6 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Did you know that not everyone will have the same positions in heaven? There will be ranks! Some will be greater than others.
Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 11:11 “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Matthew 18:3-4 “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Here are some sayings of Christ to ponder. These verses give a lot of insight to what the Kingdom of God in heaven is like, how we should seek it and how to increase our reward.
Matthew 13:24 “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
31 “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,
33 “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind,
Does the resurrection to the kingdom of heaven have a great draw on your heart?
Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
BE A CHRIST LIKE SERVANT
We should never let anything get between us and the Creator God! There is only one God who has created the heavens and earth and created man to populate it giving him dominion over all things of the earth. God has never failed in anything. The scriptures say that all things are possible with God. (Mark 10:27) God is merciful, slow to anger and loves everyone. He gave His greatest gift to all people by sending His only Son to the earth in the form of a human being to be a servant to us all. (John 3:16)
If we will only serve our Creator full time after He has given us the gift of eternal life, He will bless everything we set our hand to do. His Spirit will give even greater understanding of His Word so we can grow in knowledge and wisdom, something we will never get enough of. Never forget that He is always with you. (Hebrews 13:5) The Lord will surround you like a shield. (Psalms 5:12) He will bless you with peace. (Psalms 29:11) He will increase and bless your business. (Psalms 67:6) Reach up for your higher calling as the LORD requires you to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (James 4:6)
Jesus Christ came as the greatest servant as He humbled Himself as a man for our benefit and example having given His all for us in death on the cross. Therefore we can do no less than to humble ourselves before our Creator as living sacrifices bearing our cross. (Luke 14:27)
We are spiritually encapsulated in the body of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit as we are His temple, and we are no longer of this worlds system but our citizenship is in heaven. We even have a place prepared for us waiting probably with our name plate already on the door. The Creator is faithful in His promises and if we are faithful to Him then we will do even greater works than Jesus did. (John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.)
Are you doing greater works than Jesus did? He said we would!