Saturday, February 28, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: If you are of God's family, show it.

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: If you are of God's family, show it.: Romans 12:1-21,  New King James Version  (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used ...

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life: The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life. Psalms 14:26-2, 25:14, 31:19, 111:10, Proverbs 1:7, Isiah 33:6 , Hebrews 12:28 Psalms 14:26/27...

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Choose life

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Choose life: Choose life. Deuteronomy 30:19/20 19"...Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the LORD your Go...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Walk and live in the fruit of the Spirit

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Walk and live in the fruit of the Spirit: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25,  New King James Version  (NKJV)  Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: James 4, Pride is a downfall.

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: James 4, Pride is a downfall.: James 4 , New King James Version   (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by pe...

James 4, Pride is a downfall.

James 4, New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”  7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. 11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?  13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will[g] go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 2:15, (NKJV)

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

John 9:41, (NKJV)

41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.

Proverbs 3:34, (NKJV)

34 Surely He scorns the scornful, But gives grace to the humble.

Ephesians 4:20-27New King James Version (NKJV)

20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, putting away lying, Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.

Ephesians 6:11, (NKJV)

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

1 Peter 1:1-3, (NKJV)

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Job 7:7, (NKJV)

Oh, remember that my life is a breath! My eye will never again see good.

Acts 18:21, (NKJV)

21 but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.
My Comments: Since the beginning of mankind's time  on earth we have continued to fall into pride. Eve wanted to eat of the fruit and followed the evil ones’ stroking of her pride to be like God and know good from evil. Cain wanted the accolades from God but did not want to subject his heart to God. Cain murdered his Brother because his pride was hurt. Lots herdsman wanted the best for their Master’s herds because this brought them prestige when Lot had the fattest herds and was rich. On and on throughout time we can see from Satan’s fall to ourselves how pride plays into our lives.
I remember wanting my children to behave so I would look like a good Mother. Society fosters that notion as is each child did not have their own sin natures. It was a long time before I knew my job was to do the best for them and they were responsible for what they did with the tools I gave them. A very humbling thing for a Mother to learn.
My children had two loving parents who were not rich in the worldly sense and they wanted everything their friends had. Some friends were given huge allowances and freedom my children were not given. Pride reared it’s ugly head in some of them who thought they could take from others because their prideful hearts felt they should have worldly things like their friends. The consequences were often painful as the consequences of all acts of pride are.
When I was little I stole because I thought it was my due. My Grandparents were well known in the town I came from. My Great Grand-Father was a Priest and many store owners used to let me have things for free because of my heritage. When about six or seven I remember not asking but just taking candy from a store. I knew inside it was wrong and did not tell anyone yet because of pride I felt I could do it. When we think we are due something no matter what the reason we are wrong. We are here to bring glory to God not ourselves or others. Our actions or even inaction's reflect on His name because we are His.
When we lust after other people, material things, acclaim, even knowledge that does not glorify God we are sinning against a Holy God. We are doing or acquiring for ourselves and not for His glory. It is not that He does not want us to have things or even knowledge yet they should never be more important to us then to Him.
Abba Father, thank You for showing me the way to follow You without putting myself first. Keep me as the apple of Your eye and with Your Spirit grow me in the knowledge that is pleasing to You and glorifies You.
Jesus my Savior, friend, thank You for showing me the way to live my life for Abba Father. Thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to guide and teach me. May I live my life to glorify Your Holy name.
I pray all will have the scales fall from their eyes and may our words, heart and minds be pleasing to You oh, Lord,
In Jesus name I pray in union with the Holy Spirit. Amen


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: To Bridle the Tongue. James 3

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: To Bridle the Tongue. James 3: James 3 , New King James Version   (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by pe...

To Bridle the Tongue. James 3

James 3, New King James Version (NKJV)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh.  13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. 16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

James 2:1, (NKJV)

My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.

Psalm 32:9, (NKJV)

Do not be like the horse or like the mule,
Which have no understanding,
Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle,
Else they will not come near you.

Psalm 140:3, (NKJV)

They sharpen their tongues like a serpent;
The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah

Proverbs 12:18, (NKJV)

18 There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise promotes health.

Proverbs 15:2, (NKJV)

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

Proverbs 16:27, (NKJV)

27 An ungodly man digs up evil,
And it is on his lips like a burning fire.

Proverbs 11:18, (NKJV)

18 The wicked man does deceptive work,
But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.

Genesis 1:26-27, (NKJV)

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Genesis 5:1, (NKJV)

This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.

Genesis 9:6, (NKJV)

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of God He made man.

Matthew 7:16-20, (NKJV)

16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Philippians 3:19, (NKJV)

19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

1 Corinthians 3:3, (NKJV)

for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

Galatians 6:8, (NKJV)

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.
My comments: This passage of James speaks so loud to my heart. My tongue has always been the hardest part of my body for me to control. Yet I have always understood that it controls the rest of my behaviors. Out of the heart the mouth speaks the Bible tells us and when I think on that I am dismayed to know that my heart is so far from what God has made me in His image to be. Maybe you like me struggle to tame your mouth and keep your heart focused on what God wants you to be.
Do not give in to the evil one and listen to his condemnation. Rather look to the Lord Jesus and He will guide you. If you are His then He will never tell you that You are worthless because loved ones He died for us and we are worth everything. We are priceless in His eyes. Yet I seek to glorify Him with my mouth and my heart. I seek to make my conversation pleasing to Him and glorifying of Him. I look back to when I tried to do it on my own.
Before I was Born Again and truly following Jesus; Before I gave my life to Him; Before I knew that works do not save one; Before I lived my life to glorify Him; those were the years I had tried to do things to be good. Unfortunately I understood an unbiblical salvation. I thought because I had been Baptized as an infant that I was saved. I was not of course as that is no in the Bible anywhere. It is a tradition of man using his power to pervert the knowledge of God. I would go to confession and had this list of things I was doing that I did not want to keep doing and the Priest would absolve me and I would keep doing them no matter how hard I tried, prayed or ….. Well, you get the idea. It was so frustrating and unproductive and I did not grow. At least I knew I did not grow. Most people thought of me as a good person.  Yet being a good person does not get one into Heaven.
Yes, we confess our sin to God against whom we have all sinned no matter how good we have tried to be. Accepting that Jesus died on the Cross for our sin, rose again from the dead on the third day and is seated on the right hand of the Father. That Jesus and the Father are one with the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Holy Trinity and giving our lives to Abba Father through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus the Christ. Then we are Born Again into the family of God and the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and He will help us to change.
Yep, He does and that is where all the lessons come in that He will allow into our lives so we can rely on Him and He will help us to grow.  He will help us to bridle our tongues and He will cleanse our hearts. He will show us what we need to do to glorify the Father. After salvation we are righteous and redeemed and then our good works show our walk with the Lord. He will give us the strength to overcome, to go through the trials and tribulations of life with joy in our hearts. I look at where I once was with my unbridled tongue and where the Lord has brought me and I am gratified for His love and know I could never have done it with out the guidance and teachings of the Holy Spirit.
God created us in His image male and female and He did not ask of us anything that He did not ask of His Son Jesus. And when we are His we can do all things He did if we believe , trust Him and have faith.
My tongue is changing. My heart is growing more each day to be like my Lord Jesus. The more I am in His Word the more the Holy Spirit teaches me His wisdom and fills me with His understanding. May it be so for you loved ones. May it be so.
Abba Father thank You for showing us through Your Son how to be close to You, how to be a part of Your family, how to glorify You and how to bridle our tongues and thank You for sending Jesus to change our hearts and lives. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that teaches, guides and fills us with Your understanding. Thank You for Your Word and thank You for filling us with Your love for You and for others. May we daily come to know You more and more and reflect You in all we think, say and do. I pray all who do not yet know You will come to know You soon before it is too late for them. Thank You Abba Father for loving kindness and for filling our hearts with love for You and others. In Jesus name in union with the Holy Spirit I pray. Amen


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Are You of the Truth?

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Are You of the Truth?: 1 John 3:19-22 , New King James Version   (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used ...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Walk on the waters of the storm.

JoAnn's Spiritual Lessons: Walk on the waters of the storm.: 1 Corinthians 9:12,  New King James Version  (NKJV)  Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. U...