The Joy of Giving!

October 22, 2017

2Corinthians 9:6-7 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 The Lord uses the Apostle Paul to tell us here in these verses, that He has a special place in His heart for those who are cheerful givers or you might say those who find sincere joy in giving.

It seems clear that He is referring specifically to the attitude which we have in giving our tithes and offering. I am certain that being a “cheerful giver,” is the desire of every true believer.

God’s Word reminds each of us how we can consistently experience the joy of giving.

1.  We can know the joy of giving when we remember the unspeakable gift of the grace of God!

2Corinthians 9:15  Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

 1Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

2.   We can know the joy of giving when we remember the uncomprehendable gift of justification through Christ Jesus

Romans 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

 3.  We can know the joy of giving when we remember the unattainable gift of Christ’s righteousness given to unworthy sinners.

Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

 4.  We can know the joy of giving when we remember the unchangeable gifts of His calling!

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

 James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 5.  And we can know the joy of giving when we remember the unconquerable gift of the Holy Ghost of God who has given us the unlimited gift of the power of God Almighty within us!

 Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

 Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

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“So Much To Praise Him For!”

October 15, 2017

Psalms 86:12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

 If I spent every waking moment praising God for His goodness and mercy and grace in my life, it would not be sufficient, to give Him the honour and glory and praise He deserves!

Psalms 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

                 Oh, that I could somehow, in my daily life, lift the name of Jesus Christ, as high and exalted as it ought to be lifted!

Acts 4:10-12 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 Yes, it is by this name and by this name alone, that I too, stand before you whole.  A wicked sinner boy, headed down the certain path of destruction. Yet the Holy Ghost, in His perfect holiness and righteousness, opened my eyes to my sinfulness and unworthiness. “But God,” in His eternal grace and mercy, opened my ears and heart to faith in that name that is above every name, the name of Jesus Christ! Halleluiah!

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Now, by this name and this name alone, I stand, a sinner saved by grace! So far from where I ought to be and desire to be, but ever so thankful, for all that Jesus Christ, has done and is doing in my life! I want to give Him all the praise!

1Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

 Now, by this name and this name alone, I stand, with a wonderful Godly wife and family, serving the Lord, with a great and truly amazing church family, led by a true and sincere man of  God.

I can only praise the One who alone is responsible for it all!

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

 And, glory to God! It is by this name and by this name alone, that one day you and I will stand before a thrice holy God, uncondemned, spotless and pure, washed clean in the precious blood of the Lamb!  SO MUCH TO PRAISE HIM FOR!

 Philippians 2:9-11 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

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The Peace of Knowing

October 8, 2017

There are a multitude of things that I simply do not know.  The older I get, the more I discover, that I know a whole lot less than I thought that I once knew.

However, praise God! The Lord, in His infinite wisdom, made certain that there were some very important things that, as His children, we can know! And knowing these things is what gives us that wonderful peace, that only God can give, that “peace that passeth all understanding.”

First and foremost, we can know that we know the one and only, true and living God!  There is such peace in knowing Him.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

 Secondly, we can know that we have eternal life, through knowing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour!  Eternity in heaven!

 1John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.     

What a blessing that we can know that the Spirit of God Himself dwells within us!  We are never alone!

 1John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

 And Yes, we can also know, that all things work for our good!

Knowing that it is “all” and not just some things, gives us peace in the midst of the fiercest storm.

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 Yet another wonderful truth we can know, is that God hears and answers the prayers of His children!

1John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

 Lastly, Halleluiah! We can know that one of these days, our Saviour is returning for us and when He does, we will be like Him!  “Face to face with Christ our Saviour!”

1John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

These are just a few of the things we can know. We don’t have to wonder and worry, because God, said they were so. What blessed peace fills our heart and soul, because by God given faith, we know!

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The Fearless Future of Faith!

Deuteronomy 31:6-8 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

 We live in the midst of a world which is being continually saturated with an endless forecast of uncertain tomorrows.  One of the greatest devices of the devil is the way he uses everyone and everything he possibly can, to create an atmosphere filled with uncertainty and fear.  We, the children of God, can even find ourselves caught up in this raging flood of anxiety over what the future holds. We have all probably found ourselves, at one time or another, nearly overwhelmed by the “what if?” syndrome.

Can you imagine what must have been going through Joshua’s mind, when he first learned that it was not the great, faithful, seemingly fearless Moses who would lead God’s chosen people into the promised land, it was him!  Following the leader and being the leader, in such a hugely important task, were two all together different things.  Joshua suddenly found himself, responsible for overseeing this vast undertaking, all by himself. The Lord, however, knowing Joshua’s heart and mind, knew that He was in need of a message of encouragement.

Praise God, our heavenly Father knows all about the fearfulness and faithlessness of this frail flesh of ours. That is where, having the precious Holy scriptures along with the Holy Ghost, as our Comforter and Guide into all truth, becomes so critically important in our daily walk with the Lord.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

No doubt, God will never call upon any of us to lead a whole nation of people into a new land, but whatever He has placed in our hands or will place in our hands, can at times become a very fearful responsibility.  Just for example, take God’s calling on every father and mother to train and nurture their children.  There is no task of any greater importance!

 Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.        

But God, has a word of encouragement for us, just like He had for Joshua and believe it or not, it reads exactly the same!

 Deuteronomy 31:6,8 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.

           Joshua’s God, did not fail him and this same God, our own heavenly Father, is still on the throne today! And Halleluiah, neither will He fail us!

Faith’s Sure Reward!

Matthew 8:10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

 It seems that one of life’s greatest challenges to the child of God is the simple act of walking by faith.  One would think that since our eternal salvation is based on faith in the truth of the gospel, that this daily walk of faith would not be a problem. This however, does not prove to be the case, speaking both from personal experience, as well as from, numerous accounts in the scriptures.

Faith is vitally important to us all.  So important, that without it we cannot please God. Yet, a sure reward is promised to those, who by the grace of God, walk by faith.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him

1. Faith offers a better sacrifice!

Hebrews 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.      

What better way to honor and glorify God, thereby receiving His reward of recognition for obedience, through faith!

  1. Faith obliterates fear!

 Luke 1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

Walking by faith, we do not fear the circumstance or situation because we know our Heavenly Father is in control.

  1. Faith ousts the enemy!

 Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

 The shield of faith protects us from anything Satan can throw our way.

  1. Faith overcomes the world!

1John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

 Knowing, by faith, that all that God said in His word is true makes us victorious over all the world has to offer.

  1. And lastly, Faith outlasts the scoffers and ordains a glorious eternity in heaven!

1Peter 1:4-5 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

What a blessing it is, to see the sure rewards of faith, being revealed in the lives of God’s faithful children!

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The Miraculous Transforming Power of God!

September 17, 2017

2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 If you’re like me, all you can do sometimes is shake your head in unbelief, as you consider the changes the Lord has made and is making in our lives.  If you are a born-again believer, that moment that Christ came into your life is something you will never forget.  God, Himself, miraculously transformed your life for all eternity!

Just think, you were a sinner without strength. BUT NOW, you are a sinner saved by the glorious grace of Almighty God!

Romans 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

             You were the servant of sin. BUT NOW you are a sanctified servant set aside for the Master’s use!

Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.    

You were a slave to Satan. BUT NOW, you are a Soldier, shielded by the sword of the Spirit and the shield of faith!

 Ephesians 6:16-17 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

 You were a self-seeking sham. BUT NOW you are a shining saint, striving to honor and glorify your Saviour!

 Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

 You were a secular socialite. BUT NOW, you are a sojourner seeking a city!

Hebrews 11:9-10 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

             And you were a shiftless stranger. BUT NOW, you are a Spiritual son (daughter), sealed by the Spirit of the Son!

Galatians 4:5-6 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 

  What an honor and blessing it is to be the child of the ONE TRUE AND LIVING GOD!!!

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The Power of Our Weakness!

September 10, 2017

2Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

 Many times we tend to believe that the stronger and healthier we are, the more we can accomplish.  This is, no doubt true, when it comes to the world and the flesh. We see here however, that the Lord, is teaching the Apostle Paul, something very different.

We all understand the value of physical strength and good health. We also know however, that God’s ways and the ways of mankind are not at all the same.

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

             This is a wonderful truth; the Lord wants all of His precious children to learn.  God wants us to know and understand some things about the power of our weakness.

Through the power of our weakness, He can teach us the true source of this power, which is of course, Jesus Christ.

 Ephesians 1:19-20 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

           Through the power of our weakness we can understand the strength of this power.  A power beyond our greatest imagination.

 Colossians 1:10-11 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

             Through the power of our weakness we can understand the scope of this power!  A power so far reaching it is unlimited!

 Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

 Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

             Yes, our frailty, our weakness, our inabilities and our infirmities expose the limitations of this body of flesh. And yet, glory to God, it is through this same weakness, that He is able to reveal the glorious, limitless power of Christ within us.

We too can join the Apostle Paul in glorying in the power of our weakness!

1Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

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Simply Trust Him!

September 3, 2017

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 Oh, the peace that comes from simply trusting God!  It seems that every new day brings something new and unforeseen into our lives.  We are continually facing situations and circumstances for which we have no answers.  Things that can so often bring us much restlessness and turmoil, as we struggle to find a solution.

What a blessing it is, when our precious Lord, in all of His perfect wisdom, patience and longsuffering, reminds us once again of all He is, all He has done and all He has promised He would do.

Remember the story of the three Hebrew children in Daniel chapter three?  They found themselves in a very unexpected situation.  They were given a choice bow or burn and there was no way they could know what was about to happen. By the grace of God, however they determined, come what may, they were going to simply trust Him.

Daniel 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

             Can you imagine what it must have been like for these three Hebrew boys? Their hearts had to be exploding within them, as the furious king commanded the soldiers to heat the fire seven times hotter than it had ever been. Then, as they were no doubt, thrown roughly to the ground, bound tightly with ropes and carried toward the raging flames!  Where was the Lord?

We smile, because we know the end of the story. But they certainly did not.  All they could do was to simply trust Him.

Oh, the joy that surely flooded their souls as they fell through the flames into the arms of their loving Saviour!  What an unspeakable reward for simply trusting in the One who has proven Himself to be eternally faithful!

Daniel 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

             The Lord wants to remind us, when we find ourselves facing the fierce flames of life that He is with us every step of the way. No matter how hopeless the situation and how helpless we may become He has promised and proven His love and faithfulness.

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

             How our Heavenly Father, wants us to experience all the peace and joy that comes from simply trusting Him!

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NO CONDEMNATION!

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 Halleluiah! What a blessed truth! No condemnation to any true child of God!

Brother Webster tells us that condemnation means: 1. The act of condemning; the judicial act of declaring one guilty, and dooming him to punishment.

Nothing, by which we can be found guilty, not even the slightest offense, how could this be?  How long would be the list of offenses, if we were speaking only of our lives being reviewed by family and friends? This scripture, is not however referring to our standing with mankind. It is clearly saying we stand uncondemned, even before an all-knowing, ever-present Holy God, who knows and sees everything, including our very thoughts!

 Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

             If we were to honestly examine our hearts, what would we find?  Therefore, when the eyes of our Holy and Righteous, Eternal Judge penetrate deep into our souls, how could He possibly return a verdict of innocent and without fault?

Notice in Romans 8:1, He begins by saying “therefore now.”

Meaning that because of something that happened, though we were once absolutely condemned, the sentence of “guilty as charged,” has been somehow changed.

 Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

What could have possibly changed Gods’ righteous verdict in our lives from GUILTY WITHOUT QUESTION to COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY INNOCENT AND UNCONDEMNED?

Praise God, there could be but one answer! Someone had to take our place. And it could only be one who was not of this already condemned world.  You know of course, who I’m talking about. There has only been One who walked in flesh, who was sinless and spotless. His name is Jesus Christ, our Blessed Redeemer!

2Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

             To even to attempt to describe such grace and mercy is far beyond me!  I am totally overwhelmed at the thought that my entire sin debt has been paid in full by the precious Lamb of God!

1Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

 Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

             Praise God, there is therefore NOW NO CONDEMNATION!!!!!

Precious, Beyond Measure!

August 20, 2017

Psalms 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

We’ve heard of the importance of God’s word most, if not all of our lives. But, what is it that makes God’s word so precious?  Why does the Lord even tell us that His word is more necessary than the food we eat? What could possibly make it so valuable?

Let’s look at just a few of the reasons why we, as God’s children must give His word such high priority in our daily lives.

First of all, we see that it is the source of our salvation.

Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

If this were the only reason, it would certainly be reason enough.

Secondly, God’s word, is the standard for our steps. 

 Psalms 119:59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.

             How would we know what is good and right if it were not for the direction of the scriptures?

 Next it is the sustainer of our spiritual strength

Psalms 119:28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

 Where, but in Gods’ word, can the believer find strength to face all the raging battles of this life?  The world is full opinions and philosophies, one being about as useless as the other. Real sustaining strength is found only in the wisdom of Gods’ truth!

Also, Gods’ word is so precious because it is our only shield from sin and Satan!

Psalms 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

  Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

             Without the word of God, there is no way any of us would ever even know what sin was, much less how to resist it.

Lastly, we see, it is the substance of our success!

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

 No doubt, spiritual success is what we all want more than anything else. Pleasing the One who loved us and paid such a great price for us, is our hearts’ most fervent desire.  And our loving heavenly Father, has provided all we need to do just that.

God has blessed us with a copy of the inspired, inerrant Word of God! He has blessed us with the Spirit of God to guide us into all truth!  He has blessed us with a man of God, who searches the scriptures and seeks Gods’ face, so he can lead us and help us in understanding what the Lord wants in our lives. And it is all according to His Word which is truly precious beyond measure!

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