Thursday, August 30, 2012

God knows you. 1 Corinthians 15:36

1 Corinthians 15:36

"Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies."
NKJV
God is an amazingly creative God. In His unlimited wisdom, He grows fruits and vegetables that provide food to eat and seeds for even more fruits or vegetables to grow. When we open an orange, each of us can see the potential for new fruit. We can count the seeds and get an idea of the number of trees that could be produced with those very seeds. What we cannot see or begin to comprehend is the number of oranges that will be produced from one seed.

This may not seem all that exciting but let's look at the application of this in our lives. When we ask Jesus to forgive us and are born again, we are like that seed planted into the ground. As that seed lies in the soil, it becomes something new, something with amazing potential for growth. Likewise, when our lives are given completely to Jesus, there is unlimited potential to the number of lives we could reach. The Lord looks down onto our lives and knows the number of times we will fall, the number of times we will have victory and the number of lives we will change. He knows and will provide the needed power; the question is...are you ready to produce? Are you ready to grow and be fruitful? When you give your life to Christ and submit to Him in obedience, you will see amazing things happen, not because you are the perfect seed, but because He is the perfect gardener. Trust Him and watch the harvest unfold before your eyes.

Life Lesson: Anyone can count the seeds in an orange, but only God can count the number of oranges in a seed.

Dear God,
Thank You for the continuous love that You have shown me. Thank You for Jesus and the gift of salvation that comes through Him. Lord, I praise You for these things and ask that You would help me to grasp the impact that my life could have when it is dedicated to You. I ask that You fill me with Your Spirit and use me to be fruitful for Your Kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
 
My Comments: I love what Pastor David says about "only God can count the number of oranges in a seed." Sort of like only he knows the number of hairs on our head and the number of the sand on the beach.  For me it is so comforting to know I serve a God who nothing is beyond Him or surprises Him. He can take perfect care of me the way He knows is best not only for me but all who are in my life.
 
When I was younger and had gardens I could look at it and see what needed doing. I could see if it needed more or less water, more alfalfa around the plants or between the rows to keep the weeds away and heat the soil, I could see what needed picking or thinning to keep everything producing well and I so enjoyed watching the gardens grow. I think that is what it is like with God.
 
He brings us to Him through His Son Jesus. Then He waters us with His Word and as the Word grows in us it strengthens and refreshes us so we grow straight and true. His son lights our way and warms our hearts so we do things to serve others and this keeps us out of trouble or from growing weeds if you will. He thins out the things in us that hinder us from becoming all we can become by the trials of our lives. Then He shines on us with the love He had for us from the beginning of time. He is the best gardener and He loves us so much He made the biggest sacrifice a Father can make.
 
He let His Son die so we could live. Jesus made the greatest sacrifice a King can make. He went to the Cross and allowed His body to die so we may live with Him in heaven. First a seed must die in the soil before it may grow and become all it can become. Jesus made this possible for us.
When we plant our roots deep into the soil of the teachings of Jesus and His Gospel and let the water of the Word of God flow within us we can become all God has ordained for us to become. We can become fully God's children and we can grow to maturity and as we become mature we would spread the seed and help those seed to be nourished and grow to maturity as well. Jesus said to so into the world and make disciples.
 
Abba we thank You for planting Your Word into our hearts and giving of Yourself so me may live and be Yours. We ask Your forgiveness for our sin and pray You will strengthen us by Your Word and plant Your Holy Spirit within us so we may mature and help others to know and go to the Cross and accept Your Son Jesus' righteousness so they may be Your sons and daughters. In the name of Jesus. Amen
 
Rebishka

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Does it matter what the world thinks? 1Corinthians 1:18-25
 
1 Corinthians 1:18

 NASV,1 Corinthians 1:18 " For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. and :19 For it is written,"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the cleaver I will set aside." :20 Where is the wise man?Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? :21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to  know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. :22 For indeed Jews ask for signs, and Greeks search for wisdom; :23 but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, :24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. :25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
When we look at those who heard the message of the Gospel of Jesus we see there are few who were rich among the followers or disciples who followed Him. Why? When we look at those who are following or are His Disciples today they are not usually the rich as the world looks at riches. Why? When we look at many websites, college studies, books and even listen to songs and far too many new age pastors we hear the foolishness of the world and we hear that foolishness disclaiming the wisdom and truth of the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus the Christ. Why?
As the word of God says it is because they do not have real wisdom. Their wisdom is of the world which is passing away. Their wisdom is but foolishness and transient. We see people fighting to take down anything that speaks of God, the Bible or Jesus wherever it may be found outside of the inside of a church and that will be happening one day. People in the world are offended by the message of the cross. The message that we are all sinners elicits statements like, "Your just judgemental." or, "Your not living in reality." When in reality it is the truth and those who do not accept it are perishing as God says. It is not me who says it, it is the God of the Universe who has said it.
Why would people ignore His message? Why would they make fun of those who are following Jesus, who have accepted the message of the cross? I think it is because of sin. I think it is pride. We want to believe what is known as pure science (yet there are those who believe in theories like Darwin's Theory of Evolution without anything that substantiates it). Yet the science of Archeology continues to prove the stories, places and facts of the Bible. Which takes it back to what I think is the problem; pride. We do not want to be told we are sinners. We want to think we are wonderful and good. When none are good, no not one. Only the Father is good and because we are sinners He sent His Son to die on the cross to save us from sin. Now why would He do that if we were already good? He would not have to would He? Nope, He would just take everyone to heaven when they died.
The only book to talk about going to heaven is the Bible and yet there are worldly people who think they are going to heaven because they do good things like serve in the soup line or cloth the poor or save children from lives of drudgery. Those things are good to do yet they do not save anyone from hell. Only accepting Jesus' message of the cross and the Gospel of Jesus saves us from our sin and takes our pride away.
The message of the cross offends those who reject the Word of God and want to do what they want to do because they want to do it (or believe what they want to believe).  Reminds me of my children when they were small. When they wanted something whether I told them it was good for them or not, they still wanted it and sometimes they took it and had to suffer the consequences. If people continue to ignore God calling them then they will have to suffer the consequences and for some that will be a life of misery until they come to Him through Jesus on the Cross; for others they will refuse until they die and go where they choose and because they did not choose heaven they choose by default, hell. After all why would they go to heaven, where all will be praising God and bringing Him glory, when they didn't  want to be in His presence when they were alive?
I often wonder at people that accuse Christians of being judgemental by saying sinners who do not repent and accept the Gospel of Jesus will not enter into heaven when they do not want Him here. Like the child who is offered a treat and says, "No!" and then when the treat is gone they want it. Heaven is the reward of those who serve God through the Cross. It is for those who give Jesus their sins and take on His righteousness. Heaven is for those who believe the Word of God and are foolish for Him. God's word may be foolishness to the world yet it is the strength of those who have put on the righteousness of Jesus by accepting the Way of the Cross. Will you?
Abba, Thank You for the message of the Cross and for loving us so much You have offered us the reward of the Cross. Thank You for adopting us as Yours through Your Son Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross. Thank Your for Your wisdom and for freeing us from our sin. We accept Your Son Jesus' Sacrifice on the Cross and pray You will send Your Holy Spirit to guide us and strengthen us in Your Word. In Jesus' precious name. Amen
Rebishka
 

 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Prayer and the Word of God (Bible and Jesus the Living Word, #2). Psalm 119:89, Psalm 119:160, Hebrews 4:12, John 1:1, John 1:14,

First, look at two statements from Psalm 119. This is a wonderful psalm. It is the longest chapter in the Bible and nearly every verse says something about God's Word.

Psalm 119:89 (ESV)
"Forever, O LORD, your word
is firmly fixed in the heavens."

What does this verse tell you about God's Word?

Psalm 119:160 (ESV)
"The sum of your word is truth,
and every one of your righteous rules endures forever."

What insight into God's Word do these verses give you?

Hebrews 4:12 (NASV)
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit of both joints and morrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."

John 1:1 (NASV)
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:14 (NASV)
"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."

If the Word is living what does that mean?Such simple verses yet they hold so much truth about the Word of God and our obligation to know the Word of God. He took lengths to make sure we knew His Word. He impressed many different men to write down His Word so we would be able to know what He wants to tell us especially in this day when the truth of God is being twisted and eradicated or made to seem foolish. He made the effort (though for Him it is not an effort as we know it) to make sure we knew how important His Word was/is and ever will be because His Word though written down is also His Son, Jesus.

To do a study on the Word of God as written in the Word of God and to get to know the Living Word of God would take a lifetime yet we can know Him by confessing our sin and accepting Jesus as our Savior.

Abba grant that we may know Your Word and partake of the forgiveness of Your Son Jesus the Word incarnate. Thank You Father for sending Your Word into the world to save us from sin bring us into Your family. All praise and glory to You Father for all You have done for us and for Your Word. In the name of Your Word, Jesus. Amen
Rebishka



Are you crazy for Jesus? 2 Corinthians 5:13.

2 Corinthians 5:13
If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit.
NLT
The word 'crazy' is not often used to describe someone in a positive way. You may use crazy to describe that one relative you don't get along with or maybe the small children who seem to climb everything. Whatever the use of this word, crazy is mostly seen as negative...but imagine being crazy in Christ.

If crazy means different or odd, isn't that what Jesus called us to be? The world says to fight for yourself, but Jesus says to think of others first. The world says we must do whatever pleases us, but Jesus told us to die to ourselves. The world says there are many ways to heaven, but Jesus said "I am the Way the Truth and the Life." From the world's point of view, Jesus was crazy and so are we if we follow Him. Crazy in Christ means giving up of ourselves, our comforts and our desires for the sake of God and others. It means self-sacrifice and loving your enemies. It is completely contrary to anything the world says. So, today as you walk out the door set your heart and mind on being crazy in Christ. Love God, love others and watch as your craziness changes the world.
life Lesson: To be viewed as different or even crazy is probably healthy in this confused world.
Dear God,
I am so thankful for the new life You have given me in Jesus. Help me to walk in the Spirit even though it may seem crazy to others. I desire to be a blessing to others no matter the cost to myself. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I can be used for Your Kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee of Cross the Bridge Ministries
 
My Comments: My whole family thinks of me as crazy. Crazy for believing in Jesus the Christ. Crazy for not doing things they do like drinking and believing in pot being okay to take. I remember my Mom thought I was crazy because I did not agree with making prostitution legal and some in my family feel the same about marijuana but mostly it comes down to believing God's word and following Jesus and His teachings which came from the Father.
Well, they can call me crazy for not agreeing with them about worldly things. It doesn't matter because those will be or not be whatever the world follows. And they can call me crazy for following my Lord and Savior Jesus and I will rejoice because it is for His glory I suffer the slings and arrows of those who say they love me when I know the one who truly loves me unconditionally is my Father in heaven.
When we decided to follow the Lord Jesus we decided it did not matter what the world thought of us only what the King of heaven thinks. To the world we look foolish and to God we are fulfilling our purpose and shining His light into a very dark world that is getting darker all the time. We know only if we continue to bring truth to the world we will finish the race and hear, "Well done good and faithful servant."
Abba thank You so much for loving us so much. Thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to bring light to a dark world. Thank You for sending the bread of Life so we may be fed by the truth of Your word forever. Thank You for the River of Life that will refreshes us so we may not thirst. Though we appear as crazy to a world gone crazy we will stay the course and with Your help and guidance Father we will one day hear, "Well done good and faithful servant."  We praise You Abba for all Your love and for filling us with Your Holy Spirit who guides, teaches and fills us with Your knowledge. Amen
Rebishka

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blessings or correction? Joel 2:14
 
Joel 2:14
"Who knows? Perhaps he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of this curse. Perhaps you will be able to offer grain and wine to the LORD your God as before."
NLT
God has a plan for everything. We may not appreciate it at the time, but God will even use correction to take us to that next step in ministry. Like children, we all end up straying out of line from time to time. Whether we grow weary from the fight or simply lose sight of Christ, we can fall into error. This is where loving correction is important.
God's desire for correction is to restore us into right standing with Him. This should also be our motivation when we approach brothers and sisters in Christ. Our desire is to see them blessed as they walk in obedience. When we correct without a true desire to see the person restored, we can come across bitter or judgmental and end up driving that person further from Christ. When we walk in humility and approach them with loving concern and a gentle spirit, we will often find them open to what you have to say. Whenever you find yourself faced with the task of correction, pray often and trust the Lord to work through you.
Life Lesson: Correction without restoration will leave your mission unfulfilled in purpose.
Dear God,
Thank You for Your correction in times when I have lost sight of You. Help me to correct others with wisdom and gentleness. Use me as a tool to bring restoration to those who need help along the way. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee @ Cross the Bridge Ministries
 
My Comments: Raising my children was a process in learning how to correct without sounding judgemental. Can you relate? We have had 12 children and when they were younger it was easier to be the disciplinarian rather than one who took the time to explain. Correction was firm, even without spanking which I did more with the older ones and less as more children came along and I learned new ways. Thank God we do not have to go through years of His learning how to correct us without harshness as some parents or bosses can do. And sometimes even best friends or colleagues or even people at church can do the same thing; correct with out the sound of or feeling of love. We all know how we react when someone talks to us with out love or a caring attitude. We put up the stone wall. Right?
 
Well, children do as well and we as the children of God do the same, yet often our Abba will try and try and try and we will not respond or discontinue the behavior He is trying to get us to stop doing. So finally He has to do something to shake us up. Hopefully we do not have to go that far. Yet I have gone that far in my life and have not liked the consequences. Have you?
 
When I am listening well I receive the blessing of my heavenly Father smiling on me. I love those moments and strive to have them often in my life. Yet it is easy to get complacent. Remember King David in the Bible? He was following the Lord and striving to please Him then King David decided he would stay home while his troops took care of things and he committed adultery and murder and because of that his people were hurt and so was his family. Heavy consequences yet they brought King David back to a right relationship with the God of the Universe. Then God was able to continue blessing him. When we need  correction hopefully it will not be so hard on everyone in our lives yet it could be if we are leaders in God's church or leaders of a family.
 
Now I have to use my learned behaviors of correction with my adult children and my Grandchildren and when I am doing it well the results are pleasant. Yet I know it is not what is important to me that matters. It is only important to our Abba what is important and it is His correction they or we should listen to over anyone else. And I remember that if I do not take His correction quickly there will be a consequence I will not like.
 
Abba  we thank You for all Your tender mercies and for the corrections You have given us in our lives. We pray we will improve our listening and paying attention to what You are teaching us, quickly. We thank You for loving us enough to correct us when we go wayward from Your direction as found in Your Holy Word. Help us Father to be kind and loving when we are prompted by You to correct those in our lives. Help us to check ourselves to make sure we are not correcting because we think we have all the answers or are the one that is "right" and or have to have our way. Let us correct with Your loving words and with Your heart for whomever we are talking to. Thank You Father for increasing Your words in our hearts and our mouths so we may rely on Your word when we seek to help others. In the name of Jesus. Amen
 
Rebishka

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



We who accept the Gospel of Jesus have nothing to fear. 2 Corinthians 5:8, 1 Corinthians 15:54, 2 Corinthians 5:4, Romans 10:17.

2 Corinthians 5:8
"We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."
NKJV
The belief of the Greeks during the time of Jesus and Paul was that death swallowed up everything including life, people and animals. The Bible reverses that and says that life swallows up death and victory swallows up death.
1 Corinthians 15:54 "Death is swallowed up in victory." NKJV
2 Corinthians 5:4 "these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life." NLT
How awesome is this? Life's greatest unknown, death, is both life's greatest enemy and greatest fear, yet it is turned upside down and inside out by our God. Jesus not only turned death into victory, but also the tomb into a changing closet. Instead of fear, death can reveal a deep confidence and trust in God. The more you read the Bible, the stronger this confidence becomes (Romans 10:17). In the New Living Translation of 2 Corinthians 5:8, it says, "We are fully confident." The two thieves that faced death with Jesus tell us an interesting story. One taunted and teased Jesus, and the other asked Jesus for forgiveness. The big question is, "Which thief are you?" Jesus said to the one who asked for forgiveness, "Today, you will be with me in paradise." Friend, there is nothing to fear about paradise, and there is nothing to fear about heaven or the journey there. We will meet there. T-T-F-N! (Ta-Ta-For Now)
Life Lesson: For the believer, death is the threshold of heaven.
Dear Father,
Thank You for loving me. Thank You for dying for me on the cross so that I could be forgiven. Lord, sometimes I do not understand heaven and death, but thank You for reminding me in Your Word that I have nothing but victory to look forward to. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee of Cross the Bridge Ministries
My Comments: I remember nearly drowning as a young girl with my cousin on my shoulders. We were at a inside pool with a lifeguard and lots of people around. I was taking my older cousin across the deep end of the pool. I had told her to tap on the top of my head if I scared her by moving too fast of anything. Half way across I needed more air as I had been moving so very slow so as not to frighten her. I came up slowly and she panicked and started pounding on my head and flailing so I dropped back down and just waited. The next thing I knew I was breathing on the side of the pool and my cousin was off of me. No one had noticed. I had felt so peaceful and had just gone to sleep. I do not remember her getting off or my coming up or reaching the edge of the pool. When asked the lifeguard said he thought we were fine and just playing so he didn't interfere.For me there was no fear and death has never held any fear for me since not that I remember any before.
I know many fear from their own misconceptions and because of the unknown. Or because of the things they have done and they feel, "How could God love me or forgive me after what I have done?" or "God hates me, he has to because I have rejected Him all my life." or " I have been so mean to my .... (fill in the blank), how could He forgive me or love me or want me?" Well, when He talked to the women at the well He didn't say "because you were perfect and didn't sin I want you for mine." In fact there was never a time He said anything close to that. He said just the opposite. He said He loved the whole world (all of us from the beginning to the end of time). He wants us to be in His family. He wants us to be saved. He wants us to turn to Him. He has already forgiven and is waiting with open arms to receive us all. I hope you will accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross and put off your old nature and put on His righteousness. Become the child of God you were always meant to be. When you do death will have no sting. You will not hurry to leave this world yet when He calls you home you will be ready and not afraid. You will be at peace.
Abba, we praise You and humbly come before You with contrite hearts asking Your forgiveness for our sin. Asking You for Your strength to overcome those things in our sin nature that separate us for You who love us and want us to be in Your family and one with Your. We accept the righteousness of Jesus as our own. We gladly accept Him as our Savior and acknowledge Him as our King and our brother and our Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Jesus, born of a virgin and sacrificed on a Cross for our sin, died and rose again on the third day and ascended to heaven where He sits on the right hand of God the Father. Jesus will come again and will take us up with Him and if we should die before His second coming we shall awake in heaven rejoicing with all the saints and angels in heaven. Thank You Abba for Your truths and for giving us Your word so we may understand what You want us to know. Give us the courage to live our lives for You as You want us to do and place Your faith within us and build in us trust to know You have everything in Your hands and we may have peace that passeth all understanding and joy abounding even in hardship and sorrow. Thank You Father for everything even the things that are hard and the lessons they contain. In Jesus' name. Amen
Rebishka

 

Monday, August 20, 2012

God does not want any to perish. 2 Peter 2:9, 2 Peter 3:9.

2 Peter 2:9
"then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,"
Too much of the world, it seems, has always been in a battle of good and evil. We see people do evil deeds and desire to see justice done. Sometimes, we can even get impatient waiting for justice. After all, wouldn't it be best for God to get rid of all the evil people in the world? Friend, if he did, then none of us would be here. The reality is that God's grace is on us all. He is perfect in his justice and will punish those who do evil. However, He is also full of mercy and desires that none should perish. Peter puts it this way...
2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." NKJV
One day, God will return to punish evil, but until then, He is giving evil people time to turn to Him for forgiveness and grace. Because of His patience, men like the apostle Paul went from being a hater of Jesus and His followers to being the greatest missionary to walk the planet. That same change is happening all over our world as people's hearts are changed by the Gospel.
Life Lesson: God is patient in judgment. He will punish or reward at the perfect time.
Dear God,
Thank You for Your grace and for being so patient with me. Father, help me to walk in that grace and to share Your love and mercy with others. In this world of pain, help me to trust in You even when I may not understand all that is happening around me. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
Cross the Bridge Ministries

My Comments: One time I told a friend I pray for the Lord to come again and take us up away from all the evil and pain. His comment to me was, "Oh, I hope not, as I don't want Him to come before my loved ones are saved." I understand that yet I want Him to come. I want the fullness of the Gentiles time to be done and for Christ to be coming again. I know there are many who will not be caught up when He comes. I also, pray all of mine are among the Caught up yet I do not want to pray against the will of God. The Word of God tells us to pray for that time. I do and I pray for all my friends, loved ones and any who come into my life even for a moment, to come to salvation.
I pray for all of them to be changed by the Gospel of Jesus so their sin will be covered by the blood of Jesus the Lamb of God. I pray they will turn from evil and embrace  their Father in heaven who loved them enough to send His only begotten Son to redeem all of us. I pray they will avoid the punishment we all are due unless we turn to the perfect sacrifice given to us by You Father because You love us so much You do not want any to perish. Yet it is their choice if they want salvation or not and if they go to heaven or hell by whether they accept the Gospel of Jesus or not. There is no other way. There is no other one who can save. There is nothing else nor anyone that can redeem us from sin! Only Jesus can because You, His Father and ours, sent Him to earth to give us His righteousness if we will accept His gift.
Abba thank You for the gift of salvation You have given freely to us sinners who deserve punishment. There was only one who was born without sin and that was Your only Son, Jesus. Now we who have accepted His sacrifice, which obtained for us salvation, humbly come before You and Thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son. We thank You for Your love that You would provide a way for us to be adopted by You and in that adoption become Sons and Daughters of the King. One day we will be with You in heaven and rejoice with the saints and angels. One day we will be able to go before You with our advocate Jesus. Oh, glorious day!
Father we pray for all of our loved ones, friends and relations, acquaintances and lift them up to You through Your Son and ask You to bring them to the saving knowledge and grace of the Cross. Bring them to Yourself through the righteousness of Jesus. Help them to know they are sinners and need a savior. Help them to humble themselves before Your throne and ask Your forgiveness. Give them a hunger and thirst for Your Word, knowledge and understanding and give them wisdom as they study Your Word. Grow their roots into the soil of Your Word and plant their feet on the solid rock of their salvation. Hide them beneath Your wing and plant Your faith, trust and joy in their hearts. Give them Your strength and teach them to walk upright with You always. Keep them from evil and help them to flee darkness and walk Your path always.
We ask all in the name of Your Son Jesus. Amen
Rebishka

To Do the Will of God

Are you "all ear" when God speaks? Luke 5:4-8, 1 Kings 11:4-11, Exodus chapters 3 and 4, Matthew 21:28-31, 2 Timothy 3:16, John 2:10, Romans 10:9-13,Mark 12:29, John 13:34/35, Romans 13:8-10, for good measure you might like to read Jonah, Daniel and about Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-47.
Bible translators who work with languages that are not yet put into writing often struggle to find the right word or phrase to convey the correct meaning of a portion of Scripture. One worker hunted long to find a way to translate the word obedience into the tribal language he was recording but had no success.
One day, the translator was going for a walk; and he whistled for his dog to come with him. The dog immediately ran to its owner. An old tribal man who saw what happened said to the missionary, "Your dog is all ear."
The missionary immediately knew he had the exact phrase to express obedience.
Are you "all ear" when it comes to obeying God? Let's look at some lessons about obedience and disobedience today.

Receive

Read this from Luke 5:4-8 (ESV):

"And when [Jesus] had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch' And Simon answered, 'Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.' And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.'"

Jesus ran an "obedience school" for His disciples. He wanted them to learn to trust Him absolutely in every area of life. Peter hadn't been a disciple very long. He was weary from a night of unsuccessful fishing, and he felt he knew far more about fishing than Jesus did. But Jesus told him, "Go back out there on the water and try again."
Peter revealed his reluctance as he replied, "OK, Master, if you say so."
When the boats almost sank from the weight of the fish, Peter realized how sinful his attitude had been. He fell on his knees and said, "Lord, don't have anything more to do with this sinful man!"

Reflect

It's pretty irritating when your dog doesn't come the first or second time you call, isn't it? And you might say that it's downright infuriating when the dog just totally ignores you and keeps on doing its own thing when you call!

If a person willfully disobeys God, that is one thing; if he or she delays or reluctantly obeys God, that is another. But do you see how both attitudes show lack of faith?

Here is a Bible record of a person who willfully disobeyed God: Read 1 Kings 11:4-11.
  • Who was the person who disobeyed?
  • What did he do that angered God?
  • How many times had God told him not to do what he did?
  • What was the outcome of this person's disobedience?
Now, look at another person who was reluctant to obey God but changed his mind and later obeyed. Open your Bible to the Book of Exodus, chapters 3 and 4, and look at these verses about God's command to Moses to deliver the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt.
  • What did God want Moses to do (Exodus 3:10)?
  • What was Moses' first response to God's order (Exodus 3:11)?
  • What was Moses' second response (Exodus 4:1)?
  • What was his third response to God's order (Exodus 4:10)?
  • What was Moses' fourth reaction to God's command (Exodus 4:13)?
  • What was God's response to Moses' continuing reluctance to obey (Exodus 4:14-17)?
Someone has said, "Delayed obedience is disobedience." As long as you are reluctant to obey and you hold off doing something that God has told you to do, no matter what your intentions are, you are disobeying the Lord. And if you do finally get around to obeying, the blessing will never be as great as if you had obeyed the moment the Lord showed you what you should do.

Respond

Is God revealing anything to you these days that you ought to be doing but are delaying to do because of your lack of faith? Is there any area of your life where you are willfully disobeying Him?
Read Matthew 21:28-31 to see something Jesus had to say about willful disobedience and reluctant, delayed obedience.
Determine that you will no longer delay. Take the first step today to be obedient to God
By Back to the Bible Ministries

My Comments: At every moment of our lives God is speaking to us. Not usually like Jesus did with Peter or the Father did with Abraham and Moses yet He speaks. In our hearts, things that are going on, doors that close, confirmations by the body of believers, yet always by His Word (2 Timothy 3:16, all scripture is God breathed). His Son who is called the Word of God (remember He spoke the world into being and when He walked the earth He spoke His Fathers truth to all and especially taught the Apostles who taught and teach us today by the word they penned. Often people will say to me, "God doesn't speak to me," or "How do I know it is God telling me what to do?" or even, "I thought it was God telling me to do this." Yet they do not check it out with the Word of God to see if it measures up.

For instance a friend of mine and I were in a cult and she was told to go to coffee or she could go to coffee with a guy. She took that to mean she was to marry him. It was a disastrous marriage and ended in divorce. We did not truly know the Lord in those days yet had we then we would have been able to search the Word of God and see nothing like that in the Bible and would have concluded that was not the right choice. I with my fiancĂ©, when I was in my late teens, decided we could say some words of marriage and God would bless our union. We were wrong even if we thought, "Well, people in the old days and in the Bible just said they were married so we can." If we had read the Word of God we would have seen that was not the way God had it set up.

Well, that is just a bit about listening to the Lord and checking out what we think we are hearing. Until I was made righteous through the blood of the Lamb by accepting His sacrifice, I did not have a reliable Pastor or godly person in my life to go to who would give me true Biblical advice yet I did have the power of prayer and His Word and if I had trusted Him and sought answers from Him through His Word, He would have guided me and I would not have made so many wrong choices.

The most obedient thing we can do first is to accept His gift of salvation that is offered through the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, believe He died and rose again on the third day (this is the Gospel of Jesus). Jesus took away our sin and only He can make us pure. Only He can bring us up into the light and refresh us with the living waters. Only He can bring the light into our lives. Only He can forgive our sins because He paid the price for us by being sin for us and taking our punishment.

None of us are "good," though we often think we are  because of the teachings of the world. We say things like, " I have done everything I can to make peoples lives better so I am good" or "I have always been there for everyone so I am good" or  "I have never hurt anyone" or "I pray all the time" or "I'm not as bad as that person who....(you fill in the blanks)" or "I have kept all of the commandments (John 2:10 keep them all or Romans 10:9-13 accept Christ's righteousness because only He has ever kept the full commandments of the law and Mark 12:29 Jesus said, "Hear o Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.")" or "I have never broken the law (They are usually talking about man's law)" or well you get the idea none of us are good, none of us are sinless. Only Christ was and only He kept the full law of God His Father and ours. Jesus' commandment (and He only spoke the Word of the Father) John 13:34/35 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." And Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments (some are listed)...are summed up in this word: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

All of this is to say keeping all the laws of the Old Testament Commandments are impossible that is why Jesus came and He fulfilled the Law and why we are to Love God and Love our Neighbor. If we listen obediently we will Love even when it is seemingly impossible or circumstances seem to make it feel impossible. I can only speak from my experiences. Some I have already written about and you may read over my comments on earlier postings on the blog. Some others the Lord walked through the fire with me on are: children running away or going to jail, early pregnancies, divorces, children in drugs and alcohol and being beat or raped, losing a child to SIDS, 4 miscarriages, losing my first Grandson (He was only 27), losing my 39 year old daughter to cancer a year later and losing all of my parents and step-parents and Grandparents and most of my Aunts and Uncles (we were a very close family on all sides), my husband suffering a disease and now cancer of the liver to name a few (update my hubby and best friend went home to be with our Lord October 2012). I could have said, "This is too much, what did I do to deserve all of this or why me?" Yet it did not matter. It was not about getting rid of all pain or worrisome issues in my life. It has always been about my relationship with my heavenly Abba (Daddy). About accepting Jesus the Christ as my Savior and His living in me. About trusting in Him and faith growing in all adversity.

All my life I felt a kinship with Job and Joseph the son of Jacob, and many others in the Bible. I knew God loved me and I loved Him and with Him I could weather all storms. Sometimes I felt down and that is because I was looking to myself and not to Him, even when I said to myself I was. I acted as a child who is doing what they think the parent wants them to do (inside they are wishing they could do something else usually) and then is disappointed when things do not turn out like the child anticipated so they feel the parent doesn't love them. Well, all you parents know that is not true. We love our children so we help them to grow through the hard times of living here in this alien land called earth. We don't stop the pain or the lessons because the lessons hurt; we are there to support and let them know we love them and if they ask we go through it with them because we love them and want them to grow so they can help others (like your Grandchildren some day).

Though I often felt like Job and Joseph yet I know I and many others, are like Jonah (read the book of Jonah) we are told by the Lord to go and do something and we balk for various reasons. Jonah refused and went away from the task the Lord set for him because he did not love the people of Nineveh (nor did he love God more than his own desires or feelings). So God did a really drastic thing and Jonah ended up going there anyway yet not with love for them. Jonah continued in his hard heartedness and stubbornness and suffered time and again but the will of God prevailed and 120,000 people came to know and love the Lord God.

God can even use an unwilling person to reach others or accomplish His will yet we miss out on the blessings if we do not willingly do His will. Read about Joseph who was sold into slavery by his brothers who wanted to kill him at 17 and Daniel who was in slavery yet he and Joseph ruled because they trusted and had faith in the Lord God that no matter what happened to them they would be with the Lord God as long as they did His will and not their own.

Are you "all ear?" and is your obedience done out of Love for God and for others, out of faith and trust that God knows best and has yours and others best in mind? We will not see the whole picture or know the answers until God tells us. He probably will not let us know here and when we get to heaven it won't matter. When we see and hold our loved ones in our arms. When our eyes behold heaven and the heavenly courts and most of all when we see the Lamb of God and God the Father, sitting on the throne. Oh, what a glorious day and none of this pain will matter and it will be gone!
Abba, Abba, Abba our hearts cry out to You our heavenly Father who adopted us through the righteousness of Your Son Jesus. We cry to You Abba to be with us in our pain and sorrows, sufferings and trials. Help us to go through them with faith and trust. Fill us with understanding and knowledge and wisdom so we may be lights in this dark world. Help us to read and understand Your Word so we may be salt. Give us Your Love for the world and all You bring into our lives. May we trust You to take care of everything so we are anxious for nothing and joyous for what we have. As we are obedient to You Abba may our hearts be right with You. We thank You Father for all You are doing and have done and will do in our lives; for all You allow us to go through and we ask You to help us to finish the race well for Your glory and not for ours. In the name of Jesus we pray with Your Holy Spirit, Amen
Rebishka

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Are you willing to be made pure? Malachi 3:2.

Malachi 3:2



"But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderers' soap."
NKJV
Have you ever watched a goldsmith in action? It's an amazing thing to watch him heat up this precious metal and pour it into molds to harden so that it can be handled. But before he is able to pour it into a mold, he must first remove any impurities. These impurities, or dross, cannot be cut out of the gold or rubbed off. In order to remove the dross, the goldsmith must first heat the metal to incredible temperatures. Once this is done, the dross rises to the top and the goldsmith is able to scrape it off thus purifying the metal.
Friend, this is what our Father in heaven desires to do in each and every one of our lives. He desires to mold us and shape us more and more into the image of His Son, Jesus. To do that, He must often lead us into His refiner's fire where He will skim our imperfections off the top. Most of the time this is not a pleasant process, but we can trust that God has our best interest at heart. Like the ultimate goldsmith, God knows how much heat we can endure and how much handling we require. It's in His loving hands that we are refined so we reflect our Father's handiwork.
Life Lesson: God desires to act as refiner and purifier in our lives.
Dear Father,
Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your work in my life and for Your refiner's fire. While it may be difficult during those times of trial and purifying, I praise You because I know it is for my good. Lord, continue to skim the dross from my life so that I may be a shining example of Your love and grace. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
My Comments: God's Word tells us He is refining us yet it also says He goes through it with us. We do not rely on our own strength to go through it we rely on His. Isn't that a wonderful thing? I cannot tell you all that I have been allowed to go through in my life and regrettably how many things I have put myself through by my wrong choices. I have learned from both yet I have learned because of the consequences I would rather God allow the lessons and give me His strength to go through them because I come out purer through His refining fire than the hard lessons of life.

They have things to teach yet it is best to let the God who created us and knows what is best for us be the teacher, refiner, director of our lives.Okay, a few of the things I have been refined with are Polio (though I think that was more for my family as I was young and though I did learn lessons and become stronger my parents and Grandparents and Grandparents had to endure a child in pain and they had to go through the uncertainty of would I be on a lung machine or walk or die?), Scarlatina, two rounds back to back of German Measles as well as all the childhood ones being extreme (I was learning patience and being calm), nearly drowning and someone trying to drown me (I learned forgiveness early), molested and raped by males and females (yes I forgave them and asked the Lord to heal them and make them His), I was beaten by my first spouse and other things and God showed me how to love him in spite of what he did and pray for him and his wife that they would be Children of God, I have been beaten by other family through the years and lied about, gossiped about (sometimes true and often not and often by family and not to help but to hurt yet God loves them and so do I and my prayers are for their salvation).

 Those are a few and I know many who read this can relate to these things and I pray all who have endured pain, humiliation and sorrow will be able to forgive and turn to God. And if you do not know what He is allowing you to learn, what dross He is burning off of your sin nature, or how He is strengthening you then ask. Read His Word and lean not on your own understanding. Remember forgiveness is important to your growth and how can we ask God to forgive us if we are unwilling to forgive others?

Pray for those who have wronged you and you will grow more than you could ever imagine. We often feel we are better than others because.... you fill in the blanks. Yet this is so not true! We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Only one was born sinless and He died for our sin. Could you or I die and save someone from their sin? No! Absolutely Not. Can an animal die for our sin and remove it as far as the East is from the West (totally far away)? Again the answer is No. Only the one sinless one, dieing on the Cross, could save us from our sin completely and forever yet we have to accept it for the gift to be ours. This is why I can forgive and why everyone who wants salvation has to forgive. It is not a suggestion it is a command and is part of the contract, if you will, for salvation. We cannot say, "I want to be saved," and I will not forgive.... because....(again fill in the blanks).

There are no exceptions and yes, I know there are some horrendous things people can and have done to people yet there are no exceptions on our part. Only God can do what needs to be done in regards to them. Vengeance is mine saith the Lord. Though I have not sought vengeance only their salvation and I pray they all turn to Abba and become His children through the Blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus the Messiah (Christ).

Abba we thank You and praise You for all you allow into our lives and we pray You keep all evil from us and keep our souls Yours. Refine us Father and give us Your strength to endure the process. Steep us in Your Word that we will always keep our eyes on You and our ears ever tuned to Your voice. Keep our hearts as Yours for all who are a part of the refineing and keep our feet from stumbling. Wash us with the cleansing blood of the Lamb and the launders soap so we will be white as new snow. Firmly plant our feet on the Rock of our Salvation (Jesus) and may our path always be the straight and narrow one that leads to You. All glory be unto You my Lord and God for keeping us the apple of Your eye and bringing salvation to us by teaching us how to suffer and forgive as Your Son Jesus' did who was innocent and pure. We only can stand in Your Holy and awesome presence because we have accepted Your Son and His sacrifice and are now adopted sons and daughters of the King. Thank You Father for the refiners fire. In His name we pray. Amen.
Rebishka




Prayer and the Word of God (Bible) just go together (1); Proverbs 28;9, Psalm 119, John 15:7, Matthew 5:44, Luke 10:2, Phillipians 1:9, Exodus 20:15.


Some things just seem to go together--for example, bacon and eggs, Abbot and Costello, Simon and Garfunkel. Certainly one can exist without the other, but they're even better if you put them together.
The same is true of prayer and reading God's Word. You can certainly read the Bible by itself, but when you put it together with prayer, you have a dynamite combination. Let's see what the Bible says.

Receive

Scripture indicates that Bible reading should be an integral part of your prayer life. Take a look at Proverbs 28:9:
"If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination" (ESV).

Law is often used in Scripture to refer to the Word of God--the Bible itself. For many more synonyms (and a wonderful reminder of how important the Bible is in our lives), read Psalm 119.
But this wasn't just an Old Testament idea. Jesus said much the same thing to His disciples but in a positive way. "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you" (John 15:7, ESV).
  • What does it mean to abide in Jesus?
  • Give at least two ways you can have God's Word abide in you.
  • How does prayer enter into this promise?

Reflect

Where does the Bible fit into your prayer life? Do you only open God's Word once a week at church, or do you make time for it every day along with prayer? If you want to know how to pray successfully, find out from God's Word what He wants you to pray about (See Matthew 5:44, Luke 10:2, Philippians 1:9).

Respond

Here are two way to integrate God's Word into your prayer life. For the next seven days, stop to pray before you open God's Word. Confess any sins that might hinder you from hearing what God might want to say to you from His Word. After you've read the Scriptures, pray again--asking God to apply what you've read to your life.
Another way of combining God's Word with your prayers is to take your Scripture reading and turn it into a prayer. If you've read, "you shall not steal" (Exodus 20:15), you might pray: "Lord, help me not to steal today. Help me not to steal time from my employer but put in an honest day's work. Help me not steal from my spouse by looking inappropriately at something (or someone) that would damage our relationship. Help me not to steal from my friends by saying anything that would hurt or cause them to feel badly about themselves. Amen." Your prayer can be written out or spoken spontaneously. Try this at least once a week for the next month.
By: Back to the Bible Ministries

My Comments: On the other hand you could just as well say prayer without the Bible could be done yet is not as profitable spiritually. That is why the God of the universe took the time to have 40 different authors write 60 books of the Bible and yet though they were physically written by them He authored it and that is clear to see when we read the Word (Bible). The books were written over a huge period of time by mostly men who never talked to each other until some from the New Testament. Yet it is consistent and true to all God taught over the ages to those who listened to Him. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and cannot lie or contradict  Himself so when He wrote by inspiring them or even speaking directly to them He showed Himself truly the same.

We can pray and read a few scripture verses at a time and slowly build up to more over time. It is a spiritual muscle and needs to be exercised to be fully appreciated and enjoyed by most. Some take to it like fish in water. Some need to listen to the word on tape because they learn differently. Some need to hear it like a story. I have a Bible like that and though it has the full words of the Bible on the tapes it has music and different people sounds so you feel like you are hearing it for the first time and are really there. My hubby like that one when he is sick and needs to just listen. One of our daughters used to read and study a book and story and then tell it to her hubby at night when they were relaxing and he got into it that way. We all can think of ways to help ourselves and others to appreciate the Word of God and if we pray with them they can learn the importance of pray with the Word.

I really like what Back to the Bible Ministries says about combining God's Word with prayer and Scripture reading and making it a focus for the day. I think that would help cement the Word in ones mind and help us to remember the Word of God easier. I will be trying that because I see merit in using prayer to strengthen my reading of the Word and my spiritual growth as well.

Abba Father, thank You for this teaching we have been given and for the Ministry of Back to the Bible and for Your guidance in all we say, think and do. Grow us in Your Word and help us to see and understand where You want us to focus our prayers and energies. Use Your Word to guide, instruct and speak. May we find it sweet as honey in our mouths and when we feel how bitter it leaves our tummy's because we see how unequipped we are; will You help us to remember when we accepted Your Son Jesus' precious gift of Salvation we were redeemed and made new. We praise you and glorify You Father and we thank You for our Salvation. In Jesus we pray, Amen.
Rebishka

Friday, August 17, 2012

First Things First. Proverbs 15:29, Matthew 5:23/24, Mark 11;25, Proverbs 145:18, Proverbs 15:8, Proverbs 28:9, John 15:7, Hebrews 4:16.


"First things first"--you've heard that before, haven't you? Your mom yelled, "Come to lunch! Wash your hands first!"
Your boss told you, "Don't ever take out the company car without checking the oil first."
Your spouse warned, "I just vacuumed the carpet. Take your shoes off before you come in."
You know your car won't start unless you turn the ignition key first, and you can't read your email without booting up the computer first; but did you know there is a "first thing first" in prayer too? Let's see what the Lord says.

Receive

You are probably aware that your relationship to God should be right if you expect Him to answer your prayers. Proverbs 15:29 (ESV) says:
"The LORD is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous."

But there's another condition to be met before your prayers can be effective--something that Jesus said you need to consider before you approach God. He said: "So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:23-24, ESV).
"And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses" (Mark 11:25, ESV).
Jesus is saying that "first things first" applies when we go to the Lord in prayer. God looks at our prayers as offerings to Him (See Revelation 8:4.). If you go to the altar of prayer and your brother has something against you, your offering won't be acceptable to the Lord until you have restored your human relationships. If you go to prayer with an unforgiving spirit, God will be deaf until you have first forgiven the one who offended you.

Reflect

Look up these verses and answer the questions:
  • Psalm 145:18--What is God's condition for nearness to those who call on Him?
  • Proverbs 15:8--Whose prayer is acceptable to God?
  • Proverbs 28:9--Whose prayer is an abomination?
  • John 15:7--Who may ask what they wish, and it will be done?

Respond

You should be very careful about rushing into the presence of God. A little preparation time before you go to the Lord can help you be on better "praying ground." Yes, Christ has given us the right to appear confidently before the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16), but He has also warned us not to appear disobediently.

Set aside a few minutes in your devotional time to prepare to meet with the Lord. Ask Him to show you anything in your life that is hindering prayer. Try doing this for the next several days and see if it doesn't make a difference in the way you come before the Lord. Keep the first things first.

By: Back to the Bible Ministries

My Comments: When we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior by accepting His gift that is the first thing one must do and the only thing one must do to receive the gift of salvation. It is free yet we must accept the free gift. When a gift comes in the mail say by Fed Ex first you must accept it and then you may open it. When you want dinner someone has to cook it first before you may eat of it. When you want to take a bath first you must have water. So when we want salvation we must first accept His Sacrifice.

My prayer is that you will afirst ccept then follow Jesus the just and righteous who can make you righteous and spotless before the Father.

Abba help us to know our sin nature has seperated us from You and only through accepting Your Son who You allowed to die on the Cross for our salvation, may we be cleansed from sin and given the strength, Your strength to resist our sin nature. Help us to flee evil and stand straight as we go through adversities relying not on others or ourselves for strength but only on You. Direct our paths oh, Lord and give us grace, peace and discernment so we will make the choices in our lives that You would have us to make. Help us to flee from sin and to not trust our sin natures that have led us astray as did the sin natures of Adam and Eve. We place our hope, trust and faith in You and desire to be Yours and to do Your will always in thought, word and deed.  Help us to put You first in our lives. In Jesus name. Amen, Amen, Amen.
Rebishka

Grace, peace, knowledge and wisdom are they yours? 2 Peter 1:2/3.

2Peter 1:2/3 
"May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence."
NKJV
Knowledge is a powerful thing. With knowledge we have the ability to create buildings, machines and cure diseases. Knowledge helps us understand the universe around us and when put to action, knowledge can produce countless results, both good and bad. Yet, there is a specific knowledge that, when acted upon, brings eternal life. This is the knowledge of the Gospel.
Many scholars throughout history have examined the Bible and can understand the words on the page yet few have actually experienced the life-changing effect of those words. The Gospel is more than just a story; it is the power of God for our salvation. The truth of Jesus' life, death and resurrection can lead us into a relationship with God or can condemn us. It depends on what we do with it. God's powerful, life-changing grace rests on the pages of scripture and calls for us to trust it. When we do, we will truly experience the amazing grace so often sung about. This grace brings peace to the soul and hope for the future. Do you know that grace?
Life Lesson: In order to experience the power of Christ, we must first trust Him.
Dear God,
Thank You for Your offer of grace. Lord forgive me of my sins and make me new. I believe in what Jesus has done on my behalf and trust in His death and resurrection for my salvation. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I will be strengthened to live for You. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee
Cross the Bridge Ministries

My Comments: There are many, many verses in the Old and New Testament telling us how God loves us and that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Many tell us to trust Him and to have faith (which means it is a choice). Many say He is the God of hope. The Old and New Testaments tell of the coming of the Lord and the signs of times. The Lord gives knowledge and wisdom for us to understand the Words of our Father if we just ask and trust in Him.
Though the Gospel of Jesus Christ is spelled out more easily in the New Testament, once you know how God writes one is able to understand how it is talked about in the Old Testament as well. What an awesome God we serve. What a wonderful Father we have who has adopted us through His Son Jesus dieing on the cross and our accepting the Sacrifice of Jesus. We have to do so little; just accept, believe, have faith and follow.  We do not have to "DO" anything. Saying so many prayers before we die, kneeling when we pray, looking sad all the time, working with the poor, paying money to help people, goinjg to a priest or rabbi nothing we can do will get us into heaven. The only thing He wants us to do is to turn to Him, and accept the free gift of Salvation. Then doing other things afterwards just show we are His.
When we serve or forgive or evangelize or any other thing one can come up with to "DO" after we are His (Baptizm does not save one only accepting His gift does; Baptizm is the outward expression of an inward change that we want to share with the world and especially the rest of the "Body").
For instance I write this blog because the Lord impressed on me and confirmed through a friend saying I should write a blog. This is a do yet if I were not already saved it would not be counted for me to save me. Good works never saved anyone. Salvation comes from the unmerited gift of God through His precious Son Jesus dieing on the Cross. This is  redemption. We are redeemed by the blood of Jesus. But only those who accept this will be in Heaven one day with the Lord. It is a gift that is offered to all yet not all will accept.
I thought for most of my life that if I died I would be in Heaven with God. I did not know the true Gospel of Jesus. I thought because I was baptized at 40 days old that I was going to Heaven. Just before 911 I was praying in my bedroom and watching tv when the Lord showed me I would not go to Heaven unless I accepted the free gift of Salvation. I did. Now I am saved, Born Again as Jesus says in the Bible. A few years ago my hubby and I felt the call to be Baptized with the rest of the believers and that was a glorious day!!
God will speak to you if you have ears to hear. He will show you His truth if you have eyes to see and He will soften your heart for His word if you so desire. Read His Word, devour it and pray on what you read. Ask the Holy Spirit of God to teach, guide and fill you with the Knowledge of God and His understanding. Check things out for yourself or as it says "taste and see that the Lord is good."
Abba we lift all to You who are searching Your Word, who are seeking Your truth, who desire to be one with You, who thirst for Your knowledge and understanding that they may be filled with a hunger for your Word and knowledge of what Your Word is and says, that they will seek and find Your grace, peace, and perfect wisdom, Touch their hearts Father and heal their anger, lack of trust, and help them to find forgiveness in You when they seek and find You. Thank You Lord for the Salvation You have obtained through You blood and may we be partakers of Your body and blood and we join You in the cross. Open our mouths with Your truths and give us Your love for others and especiallly those You have placed us with in our lives. Forgive us Father as we forgive others and keep us as the apple of Your eye. In Jesus' precious and Holy Name.. Amen
Rebishka

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One true  Gospel, one body. 1 Corinthians 10:17, John 17:20/21.

1 Corinthians 10:17
"For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread."
NKJV

The Body of Christ is truly amazing as millions of believers all over the world come together with a common goal of sharing the Gospel. When the church, the body of Christ, is functioning correctly, the world around it is blessed as people are fed, clothed and given the life-changing Truth of God's Word. Unfortunately because of division, worldly pleasures or indifference, the church can lose sight of the lost as well as the One we are serving.
John 17:20-21 "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me." NKJV
Before Jesus was arrested, He prayed asking the Father to make all believers one as He and His Father are One. When Christians come together as the body of Christ, we come together with different likes and dislikes, personalities and social statuses. We may even have some secondary doctrinal differences but with all those differences, we have One unifying similarity. We have all been forgiven by a gracious God and we call Jesus Lord. With this as our banner, we can stand in unity as one body for the sake of the lost.
Life Lesson: There is a special relationship between people who are Christians.
Dear Father,
Thank You for the body of Christ. Thank You for loving brothers and sisters who are there to encourage and challenge me in my faith. Lord, I pray that You would help unite us as one so that we can be used in a powerful way to take Your Gospel to all the nations. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee

My Comments:I was listening on the radio today to a Christian program and they were talking about why they believed a certain way about the "rapture" (a word we use for those who will be "caught up with Jesus"). Those discussions and others are all interesting though they should never separate the body. We should however be adamant when it comes to who Jesus is and what the Gospel is and how we are saved and who we can go through to God. We have Jesus's own words and God's to guide us and when God speaks either as the Father or through His Son we are to listen and not argue.

Jesus said He and the Father were one. He said He came to teach us how to worship the Father and even gave a guide on how to pray to the Father and that He is the only one we can go through to go to the Father. We pray to the Father through the Son because that is what God wanted and Jesus paid the price for us.

That is something else we do not argue about. He paid the price so we might live as sons (and of course daughters) of God, of the King. We have become of royal blood and are of the Priesthood line. So much happened when Christ died and took on our sins upon himself, He became sin who knew no sin so we might become justified. Abba, Father may we place our energies in serving You thereby serving others and not being self serving. We thank You Father for all the challenges in our lives and help us to know Your truths and be able to give a good account of what we believe and why based solely on Your word and Your truths. In Jesus' Name. Amen

All who have accepted this gift of Salvation are brothers and sisters with Christ Jesus and will one day be caught up and be one with Him. Oh, blessed day. Come Lord Jesus, Come quickly!
Abba, may we as one body as brothers and sisters of Christ Jesus remove ourselves from arguing and bringing You shame by our behaviors. Keep our words sweet and pure and may our actions bring You praise, glory and honor. May we be angry only when as Jesus in the temple, Your name is desecrated. Thank You Father for the challenges we face and help us to serve in Your name and not be self serving. In Jesus' Name, Amen

Rebishka

Monday, August 13, 2012

Remain steadfast and true to the Lord. James 1"12-15, Genesisn3:1-10, Genesis 3:22-24, Joshua 7:22-26, 2Samuel 11 and 12, Matthew 6:13, Matthew 26:41, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Two Korean soldiers were joking and laughing as they walked along a path to join their unit. The war had been over for months, so there seemed to be no danger to worry about. One of the men suddenly spotted something shiny in the ditch beside the path. Stepping aside, he reached down to retrieve the object. There was a deafening explosion as a land mine went off and when the dust settled, the soldier lay dead and his companion had both legs blown off. A sign they had just walked by read, "Danger, Stay on Path."
God's Word puts up some danger signs to warn you about temptation as you walk on your daily spiritual journey.

Receive

James 1:12-15 (ESV)
"Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."
How does this happen? Let's look at some people who were tempted to do wrong and ended up in a tangle of sin and shame.
Read Genesis 3:1-10 and re-read verses 6 and 7.
  • What did Eve see?
  • What did she desire?
  • What did she do?
  • Why did Adam and Eve hide? (3:10)
  • What happened as a result of their sin? (see Genesis 3:22-24)
When Joshua led the people of Israel into the Promised Land, the first city they conquered was Jericho. God told the people that they were to keep none of the captured goods for themselves, but a man named Achan disobeyed and was later caught with the stolen things. Look up Achan's confession in Joshua 7:20-22.
  • What did Achan see?
  • What was his temptation about what he saw?
  • What did he do to satisfy his desires?
  • What happened because of his sin? (see Joshua 7:24-26)
  • Reflect

    Do you see the pattern of temptation? They saw something...they desired it...they took it for themselves...they hid the results as well as they could from God and man, but they were caught and had to face the consequences.
    The same thing happened to David in his adultery with Bathsheba. He saw her; he desired her; he took her. Then David tried every way he could think of to hide the sin, but he suffered tragic consequences for the rest of his life (see 2 Samuel 11 and 12).
    Do you wonder what resources God has given us to ward off the temptations Satan brings our way? Here is some help. Look up the Bible answers to these questions:
    • What does Jesus say about how we should regularly pray against Satan's temptations? (Matthew 6:13 and Matthew 26:41).
    • If you are tempted, is there any way out before you fall into sin? (1Corinthians 10:13).

    Respond

    First Corinthians 10:13 says that temptation is a common experience for all people.
    Someone once said of temptation, "You can't keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair!"
    Take some time right now to consider whether there are some weak spots in your life--an old habit, a wrong pattern of activity or a desire for something that requires disobedience to God in order to get. If you identify a weakness, ask the Lord now to give you strength and to deliver you from the temptations of the evil one.
    Back to the Bible Ministries

    My Comments: We all are tempted from the time we are very young and sometimes or often we find excuses for what we do even to ourselves yet when we do wrong we have no one else to blame but ourselves. We are born with sinful natures that want to gratify us and "make us happy" at the expense of everything even the loss of God. Oh, we tell ourselves pretty little things to make it seem okay yet it never is and only repentance, confession and turning back to God cleans it up (if you will, Not to say it ever becomes right).
    When I was 18 I fell in love (I thought I knew what love really was) and because I said I would marry him I felt it was okay to sleep with him "because we were married in the eyes of God". This is the lie we told ourselves to do what we wanted to do because it made us feel good. When I was 7 I stole dolls and told myself "it's okay because I am Joe's Granddaughter and everyone gives me what I want", as a young teen I stole a comb "because they have insurance that covers it and I need it". Oh, the stories we tell to ourselves and to others to justify our thoughts, words and actions. I was wrong all those times and many more and when I went to the foot of the cross to accept I was a sinner and I needed the redemptive power of Jesus Christ, I repented, confessed and put on the mantle of my Lord and Savior Jesus, Immanuel.
    When I am tempted now I like Christ say, "Get the behind me Satan," and flee his temptation as I know God does not and never has tempted me or anyone else. I pray and stay as close to my my Lord Jesus as, well as a second skin if you will because only then can I flee sin and it's temptations. My flesh is weak, I have already proven that that to myself and without the strength and guidance of God I will fall into temptation. In the prayer the Lord taught the disciples to pray to the Father we are taught to pray God protects us from temptation and from evil. We cannot if we want to finish the race well, relax our vigilance on our flesh or like Eve we will hear "Did God really say...?" and folks YES, He did say to not partake of temptation.
    My Mom always taught me (wish I had listened when I was younger), "If in doubt don't" and "If you don't know ask me (her)" however my sin nature always thought it had all the answers and felt it a weakness to ask. Well, I am here to tell you to ask the Lord, ask a Pastor, ask someone who studies the Word or prays to the Lord without ceasing but do not rely on your sin nature to give you the answers you should listen to. Satan loves people who do.
    Abba, Father we come before you fallen and knowing we cannot trust or lean on our own understanding. We know You only know all things and only You can take and make us pure as the new driven snow through the sacrifice of Your Son Jesus. Thank You Father for  making a way for our redemption for our sinful natures. Keep us from temptation and give us Your strength to over come, let us not rely on our understanding but on Yours. Cover us with Your mantle Lord and fill us with Your Holy Spirit so we will be discerning and filled with Your knowledge and able to overcome evil and temptation. Be our light and keep us on Your path and make of us a beacon to others to You that we may bring You glory, praise and honor. In Jesus' precious and mighty name. Amen
    Rebishka