July 29, 2016

What have you hidden in your heart?

Psalm 119:11.

Do you know what that passage is?

Some may, and others may not.

Don't think that I am alluding to the fact that one must know every reference in Scripture.

There was a time when the passages were not referenced as they are now.

Psalm 119:11 tells us that the psalmist hid the word of the Lord in his heart.

Why did he do that?

So that he would not sin against God.

Is the word hidden in you?

If not, then does that mean that you will sin?

Why was the law given?

If we had never been given the commands to keep like "Don't steal, and don't bear false witness, and don't covet," then we would not have known NOT to do those things (Galatians 3:19).

That's right. God gave us the law that we might know what to do and what not to do.

It had to be spelled out. That's right. We would have thought it okay to steal unless told otherwise.

We have been told.

Now, if you speak an untruth, you know that you have sinned.

And then God simplified it for us.

He reduced ten commands to just two commands (Matthew 22:37-40).

Love God with all your heart, and love you neighbor as yourself.

So instead of knowing the ten commands, we need to hide just two in our hearts.

Instead of wondering if we have sinned by not keeping the ten, we only need to examine our hearts to see that we are keeping the two.

If you love God with all your heart, then you will worship him alone.

If you love your neighbor as yourself, then you will not lie to him/her, nor covet what they have.

See?

See what love does to a heart?

Do you have love, like a river, flowing through you?

That is what Romans 5:5 tells us happens when God cleanses a soul.

Love is poured into a soul upon repentance.

Those who truly love God keep the two commandments; they love (I John 2:3).

Is God's word hidden in your heart?

If so, then you won't sin against him.

What we love, we keep close to us, and cherish it, and protect it, and ponder it, and adore it above all.

Do you love God, and the word?

You cannot love God, and the world.

Is the world hidden in your heart?

Do you love the things of the world?

Do you know how you will know?

Listen to what comes out of your mouth.

Is it the Word, or the world?

Do you sound like the world?

Do you love like God?

What is hidden in your heart comes out of your mouth (Matthew 15:18).

It moves your feet, and controls your brain, and your "neighbors" will know you love God, or the world, and will benefit if you love God, and will not if you love the world.

What is in your heart?

July 27, 2016

"I love you"

Easy words to say, aren't they?

"I love you."

Imagine being told that by someone, and then never seeing them turn a tap for you.

Never getting up to get you a cool drink.

Never helping you out of your ditch.

Never going above and beyond the call of simple kindness for you.

The Samaritan did not know the man whom he loved.

Did not know his name.

Did not know why he was in the ditch.

Did not know if it was a deserved beating that had been inflicted.

All the Samaritan knew was love.

And because he knew love, he showed it.

He tended to a stranger all night long.

He asked for nothing in return.

He gave another person, the inn-keeper, money to continue to look after the stranger.

Do you love your husband?

Do you love your neighbor?

Do you love God?

People, whom you know, do you love?

Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven is made up of people who do as the Samaritan did.

Do you do as the Samaritan did to those you know?

Do you do as the Samaritan did to a complete stranger?

Jesus knows who lives as the Samaritan, and those individuals will enter into rest some day soon.

Those who spend energy otherwise, in sin, will not enter into heaven.

People like that are not at rest now, and do not know of the kingdom of heaven now, here on earth.

Those, who live for self, are fretful, and anxious, and until they repent, they will continue in sin.

Do you live as the Samaritan toward anyone?

Go ahead and say, "I love you," to people, but until you give as though you mean it, it is a lie.

It is lip-service.

Easy.

The narrow road is a path that takes a person's feet down a certain way every day, in every way.

Service.

Giving.

Continuous.

Without fear.

Those who walk it, know that life is short, and they do not live as though "this" is all there is.

Never.

They are in the world, but not OF it.

They long for heaven, and love God, and neighbor as commanded.

They are new.

Are you?

July 26, 2016

You must be born again

Do you want to love your husband?

You cannot do it completely, and always unless you have the new nature.

Do you want to never lie again, and never lose your temper again, and never hate again?

You must be born new.

Do you desire to love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself?

You must be recreated in the image of God.

First you follow Jesus, and do all that he commands, and when you see that you cannot do all that he commands, and you see that you are fretful, and hateful, and lazy, and love to gossip, and you find that you do not love God with ALL your heart, and you don't care two cents for your neighbor, and besides that, you know that your prayers are sporadic, and they hit the ceiling, and fall back to you.

And then you start asking questions.

Those who follow Jesus, ask him questions.

What are you asking him?

What is he telling you?

He will always be saying the same thing, for he never changes.

His words, found in the gospels, remain constant.

Love God with ALL your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.

Those are his commands, and he is serious, and he does not mean later.

And you ask him, "How am I to love God with all my heart, and my husband, who is mean, and my children, who are wild, and disobedient, and the neighbor, who is like the devil?

And he will say, as he said from the beginning of his ministry, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," (Matthew 4:17).

He says, "Agree with me, for you will die soon."

Agree with the Spirit who finds you guilty of not loving as he commands you to love.

So repent, and be born new.

Then receive the new nature, given by God, and be made different, never to be the same again.

Are you different?

Do you still hate? Complain? Hoard? Judge? Steal? Lie? Covet? 

How is that anything new?

How is that different than worldly behavior?

Jesus says that a good tree will ONLY produce good fruit (Matthew 7:17).

Do you produce bad fruit, and do you think that is fine cause your good sometimes?

If so, do you consider yourself a good tree?

If so, then how is that possible when Jesus says that it is impossible?

Understand this: No where does Jesus say to accept him into your heart. He says, "Repent."

No where does Jesus say that you can do unkind things, and be a good tree too.

And to believe in Jesus is not to say that he was who he said that he was, or did what he did.

The demons believe all that, and they tremble.

To believe in Jesus is to DO all that he says to do.

Do you?

If not, then repent, and be born new.

Or do you want to hold on to some things?

That is your choice, and when you do those "things" it is because you love to do them (John 3:19).

Do you believe that?

Does your attempt at following Jesus consist of lip-service?

Jesus said something about that as well.

The tongue can say much, but where do your feet take you, and what do you do with your money?

Where do you expend energy?

Those who spend energy on sin, little or much, will be told to depart from Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23).

Where do we get the idea that one can be made new, and still behave in old ways?

A few more questions: Have you been made new, and if so, then are you perfect?

Do you know that Jesus commands perfection?

Do you believe that he meant it, and if so, then what are we perfect concerning when made new?








July 25, 2016

Confidence

When you hear the word "confidence" where do your thoughts take you?

To your looks?

To how "over-weight" you are?

To how your hair-do is working or not?

To what people think of you?

To the money you have, or don't have?

To how much power that you think you wield over anyone, or no one?

To the type house you have, or the yard you maintain?

Confidence is belief in something or someone.

Where is your confidence?

In what does it rest?

If your bank account is huge, and your body is in perfect condition (whatever that is), and if your house is great, and clean, and if you have power over people, and they look up to you, then what?

Does all that sound good to you?

Where is your heart?

Concerning the Lord, God says to love him with all your heart.

That is not something that we try to achieve.

It is given to us.

The love, and loyalty that a soul has for God is not of themselves.

The ability to love God is given to a soul.

It has nothing to do with a human in any way.

I hear so often that God expects us to "try" to do our best for him each day.

Really?

Where would you find that in the Word?

You may hear that from your religious leader, or pastor, or Joyce Meyer.

To the redeemed, who have repented, love is POURED into their heart from God (Romans 5:5).

That type love was not there before it was poured in from God.

So then another question arises: "Can one really love except that they are given love by God?"

What do you think?

And remember that if you call yourself redeemed, then your answer must conform to the Word.

Where is it in Scripture that a soul loves, as God loves, without being made new?

Where does love originate in a soul?

Is it in a soul from the beginning?

A baby loves?

Does a child really know what love is?

Really?

Do you know of sacrifice?

Do you sacrifice?

Do you know that a person can give their life to be burned for another and yet it not be love?

"If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing," (I Corinthians 13:3 ESV)

Does that cause you to pause and take a moment to examine your heart?

I hope that it does.

Who does the good that you do for, and to, others?

Is it you?

If so, do you take any praise for it?

Does Christ live in you?

If so, then how did that happen?

If so, then what difference does his life in you make?

The letters that were written by Paul (and others) to the churches were written so that they would hold up his words to their life, and see if what he was that must be happening in the life of the saved was indeed truly happening in their life. His letters were to the churches, but were not intended that it was a given that all who heard them read were indeed saved. (Jude 1:4 and Galatians 3) Many were not. Because you sit in a church and hear the Word does not make you saved. 

So, what causes you to be saved?

Do you know?

What would you tell others about how to be saved?

What would you tell them about sin?

What would you tell them about fear, and grudges, hospitality, unconditional love, and heaven?

Are you studying to be approved by God?

What does that mean?

Are you one of the blind being lead by the blind (Matthew 15:14), or are you redeemed?

Is the love of God your passion, and do you show it without condition to all?

Do you really follow Jesus?

If so, then you will know what he said about all things, and you will be doing what he said to do.

We know we have come to know God IF we do as he says to do (I John 2:3).

We know we love God IF we do as he commands (I John 5:2).

God says to put NO confidence in man or self.

Do you?

Do you talk of diet and exercise?

Do you work for a better body, and healthier eating?

Do you make "laws" for yourself, and maybe others?

Where is that a command in Scripture?

On what do you base your everyday life events, including exercise and eating?

What would happen if your spouse committed adultery, or you caught them in a lie, or you name it?

Would you be devastated, and would your love wain for them?

If so, then your confidence is in man.

Your trust, and mine, is to be in God alone.

If you find that yours is not, then seek God to know why.

Seek him, and find him.










July 24, 2016

What do we do with our flesh?

So much talk is out "there" concerning the body.

So many ways to lose weight.

So many ways to physically look good are touted here, there, and yonder.

What to do?

What are we taught in Scripture about the flesh?

I have never been able to find any passage that would allow me to think that I can do as I "feel" to do, be it get angry, hold a grudge, or scream, or be lazy, or silly, or .... anything.

Feelings are not mentioned as far as I can see except for one in particular.

In Judges 21:25, we see that in the last days every man did as he saw fit.

We see that in abundance these days.

To hear even professing Christians talk you will hear words like "I feel that God would do this and that," and it is said with conviction, and the speaker does not know the Word, they just "feel" certain ways about God, and life, and love.

We are told what to do concerning the flesh.

The flesh is that part of us that wants to balk at all things godly.

That part of us that wants to do what it wants when it wants, and how it wants.

Philippians 3:3-4 says,
"For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more."

Paul says that we are to put NO confidence in the flesh.

NONE.

Don't go to thinking that if you eat this way, and not that, and if you exercise this way, and never do "x, y, and z" that it will bring you closer to God. It doesn't. There is no holiness found there.

Do you think that you can trust your body to behave better if you do some things and not others?

Please. Don't start in with, "Well, I'll just sit around drinking wine all day if it does not matter!"

First of all, that is off topic.

Paul says that we are to put no confidence in the flesh.

That is different that thinking that it is okay to get drunk.

Do you put confidence in your flesh?

What does that look like?

It means that you would believe that your body will function better for you, and that your body would be loyal to you, and not break down, if you treat it a certain way.

EVERYONE is DYING.

Galatians 5:24 says that those who belong to Christ Jesus have put their flesh to death.

The physical body, for the truly redeemed, is neither here nor there.

Their physical body is of no consequence in the scheme of things.

IT'S DYING. That's why the redeemed will get a new body upon passing from this life.

Sin is still in the body, but not the soul or spirit, of the redeemed.

Sin is evident in the body because it is constantly decaying.

God does not say to tend to the body. He says to love yourself. So then what constitutes YOU?

It is not your physical body.

That is subject to constant change.

You, the part that is alive, and is made new upon repentance, and conversion, is your soul, and spirit.

Concentrate on that, and never your body.

Put no confidence in your body Scripture says.

Confidence is trust.

Where is our trust to lie?

Only in God. Never in our bodies. Never in any man (Psalm 118:8).

Don't you find it a bit disconcerting to hear of a "perfectly" healthy person dropping dead?

It happens.

And don't you find it odd that an overweight person can live to be 100 years old?

It happens.

Trust only in the Lord, and love God with ALL your heart.

That is the command.

Is that what you are doing?

And what are you doing with your flesh?

What do we do with it?

Ignore it. Crucify it. Feed it to keep going to tell others of the Lord, and to love others.

And remember that physical exercise profits us little (I Timothy 4:8).

Don't elevate it. Don't let it rule. Die to self.

Come alive to Christ. God either has your life in his hands, or he does not.

The state of your physical self is of little importance.

IT'S DYING.

Yet those who know God have passed from death to life because they love (I John 3:14).

They will simply, joyfully pass from this life to the next some day soon.

And if you are redeemed, then that thought, even though your physical body may be sick, paralyzed, or in some way impaired will nevertheless set the feet of your heart to dancing.

Do you say that you love God?

Then you will be obedient.

You will serve, and love, and put no confidence in the flesh.


July 21, 2016

Holy

Holy means dedicated, devoted, and devout.

If you are dedicated to your husband, then you are wholly set on him.

If a millionaire actor called and said to you, "Marry me," then you'd respond, "Are you crazy?"

There is that horrible quiz going around that asks, "If given a hall-pass, on whom would you use it?"

What does a Christian woman think of that?

Adultery is not just physical, it is also mental (Matthew 5:28).

To think about (dwell on) being with another man is to commit adultery according to Jesus.

Are you devoted to your husband?

If so, then you bend to his wishes, and do not demand that he bend.

Love does not demand (I Corinthians 13:5).

Are you devoted to God?

If so, then you are zealous, and loyal in your actions toward him, and others— all others.

One cannot be holy, and not zealous.

One cannot be holy, and read their horoscope.

One cannot be holy, and think about marrying someone else.

One cannot be holy, and unholy at the same time.

Good trees ONLY bear good fruit (Matthew 7:17).

Do you really believe that?

Jesus said that it is true.

Yet, many Christians will say that they can still sin, and do still sin, and think that they can bear good fruit, and to say that those two are compatible is to say that Jesus is a liar.

Are you holy?





Concerning your words...

You can say that you are blessed.

You can say that you love your husband.

You can say that your children come first in your life.

You can say that you love God.

You can say that you believe in Jesus.

Your lips, and mine, and the lips of the world, will, and can say many things.

Proof of your heart's intent is in your actions, not your words.

Jesus said so.

You say that you are blessed, then you are happy.

Period.

You say that you love your husband, then you will serve him.

Period.

You say that you love you children, then you will discipline them.

Period.

You say that you love God, then he will be foremost in your mind, and you speak of him.

Period.

You say that you believe in Jesus, then you do as he says to do.

Period.

Jesus spoke of lip-service in Matthew 15.

He was addressing the Pharisees and those who knew the Scriptures.

He said that while they know the Word, and can "talk" it, their hearts are far from him.

What we love, and who we love, we follow.

Our steps take us to who we love, and what we love.

Where do your steps take you?

Train your children

Scripture is replete with admonishments to parents to train a child.

Do a google search, and you'll see, or just read the Bible :)

What needs to be taught?

Well, if you agree with Scripture that everyone is born in sin, then everything must be taught.

Teaching and training take time and energy.

If you are not taking the time, and expending energy on training, then it isn't getting done.

Yes, your children may be getting some training by others, but exactly what is it that they are learning from others, and are you going to rely on others to do the important tasks that Scripture appoints to you, and why would you not do what you've been instructed to do?

We are told that Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and favor, with God and man (Luke 2:52).

Are your children growing as did Jesus?

Are you provoking them toward wisdom?

Do you know what wisdom is?

Concerning stature, the word includes the thought of achievement.

What do you think is important in the eyes of God that your child achieve?

Do others find your child favorable?

Is your child painful to be around?

Do they pout? Fuss? Do you allow them to be grouchy?

Are you teaching them that they make choices concerning their behavior?

Do you teach by example?

Do you allow yourself to be fussy, and grouchy, and do you pout?

If so, then at what point do you stop the unpleasant behavior?

Is there a time limit to that? Where to do find the time limit in Scripture? Is it arbitrary?

Do you think that you can simply stop those behaviors, or is it beyond you?

If so, then is it beyond them?

Do you know that teaching and training most often is not pleasant?

Do you know that the will of a child is to do what they want, and do it when they want?

What about you?

For whom do you live?

Is it solely for Christ and others?

Do you need wisdom in training your child?

Of course, and to those who ask of God, he will grant it.

But you must ask.

Leave them to their own decision making, and your children will be wild, unwise, and unpleasant.

If you call yourself a Christian, then you will be obedient, and you will be training your child.

Even the one who doesn't seem to want to learn (none do), and even the one who is hard-headed (they all are), and you will do so without prejudice, for the love of God, within his beloved, is not prejudice, and that love supersedes the ugliness in a child, and loves that child completely.

In loving a child completely, a parent will discipline with love, and consistency.

Do you?








July 20, 2016

Holier or just simply holy?

You will hear, and maybe you think, that we get holier.

If that is true, then are we holier than someone else?

Are we ever to compare ourselves to others, and line up our holiness to the holiness of others?

Holier implies that one can be a bit less than truly holy.

Can that happen?

Can you find in Scripture where we are told to be holier?

We are commanded to be holy (I Peter 1:16).

If you think that you can become holier, then how does that happen?

Is it by something that you can do?

If so, then are you saying that your "goodness" or "holiness" has anything to do with you?

Does God need help in making you holy?

Does a baby have anything to do with being born?

A new woman in Christ is new.

The newness has nothing to do with her.

In sin (in the pig-sty), a soul is wooed, a longing for home is lit, and the choice, that split second of, "Yes, you are right, and I am wrong," occurs, and rebirth happens.

A sinful soul is made new. God does it all. He opens our hearts (Acts 16:14).

Salvation (holiness) has nothing to do with reading the Bible more, or praising more to get it.

If so, then the Bible would say so, as in "Read your Bible every day to stay close to God!"

The redeemed abide in the Vine.

Answer these questions concerning yourself: "How am I holy?" "What must I do to be saved?" "What does it mean to believe in Jesus?"

Look up the word "believe" and see if you really believe in Jesus.

If you believe that a certain diet will cure your illness, then I will assume that you do that diet.

When you believe in Jesus, then you DO what Jesus said to do.

Do you love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself?

Do you think that you will when you get holier?

How does that happen?

It's time to study. It's time to seek God with all your heart. Time is short, and you will soon die.

What are you pursuing? Are your prayers heard? Do you pray?

Are you holy?








July 19, 2016

Advice

When you think about telling someone how to do something, or why to do something, or when to do something, then is the advice strictly Biblical?

Does it have "worldly wisdom" mixed with it?

If it smells of the world in any way, then it is worldly.

A false prophet, or a worldly Christian, mixes truth with worldliness.

They don't come right out and speak only worldliness, but they will mix it up.

They will use Bible terminology, and words that are thought to be wise according to people like Dr. Oz, and Oprah, and Dr. Phil, and gurus, and those who practice all types of things to make their lives "better" without mentioning repentance.

If you call yourself a Christian, then according to Jesus, you will say what he said, and live according to his message.

Be careful, and wise.

To talk of yoga is to lead others to a mystical, evil practice.

Yes, you can stretch, but yoga, and its philosophy, is not of God, and is therefore evil.

To speak of eating only a certain way, as if it brings happiness, and well-being, is not of God.

The one who is cleansed, and washed in grace, is happy, and needs no special diet, or exercise.

Do you read the Word?

Do you follow its message?

Will the words that you speak, in the end, bring one to freedom?

He whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).

According to Jesus, no special diet or exercise is needed.

Repentance is a requirement to know the Father, and in knowing the Father, one knows love.

Love is required.

No diet or exercise brings love into a life.

Does your advice contain the words of Jesus?
 

July 9, 2016

A redeemed woman's exclusive behavior

Before being redeemed, a woman can, and will pray aloud in church, Bible study, and at the table.

After redemption, she will fervently pray in her "closet" at all times, not to be seen, or heard by man.

(James 5:16 and Matthew 6:6)

Before redemption, a woman can, and perhaps will build a great ministry to the Lord.

After redemption, that same woman will seek daily to love her neighbor as herself.

(Mark 12:31)

Before redemption, a woman can, and will preach, and prophesy in the name of the Lord.

After redemption, that same woman will bear the burdens of others and fulfill the law of Christ.

(Galatians 6:2)

Before redemption, a woman can, and will, cast out demons in the name of the Lord.

After redemption, that same woman loves the possessed, and serves the Lord with gladness.

(Psalm 100:2)

Before redemption, a woman will give her body to be burned.

After redemption, a woman daily yields her body as a living sacrifice to God.

(Romans 12:1)

Before redemption, a woman tries to be good.

After redemption, a woman is holy because the very spirit of God lives in her.

(I Peter 1:15, I Corinthians 3:16, I Corinthians 6:19)

Before redemption, a woman is thankful at times, and grouchy sometimes, and for sure, she's moody.

After redemption, that same woman lives in a state of thankfulness for all things.

(I Thessalonians 5:18)

Scripture says that on the day of judgment, many will say that they did this and that, and that they did it all in the name of the Lord, and Jesus will say to them, "Depart from me for I never knew you."

(Matthew 7:21-23)

The many, who think that they are saved, still do something in particular that will take them to hell.

Jesus tells them what it is.

He is telling us the same thing.

Jesus says that "workers of iniquity," or those who expend energy on sin, will go to hell.

They will not see God.

Do you spend energy on sin?

Ever?

Sometimes?

Infrequently?

Frequently?

Jesus does not quantify the amount of energy that one must expend that exempts them from heaven.

They just sin.

Sinning takes energy.

If you sin, then you are a worker of iniquity.

Or do you suppose that your sin, the unloving things that you do, in your saved condition, are different than the sin of those who you would, or might, deem to be unsaved?

Is sin ever classified differently in Scripture?

Or is sin always the same no matter who does it?

If so, and if you continue sin in your saved condition, then you are expending energy on sin.

What will Jesus say to you?

Do you think that the sin that you do is not seen by God?

If so, do you have a free pass?

If you think that somehow you do have a pass, then how would you explain that to a lost person?

Would you tell them that they can still sin after redemption?

What is the difference between you and a lost soul?

Anything?

Think about it.

And remember, we are to study to show that we are approved by God.

That is the order in Scripture.

Do you do that?

The redeemed woman will study, and the lost will not, for they will cover their sin, and stay "ignorant" as long as they can, and will be great pretenders, for they still live in sin.

One cannot continue to sin, and be saved.

Now, why would a "saved" person still sin?

Scripture says that it is because of a love for sin (John 3:19).

The redeemed woman hates sin, and because of a hatred for sin, and not people, and because of a love for God, and everyone, she studies the Word, she knows her doctrine, and she serves.

Do you?

Are you redeemed?

Your actions tell on you.

Redeemed women are consistent because they abide in the Vine.

In abiding, they bear only good fruit (Matthew 7:18).

The unsaved woman will be kind, and then hateful, all to the same person, in one day's time.

The redeemed woman is always kind, long-suffering, patient, faithful, and gentle.

She does not lie, nor take the name of the Lord in vain, nor does she hoard her possessions.

She is a burden-bearer, and she fulfills the law because of what the Lord has done in her, and to her.

Does that define your life?

If not, then repent. Agree with God about your sin. You'll be washed in grace.

Or continue to love your sin, and at the judgment you will not see God.

Follow Jesus, repent of your sin, and be completely made new.

There is an end to your life here on earth.

No woman knows when her time on earth is up.

Seek the Lord.





A woman before, and after, being redeemed

Before being redeemed, a woman will pray prayers in church, Bible study, and at the table.

After redemption, she will fervently pray in her "closet" at all times, not to be seen, or heard by man.

Before redemption, a woman can, and will build a great ministry to the Lord.

After redemption, that same woman will love her neighbor as herself.

Before redemption, a woman can, and will preach, and prophesy in the name of the Lord.

After redemption, that same woman will bear the burdens of first one, and then the next.

Before redemption, a woman can, and will cast out demons in the name of the Lord.

After redemption, that same woman will love the possessed, and serve them with gladness.

Before redemption, a woman will give her body to be burned.

After redemption, a woman daily yields her body as a living sacrifice to God.

Before redemption, a woman tries to be good.

After redemption, a woman is holy because of the very spirit of God living in her.

Scripture says that on the day of judgment, many will say that they did this and that, and did it all in the name of the Lord, and Jesus will say to them, "Depart from me for I never knew you."

See Matthew 7:21-23.

The many, who think that they are good to go, still do something in particular.

Jesus tells them what it is.

He is telling us the same thing.

He says that anyone who expends energy on sin will be told to leave his presence.

They will not see God.

Do you spend energy on sin?

Do you think that your sin, the stuff that you do, in your saved condition, is different than those who you would deem as unsaved?

Is sin ever classified differently in Scripture?

Is sin always the same no matter who does it?

If so, and if you still sin in your saved condition, then you are expending energy on sin.

What will Jesus say to you?

Do you think that the sin that you do is not seen by God?

If so, do you have a free pass?

If you think that you somehow do have a pass, then how would you explain that to a lost person?

Would you tell them that they can still sin after redemption?

What is the difference between you and a lost soul?

Anything?

Define it please.

And study to show that you are approved by God.

That is the order in Scripture.

Do you do that?

The redeemed woman will study, and the lost will not, for they will cover their sin, and stay "ignorant" as long as they can, and will great pretenders, for they still live in sin.

One cannot still live in sin, and be saved.

Why would a "saved" person still sin?

Scripture says that it is because of a love for sin (John 3:19).

The redeemed woman hates sin, and because of a hatred for sin, and not people, and because of a love for God, and everyone, she studies the Word, she knows her doctrine, and she serves.

Do you?

Are you redeemed?

Your actions tell on you.

Redeemed women are consistent because they abide in the Vine.

In abiding, they bear only good fruit (Matthew 7:18).

The unsaved woman will be kind, and then hateful, all to the same person, in one day's time.

The redeemed woman is always kind, long-suffering, patient, faithful, and gentle.

She does not lie, nor take the name of the Lord in vain, nor does she hoard.

She is a burden-bearer, and she fulfills the law because of what the Lord has done in her.

Does that define your life?

If not, then repent. Agree with God about your sin. You'll be washed in grace.

Or continue to love your sin, and at the judgment you will not see God.

There is an end to your life here on earth.

No woman knows when her time is done.

Seek the Lord.

 


On trying to be good

Christian, the crux of redemption is what?

From what is a soul saved?

Hell?

That was the case before Christ.

So then why the need for Christ?

Before Christ, there was no indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

After Christ, the redeemed, who have repented, are given the very spirit of God.

I hear (often, and in a variety of ways) that a Christian can love others, but not exactly like God loves.

And that Christians aren't perfect.

And in saying that, then the Christian has given herself an "out" for when she is bad.

Sinful.

Full of sin.

How is that any different than the unsaved?

Are they not sinful?

Do they not try to be good?

Are they not successful at that?

Sure they are.

But in whose book, and compared to whom?

Do you really think that the unsaved cannot be kind, at times?

And loving— at times?

Weren't you kind and loving, at times, before you were saved?

I've seen a two-year-old be kind, and they have yet to know redemption.

So after you get "saved" and are now walking around as a Christian, how are you different than the unsaved, who still try to be good, and loving?

Do you have to try to be good, and loving?

If not, then is it automatic with you?

If yes, then how are you any different than the unsaved?

If yes, then how is your salvation, and goodness not of yourself?

How do you keep from boasting if you've done anything good?

And if you have to try to be good, and are successful, then do you look for pats on the back?

Do you get the "good job" award from God, and expect it from others?

Who does the "love" that you do when you do it?

If it is God's spirit, then when you are bad, how does that happen?

 And do you do your "bad" stuff facing the Creator?

Those, who know him, face him, as in, they stand before him.

Or do you turn you back on him, and then do your bad deeds, or sin?

If you turn your back on him, then at that moment, do you think that you are rejecting him?

What do you think God thinks?

It is time to know where you stand, and how you stand, and whose goodness is in you, or not.

A good tree does not produce bad fruit (Matthew 7:17).

That is what Jesus says.

Do you believe him?

July 8, 2016

Compared to whom?

When you are "bad" then do you sort of automatically, in your mind, compare yourself to someone?

Like, "Well, I may have been short-tempered with my kids, but at least I didn't kill them like that gal did in Texas who drowned her five children."

Or, "I may not submit to my husband, and love him very much, but at least I didn't maim him, like other women do."

Maybe it sounds like this, "I don't really care to love my neighbor, but at least I smile at them even if they don't smile back at me."

To whom do you compare yourself?

Compared to Hitler, we can all look good.

Who is the standard bearer to whom all will answer in the end?

Jesus is the same one in the end, and right now.

He says that to "not like" your brother, or sister, or mother, or father, or neighbor, is hate.

Jesus does not use words like "like".....oh not at all, but the world does, and you will as well until you agree with him about your sin.

Until you agree with him about your sin, then you walk in darkness, and will excuse your sin, and will compare yourself to someone, anyone, who you deem worse than yourself.

Several things are happening in that scenario.

You will be judging the behavior of others (only God knows hearts, and we are commanded not to do that), and you will not be holding your actions up to perfection.

Jesus commanded perfection.

How is that achieved?

Perfect love for others is perfection (Matthew 5:48).

When a soul repents, that soul is washed of hate, and is filled with love (Romans 5:5).

Perfect.

It is a gift, and no one filled with God's love will say, "Look what I can do!"

That soul will be saying, "Look what God has done in my heart."

Are you "not liking" some people?

Do some get a cold shoulder from you?

Do you feel justified in that behavior?

If so, then you are saying that you have "rights" and if that is what you are saying, then you have not been crucified with Christ. That crucifixion happens to you. You do not do it to yourself.

Paul says that he has been crucified (Galatians 2:20).

Someone put to death his old nature.

Your old nature will be put to death upon repentance.

Agree with God that your behavior does not comport to what he has commanded.

What he commands, he will see accomplished in the one who will agree with him (Hebrews 13:21).

Do you?

Do you agree with Scripture?

To agree with it is to do it.

Or do you fight it?

Do you love it?

Do you dwell in it continuously?

Those who are in the Vine are dwelling constantly.

They don't hop on and off.

No where is that taught by Jesus.

No way will you go back to the pigsty once you know God.

Jesus says that good trees only produce good fruit (Matthew 7:18).

Do you always produce, give off, good fruit?

Don't look around and say that you do pretty good compared to others.

Others are not the standard by which souls are judged.

Jesus will say to those who have prayed great big, and glorious prayers to depart from him.

Want to build something great for God?

Many of those will be told to depart from him too.

Expend energy on sin and you will be told to depart.

Read Matthew 7:21-23 and do it carefully.

Then hold up your deeds, and your heart, and examine yourself.

Or just look around and find someone who you think is worse.

And live your life according to how you want.

And expend energy on sin.

And in the end, you will not hear Jesus say, "Welcome," but he will tell you to depart from him.

It's your choice.

Choose wisely this day, and repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.

Your life will soon be over, and then you will face Jesus.

Your lips will be silent as he judges.

You will want to argue with him, for he says that many will.

Do you argue with him now?

Or do you believe in him?

To believe in him is to DO as he commands.

That is done only when you repent.

Repentance is not taught by Jesus as something done over and over and over again.

Study carefully, and listen to the call of the Spirit.

He says that we must love the neighbor as ourselves, and that to bear burdens is to fulfill the law.

Compared to Jesus do you do that?

 

July 5, 2016

What's going on in your kitchen today?

Jesus has gone away to heaven, and is in the process of preparing a feast.

In your little corner of your heaven on earth, what are you preparing?

Is there someone you love who needs a meal?

Duh.

Everyone needs a meal.

Everyone needs someone to love on them.

What better way than a meal?

What better example than Jesus?

He is working on it, and his table will be filled with delights.

He will not give a stone for those who need bread.

Do you hand out stones?

Stony glares?

Stony look?

Stony face?

Stony cold shoulder?

Do you cast stones?

What fills your time other than getting yourself ready for the day?

Is it more about you, or all about you, and do you love yourself to the exclusion of neighbors?

What will you prepare for another today that doesn't benefit you at all (as far as you know)?

Do you give only to get, or do you rarely, if at all, give?

The heart that knows God will behave as the Son, and will be obedient, and love, and give.

Will you do that today?

Are you waiting for tomorrow, which may not come for you?

Do not presume upon the grace of almighty God (Romans 2:4).

The days are short, and his kingdom is at hand (Mark 1:15, I Corinthians 7:29).

Where will your feet take you today, and what will your hands carry, and whose load will you bear?

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ"
(Galatians 6:2)

July 4, 2016

That "greater" love

Jesus said if you want to express the greatest love possible for someone, then keep a clean house.

Right?

Or was it to be really smart, and hope that everyone notices?

Or somehow earn lots of money?

Or be physically fit?

What is it about a life that makes it worth living according to the Lord?

It is in the laying down of your life that you make life worth living for others, and in bearing burdens you fulfill the law.

We are born law-breakers.

Sinful.

That's what we are until, in following Jesus, we repent, meet God, and know love.

Then the redeemed live lives of giving up their own desires for another.

And it is done in the strength of the One who now lives in them to do it.

The "greater" love is accomplished only in knowing God, after repentance.

You cannot be walking the wide road, and then try to be good, and then love the world, and in any of that be exhibiting a "greater" love that is required by Jesus.

In following him, and in believing in him it is a given that one would do as he did.

Crucify the flesh.

No longer belonging to herself, the redeemed woman lives for others, loving the stranger.

She loves those she knows, of course, but even the ones she does not know, she loves.

For nothing that anyone can say or do to her changes that.

Did it change anything for Jesus?

She follows him.

Do you?

Do you have that "greater" love?

That is the type that those who have been made new display.

And to those, who are touched by her good deeds, they glorify God.

"Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father who is in heaven," (Matthew 5:16).

Does your light shine?

You do not have the power to shut the light of the Lord out once it begins its shining.

God does a work in you, upon repentance, that is not reversible.

The "work" he does is a washing in grace, and then a filling of love.

Filling means full.

The "greater" love is in the redeemed, and it is not an option.

The redeemed cannot but lay down their lives for all.

Do you?

For whom do you lay down your life, and love unconditionally?

The pretty?

The nice?

The ones who smile at you, and keep a clean house, and a clean body, and .... what restrictions do you put on your love, and is it love if there are rules one must keep to be loved by you?

Where do you display greater love, and to whom do you show it?

Only to those "just like you" and what does that look like?

Examine your heart.

Eternity waits, and Jesus holds the key to heaven when you stand before him.

Do not be deceived, for you will make no demands to him.

He will look for that greater love in your heart.

Do you have it?

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 
Greater love has no one than this, 
that someone lay down his life for his friends. 
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
(John 15:12-14 ESV)

July 3, 2016

The better question

We have all heard the question, "Does God answer prayers," but there is a better one to consider.

It is this: "Does God answer your prayers?"

You see, Scripture is clear.

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart," (Psalm 37:4).

What desires of yours has God fulfilled?

What desires do you have that the Lord has yet to fulfill?

Have any of your desires changed since your repentance, and rebirth?

Are the desires that you had ten years ago the same ones you have today?

What about the desires you had 6 months ago?

What has happened to them?

What were the desires of Jesus?

What about the apostle Paul?

We are to follow Jesus, and the apostle Paul said to imitate him (I Corinthians 4:16).

No way, in any context, of any Scripture, can I imagine either Jesus, or Paul praying for more stuff.

Nor for more money either, or a vacation, or for better sales.

(Not that God cannot provide for his children's needs.)

But if the apostle Paul walked the earth today, what would he be asking God to do?

What did he (and Jesus) ask God to do?

When they prayed, did they demand anything like prosperity, and health?

What is to be developing in the life of the truly redeemed?

If you answer, "Good fruit," then perfect!

Now name the fruit of the Spirit.

And also remember that only one certain type of fruit to be developing, and in the life of the truly redeemed, it will be developing. It also does not develop in the middle of thorns (sin), for good fruit (of the Spirit) does not develop alongside bad fruit (Matthew 7:18).

Now, consider carefully, for what do you ask God?

Nothing?

Rarely anything?

Are you to ask anything of him?

Anything at all?

Do you ask fervently as we are told to ask?

Would the child, who truly knows God as Father, ask foolishly, ever?

With a new heart, can that really be done?

When you pray, are you at peace in your asking?

Or do you cross your fingers, and knock on wood, and hope that he hears you?

Are you praying without ceasing?

Do the cares of others burden your heart, or are you consumed with your needs?

Is there a better question I could ask?

Hmmmm.......

What questions did Jesus ask of others?

Would he ask them of you?

Are you afraid to be questioned?

It is time to examine your heart.

That is the command of Scripture in II Corinthians 13:5, and I ask, "Do you do that?"

Do you?

Time is short.

Seek the Lord while there is time, for you shall surely die, and then the judgement.

Jesus determines your entry into heaven. You don't. He does.

What will he say to you?

And finally, perhaps an even better question is this, "Are you delighting in the Lord?"




On a need-to-know basis only

We like to be "in-the-know" don't we?

To be the first to know of exciting, sad, or good news, then pass it on, or not, makes us feel...what?

Powerful?

Smart?

Happy?

What about when we don't know something?

Like, "What is God up to in my life???"

When "things" don't work out like we expect, or at least they don't seem to be doing so...then what?

Does that change your behavior?

Does it change your mind about God?

Whom do you serve?

Do you know the God of this universe, and exactly what it is he is "up to" in your life?

The "something" that he is "up to" in your life, and in the lives of all others, is the same.

He desires that we know him, and glorify him, exclusively, no matter what.

Does the husband do exactly as you wish, and take out the trash, make the bed, bring you coffee, never bring you coffee, pray with you when you are sad, happy, and all the in-between-times, or never, and do the children call you, and wait on you, or never do as you wish?

Is that the extent of your wish list, and the complete desire of your heart, or is there more?

Or is the intent of your heart to love God, and others, and have total, never-worry, faith?

What do we really need to know?

When you sit and wonder, what is it that occupies your mind?

Is it, "When will so-and-so finally get right, and act right, and when will my ship come in?"

Or is it, "More love for you, my Lord, more service for you, and strength for my journey."

Is it, "Where will my feet take me today for you, God, and to whom will you send me, and how will my good works cause others to praise your name?"

What we only need to know is God, and what God is is a Spirit, and those who worship him must do so in spirit and in truth. It is not enough to just get all excited and shout, and dance, and sing to him.

Truth must accompany the worship (John 4:24), for there are many who sing, and clap, and think that they worship God, but then leave that place, and worry, and wander, and love the world.

They sing, and then wonder about when they will get more stuff, and when will others behave.

To worship God in truth is to know him, and in the knowing of God there is perfect peace, and rest in the "not knowing" of anything else about circumstances right now, and in the future.

In knowing God, a woman is in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3); her soul no longer wanders, her feet are on the narrow path where she will not fall off for God keeps her even from stumbling (Psalm 121:3).

She does not turn around and yearn for the pig-sty... she knows God!

In repentance (agreeing with God about sin), her soul is washed, and made new (II Corinthians 5:17).

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

That is what you need to know.

That is what Jesus preached (Matthew 4:17).

From the top of your head, to the soles of your feet, and in your soul, do you know God?

When he meets someone, they do not forget him, for that is impossible.

That soul is never the same again.

Follow Jesus. He will take you to God. That is what we need to know.

Do you know him?

Do you tell others Whom they need to know?

Do you show them the way?

With love, and long-suffering, and gentleness do you point the way?

Until he calls us home, may we singularly point to God.


July 2, 2016

Clothes

What are you wearing?

Are you ready to serve?

Would you have to change clothes to give a hug, or help a friend, or answer the doorbell?

Does what you wear make a difference in how you love on people?

Do you not want others to get too close when you have on something special?

Clothes.

We must wear them.

God covered Adam and Eve.

He provided for them as he continues to do for his children.

In thinking of Jesus, and as it appears in Scripture that he had a single outfit, I wondered something:

Is it ever a good thing for clothes to change an attitude?

What Jesus wore was simply a covering.

In following him, do you see your clothes as simply a covering?

Do you think that clothes can make a difference in attitudes?

Of course we know that Jesus never changed.

He was always serving, and loving, and praising God.

He never changed.

Not only did his clothes never change, but neither did his grateful attitude.

Nothing exterior affects the child who knows the Father.

The interior of that heart is content, wanting nothing more to be content.

For the woman, who knows God, shoes, dresses, outfits, accessories, or fashion are extraneous.

She needs nothing more to enhance her life.

She is blessed, happy, and her "mood" is bright for God's love dwells in her– always.

Regardless of what garment she wears, she is clothed in the garment of praise.

In a muumuu, fancy dress, or leisure clothes, the woman who loves her God, loves people.

While she may change her outfit, and she will, the love she has for others never changes.

New outfits, or the same ones for many years, it matters not, the joy in her heart remains.

The woman who abides in the Vine is like a tree firmly planted by streams of water.

She yields fruit.

In season (when it's convenient), and out of season (when it's not), she does not wither.

Is she wearing last years shoes, or the ones from ten years ago, or new ones from last week?

She is serving.

Following Jesus is not what the masses do on easy street as they purchase more and more outfits to boost their confidence, and continue to make their outward selves shine.

All of that is passing. Fleeting. What we can see (clothes, fashion, accessories) come and go.

The world would have you believe all that makes a difference.

It does not.

There is no true abiding, everlasting, or deep joy in stuff.

Following Jesus is done on the narrow road.

Joy is there.

The woman who walks it is full of love, joy, and peace.

It does not take a new outfit for her to smile.

She may know of plenty, or her closet may be sparse, it matters not.

She loves God. She loves others. She smiles at the future.

What about you?