Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Giving NO offence in ANY THING...

" But in ALL things approving ourselves as the ministers of God..." 2 Corinthians 6:4

This morning I happened to catch a devotional being read while preparing breakfast. Normally my thoughts "run to and fro" while getting things ready for the table... but the radio is still in the background  with music or scripture being read. Sometimes I don't always hear everything amidst the noise of preparing breakfast. However, there's always a "nugget "of treasure that keeps me encouraged...

A verse was shared this morning ... and with the verse, the thought that we possess ALL things. How wonderful the thought! I quickly made a mental jot to look up the verse after breakfast and meditate on the treasure given me. 

" ... as having nothing, yet possessing All things." 
2 Corinthians 6:10

I started reading at the beginning of the chapter to understand the verse a bit  better... and how blessed and encouraged I was! 

Too often I forget... how RICH I am... and that I posses ALL things... IN Christ! 

"... and you are complete in Him." 
Colossians 2:10 

Have you ever felt yourself lacking? I know most of us often associate richness with material things, but being rich isn't about the things of this world... 

Have you ever felt yourself.... 
  • without the "means" to get through the day?
  • at "loss" when it comes to... going the extra mile, showing kindness, applying grace to someone who's wronged you?
  • "poor" and "hopeless" and "without knowledge" when it comes to applying Christ-like attributes ... be it to others, or in situations where surroundings test our "worth"?  
I was overwhelmed with the encouragement I received from the verses I read. Oh, what wealth of knowledge has been given to us... indeed we posses ALL things and we lack NO good thing!

I thought to write down the key points from 2 Corinthinas 6:1-10... as a reminder of what God's power and His Holy Spirit can do in our lives... when we are faced with various trials.

As workers together with the LORD... we are not to receive the grace of God in vain: 
  • Giving NO offence in ANY THING... that the ministry be not blamed.
 As ministers of God...  approving ourselves in ALL things:
  • in much patience
  • in afflictions
  • in necessities
  • in distresses
  • in stripes
  • in imprisonments
  • in tumults
  • in labours
  • in watchings
  • in fastings
Working and ministering... 
  • by pureness
  • by knowledge
  • by long-suffering
  • by kindness
  • by the HOLY GHOST
  • by love unfeigned (genuine, without hypocrisy)
  • by the WORD OF TRUTH
  • by the POWER OF GOD
  • by the armour of righteousness, on the right hand and on the left 
In  ALL situations...
  • by honour and dishonour
  • by evil report, and bad report
  • as deceivers, and yet true
  • as unknown, and yet well known
  • as dying, and behold we live
  • as chastened, and not killed
  • as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing
  • as poor, yet making many rich

Lord, may your power and Holy Spirit work in us to be strengthened with all might... working in us all... a patience and long-suffering... that is accomplished with joyfulness.

May you be encouraged today to give no offence in any thing... and be reminded that in Christ we possess ALL things.  We are more than conquerors through Him... who loved us to the the end.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear...

" Wherefore gird up the loins OF YOUR MIND, be sober, and HOPE TO THE END for the GRACE that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:13

How often I forget the reason for my existence and the purpose for my life on this earth. More often than not, I tend to lose sight of God's reason for placing me on this earth. It's not that I'm not aware of His purpose in my life, but I find my mind  preoccupied too much with the "cares of the world" ... and too little glorifying God. Way too little...

How thankful I am for God's Word that brings me back to the light. Reading through 1 Peter, I was once again encouraged to fix my eyes on the things above.

I am reminded that,

... my existence isn't to fulfill my own pleasures.
... my existence isn't that I run around seeking to fulfill "my life's ambitions".
... my existence isn't for worldly gain.
... my existence isn't that I "be the best that I can be" in the eyes of the world. 

No, my existence is purely to GLORIFY GOD and give HIM PRAISE in all that I do. 
I am to remember that HE brought salvation to my soul and turned me from the pit of darkness to His glorious light.

" But you are a CHOSEN people, a ROYAL priesthood, and HOLY nation, 
His OWN SPECIAL people; 
that ye should shew forth the praises of Him 
who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 
1 Peter 2:9

And so I was thankful this morning for the reminder to:

1) Gird up the loins of my mind,
     ... and be prepared for action. 
                 ( 1 Pet.1:13)
2) Pass the time of my sojourning here on earth... in fear,
    ... laying aside all forms of malice, guile, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speakings. 
                         (1 Pet.1:17/ 2 Pet.2:1)
3) Believe in God.
     ... that my HOPE and FAITH might be in God. 
                        (1 Pet.1:21)

The Word of God says it best in Ecclesiastes,

"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter; 
Fear God, and keep His commandments, 
for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgement, 
with every secret thing
whether, it be good, or whether it be evil. " 
Ecclesiastes 12:13,14

Lord how we need you! Remind us of your purpose for our lives... and remove from us any selfish ambitions that lead to death. Help us to walk by your Spirit... in the light of your Word. 

May you be encouraged today to "desire the sincere(pure) milk of the word, that you may grow thereby."... honoring and glorifying God.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

And be found in HIM , NOT having mine own Righteousness...

" That I may know HIM, and the power of HIS resurrection, and the fellowship of HIS sufferings, being made conformable unto HIS death." Phillipians 3:10

You know, sometimes it's not the easiest to apply the WORD in our lives. Phillipians 3:10 is a perfect example of a verse that requires us to be conformed to the LORD's death. Have you ever thought about it... to be conformed to HIS DEATH? 

CONFORM (def): be similar in form or type.
synonym: abide by, obey, observe, follow, keep to, stick to, adhere to, uphold, heed, accept,..

To be conformed to His death... would require that we be like the Lord Jesus, and follow in His steps.

I don't know about you... but I often fail to be conformed to His death or to know the fellowship of His sufferings.
  • I fail to be a servant... and find myself desiring to place my needs above others. 
  • I fail to be made of no reputation... and care too much of what man thinks of me.
  • I fail to be humble... and find myself proud, even in the smallest of things. 
  • I fail to suffer loss... and  find myself trying to keep worthless things as gain.
  • I fail to revile not when reviled against... and can find myself holding a record of wrong, even in silence.

No... to be conformed, ..." unto HIS death." means to die to self... that Christ may live in my stead!

For sure we can never be conformed to Christ's image on our own. I am to have NO confidence in my OWN FLESH, but rather I'm to, 

" found in Him, 
not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, 
BUT that which is through the faith of Christ, 
the righteousness which is of God by faith."
Phillipians 3:9

The Righteousness ... which is of God... alone works in us... a walk that is worthy of HIS HOLY NAME.

What blessed thought... to be cleansed from all our unrighteousness and be clothed in HIS righteousness.

"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; 
that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 
1 Corinthians 5:21

Indeed we can have VICTORY over our own flesh, our own desires, our own self-workings... because Christ is RISEN...  the power of His resurrection has brought us justification.

"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. "
Romans 4:25

And while I may fail from time to time, I am encouraged that HIS strength is made PERFECT in my weakness.... 

...reminding me that it is best to be occupied in,

 " .... forgetting those things which are behind, 
and reaching forth 
unto those things which are BEFORE, 
I press toward the mark 
for the prize 
Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 3: 13,14

How wonderful to know that in the Lord Jesus Christ we have complete victory!

" But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 
1 Corinthians 15:57
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: 
and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 
1 John 5:4

Oh, that I would be occupied with knowing more and more of my Saviour... that I would be able to count all things as loss... that I may indeed be conformed unto His death.

Holy Father, help me to walk worthy of your calling... and do nothing through strife or vainglory.

May you be encouraged today to KNOW the Lord Jesus... and " press toward the mark for the prize of the HIGH CALLING OF GOD  in Christ Jesus."


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Will you not TREMBLE at MY PRESENCE?

" ... but yet I would have you WISE unto that which is GOOD, and simple concerning evil. " Romans 16:19
"... neither be partaker's of other men's sins; Keep thyself  PURE." 1 Timothy 5:22

Recently I came upon this verse in Romans, where we are instructed to be simple in the things that are evil. I thought upon this quite a bit, because oftentimes we can find ourselves dabbling in things that are not pure and righteous... and overlooking sin.

Evil surrounds us in all forms... we can easily be drawn to evil... and even place ourselves in the pathway of temptations unknowingly.

I find it comes easy for our minds to "soak up" things that our flesh desires... it can come through media, news, movies, books and all forms of evil practices. And sometimes we can find ourselves in the presence of evil company. But... 

Do we separate ourselves from these worldly passions? 
Are we aware of God's HOLINESS... and desire that we be simple concerning things that are evil? 
Do we fear GOD? 
Do we tremble at His presence? 
Do we run from evil... and seek that which is good?

We can easily clutter our minds with things that harm...
However, we are to  be wise unto that which is GOOD. We are to know God's Word..., for it has power to heal and cleanse... and teaches us the way we ought to walk.

"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, 
and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." 
2 Corinthians 6:17

"I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand...." Jeremiah 15:17

" Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 
2 Timothy 2:19

Yes, we are to live in this world...but we are not of the world. The Lord Jesus sent us out into the world... and His prayer was that we would be kept from evil (John 17). 

Oh, to be innocent concerning all that is evil,

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless(innocent) as doves.
 Matthew 10:16

So in my thoughts, I went to Psalm 101... a perfect guide... for the application of God's precepts.... to help us in our walk:

PSALM 101:

  • I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. 
  • I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
  • I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.
  • I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
  • A froward heart shall depart from me: 
  • I will not know a wicked person.

  • Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off:
  • Him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
  • He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house
  • He that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

  • Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: 
  • He that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.

Lord, I pray that  I would be wise in the things that are GOOD, RIGHTEOUS and HOLY... 

...  to be aware of Your presence in my life, to acknowledge Your holiness and purity, to flee from unrighteousness...

... and be FAITHFUL to You.

May you be encouraged today to hide God's Word in your heart... to be wise in that which is GOOD... and innocent concerning evil.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

He sent His WORD, and HEALED them...

" For He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." Psalm 107:9

This morning after reading the Word, I picked up my hymn book and started to sing softly... a hymn that I've known for quite some time. Such comforting words...

... the LORD JESUS, the only ONE who offers rest that can satisfy a weary and worn soul. 

Do you ever find yourself  weary and worn and sad? Who can truly understand your needs? Can you ever bring your struggles to man... and find complete rest in man? 

No... no one cares for you like the Lord Jesus. He alone satisfieth the longing soul... He sends His WORD... then heals... and delivers. 

" He sent His WORD, and healed them,
 and delivered them from their destructions." 
Psalm 107:20 

O Lord, How grateful I am for your goodness to me... indeed I find fullness of joy... in YOUR presence.

 "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say"
by Horatius Bonar, 1808-1899

 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down,
Thy head upon My breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad;
I found in Him a resting-place,
And He has made me glad.

 I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream.
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light.
Look unto Me; thy morn shall rise
And all thy day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In Him my Star, my Sun;
And in that Light of Life I'll walk
Till traveling days are done.

What joy to have the Lord Jesus as our haven of rest...

" He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they are quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven." Psalm 107: 29,30

May you seek to find rest in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ... who gives the LIVING water... and revives the weary soul.