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Archive for August, 2014


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? – 2 Corinthians 13:5

– Such loss of faith is ever one of the saddest results of sin. – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Most of us probably go see a doctor for regular yearly check-ups, or take our cars to a mechanic for routine maintenance every few months.  Why do we spend the time and money to do these things?  Well, even though it can be hard to hear unsettling news about major health or vehicle issues, don’t we want to be told about them sooner – so we minimize chances of more serious problems arising later?

Isn’t it so we can start taking corrective measures in hopes of completely fixing what is ailing ourselves or autos – and then preventative ones to keep them from happening again in the future?  It’s like the old adage from Ben Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  It means we try to keep bad things from happening to begin with, then try to fix bad things after they’ve happened.

If we start taking preventative care like this daily, we lessen chances of catastrophic failure in the future. However, the more we let things slide (Hebrews 2:1) – the harder and longer they can become to fix, if at all.  All too often, though, we can have a “Well – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mind.  Nothing seems wrong on the surface – so why mess with it?  This is the beginning of running things into the ground.

With our body, we may feel sound physically with no major pains.  Although we know we might not be exercising, sleeping, or eating properly – everything just “kinda sorta” appears alright in our eyes.  With our autos, they seem to be running smoothly … with no strange sounds coming from the engine or brakes. Then we wake up really sick one day, or we find our car in the ditch on the way home from work

With faith, we may feel sound spiritually with no major pains or problems.  Then, God tries our faith. To see if it’s sound.  To test out our patience and see how we resist and handle Satan’s temptations (James 1:2-3).  If we haven’t been exercising our faith into godliness to always have a conscience void of offense towards Him and men … we will fail this faith exam every time (Acts 24:16, 1 Timothy 4:7).

Along with proper faith exercise, we have to self-examine ourselves to see if our faith in Jesus Christ is healthy or sick – if it is real or feigned (lead verse). We are to do the check-up alone with God, not with other Christians (Deuteronomy 13:3, 2 Corinthians 10:12).  They cannot examine a heart and soul only He can see (1 Samuel 16:7).  We have to avoid a faith shipwreck at all costs (1 Timothy 1:19).  

So we maintain a healthy spirit, continually bringing forth fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8, John 15:16).  So we grow up into aged, sober believers – always sound in faith (Titus 2:2).  Ensuring Christ alone is authoring our faith to the end – so we enter at the straight gate.  Passing the last test; making the grade by God’s grace (Hebrews 12:2, Hebrews 3:14, Matthew 7:14, 1 Peter 1:13).

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth. – Numbers 12:3

– Wherefore, lay apart all filthiness and superfluity – and receive with meekness the engrafted word – which is able to save your souls. – James 1:21

God didn’t choose a proven leader, powerful speaker, or long-time preacher to guide the Israelites through the wilderness.  Our Father did not favor someone famous in any congregation at the time (Numbers 16:2).  Nor did He choose someone who saw himself as being tough and strong.  Somehow able to handle everything life threw at him, and somehow prove to everyone he could.

No, God chose the meekest man living on earth at the time (lead verse).  One who wondered why God selected him.  Because he was not very eloquent with words – being both slow of speech and tongue (Exodus 4:10).  It is widely believed Moses stuttered. Although God knew Aaron was a better speaker, He chose Moses.  To speak His words – because of meekness, not might (Exodus 4:14-15).

As with Moses, God is seeking the meek of this earth to spread His message of the gospel.  People to guide in judgement, teach His ways (Psalm 25:9), and to increase with His joy (Isaiah 29:19).  The meek do not seek praise, glory, or attention.  They serve the Lord, but prefer remaining unspotted from the world in the process (James 1:27).  Happy having faith to themselves (Romans 14:22).

Both gentleness and meekness are not signs of any weakness.  They are evidence of God working in us through the power of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis. Teaching us how to be patient, temperate, and long-suffering with all others – just as He is towards us (2 Peter 3:9).  Becoming, and then being meek week after week may be seen by some as a sign of being a wimp, but there’s a difference.

Being a wimp is withdrawing from a course of action or stated position, and it’s seen as one being feeble and cowardly.  Being meek is humbly staying on a steadfast course all the way to the end (Hebrews 3:14) – but not afraid to take a stand with Scripture. It is faithfulness, not feebleness.  Understanding God is steering our ship until death, and giving us the words to speak along the way (Psalm 48:14).

Meekness is among one of the many virtues our Maker requires us to acquire as we climb up the staircase to heaven’s narrow gate (2 Peter 1:5-11, Matthew 7:14).  So we do not keep falling down – or so Jesus doesn’t shut the door when we get there, calling us robbers for climbing the wrong way (John 10:1).  If we want to meet God, and live with Him forever, we have to learn meekness always.

It is one of the several fruits of the Spirit we are to constantly bring forth – for it is in keeping with God’s commandment to repent (Matthew 3:8, Acts 17:30, Galatians 5:22-23).  It is not a recommendation from heaven for salvation (Luke 13:3,5).  Slow, but steady production of such fruit has to continue until then (John 15:16).  A mark of spiritual maturity to God and others is meekness always.

So those chosen from above by God like Moses (John 15:16, 2 Peter 1:10), become truthful and humble servants.  Ones who are gentle unto all – apt to teach with much patience.  In meekness, instructing those who oppose themselves.  If God by chance should give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth, so they can then recover themselves out of Satan’s snares (2 Timothy 2:24-26).

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5

– Jesus was humble when he walked the earth.  He had all power, but used all meekness. – Monica Johnson

Our word “meek” has several meanings which must please our Father in heaven greatly.  Why?  Because they all represent and signify many spiritual fruits and personality traits He requires to be produced – in keeping with His commandment for Christians to zealously repent daily (Matthew 3:8, Acts 17:30, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Revelation 3:19).  Otherwise, we will perish (Luke 13:3,5).

A meek person is described as one who is quiet, humble, modest, submissive, gentle, compliant, easily imposed upon, and self-effacing (shunning attention).  One who does not strive with others or God.  One apt to teach more than they preach.  In meekness, instructing those who oppose themselves, if God by chance will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth (2 Timothy 2:24-25).  

The meekest person to ever walk this earth was also the mightiest – Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18).  So we might learn the types of people God seeks to teach His Word and ways to – meek ones (Psalm 25:9).  It isn’t usually individuals with lots of material goods, money, or degrees.  Such things tend to make many people high-minded, and not humble (Romans 11:20, 1 Timothy 6:17 2 Timothy 3:4).

The highest priest of our profession as Christians, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 3:1) … made himself the lowest of lows when he walked this earth.  Born in a humble manger (Luke 2:16); not a mighty mansion. Christ did nothing through vainglory.  Esteeming everyone better than himself, and looking upon the things of others – instead of his own.  Making himself of no reputation (Philippians 2:3-7).

Taking upon him the form of a servant – being made in the likeness of men.  And being found in fashion as a man – humbled himself and became obedient unto death – even the death of the Cross.  So must we (Philippians 2:7-8).  As Matthew Henry once wrote, “Meek people enjoy an almost perpetual Sabbath.” They serve humbly and unprofitably (Luke 17:7-10), never seeking personal glory or praise.

Most weeks on Facebook, there are many postings from people talking about staying strong, tough, and hanging on a little longer.  God did not hang His only Son on the Cross for us to do that – to be tougher than nails.  Jesus was – we are not.  Christ told the disciples, “Take my yoke and learn of me.  For I am meek and lowly in heart … and you shall find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:28-29).”

We cannot do that very well if we are still trying to maintain any sense of control, or casting some cares on Him, but not all (1 Peter 5:7), or trying to steer God’s yoke in the direction we desire.  Wrestling with God at any time is a sign of resistance to His ways. Rest remains far away.  Having His peace surpassing all understanding, is hard to attain if we’re leaning on ours (Proverbs 3:5, Philippians 4:7).

Those traits of trying to handle everything that comes our way are not a sign of being meek and weak.  They signal disobedience to God, as well as clear distrust in Him – that His grace is not sufficient enough for us.  They arise out of a “me – and my might and power” mindset – not a “meek and weak” one.  Only turning cares over to Him after we’ve exhausted taking care of them the ways we prefer.

It’s glorying in a sense of perceived invincibility and firmness, not our infirmities and frail flesh (Psalm 39:4) – so the power of Christ can rest on us (2 Corinthians 12:9).  If the strength of Jesus is not adequate for us at all times during our life – to meet all that comes our way with meekness – we still have pride issues.  Pride presents an image to God we can do it all –  meekness presents an image we can’t.

Izaak Walton once said, “God has two dwellings.  One is in heaven – and the other in a meek and thankful heart.”  Haughty and high-minded hearts and minds are not very meek.  They are hard to humble; often grumbling and disputing with God (Philippians 2:14). Whenever God is viewed as being wrong and we’re right, we’re not meek.  Ears soon dull of hearing (Hebrews 5:11), and hearts harden (Hebrews 3:8).

However, the Lord shall lift up the meek (Psalm 147:6).  They shall delight in the abundance of peace (Psalm 37:11).  Christians are then to walk worth of the vocation of which they are called – with all lowliness and meekness, longsuffering, forbearing one another in love (Ephesians 4:1-2).  Forgiving one another, just as Christ has done the same for us (Colossians 3:12-13).

There are no laws in life being meek and lowly like Christ was (Galatians 5:23).  We are to follow after things like faith, love, patience and meekness (1 Timothy 6:11).  It increases our joy in the Lord – so that it may be full at all times (Isaiah 29:19, 1 John 1:4).  We are then to show our meekness to all (Titus 3:2) – a virtue we add to our faith on the spiritual staircase to heaven (2 Peter 1:5).

So we can always approach others in the spirit of love and meekness (1 Corinthians 4:21).  So we who are spiritual can then restore those overtaken in a fault in the spirit of meekness – lest we be tempted as well (Galatians 6:1).  So when all is said and done, the meek shall inherit the earth (lead verse, Psalm 37:11), and God will beautify such people with salvation (lead verse, Psalm 149:4).

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this?  For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You. – 1 Chronicles 29:14

– For it is in giving that we receive. – St. Francis of Assisi

We cannot receive anything in this life, unless it is given to us from heaven first (John 3:27).  It does not matter what we may give or offer to others – either time, love, money, materials, etc. – you name it and it came from God to begin with.  Freely we have all received from the One who richly gives us all things to enjoy – freely and willingly we are to give it away (lead verse, Matthew 10:8, 1 Timothy 6:17).

Not with tight fists, not grudgingly, nor out of any personal want or need, but cheerfully and fervently out of hearts purified by obeying the Spirit of truth within us (Psalm 23:1, 2 Corinthians 9:7, 1 Peter 1:22).  Giving as purposed in our minds out of what we have – not out of what we do not.  Not so anyone is overly burdened or eased, but so there is equality among all people (2 Corinthians 8:11-14).

We brought nothing into this world – and it is certain we can carry nothing out (1 Timothy 6:7).  Therefore, in the time between the cradle and the grave, our lives do not consist in the abundance of things we possess (Luke 12:15).  We are not to spend our short time here seeking our own wealth – but the wealth of others (James 4:14, 1 Corinthians 10:24).  Sharing – for the profit of this earth is for all (Ecclesiastes 5:9).

If we have this world’s good, and see a brother in need – and shut up our bowels of compassion, how can we say the love of God dwells inside us (1 John 3:17)?  If we have two coats, and see one who does not, we are to give them one.  If we have extra food, we are to share it with those who are hungry (Luke 3:11).  Not telling others to come back later, if we have the ability to help today (Proverbs 3:27-28).

Always making sure we don’t sound a trumpet touting our well-doing and giving – for doing such signals we are searching for glory not belonging to us (Proverbs 25:27).  It’s not truth.  When we do our alms, we are not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing.  So when we give like this, only God notices – and rewards us openly (Matthew 6:1-4, James 1:27). Otherwise, our intentions have to be questioned.

We will not fool God if our inner motives for giving and doing good things are not pure and unfeigned before His eyes (Hebrews 4:12-13).  God is always pleased when we do good (Hebrews 13:16) – but not when we go around calling attention to our charity. Christians have been given the mind of Christ, and we are to always mind the example Jesus set before us (1 Corinthians 2:16, Matthew 9:30, 1 Peter 2:21).

If we are following Jesus as we claim, then God promises to supply all our need according to His riches in Christ (Philippians 4:19).  We are to be content with our wages, so we won’t needlessly spend time trying to exact more than what God has already appointed us (Luke 3:13-14).  This way, we can spend such time doing unto others as we would have them do unto us – even if they haven’t (Matthew 7:12).

If we bring all our tithes into the storehouse, so there is always food in God’s house – then He says “Try Me now in this.  If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing there will not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3:10).”  If we’re hoarding all our stuff and money as some sort of earthly reward for our work – or as protection against future uncertainties, God has warned us.

The grounds of a certain rich man brought forth a plentiful bounty.  He did not have room to store it all. His solution?  It was not to share it.  It was to pull down the barn he had – so he could build even bigger barns to hold it all.  So, he could then say, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for years; take it easy – eat, drink, and be merry.”  However, all he had could not save him later that same night (Luke 12:16-20).

The man was rich towards himself, and not towards God (Luke 12:21).  The hoarding of his harvest was a personal reward for all his hard work in sowing and growing.  So he could sit back, relax, and take a break for a couple of years.  Why should he give away some of the bounty to people who had not toiled for it?  What was so wrong with stashing it away for personal use in case of future crop failures?

Because God’s economy is one of giving, not getting. When we do good and distribute to others with the right heart motivations, we can communicate this message to others.  So others start to see Christ in us (Ephesians 4:20-32).  When we give to all others out of a good conscience towards God (1 Timothy 1:5), with charity flowing from humble hearts established with grace (Hebrews 13:9) – it will be given back.

With good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, men shall give into our bosom.  For with the same measure we give it out – it will be measured back to us (Luke 6:38).  By doing so, and considering the poor in the process, God will deliver us in our times of trouble (Psalm 41:1).  Laying up in store a good foundation for the times to come, so we may lay hold on eternal life (1 Timothy 6:18-19).

 

 

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