WHERE WILL WE SPEND ETERNITY?
“The body without the spirit is dead” – James 2:26 One thing we can prove without doubt there is a much higher form of life then we have here on earth. We prove this to be true by the choice of our free will. Something to consider: In the beginning mankind was created to live forever, to never die. My mother, my dad, my sister who once were alive, died. When deceased you can talk to the body but there is no response. The body is cold and lifeless. That part which made them talk, walk, act, think has left; only the body is left behind.
The spirit has left the body. WHERE DID THAT PART GO? Where will my spirit spend eternity? God gave every human being on earth He created a free will to choose. Jesus is the only divine being who came to give His life for our sins that we may be with God forever. By our free will we choose by asking Jesus to forgive us our sins. We are justified by our sayings and fulfill what Jesus came to do. Our spirit reunites with our creator. John 10:9 – “I am the door: by me if ANY MAN enter in, he shall be saved …” CHRISTIANITY IS: REALITY WITH MERCY, PEACE, LOVE, AND GRACE MULTIPLIED WHERE WILL WE SPEND ETERNITY? “The body without the spirit is dead” – James 2:26 One thing we can prove without doubt there is a much higher form of life then we have here on earth. We prove this to be true by the choice of our free will. Something to consider: In the beginning mankind was created to live forever, to never die. My mother, my dad, my sister who once were alive, died. When deceased you can talk to the body but there is no response. The body is cold and lifeless. That part which made them talk, walk, act, think has left; only the body is left behind.
The spirit has left the body. WHERE DID THAT PART GO? Where will my spirit spend eternity? God gave every human being on earth He created a free will to choose. Jesus is the only divine being who came to give His life for our sins that we may be with God forever. By our free will we choose by asking Jesus to forgive us our sins. We are justified by our sayings and fulfill what Jesus came to do. Our spirit reunites with our creator. John 10:9 – “I am the door: by me if ANY MAN enter in, he shall be saved …” CHRISTIANITY IS: REALITY WITH MERCY, PEACE, LOVE, AND GRACE MULTIPLIED
What is Missing in Your Life?
If you could change anything in your life, what would it be?
Feelings of dissatisfaction or emptiness are usually Lead to depression.
Most people find things more important than relationships.
Mark 10:17-27 tells a story about a man who knew something was missing in his life. He ran to Jesus, knelt down before Him, and asked, “Good Teacher,what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (v. 17).
You can have it all yet still feel like something is missing.
The young man in this story had everything the world values—wealth, youth, possessions, position, and authority. There’s nothing wrong with having any of these,
. We should be grateful
for whatever the Lord gives us, but our love is to be directed toward Him, not toward the things of this earthly life (1 John 2:15).
Our love for material possessions can cause us to miss the most important thing in life.
Multitudes of people today live in big houses in nice neighborhoods with an abundance of material goods, never realizing their need for eternal life. Others feel the emptiness, but attempt to fill it with the pleasures and pursuits of this world. And some people are running away from the Lord rather than to Him, denying their need for a Savior. They forget that death comes to all men and after that is the judgment (Heb. 9:27).
The gift of eternal life is not the result of our good works.
. But the Bible clearly states that we are not saved by good works but by grace through faith in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:8-9).
Jesus loves us even when we make wrong choices. Repentance brings us back to the will of God.
People reject Christ’s offer of salvation for three reasons:
Unbelief. He couldn’t accept what Jesus said or entrust his future into His hands.
Self-righteousness. He trusted in his own goodness as the means for God’s acceptance.
Love of the world. He would not let go of his wealth and possessions in order to follow Christ.
Jesus acknowledges that it is very difficult for the wealthy to enter heaven.
Do you feel like something is missing in your life? If so, what do you think is causing this sense of emptiness? If you ran to Jesus with this need, what would He tell you to do? Are you willing to let go of whatever He says to relinquish? Is there anything that is causing you to resist following Christ fully? What kinds of things tend to own you rather than you owning them?
7 Ways To Spring Clean Your Life
Spring cleaning is a time when we clean out the mess, open the windows and let the warmth and light shine in. Here are seven ways to spring clean your life:
- Clean out Pride and replace it with Humility.
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)
He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. (Psalm 25:9)
2) Clean out Anger and replace it with Self Control.
An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins. (Proverbs 29:22)
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
3) Clean out Unbelief and replace it with Faith.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3:12-13)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
4) Clean out Revenge, and replace it with Forgiveness.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”says the Lord. (Romans12: 17-19)
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9)
5) Clean out Complaining and replace it with Praise.
Do everything without complaining or arguing. (Philippians 2:14)
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased (Hebrews 13:15-16)
6) Clean out Wicked Thoughts and replace them with Pure Thoughts
The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.(Matthew 15:18-19)
Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
7) Clean out Gossip and replace it with Encouragement.
Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down. (Proverbs 26:20)
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:29-32)
4 TYPES OF CHRISTIANS
As we read through the New Testament we find at least four types of Christians.
1) The Dead Christian
“I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” – Revelation 3:1
The first type of Christian we find is one who is a Christian in name only. The Dead Christian may go to church, and may even claim to follow Christ, but hasn’t truly come to Him for forgiveness.
Jesus addressed the Dead Christian in Revelation 3:2-3 when He told them, “I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.”
What is the work of God He found to be incomplete? John 6:29 tells us that “the work of God is that you believe in him whom he has sent.” And what is it we’re to believe? We find the answer to that in 1 John 5:11-13, “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.”
Once a person believes in, and calls on Christ to forgive them, they are forgiven and are “made alive” in Him (1 Cor 15:22).
2) The Bound Christian
“You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature… serve one another in love.” – Galatians 5:13a
The next type of Christian we want to look at is the Bound Christian. This is a Christian who is alive in Christ, but is bound by sin, and this hinders his relationship with the Lord.
Romans 6:16 warns that “when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness.”
And Galatians 5:17 tells us of a battle that wages between the Spirit and the flesh. “The desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
We follow the Spirit when we “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires” and produce the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-24)
We’ll stumble in our walk, but when we do, “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
We don’t have to be slaves to sin. We can be slaves to righteousness if we follow the Lord’s ways. Romans 6:17-18 gives “thanks to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.”
3) The Loner Christian
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:22-25
The third type of Christian is the Loner Christian. The Loner Christian is alive in Christ and enjoys fellowship with God. His life is full of blessings but the Loner Christian is keeping his blessings to himself.
Jesus said He came so that we “may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Christianity is a faith that should be lived through both our words and our actions.
Jesus told Peter in John 21:17 that if he loved Him he would care for His followers. We’re all blessed with some sort of gift. Some are good at encouraging, some are able to teach, some love to pray, others have the gift of compassion. There are many different types of gifts but what they all have in common is the gifts God gives us are designed to serve others. This stands in sharp contrast to the world which put its emphasis on serving yourself.
4) The Complete Christian
“We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – Ephesians 2:10
The final type of Christian we want to talk about is the Complete Christian. We call him complete because he alive in Christ, has a strong relationship with God and is a blessing to everyone around him.
We are encouraged in Matthew 5:16 to “let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
We should live our lives in a way that when people see us, they see Jesus, and God is glorified. When we came to Christ we took all the blessings that go along with it. Forgiveness from sin, freedom from sin, fellowship with God and the honor of representing the living God to the dying world.
15 Verses for when you are feeling Discouraged
Psalm 34:17-19 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah 42:16 And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Matthew 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
The Golden Rule
In Luke 6:31-36, Jesus gives us the standard that He wants us to live by. We are not to live by the standard of the world. We are to rise above the standard of the world. We are to be better than those around us. How do we do this? Jesus explains it to us in very clear detail. Do you really understand what Jesus commands us to do?
The Golden Rule Revealed
Most Canadians have heard about the Golden Rule. However, many do not realize that it comes from the Bible. In fact, Jesus is the one who gave it to us. Being a busy body looking for gossip one does not love his neighbour. By gossiping we destroy other people’s reputation and eventually their faith.
Luke 6:31 (NIV): “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
This is the Golden Rule. But how many of us really follow it. When someone does something bad to us, what is our first reaction? We want to get even. We want to show them how bad they hurt us. We want them to feel what we felt.
But God is putting forth a much higher standard for His children. He wants us to return good for evil. He wants us to show others that no matter who they are or what they have done, God still loves them.
This is not easy. In fact, in most cases, it is very hard. Jesus has never told us that following Him and doing what is right is easy. In fact, He even warned us that following Him and doing what He commands us will turn the world against us. Jesus says in Matthew 10:22 (NIV): “All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Who are we living for and why are we alive? Is it to please men or to please God? If we want to please men, life will be easy for us, but only for a short while. If we want to please God, life may be hard for a little while, the will be wonderful for eternity.
Jesus does not leave us without any clues as to how to fulfill this Golden Rule. He gives us many ideas as to how we can fulfill it. Let’s look at some of them.
Reach Out In Love
The first is that we are to love others. But this is not just any kind of love. It is a special love that the world does not know nor understand.
Luke 6:32 (NIV): “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.”
We are to be different than “sinners.” We are not to live on their level. We are to stand above the world. Our job is to show the world what love really is.
Love is not something that we do simply because someone else shows love to us. We are to reach out in love first. We are to start the love exchange.
This is what God did for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV): “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God loves us even while we were rebelling against Him. This is what God wants us to do.
Reach Out By Doing Good Deeds
The next thing is to do good deeds to others and not gossip about them. Again, it is not just doing good deeds like the world does. It is doing good deeds even to those who hate us.
Luke 6:33 (NIV): “And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.”
How does good get into the world? How can people understand what good even is? How can people turn from doing evil if no one shows them what good is?
Jesus is telling us that the world knows how to return good to those who are good to us. However, those who never experience what is good in life will never know about it unless someone shows them what good is and how good it makes them feel when they show goodness to others.
Return Good For Evil
Jesus expands on this by going a step farther. We are to return good for evil. In other words, when someone does something evil toward us, we are to do something good for them.
Luke 6:33 (NIV): “And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that.”
Jesus is telling us that we will not win any points with God by simply doing good to those who do good to us. Everyone with any sense at all does this. Even sinners, that is, those who rebel against God and refuse to live as He designed us to live do this. If this is all we do, we are no better than sinners and God will see us in the same light.
If we want God to recognize what we do, we must do good to all those around us, no matter what kind of lives they live. God did something wonderful for us, even when we didn’t deserve it. He sent His only Son to die on the cross so that we could receive eternal life. We did not deserve it, but He did it just the same.
That is what God wants us to do for others. Do good for others so that they will have the opportunity to see the goodness of God. They will never see it unless we show them. No, not everyone will respond like we want them to. But, at least, we have given them a chance to see what good is and what it can do in their own lives.
Don’t Expect Anything In Return
So that we can really understand what He is saying, Jesus gives us one more teaching. Whatever we do for other people, don’t expect anything in return. If they respond positively, that is wonderful. If they don’t, don’t worry about it, you have done what Jesus expected of you.
Luke 6:35 (NIV): “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
Jesus is saying that people will never know how much God loves them unless His children show that love to them. He says that the best way to do this is to give to them without expecting anything in return.
More people have been won to Jesus through this method than through any other way. For instance, Christians go into a community that needs fresh water. The people are not only overjoyed over getting fresh water to drink, they see something on the faces of the Christians that have done this for them. When they see the joy on their faces, they wonder why are they doing this, why are they so happy because they have done this?
Then they begin wondering, and even asking; “You have something wonderful in your life, I want the same thing.” That opens up the door to talk to them about Jesus. They then accept Jesus because they want the same joy in their lives that the people that helped them have.
Be Merciful Because God is Merciful
Finally, Jesus puts it all in a nutshell. He tells us why we are to do all these things. We are to emulate God in all that we do.
Luke 6:36 (NIV): “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
It is our job, as Christians, to show the love of God to the world. We are not to treat people the way they deserve to be treated (because of their evil and sin) but rather the way that God wants them to be treated.
God does not condemn us just because we rebel against Him. He does not “write us off” because we refuse to live as He designed us to live. He continues to do everything He can to draw us to Him. He will do this until the sinner has made their final decision to not follow Him.
Yes, we determine our own destiny. God gave us a free will and that gives us the responsibility of choosing our own destiny. However, God is merciful and continues to reach out to us and gives us every opportunity to make the right choices.
God is telling us that we need to do the same thing. Reach out to people, no matter what their response is. Be merciful to others and keep giving them the opportunity to make the correct choice that will lead them to eternal life.
Who Are Your Friends
Because God designed us to live together in
relationships, friendships are an important
part of His plan for our lives
Our friends are gifts from the Lord for which
we should be truly grateful. Since they are so
precious, we ought to do all we can to nurture these
relationships and be the kind of friend God wants us
to be. The most important friendship we can have is
with Jesus Christ. When we walk closely with Him,
we’ll become the companion others need and want.
A friend is a treasure who loves you as you are,
sees not only who you are but who you can become,
is there to catch you when you fall, shares your
everyday experiences, accepts your worst but helps
you become your best, understands your past,
believes in your future, accepts you today just as you
are, and comes in when the whole world has gone out.
Although we all desire rich, life-long relationships, the
reality is that sometimes friendships don’t last. This
may be no fault of our own, but sometimes it’s the
result of choosing the wrong type of friend.
The book of Proverbs warns us what kinds of
associations to avoid.
n Do not associate with a gossip (Prov. 20:19). We
need friends we can trust not to share with others
what we have told them in confidence.
n Do not associate with someone given to anger
(Prov. 22:24-25). If we hang around angry people, we
could become like them.
n Do not associate with those given to change
(Prov. 24:21-22). These are friends who are discontent
and disloyal. We never know whether we can trust
them because they are so unsettled in their ways.
n Do not be a companion to someone who is selfindulgent
(Prov. 28:7). This person is only interested
in satisfying himself.
n Do not keep company with immoral people
(Prov. 29:3). They may lure us into following their
n Do not become a companion of fools (Prov. 13:20).
The Bible defines a fool as someone who says there
is no God. Although we are called to interact with
unbelievers in order to lead them to Christ, we
should never be close companions with those who
are trying to live apart from the Lord. As Christians,
we need friends who are devoted to the same God
we are. Otherwise, we could easily be led astray by
those who are going in the opposite direction.
Great friendships don’t just happen; they have
to be built and nurtured.
If we truly love and care for our friends, we will invest
our time and energy in the relationship.
n Spend time together. This is the most important
ingredient and the only way we will truly get to
know each other.
n Talk to each other. Through conversation we learn
more about the other person. As the relationship
progresses, the interaction becomes more personal
n Cry and laugh together. Close friends are willing to
share their hearts with each other in both the joys
and heartaches of life.
n Share accomplishments. Promotions and successes
are a reason to rejoice together.
n Share trials. True friends stay close in times of
trouble or pain and faithfully bear each other’s
SERMON NOTES | SN140406
n Be thankful. Realizing what a blessing friends are,
we should be generous with our gratitude, letting
them know how much we appreciate them.
n Be thoughtful. Everyone wants to feel loved and
remembered. We can reach out to friends with
letters, calls, texts, or small gifts.
n Show tolerance. We all have flaws. We must be
willing to overlook a friend’s words or actions and
freely grant forgiveness.
n Touch. Another important ingredient in friendships
is appropriate physical touch whether it’s a casual
handshake or a more intimate hug.
n Be transparent. Deep friendships require
vulnerability—letting the other person see who we
really are. If we try to cover up and appear perfect,
we limit the relationship.
n Be truthful. This is essential for trust. Friends
need to know that some conversations will be kept
confidential and that they can believe what the
other person says.
Behaviors that destroy friendships
Friendships end for a variety of reasons. Sometimes
this is the result of circumstances, but there are also
some behaviors that may damage the relationship.
n Selfishness. Focusing on ourselves and wanting our
own way will eventually ruin a friendship.
n Manipulation. We should never use or manipulate a
friend to get what we want.
n Possessiveness. Attempting to limit the other
person’s friendships will smother the relationship.
n Jealousy. Trying to control our friends in an
attempt to keep them is a sin, not a sign of love.
n Criticism. If we continually find fault with our
friends, we’ll drive them away.
n Explosive temper. We will very likely hurt others
and do irreparable damage to a relationship if we
are prone to angry outbursts.
n Covetousness. Wanting what someone else has is
selfish and is the opposite of focusing on what’s
best for the other person.
n Disloyalty. Distrust drives a stake between two
people, destroying the friendship.
n Dishonesty. When we try to cover up the ways
we’ve failed our friend instead of admitting our
wrongs, we are being dishonest.
n Busyness. If we are too busy to spend time with our
friend, the relationship will wither.
How to rescue a troubled friendship
If you have a relationship that is in trouble, you must
first decide whether that friendship is worth rescuing
and if you are willing to take the necessary steps to
make it right.
n Admit wrong. Begin by taking responsibility for
your role in damaging the friendship.
n Commit to change. Then promise to make the
changes that are required and be faithful to carry
out your commitment.
n Don’t defend yourself. The goal is to seek
forgiveness, not excuse your behavior.
n Ask what you can do to heal the relationship. This
opens the door for suggestions from the other person.
n Give your friend an opportunity to say what
needs to be said. Then listen and do what you can
to mend the relationship.
n Has the Lord blessed you with good friends with
whom you feel free to share anything? What is it
about these people that draw you together?
n Are you actively building and nurturing your
friendships or have you unintentionally drifted into
neglect of these God-given treasures? How can you
become a better friend to someone else?
n Do you have any troubled friendships? What do you
think has caused the strained relationship? What
can you do to bring healing to that friendship?
Copyright © 2015 by In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only
CHOOSING LIFE OR DEATH
15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
The danger of Spiritual Blindness Hardness of heart (Mind) leads to
1: Sin, driven by passions, emotions and not logic.
2: There is no desire for God,
3: No communion with him,
4: No faith in him.
5: No dependence on him.
6: No true worship.
7: Not willing to live according to his will/commandments.
8: No prayer life.
9: Living for self.
10: Vows, promises and commitments have no meanings.
11: Study in his Word.
12: Not talking and living in his word.
The Dangers of Spiritual Blindness
1– JOHN 2:11 Matthew 6:22-23
Matthew 15:14 The DANGERS of SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
STARTS IN THE MIND:
- First, by not daily meditating on God’s word. Being a BUSYBODY.
- Second, by deliberately considering and living out sin in one’s mind.
- Third, through willful ignorance of God’s truth’s and moral absolutes.
- Fourth, by accepting any suggestion in the mind as if from God without questioning or checking to see if it lines up with God’s Word or past light of God.
- Fifth, by deliberately blanking one’s mind so as to receive suggestions from evil spirits. BLINDNESS OF HEART (MIND) Eph. 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: This is where spiritual blindness starts. It is a blindness that does not appear to the victim. It is, nevertheless, fatal to the soul. It is called ignorance, and blindness of the heart. Those so blinded, are alienated from spiritual life. They are dead, and do not know it! It shows itself by the way one talks and acts in the presence of others. II. INNER DARKNESS Mt 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. Mt 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great [is] that darkness! Singleness of eye represents singleness of purpose. A divided mind is hard to deal with. A person so afflicted is unstable in all of his ways. Indecision is frustrating, and prevents decisive action. But a person who does not know whether he will serve the Lord, or not, and puts off accepting salvation through Jesus Christ, is making a decision through default! Those who can only see what the flesh and the devil desire, will make decisions in the dark! Their decisions will not be influenced by spiritual truths, nor will they be made in the light of eternal interests. III. SEEING NOT PERCEIVING Mt. 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? Mt. 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Mt. 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. The parable (a story or illustration) is not needed for those who have spiritual discernment, but the story is interesting to the spiritually blind and darkened mind. People will listen to a story, who will not listen to truths preached without illustration. They may enjoy the story, and miss the truth it illustrates entirely! Mt. 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: IV. THE WILLFULLY BLIND Mt. 13:15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their mind] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. The worst kind of blindness is WILLFUL blindness. The Pharisees knew that Jesus was from God, yet they condemned him to death for selfish reasons! They were afraid that he would take away their place and their nation! V. THE SPIRITUAL BOTH SEE AND HEAR! Mt. 13:16 But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. Mt. 13:17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous [men] have desired to see [those things] which ye see, and have not seen [them]; and to hear [those things] which ye hear, and have not heard [them]. The prophets only saw through visions from a distance. The disciples saw through personal experience, first hand. We have their record, and through divine inspiration are permitted to see the things of God. Eyes that are open to the truth can see the truth when they accept it from the Lord. We see and believe the things that pertain to eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Mt. 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Those who do not “see” spiritual truths, yet presume to lead others will certainly lead them astray. Those who are led by the blind will fall with them in the end. Mt. 23:16 Woe unto you, [ye] blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Mt. 23:17 [Ye] fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? To those who are greedy of gold, the temple may have little significance, but the holy place is of greater value than that which adorns it, and is sanctified by it. It is greater than any of its components. Is heaven valuable for its streets of gold, or because of its inhabitants? Are the precious stones of their foundations more valuable than the walls? Is the ring on the finger more valuable than the bride who wears it? Obviously not! Mt. 23:19 [Ye] fools and blind: for whether [is] greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Spiritual blindness misplaces true values! Mt. 23:26 [Thou] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that [which is] within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Some people are more interested in appearances than in genuine character. It is better to have inner cleansing than to have only outward show. Inner character will eventually be seen on the outside. VI. SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS Mt. 16:3 And in the morning, [It will be] foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O [ye] hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not [discern] the signs of the times? Every generation is concerned with the signs of the times. We are so concerned today, and it is still true that we cannot see the real need of our generation. Spiritual blindness is so prevalent. When the need for revival seems most urgent, blindness to it is the greatest. Lu. 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Lu. 19:42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. “This thy day” refers to the fact that Christ had come and had offered them their Messiah, which they had expected, but now rejected. It had been their day of salvation! It had been their opportunity as a nation, but it had now passed. Joh. 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. The Jews, as many of us, hated Jesus because he revealed the truth. He was like a search light in their souls. They could not bear to see what the truth revealed. They hated him for making their sins known. Joh. 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. Workers of iniquity love the cover of darkness. They scamper like roaches when the light is turned on. They will do anything to deflect the light from their lives and deeds. Joh. 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. Those who are upright and honest have nothing to hide! They do not fear the light. When their good deeds are discovered by the light of truth, they receive honor. Joh. 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. VII. THOSE WHO FOLLOW JESUS SEE CLEARLY Joh. 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. It is true, that the source of all light is Jesus! He is the light that brings life to the world. He is the light that leads to eternal life! In him is no untruth or falsehood. Those who abide in him will abide in the light of life! Darkness is ignorance, superstition and spiritual blindness. Jesus is the only healer of the spiritually blind. The way to receive spiritual sight, is to confess sin, receive pardon and grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and be saved unto life eternal through his atoning power. Have you received the “Light of Life”? Accept Him today!
Dealing With Busybodies
What bothers most today is a busybody. People who want to always know other peoples affairs. They want to know everything about you or someone else, but never ever tell others about their own affairs, past and present sins.
What Is A Busybody? A busybody is someone who, quite simply, sticks their nose in every ones else business. This sort of person feels as if they need to know everything going on around them, including everyone else’s business. Usually someone with a lot of idle time, the busybody attempts to fill that time by prying into the lives of those around them.
A busybody could be a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend, a family member, or some other person who would otherwise be uninterested. If the busybody is a friend or acquaintance, they are likely a gossip looking for goodies to share with others. If a family member, they may be gossips as well, or simply trying to be the one “in control” of the family. These family members are usually someone outside of your immediate family – an aunt, uncle, brother, sister, parent, or parent-in-law. If someone else, such as a neighbor or otherwise uninterested party, likely this busybody is just someone looking to make trouble by exerting false control over the lives of others.
Busybodies are tattletales. That’s why most gossips are also busybodies. More often busybodies are the investigative reporters for the gossips, uncovering the latest dirt on you for the rumor mill. They have to tell someone about whatever it is they saw about you that they did not like. Usually their information is not complete; they did not see the entire situation or conversation they are nosing into, they may not know whatever inside knowledge may be present (inside jokes, slang, behaviors, etc.). And the busybody, quite frankly, doesn’t care. They are quite ready to act upon their incomplete knowledge by exerting the false control they perceive themselves to possess. They are always inquiring for information and will press forward even though the other person tries to avoid the conversation. If they cannot get it from you they will ask someone else. They always want to be in the know. And if you tell them something they will go and check it out with someone else to see if it correct. There is a saying about friendship. Tell them something and see how far it goes.
We must realize that by asking questions from a busybody, we may be doing everything in our power to forget about a situation and the busybody is trying to open up old wounds and are not willing to stop the questioning. They press on ward. They feel they have a right to know everything like in a court of law.
You could have a bad day at work, or your kids could be having a bad day and throw a fit in public, or it could even be something as mundane and silly as lingering a couple of days before mowing the yard; these are gold mines for busybodies. They are like peeping toms who sneak around and snoop in your windows even your back yard.
Busybodies often make you want to punch them squarely in the nose. Often you may find yourself saying things like:
“Don’t you have more important things to do than worry about what I’m doing?”
“I don’t see how it’s any of your concern…”
“Don’t you have enough on your own plate?”
Often in secular employment workers would tell those employees who would “busybody” their teammates something along these lines: “Why don’t you worry about what you’re supposed to be doing, and let me worry about what they’re supposed to be doing?”
What we lack, obviously, is a God-honoring way to deal with the busybodies in our lives.
What Does Scripture Say? Scripture says that busybodies are idle people who are neglecting their work and go around looking for negative things in the people around them, often to share with others as gossip or to share with an authority figure to make themselves look better (2 Thess. 3:11-12; 1 Tim. 5:13). Busybodies, whether unknowingly or by character, show themselves to be evil-hearted people (Romans 1:28-31). Quite frankly, to be a busybody is to be in sin. See the scripture verses below this article.
How do we deal with those who are in sin?
Pray First, we must pray for the busybody above all else. Looking first to prayer directly combats the desire in us to respond in a less than loving way. When your first impulse is to tell them off, make some sort of appropriately snarky comment, or complain to your boss; take a full two minutes to pray. Pray for the busybody, yourself, and the situation. Prayer forces you to calm down. It forces you to breathe. It lowers your blood pressure. It helps you to clear your thoughts. Most importantly, prayer will force you to think Jesus’ thoughts about the busybody. And when you behave like Jesus, you can respond with grace and truth. 1 Peter 2:23 especially speaks to the kind of behavior Jesus exhibited – refusing to repay evil with evil. Praying will force you to do that!
After praying, you may actually find that you have no need to give the busybody any further time and energy. This is absolutely fantastic – all you needed to do was pray!
Process Second, process what the busybody is saying to you or to others. Have you given the busybody a legitimate reason to butt in? For example, perhaps in the past you had been careless, overlooked something, were ignorant of something, ignored something, or were simply unaware of something. The busybody may simply be harping on a past mistake in hopes you will repeat it or get angry with them, thus giving them the chance to exert their false control. Or perhaps you have continued the observed behavior without realizing it, which gave the busybody ample opportunity to glean the “dirt” they need in order to survive. In this case, thank God for the busybody drawing the item to your attention – the busybody was God’s means of pushing you towards greater sanctification. But what if, after processing, you can think of no legitimate reason for the busybody’s unwanted attentions?
Lovingly confront Third, lovingly confront the busybody. You should do this even with an unbeliever, no matter how much you may think the unbelieving busybody needs to be smacked upside the head with a 2 x 4! Follow the principles outlined in Matthew 18:15-17 scrupulously. First go to the busybody privately and explain to them you do not appreciate what they are doing. Explain to them (yes, use Scripture!) that what they are doing is sin and affects everyone around them. Explain to them how it makes the home, workplace, extended family, etc. an unhealthy place for everyone involved as long as this behavior continues. Ask them point blank to stop.
If the busybody continues to get up in your business, find a couple of trusted neighbors, friends, family, or co-workers and together confront the busybody. If even then the behavior continues, you have a couple of options.
If the busybody is a co-worker, you will then need to discuss the problem with your immediate supervisor. Often a word from management can stop the behavior in its tracks. If your boss does nothing or refuses to address the problem, follow the appropriate steps your work has put into place for dealing with workplace harassment.
If the busybody is a family member, you may need to speak with the person’s parents or spouse about the behavior. Tell them you need your help resolving an issue with the person. A good parent will correct the behavior, and a good spouse will lead their husband or wife to be better people. If they are unmarried, or out of their parents’ home, go to the family member that holds the most influence over the busybody and ask them for help.
If the busybody is a believer, does he/she attend your church? If so, ask your pastor or pertinent pastoral staff member for help. They should help you follow through on the remainder of Matthew 18.
Doesn’t attend your church? Be careful here. It would be best to still go to your pastoral staff for help, as often pastors in a community know each other and are working together in some ways for the good of the community. Initially, do not tell your pastor who the busybody is out of respect for a fellow believer and the other body of Christ involved. If your pastor and the other pastor decide a meeting is needed, then you are free to identify the busybody.
What if the busybody is not a believer? If we have followed the steps outlined above, follow up with the Gospel. A busybody’s greatest need is not to stop their gossipy meddling, but to be transformed by Christ that their minds may be renewed by the Holy Spirit. Remember also that in dealing with one who professes to be a believer, failure to repent and change is a sign that the person is not saved. Our duty then is no longer edifying the body of Christ, but sharing the Gospel and making disciples. Only regeneration and sanctification will change a busybody!
What if there is NO change? If, after all this, the busybody refuses to change their ways, then we have a hard question to ask of you. Are you willing to suffer at the hands of the busybody that God may sanctify you (Romans 5:3-5, 8:16-26; Phil. 1:29; Heb. 2:10, 10:32-36)? Are we willing to “share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus (2 Tim. 2:3)?”
Finally, heed the wise words of 1 Peter 5:10 – “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” Patiently endure the busybody, that you might receive a greater benefit from God himself.
Finally It really is therapeutic to have someone transformed from being a busybody. It reminded us of the high calling to which we have been called, and our Scriptural need to be above thinking like the world. Instead, we need to be transformed in our mind (Romans 12:2) that we may present Christ clearly to the busybody through our words and actions. It is our obligation to tell them that they need to stop to be busybodies. It’s God’s command.
We are now far calmer than we when we began writing this post. We are more clearheaded. And we are actually at the point where we simply don’t care anymore. That, my friends, is exactly what God wants from us– to care more about HIS nosiness than that of the WORLD!
Bible Verses About Busybodies
Bible verses related to Busybodies from the King James Version (KJV) by Relevance
1 Timothy 5:13 – And withal they learn [to be] idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. 2 Thessalonians 3:11 – For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 – And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 1 Peter 4:15 – But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Proverbs 20:3 – [It is] an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling. 2 Thessalonians 3:6 – Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 1 Timothy 5:18 – For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer [is] worthy of his reward. 1 Timothy 5:8 – But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 2 Thessalonians 3:14 – And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Leviticus 19:16 – Thou shalt not go up and down [as] a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I [am] the LORD. 2 Thessalonians 3:12 – Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. Proverbs 18:9 – He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster. 1 Peter 3:7 – Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 1 Corinthians 16:1 – Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Proverbs 24:2 – For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief. Proverbs 20:4 – The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; [therefore] shall he beg in harvest, and [have] nothing. Titus 2:5 – [To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:3 – The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 1 Timothy 5:9 – Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Ephesians 4:28 – Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with [his] hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 2 Corinthians 6:1 – We then, [as] workers together [with him], beseech [you] also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 1 Corinthians 16:2 – Upon the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as [God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 1 Corinthians 11:18-19 – For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. (Read More…) 1 Corinthians 11:3 – But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God. 1 Corinthians 11:2 – Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered [them] to you. 1 Corinthians 11:1-34 – Be ye followers of me, even as I also [am] of Christ. (Read More…) 1 Corinthians 6:12 – All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 1 Corinthians 6:9 – Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Romans 10:17 – So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:9 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:12 – Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Acts 20:7 – And upon the first [day] of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight. Acts 17:11 – These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Acts 2:45 – And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all [men], as every man had need. Acts 2:42 – And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. John 21:25 – And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen. John 20:30 – And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: John 3:1-36 – There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: (Read More…) Luke 13:3 – I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 10:7 – And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. Mark 16:16 – He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 7:6 – He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with [their] lips, but their heart is far from me. Matthew 18:17 – And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell [it] unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Matthew 15:6 – And honour not his father or his mother, [he shall be free]. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Matthew 15:3 – But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? Matthew 7:22-23 – Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (Read More…) Isaiah 8:20 – To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them. Proverbs 30:5 – Every word of God [is] pure: he [is] a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Proverbs 18:8 – The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Proverbs 13:4 – The soul of the sluggard desireth, and [hath] nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat. 2 Kings 1:1-18 – Then Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. (Read More…) 2 Samuel 1:1-27 – Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag; (Read More…) Ruth 1:1-22 – Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons. (Read More…) Joshua 1:7 – Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Deuteronomy 31:9 – And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel. Deuteronomy 12:32 – What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Deuteronomy 4:2 – Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. Deuteronomy 4:1-49 – Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do [them], that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. (Read More…) Exodus 34:27 – And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. Exodus 24:7 – And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient. Exodus 24:4 – And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. Genesis 3:16 – Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Genesis 2:18 – And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:15 – And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. Revelation 22:18 – For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: Jude 1:3 – Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 2 Peter 1:19 – We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: James 1:1-27 – James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. (Read More…) 2 Timothy 3:15 – And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:2 – And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 1 Timothy 5:10 – Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. 1 Timothy 5:1-25 – Rebuke not an elder, but intreat [him] as a father; [and] the younger men as brethren; (Read More…) 1 Timothy 2:5 – For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 2 Thessalonians 2:15 – Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 2 Thessalonians 2:2 – That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 – Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 – Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: (Read More…) Colossians 1:18 – And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. Colossians 1:1-29 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus [our] brother, (Read More…) Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:1-23 – Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, [my] dearly beloved. (Read More…) Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:19 – Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Ephesians 5:1-33 – Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (Read More…) Ephesians 2:1-22 – And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; (Read More…) 1 Corinthians 4:6 – And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and [to] Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think [of men] above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. Romans 1:1-32 – Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Read More…) Matthew 23:4 – For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay [them] on men’s shoulders; but they [themselves] will not move them with one of their fingers.
Jesus quoted. Before you ask others about their affairs, check and see what your own affairs are like” For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
The ABC’s of Salvation
A. Admit you have sinned.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
B. Believe in the Savior.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
C. Confess and forsake your sin.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, please let us know so we can pray for you.
Evil deeds that God does not forgive
WHO YOU REALLY ARE
2 Tim; 3:17
2 Cor. 12:9
2 Kings: 17:4-11
WHAT JESUS ASKS OF US
MESSAGE TO EACH OF US
Living in sin is bondage
I know your works
I have these things against you
Rebukes us, vomit us out
Repentance is the answer
If you do not obey God, you are under a curse. ( judgement)
Demons have power, but no authority
Followers of Jesus have power and authority
We like to study each verse of the Bible separately. But sometimes that method is not right. Each verse belongs in a longer passage. And sometimes we must understand the whole passage before we can understand the separate verses.
Hebrews 10:26 has caused difficulties for many people. The problem is that every Christian sometimes does wrong things on purpose. And that situation is what the verse seems to describe. That is why we need to look at the whole passage. Clearly, the author does not think that all Christians have lost their relationship with God.
We will find our explanation in Hebrews 10:29. There the author will explain what these people have done. But in Hebrews 10:26 the author just explains their attitude. On purpose they decided to do something that they knew to be very wrong. They have acted as if the most holy things are completely without value. And they intended to do that.
People’s attitudes matter very much to God. And that is especially true when they do wrong things. God allowed people to offer animals as sacrifices (gifts to God) when they did not do those wrong things on purpose (Numbers 15:22-29). But God did not accept sacrifices when a person decided on purpose to oppose God. If someone hated God so much, they could only expect punishment (Numbers 15:30-31).
Like everybody else, Christians do evil things. Their behaviour becomes even worse when they do those things on purpose. They ought to know what God’s law says about those things. So they should be humble, and they should confess their evil deeds to God. And when they do that, God promises to forgive (1 John 1:8-10).
When God shows no mercy Hebrews 10:27-28
Sometimes a person decides, on purpose, to oppose God in a very extreme manner. Perhaps that person attacks God’s people or destroys God’s house. Or perhaps that person deals with a holy thing in a manner that shows complete disgust. Such a person can only expect God’s anger and a terrible punishment. Sometimes the judge is another person (for example, Leviticus 24:23). Sometimes God himself acts as the judge (Numbers chapter 16). In the end, of course, God is the judge of everyone (Genesis 18:25).
People who act as judges sometimes make mistakes. But God never does anything wrong. All his judgements are right and proper.
God’s law told judges not to issue judgements unless there were two or three witnesses. And they could not trust only one witness, because sometimes witnesses speak lies (Deuteronomy 19:15). But God needs no witnesses when he is the judge. He already knows the truth about everyone and everything.
God’s law ordered the judges not to show mercy (for example, Deuteronomy 19:21). ‘Mercy’ means special kindness to a guilty person. Israel’s judges had a duty to be strict. The law (and not the judge’s emotions) must guide the judge’s decision.
David once said that he wanted God to be his judge (2 Samuel 24:14). David’s reason was that God’s mercy is great. He can forgive even very wicked people who change their attitudes (Ezekiel 18:23).
Three men who received God’s mercy were Manasseh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Saul (afterwards called Paul). They all had done terrible things against God’s people, God’s house, or both (See 2 Chronicles 33:1-9; 2 Chronicles 36:17-19 and Acts 22:4). But afterwards, they changed their attitudes. They became humble in front of God. And each of them decided to serve God (2 Chronicles 33:12-13; Daniel 4:28-37; Acts 22:6-16).
These men had made themselves enemies of God. They deserved only his anger and his judgement. But instead they received his mercy.
But we must not imagine that everyone will receive God’s mercy. If people do not change their evil attitudes, God will never forgive them. If human judges do not punish God’s enemies, then God will certainly issue his judgement against them. And then there will be no mercy.
The worst sins Hebrews 10:29
An evil deed is especially terrible if a person carries it out against the holy things of God. It is even worse if a person does it on purpose (Hebrews 10:26). God’s punishment against that person will be severe (Hebrews 10:27-28).
The author of Hebrews refers to three crimes that existed under the old covenant (God’s relationship with Israel). And then he shows how each crime can happen now. In fact, it is even worse if people do these things now. Formerly, people carried out such acts against the temple (God’s house in Jerusalem). But that was a copy, and now we have the reality (Hebrews 9:23; Hebrews 10:1). So these crimes are even more terrible now. They are crimes against the most holy things that exist.
- To trample on the Son of God. To ‘trample’ means to walk in a heavy manner, as if you intend to destroy something under your feet. Under the old covenant, it was a crime to trample in a holy place. In fact, it was a serious crime even to enter God’s temple unless you were a priest. So to trample there was an especially careless and nasty thing to do. A person would only do it on purpose if he hated God. That person would do it because he wanted to offend God. And the only proper punishment was death.
The temple was a copy, but God’s Son is the reality (John 2:21). It is a terrible thing to act in a careless or nasty manner towards God’s Son. It is a terrible thing to hate Christ, who died for you. It is a terrible thing to act as if he is completely without value.
Peter wrote about people who were doing such a thing (2 Peter 2:1-3). They pretended to be Christian teachers. But really, they did not care about Christ. They were using Christ as a means to teach their own ideas, which were false and dangerous. They were jealous men who used the Christians to make profits for themselves. Jude also wrote about them (Jude 8-13).
- To behave as if the blood of the covenant is an unclean substance. The covenant means the agreement that establishes the relationship between God and his people.
The animals that people gave to God were holy. God gave careful instructions about what should happen to those animals (Leviticus chapters 1 to 7). When priests did not obey those rules on purpose, their behaviour was very evil (1 Samuel 2:12-17).
The blood of the sacrifices (the animals that people gave to God) was especially important. It is because of the blood that God can forgive people (Leviticus 17:11). It is the blood that establishes the covenant (Hebrews 9:18). It is by the blood that God makes both people and objects holy (Hebrews 9:19-22).
But, of course, the blood of animals did not really free people from their sins (evil deeds). The reality is what Christ did by his death. Only the death of Christ can really free people from their sins. Only the death of Christ can really make people holy. It is his death that established the new covenant between God and his people (Hebrews 9:14-16). And that is what the author means here by ‘the blood of the covenant’.
People ought to consider the blood of Christ precious. Peter wrote that it is much more precious than silver or gold (1 Peter 1:18-19). But it is terrible not to be grateful to God for what Christ has done for you. And it is even worse to behave as if Christ’s death disgusts you.
- Blasphemy against God’s Holy Spirit. Christ said that God never forgives this sin (Mark 3:29). ‘Blasphemy’ means evil words, but the person’s attitude matters very much too. We can see that from Hebrews 10:26. This is the attitude of someone who hates God with a complete hate. And that is not just an emotion that will change. It is a decision that the person has made on purpose. That person never wants God to forgive him; and God will never forgive him.
Really, the three crimes in Hebrews 10:29 are all the same sin. The author has mentioned this sin before, in Hebrews 6:4-6. This time he describes it in three different ways in order to emphasise how terrible it is.
God is the judge of Christian leaders, too Hebrews 10:30
The author reminds his readers about Israel’s history with words from Deuteronomy 32:35-36. And he says that the same things are true about Christians today.
We have been studying about people who carry out evil acts against God’s holy things. In ancient Israel, it was not foreigners who carried out the worst acts against God’s holy things. It was certain leaders in Israel (see Leviticus 10:1; Numbers 16:1-3; Numbers 25:6-14). It was Israel’s own leaders who set up false gods in Israel (1 Kings 11:6-7; 1 Kings 12:26-33). And it was Israel’s own leaders who persuaded Israel’s people not to be loyal to God (for example, 2 Kings 21:9-12).
It was against those leaders that God originally spoke these words. He had a right to vengeance (that is, a right to punish his enemies). So they would certainly not avoid their punishment. God is the judge who will rescue his people. And all his judgements are right and proper.
The first Christians had many enemies. Those enemies attacked them, and sometimes they killed them. But the Christians remained loyal to God.
However, the first Christians suffered even more because of a different kind of trouble. This trouble came from people who belonged to their churches. In fact, they were leaders in the churches. But they were not sincere. They were using their authority in the church to benefit themselves. They were teaching things that the Bible does not teach. Like those ancient leaders in Israel, they did not really care about people’s relationships with God. They cared much more about their own authority, wealth or desires. And they knew that they were doing these wrong things.
The authors of the New Testament (the first Christian books) realised how serious this situation was. And they often warned about it (Acts 20:30; Galatians 5:7-10; 1 Timothy 6:3-5; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 2:18-19; Jude 8-16; Revelation 2:20).
Through history, there have been many Christian leaders who have urged Christians not to be loyal to God. Or, they have acted in a manner that can spoil people’s relationship with God. Jesus warned that this is a very terrible thing to do (Mark 9:42).
Such behaviour is a sin (evil action) against the holy things of God. God considers that his people are holy. And they are much more holy than any sacred building or object that exists today. God has made his people holy by the blood (death) of his own Son, Jesus Christ
How people may offend against God’s most holy things Hebrews 10:31
The author of Hebrews has just warned how terrible it is to sin (do wrong things) against God’s most holy things. But Christian leaders must warn about many things. So the author adds a sentence to emphasise how important this subject is. God himself will punish the person who sins on purpose against his holy things. It is the most terrible evil deed that any person could ever carry out. And God, who is the living God, will certainly act against that person.
It is right to feel fear if we choose on purpose to offend God.
- A Christian leader who decides not to teach the truth about the Bible ought to be afraid. He has offended both against God’s holy Word and against God’s holy people.
- Someone who uses his connection with a church in order to satisfy evil desires ought to be afraid too. God’s church is holy and the people in it are holy, too. In other words, they belong to God. The person who offends against even one of them, offends God (Mark 9:42).
- Sometimes people see something that God has done by his Holy Spirit. They know that it is God’s work. But they pretend, on purpose, that it is not God’s work. Such people ought to be afraid. You can read what Jesus warned about such behaviour in Mark 3:22-29. Everything that God does is holy. And if a person laughs at it, that person insults God.
- Someone may want to have more authority in the church. So he acts as if Christ is not really important in the church today. That person speaks about the great things that he himself has done, instead of the greatness of Christ. Such a person insults God’s Son. And God’s Son is very holy. God is angry with such behaviour.
- And some church leaders are afraid of what other people may say. So they decide not to speak about Christ’s death. Instead, those leaders ought to be afraid of God. Christ’s death is very holy and it makes people holy. There is no other way that God will save people. Christians ought to declare it at every opportunity (2 Timothy 4:2). They must never neglect the message of the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18).
God has many ways to warn those who do such things. But some people still decide, on purpose, that they want to do these things. They will certainly not avoid God’s punishment.
How to be strong during troubles Hebrews 10:32-33
In his famous parable of the sower (a story about a man who sowed seeds), Jesus discussed the different reactions of people to God’s message (Mark 4:1-20). If seed falls on a path, birds eat it immediately. That seed cannot even start to grow or to produce a harvest. That is like people who do not accept God’s message.
Seed that falls on good ground grows well. And it produces a harvest. That is like the people who accept God’s message. They develop and grow (become mature) in their Christian lives. And they produce the results that God wants from their lives.
But it is the other groups of seed that interest us here. They start well. But still they do not produce a harvest. It is possible to begin a Christian life well, but never to produce the results that God wants. And that fact caused the author of Hebrews to worry about his original readers.
When they became Christians, they were so patient in their many troubles. But they lack that quality now (Hebrews 10:36). They trusted God about the future then (Hebrews 10:34). But now they were not behaving like people who trust God (Hebrews 6:12). They gladly received God’s message then. But now they did not want to hear God’s message (Hebrews 5:11-12).
This passage reminds us how many troubles the first Christians had. It was not easy to be a Christian then. Christians had many cruel enemies. But we also see how much the first Christians loved each other.
And so the author urges them. You did not do all that in vain, he seems to say. Return to the relationship with God that you once had. Do not neglect your hope and trust in God. Be patient in your troubles, and he will reward you.
RENEWING THE MIND
- Representative Biblical references
- Attitudes of mind that need to be renewed Rom. 1:28 – “a depraved mind, to do things which are not proper” Rom. 8:5,7 – “mind set on the flesh” * Rom. 12:16 – “haughty in mind” * II Cor. 4:4 – “blinded the minds of unbelieving” II Cor. 11:3 – “minds led astray from simplicity and purity to Christ” * Eph. 2:3 – “the desires of the flesh and of the mind” Eph. 4:17 – “the futility of their mind” * Phil. 3:19 – “set their minds on earthly things” * Col. 1:21 – “alienated and hostile in mind” Col. 2:18 – “inflated without cause by a fleshly mind” * Titus 1:15 – “their mind and their conscience are defiled” * B. Calls for renewal Rom. 12:2 – “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” * II Cor. 4:16 – “our inner man is being renewed day by day” * Eph. 4:23 – “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” * Col. 3:10 – “the new man is being renewed to a true knowledge…” * Titus 3:5 – “renewing by the Holy Spirit” C. Attitudes of a renewed mind Isa. 26:3 – “the steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace” Jere. 17:10 – “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind” Jere. 20:12 – “The Lord who seest the mind and the heart” Matt. 22:37 – “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” * Rom. 14:5 – “let each man be fully convinced in his own mind” * I Cor. 2:16 – “we have the mind of Christ” Phil. 2:5 – “have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus” * Phil. 4:8 – “whatever is true, right, pure…let your mind dwell on these…” * Col. 3:2 – “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” * Heb. 8:10; 10:16 – “I will put my laws into their minds” I Pet. 1:13 – “gird your minds for action” * Rev. 2:23 – “I am He who searches the minds and hearts”
- Why does the mind need to be renewed?
- The mind has been programmed with natural “established attitudes” 1. These are the beliefs, thoughts, ideas, opinions, convictions, prejudices that we have concerning ourselves, others, objects, activities, God, etc. 2. How were these formed? a. recommendation (1) of parents (2) of educational system (3) of society (books, television, movies, etc.) (4) of religious training b. reflection (1) personal observation (2) personal experience (3) personal compromise 3. These “established attitudes” permeated with fleshly “personal interest” of selfishness and sinfulness. a. Act: personal aspiration, gratification, reputation b. React: fight, fright, flight B. If there was a mental-video device that could record all the thoughts that go through your mind, would you want to play it back for everyone? 1. God knows our every thought Jere. 17:10 – “I, the Lord, search the heart; I test the mind” Jere. 20:12 – “The Lord seest the mind and the heart” Rev. 2:23 – “I am He who searches the minds and hearts” 2. Does this not reveal the necessity of renewing the mind? C. The mind needs to be renewed with Godly “established attitudes” 1. Initial and continual renewal of the mind a. Initial renewal – regenerative renewal Titus 3:5 – “regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” I Cor. 2:16 – “you have the mind of Christ” Heb. 8:10; 10:16 – “I will put my laws in their hearts” b. Continual renewal – sanctifying renewal Phil. 2:5 – “Have this mind in you which was in Christ” Phil. 4:8 – “whatever is true, right, pure…let minds dwell Col. 3:2 – “set your minds on things above” 2. The thoughts and attitudes of the mind serve as the conduits which allow for the mobilization of Godly behavior by divine energizing. Prov. 23:7 – “As a man thinks in his soul, so is he (in behavior) I Pet. 1:13 – “gird your minds for action” D. The combination of our “established attitudes” develop into a “mind-set” 1. Mind-set about ourselves a. false sense of identity b. external orientation – “how do I look?” c. guilt – attitudes of worthlessness, inferiority 2. Mind-set about other people a. people pleasing – self-conscious b. vain imaginations – fears, phobias c. attitudes of anger, impatience, hate, bitterness, resentment, revenge, suspicion, criticism, jealousy, unforgiveness, blame, depression, co-dependency 3. Mind-set about things a. materialism – “what am I going to buy next?” b. love things – use people c. addictions to substances, objects, etc. 4. Mind-set about ideas a. quest for knowledge b. desire to be correct, accurate, right 5. Mind-set about situations a. what might happen; the hypothetical – worry b. panic about inability to cope 6. Mind-set about God a. irrelevant, archaic, out-moded, unnecessary b. external, peripheral safety net; mystical, magical
III. How can the mind be renewed to develop Godly “established attitudes”?
- Established attitudes re-formed to coincide with God’s attitudes 1. Consistent with His character – purity, righteousness, love, joy 2. “Made new again” a. Greek anakainoo: ana=again; kainos=new b. Greek ananeoo: ana=again; neos=new 3. In accord with the a. newness of life in Jesus Christ – Rom. 6:4 b. newness of the Spirit – Rom. 7:6 c. new covenant – Heb. 8:8,13 d. new and living way – Heb. 10:20 e. new creature – II Cor. 5:17 f. new man – Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10 B. Basis of Godly “established attitudes” is God’s revelation of Himself 1. Natural revelation Ps. 19:1,2 – “the heavens declare the glory of God…” Rom. 1:20 – “His attributes have been seen…through what he made” 2. Incarnational revelation Lk. 10:22 – “the Son will reveal Him” Jn. 1:18 – “He has explained Him” 3. Biblical revelation II Tim. 3:16 – “all Scripture is inspired by God” Not just Bible knowledge of Bible data or trivia 4. Personal revelation Phil. 3:15 – “God will reveal it to you” Rom. 14:5 – “let each man be fully convinced in his own mind” C. Requires personal discipline to renew Godly established attitudes. I Tim. 4:7 – “discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” 1. Undisciplined minds and thinking retain natural attitudes 2. This is not the self-discipline of self-effort 3. We must discipline (exercise) our minds and thoughts to allow for Godly action mobilized through Godly established attitudes D. A “mind-set” settled on God and His activity. 1. A “steadfast mind” set on the things of God Prov. 16:3 – “your thoughts shall be established” Isa. 26:3 – “the steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace” a. Not an idle mind – daydreaming, procrastinating, wasting time, fantasizing b. Mind set on God’s character and His ways Phil. 4:8 – “whatever is true, right, pure…let your mind dwell on these…” Col. 3:2 – “set your mind on things above… 2. A “mind-set” that spontaneously thinks of God and His activity a. “Yes, Lord” (1) temptation (2) worship b. Joy – Phil. 4:4; I Thess. 5:16 c. Laughter – Prov. 15:13; 17:22 d. Song in your heart – Eph. 5:19 e. Love for others – Rom. 5:5; Jn. 13:34 E. Practical necessity of “renewing of mind” for Godly behavior 1. Change in form of thinking and behavior (transformation) comes as an indirect result of renewal of mind – Rom. 12:2 2. Cannot reverse: External nonconformity does not lead to behavioral transformation – Col. 2:20-23 3. Based on spiritual regeneration and becoming a “new man” in Christ, the Christian has the indwelling spiritual sufficiency to engage in the renewing of the mind that allows for divinely empowered Christian behavior – Eph. 4:23; Col. 3:10
Condemnation versus Conviction
A lot of believers hear condemning thoughts, and some believers even think it’s God telling them these things. My friend, nothing could be further from the truth! God NEVER tells you what a loser you are. Jesus said He came not to condemn the world, but to save it (John 12:47)!
What is condemnation?
Condemnation comes from Satan and is meant to tear you down. Condemnation continually points out what a failure you are, and how badly you’ve messed up. Condemnation is showing you the problem, but avoiding the solution.
Jesus did NOT come to condemn the world (John 12:47). There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Satan on the other hand is KNOWN for accusing the brethren (Rev 12:10).
Why won’t you ever hear God telling you what a failure you are? Because Jesus said, “I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:47)
What is conviction?
Conviction is known in the Bible as Godly sorrow. God’s Word tells us that Godly sorrow is what leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Condemnation tells you, “You are such a failure! Look at what you did!” while conviction tells you, “Come to me… and I will forgive you!”
Not only is God willing to forgive your sins, but He longs (deeply desires) to do so! Isaiah 30:18, “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.” (NASB)
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”
Romans 2:4, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
Conviction shows you the answer to your problem. Conviction shows you the blood of Jesus that wipes away your sins!
What is the difference?
conviction shows you the answer (the Blood of Jesus, which washes away sin), while condemnation shows you the problem (the sin, the past and your failures). Condemnation shows you the problem, but conviction shows you the answer.
Condemnation shouts, “Your past! Your sins! You loser!” But conviction shouts, “The Blood of Jesus washes away sins! Come to Jesus and be forgiven of your sins! You can be forgiven! Your sins and past don’t have to be a part of you anymore!”
Understanding the nature of God’s forgiveness
It’s so important to understand the nature of God’s forgiveness and His desire to wash us clean from our pasts. The Forgiveness of Sins is a great teaching that will show you the nature of God’s forgiveness.
What Does The Bible Say About Giving Thanks? 1: The Psalmist wrote: “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.” (Psalm 9:1a) We can choose to grumble or we can choose to give thanks for what we have, be it a little or a lot.
2: Being Thankful Is Constant
Colossians 3:17 says, “and whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Philippians 1:3)
Giving Thanks Is Commanded
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
We Should Be Thankful When Praying
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)
God Is Worthy Of Our Thanks
“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 106:1)
The Consequences Of Not Being Thankful
“For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (Romans 1:21)
Your heart will become darkened.
When puff yourself up and leave God behind, you will face calamity eventually · Thank Him for the beautiful sunrise/sunset.
- Thank Him for beautiful country sides.
- Thank Him for your close friends and family.
- Thank Him for your gifts he has blessed you with.
- Thank Him for your job.
· Most importantly, thank Him for sending Jesus Christ to us to be crucified on the cross to take away the punishment for our sins! Thank Jesus today!
AFFLICTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Why is it, we who are in a relationship with Jesus Christ are: AFFLICTED?
1: We are in the devils/demons territory. Because of Jesus, Gospel, Salvation.
2: Ignorance— Spiritual.
3: We are not yet dead to our flesh—–sin may still have a hold on us.
4: No foundation in the scriptures. It’s not our number one concern or priority.
5: Worldly living supersedes, Kingdom living.
6: Disobedience to Godly living, Lust of the eye and flesh.
7: No concern to share Jesus to set people free, afraid.
8: Not interested in studying the scriptures and bible study.
9: Sleeping. No prayer life and witnessing, it’s all about me, myself and I.
10: The evil one sees and hears. Our actions and words are his means to our life.
Our Enemy to AFFLICTIONS are:
1: We our self, a free will to choose right from wrong.
6: Weakness. We feel we have no Godly power and authority.
7: Joy of and in the flesh.
8: No time for heavenly agendas, only time for worldly pursuits.
9: Condemnation in and all things.
10: Allow our thoughts/reason to control our actions and words.
11: Disobedience and failing to obey God and His Word.
12: Looking down on others, believers or unbelievers.
13: Our old man still lives in us. Need to surrender all.
We fail to realize that one unexpected day or night we will need to stand in judgement before Jesus Christ for all we have done either good or evil as followers of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
3 New Year Priorities
1: WORSHIP: It’s a 24-7—- IT’S A DAILY PRAYER LIFE.
Heb. 10:22 “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
- Heb. 10:25 “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
2 : WORK:–GOD said: FROM THIS DAY ONWARD YOU SHALL WORK TO LIVE.
ILL.- The boss said to Jones, “How long have you been working here?” Jones replied, “EVER SINCE I HEARD YOU COMING DOWN THE HALL.”
Rom. 16:12 “Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.”
I Cor. 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always
Romans 12:11 “Never be lacking in zeal, BUT KEEP YOUR SPIRITUAL FERVOR, SERVING THE LORD.”
3: WITNESS; —How? BY THE WAY YOU TALK and ACT.
Matt. 28:19-20 “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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
I Pet. 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
“You don’t need advertising. JUST HAVE A GREAT STORY AND A GREAT TRUTH. The best form of advertising is word of mouth.
A GOD WE CAN TRUST
Scripture: Psalm 37:1-9
Who can we trust? People make promises they cannot keep, break confidence they don’t want to keep and tell you things that are not true. But God keeps every promise He makes, never lies and never breaks confidence.
THERE ARE MANY THINGS WE TRUST, AMOUNG THEM ARE:
1: People, 2: Finances, 3: Position, 4: Power
THERE ARE SEVERAL REASONS WE CAN TRUST GOD
1: He is one true God. (2 Samuel. 7:21-22)
2: He is the essence of truth itself (Psalm 31:5)
3: He is absolutely faithful (Lam. 3:23)
4: He has all power. (Matt 28:18)
5: He is in absolute control of every situation & circumstance (Pslam103:19)
6: He loves unconditionally (Eph. 5:1-2)
7: He never changes. (Heb.13:8)
Job: 22:21-22: Now Job makes peace with God, and stop treating him like an enemy; if you do, then he will bless you. Accept the teachings he gives, keep his words in your heart.
HOW DO WE GET TO KNOW HIM
1: Acquaint our self with Him. Get to know Jesus.
2: Be at peace with Him. Jesus is our peace.
3: Receive His truth, His law or commandments, not from a third party.
Jesus is the source for our life. We need the Bible for direction.
4: We need to have a rebirth in the Holy Spirit. He, Jesus breathed on them
And said unto them, receive you the Holy Spirit. (John: 21; 22)
5: We need to receive the upper room experience, the breath of God.
6: Lastly, it’s a personal choice; no one can make it for us.
Wise men and women humble themselves before their loving Father; they ask for his forgiveness and totally trust Him for salvation. Salvation means being set FREE. Living life at its best begins there. Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him as obedience always brings blessings.
May the love of God, His mercy and peace be with you all? Amen.
HOW EMPTY ARE YOU
Imagine a sponge that has been used to wash the dishes. It’s all full of dirt and food and old water. It needs to be filled with clean water!
But how can you do that? Easy.
You wring it out, rinse it off, and wring it out again. Only when you have done this can you fill it with clean water.
It’s the same with the Spirit. Here we are, all full of sin and grime and filth. There is no room for Him. But once all the filth has been removed, and we have been emptied, the Spirit can come and fill us anew.
Fact is, only you can choose how intimate your relationship with God is and with the one who is a soul tie to you.
But how can you do that? Easy.
You wring it out, rinse it off, and wring it out again. Only when you have done this can you fill it with clean water.
Empty yourself to God and allow the Holy Spirit to move in your life. Empty yourself and forgive your close friend who you have a bond with.
In your daily schedule, give room to God by starting your day with prayer, fill it with joy and have peace with those who you truly love an unconditional love.
Fact is, only you can choose how intimate your relationship with God is and with those who you love.
In your daily schedule, give room to God by starting your day with prayer, meditation and room to share your love with those who you are to have an intimate relationship with that is your spouse.
Every day you need to make a choice either you let your circumstances to lead your life or you let God to direct you. It’s completely up to you. You have a free will.
Pray this prayer: Lord, thank you that you haven’t forgotten me. It’s good to know you’re a God who’s really alive, who’s really here, and who genuinely cares. I’m counting on that today and to share it with those who I truly love starting with You oh Lord. Amen.
HOW TO LISTEN TO THE WORD OF GOD
Some people go to church (Congregation, Assembly) and are filled with joy, but some go away empty and are troubled. How can one individual be filled and the other gets nothing out of it.
It all comes down how we listen to the WORD of GOD. The best sermons are based on the Bible and not on the thoughts of the preacher.
A: Scriptural examples;
In the 20th year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, (445/444 BC), Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the king. Learning that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down he asked the king for permission to return and rebuild them, and Artaxerxes sent him to Judah as governor of the province with a mission to rebuild the walls. Once there he defied the opposition of Judah’s enemies on all sides – Samaritans, Ammonites, Arabs and Philistines – and rebuilt the walls within 52 days, from the Sheep Gate in the North, the Hananel Tower at the North West corner, the Fish Gate in the West, the Furnaces Tower at the Temple Mount’s South West corner, the Dung Gate in the South, the East Gate and the gate beneath the Golden Gate in the East. He then took measures to repopulate the city and purify the Jewish community, enforcing the cancellation of debt, assisting Ezra to promulgate the law of Moses, and enforcing the divorce of Jewish men from their non-Jewish wives. After 12 years as governor, during which he ruled with justice and righteousness, he returned to the king in Susa. After some time in Susa he returned to Jerusalem, only to find that the people had fallen back into their evil ways. Non-Jews were permitted to conduct business inside Jerusalem on the Sabbath and to keep rooms in the Temple. Greatly angered, he purified the Temple and the priests and Levites and enforced the observance of the law of Moses.
Nehemiah 8:1-7, 12-17
B: One must listen to God’s Word:
1: Be eager (Neh. 8; 1-2) ask God to speak to your heart in the worship service. How? Participate.
2: Listen attentively (Neh. 8:3) determination desire to know God and His will for you.
3: Trusting (Neh. 8: 4-5) That God’s Word is true.
4: Prayerfully (Neh. 8:6) Bowed and worshipped God. Seven words of Hebrew “to praise”.
5: Patiently (Neh. 8:7) waited hours for the Word to be read, the five Books of Moses.
6: Humbled (Neh. 8:6) because of ancestors sin, missed God’s blessings.
7: Waited (Neh.8: 12-17) wanted insights into the law. In church ask God for His Character.
8: Joyful (Neh.8:10-12) Party time.
9: Expecting (Neh. 8:5) people did not know the language, yet waited to hear the Word. Teaching it.
10: Repented (Neh. 9:1-3) Listen with a repented heart. If the Lord brings something to your attention,
Don’t blame the preacher, be honest with God about it, perhaps He is telling you to change attitude.
11: Action. (Neh. 2:17-20) one puts their hands to the plow with help of others in believing God.
Keep these 10 WORDS in you Bible and heart and reflect on them the next time to come to church. Ask God to speak to you about them and be open to His speaking to you through His Word.
With God’s help as with Nehemiah you will also be able to build God’s Word in your spirit in less than 52 days; it takes effort and time spent with the Lord.
SCRIPTURES ON IGORANCE
To live in darkness, not willing to be educated in the Kingdom of God and the operation of the world system
We live in the world, but are not of the world.
1. Ezekiel 45:20
You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple.
2. Acts 3:17
“Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders.
3. Acts 17:30
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.
4. Ephesians 4:18
They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
5. 1 Timothy 1:13
Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
6. Hebrews 9:7
But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.
7. 1 Peter 1:14
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
8. 1 Peter 2:14
For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
9: Hosea 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (being Ignorant), because you have rejected the knowledge (being ignorant) I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me; seeing you had forgotten the law of your God. I will also forget your children.
The scriptures instruct us how to live in God’s Kingdom and in Satan’s world system. In ignorance we perish.
NOBODY LIKES A QUITTER
How many of us have quit, a New Years Resolution, going to lose weight, a boring job, instructing our children, putting up with our husband or wife, stop going to church, stop reading the Bible, meeting with the seniors club, the list could go on and on. I have done it so many times I can not even count them. One of the most serious was quitting the religious life. But, God working through my wife saved the day many times.
The key verse in the bible is:
Psalm 27:14, paraphrased and condensed “Stay with God! Take heart, don’t quit”.
Nobody likes a quitter. Nobody likes quitters, except God the Rejuvenator. Rejuvenator means: To renew, to breathe new life into, to refresh, and to revive.
How about men of the Bible who quit.
Think about the prophet Elijah. He called down fire from heaven and as a result of his contest between himself and 400 priests the 400 priests were destroyed. He prayed for and received a downpour of rain in the midst of a drought. Then he quit. He ran into the desert and sat under a lone scraggly tree and with an attitude of. “I have had enough, Lord. (GOD)” he said.”Take my life” (1 Kings 19:4 NIV) in other words he said “I QUIT” What made him quit? It was one woman-Jezebel, King Ababs wife. She sent a message to Elijah that she would kill him because of what he had done to her priests. Elijah became afraid for his life and fled.
However, God came to rejuvenate Elijah. He refreshed Elijah with food, drink and rest. Elijah went on to finish his ministry. The scriptures tell us that he never faced an earthly death only was taken into heaven in a chariot of fire.
Do you remember Jonah? He quit before he got started. It is interesting-God has a way about changing minds. After Jonah floated around in the stomach of the whale for a while, God stepped in to encourage him to complete his mission to Nineveh. The Bible says:
Then God spoke to the fish, and it vomited up Jonah onto the seashore.
Next, God spoke to Jonah a second time. “Up on your feet and on your way to the big city of Nineveh! Preach to them. They are in a bad way and I can not ignore it any longer. This time Jonah started off straight for Nineveh, obeying God’s orders to the letter. (Jonah 2:10-3, 3)
Nobody likes a quitter, except God the Restorer- maybe it’s because we get out of His way and He then can do what He intended in the first place.
These were men of the Old Testament. How about men of the New Testament. There are many and I will touch on two of them.
How about the Apostle St. Paul! He preached in Athens and then went to Corinth. A very large and sinful city. He preached and opened a few churches. While teaching in Corinth, the Greeks who were gentiles converted to Judaism, “or God Fearers”. St Paul had one major problem when they opposed him and blasphemed saying that is he was ungodly and they shook his garments gave him a shaking and he said to them: Your blood be upon your own heads, I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles. (Acts 18; 6) in other words I quit.
Now the Lord, Yahweh spoke to Paul in the night by a vision. “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent, In other words do not quit for I am with you and no one will attack you or hurt you, for I have many people in this city. (Acts 18; 9-10)
It shows us that even the best and holiest of God’s servants are sometimes under sad and strong fears, and are likely to be discouraged when they meet with difficulties in their duties. But, the promises and assurance of God are; I will be with you always, I will never quit on you.
The other is John Mark. This young Christian man quit while on a mission with St Paul and St Barnabus. He ran home when the going got tough. His desertion made St Paul furious. Have you already guessed what happened? You are right; God restored John Mark back to ministry. God restored the relationship between John Mark and St. Paul. Look at what St Paul wrote, “Only Luke is with me, Get John Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in ministry. (2 Tim.4:11).
So now what about you and me? Have you ever been tired of family, or sick and tired of being tired, upset with being in this place, upset because no one cares for you- this could be family, clergy, former church members, etc. Have you felt like throwing in the towel and shouting? I QUIT!?? I have had enough. What ever state you are in at this given moment, you are still useful to God. He wants and needs you. Yes! You.
Unfortunately, I have quit more times than I’d like to admit. Yet! I know God the Refresher, the Encourager and Restorer will carry me through life. It is surprising who he puts in my path. Many times my wife. He encourages me just as He did with Elijah, Johan, St. Paul and John Mark. He speaks to my heart. Have I not commanded you- Strength! Courage! Do not be timid (afraid). Do not get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.( Joshua 1: 9)
Do not quit! listen to God speak to you. Be strong, be courageous, and keep moving on in life in which He has placed you.
My Prayer for you today:
Dear Father, Abba, God, sometimes I feel like quitting. I want to quit at where I am at present. Some days I want to quit being me and be some one else. Yahweh, God, I am asking you to encourage and refresh me on those days that I want to quit. And if I have to quit on something I should not have, I ask that you restore me. Yahweh, God, thank you for not giving up on me a sinner. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
REMEMBER THIS: God loves you and He will be with you wherever you are and wherever you go. So do not quit!