The Imperative Of Faith

Tough Decisions Ahead Road Signim·per·a·tive n.(m-pr-tv)
1 A command; an order.An obligation; a duty:
Do You Believe in God?

Do you TRULY Believe in God?How Do you know you believe in God?

How do I know? Because He is my Father. He has given me all things pertaining to life and godliness (2nd Peter 1:3) And I trust in Him.

Oh…you trust Him?

Yes.

Trust is a corresponding action to the presence of Faith. If you believe in God…then something, somewhere in your life is going to show it.

This is the Imperative of Faith. Belief. Faith plus action equals belief

Belief. Greek Word Pistis
conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it
If you believed you were standing under a 300 ton Boulder that was going to fall, in the exact spot where you stood. Would you remain there? No. The corresponding action to your belief that that monolith is going to wreck your millennium is to boot scoot and boogie out of the way.

If you believed that a 700 ton rampaging mastodon was heading on a bee line for your living room, hurling snot and police cars in it’s wake. Would you sit blithely on your sofa munching your Pringles, or would you high tail it to the nearest safe place.

The corresponding actions to these beliefs are obvious. Why then is it so difficult for us, sometimes, to muster up corresponding action to the faith we have in God? He is the CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE! Nothing exists apart from Him and yet so often our response to Him is as lackadaisical as Adam on the Sistine chapel, only missing the touch of God because he refuses to extend his finger. (Oh, I could get so mad at Adam for what he did, but I’d have to get off my couch)

We will answer this question in a second.

There is an imperative to Faith. Faith DEMANDS Action. Let’s look at some Scripture.

James 2:

Faith Without Works Is Dead
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! 20But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

I was tempted not to use the scripture because so much misunderstanding abounds in some areas of the church regarding this. But I used it at the Lord’s leading, because the scripture is not at fault, only our perception and understanding of it is.

So lets sweep aside some misunderstandings first.

First. Works do not save a man. Never have, never will.

Ephesians 2
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

We are not saved BY faith, but we are saved TO them

The key to understanding the scripture is to know that FAITH…real faith…alive Faith, works. And something that substitutes for faith….counterfeit (dead) faith, doesn’t. Also notice the word “says” that James Uses.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?

We are not talking about real faith here….but reported faith. This reported faith….it if does not evidence works, is dead. That kind of counterfeit faith is ….destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative

But now that we’ve dealt with what this scripture ISN’T saying…..what IS it saying.

What it is saying is the Imperative of Faith

Real living faith must have some works grow out it. The key verse is this:

22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

Faith is perfected by works. Does this mean you HAVE to do works or your faith is dead….. yes and no. What it is saying, is that real faith HAS works. Faith is like a seed in our life. If you plant any seed in the ground it will grow, if unimpeded. So to will the Kingdom of Heaven grow in the heart of the believer, if unimpeded. Jesus likened this process to a mustard seed.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed
Matthew 13: 31 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, 32which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches.”

So this passage of James is not devoted to telling us we have to work, not at all. It is telling us that if we have living faith…we WILL work, we can’t but avoid to have that seed grow in our life. Works happen, and there is nothing we can do to stop them, if we have a true and living faith.

So then, we come back to our earlier question?
“Why then is it so difficult for us, sometimes, to muster up corresponding action to the faith we have in God? ” The answer is simple….because sometimes we impede the seed. Things get in the way. Things that we dread…like worry doubt or fear. Or things that we seek after, like desires, lusts and appetites.

Back to Matthew 13

Parables About the Kingdom of Heaven
1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Parable of the Sower Explained
(18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Reading the parable we see that the groups of people can be divided up into two. People who never receive the seed, the unsaved. And those who do receive the seed. The saved. Everyone who received the seed, the word of God…Jesus in their heart is saved. Even if their production capability is off. Salvation is never in question. Remember Ephesians 2-8:9 saved by grace, not of works. In this situation we are talking about LIFE. because once you are saved, it is expected that you in turn will sow life and be a producing Christian. So what stops a person from producing?

Three kind of people received the seed, one type produces, two don’t.

The first type is this:

20But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

This is the person who, after their saved, does invest the time and effort into the devotion of God necessary to create a deep, substantial root of support in times of trouble. A deep abiding faith, where in our first and only reliance is on a loving father and His provision for us. You Know, 2nd Peter 1 3as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue When our reliance is on Him and His provision we can stand against the tribulations of life, both from the enemy camp, and simply from our families. This person’s faith withers in the face of adversity and they can no longer produce or even thrive, they simply wilt. Raise your hand If this has happened to you? (I would but I can’t type one handed ;o) )To keep from falling victim to this “Seed Impeder” we need to dig our roots deep into the things of God.

The second type is this:

22Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

This is the person who after coming to God turns back into the things of the world. Not leaving God, but not completely leaving the world. They Like God , they want to be Christian, but they can think of any number of excuses why God wouldn’t mind this guilty little pleasure, or that little tiny sin, or this desire or this lust, and soon they become so entangled with the weeds of their own desires that their roots to God are crushed in the avalanche of compromise and suddenly, they just don’t “feel” God anymore. And they may even go to church, but they don’t produce….and they slowly wither under the weight of compromise and fall to the ground. When a person comes to Jesus, they must cut their ties to the world, turn their backs on their old lives and move into the new life God has for them. Does this mean abandoning their friends and family, no not necessarily but it does mean that you make your friends and family know that your life is now different and you won’t go with them to the bar, or anything else God would disapprove of. And then we tighten our sails and sail a steady course, straight for Holiness. And expressing the Holiness in our hearts….into our lives.

So what do you do if your a withered stalk? Do you give up? Do you kick in your chips and wait to die, so that you can FINALLY “feel” Jesus again?

Certainly not. While your faith is not dead, it most certainly is comatose and you need to wake it up. Tend your soil, remove the rocks and the weeds from your heart, resettle your roots and start growing again. To be come a producer of 30 60 or 100 fold. Plant the seed and watch your faith become awake again. Get help if you need it, Pastor and I are hear for just that purpose. We all have failures, we all have set backs….we all wither from time to time. But it is OUR JOB as Christians to always re-root and dig deep. It is OUR DUTY as sons and daughters of an Almighty God to come alive again in our faith and produce that thirty sixty and one hundred fold.

It is the Imperative of Our Faith.

I pray that you I and the whole family of God will find ways to strengthen our roots, and clear the weeds of the word out of our lives, so that we can survive and succeed into producing Christians sowing our seed into the lost world to produce yet more in the family of God.

The Mosaic Of Truth: Assembling The Pieces

mosaic1 Corinthians 13: 11 & 12

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a Child, but when I became a man I put away childish things. For now, we see in a mirror, dimly. But then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know just as I also am known.

At first look these two verses don’t seem to go together, but Paul is telling us our position in relationship to the knowledge of God. We exist now in a childish state ,Paul tells us. This is a good thing for Our Lord also admonished us to come to Him as little children. Our understanding of the true nature of God is not complete. We understand bits of the nature of God, and that allows us to fill in the rest, to have a broad understanding of God’s Nature.

A friend of mine the other day asked me if I had, had any “heavy revvies” (an old Bible College phrase meaning a deep revelation of God’s truth that one will get when reading the Bible). I remember my youth in Christ, those were heady days. We would read the bible and a truth of God would Burst forth in understanding in our brains and suddenly something that was dark to us had been illuminated by the Holy Spirit. My very first “heavy revvie” was on Mark chapter 4 and Pastor Larry can tell you that every thing I talked about , taught or preached on revolved around Mark 4, the sower and the seed. And this one scripture does give us a wonderful insight into the nature of God, and How we come to be his. To this day Mark 4 features highly in all my scripture references. When the Holy Spirit opened that Scripture to me I had a piece of the puzzle. That truth of God squarely belonged to me, and I held tightly to it. Over the intervening years there have been more similar revelations, more pieces of the puzzle. Studying the Bible and meditating on what you have read will bring the revelations, those puzzle pieces , to you.

When you look at the picture at the top of the page you will see it is a stained glass mosaic representation of Jesus. And looking at the complete picture the mind is able to connect the pieces to form a reasonable understanding of what is presented. Each one of those pieces of glass by itself could represent such a revelation. Held by itself it does little to illuminate the mind to the picture it is part of. Only when we take these revelations and compare them to the whole, do we begin to see the nature of God. 

Now we see the mirror dimly. Our understanding of Jesus, Our knowledge of Him is never fully complete while we live on this earth, but we can lay the puzzle pieces of those “heavy revvies” that we get together as a whole, to begin to see the nature of God.

As we see regarding 1 Cor 13: 11 and 12 ,none of us have a complete understanding of the whole Truth of God, that we look upon the truth as through a glass dimly. Now while it is true that we will never know the complete Truth until we are with Him in heaven we can do something today to add to the knowledge we have. Notice I did not say OUR knowledge, because in fact it does not belong to us. It is God’s Truth, and while it resides in us it remains God’s truth , it is not flavored or changed by our experiences. God’s truth is not subject to conditions, or excuses or even tragedy. It is God’s Truth in us, unchanging,  but always growing. If we seek the treasure of His knowledge.

His Treasure is His Word. And His Word Revealed. Every hotel room in the entire country perhaps the world has a copy of the King James Bible placed there courtesy of the Gideon’s. Every bookstore (excepting occultism types) at least carries one or two bibles with which to appease the crowds. (The fact that worldly books out number them a million to one is another story) I will wager that most the houses in America have at least one copy of a bible, in various states of disrepair But those wonderful books mean nothing to the lost soul. They are a collection of words which muddle the brain and hurt the eyes. The Words of God contained in the Bible are from the Mind of God and so it requires the Holy Spirit(1), (who is God) indwelling in us to reveal the words of God and  the meaning. I spent many years seeking God and reading his Word, the best I could. Yet it was not until one man spoke the revealed word of God that the truth of liberty of salvation became clear to me. The Word is the seed, the Holy Spirit is the life that causes the seed to grow.

All of that said we can now say that the Truth of God resides is us all. But we do not have all the truth.

There were two men who once visited the same volcano and they sat down to compare notes. The first man remarked that the volcano was green and lush and had much wildlife. The second man reported that the volcano was a devastated area, with lava flows and rocks strewn everywhere. When they compared notes they decided that one of them had gone to the wrong volcano because their view didn’t match the other at all. But in fact they had seen the same volcano, one went to the north side which had been spared the volcanic wrath of the mountain. While the other went to the north side which had suffered the eruption.

This parallel serves us fairly well in discussing what we know of God’s truth.  The constants? They both went to the same volcano,  everything they saw was consistent with a volcano, but they had two very different views. So too can it be with the Truth of God. We have one view of the truth as it builds up in our lives as we add pieces through study and listening to others. While another person may have a different view. As long as both are consistent with the word, both are valid. Both are valuable and both are treasure.

So then we find the treasure of God….The Mosaic Pieces of God’s truth by interacting with other Christians. It is the revealed word in them that enhances the revealed word in us, and visa versa. You may find those mosaic pieces in your pastor as he offers his sermon, or you may find them in your friends as you discuss the Word of God over your coffee table, or over the internet. Or you might even find them in an “unenlightened” denomination. God is God, and He works all in all. The Holy Spirit indwells all who believe and He deposits His wisdom where He will. It is up to us to find it. By interacting with as many people as you can. Offering your mosaic pieces and humbly receiving those of others. And  by offering The revealed Truth that you possess to the unsaved. Because Faith comes by hearing, the revealed Word of God.(2) It is by hearing the revealed word from you that a person receives the Faith to call upon God for salvation.(3) And upon salvation that person becomes a new depository of the truth.

It is important however to make sure what you are hearing is constant with the Word of God. We remember Paul admiring the Bereans because they heard the word gladly and then went and checked the word to see if it matched the Scriptures. So too must we, for there is a lot of wrong thinking. So we must hear the word and check it, even if it might be false. For the field containing that great treasure is full of dirt and rocks and mud, but it has the treasure. The only other choice is to stay clean, and miss out on the treasure. If you are unsure as to the scriptural validity of anything you hear, talk to your church leadership, Pastor(4) or myself , or anyone you know who you think strong in the word. Do not accept any new truth until you are sure it is constant with the bible. 

Humility is the key to receiving those mosaic pieces. Too often we stand around and act as dispensers of God’s Truth. and in fact we are, but if we are not also receivers, willing to be taught by others, then we lose so much of the truth we could have gained, and our view of the volcano remains limited. I don’t know about you, but I have wasted enough time trying to be a pillar of truth, I want to be a receiver and a giver, and this way we will all be enhanced in the knowledge of the Truth of God.  

Thank You Lord for your truth in our lives , Father I ask that you increase our knowledge of You by increasing our contact with our fellow brother and sisters in Christ. In Jesus name, ame

 

(1) This Scripture is given in support of the statement 

* 1 Corinthians 2: 10-13
10But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 

(2) Romans 10:17

(3) This Scripture is given in Support of the Statement

Romans 10
9that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
        “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
        Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “LORD, who has believed our report?” 17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
 

Trinity: The Three Faces Of God

trinAnd so the time has come to open the subject of the Trinity. The Father Son and Holy Spirit.

1 John 5
7For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one

There is hardly a more divisive issue in the kingdom of God, nor one more defining of Christianity. If one believes in the triune nature of God, that Father Son and Holy Spirit are one and they are God, then one is a Christian. If a Person does not believe this, no matter how devout they appear, they are not. For Jesus is God….and any other “Jesus” is a false Christ and not THE Christ.

I will not present arguments for the case of trinity here, for God does not need me to defend Him. I will not try to define what is quite beyond our ability as humans to comprehend fully. The True Nature of God.

1 Cor 13

12For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
 

We cannot simply understand the fullness of God but we can know in part. What I intend to put forth here then is a part of the understanding of the Triune Nature of God. And that is in how we interacted with Him.

The Father, God Above us

First we Have the Father. Yahweh, El Shaddiah, Jehovah. The God the people of the Old testament. He was the God Above them….the most powerful, the earth shaking, plague sending , sea parting thunderer of heaven.

Most people saw Him as simply that. They had no understanding of Him, and they had know interaction with Him. He spoke to His people, through His prophets. He spoke to Adam,  He Spoke to Noah, He spoke to Abraham to establish His People. He Spoke to Moses to free His people and to give them His law, so that that might be able to live in the righteousness appointed to them by the sacrifice of atonement.

He Spoke to Elijah and Elisha, so that the people would not forget The Power of His glory to them. He spoke to Samuel and Nathan to establish the Kingdom of Israel an to remind her kings when they misstepped. He Spoke to David and taught him psalms so that all the people could sing the goodness and glory of God. He spoke to Isaiah and Jeremiah and many other of the  minor prophets to tell them the penalty of the sin they pursued. And He talked to Daniel to tell him of the things that would happen in the end times. And finally He spoke through John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Savior.

In All these things the people of God saw Him as the God above them.

Then Jesus Came.

Matthew 1
23“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us

Jesus Christ, God with us.

No longer was God apart from us. But He walked among us, and ate what we ate and felt the pain we felt, and he talked to us. No Longer did we have to hear the word of God from the mouth of a prophet, we heard the word of God from the Word…Himself. He spent 3 and one half years among us, teaching us in ways we could understand, preparing us. Sharing the very will of God with us. He explained the law to us. He showed us the kingdom of heaven in His words and in His deeds. He healed the blind, He cured the lame, He cleansed the leper and he raised the dead, all the fullness of God with us. Amazing! 

And yet, that was limited, to those who lived in His time and His land. He knew He had a job to do, that was for more than just Jerusalem, or Nazareth or Capernaum but for all the world. He had to die for us. But God had a plan. He had one more step closer to take to us than Jesus, God among us.

John 14
Jesus Promises Another Helper
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever– 17the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

 

The Holy Spirit, God in us.

The Holy Spirit, God Himself, the maker of the heavens and the earth, now, because of the work of Jesus dwells in the heart of each believer.

He doesn’t have a phone booth that you can call Him from there. He hasn’t given you His e-mail address so that you can contact Him if you need Him. He dwells with you and in you.

The Mighty Holy Spirit of God, has taken residence in your heart.

1 Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

God no longer resides only in the foggy firmament in heaven…..when you go before the throne of God you have to go know further than your own heart.  For there resides the WHOLENESS of God.  For the Holy Spirit is not Part of God, He is God. In that special triune that we will never fully understand until we are there with Him, that they are three in one.

I would ask you now, if you would, to go to your prayer closet, where ever that may be and reflect on the nature of God, and that God is in you, right now with every breath, with every heart beat, sharing every trial and every joy, God is now within you. Take time, meditate on it…and perhaps He will open an understanding of His presence with you, that you never knew.

I pray that God bless all of you in the richness of His glory, that we might know that He is Our God and we are His people….Him in us and us in Him,  Glory be to God forever

Repent For The Kingdom Of God Is At Hand

repentanceProphets are a strange brew, and they always have been.

They are not the life of the party. They aren’t the guys dancing with the lampshade on his head, quite the opposite. They are often very quiet and when they do speak, it’s not always what people want to hear. Sometimes they can be the party poopers.

…..and there are quite a few more of them out there then you might expect.

They are the mice in the wainscoting staying in the shadows until called out by God. But they speak with the same Spirit and often the same message. And the message we are all hearing, and speaking with one voice these days is simple.

“Repent.”

“Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand. Make straight the way of the Lord.”

The sin of man has become an offense to God. The pride, the self-idolatry and the rejection of God’s will and grace have planted a garden on this earth. A garden of sin whose stench has reached into heaven and has filled the nostrils of God.

God is poised to pour is wrath out on the world and time is not long.

He hold’s his hand solely for the just and those who would be just.  For there are many Christians who are dabbling and playing in the world, who, save that they repent, will also taste the bitter cup of wrath awaiting those who mock God.

The time for playing has come to an end. The time for half measures is over. Jesus is coming back for a Bride who is without spot or blemish. I am not sure if any of us could truly point at ourselves and claim that status, but hope remains.

Never has one word meant so much to the Christians of an age as Holiness means to us. The world has become voracious for sin and self-satisfaction. And the people of the world exalt themselves above the law of God, above the grace of God and even above the being of God.  None of these sins are new, they originate with the father of sin and lies himself. But what is different is the time.

 In the days shortly after Pentecost the apostles thought that return of Christ was near. This has been case with each generation that has thought perhaps they were living in the end times. I will not presume to trespass upon the Lord’s prerogative of knowing the time of His return, but I do know what He has told me, and that is , that His wrath burns hot against the pride of man. Only for the sake of those who have called His name, yet remain in the world, and those who have yet to call and soon will , has he held his hand.

2 Peter 3

7But the heavens and the earth, which are, now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The 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.

Long was the wait for the apostles and yet, each of them in turn to come upon their last days. But the clarion call has sounded again as it did before the first coming of Christ. “Repent!, for the kingdom of God is at hand.”

As God came to Noah before his judgment came upon the earth in a flood, So God comes to us. What will our answer be?  Will we set about doing the will of God and preparing the ark (our very own hearts) that will ride as above the destruction of the world? Or will we delay in our efforts and waffle in our devotion and be caught with scuppers awash and be in travail when the torrent comes?

And the torrent comes

The story of Lot has a lot to say for us today. He was what the bible calls a righteous man in a bad place

2 Peter 2

6and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8(for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)-

Here is a man like many Christians today….loving God and yet living in the world. It is said that Lot sat in the gates of the city, this is a place were the prosperous and elders of the city sat. No mere by stander was our brother Lot.

Genesis 19
 
1 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground.

Here we see our righteous man enmeshed in the world, the very cream of Sodom’s society sitting at the gate. When he see ‘s the angels and recognizes them for who they are and makes the appropriate gesture to them , even  if his heart is not necessarily in the right place. The hypocrisy of the righteous living with the world defined.

2And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”
And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”
3But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered
his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Have you ever been in a position where you were ashamed of your life and you did not want some other person of God to see the mess that is in the streets of your heart? Well this was Lot, he knew Sodom to be a vile and unholy town and he did not want these two angels of God to see it. Perhaps his unwillingness was to spare the angels the sight. More likely, he was trying to keep his hidden sin, hidden from God’s representatives.

But God is not mocked. 

We know the story as follows.  The angels where there to destroy Sodom and they came first to warn Lot and his family to get out of town because God’s judgment was coming. Of his family, of his sons, his sons in law, his daughters and his wife only four chose to heed the word of the Lord and leave. Sons, sons-laws and married daughters all stayed, all were given the chance to escape the wrath of God. Four did.

And even then we know of those four, one looked back. And the wrath of God came upon her.

God is going to judge the world again, soon by all reasoning. His wrath is going to fall again on the unjust….and those who dwell with the unjust. Will we continue to mess around with the world and it’s ways. Will we look back upon the pleasant temptations of the world? Or will we conquer by the faith God has given us.

Here in lies the hope.

That we can indeed be presented to Christ and spotless and blemish free, a bride fit for a King.

“Okay Chief…sounds good to me, but how? “Here is the goodness of God:

2 Peter 1

2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

This is such a wonderful scripture full of truth…but let me post it again with emphasis on a certain point

2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Hold the phone Chief, it sounds like your telling me that….what I need to be Holy, God has already given me….Yep and there is more…

1 Peter 1

3 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, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Another truth filled scripture. lets highlight our point

3 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, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wait…. You mean that not only has He provided me what I need to be Holy…but HE will keep me saved?

Well, simple …but true.

So what’s the catch?

What’s the difference?

Huh?

What is the difference between the response of Noah and what could have been? What is the difference between Lot and those who stayed behind. What is the difference between the sheep and the goats?

It is simply this.

John 10

27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

The difference between a sheep and a goat is that sheep hear the word of God and obey. As long as you have a heart for God you are His sheep. If you heed his voice, if you follow his word, if you love Him and have made him TRULY your Lord then you are His, and you are safe. You WILL leave the world and it’s coming wrath behind. Because His sheep hear His voice

 And if you’re wondering about all those spots and blemishes…

Jude 1

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
        And to present you faultless
        Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
        25To God our Savior,
        Who alone is wise,
        Be glory and majesty,
        Dominion and power
        Both now and forever.
        Amen.

And

1 John 1

9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Cleansed from the spots and blemishes and made righteous again. Everything we need to be that spotless bride, He has provided and will make appear in our life, if we only follow Him. Follow the voice of the Lord. Get up when you fall down and turn your back on the desires and lusts of the world and you will safely be in the hand of the Lord

I pray that you will never lose hope in the Love of Our Almighty Father, and never lose touch of His hand. May the world be forever shadowed in your eyes and it’s temptations smell like rotten trash to you.  Keep yourself Holy little children. And God will keep you safely in hand.

Hope: The Grand Expectation

 

Man standing on rock formation

Man standing on rock formation

We know that hope is. And that it is one of the three great eternals mentioned in:

1 Corinthians 13
13And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I myself find that of these three things, the definition of hope is what I understand least of all. So let us travel through some scriptures to help define hope a little better, If I can venture into the teacher anointing, just a bit. The Main Greek word for Hope is elpis and it means to have a favorable and confident EXPECTATION

Hope is an expectation

Colossians 1:27 Says that the Christ in us is the HOPE of Glory. Do we have glory now? are we in heaven now? Well Yes He have the hope of it, and FAITH makes that Hope in us real

Hebrews11:
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

So it is the hope in us which our faith makes real. Hope not in what we see feel or experience , but hope in what is unseen.

Romans8:
24For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Paul opened His letter to Titus in the following manner

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;

The Hope which we cling to was promised to us before time began, a testament to its eternal nature. And before Jesus came it was only a promise our fore fathers in faith could cling to. But now we keep it in our heart, we embrace it and we believe it. It is our hope of Glory.

Hope and Glory. A common theme

Titus 2:
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

So what is the connector Of Hope and Glory? Faith. It is faith that takes that promise of eternal life and turns into Glory

1 Peter 1:
13 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, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

From a living, eternal Hope to “an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you”
Through the power of God through faith. It is the power of God which transforms…completes that Hope of Glory through our acceptance and adherence of it, by Faith.

Romans 5
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God

Hope is the promise of God, the good and positive expectation that God will do what He said he would do, and through faith it is the path to Glory.

How does hope differ from faith?  By Faith we can perceive, grasp and understand the things of God that are ours now. Salvation, relationship, peace.  But what we have now is not the ultimate promise…that is to come, and that is where our HOPE is.  We cannot see it, feel it or even really comprehend it, but we can believe in it, and can expect it!  Hope, the grand expectation.

Walk In The Wilderness

 

Find The Light In The Wilderness

When Jesus found times to be exceedingly difficult, he found time to get away from the crowds and get alone with God. to reconnect and refresh. And whether your wilderness is a walk by a mountain stream, or ten minutes alone at the table with a cup of coffee, there comes a time when all of us are called to the wilderness. A time when we have to get away from distractions , voices and anything else that might take our attention away from what the Lord is trying to say to us. So take time today , to get in your quiet place and seek the Lord.

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

Philippians 4: 8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Ephesians 5:18-20
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Hebrews 10:19-22
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

John 4:23-24
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Take moment or a week and get alone with the Lord, for He is talking to us if we will only listen. This wilderness represents not a place of desolation, but a place of commitment, a place of determination, a place of hope. As Jesus walked into the wilderness after his baptism, we walked into it knowing there would be trials, but he also knew that there would be successes in the face of those trials.

James 2

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
God does not want us to suffer, He wants us to THRIVE, but to do so we have to face a small amount of adversity to gain the Christian maturity. But when the trials are over, will you know what God has wanted to impart?

Romans 8
27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose

So let us come unto Him and find His purpose, for us…we do have one you know, and we have to get quiet and hear Him.

On Wings As Eagles

eagle2-310x190Isaiah 40 28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Never lose hope my brothers and sisters for God is with you. His grace is sufficient for our needs, we must walk as far as we can walk, but when we faint, when we can go no more. He will lift us up on wings as eagles until such time as we can walk again

Welcome To The Battle

marine-310x190Life was empty when I was a sinner. Life was dry, life was ugly, and life was bereft of all the joy peace and fulfillment that I have in Jesus Christ. Life was also easier.

When I was a sinner, I didn’t have to think about anyone else, I set the rules, I made my own choices and if I was going to have a god…then He would be of my own creation. Sin didn’t mean anything to me.

Now I had a sense of right and wrong, and of proper and improper, and even moral and immoral; but those where like items on buffet, I could add them to my plate of ethics as I passed by, or I could leave them. I was in control. I was the big boss…..I was a mess.

Then one day I met Jesus, and the dryness of the desert was made into a garden. On the day I met Jesus, my life in Him became beautiful. And on the day that I met Jesus, my life became challenging. I was like a fish that had changed directions in a stream, and instead of slip streaming along in the world I was fighting against the current of it. I was in a battle. The good news was that I was not in the battle alone. I had the almighty God, the Creator of everything on my side and he was helping me, and helping me in a way that made me grow. He carried 95% of the battle and he let me carry 5%. This is his plan to help us grow.

The Fact of the Battle

The first and foremost thing we have to accept is that there is a battle raging within us. A battle of wanting to good, and wanting bad, of wanting to be holy, and wanting to sin, and of serving Christ and serving ourselves. Paul spoke of this battle many times in his writings to the churches

1 Timothy 6: 11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Paul encouraged us to take the battle head on because it indeed was warfare.

2 Corinthians 10: 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

While the weapons of our warfare are not physical (carnal) they are mighty, and the war we are fighting is against a mighty enemy, but please don’t forget that we are only shouldering a small portion of the battle, we are carrying the flag…..the army is the Lord’s

The Battle Ground

So we are in a battle, but what kind of battle is it and where is the battle ground?
The battle is in you…in your soul, specifically your mind, will and emotions. Your soul is where you play out your daily lives, where you make the choices of what you will do in life and how you will react to it. It is the place where you have victory…or defeat, depending on what you do.

Man is a three part being, He is above all else a spirit, who has a soul and lives in a body. The body will always be corrupt. It is of this world, it wants things of this world and it usually wants it in excess. The spirit of a Christian is born of God, and will always be of God. It will want Godly things. Both of these parts of you have a voice. Each call to you to be served, the body for fleshly things and the body for spiritual things and the battle ground between the too, is your mind will and emotions. If you are to live a Christian life then your response is to be to say no to the flesh and yes to the Spirit. Paul puts it this way:

Romans 12: 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

There is no good to come from the body, the best you can do is put it on the altar and sacrifice it.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The mind however takes a little more effort, and here once again is the battle ground, we must wrestle the mind away from the control of the flesh (which once had complete control of the mind) and turn it to the Spirit’s influence. You might notice that I seem to vary between capitalizing the word Spirit. I do this because the spirit of a Christian is intertwined with the Spirit of God, He indwells every Christian and it is through His power that we can even hope to overcome the flesh.
Paul restates this same idea in Ephesians:

Ephesians 4: 17
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

The Purpose Of The Battle

So why do we have to face this battle? I mean if God can completely renew my spirit, couldn’t he throw in a soul cleaning for free? While to our minds this might seem to be the best way God has His purpose. James gives a glimpse into the purpose of the battle.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James and Paul echo each other here, the purpose of the battle is to make us perfect complete and lacking nothing. There is an old saying that if you give a man a fish, you will feed him for a day. If you teach the same man how to fish, he will never be hungry. God, through the battle, allows us to overcome the tests and trials of the flesh that we might become mature Christians. God doesn’t will that any of us remain incapable, falling back to the starting line, each and every time. God wants us to face the battle so that if we take two steps forward, and through the testing we fall back one step, we have gained one step, and it is all ours. We have chiseled that truth, that success in faith, into the stone of our foundation and no one can ever take it away from us again. Gaining confidence in our ability to stand in faith for the Spirit and against the flesh is the purpose of the battle. It is why we are not stuck on a cloud somewhere insulated from everything. And please remember:

1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
God has not sent you into battle alone; He carries all that you cannot.

Victory in the Battle

So then the ultimate victory in the battle is that we add, one at a time, these stones of truth to our foundation that we may become a servant of God, fit for His use, no longer struggling through life…but turning around what we have received and reaching out to others imparting words of life to them that they too may have what Peter calls “all things that pertain to life and godliness”.

2nd Peter 1:3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue

So how do we gain this victory? By choosing do to what is right instead of wrong; by choosing to keep a peaceful heart instead and venting our frustrations; and finally by choosing to keep our mind on Christ, instead of the things. And by doing so, we transform our mind will and emotions. Becoming perfect, complete and lacking nothing is the victory that we are all seeking in Christ and simply taking control of our lives brings that to us.

Yes, it’s hard, it’s not called a battle and a fight for nothing, but it is not TOO hard. It is not beyond our capability to overcome, because Jesus is carrying the majority of the weight. It’s just something we need to do. And the final award, well that’s the best of all:

2nd Timothy 4:6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

It is up to decide, if the death Jesus gave us on the Cross, is worth the effort to run the race. I think we would all agree it is.

Next Week we take the battle to the Enemy

 

The Sympathy Of Love

walking-old-oak-tree-strandja-bulgaria-300x200Sympathy:1 a : an affinity, association, or relationship between persons or things wherein whatever affects one similarly affects the other b : mutual or parallel susceptibility or a condition brought about by it c : unity or harmony in action or effect.

Hebrews 4
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

We are not alone in our struggle here on earth.

Surely we endeavor to succeed with our fellow Christians, knowing there is not a temptation come upon us that is not Common to man.(*1)

And yes surely we count it all joy as we fall into these various trials, knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience…Oh yes we surely do that.(*2)

So what do we do when we face a trial….well we ask for prayer. We Pray ourselves and we have faith that our prayers are answered.

The typical Christian prescription…..take two bible verses and call me in the morning, and your on your own kid. Hardly an inspirational way to face a problem.

But God is not a heavenly pharmacist dispensing cures from on high. He knows what you are going through. He cares that you hurt. He could have remained in heaven and let us suffer but instead He came and He suffered every pain for us. Understanding the utter fear that we face, when disaster raises its ugly head is only possible through a human perspective. And Jesus became that human for us.

But he did not stop there. From the moment He was born He lived in the peril of destruction by the enemy, as Herod sought to have Him destroyed. As He began his ministry He faced the enemy himself and was tempted in everyway to get Jesus to relinquish his role as savior.

If we knew that we were about to be tempted by Satan , how would we prepare? We would rest up, eat right make sure there were absolutely no way the devil could find a way in? Jesus fasted forty days and nights in the desert, and at the point of utter weakness of flesh (but strength of Spirit) He faced the Devil.

Through out His ministry period he was derided and questioned and scoffed at. Constantly put to the test by the agents of evil, the Pharisees and Sadducees , to try and cause Him to sin the sin of pride or wrath, thus invalidating His sacrifice.

 

Sin Is An Anchor

anchor-underwater

Do Not Let Sin Be The Anchor that holds you down

We all make mistakes. We all stumble. We all sin. Anyone who tells you they do not sin, is not in fellowship with God (b)

But for the rest of us we sin. Why do we sin, well because we are not yet completely Holy yet. You see we are a three part being, we are a spirit (created in God’s image), we have a soul and we live in a body.

When we are saved our spirit is miraculously and instantly transformed from death to life, and we are in fellowship with God. Our soul, which is our mind will and emotions is still thinking in old ways. And our flesh…..that is our body, will always be of the world, base and desirous of base and sinful things.

Romans 12:1-2 tells us that we must bring the soul into God’s way of thinking, and that we must bring our body into submission to the will of God.

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

The Body is never going to be redeemed. It is going to rot into the earth from when it came.

The Soul is the battle ground. when we sin it is because some element of the soul, The mind, the will or the emotion, or all three, have heeded the call of the body or our base nature the flesh and has chosen to walk in that path.

Romans 12 tells us we must not be conformed to this world, which is evil, but we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. It is almost a wrestling match to manhandle the mind away from the world and force it walk in the way of light. It takes effort, it takes determination and even with all the determination in the world, we all some times fail.

So how do we deal with Sin?

First we train the mind to walk in God’s light by reading the word….fill ourselves with his truth. Like changing oil in the car, you have to drain the old decrepit oil and fill the engine block with new oil. So too do we need to fill our block heads (or maybe this is just me) of the New Life, the word of God, and drain it of the old insensible sensibilities.

We are at war and the battle field is the soul….who will win? God or the flesh? If we follow the directions of 2nd Corinthians 10:4-5, then God will win our souls.

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Bringing into captivity every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God….YOUR knowledge of God. So how do you win the battle? Educated yourself, fill yourself with the word of God and you will succeed. Let us not be destroyed in sin by our lack of knowledge, but let us stock the armory of our mind with the word of God that we may pull down the strong hold that bind us to sin.

What’s second…..well even the Holiest of mortal men (not speaking of myself here…no sir) will fall. We will, as Christians, against our own sense and in utter disbelief find ourselves committing sins, perhaps the same sin over and over again. What do you do then? Beat yourself up about it, throw in the towel and admit defeat? Never! Do we deny the power of sin in our lives and pretend all is well? again, never! Here is what you do:

1st John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

We RUN to God and ask forgiveness, we pick ourselves up and get clean again. Then we march forward intent on never doing that again. What is the difference between a saint and a sinner, the saint gets up when they fall and run to Jesus for forgiveness.

 

The Body is never going to be redeemed. It is going to rot into the earth from when it came.

The Soul is the battle ground. when we sin it is because some element of the soul, The mind, the will or the emotion, or all three, have heeded the call of the body or our base nature the flesh and has chosen to walk in that path.

Romans 12 tells us we must not be conformed to this world, which is evil, but we must be transformed by the renewing of our mind. It is almost a wrestling match to manhandle the mind away from the world and force it walk in the way of light. It takes effort, it takes determination and even with all the determination in the world, we all some times fail.

So how do we deal with Sin?

First we train the mind to walk in God’s light by reading the word….fill ourselves with his truth. Like changing oil in the car, you have to drain the old decrepit oil and fill the engine block with new oil. So too do we need to fill our block heads (or maybe this is just me) of the New Life, the word of God, and drain it of the old insensible sensibilities.

We are at war and the battle field is the soul….who will win? God or the flesh? If we follow the directions of 2nd Corinthians 10:4-5, then God will win our souls.

4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

Bringing into captivity every thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God….YOUR knowledge of God. So how do you win the battle? Educated yourself, fill yourself with the word of God and you will succeed. Let us not be destroyed in sin by our lack of knowledge, but let us stock the armory of our mind with the word of God that we may pull down the strong hold that bind us to sin.

What’s second…..well even the Holiest of mortal men (not speaking of myself here…no sir) will fall. We will, as Christians, against our own sense and in utter disbelief find ourselves committing sins, perhaps the same sin over and over again. What do you do then? Beat yourself up about it, throw in the towel and admit defeat? Never! Do we deny the power of sin in our lives and pretend all is well? again, never! Here is what you do:

1st John 1:8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

We RUN to God and ask forgiveness, we pick ourselves up and get clean again. Then we march forward intent on never doing that again. What is the difference between a saint and a sinner, the saint gets up when they fall and run to Jesus for forgiveness.

God Bless you this day