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Good From Nazareth?

Luke Chapter 4, tells us that Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil. ” If you are really the Son of God then prove it,” (my paraphrase)

Jesus does not comply. He had nothing to prove. Jesus knows who he is!

Considering the source, Jesus rejects the temptation. He tells the devil to take a hike.

Then after that temptation trial Jesus returns in the power of the Spirit into Galilee.

There Jesus becomes well known throughout all of that region. Jesus teaches in the synagogues, heals the sick, casts out devils. All the people are blessed!

After that Jesus comes to the city of Nazareth where he grew up and where every one knows him as Jesus the carpenter.

It was in a synagogue in Nazareth (where he probably went every Sabbath as a kid) that Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah, announcing that he is the fulfillment of that Messianic prophecy.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. Isaiah 61:1,2

After closing the Torah Jesus sits down. Everyone’s eyes are on him.

Then Jesus gives notice to all the people that he had grown up with that he is the promised Messiah.

This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Luke 4:21

Only Messiah could fulfill that scripture. He knew that. They knew that.

The people of Nazareth were blown away by that announcement. Is this not Joseph’s son?

Whaaattt? Is he saying what we think he’s saying?

Then Jesus tells these people who he knows on a personal basis.  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. Luke 4:23

Seems quite fantastic that Jesus knowing full well he would be rejected in Nazareth would make the announcement of his being the promised Messiah there. To all his friends and family.

Is there a bigger picture happening here?

Nazareth was a small town. Populated mostly with farmers, shepherds and labourers. It basically was a place with low social status.

That is why Nathanael said to Jesus “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46

Jesus goes to his own home town, small and insignificant, tells them he is their promised Messiah and they out right reject him!

Who saw that coming?

After Jesus tells them that a prophet is never honored in his own home town the people in the synagogue get so riled up that they literally grab Jesus and haul him to a cliff in order to toss him off. They were intent on harming Jesus. Maybe even kill him.

The guy had the audacity to call himself a prophet! That’s it! He’s out of here!

But passing through their midst…what? How could that happen? They had him by the scruff of the neck and he passed through them?

Well Jesus transported or something because he got away.

Then Jesus goes to the next town and preaches in their synagogue. The people in that place were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

That place loved him! At least they loved the miracles.

I think Jesus was making a point or a prophetic act if you will when he announced who he was in Nazareth.

Nazareth was a foretaste of what was going to happen to Jesus in the future. The whole nation of Israel would reject him but this time instead of throwing him off a cliff they would crucify him.

Interesting but it goes even further than that today. Now it seems the world is rejecting Jesus’ Christ’s claim to be Messiah or Savior of the world with the same old unbelief.

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Where is the promise of his coming? Who made that guy a ruler over us?

Jesus gives the same answer today as he always does to the doubters. 

One day you will say to me …if you really are the Son of God ….prove yourself…make these stones turn to bread….fix all these problems we ourselves have created. You are only an historical figure. We don’t want you! Give us Barabbas. You know that rebel! We want him not you!

History really does repeat itself doesnt it?

There is a good ending to this story however. Remember what the angels said after Jesus rose from the dead and was taken up in the clouds in front of over 100 of his disciples?

Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” Acts 1:11

And don’t forget this time, “Every eye will see him!” Revelation 1:7

Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Maranatha! 

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Abide in the Vine

In John Chapter 15, Jesus gives a parable about a vineyard.

He says that he is the true vine, the Father is the Farmer and his disciples are the branches.

Just as a branch cannot produce fruit without the vine neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.

Every branch in Jesus Christ is pruned so that it will produce fruit. No fruit can be produced without pruning.

Pruning is a part of growing in the Lord. Pruning requires taking away the old so that the new will grow.

This process can be painful. We are set in our ways and don’t like change. But in order to produce Holy Spirit fruit in our lives we must yield to the pruning process. Out with the old man filled with dry old ways of doing things and yielding to the sharp pruning tools of the Father.

Jesus tells us to abide in him. Continue in his word which is able to make us into what the Lord wants us to be. Filled with Holy Spirit fruit!

Just as a vine cannot produce fruit by itself neither can we produce fruit without Jesus Christ.

If we continue in the Lord we will produce much fruit.

Pruning the vine every spring just before growth begins allows the branches to have enough air movement around them to reduce disease.

Heavy pruning of the vine provides the best fruit.

While pruning may be needed throughout the year, pruning is best done when the vine is dormant, just before growth begins in spring.

Dormancy is when the plant slows down. Its metabolism, energy consumption, and growth are at a slow pace.

Sometimes when we seem to be inactive, placed on the shelf, that is when the pruning happens. Our lives in a winter stage while seeming to be going no where are in reality being pruned.

Reflection. Repentance. Seeking the Lord. Searching for answers. Giving up of sin. Intense prayer. Dying to self.

The winter stage many times can be rough going but harsh winters with much pruning produce a great harvest of fruit.

In order for a grape vine to flourish it must have plenty of sun shine. In the same way we must have plenty of Holy Spirit saturation.

If a vine has little light it will eventually dry up and die.

In his presence is fullness of joy. We get inspired in God’s presence, strengthened and empowered.

Being in the sun reduces pest problems too. That old devil and his varmints hate the light. The more light the less devil problems.

The vine also needs plenty of water for the roots to grow and expand deep into the ground. The branches can’t produce a healthy life flow without plenty of the water.

Being watered with the word makes us grow in the Lord.

Without the water of the word our roots will shrivel and die or at the very least be stunted in growth.

Roots need to be soaked in water before planting. This is significant because a vine produces healthy branches only after a deep saturation.

The more of the word we are saturated in, the more we become grounded in the truth. It is hard to dig up deep rooted plants.

It is interesting to note that a grapevine needs some type of support system or the branches will trail along the ground. In the same way we need support to grow properly. Without proper support the Lord’s disciples will become bogged down, carrying a lot of burden.

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Another important factor in a healthy vineyard is to weed constantly. If weeds grow under the grape vine the soil temperature will stay cooler. This will delay growth.

The cares of this life if not dealt with will choke the branches from receiving life from the vine. We need to hoe out all those worldly cares and troubles. Being diligent to guard our hearts against anything that will clog up our spiritual life.

Jesus tells us that if we continue in him then we will be fruitful but if not then we will wither and possibly die.

A healthy branch abides in the vine and produces much fruit!

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. John 15:7-9

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The Door

There are natural doors that open to allow entrance and close to prevent entrance. In the Kingdom of God a door represents entrance or access from the natural realm to the Spiritual realm.

In Hebrew door is pethach. An opening, gate, entrance way. It is more than just an ordinary natural door. The root word for pethach is pâthach which means to open or loose.

God lives in the spiritual realm. The only way to enter into the realm of the Spirit of God is through the DOOR. Jesus is that door.

In Jesus’ time the sheepfold was a rock wall built of stones. This wall provided protection from predators. The enclosure also had a door which was an opening for the sheep to come in and go out.  The Shepherd would lie at the door in order to protect the sheep.

 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. John 10:1-5

In Genesis 18:1 Abraham had a visitation of the Lord at the door of his tent. You will find many references in scripture where the Lord dialogues with his people at the door. The Door represent Jesus Christ the Messiah in which we must enter to have fellowship with God.

Blood was sprinkled on the door. The Lord passed over the door so that the destroyer would not destroy. Ex. 29:32

The door of the tabernacle is where the Lord met with Moses to speak to him. Ex. 33:9

The offerings were put at the door of the tabernacle. Ex 40:29 Leviticus. 1:5, 4:18 Numbers 6:10

Prophets or Nazerites were dedicated to the Lord at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Numbers 6:13

The Israelites repented at the door of their tents.  Numbers 11:10

The Lord came down in a pillar of the cloud and stood at the door of the tabernacle to speak. Numbers 12:5

The Israelites put incense at the door of the tabernacle. Numbers 6:18

God’s glory appeared at the door of the congregation. Numbers 16:19

The law was to be written upon the door posts of the Israelites houses and gates. Deuteronomy 11:20

A bondservant’s ear was to be pierced on the door. Deuteronomy 15:17

The Lord appeared at the door of the tabernacle in a pillar of cloud over the door of the tabernacle. Ezekiel 10:19

The cherubim stood at the temple door and the glory of the Lord was above them. Deuteronomy 31:15

Prophecy of giving Israel a door of hope. Jesus is that door. Hoses 2:15

The 5 virgins who were prepared went in with Jesus and the 5 not prepared had the door shut on them. Matthew 25: 10

In Revelations 3:20 Jesus says I stand at the door and knock.

Jesus knocks on the door or entrance to our heart, he calls us by his Holy Spirit. If we hear his voice and come through the door he will have fellowship us.

When we come to Jesus by responding to his voice we can go in through the door to the realm of the Spirit and then out through the door to the natural realm with our needs met.

Commune or fellowship with the Lord gives us access into the holy realm of God’s Kingdom.

In Revelation 4:1

A door was opened in the heavenly realm for John and the word of the Lord came to him.

Once we come through the Door we have access into the Holy of holies. We can now come before God’s throne with our praise, worship, prayers and intercession. We can even come to receive instruction in righteous, get revelation of the word of God and simply just hang out in God’s presence.

In Matthew 7 Jesus tells us to ask, seek and knock. These 3 words hold different meanings.

To ask is to petition, to seek is to diligently look for or inquire and to knock is to request entrance.

In Revelations 3:20 Jesus is talking to his church.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

When we knock on the door, we are requesting access to the realm of the Spirit where God resides.

“Whoever knocks the door will be opened.”

We are gaining access to this realm of the Spirit when we come through the door. Jesus is that door into the presence of God.

There we can commune with the Lord. It’s a spiritual experience with God that takes us from this natural realm to the realm of the Spirit. It is our spirit fellowshipping with the Holy Spirit. Communing together in one accord. 

Not every Christian knocks on the door or comes through the door as made evident in the Lord’s plea in Revelations 3:20

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Either they don’t know they have this access to the place where God resides or they don’t believe it. Scriptures tell us that we have a better covenant based on better promises.

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. Hebrews 8:6

Our access to the realm of the Spirit is based on our having gone through the Door. The veil to the Holy of Holies is now removed. We can like the high priest did once a year, enter into God’s presence. We can come every day!

The heavenly realm of communion in the Holy Spirit is available to those who knock on the door. That is through Jesus Christ we can come into the throne room of grace. It is much more than petition. It is much more than intercession. 

It is having intimacy with the King of Kings in the realm of the Spirit of God. Dwelling in his very presence !

Knock and the door will be opened unto you for he who comes to me will never be refused. John 6:37

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God Declares HIS Word.

Have you ever heard of the idiom don’t put the cart before the horse?

What it means is don’t do things in the wrong order.

A spiritual principle many get out of order is the act of declaration.

To declare is to say something emphatically or to make it officially known.

A recent Christian trend today is to “declare God’s word.”

While it is true that God’s word has power to save, heal, provide and deliver, what is not true is that if you declare God’s word enough times that it will cause miracles to happen.

Not only is this not a Biblical concept but it is rather occultist in its application.

Let me explain.

To declare in the Hebrew is nâgad which means to announce, expose, predict or profess. To bring a report or speak forth an utterance.

Let’s look at the word used in context.

According to Genesis 41:24 the King of Babylon asked his magicians to interpret his dream but they were not able to declare it.

In other words magicians cannot declare a thing that God has hidden.

We know however from that story that Daniel was able to interpret the dream after prayer and fasting because God revealed the information to him. Then Daniel  was able to bring forth the interpretation to the king.

In Deuteronomy 1:5 Moses declared the law to the people.

Remember that the law was given to Moses through revelation from God. After the law was revealed to him then he declared it.

In Judges 12:12-14, Samson put forth a riddle and asked the Philistines to declare it to him but they could not. So the Philistines used devious methods through Delilah in order to obtain the interpretation of the riddle.

In Kings Chapter 22 we see that Micaiah declared the word of the Lord while the other prophets declared the word out of their own hearts to please the king. I guess they valued their heads more than they valued God’s revealed word.

In the book of Job we find God demanding Job to declare to him all his mysteries since he thought he had the mind of God and knew all the answers.

In Psalms 2:7, David says that he will declare the word that God has spoken unto him. David often declared God’s word that was revealed to him.

Now let’s go to the New Testament.

Declare in the Greek is phrazō which means to indicate by word or act. To expound upon.

Matthew tells us that Jesus declared to his disciples what his parables meant. He expounded to them his word.

John 17: 26, relaying Jesus’ prayer to the Father he said that he had declared his word to his disciples.

In Acts 13, the disciples declared the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In the book of Romans and other epistles Paul and John declare Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.

Do you see a pattern here?

When the word “declare” is used in scriptures it is used to make an announcement of a particular truth of God that is revealed to a person.

That being said, the word “declare” is not used in reference to making something happen.

It is used in cases when the word of God is revealed or expounded upon which bring revelation to the recipient. 

Then the word that is revealed is declared according to the publishing of it for a divine purpose.

The scriptures being declared at random for the purpose of receiving an outcome of one’s own desire is not a Biblical concept.

Why then do people do it? Probably to try and force God to do what they want.

Like I said when used in that way declaration actually becomes a form of manipulation. Manipulating through the use of scripture for personal benefit.

In its proper order we declare the word of God when God has revealed it to us by his Holy Spirit for his purposes. What is revealed in scripture many times had perquisites attached to them. Unless one is in obedient to the perquisite it is a useless objective to declare that particular word.

As the Lord reveals his word to our heart and we walk in obedience to that revealed word then we can be assured that God’s word declared to us will come to pass!

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Ephesians 6:2 Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise) that it may be well with thee,

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.

Isaiah 26:3, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee.

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

Deuteronomy . 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God.”

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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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A VICTOR NOT A VICTIM

Unless we are able to admit that we have a problem we can never get healed. This goes for the problem of victimization as well. Many with victim mentality have actually experienced victimization in one form or another. However God does not want us to stay victimized.

As long as we hold on to our “right ” to be a victim because of what some body has done to us we will live defeated lives. This goes for historical victimization as well.

Victim mentality is actually unforgiveness. When we hold the sins commited against us or against our ancestors in our heart we are in disobedience to the word of God. Jesus said plainly that if we do not forgive others their sins then neither will he forgive us ours.

Signs of having a victim mentality are: blaming others, self pity, always focused on the injustice, living in the past, condemning others and ourselves and not taking personal responsibility.

Even though we may have experienced victimization that does not mean that we have to continue to be a victim. God has given us tools in his word to be an overcomer.

Victim mentality starts with the thought life. We have got to see our self as scriptures tell us we are. The Bible says in Proverbs that as a person views themselves in the heart so they are. In other words we become what we tell ourself that we are. If we see ourself as a failure we will fail. If we see ourself in Christ as a victor then we will win.

In order to become a victor we must forgive past hurts and past sins. Let go of holding grudges and blaming some one or something else for our problems. We are not responsible for them but we are responsible before God for us.

When the devil starts to remind you of your past hurts tell him to take a hike in Jesus name. Tell him who you are in Jesus. The more you pray scriptures in Jesus name for yourself, the more God by his Holy Spirit, will work that into your heart. Before you know it you will be in your heart who God says you are. You will believe what the Lord says and you will live like it !

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.Romans 8:37

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1John 4:4

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

To be an overcomer we must over come! Overcome the victim mentality the devil throws at us and rise up and be healed!

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Yes and Amen

God tells us in the Bible that all of his promises are “yes and amen”.

2 Corinthians 1:20

That means that God’s pledge or declaration of assurance that he will do a particular thing or that he will cause a particular thing to happen are affirmative. Agreeing with consent to happen. Shall happen because God’s word is trust worthy.

If this is so then why is it that many of us fall short of receiving the promises of God as clearly put forth in the Bible?

Jesus made it clear that God’s word or his promises are like a seed that one sows in a garden. In other words it is a process to receive the promises of God.

Now depending first of all on the condition of the soil the future success of the seed will be determined. Is the heart receiving the word thorny? Stoney? Good soil?

The seed not only has to be planted in good soil but once fallen into the ground it needs to germinate for a time.

Germination in itself has an intricate process. First of all the seed planted in the good soil must be absorbed by water in order for it to swell up.

Once this hydration of the seed happens oxygen released from the soil is utilized by the seed so that it becomes metabolic. That is the seed uses its stored food or energy for growth.

After that the seed must rupture its coat so that the radicle will come out of the primary root of the seed.

Jesus called this process, “the seed falls into the ground and dies.” John 12:24 

Once the seed is sprouted it requires light in order to continue to grow.

Now that is just the seed!

After that the root of the sprouted seed has to grow deep down in the soil. The roots branch off and are then able to absorb water and food from the soil.

More growth takes place and the sprout turns into a stem. The stem then receives sunlight which is turned into energy. This process produces even more growth.

The promises of God that we are entitled to because we are children of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ do not come to us without a process. Just like a seed planted in good soil.

In our fast food society people don’t like to hear that. They would rather have a quick fix and a drive by solution.

It doesn’t however work that way. What the Lord is telling us through his word is that if we want to recieve his promises we must die to our self first. That old outter shell of the carnal man must fall off.

God’s promises are yes and amen to the surrendered Christian. The one willing to die to the ways of the world and put on Jesus Christ.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. Romans 13:14

By filling up on the water of the word, the promises of God will cause our hearts to burst forth with hopeful anticipation.

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:26,27

Faith will then take root in our hearts as we keep feeding on the word of God and getting revelation light from his Spirit.

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

We are sure to see the promises of God take place in our life. Here a little and there a little. Line upon line and precept upon precept. Isaiah 28:10

As we continue to abide in God’s word, his promises will blossom. Bringing forth the sweet fragrance of Jesus Christ for all to witness.

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

Then when the fruit is produced from God’s word everyone around us will taste and see that the Lord indeed is good.

For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. Psalm 33:4

When our hearts line up to the conditions of God’s word then we have good soil! The seed we plant in our heart will grow in its time. We can expect a bountiful harvest !

The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25

As you mediate on God’s promises, pray over them and believe them. The promises of God will surely come to pass in the Lord’s time. His word is trustworthy. They are yes and Amen!

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. Joshua 1:8

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FOR HIS GLORY

Scriptures tell us that whatever we do it should be done for the glory (doxa) of God.

Doxa is an ancient Greek word meaning “popular opinion” or “common belief”

Doxa was used by the Greek philosophers in presenting an argument. Their objective was to sway public opinion.

Paul uses the word doxa because in the same way the Greeks used their philosophical arguments to sway the people toward their opinion or view of the world so should Christians by their lifestyle (actions and words) persuade the unsaved that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life.

In other words, the life of a Christian should represent the King of kings to the world.

Whether our testimony is received or not it is a living witness to the world. We represent Jesus Christ and our lives should bring him glory. (doxa)

All that we do is being observed by those who do not know Jesus Christ. As a living sacrifice the Christian is called to give up their own life in order to be a light in the world.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Roman’s 12:1,2

A living sacrifice means giving up our life as an offering to God, representing him before the world.

Paul says that, “it is no longer I that live but Christ that lives in me and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

As members of Christ’s body we are not out our own. “We are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” 1Corinthians 6:20

Won’t you surrender your life to Jesus today? Be a living sacrifice for his glory!

All to Jesus, I surrender
All to Thee I freely give
I will ever love and trust You
In Your presence daily live I surrender all, I surrender all
All to Thee, my blessed Savior
I surrender all All to Jesus, I surrender
Lord, I give myself to Thee
Fill me with Your love and power
Let Your blessing fall on me I surrender all, I surrender all
All to Thee, my blessed Savior
I surrender all All to Jesus I surrender
Now I feel the sacred flame
O the joy of full salvation
Glory, glory, to Your name I surrender all,
Robin Mark
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bible, Faith, grace, hope, salvation, Walking in the Spirit

HOPE IN THE LORD!

Scriptures tell us that if we put our hope in the Lord we will not be disappointed. Isaiah 49:23

To hope is to desire. To want something to be true or to want something to happen. To expect with confidence. To put trust in.

But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. Palms 71:14

When our hope is in the Lord our hope will not fail to produce what we are hoping for. This is because God is the source of our hope. He has the answer we are seeking for and he will bring the desired outcome.

Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

The Lord is my portion or inheritance therefore will I hope in him. Lam. 3:26

The Lord will be the hope of his people. Joel 3:16

The hope of the righteous shall be gladness. Proverbs 10:28

God is the God of hope. Roman’s 15:13

Thou art my hiding place and my shield:
I hope in thy word.
Psalm 119: 114

Hope (Greek elpis) expects with confidence. Hope seeks. Hope expects an answer. Hope waits patiently. Hope that sees is not hope. Hope waits with expectation. Hope trusts. Hope brings experience and experience with God results in faith being produced.

We are saved by hope but hope which is seen is not hope but if we hope for what we do not see then with patience we wait for it.
Romans 8:24,25

Hope is different than faith. Faith (Greek pistis) is to be completely convinced without doubting. To believe and trust with absolute conviction that something is true or to have absolute confidence in without wavering.

Without faith it is impossible to please God because he that comes to him MUST BELIEVE that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Without saving faith salvation can not occur. It takes the God kind of faith to experience salvation. Seeking God with hope happens when the heart is drawn by the Holy Spirit.

Faith comes when the seeking heart reaches out to God with a sincere contrite heart and finds him.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7

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

The born again experience is a miraculous regeneration process of the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is not intellectual assent. Scriptures tell us that the devils believe and tremble. James 2:19

Saving faith, is absolutely positively without a doubt, without wavering ever, trusts in and clings to God regardless of circumstances and regardless of trials, tribulations or persecutions.

Faith is the ASSURANCE of things hoped for. To have assurance is to have confidence without doubt or uncertainty.

Hope comes with experience. Romans 5: 5

In other words by directly observing facts that is gained by knowledge hope will come. Then when hope that does not disappoint comes faith is the result.

Blind faith is not Biblical faith. When we put our hope in the Lord he does not disappoint. After having a need met once or twice experience reveals the outcome is sure. Then we have confidence.

This hope from experience brings confidence which results in faith being produced. You know that you know that you know. Why? Because you have never been disappointed! God always comes through! He never fails!

Hope in the Lord! He never disappoints those who seek him!

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the Lord.
Psalms 31:24

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13

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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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