DEFINITELY HIS OR NOT

DEFINITELY HIS OR NOT

It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.” —II Peter 2:21-22

Who are those that truly love and live for the Lord Jesus Christ? How is it possible to know who is truly a disciple? The answer is time and a changed life shown by the outward fruit produced by the inward transformation by the Holy Spirit of God given to a person upon salvation— “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14). So if the Spirit of God resides in a person then they are given at least one spiritual gift to be used for the common good (I Corinthians 12:7). The Holy Spirit is revealed through the use of that spiritual gift as well as through other fruit He produces in the believer’s life (Galatians 5:16-17).

Dogs and pigs cannot change their behavior. They do what dogs and pigs do. So it is with a person. Their lives will reflect their owners— slaves of God or slaves of Satan. Is it the will of God they are living or are they living the will of the devil? They are either “doing the will of God from your heart” (Ephesians 6:6) as “slaves of Christ” or they are in “the trap of the devil” and are being held “captive to do his will” as his slaves (II Timothy 2:26).

The follower of Jesus is not perfect in following Him, not yet, but they will be perfect and complete in Heaven! But there will be a consistency in doing God’s will in their overall life. It should be evident to others when their loved one dies that they are in Heaven because they truly loved the Lord Jesus Christ.

I was with a follower of Jesus whose spouse had died. They asked me if I thought their loved one was truly saved. Above all people it is the spouse that should surely know if their loved one truly knew Jesus. It would be definitely evident in the home and with all the time they spent together. May we live in such a way as there is no doubt to our loved ones at our death that we truly loved and lived for Jesus. This will be such a comfort to them to know we are truly in Heaven!

Dear Father, may I truly be consistent in my walk with Jesus that people will know that I love You. Oh, may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. All for His honor and glory!

SELF CHECK!

SELF CHECK!

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. —II Peter 1:5-9

So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body. —II Peter 1:12-13

And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. —II Peter 1:15

To be effective and productive in the knowledge of Jesus it is clear that we need to have the above qualities mentioned and be maturing in them. Otherwise we are told that we will be “nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.” Again, “add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” Do a personal inventory and consider how you are maturing in each of these: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, love. Well, what did your inventory reveal? Are you being effective and productive in the knowledge of Jesus? May it be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RPdCPUdrQ0

Dear Father, please help me to not only have these qualities, but to be maturing in them. May this be so for Your glory in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

GIFTED BY GRACE

GIFTED BY GRACE

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. —I Peter 4:10-11

What spiritual gift have you been given by God’s grace? If you are a faithful steward of that gift then you are using it— whether it is a speaking gift or a serving gift. God gave it to you to use with His strength that He might be praised for His glory.

So what spiritual gift do you have? God gave it to you to use by His power. How will you use His giftedness today? In what way will you show forth His glory by being the faithful steward of His grace? Whether you speak or serve, do so for His glory, do so for His praise, do so with His power and be thankful for His grace toward you.

Dear Father, I truly stand amazed at Your grace in my life. Oh, that I would be a faithful steward of that grace You have extended to me. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!

CHOSEN!

CHOSEN!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. —I Peter 2:9

You, fellow follower of Jesus, have been chosen. You are part of His royal priesthood. You are in His holy nation. You are God’s special possession. Wow! As such He desires us to declare His praises. This is part of why He called us out of the “darkness and into His wonderful light.” Have we declared His praises to anyone recently? Have we praised Him lately?

Ever play a pick-up game where two captains picked sides? The “best” players or most popular players were chosen first. Were you ever picked last to make “uneven” teams and the team with the least players were not even concerned that you were playing even though your team had one more play than the other? Well to be chosen on God’s team took place not because you were the last player to be chosen, but because you were just as significant to God as all the others He has chosen or will choose. You are His special possession and not some leftover He picked! The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ bought you just as much as anyone else who has “called on the Name of the Lord.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYpBgJHmGmw

Not only did He choose you, not only did He make you royalty, not only did He make you part of His holy nation, not only did He make you His special possession, but He made all this possible by calling you out of the darkness and into His wonderful light! He did it! “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14). He put you on His side… forever! All because He loves you! (Jeremiah 31:3).

Dear Father, no words in my limited vocabulary can give justice to the praise that You deserve. You are AWESOME and You do all things AWESOMELY. I am amazed that You chose me, but I am truly grateful. I look forward to perfectly showing You that gratefulness in glory. But until then may I seek to show forth my gratefulness by doing Your will, imperfectly as I do. May I be and do what is pleasing in Your sight by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

REDEEMED TO AN ETERNAL INHERITANCE

REDEEMED TO AN ETERNAL INHERITANCE!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. —I Peter 1:3-6

Since you call on a Father who judges each person’s work impartially, live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. —I Peter 1:17-21

Fellow follower of Jesus, God has given us new birth through the resurrection of Jesus. Now we have “an inheritance that can never perish.” We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus! (Romans 8:17). This inheritance “is kept in heaven for you.” Wow… our inheritance is waiting for us in Heaven. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHFPJfwa3Z0

There is a very interesting revelation in Psalm 49:7-9 — “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them—the ransom for a life is costly, no payment is ever enough—so that they should live on forever and not see decay.” This is an amazing statement! No man can redeem the life of another. No man can ever have enough payment to redeem another. No payment is ever enough. Get that? No payment is EVER enough! If your family was willing to lay down their lives for you… it would not be enough to redeem you from sin. If the population of your whole town or city was willing to lay down their lives to redeem you from sin… it would not be enough. If the population of your whole nation was willing to lay down their lives to redeem you from sin… it would not be enough. Even if the 7.3 billion people of the world were willing to lay down their lives for you, to be a sacrifice for you, that would not be enough to redeem you from the market place of sin. If all of creation, all we see and do not see, was willing to give of itself to redeem you… it would not be enough. Nothing in all creation can redeem you from sin…nothing!

Into Creation steps Jesus! The Eternal Son of God is the only One who could redeem us because 1- He is Eternal and 2- He is perfect. Jesus redeemed us not with temporary perishable things, but with His own blood shed on the cross and then He proved Himself to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4). He has the power of sin and death and He is the only One of that Nature! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QvX4CwSmwY

Listen! Nothing in all Creation could redeem you and nothing in “all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nothing can separate us! NOTHING! Rejoice! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5L6QlAH3L4

Dear Father, I am astounded at all You have done for me. I am grateful for Your mercy and grace and look so forward to being in that perfect place with Jesus and all who love Him. Until then may I seek to live faithfully according to Your will. May it be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

YOUR LIFE IS SHORT!

YOUR LIFE IS SHORT!

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. —James 4:14

Life is so short when compared to eternity. Compared to eternity the temporal life on this planet is almost nothing. God is so immense. He is eternal and we truly have a very hard time comprehending that which is eternal. It is truly astounding.

We are like a vapor that quickly vanishes, a shadow that soon fades, a breath that is briefly exhaled or the brevity of the blink of the eye. How many years have you lived? Look back. Haven’t those years flown by? Can you believe that you are the age you presently are already?

For me it is truly almost unbelievable that I am 62 years old, that I have been married for 36 years, that I have 4 adult children, that I have 6 grandchildren and Lord willing will soon have a 7th. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was a little child sitting up to my belly button in water as I played in a mud puddle in the drive way of my home! Wow… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiRhcR4Vg10

As short as live is it is a marvel to see what the Lord God Almighty has done, is doing and will do through our lives on this Earth and then we have eternity to spend with Him in Heaven. Eternity with Him! Now that is a WOW! Fellow follower of Jesus, look at the hope that we have in Jesus. Life on Earth may have an end, but there is no end in glory! We will have forever in that perfect place with all who love Jesus! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIpnW3rtRQ4 Rejoice!

Dear Father, thank You for Your mercy and grace that You have given me. I am grateful and so look forward to being in glory with Jesus and all that love Him. May I live faithfully for You until then and may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it!

A POWERFUL BODY MEMBER!

A POWERFUL BODY MEMBER!

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. —James 3:9-10

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. —Proverbs 18:21

As powerful as turning a massive horse or a rudder steering a huge ship, so is that tiny tongue in your mouth. It can be used to praise our Lord and Father or it can curse the very people that God created in His image. It can cause the fruit of life and or the fruit death. Yes, that little member of your body can build others up or tear them down. A small muscle of your body that can encourage or discourage other people.

What will your tongue and my tongue do for others today. Oh, that we would praise God, build others up and encourage them. Yes, may this little member of our body bring about the fruit of life and not the fruit of death. So be it!

Dear Father may this be the case— that I would be a builder up of people today, an encourager to them and bring praise to Your Holy Name. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyIrr6NWjvk

FAITH WORKS!

FAITH WORKS!

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. —James 2:14-26

What evidence is there that you have truly put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTxafiWXZOw Anyone can say they have faith. But it is the working of faith in a person’s life that truly shows he is saved. Faith is active, not passive. Faith works.

The Holy Spirit of God resides in the one who has truly trusted Jesus. “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (I Corinthians 12:7). That manifestation of the Spirit is seen by the use of the spiritual gifts a follower of Jesus is given. These spiritual gifts are given for the common good and will be active. That is why faith will have works of service. How can one who truly has the Holy Spirit of God not show forth works?

The Apostle Paul said in Acts 26:20— “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.” Faith which includes repentance is “demonstrated” by deeds. There is no way around this. If you indeed are a follower of Jesus then there will be evidence. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLTPqxGprL0

Dear Father, may I faithfully live for You today and may Your Spirit be seen working in and through my life in the authority of Jesus Your Son. So be it!

MY HELP!

MY HELP

“The Lord is my helper.” —Hebrews 13:6

Who is there to better help us than the Lord Jesus Christ? Nobody, and so let us run to Him for the help we need. He is always there for us. He said He would never leave us nor forsake us and that He would be with us until the end of the age (Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20). Yes, Jesus will help! Go to Him! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfiYWaeAcRw

Dear Father, may I run to You first. Thank You for the help You give me. I am so grateful. May I go forward with that help and be a faithful follower of Jesus in His Name and in the power of Your Holy Spirit. May it be so!

CREATION WILL BE SHAKEN!

CREATION WILL BE SHAKEN!

The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” —Hebrews 12:27-29

All created things will be shaken and only those things that cannot be shaken will remain. What is it that will remain? Only His Kingdom will not be shaken! Every single follower of Jesus is part of that kingdom and will not be shaken when all other created things are (Colossians 1:13-14). Therefore, “let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”

Grab a hold of this my brothers and sisters, regardless of what denomination you belong to, regardless of what “local church” you belong to, as a follower of Jesus you will not be shaken. Think about it. What exists at the local church you attend that will not be shaken? It is all about relationship— relationship with God through His Son Jesus and with those who have trusted Jesus. What exists in the town or city where you live that will not be shaken? Oh, that we would reach out and warn those people around us that will be shaken so that they might respond to the gospel and enter the kingdom that will not be shaken. Who today can you encourage to come out of the kingdom of this world that will be shaken and into the kingdom that will not be shaken? Let us not be so focused on those things that will be shaken to the exclusion or low priority focus on that which will not be shaken. Encourage people to trust Jesus and warn them of the consequences of not trusting Him. So be it!

Dear Father, may I be faithful to the race You have marked out for me, understanding that Jesus is the author and finisher of it. Oh Yes, may I keep my eyes fixed on Him. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8Sx_U0Ztr8