bible, evangelism, Faith, grace, Holiness, hope, prayer, salvation, Walking in the Spirit

“I Have Seen the Lord!”

It is interesting to note that the very first person that Jesus revealed himself to after he was risen from the dead was Mary Magdalene.

Why do you think that was? Something to think about!

Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. Mark 16:9

Mary Magdalene was one of Jesus’ disciples. She is mentioned many times in the gospels.

Because Mary was a common name of the time and several other women called Mary followed Jesus too the name Magdalene was given to distinguish her from the others.

Mary was probably from Magdala. A fishing village in Galilee. This is interesting because Mary Magdalene was the first evangelist to go and tell others that Jesus was risen from the dead!

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4: 19

Mary Magdalene was a disciple of Jesus Christ who also supported his ministry.

Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means. Luke 8:1-56

Mary Magdalene was a woman that had seven demons cast out of her. Why would scriptures mention that Mary Magdalene had 7 devils cast out of her?

Scriptures do not tell us that any of the disciples had demons cast out of them. To be demonized meant she had some kind of suffering. Maybe sickness or trauma or a sinful lifestyle. We don’t really know. What we do know is that Mary Magdalene became devoted to Jesus Christ. This means that whatever ailments she had she was truly grateful to be healed! 7 is the Hebrew number for perfection. Mary Magdalene’s healing was complete. She was made whole!

Mary Magdalene stood faithfully with Jesus as he was crucified. She never fled. She was there praying.

And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son[of God!”

There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. Mark 27:50-56

This may be one of the reasons why Mary Magdalene was the first person to see Jesus Christ risen from the dead and was commissioned to tell the disciples about it.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic,“Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her. John 20:11-18

Since women’s testimony was generally excluded under Jewish law the fact that Jesus revealed himself to Mary Magdalene first and commissioned her to tell the other disciples is significant.

“Women were not allowed to testify in court. In effect, this categorized them with Gentiles, minors, deaf-mutes, and “undesirables” such as gamblers, the insane, usurers, and pigeon-racers, who were also denied that privilege. (On the other hand, a king could not bear witness in court, nor could the Messiah, which somewhat lessens the stigma of that restriction.) ” https://jewsforjesus.org/publications/newsletter/newsletter-jun-1988/the-role-of-women-in-the-bible/

Jesus never put man’s traditions above his Kingdom. His ways are not man’s ways.

And he said to them, ‘Well do ye put away the command of God that your tradition ye may keep; Mark 7:9

God sees differently than man sees. People value traditions, prestige, success and position.

Jesus sees into the heart. He judges by what is inside a person. He looks at the character.

Many times in scriptures we see what it is that God values.

Jesus values loyalty to him. 
Lowliness of mind,
Faithfulness to his ways
Commitment to his gospel
Obedience to his commands
Zeal for his glory
Faith in his word.

These are the characteristics that we can see in Mary Magdalene.

This is why Mary Magdalene was chosen to begin the very first evangelist outreach.

Have I not said if you would believe you would see the glory of God? John11:40

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Joint Heirs

According to Romans 8:16,17
As children of God we are now heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

A joint heir is a legal term. It means a person who inherits jointly with another heir of an estate.

Another way of saying it is co-heir which is one of several persons among whom an inheritance is divided.

In other words as children of God we inherit a portion of the Father’s estate.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15

According to Hebrews 1:2 Jesus is the heir of all things. Jesus being the exact representation of God is above all things. His authority is our authority because we are in him who is above all things.

Through the name of Jesus those born of God have access into the holy of holies. All we need to fulfill our call in this life is available to us when we present our requests before the throne of God.

Scriptures tell us that we are more than conquers. That means as children of God we can do more than conquer a problem, we can completely subdue it and annihilate it in the name of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:29 tells us that if we belong to Jesus Christ then we are Abraham’s seed according to the promise.

Since Christians are considered to be Abraham’s seed through faith in Jesus Christ then the promises of Abraham apply also to the Christian.

These promises include justification, fruitfulness, multiplication, provision and favor.
Genesis 12: 2,3

Though Jesus Christ we have become the children of God who inherit the promises of God.

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12

Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (The non Jews) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:7-9

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Galatians 3:26-29

Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. Acts 3:25

Being a joint heir with Jesus Christ means all the blessings the Lord gave to Abraham is our inheritance as well.

Some of these promises include:

Hebrews 1:4
Ministering of the angelic realm
Titus 3: 7
Heirs of eternal life

James 2:5
Heirs of the kingdom of God

1 Peter 3:7
Heirs of lifetime grace

In many wills or inheritances there are conditions for inheriting the promises or benefits. The gifts are subject to a condition. It is the same in God’s inheritance.

One condition made clear in scripture is, “IF we suffer with him so that we will be glorified together.”

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8: 17

The word suffer in this verse is sumpaschō in the Greek. It means persecution or experiencing the same kind of pain.

In other words if we partake in similar sufferings as Jesus did then we will inherit the same promises as he did.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. John 15:18

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Luke 6:22

Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 1 John 3:13

Persecutions come with being a Christian. They are allowed to demonstrate we belong to Jesus Christ. If we live godly in Jesus Christ we are blessed but nevertheless we will be persecuted for belonging to him.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:4

Living godly in Jesus Christ brings persecution but living godly also brings blessings because we are made joint heirs with Jesus Christ.

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BLESSED ARE THE POOR IN SPIRIT

What does it mean to be “poor in spirit?”

It is a relevant question in an age where spirituality is measured by the material blessings one has.

Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” 1 Timothy 6:5, 

According to Jesus in Matthew 5:3 the poor in spirit are blessed, for they shall see God.

The person who is poor or possesses nothing is well off because the realm of God’s abode in the heavenly kingdom belongs to them.

Blessed, makarios in the Greek means to be well off and poor ptōchos is to be like a
beggar without means.

A beggar is one who solicites from some one of a superior status for relief.

Why is it that the poor are acknowledged as being blessed while the rich have a difficult time entering into God’s kingdom?

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Mark 10:25

If we examine the rich man and the beggar Lazarus parable, we can see that the rich man even though he had a lot of provision he tossed only his crumbs at the beggar Lazarus.

The rich man could have easily helped Lazarus and met his needs but he did not.

When both died, the rich man went to hell and Lazarus went to paradise.

Like the rich man in this parable many of the rich of this world throw only their crumbs at the poor. Giving them just barely sustenance while they live in luxury.

To be rich does not always equate to generosity. In fact sometimes just the opposite.

https://www.businessinsider.com/lower-status-people-more-likely-to-share-wealth-than-higher-status-people-2018-6

To be poor in spirit is to be dependent on God, not on man. When one is poor or dependent on God for provision then one is truly blessed.

It is like having your Father be the owner of an enterprising business rather than being at the mercy of a manager for a pay check.

The poor person who loves Jesus will always see God’s hand of provision in their life. God promises to take care of all his children.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

To be poor in spirit is to be rich in faith. Blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.

Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? James 2:5

The widow’s mite is important to the Lord. Not only do blessings come to the sacrificial giver but because the poor are the most generous it seems that through them the gospel is advanced into all the world!

Consider that when you think your widow’s mite is of no significance!

And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. Luke 21:1-4

To be poor in spirit is to be blessed with seeing God manifest his provision in your life!

I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. Psalm 140:12

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Faithful Promises!

Satanic forces are in opposition to our prayers. They want to stop the answers from materializing.

The powers of darkness cannot stop our victory but they most certainly can hinder. So don’t get discouraged over a set back. It’s just the devil putting out his resistance.

PAUL said that he wanted to go and preach in a certain area but the devil hindered him. The devil can hinder but never stop God’s plans. In fact when Satan hinders he usually shoots himself in the foot because it ends up working out for our good anyway!

Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. 1Thessalonians 2:18

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. Romans 8:28

Satan tried to hinder Daniel’s prayers but persistence in prayer perservered and won the victory!

 “Then he said to me, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; and behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left alone there with the kings of Persia. Now I have come to make you understand what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision refers to many days yet to come.” Daniel 10:12-14

God gave David a vision. He told him what he was going to do and what the outcome of prayer would accomplish. The Lord has his watchman on the walls and they are in intercession. These watchman are not going to give God any rest until they get their answer. They are determined to pray and never give up.

This promise is yet to be fully realized but it will happen! The Lord has spoken!

I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:6,7

The Lord also tells us we need to put action to our faith.

Vs. 10 of Isaiah Chapter 62 the Lord gives some strong DO words.

Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.”

When we pray we need to look at how we can prepare the way. Do we have some house cleaning to do? Are there stones in our gardens that need removing? Do we need to be a positive influence some where? How about casting forth that evangelism net if we want revival?

The Bible does say that faith without works is dead being alone. That is a spiritual principle. In other words if we are not actively living out that prayer request then we do not really believe the answer is on its way.

We need to act like we already have the answer if we know that it’s God’s will. This shows the devils that we are not looking at their garbage being thrown at us but rather we are looking to our God who has promised and is faithful to perform his promise.

Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him,” Isaiah 62:11

Yes, God hears our prayer. No matter how impossible they seem!

If we continue to abide, be faithful and patient, the Lord will bring the victory!

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised. Hebrews 10:23

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Valuable Sparrows!

In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus is instructing his disciples on how they would minister in his name after he was not with them anymore in physical form .

Jesus told them that they would have power over devils and be able to heal the sick but they would face great persecution for it.

Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid because God will provide for them.

You are more valuable than sparrows.” Jesus tells them.

This is a significant metaphor because not only are sparrows very tiny but they are the most common bird in the world. Their value on a monetary scale is less than a penny. You can buy two for one.

This metaphor reminds us that even though we may not consider ourselves to be very important in the grand scheme of things, Jesus puts great value on us. He says that if God cares about even a sparrow that falls to the ground, and makes sure that their needs are supplied then why wouldn’t he care for us? Our value to him is so much more!

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

Not only are sparrows common birds but they live in any small area they can find. Sparrows particularly like to live near human populations.

The sparrow metaphor is used by the Lord because the sparrow signifies humanity. There are masses of people on the earth just like the common sparrow.

One has only to look at the parallel of the sparrow to realize that humanity is in a decline situation. The environment for sparrows is being effected by sin in the same way as it is for humans.

As humanity turns away from the living God they decline in every way in the natural realm. This in turn affects the sparrow who lives along side of humans.

The decline in sparrow populations today is significant. It is reflective of the human population turning away from God. This is a prophetic sign that we are indeed in the end times.

Sparrows feed predominantly on seeds. They do eat insects when they can find them but their mainstay is seed. Without seed sparrows perish. This is another reason for the metaphor.

Jesus said that the word of God is like seed that a sower sows. The receptivity of the heart determines the outcome of the seed. Whether the seed goes on to produce a good crop or whether it does not. All is dependent on the soil of one’s heart.

God’s word is like seed. Planted in good soil the seed will grow into the abundant life promised by Jesus Christ. Planted in not so good soil the seed will die. Matthew 13

Just like sparrows need seed to survive so does humanity need the seed of God’s word to survive. Without God’s word humanity will die both physically and spiritually.

Article on decline of sparrow populations.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/10/05/sparrows-dying/2923241/

God cares about the sparrow and he cares about humanity. Jesus cares about you!

It is only by turning back to Jesus Christ and his word that we can be taken care of in the natural as well as in the spiritual. Both now and for eternity. 

 

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RESTING IN CHRIST

Resting in the finished work of Christ is the key to walking in victory. Regardless of how much we apply Biblical principles to our life, unless we have this main key to the kingdom of God, we will find failure at the end sooner or later.

What is resting in Christ’s complete work? It is a spiritual principle that is set right out in scriptures but missed by many of us.

One sure way to know that we are not resting in Christ is striving. That is to make great effort to achieve something.

When we find ourselves in this state we know right away that we are not resting. Then we must get immediately back to the cross.

Does resting in Christ equate to passivity? No indeed it does not! What resting in Christ does is to set our eyes on the victor for the victory and not on ourselves.

To rest in Christ is to set the Lord always before us. That is to acknowledge Jesus as our Captain. Our leader and victor over all difficulties that may come our way.

Paul knew this resting in Christ. He said that the life he now lived he lived by the faith of Jesus Christ. Paul knew that he was accepted in the beloved. How could Christ who loved us enough to give his very life for us not also supply us with all the things we need to live victorious in this life?

To rest in Christ is to rest in his finished work. He beat the devil! He conquered sin! Jesus rose victorious!

What is our part? To rest in this fact! When we do we can be assured that Christ who lives in us will complete all the work that is needed in our lives.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Resting in Christ is to abide in Christ. To accept what Christ says as true. To remain fixed in. To continue to dwell in. To remain in.

“If you abide in me,” Jesus said and his words or his teachings abide in you then you shall ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

In other words all the things that we need will be given to us as we rest in Christ. To rest is to have complete faith in the Lord’s ability to perform his word. It is to nestle in his bosom with absolute confidence. Does the Lord not know what is best for each of us? Is his plan not the best plan?

Have faith in God!

Faith is the substance of things hoped for. Faith in the finished work of Christ gives us hope. We never have to be worried that Jesus will not come through. He has promised! If he loved us enough to give his life for us how much more would he not freely meet our needs? We have only to patiently wait. (Romans 8:32)

Resting in Christ is to set our eyes on Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith. He will prefect that which concerns us as we trust in him!

It is Christ who lives! Christ who has conquered! Christ who is Lord of all! We rest in these facts and abide in his love.

Jesus is all our righteousness! He is working all things out for our good as scriptures tell us. (Romans 8:28)

We are complete in him!

And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:” Colossians 2:10

To be complete is to have all things without lacking. It is to be full and entirely in Christ! Can you see this by faith? IN CHRIST!

Jesus is the head of all principality and power. That means that because we are seated with him in heavenly places we are also positioned with him high above the rulers of this dark world. We are more than conquerors because we are in him! Let us rest in this knowledge!

Jesus is the name above every name. His victory is our victory. His completed work is our completed work because we are in him! Can you see this by faith? Then you are resting! Resting in assurity that Jesus Christ is the head. The chief and principle power of all in this life. If you are in him then you are secure. Rest in this reality.

It is finished Jesus said. Whether we are wrestling in prayer, serving, teaching or ministering we are always resting in Christ. Always confident that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us and gave himself for us.

Are you resting in Christ today? If not won’t you get back to the cross? The place of your victory is there! The work has already been done! (Romans 8: 37)

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True Repentance

Repentance means to have sincere regret and remorse for sin. It also means to turn from evil and do good. (Jeremiah 26:3, Mark 1:4)

The Bible teaches that salvation is bestowed upon the one who confesses trespassing against God’s law and putting trust in the salvation provided by God. Under the New Covenant that salvation is provided through faith in Jesus Christ. Unless there is repentance there is no salvation. (Luke 13:3-5)

Belief in Jesus as in intellectual assent is not faith. May I repeat this. Belief as in intellectual assent is not faith. At least not Biblical faith. It is not enough to believe something in order for it to apply to you.

I can believe that soap will clean my body but unless I apply that soap it will have no effect on me. The same is true for salvation. One must receive Jesus through both repentance and faith.

The devil believes in Jesus. He knows Jesus is God who came in the flesh to save mankind but that does not save him. Why? Because he has an unrepentant heart. He is still in his sins and can never be saved. (James 2:19)

This is the same for people who believe in Jesus as Savior but are still in their sins. Salvation means to be saved. Saved from what? Sin! If one still lives in sin then that person is not saved. Why? Because there is no repentance. ( Romans 6:2)

Some Christians battle over the faith and works argument because they leave out a major prerequisite for salvation to occur in the first place. Jesus specifically said that if you do not repent you will perish which means to be eternally lost. ( Luke 13:3)

If one is really saved according to the Bible they will produce godly fruit. (Matthew 3:8-10, )

Works in and of themselves don’t save but works revealing godly fruit is the evidence of having been saved. (James 2:18)

When repentance comes to the heart through conviction or convincing of sin by the Holy Spirit then salvation can occur. Sorrow for sin is a prerequisite for faith to come. How can you reach out to the Savior to save you unless you know you need saving? ( 2 Corinthians 7:10)

To mentally assent to Jesus Christ as the Savior is the first step towards salvation BUT does not constitute salvation in and of itself.

The salvation equation is as follows. GOD reaches out by grace which is undeserved mercy to those who believe in Jesus as the Saviour and repent of their sins. Then faith comes to the heart to trust in the Saviour for salvation.

Biblical faith is not a human quality. To have Faith in God cannot come by one’s own ability. You can reason to believe with the mind in Jesus Christ but you cannot fully trust, rely upon with confidence in Jesus Christ the Savior without the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 10:17 John 14:6 )

That is where the confusion doctrinally lies. Mental assent is mistaken for faith. The Greek word PISTIS for faith is based on relationship. It is not acknowledging something to be so.

This is why Jesus said in the Bible that MANY will say to him in that day. “Lord, Lord did we not do all these things in your name? Then Jesus will reply “I don’t know you.” (Matthew 7:21-23)

This is why James said. “I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:14-26)

A truly saved person will desire to live according to Biblical protocol. They will desire to be free from sin. They will not love the world or anything in the world. They will be constantly seeking God’s will for their life. (1 John 2:15-17)

If you are still living in your sins it’s best to be honest with God and ask him to bring you to the end of yourself where you hate your sin and want to give it up.

Perhaps, as Paul says, God will be merciful and grant you repentance to the acknowledging of the truth. (2 Timothy 2:25)

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Sin Shall Not Have Dominion!

Romans Chapter 6:14 tells us that sin shall not have any dominion over us.

To have dominion over means to exercise Lordship, ownership, to be ruled by.

If in fact scriptures tell us that sin shall not have dominion over us then why does sin have dominion over some Christians?

Why are some Christians living very much like they are not much different than the unsaved?

Let’s take a look at what scriptures tell us about the matter.

We find out in the next verse that sin has no dominion over Christians because we are not under law but under grace.

In other words Christians now have a new Lord. The Bible tells us that prior to salvation sin was our master. We were under the control of the devil through the sin nature. Sin is the devil’s nature. That is why Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees who were under the law that they had the devil’s nature.

Continuing on in the chapter we can find the remedy for the sin nature. Verse 15 makes it clear that just because we are under grace or favor from God through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ that does not mean we are free to continue to sin.

Verse 16 tells us that whoever we yield ourselves to obey is whose servant we are to whom we obey. If we yield to sin it is because we have sin as our master. If we yield to the Holy Spirit it is evident that God is our master.

Yielding to sin produces death. That means our fruit will be rotten, leading to decay and death. In other words our lives will produce defeat, sickness, poverty, and all kinds of ailments which may lead even to eternal death.

That is why Jesus said to test the fruit to see if someone really belongs to Jesus. If our lives are producing bad fruit then it is because of one or two things. Either there is no real salvation experience or their is ignorance of God’s word.

Vrs. 17 tells us that if we obeyed the teaching we received about salvation then we are free from the dominion of sin and are now become servants of righteousness.

Righteousness in this verse is translated as justification. Made in right standing with God. Now some Christians will stop there BUT it does in fact not end there.

This verse goes on to say that if we have been made righteous then our fruit will be unto holiness. In other words the fruit of our lives will be producing a sanctified purified life.

Now what is the key here to going from the righteous of God in Christ Jesus to holiness or godly living?

The key is in this word. YIELD. If indeed we have received Jesus Christ and are justified by his blood then we will be servants of that righteousness producing holy living.

Under the sin nature we yielded to sin. It was our master. But now we belong to another, born of his Spirit and are become servants of righteousness. If we are servants then we are not free to live any way the old flesh or earthy senses try to dictate.

We are now called to yield to God. That is to the Holy Spirit given to us at the new birth which makes his will know to us by revelation of the word of God. To yield means to give way to, adhere to. Submit to.

Verse 23 declares that the wages or earnings of obeying the sin nature will produce death but the gift of God which is salvation through Jesus Christ freely given to us produces eternal life.

Those under the dominion of sin are the slaves to sin but those under the dominion of the Holy Spirit are now become servants of righteousness unto holiness.

Yield or give way your vessel to the Holy Spirit and he will empower you to live a life that pleases God!

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Idle Words !

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew chapter 12 that everyone will have to give account for every idle word that they speak on the day of judgment.

The word idle is argos in the Greek which means to be lazy, inactive, barren, non productive or slow.

Jesus spoke this after having encounters with the religious people of his day. What words were these religious leaders speaking to Jesus that caused him to say this? Let’s take a look at Matthew Chapter 12.

The religious leaders in this chapter’s account were accusing and condemning Jesus. They were also using scriptures to try to entrap him. Then when Jesus answered with wisdom this really irked the religious leaders and so they conspired to stop Jesus from performing his ministry. They wanted to destroy him.

On top of all that the religious leaders began to call his miraculous works of the devil. Jesus told them that they were committing blasphemy by attributing his miracles from a demonic source. He also told them that by speaking against the Holy Spirit when they saw the miracles that they were in danger of hell fire.

Jesus explained to his disciples that what the mouth speaks is what is in the heart. Words spoken reveals the spiritual condition.

If the words spoke are negative, non productive, ungodly then that’s because of the condition of the heart.

An angry bitter person speaks negative critical words. An unbelieving heart speaks doubt and unbelief.

A faith filled heart speaks uplifting encouraging words.

Jesus said that the words we speak from our mouths reveal our heart condition. In other words we are what we say.

This is why we will be judged by our words. If we breath out cruelty, meanness and criticism then we will eat the fruit of our words. Jesus did say that we will have what we say. We become in our actions the condition of our hearts verified by the words we speak.

If however as Jesus said, we have good things in our heart then we will produce good things. The word of God living in our hearts will bring forth much fruit.

This means that when situations arise in our lives we will automatically draw from the word of God we have put in our heart.

For example, if we loose a job we can say, “My God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory through Jesus Christ.”

If we have someone oppose us we can say, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper and every tongue rising up against me shall be condemned.”

We speak what’s in our heart when situations arise. Faith filled hearts speak faith filled words but hearts filled with dark things speak dark words.

This is what the Lord means by “A pure heart will see God.” A heart filled with the word of God will see God’s hand at work in every situation. (Matthew 5:8)

Idle words are non productive words in the Kingdom of God. Words of no spiritual good. Words that speak contrary to sound doctrine and have no faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Titus 2:1 Mathew 21:22, 23)

God’s word is like a fire in the heart’s of his people. These hearts bring life and liberty in Jesus Christ through their words. A pure heart sees God’s divine intervention in every situation and declares God’s word into the situation.

God’s words spoken are words seasoned with salt bringing grace to the hearers. (Jeremiah 20:29, Colossians 4:6)

So put God’s word in your heart and speak God’s word in every situation. Then you will find the Lord bringing his miracle working power into all your situations.

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grace, prayer, Walking in the Spirit

His Mercy Endures Forever!

The greatest remedy for our sins, failures, bad choices, and mistakes is God’s unfailing love in which he demonstrated to us through the gift of the Savior Jesus Christ.

This love undeserved is called grace but did you know that grace and salvation stem from God’s heart of compassion in which he releases to the undeserved his mercy.

Mercy called chânan in the Hebrew means to bend in kindness to an inferior; to bestow favor upon. To have pity. Eleeō in the Greek means mercy is the divine grace of almighty God. Mercy is in effect the Lord’s compassion.

Mercy according to the Bible triumphs or is victorious over judgment. All sin is judged by God whose throne is established in justice and righteousness.

Legally speaking God’s laws when broken must be judged. That judgment always leads to death. Christians many times want to blame the devil for every thing but it is not the devil who activates God’s judgment upon us when we sin. It is in fact our own doing.

What the devil does is take advantage of a legal precedent. Sin is an open invitation for Satan to have access to a person’s life. That is why Paul said. Don’t give Satan any place!

Satan is always looking for some one to devour. He wants to kill, steal and destroy in any way he can. So what can we do against this formidable foe who is a merciless devourer that takes advantage of our weakness?

Scriptures give us the answer! Yes, it is God’s mercy! When we confess our sins and ask for help in our weakness the Lord has a legal precedent that triumphs over the law of judgment.

Symptoms of emotional and physical distress often stem from sin and are projected through Satanic attacks. When we suffer from these symptoms we need to look into our hearts and find out how we let Satan get an advantage of us. Then we need to repent.

Whether personal or generational sin has a penalty. That penalty is death. Not just eternal death but non life or dark consequences both material and spiritual. These consequences are manifest through various kinds of torments, afflictions and lack.

Mercy does not need a price for it to bring the remedy for our sins.
Mercy is bestowed freely to the contrite and broken heart of repentance from a loving God. Mercy is not given to the proud or self righteous but to the humble who recognize their weakness and desire help from an all powerful God.

James 4:6
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Mercy from the Lord comes also when we are persecuted, misunderstood, and attacked by unscrupulous people.

Let me show you from scriptures how the mercy of God can be applied to our lives.

In our distress or trouble we can call on the Lord for his mercy and he will hear us and deliver us.

When we are weak and suffering with affliction we can call on the Lord for his mercy. When we are hated and persecuted we can ask for God to pour out his mercy. When we are poor, depressed and alone we can also appeal to God for his mercy for God’s mercy endures forever.

God’s mercy will bring us forgiveness and deliverance. His mercy sent from the throne of Grace will gives us strength and empowers us to live a life that pleases him.

God’s mercy will protect us and defend us from our enemies. God’s mercy will preserve us from trouble and keep us from the power of the wicked one.

God’s mercy will make us stand and be strong in his mighty power.

God’s mercy will teach us Biblical truth and cause us to walk in his ways.

Are you in need of God’s mercy today? Call upon him in your brokenness for he will bend his ear down to hear your cry. He will come to your rescue and save you out of all your trouble for whoever calls on the name of the Lord in sincerity shall be saved!

Psalm 4:1
When I was in distress have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 6:2
Have mercy on me in my weakness and suffering and heal me.

Have mercy when I suffer from those who hate me. Lift me up out of death. Psalm 9: 13

Through the mercy of the Lord I shall not be moved. Psalm 21:7

For your mercy’s sake don’t remember my sins
Psalm 25:7

Remember mercy because I am desolate. Left alone. Forsaken. And afflicted. Depressed, needy and poor. Psalm 25:16

Have mercy. Be my helper. Psalm 30:10

Have mercy for I am in trouble and sorrowful. Psalm 31:9

Those who trust the Lord will have mercy. Psalm 32:10

Send forth your mercy to me from heaven. Psalm 36:5 psalm 57:3

Gods mercy has been my defense and refuge in trouble. Psalm 59:16

Your mercy and truth preserve me. Psalm 61:7

Show mercy and bring deliverence psalm 85:7

In your mercy give me strength and save me
Psalm 86 :16

Let your mercy keep me and your covenant stand for me
Psalm 89:28

Extend your mercy to my children psalm 103:17

Let your mercy deliver me because you are good. Psalm 109:21

According to your mercy teach me your word. Psalm 119:24

Deliver me from my enemies in your mercy. Psalm 136:26

Hope in his mercy.

The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Psalm 147:11

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