RIGHT PRIORITIES!

RIGHT PRIORITIES!

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. —I Timothy 6:10

Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith. —I Timothy 6:20-21

            Two things are mentioned in the above passages that have cause people to wander from the faith or depart from the faith— eagerness for money and some ideas falsely called knowledge.

            “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” One evil that the love of money causes are people who “wander from the faith.” This is an evil. Instead of clinging to and following the Lord God Almighty who created them they put their efforts and energies into making money. This becomes their god, their focus, their life.

            This was the problem of the rich young man. Money was his god and he did not want to change his priorities.

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”   When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” —Matthew 19:21-24

            The love of money or the eagerness to attain it is one thing that can cause people to “wander from the faith.” Another thing mentioned in the above verses is “what is falsely called knowledge.” One of the greatest examples of this in our day is the Theory of Evolution. It is now communicated at factual knowledge when it is anything but that. Who knows how many countless lives have been destroyed by this theory that “is falsely called knowledge.” It is an imaginary god held in the minds of men as sophisticated knowledge and yet it is a deception that has destroyed many lives— “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

            Brother and sister let us cling to and test everything by what God says in His Word.   May our relationship with Him be our focused priority with nothing coming between us. Not “the love of money” or is “what is falsely called knowledge.” Dear Father may this be the case. Yes, may I stay focused on my relationship with You for the rest of my life, being faithful in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUxI-ynsTnM&list=UUf1NPIFOBwzTLVQiEDnq4Cw&index=2

YOUR REPUTATION FOR JESUS

YOUR REPUTATION FOR JESUS

He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. —I Timothy 3:7

            How am I looked at by those who do not know our Lord Jesus Christ? Do I have a good reputation among them? Does my life I live line up with our Lord that I profess and do the lost see that? Are they positively impacted by who and whose I am?

            We will surely come into conflict with the lost when we are sharing the gospel.   But even when we share the gospel do we come across abrasive or loving? Don’t get me wrong. Many will be “rubbed the wrong way” when we share the gospel with them. But that is because of the gospel and what it stands for.   The gospel communicated will offend people, but the way we live our lives should not! The devil would love to snare us or trap us by something in our lives that would give occasion for the lost to accuse us to ruin our reputation and bring reproach on His Name.

            Years ago, when I worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, a couple of well known television evangelists’ hidden sinful lifestyles became known. I walked into my work area on Monday morning and a couple of unsaved guys said to me, “Hey Ted, what do you think about those two guys?” I responded to these two machinists, “Are there any bad machinists among you or are all machinists good?” They responded, “No, not all machinists are good machinists. There are some bad ones.” Then I said to them, “Just because there are bad machinists doesn’t make you a bad machinist does it?” They said, “No.” They got the point.

            When those who profess to know Jesus blow it badly then it not only affects how the lost look at that person, but then they will generalize and put all those who profess Jesus into the same category. This is one of Satan’s schemes. But let us live such faithful lives for our Lord that we would be above reproach among those who do not know Him. This is a huge part of our lives and who we are in Jesus. Beware “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in your faith” (I Peter 5:8-9) —“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7). Let us “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (I Peter 2:12). Yes, Dear Father may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus. May I honor Your Name and shine for You for Your glory. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsQ58qn7G_4&list=UUf1NPIFOBwzTLVQiEDnq4Cw&index=6

            By the way, since I left the shipyard so many years ago I have heard that those two machinists called on the Lord to save them. May it be so!

THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted. —I Timothy 1:8-11

            Those of us who have been justified understand, or we should understand, that we were justified through Jesus alone and not by the works of the law. That is, Jesus paid our sin debt that we might be declared righteous (II Corinthians 5:21: I John 2:2). But the law is like a magnifying glass “that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful” (Romans 7:13).  The law truly exposes sin for what it is.

            We are to use the law to convince “the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine” that they are under the wrath of God and headed for judgment. We are to do this in accordance with the gospel.   People need to understand they are not good and that they have seriously offended our holy and righteous God.   Then they need to understand that Jesus paid their sin debt and if they are willing to turn from their ways and follow His ways they will be forgiven, enter a relationship with Him and never be condemned. Yes, the law is given to convict us of sin and the gospel is given as the remedy of that sin!

            Who is it in your life that needs to confronted with the law that they might be convicted and see their need for the gospel of grace?

  • the lawless
  • the disobedient
  • the ungodly
  • sinners
  • unholy
  • profane
  • those who dishonor parents
  • murderers
  • the sexual immoral
  • homosexual
  • enslavers
  • liars
  • perjurers
  • those with unsound doctrine

Know any of those people in your life? Let us lovingly share the law with them to expose their sin while remembering where we came from! Then as hearts soften may we share the good news of the gospel with them.   Oh, may this be so today with someone we come into contact with. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzkgCuFRqIU

Dear Father may I share the law and gospel today with someone who needs You. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son.  

I LOVE OUR LORD

 

I LOVE OUR LORD

I love you, O LORD, my strength.  The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. —Psalm 18:1-2

“Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in the Law?” Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” —Matthew 22:36-40

            Do you truly love the Lord Jesus? Jesus said, “Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him” (John 14:21). Obedience to what He says is one indicator that we love Him. It is our desire to “keep his commands and do what pleases him” (I John 3:22).   This type of love for God grows into intimate relationship. Does that describe you?

            Is the Lord your strength? Do you depend on His immovable and solid foundation? Do you depend on His protection? Are you trusting in Him and Him alone for your salvation? What a joy to know we can depend and trust in our God for everything. Rejoice!

I love You Lord. I am grateful Father for Who You are and all that You have done for me in Jesus. Oh, that I would live faithfully for You out of the gratitude of my heart. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYV0ce3ybEA&list=PLEjh75knOn9nnyMZT7W0r-tBxZwQ68nKv&index=2

ENCOURAGE AND BUILD UP

ENCOURAGE AND BUILD UP

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. —I Thessalonians 5:11

            When were you last encouraged by a fellow follower of our Lord Jesus? When was the last time a fellow follower of Jesus built you up? Or, when was the last time you encouraged a fellow follower of our Lord Jesus? Or, when was the last time you built up a fellow follower of Jesus?

              The Thessalonians were doing this and our Lord through the Apostle Paul acknowledged them for doing so. They were a local church active in the encouraging and building up of each other. How about the local church we attend? Is the church encouraging and building us up? Are the leaders and attenders of the local church we are attending encouraging and being encouraged? Are they building up and being built up?

            How about today? Will you take the time to encourage a fellow follower of Jesus? When we do this we might truly be surprised at our Lord’s timing in this. Can we seek to build up a fellow follower of Jesus today? Again, we might be surprised at our Lord’s timing in this. May we take the time to do so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DorNUsi5LE

Dear Father please help me to be an encourager and one that builds others up. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.

NO GOOD APART FROM OUR LORD

NO GOOD APART FROM OUR LORD

I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” —Psalm 16:2

            What have we that is good apart from the Lord? Apart from the Lord we live for ourselves. Just look at the world around us to see how that goes. Or, look at your own life before you had a relationship with Jesus. Selfishness— idolatry, taking the Lord’s Name in vain, dishonoring to parents, not even thinking about setting time aside for our Lord, murderous in thought or action, adulterous in thought or action, stealing, lying, wanting what is not ours— that is what life is like without Jesus.

            Nations and individuals quarrel, fight and are at war with each other.   Prisons are filled and nations are in bondage. People’s lives are hurt, destroyed or killed. Selfishness of leaders brings about conflict with other nations, national conflict, famine and death. That is the world we live in apart from Jesus.

            Our Lord is good and those who follow Him will have lives that are conforming to His— “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (II Corinthians 3:18). Truly Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).  No good fruit can be produced apart from Jesus.

            So, brother and sister, let us abide in Jesus, “turn from evil and do good.”   Let us “seek peace and pursue it” (I Peter 3:11).  Dear Father in Heaven may this be the case in my own lie. Please give me the wisdom and perseverance through Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus to be faithful in this area. May it be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMji7TypHOI

OVERCOMERS

OVERCOMERS!

For we wanted to come to you—indeed I, Paul, tried again and again—but Satan obstructed us—I Thessalonians 2:18

            Never forget that our adversary is actively against us. He is not just there, he is working to defeat us any way he can. He wants to hinder us from faithfully following the Lord. The Apostle Paul said that “we are not unaware of his schemes” (II Corinthians 2:11). Do we understand his schemes? Satan actually “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (I Peter 5:8).  Yes, he wants to destroy you. That is his wicked purpose. We are told to “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (v.9). Yes, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). So let us first submit ourselves to God. Then let us resist the devil and the result is that he will flee from us. Let us be faithful in submitting and resisting!

            We are in spiritual warfare. Let us not forget this. So what are some of the devil’s schemes? Immediately in Genesis chapter 3 Eve was deceived into thinking that God was not telling her the truth. Satan attacked the Truth of God’s Word. Interjected deception is that he/we know better than God. This is huge and has continued to this very day and will continue to the end of the age. The assumption portrayed by Satan to Eve was that God did not have her best interests in mind and that He was keeping her back from something good. Satan encouraged disobedience to experience a perceived good. Satan promotes the idea that we can make decisions without consulting God. Well, we know what the result of that was/is!

            Some of Satan’s schemes:

                        -Outright denial of God’s Word.

                        -Implying God is not speaking the Truth.

                        – Interjected deception that he/we know better than God.  

                        -Insinuating that God does not have our best interests in mind.

                        -Suggesting that God is keeping us back from something good.

                        -Encouraging disobedience to experience a perceived good.

                        – Promoted the idea that we can make decisions without consulting God.

            These are just a few of Satan’s schemes that we need to be aware of. Remember, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (I John 4:4). Who have we overcome? In the context it is spirits who are not of God— false prophets and the spirit of the antichrist. Never forget that we are overcomers in Jesus— “This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God” (I John 5:4-5). Let us live like overcomers! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXI0B4iMLuU 

Dear Father I thank You that I am an overcomer by faith in Jesus. Now may I live like an overcomer in the power of You Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus my Lord.

NEW CLOTHES!

NEW CLOTHES!

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.  You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.  Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. —Colossians 3:5-14

            We have taken off the old self like taking of clothes and we are putting on the new self and that is like slipping into new clothes. The point is very clear as you read this passage. Now guys usually don’t things like this, but gals do— a friend walks into the room with a new dress on and her friends take notice right off and make comments. That is how it should be with us as we mature in Christ. People should notice that there is something different about us because of our relationship with our Lord Jesus. We are “clothed” differently.

            Our values and life-style should be different than that of the worlds in the areas of “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” This is because we “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” This renewal, which leads to transformation, is a renewal of our mind— “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). This is a life-long process to “be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” in any situation or circumstance life brings our way.

            “Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” are part of the new clothing we are to put on. So is to “bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone” and to “forgive as the Lord forgave you.” A most important part of that new clothing is to “put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” 

            So, brother and sister, let us go forward today with that new clothing on, not the old. May this be so dear Father in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.   So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcqria2wmg

GOD MAKES DEAD MEN LIVE!

GOD MAKES DEAD MEN LIVE!

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. —Colossians 2:13-14

As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. At one time we all lived among them, fulfilling the cravings of our flesh and indulging its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature children of wrath. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might display the surpassing riches of His grace, demonstrated by His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life. —Ephesians 2:1-10

            Dead men cannot make themselves alive. It is impossible. Brother and sister we were dead in our trespasses and sin. We were conformed to the ways of this world. We were like others who needed to “come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, who has taken them captive to his will” (II Timothey2:26). We lived after the flesh. That is the only way we could live at the time. We had no power to do otherwise. We were under the wrath of God and headed for Hell.

            God greatly loved us and extended His rich mercy toward us. He “made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses” and has “forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Brothers and sisters “it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance as our way of life.”

            This life we have in Jesus is a gift. He took away our sin debt forever! What a gift! We who were dead in sin are now alive in Christ and will live with Him forever!   Out of gratitude may we serve Him in the work He has prepared for us to do. Yes, let us do so out of loving gratitude. Dear Father may this be do in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. So be it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwgWbIOt0ko

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

THE BEST IS YET TO COME

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. —Philippians 3:20-21

            Hey citizen of Heaven, are you looking forward to your glorious body that will be like our Lord Jesus’ body? —- “Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is” (I John 3:2). How amazing is that? Our lowly earthly body is going to be transformed into a glorious body just like our Lord Jesus Christ’s body!

            Let us live like a citizen of heaven where everything is going to be perfect.   Jesus will be there and all who love Him. We will not be trading stories about knee replacements, hip replacements, heart surgeries, broken bones, ailments of any kind, tiredness, sorrows, death of loved ones or strangers… Our thinking will be perfect; our actions will be perfect, we will honor our Lord 100% of the “time.”

            Truly the best is yet to come, but while we are here let us live faithfully for our Lord Jesus. Let us continually look to the finish line of life as we “run with endurance the race set out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).   As we “run with endurance the race set out for us” with all the aches, pains and sorrows as well as with the joys— “We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing” (II Corinthians 5:2).  

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (II Corinthians 4:17).

            Yes, the best is yet to come, but let us finish “the race marked out for us” well. Yes, may this be so! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZu7mfYS_VY

Dear Father I thank You for the hope You have given us in Jesus. Thank You that my home is in Heaven with Jesus. Thank You that You are going to transform this earthly body to be like the glorious body of Jesus. Oh I long to put off this earthly body for that glorious body. But I know You have me on this planet for Your purposes at this present time. May I be faithful in those purposes and honor Your Name. May this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus.