Obedience is Better than Sacrifice!

In 1 Sam. 15:23 God told Saul that obedience to him is better than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of lambs.

The Lord made it clear to Saul that he wanted him to hear his voice and obey his commands and that was the way he was to worship.

The Lord made a command to Saul to slay every inhabitant of Amalek including their animals. Saul leaned on his own reasoning in the situation. Rather than do what he was told, Saul spared the king of Amalek and took the best of the spoil for himself.

The Lord took Saul’s disobedience as a rebellious act against his Lordship.

Saul said that he was going to sacrifice the sheep and oxen he had taken to the Lord but the Lord wouldn’t accept it.

Saul it seemed wanted to serve God Saul’s way. He knew better than God on how to serve God.

Saul even justified his action by saying he did everything that he was told to do but he took the best of the animals to make a big sacrifice to God. Plus Saul let the king or head of the Lord’s enemy live.

Amalek was a descendant of Esau. This lineage had no respect to God’s covenant. They were disrespectful of God’s holy ways.

By letting Amalek’s king live Saul was compromising with evil.

God’s view was that Saul by taking matters into his own hand was therefore in rebellion and operating in a witchcraft spirit. He in effect was denying God.

This story is really a parallel to the religious spirit that decides how God should be worshiped. The religious spirit comprises with things that disrespect God’s word.

Religion wants to make all kinds of obligations and ritualistic observations in preference to what God’s word has to say.

The religious spirit wants to perform feats that guise as worshiping God but in reality only exalt man’s ego.

God requires obedience to please him. Romans 6:16 tells us that obedience to the faith moves into righteousness or justification.

Obedience means attentive hearkening, complying with a command or request.
Submitting to the authority and moral conviction of the religious truth of reliance on Jesus Christ for salvation. This is obedience to the faith.

God’s way of worship is by faith in Jesus Christ! Not rituals and all kinds of humanistic effort.

2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to demolish high minded reasoning that oppose knowing God and bringing captive the intellect to obey Jesus Christ.

In other words cast down any form of worship that is against what God’s word defines as worship.

What is obedient worship acceptable to God?

1 Peter 1:2 says that God the Father has chosen those who by his foreknowledge through sanctification (purified and made holy) of the Holy Spirit unto ( toward) obedience (hearkening to command ) and sprinkling of the blood atonement of Jesus Christ.

The only form of worship pleasing to God is through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and obedience to the gospel.

Those who hearken to this command will be received by God the Father and are well pleasing in his sight.

Anything added to that or taken from that is considered disobedience to God.

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.

Correction in Righteousness !

It is not with a big stick that the Lord Jesus brings correction . Sometimes we are under the impression that the Lord is going to lambaste us or others who are not walking in his truth. We have a tit for tat understanding of God but this simply is not the case. God does want to bring correction in our lives but with the motive of love not with revenge. (Hebrews 12:6)

The Lord Jesus only allows harsh learning repercussions to come our way when we continue to resist him through willful disobedience but that is only a last resort. (Romans 2:8)

When we pray for others to come to the knowledge of the truth, God answers our prayers according to his ways and methods as set out in scriptures. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

We need to realize that people often behave according to their predisposed beliefs which may be incorrect. These beliefs if they cause hurt to others need to be addressed and the Lord may use us to bring a corrective word into someone’s life. We need to do this in humility because we are not always right about everything either. ( Galatians 6:1)

Our traditional ways of seeing things may not necessarily be truth and this can be difficult for us to swallow. Our pride gets bruised or our sacred idol gets a good thrashing when being challenged in our ideas. (Roman’s 11:20)

When challenging the wrong ideas of others it may not be well received at first. People often make a big fuss when truth is shared with them. From a wrong perspective people often are defending what is sacred and holy to them. They may see truth as an intruder which is walking on their preconceive ideas of what is good or right in their eyes.

The messenger of truth may get attacked. (Proverbs 21:2) God’s truth is perceived by some as a threat to ideas long held.

Unless we admit we have been wrong about certain things we will continue on in our deception and in the end we will suffer the consequences of our error. With lies comes bondage and recompense for wrong thinking which results in doing wrong actions. These wrong actions can cause damage to other people’s lives as well as our own. (Jeremiah 7:8)

When we don’t want to give up our golden calf of ideas the Lord Jesus will allow us to go through rough times. A wilderness experience is a method used by God to bring us to repentance and acknowledging of the truth. Believing lies have consequences. It can result in us being chastised which often can results in nothing in our lives seeming to work out. We are just going around in circles. (Exodus 13)

Satan is the father of lies. He knows how to wrap lies up in deceptive packages that we get duped in to thinking are truth. (John 8:44)

Unbelievers and Christians without revelation in a certain area due to Satan’s deception often think that the one who is bringing correction are actually out to get them. This may not be the case.

We need to examine the word being said to us and humble ourselves enough to see if there just might be any truth to what is being pointed out. People can often see faults in us that we are too blindsided to see. (Hosea 4:6)

At other times we may be in truth but the person opposing us may be in deception. That is why Jesus said, “Forgive them Father because they do not understand what they are doing.” (Like 23:24)

People who attack do so because their preconceived ideas of truth are being challenged. Most people will fight for what they think is true and not for a blatant lie. That is why it is important that we pray for truth to be revealed by the Holy Spirit through scriptures. (Ephesians 1:17)

Belief systems contrary to the Bible need to be rejected once truth is revealed to us. We may have been taught wrong. Scriptures taken out of context and not compared with other scriptures may only be partial truth or subjective truth. God’s word is our measuring stick for it is above every other word. This includes worldly wisemen and theological wisemen. (Psalms 138:2 2 Corinthians 1:20 Roman’s 3:4 )

Jesus through his word exposes Satan’s lies. When that old devil says, “Has God really said?” we should have a red flag go up right away.

Satan is in fact saying “God doesn’t mean really this what he really means is that. Distorting scriptures or disregarding them altogether are Satan’s major strategy of deception. (Genesis 3, Mathew 4:6)

How can we know if we are in the truth?

By examining scriptures in light of the Holy Spirit’s revelation through prayer, research of the original language content, historical context and bearing witness with our spirit. (2 Corinthians 2:23, Acts 17:11, Ephesians 1:17, James 1:5)

If our ideas go against the conscience or inner prompting of the Holy Spirit and also scriptural reference they need to be immediately rejected. (Roman’s 8:16)

Outside knowledge if it is not within biblical context should be rejected for God’s word is above man’s word. Even if taught by a popular denomination or ministry. (Roman’s 3:4 )

With a change of mind will come a change of attitude. Truth sets us free! (Roma8:31, 32)

God calls us in his word to demolish strongholds of the mind contray to his word. (2 Corinthians 10:4)

Through the Bible and through prayer the Lord Jesus will lead us into all truth. Especially if we are seeking for his truth and not just to confirm our preconceived ideas of what truth is. (John 16:13 )

Correction from God comes to us in love. In other words from a motive of wanting us to be set free through truth.

Jesus says that he is the light, the way and the truth. Scriptures tell us that the Lord gently leads us into all truth. When someone is nice about bringing us a word of correction it’s much easier to handle. A word in season even if its corrective is pleasant when it’s brought in kindness.
(2 Timothy 2 Colossians 3:13-23)

Once we get revelation by the Holy Spirit of his truth then we are better able to repent of our error. No one wants a wilderness experience and that is what ends up happening if we reject God’s word. (Deuteronomy 28, leviticus 26, Isaiah 1:19)

The only big stick that we ever get when we are wrong is the one we knock ourselves out with when we don’t listen to correction and end up finding out the truth the hard way.

The Lord Jesus wants us to take heed to correction and have all our crooked ways made straight because he loves us. (Isaiah 45:2)

Are you having a wilderness experience in your life right now? Maybe you don’t have truth about a matter. Ask the Lord Jesus to show you for he has promised to give wisdom to those who ask him. (James 1:5)

A wise man listens to advice but a fool goes on and is punished.” (Proverbs 12:15)

Hang On To Jesus!

No matter how hard the battle is Christians must hold on to the hem of Jesus Christ’s garment until victory comes ! (Matthew 9:20)

Many times when we don’t see immediate results and heaven seems silent our flesh is tempted to panic but Jesus wants us to look to him, the originator and completer of our faith, and not at the storm around us. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

No matter how rough the waves, how deep the waters, or how hard the wind blows, we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. (Mathew 14)

Satan knows his times is short and he is mad as hell. Knowing our weakness, and the weakness of others, the evil one will send forth those fiery darts but our faith in Jesus Christ is what will bring us through to victory every time. If we do not give up. (Ephesians 6:16, Galatians 6:9)

Faithful is he who has promised! So hang on, keep pressing through in prayer and having done all you are required in scriptures to do just keep standing. (Hebrews 10:23, Ephesians 6:13)

God’s power will be released to rescue you from your fiery trial. Jesus will turn your way and see your faith. He will lift you up out of despair and make you whole again. Jesus will turn your sorrow into joy once more! Do not be afraid! Do not doubt his love for you! Hang on with every last thread of your being to his garment!

Your victory is sure! Look up for help is on its way!

Continue to put your trust in Jesus Christ through the storm and you will not be disappointed! Remember that he has promised to come through for you and God never breaks a promise! (Roman’s 10:11 Psalms 25:3)

Does the Name of Jesus Save?

Does the name of Jesus really save? Well, that depends. It depends on which Jesus you are trusting in.

The name Jesus is a Latin name derived from the Greek name Iesous which in turn is derived from the Hebrew name Yeshuah or Yehoshua. (Joshua)

In Hebrew Yehoshua is a common name. While it means Savior or deliverer it could also be applied to any male child but that does not make them the Messiah.

Some Christians get hung up on the name but fail to see that it’s the person behind the name that saves. The name Iesous has been saving people since the gospel was given to the Gentiles, the name Jesus has been saving people during the Roman Empire till now and the name Yeshuah has saved and is still saving many Jews.

However, the name in and of itself does not save. Let me show you why this is so.

Paul asked the Galatians if they were believing in another Jesus. Why would he do that? Simply because the Galatians were teaching a doctrine contrary to Paul’s gospel given to him by revelation of the scriptures by the Holy Spirit. Paul said that the Galatians were not trusting in the Messiah of scriptures but had made up their own Jesus according to their religious ideology.

Another example is the sons of Sceva who tried to cast out demons by the name of Jesus. (Acts 13) It didn’t work. Why? Well because these Jews were trying to use the name of Yeshuah without having a relationship with the Messiah. The name Yeshuah had no power in and of itself .

In Psalms 138 David wrote, “For thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

Herein lies the answer. You see Jesus was the word incarnate. All that is written in scriptures is personified in Jesus Christ. If your Jesus is not the same Jesus as depicted in the scriptures and the gospel that you trust in is not the gospel delivered by Paul to the Gentiles then your Jesus is a different Jesus.

The Messiah deliverer must be the same one preached in scriptures for salvation to occur. It does not matter if you use the name Jesus, Yeshuah, Joshua, Yehoshua, Jesu, Jezus, Yesu, ect.

What matters is that you call upon the person who died for your sins on the cross and rose from the dead and that sits at the right hand of the Father in heaven. It is important that you cry out in repentance to God in heaven for breaking his laws and ask him for his forgiveness and that you receive redemption through the sacrifice of his Son.

When you call on the name of the Lord to save you it must be the name of the Savior depicted in the Bible. Not your own version of Jesus or the version of your church doctrine. Scriptures say that it is through God’s grace, his undeserved favor and mercy that we are saved and not by our own works or efforts. We must call on the Lord to save us from sin through faith in his salvation provided through his suffering on the cross. When we do this we pass from death unto life. The name of our Savior is Messiah or SAVIOR. So call on Jesus (Yehoshua) to save you today. Ephesians 2:8,9

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Having the Mind of Christ.

Peter tells Christians that we are to arm ourselves or equip ourselves with the mindset of Jesus Christ when it comes to our suffering in this world. (1 Peter 4:1)

In order to do that we need to understand the suffering of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a look at Isaiah 53.

According to this prophecy which occurred in the future and is now in the past but which applies to the Christian in the present, Jesus Christ endured tremendous suffering.

We can see these main occurances which Jesus Christ endured. Let’s break them down.

Jesus was despised. 
This means that Jesus was not valued and seen as worthless. In other words who Jesus is and what he did for humanity is not respected and in fact is scorned by many people both in the past and today .

Since Jesus was despised why do we think that we should experience any better kind of treatment? Jesus himself said that the world hated him so don’t expect it to like us either. Are we armed with this mindset?

Jesus was rejected by men. Many people simply do not want Jesus Christ. They prefer their own ways.

Since Jesus was rejected because his values are not appreciated then we must also be armed with his mindset. We may not be liked or valued or accepted by those who are not disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s a given.

Jesus was afflicted. That means he had to endure pain, abuse, bullying and scoffing. He was beaten and murdered too. Are we armed with this mindset?

Now let’s look at some other things Jesus endured for our sakes. Isaiah 53 goes on to tell us that Jesus bore our sorrows, he endured shame, he bore our griefs, and he carried our burdens.

Galatians 6: 2 tells us to bear one another’s burdens. This means that when we are armed with the mindset of Jesus Christ we come alongside our brethren like he did and help them carry their burden. Whether it’s in prayer, giving, ministering, helping, or serving.

Paul tells us that when we consider our sufferings in this world to be unworthy of the glory that will be revealed in us we can see a positive outcome of all this suffering we endure. Our sufferings are not because God is a sadist but rather the suffering we endure for the present if we are armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset have both eternal and present benefits. Let’s check it out.

Jesus bore sorrow, pain and grief for our sake so that through his affliction he could bring us healing. Jesus was wounded so that through his stripes we could recieve forgiveness ,healing and restoration.

He endured the cross and the shame so that he could bring many out of darkness and make them his children. When we are armed with this mindset we can endure our sufferings for the benefit of others.

Maybe enduring a mean person at work or rejection by your family. Enduring name calling and bullying by class mates who are not Christians or even having to give up your pay check to help a relative in sickness or give up your life to be a witness for your faith.

These are just some examples of what a Christian may have to endure to represent Jesus Christ in this world and share the gospel to the lost.

Jesus suffering brought us not only salvation but righteousness and justification. He suffered in patience and endurance because he knew what the outcome would be. Armed with Jesus Christ’s mindset on suffering we learn to be patient and wait for a good outcome too.

No suffering in this life is pleasant scriptures tell us BUT it is working out a far greater work of glory. In heaven we will be rewarded and sometimes even here we will reap the benefits but do you know what the best part is? It brings honor to the Lord! (Hebrews 12:11)

Think about that! When we patiently endure and pray then God walks through the suffering with us (Isaiah 43:2) He helps us carry our burdens and with joy we can bear them.

The beneficial outcome will come in God’s perfect timing. Just continue to trust him for faithful is he who has promised. (Psalm 34:19)