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Posts Tagged ‘Principles’


What! My time is precious! I never thought to much about time, until recently it hit me square between the eyes! Is it even possible that I am having a mid-life crises? That’s for old people, right? Not so much. The Bible says that “life is but a vapor” it is here today and gone tomorrow! Time is ticking away whether we realize it or not. So why am I writing about something that is a vapor? To keep it short, so I don’t waste your time, let me share a few thoughts with you because time is ticking! We have all heard the cliché’, “we are what we eat.” Well, we think and become that which we spend our time-consuming! Our physical bodies react to what we feed them. Consume donuts, fatty, greasy, sugary drinks, fast food and so forth, our bodies respond. So our spirit man responds to what we feed upon! If we spend our time watching TV, news, sports, read negative books, negative blogs, nasty websites….and spend our precious time around negative lost people who care nothing about your spirit, well your spirit man responds negatively! Time is wasting, which is most important to you? I can tell you from experience that we become just like the people we spent the most time with, really without even knowing it! Time well spent is not a waste of time! Time slothfully spent is the biggest waste of time! If I am a Christian (follower of Jesus Christ), then my desire should be to spend time with the Lover of my soul! In fact the more time I spend with My Father in Heaven through the relationship with His Son Jesus, the more I become like Him! The less time I spent with Them, the less I ….well you know! I want to share a few Scriptures to culminate this idea of time well spent. Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. That will certainly take time to put into practice! Ecclesiastes 3:1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: Ecclesiastes 3:6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. 15 Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account”. Psalm 37:39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Proverb 20:4 A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing. You see, all this takes time! We all spend time with those we love, but what about our Creator? Do we spend time with Him? Romans 6:19 I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

There is a cause and effect for every action we take. Every moment of time in our lives has had its effect upon us, whether good or bad! I guess the Biblical Principle is “we reap what we sow!” Here are a few more timely passages to consider; 1Peter 4:3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do– living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.

1Peter 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? Revelation 3:3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Revelation 22:10 Then he told me, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. 11 Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” 12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

I trust this was not a waste of your time? We all have a short time in the flesh, our spirit man is not bound by time, so let us not grow weary in doing good with our time! The Father in Heaven loves for His children to take time to be with Him! Hug Him, love Him and spend time listening to Him! I promise He will speak to you, if you believe in His Son Jesus Christ! Thanks for your time!

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A fellow Minister (Jim Jones) wrote this on the indicated date and I wanted to share this with everyone who follows this blog. Enjoy!
Thought for the day. . . January 9th

Edward McKendree Bounds (1835 – 1913) was a clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church South and author of eleven books, nine of which focused on the subject of prayer. Many of you will recognize the name by which he is commonly known, E. M. Bounds.  Rev. Bounds has been referred to as “the prophet of prayer,” and his books and writings are classics on this subject, read and quoted over one hundred years after being penned.  One of my favorite quotes from Bounds states,

“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use, men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.”

Understand that this was written over one hundred years ago, and if true then, how much more so today!  Without doubt the reason we see so few results is so many ministries is this very issue – lack of prayer.  Corrie Ten Boom is quoted as saying, “Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”

I don’t know about you, but I long to see our labor produce “much fruit” for the glory of God. In that great passage on the Vine and the branches in John 15, Jesus tells us that fruit comes in four quantities. There is “no fruit” – “fruit” – “more fruit” – “much fruit.” Do you recall what Jesus said in verse 8?

“Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit.”

Are you satisfied with the fruit your life is bearing for God’s glory?

How much time have you spent in fervent, effectual prayer seeking the filling of God’s Spirit so that the “ministry of Jesus just flows out of you?”

Begin even now to pray!

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I was praying and meditating the other day concerning prayer and the Christmas season and the Holy Spirit gave me a thought to share. We are all familiar with the 12 days of Christmas song, how about the 12 days of Christmas prayer! Here is a break down of the Lord’s “model” prayer into 12 Principles. I would also like to expound on them as well!

 

Matthew 6:9 ¶ After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

 

Principle 1) Our Father which art in heaven

Principle 2) Hallowed be thy name

Principle 3) Thy kingdom come

Principle 4) Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven

Principle 5) Give us this day our daily bread

Principle 6) And forgive us our debts

Principle 7) as we forgive our debtors

Principle 8) And lead us not into temptation

Principle 9) but deliver us from evil

Principle 10) For thine is the kingdom

Principle 11) and the power

Principle 12) and the glory, for ever. Amen

 

  1. He is a Personal God and wants us to have an intimate relationship with Him!

    Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

  2. He is the only True and Holy God and desires for us to be like Him!

    1Peter 1:15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

    16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

  3. It should always be the desire of those who follow Christ to see His Kingdom come and to strive to build that Kingdom now!

    Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  4. Jesus prayed that His believers would be one as He and His Father is one. Jesus also submitted Himself to the Fathers Will. Therefore we should always seek the same. John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
  5. God is so Personal that He wants us to always depend upon Him to supply our daily provisions. Physical food and Spiritual food. Proverb 30:8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. 9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.” John 6:32 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”

    35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

  6. All of us are debtors (sinful) and God sent His Son to pay our debts! All who are believers in Jesus Christ should remember His Words while hanging on the Cross; “Father forgive them, they not what they are doing.” When we pray we should always confess our sins and ask Him to forgive us! 1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty In heaven.”

VII. Because Christ has forgive our debts we should also forgive others their debt. Our Father is so forgiving and patient with us, so why are we so slow to forgive? Our relationship with Our Father is quintessential and so should our forgiveness and relationship with fellow believers. Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” James 2:12 “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom,13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

VIII. Temptation is not a sin! Falling into and acting upon that temptation turns into sin. Because of God’s Holiness and His Omniscience, He will never lead us into sin. He will and does test us because He is our Father and He wants us to grow towards His Likeness. We are to always Reflect His Holiness in our lives! James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is fully grown, gives birth to death.” 1Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever- increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

IX. God our Father Loves us and never wants us to fall prey to evil or the Evil one! This Principle should remind us to always flee from evil! We are to come to our Father for protection from the Evil one. God always wants us to have Victory over sin, death and the Devil. He does this to demonstrate His Love and Power! Romans 5:6 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” James 4:6 “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” 1Corinthians 15:54 “When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

X. The Kingdom that is to come is the believers Eternal home. It is Christ Kingdom for which we are striving to build! God our Father, Son and Holy Spirit are that Kingdom! This Principle of prayer should focus all believers to His Kingdom on Earth. We believers are the Temple of God! Luke 1:31 “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” Psalm 45:6 “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” 1Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father– to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” Hebrews 11:16 Instead, they were longing for a better country– a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Revelation 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

XI. We must learn from this Principle that all Power belongs to Christ! He is Supreme! When we pray it is an awesome Truth to know Him who holds all Power. Matthew 28:18 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Psalm 2:6 “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” 7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” 10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.” Hebrews 1:3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs. 5 For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father”? Or again, “I will be his Father, and he will be my Son”? 6 And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” Colossians 1:15 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

XII. The Glory of Jesus Christ is the focus of this Principle. When we pray we need to understand we were Created to reflect Christ Glory! We were Created to worship, serve and enjoy our Creator. Now that Christ has been Sacrificed for us we can reflect that Glory! 2Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever- increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” Ephesians 4:22 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Revelation 5:10 “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” 14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

Now that the 12 Principles have been illuminated from God’s Holy Word, what shall we do with this Knowledge? It is my prayer that God our Father will produce Spiritual fruit in every heart that considers what has been written! Truly the Lord’s (model prayer) is more than just Words to be repeated. They are to be practiced!

 

 

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Three questions that were discussed between three friends. I thought it might be of interest to some who follow this blog!
Question one: Why do you suppose that God sent Jesus at the exact time that He did?
Erick and Glady did a great job. I would simply add this; Daniel 9:26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. {26 Or <off and will have no one>; or <off, but not for himself>} The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolation’s have been decreed.” He saw when Christ was coming to Atone for sin. Precise timing of God’s Revelation. Jesus mentions this; Luke 19:41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace– but now it is hidden from your eyes.
43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.
44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Notice Jesus said they did not recognize the timing of His Coming.

Question two: Why not be tolerant of other religions such as Muslim, Buddhist, etc as long as it does not effect how we believe?
Again Erick and Glady speaks volume’s on this issue. My input is this; Did the Prophet Elijah tolerate the Baal worshipers idol? NO. Did Moses tolerate the idolatry of Egypt and the idolatry of Israel? NO! Did Jesus ever teach His disciples to tolerate Pagans religions? NO! Does Jesus state any where that there are other religions that are valid? NO! He said John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Listen to Paul”s teaching in 2 Corinthians 6. 14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
17 “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
18 “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” We a Bible Christians cannot tolerate what God does not tolerate, PERIOD! Love them and proclaim the Gospel but never tolerate religions offered by the World!

Question three: Do you believe smoking is a sin? if yes or no, what scripture backs your beliefs.
Again Erick and Glady spoke well on this issue. But I do disagree with their personal conviction on this issue. The reason I say this is simple. God defines what sin is and what it is not. The passage used by Paul is 1Corinthians 6:13 “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”– but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”
17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.
19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” Context is important. Paul is talking about Sexual sin. If we as believers tell people that anything that is bad for our bodies would be a sin against the Temple of God, we would be opening Pandora’s box. Caffeine, sugar, salt, eggs, trans fat, soda, most meat, too much sun….have all been determined to be bad for our bodies. So if we practice this passage we must abstain from all these things as well. Right? If a Christian has a conviction that smoking is a sin, stop smoking. Remember, saints of old thought woman should not wear pants because they thought it was a sin. Sin is well defined by God’s Word, we don’t need to add our own convictions on others. If a person is enslaved by smoking or any other substance not describe as a sin in God’s Word, then they need to ask God to help them.
Great discussion! Peace and Love to all!

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Who’s Ministry is it anyway? So many claim to be ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,  but yet their focus seems to be on their careers and finances. I know, here’s another rant from a preacher about money. I know it takes money to live, but I also know that we must live by Faith, not by sight or our abilities to raise money! It is a slap in God’s face for a Church or Minister to be focused on money to carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, instead of Lifting up Jesus in their Preaching  and their Living! Numbers seems to be the focus of most Pastor’s I know. Numbers in the pews, numbers in the financial books to do more programs and numbers of converts to keep up with the Church next door! This seems to be the theme in the Church today! Is this ego driven instead of Love for Christ?  So many articles recently have shown that the incorporated Church is decreasing in numbers. Some have had to cut the salaries of the Pastor and even staff members.  Some Churches have even filed for bankruptcy or even closed their doors.  Is this what Christ had in mind? Where in the Bible does it say that Ministers must raise money to do the work of Christ? Did the Apostle Paul have fund raisers? How about Peter, James, John and any of the other Apostles? How about this question; what did it cost Jesus to win our Salvation? Everything! Whining, grumbling and complaining about doing the Work of Jesus Christ seems to be out of place!  Should it not be a privilege and honor to exalt the Name of Jesus?  I would say turn to Scripture and obey what it says concerning the Ministry.
Matthew 19:25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”  Is not our Love for Jesus the motivation behind Ministry? Does it take money to share the Love of Jesus with others?  Lets look at another Scripture; 2Co 6:3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. 4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses;
5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left;
8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”  Notice Paul makes references in verses 4 and 5 about serving God in spite of monetary distress!  Let look at these scriptures.  2Co 12:14 Now I am ready to visit you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you, because what I want is not your possessions but you. After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.”  Paul is a good example of how all who minister for Jesus Sake should not be a burden.  On the flip side of this arguemment there are these verses. Acts 4:34 “There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”  This is not Socialism but devotion to Christ and His Work!  We will always support that which we Love! The Bible does say however; 1Co 9:11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Don’t you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. 15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast. 16 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. 18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. 19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” Notice Paul’s statements in verse 15 and 16. His argument is to build Christ Kingdom and not receiving monetary funds even though they are available.  All this ranting of mine can be summed up this way; Jesus deserves all we have, period! He should be the focus of Ministry, not the minister, not the people, not the prosperity of the Church, but Jesus alone!  Who’s Ministry is it anyway? Here is the answer!  Mt 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” It Christ Church and He builds His Church through His own Power and our Love for Him.  Mt 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” What is the cost of His Ministry? Everything!  Who’s Ministry is it anyway?

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Everyone who has read the Bible for any length of time has come across certain number combinations. For instance the number three, symbolizing the Trinity or the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are clear from Genesis through Revelation. Seven seems to penetrate our minds from time to time as we read the Word. The number twelve certainly should get our attention. Well how about Forty? It is remarkable that Moses, the great lawgiver of the Jews, previously to his receiving the law from God, fasted forty days in the mount (Ex 34:28); that Elijah, the chief of the prophets, fasted also forty days (1Kings 19:8ff); and that Christ, the giver of the New Covenant, should act in the same way. He was tempted by the Great liar and deceiver of our souls in the desert for forty days and forty nights. (Matthew 4:1-11) Was not all this intended to show, that God’s kingdom on earth was to be spiritual and Divine? Romans 14:17-18 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.” It is also very interesting that Jesus, after His Passion and Resurrection, walked , talked, ate and taught the disciples for Forty days before He was transported to the Right Hand of His Father to make intercession for sinners like us who Trust in Him for Salvation! Is there some deep spiritual, mystical or hidden message behind the number 40? Some might be inclined to spiritualize such things and come up with new teaching or revelation. Would this mean that God is unclear and somewhat schizophrenic? Yes. However, The Triune Godhead is not such a god! He is crystal clear about His plan for the salvation of sinful man. Nothing that God has Revealed about Himself is up to man’s own interpretation. (2Peter 1:20-21) There are other examples of the number forty that have a negative aspect. They show the Judgement of God in increments of forty. Genesis 7:4 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” God had enough of the wickedness and rebellion of mankind! Numbers 14:33-34 Your children will be shepherds here for forty years, suffering for your unfaithfulness, until the last of your bodies lies in the desert. For forty years– one year for each of the forty days you explored the land– you will suffer for your sins and know what it is like to have me against you.’ The Israelites rebelled and crumbled against God’s plan and we see His Righteous Judgement. So what shall we conclude about the number forty? To answer that I would like to ask a few questions. 1). What was Elijah, Moses and Jesus doing that may give us examples to bring us to maturity in the faith? 2). Am I willing to be used by God for His Purpose? For instance, praying and fasting 40 days. 3). Am I willing to go back and study the references given by the devotion writer? After all we are seeking the Knowledge of the Holy, are we not?

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Don’t judge me! The Bible says we are not to judge! He who is without sin cast the first stone! These statements are Lies! Yes, I said Lies! Many who call themselves Christian have and do continue to believe lies. How, you may ask, do I know this? Because the Bible does not say these things, unless you take the Bible out of context. Read the Bible in context! Here are the examples: Mt 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Jesus does say that and most Christians stop there. But now listen to the context. “Mt 7:3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Context changes everything does it not? Sure it does. The Bible judges when taken in context. Now we know we are to judge ourselves first by recognizing our own sins and shortcomings, then we can help our brother or sister with theirs. Do not judge self-righteously! Romans 2:3 So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Next, look at this lie. John 8:3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”
6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Jesus did say that, right? Here is the context. John 8:8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Makes a big difference when you finish the context! Most do not like when Jesus says “leave your life of sin!” So if we call ourselves Christian we need to read the Bible in context and then obey what it truly says and not twist the words to justify ourselves! The Bible judges us. Listen to this. “Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are– yet was without sin.
16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
So the next time you find yourself or someone else speaking lies like; Don’t judge me, the Bible says we are not to judge, he who is without sin cast the first stone, we really need to deal with our walk with the Lord Jesus! Something to ponder.

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