Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Authorized King James Version’


(Scripture from the KJV and NKJV)

– I listened and heard, but they spake not aright; no man repented of his wickedness, saying “What have I done?”  Every one turned to his course, as a horse rushes into the battle, – Jeremiah 8:6

– The more you defend a lie … the angrier you become. – Mitch Albom

Over the recent holidays, I watched one of those crime shows on TV with my parents.  This particular program had the usual suspects – five people with potential motives for two related murders.  Among them was a mother whose son had been previously killed by one of the later victims.  When she was brought in for questioning by the police, her demeanor was calm and innocent – at first.

The woman became increasingly louder and defensive as detectives started putting holes in her alibi.  Protests such as “I haven’t done anything!” started pouring forth from her mouth.  My dad pegged her as the killer half-way through the episode.  I asked him later how he was so sure.  He said, “It’s the people who holler and protest the most you have to watch.  They’re the ones usually lying.”

Kids can often get like this when they know they are guilty of doing something they’ve been told not by their parents.  Professing their innocence with loud protests such as “What have I done!?”  The parent will then counter with calm, firm words like, “You know exactly what you did wrong.”  In situations like this, loudness is a good indicator of lying – calmness is a good indicator correction is coming.

The child then stomps angrily down the hall, or up the stairs to their bedroom.  However, don’t they often stop after opening the door, and make sure everyone in the whole house hears their cries of  “This is so unfair!”?  This is frequently followed by a door slam – with an equally far-reaching noise. Christians who do not understand the purpose of God’s correction – may do similar things.

Protests of “What have I done?” are unwise when God corrects us as Christians.  As a sign of His great love – we will all undergo things like chastening (Hebrews 12:6-7 ).  It won’t seem joyous during it – but all discipline in life can hurt at times (Hebrews 12:11).  Try to remember, His commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).  God never afflicts or grieves us willingly (Lamentations 3:33).

The Lord takes no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies (Ezekiel 18:32).  God is long-suffering with all of us – not wanting anyone to perish into the pit – but to come unto repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  This is a commandment for Christians (Acts 17:30).  We can no longer be ignorant about sin’s eternal wages (Romans 6:23).  It means we obey God unto death, just like Jesus did (Philippians 2:8)

Any claims we have of being faithful Christians means we are obedient to our faith.  Why?  Jesus – our only power to obey God – dwells in us by faith through the power of the Spirit (Romans 16:26, Ephesians 3:16-17).  We can’t claim innocence about sin anymore when corrected by God (Jeremiah 2:35). Obedience requires such.  Jesus is the author of salvation to all who obey God (Hebrews 5:8-9).

Christ shed precious blood for us at Calvary.  It is the very same blood sprinkled on our hearts daily as a salve for our sins (Hebrews 10:22, 1 Peter 1:2).  We have to learn not to offend Him anymore with them (Job 34:31).  If we are still walking around raising our voices at God, saying things like “What have I done!?” every time He corrects us; we don’t have the faith we may be loudly proclaiming.

Read Full Post »


r(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– And he said unto them, “Full well you reject the commandments of God, that you may keep your own tradition.  Making the Word of God of no effect through your tradition, which you have delivered; and many such like things as you do.” – Mark 7:9,13

– “They won’t listen.  Do you know why?  Because they have certain fixed notions about the past.  Any change would be blasphemy in their eyes – even if it were the truth.  They don’t want the truth – they want their traditions.” – Isaac Asimov, “Pebble in the Sky

A custom is a practice followed by people of a particular group, region – or religion.  It is a certain way of doing things which people can quickly get “accustomed” to.  Preferred customs eventually evolve into traditions – so-called “tried and tested” ways.  Creating human chains which can keep anyone – even great and aged Christians (Job 32:9) – from understanding God’s wisdom and judgment.

There are ways which may still seem right in our own eyes today as Christians – such as traditions – but the ends thereof are still the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12).  Traditions often birth words like, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, or “We’ve always done it that way.”  As believers, we came to the Cross broken and undone – we all need fixing.  Tradition craves old ways; truth creates new ones (Isaiah 43:19).  

Jesus could not stand tradition.  The Pharisees questioned and criticized Christ about this.  Why would someone claiming to be a Jew – not keep Jewish traditions?  After all, the disciples of Jesus still did so (Mark 7:1-13).  However, it was in keeping with a Passover custom which set the guilty prisoner Barabbas free – and sent the guiltless Christ to the Cross (John 18:39-40, 1 Peter 2:22).

Is it any wonder why keeping tradition displeases God?  Tradition keeps us outwardly observing particular religious customs and ceremonies – even in Christianity.  Simple things such as having to conduct a Sunday service a certain way can become tradition over time.  God’s kingdom does not come by observing such traditions; it already dwells inside us (Luke 17:20-21).

Keeping any tradition is obeying man’s voice, often under the guise of obeying God’s.  Saul found out the dangers of listening to people first – not God (1 Samuel 15:23-24).  If we are conforming and performing dutifully per man’s traditions – we can keep our inner man and minds from being renewed daily through the regeneration of the Holy Ghost (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Titus 3:5).

Still, people keep traditions.  They can create a sense of order in a chaotic world.  New Year’s resolutions have become tradition for many.  People who make them somehow believe numbers on a calendar can create the perfect and permanent conditions for all the positive personality changes they desire.  The changes only God can create from within us.  Truth always trumps tradition.

God warns us to beware, lest any man spoil us through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world – and not after Christ (Colossians 2:8).  Perhaps no other person understood the dangers of tradition more than Paul.  The one who once tried to destroy the Christian faith he ended up preaching – in large part because of tradition (Galatians 1:23).

Before his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-15), Paul went by the name Saul (of Tarsus).  He was brought up in that city at the feet of Gamaliel – a Pharisee doctor of Jewish law.  Saul was raised and taught this way – and he was zealous towards God in this manner (Acts 22:3).  Part of Saul’s zeal became persecuting people who belonged to this new sect of the Nazarenes (Acts 22:4, Acts 24:5).

Later in his epistle to the Galatians, Saul – now the apostle Paul, wrote this: “For you have heard of my conversion in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God; and tried to destroy it.  And profited in the Jews’ religion above many of my equals – in my own nation – being more exceedingly zealous of the “traditions” of my fathers (Galatians 1:13-14).”

As Saul, his zeal towards God focused on repeating and loving Jewish tradition.  Consequently, he began persecuting God’s church and its new Christians. Most Jew’s considered themselves God’s chosen few for salvation.  The new gospel he later preached as Paul, meant non-Jews – the Gentiles – could be saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).   Jewish tradition now countered God’s truth.

We will be redeemed by truth – not tradition.  We will be saved through repentance according to the Word – not repeating the same old traditions of the world – even in church.  For we know we are not redeemed with corruptible things such as silver or gold, or from our vain conversations received by tradition from our fathers.  Christ’s precious blood will be enough (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Read Full Post »


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But you, beloved – building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.  Keep yourselves in the love of God … looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. – Jude 1:20-21

– The church is a gift from God – assembly is required. – Church sign in Florida

Would you go live in a house being built for you if it wasn’t finished yet?  Perhaps the roof wasn’t on, the windows weren’t in, and the electrical and water hookups hadn’t been made.  You might go over one day and walk around inside the framework of your house.  You might imagine what it would be like when finished – but moving in was not possible yet.

Incomplete physical structures are unfit to live or work in.  They also have to be built a certain way so they stand firm and solid when fully completed. Otherwise, they are eventually going to suffer damage or collapse from shoddy workmanship or materials.  One bad storm can bring down any structure – physical or spiritual.

However, God always knows what He is doing (Deuteronomy 32:4) … His only Son was a carpenter (Matthew 13:55).  Carpenters can’t just show up at a construction site one day and start guessing about what to do.  Imagine if Jesus had walked about on this earth with such an approach – without any knowledge of what God wanted done next.

Before a carpenter starts working on a physical structure, they have to know what they are building. They have to follow and abide by blueprints and instructions drawn up in advance.  First measuring, marking, and arranging the materials – before any construction starts.  These materials are then cut and shaped according to specifications.

Everything then begins to be fastened with nails, screws, staples, etc..  In the last stages of construction, the carpenter checks the accuracy of their work with things like levels, rules, and surveying equipment.  To make sure the building won’t fall – and is fit for someone to live or work in. The same goes for spiritual buildings (Isaiah 44:13).

We can’t have prefabricated buildings of belief to move into when we first become born-again Christians.  We can’t send our spiritual materials off somewhere to be put together.  So they are returned fully constructed a few weeks later.  They have to be built up in our hearts the right way from the start – starting with faith (2 Peter 1:5-11).

It takes longer.  We have to make sure one step is completed before moving to the next.  Jesus warned us about climbing the wrong way up to heaven (John 10:1).  If we start with temperance, then try to add faith – or start with faith, and skip the step of virtue – there’s a good chance we’ll have an up-and-down spiritual life – full of frustration.

Everything also has to be built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ as the chief cornerstone.  So everything is constructed according to His plan for our spiritual life – not ours.  So the building is fitly framed together unto a holy temple in the Lord – for a habitation of God through the Spirit (Ephesians 2:20-22).

As Christians, we can lay no other foundation than what has already been laid in our hearts by God from above – which is Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). How things are assembled from this point on is essential to our spiritual stability.  Unless the Lord builds the house – we labor in vain if we try to do it ourselves (Psalm 127:1).

We have to keep our hearts with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23).  A careful and persistent effort daily – to ensure we are not building our Christian lives upon any other man’s foundation (Romans 15:20). This can happen when one thinks they have become a believer just by associating with Christian things (Luke 6:32-34); but not by the Holy Ghost.

Even being born again of the Spirit (John 3:5) – we can still build the wrong way – like adding worldly things to the Word.  We are God’s husbandry, and His building as Christians (1 Corinthians 3:9).  God gives us grace to be wise master builders.  We are to always take heed as to how our spiritual houses are being constructed (1 Corinthians 3:10-17).

Before anything else, we have to be positive about our calling and election (John 15:16, Philippians 2:12, 2 Peter 1:10).  If everything is assembled the way God has designed from that point on, He assures us we will never fall – if all steps are followed correctly.  So we won’t find heaven’s door locked (2 Peter 1:5-12).  We’re not there yet.

With proper construction, will be like a wise man who heard the words of Jesus – and did them (Luke 6:46).  Building his house upon the rock of God and salvation (2 Samuel 22:47).  So when the rains descended, and the flood came, and the winds blew, and beat upon the house – it did not fall.  For it was founded upon a rock (Matthew 7:24-25),

If we assemble things only partially in our spiritual lives, or not in the proper order, problems are bound to arise.  If we build on the wrong – or a faulty foundation – our spiritual houses are likely heading for a fall.  We can’t see it when the weather is fair – but tiny fissures and cracks develop over time.  With each little shift in faith – with each little storm.

Then the big one hits.  Even with advanced warnings – homes can wash away.  If we failed to follow God’s instructions (Proverbs 8:33) – if we failed to hear Christ’s words – we’re like the foolish man who built his house upon the sand.  The rain descended, the floods came, the winds blew, and beat against it – and great was the fall of it (Matthew 7:26-27).

Read Full Post »


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But though He causes grief – yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.  For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. – Lamentations 3:32-33

If you have been a parent at any time in the past, did you ever have to discipline your children for disobeying you?  If you did, didn’t it pain and grieve you to punish a son or daughter when a certain situation required it?  You didn’t do it willingly – but you knew something had to be done to teach your child right from wrong.

Of course – if you were a child on the other side of the coin, how often did you hear Dad or Mom say something like “This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you?”  And, you could not possibly see any sense to a statement like that.  You were the one receiving punishment.  How could a parent be pained by that?

Perhaps it was looking back on such times years later – when you finally understood your parents were really trying to help you through discipline when you were younger.  To keep you from trouble then, and still getting hurt by it today.  Something had to be done when they saw you heading down any potentially dangerous or deceitful path in life.

Hopefully, you finally realized any grief your parents caused you as a kid, was meant for your own good now.  Why would our loving Father in heaven be any different?  Who would want a God to go around arbitrarily afflicting and grieving people with punishment – without purpose – to determine eternal destinies (lead passage, Romans 3:5-6)?

Two of Charlie Brown’s most popular phrases were “Good grief!”, and “I can’t stand it!”  God cannot stand sin – the sin Scripture has concluded we’re all under (Galatians 3:22).  If we are Christians – we all know better now about the eternal wages of it (Romans 6:23).  Repenting from sin is not an option – but a commandment (Acts 17:30).

Meaning God is going to grieve us at various times – but never willingly (lead passage); so we learn Jesus Christ (Ephesians 4:20-32).  According to His way – not ours.  But – we can’t learn Jesus the way God desires – unless Jesus dwells in us by faith through the power of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 3:16-17). This is the only power we have to repent.

Old things have to pass away, so we can become new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are no longer just God’s creation as Christians – but His children again.  Our loving Father in heaven is now teaching us His way.  Not the way we may desire much of the time; but the way He’s designed it to be – by correcting and chastising us.

Happy is the man whom God corrects.  We are not to despise it when it happens (Job 5:17).  We are not to grow weary while we’re enduring His chastening (Proverbs 3:11).  It’s going to hurt God more than it hurts us.  We probably won’t see it that way as His children at first.  It won’t seem joyous – what punishment ever does (Hebrews 12:11)?

God’s commandments are not meant to be grievous (1 John 5:3) – but designed for our own good.  Our Father assures us we will be chastened as Christians (Hebrews 12:6).  It may often seem very grievous. However, it’s a sign of His love.  We have to learn not to offend God (Job 34:31).  Therefore, we are to be zealous about repenting (Revelation 3:19).

So He can continually guide us away from the troubles and sins of this world – and towards the sincerity and truth of His Word.  To keep us from getting hurt over and over by our old sins and their sorrows.  So we are not punished eternally by sin’s motions and wages (Romans 6:23, Romans 7:5, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Luke 13:27-28).

Even if we think we are suffering wrongfully at the hands of others – we are to endure their grief.  This is thank-worthy with God – if our conscience is towards Him.  Even if we do well, and suffer grief for it – and we take it patiently – this is acceptable with God (1 Peter 2:19-20).  Remember, Jesus was fully acquainted with all we may face (Isaiah 53:3-10).

If we are Christians – and we do not fully understand this – guess what’s probably going to happen often? We’ll see God as creating grief – without having any cause to do so.  However, we cause our own grief when we walk around with any innocent  “What have I done?” mindset regarding sin (Jeremiah 8:6); or still proclaim our goodness (Proverbs 20:6).

If we are like this, we’re probably going to grumble a lot, about how could a loving God be causing us grief. This can go a long way towards grieving the Holy Spirit within us.  We’re warned not to do that (Ephesians 4:30).  Doing so can be the catalyst for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost – putting us in danger of eternal damnation (Mark 3:29).

Read Full Post »


(KJV Scripture)

– And He that sat upon the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said unto me, “Write: for these words are true and faithful.” – Revelation 21:5

Everything new we have in life eventually gets old; some things quicker than others.  Even when we take some material object and restore it – it doesn’t last.  Time marches on – and it becomes old again. It’s a repeated process throughout our brief lives on earth (James 4:14).

Trying to become new or better people every January 1st – even as believers – is very unwise.  It’s trying to change, contain, or control our worldly situations and circumstances by meaningless numbers on a piece of paper called a calendar.  A calendar doesn’t know what any day will ever bring forth (Proverbs 27:1) – God does.

It’s also trying to do the same with God and His only Son.  Both who do not change – who will be the same yesterday, today, and forever (Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8).  The only way all of us can become the new creatures in Christ which God wants us to be (2 Corinthians 5:17), is from the inside-out; not the other way around.

This can’t be done without Christ in us.  It’s why we all must be “born again” of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5) to enter into God’s eternal kingdom.  We can only learn Jesus the way God wants us to (Ephesians 4:20-32) – by Him giving us the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).

This cannot happen unless Christ comes to dwell in our hearts by faith through the power of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 3:16-17).  So God can start to renew our inner man daily (2 Corinthians 4:16), and transform our minds (Romans 12:2).  This is through the continual regeneration of our souls by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).

We can’t do it simply by trying harder to be like Jesus – without Jesus dwelling inside us.  We can’t do it by wishing or hoping we change because the calendar tells us to.  Without God’s help (John 15:5) – we can’t make the lasting changes He desires (Galatians 5:22-23).  To make our old creature new, once and for all – without going back.

Read Full Post »


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ. – Philippians 1:27

The word “become” means “beginning to be”.  It’s the start of steadily growing into something different from what anyone is at a particular point in time.  In earthly marriages, a man and a woman “become” one flesh (Mark 10:8).  “Become” also means looking good or fitting well on someone – such as saying to a person, “That suit becomes you.”

If we are true believers, we’ve been born again of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-5).  Our conversation from that point on should slowly and steadily become more and more like Christ – because Christ has come to dwell in our hearts by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16-17).  It’s not an instant conversion – but a continual process.

This is done through the daily regeneration of our hearts, minds, and inner man by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 4:16, Titus 3:5).  It doesn’t stop until we die.  So we eventually get to a point where people who falsely accuse our good conversation in Jesus – are ashamed of themselves for doing so (1 Peter 3:16).

Our conversation is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).  We are not to hinder the path of those still being led to the Cross by God (John 6:44) – but to help them. We do that when Christ’s kindness, calmness, and compassion is reflected in all our talk and actions. When our love is fervent and unfeigned – from obeying the Spirit of truth in us (1 Peter 1:21).

If Jesus is not our constant conversation – someone or something else will be.  We were given Christ’s mind from God (1 Corinthians 2:16) when we received the Holy Ghost.  Won’t it appear we may still be minding the world, or minding any other wise and great person’s words first (Job 32:9, Ephesians 5:6); before Christ’s – by our conversation and actions?

Jesus said, “Why do you call me Lord, and not do the things I say (Luke 6:46)?”  Our daily conversation and actions reflect the true Master of our life (Luke 16:13).  How can we enter God’s eternal kingdom, if we don’t learn how to walk, talk, and act like Jesus – and follow peace and holiness with all men (1 Peter 2:21, Ephesians 4:29, Hebrews 12:14)?

Read Full Post »


(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– “Verily, verily, I say unto you – he that does not enter by the door into the sheepfold; but climbs up some other way … the same is a thief and a robber. – John 10:1

– “There are reasons here to give your life – and follow in Your way. – “The Stairs” by INXS, copyright 1991

There really is a stairway to heaven in a spiritual sense – and we can spend our lives as believers climbing up the wrong flight if we’re not careful (lead verse).  We are now residents of God‘s household on earth.  It is a building fitly framed together into a holy temple – with a single staircase inside leading up to heaven (Ephesians 2:19-21).

Below us is a foundation which cannot be built upon another man’s (Romans 15:20) – but one established with Christ as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).  On the first floor above ground is the start of the stairwell – and the first step is faith.  Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Faith is taking the first step – even when we can’t see the whole staircase.”

On the next step is virtue – showing high moral standards.  Climbing another step, we land on knowledge – a theoretical or practical understanding of a certain subject acquired through experience or education (2 Peter 1:5).  We are to take steps after, and worthy of God’s ways – to increase in our knowledge of Him (Colossians 1:10, 1 Peter 2:21).

Next is the step of temperance – the daily practice of controlling our actions, thoughts, or feelings.  These are followed by the steps of patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity – in that order (2 Peter 1:6-7).  If we try to climb any other way, we’re probably going to find ourselves falling down a lot on our way up – and often getting hurt in the process.

We may keep finding ourselves all the way back at the bottom, having to start over again on the first step … trying to find our faith again (Romans 10:17). Over the course of time, this can become spiritually exhausting and discouraging.  It can seem like one step forward and two steps back.  Heaven’s door where Jesus stands (John 10:9) is still far off.

We tend to fall when we forget we’ve been purged from our old sins – and have a new purpose in life with the Lord.  We can’t climb up the world’s stairs anymore.  If all the spiritual steps above are followed in order through abiding in God – as He abides in us (John 15:1-5) – fruits of the Spirit are bound to be produced and become abundant (Galatians 5:22-23).

Our Father assures us we will not become barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ if we climb up the right flight of stairs.  God will make really large steps for us to land on – so our feet won’t slip (Psalm 18:36).  If we climb the stairway to heaven’s door the right way, we shall never fall – and we shall be saved (2 Peter 1:10-11, John 10:9).

Read Full Post »


(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass; seeing God has punished us less than we deserve – and has given us such great deliverance as this. – Ezra 9:13

– “Does he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded?  I think not.  So likewise you, when you shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say ‘We are unprofitable servants – we have done that which is our duty to do’.” – Luke 17:9-10

The word “deserve” is  found just twice in the KJV; once above in Ezra – and once in Job 11:6, where we find God exacts less of us than our iniquities deserve. Neither verse has anything to do with anyone getting good things from God.  Instead, they involve Him withholding forms of discipline or correction we do deserve; and should receive for sinning – even as believers (1 John 1:8-10).

However, if God did punish us each time we transgressed against Him – imagine how painful our lives could really be.  If our every act of disobedience received a just recompense of reward, we might not love Him as much as we may proclaim.  Who among us would be able to stand before Him until salvation – if He caused grief every time we sin (Ezra 9:15, Hebrews 2:2-3)?

Doing something worthy of reward or punishment – or showing such qualities – is said to be deserving. We may deserve a raise in our careers for the work we do – or we might receive a sentence to die if we ever intentionally killed someone.  It would be deserved based on the evidence.  Regardless, we can spend our lives deciding what we deserve and don’t (usually good, not bad) – while someone else decides otherwise; including God.

Receiving worldly things in our favor can be called merit.  We labored hard and did good deeds – and we deserved them, right?  However, if we receive bothersome or burdensome trials we think are undeserved, we can call them mistakes.  But – God would never cause such troubles to us as His chosen, would He (Jeremiah 2:35, Jeremiah 5:12, Jeremiah 8:6, Colossians 3:5-6)?

Well, God does not operate on a worldly merit and mistake system – but on His Word’s basis of grace and mercy.  These are two forms of unmerited and undeserved favor with opposite meanings.  God’s grace kept Lot from Sodom and Gomorrah‘s total destruction – so His mercy would be magnified in saving Lot’s life … yet Lot hadn’t done a thing to merit either (Genesis 19:19,24).

Grace is free and unmerited favor.  It’s unearned – and gives us something we do not deserve.  It’s how God will save us – but His grace won’t be brought to us until Christ returns (Ephesians 2:8, 1 Peter 1:13). Until then, we get up every day because of God’s long-suffering towards us (2 Peter 3:9).  It’s because of His abundant mercies we are not fully consumed each morning (Lamentations 3:22, 1 Peter 1:3).

Mercy is also free and unmerited favor – but it keeps us from something we do deserve, such as sin’s wages (Romans 6:23).  However, our modern world of merchandise may have many thinking otherwise.   If we keep buying products, flying in planes, or even just try something out – we deserve to get back something extra often touted as free – but which usually comes with a prior price tag.

This type of “rewards for everything” culture seems to exist almost everywhere today in modern society. It was fueled largely at first by the advertising world. It started by telling people – and selling them on the point they deserved something back by spending dollars.  Purchases would earn reward points to redeem later – or what was the point of buying anything?

Christians are not immune from this message of deserving for doing almost anything.  If we invest/spend time, money, or love in the world – a mindset can be that someone should give us back what’s been earned according to prior expectations. Unskilled and unlearned Christians in the Word are susceptible to this.  They can unconditionally equate belief to deserved blessings – often to destruction (Hebrews 5:13-14, 2 Peter 3:16).

Even the learned don’t always learn.  In Micah’s days, priests judged for reward, taught for hire, and prophesied for money (Micah 3:11).  People who professed to love Him with their lips (Psalm 78:36, Matthew 15:8, Titus 1:16) – but only followed Him in their hearts for a love of personal presents.  It was seen as vain to keep His ordinances otherwise (Isaiah 1:23, Malachi 3:14).

God sees it all – nothing is ever new to Him (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  Others in Old Testament times saw no profit to themselves by serving Him, praying, even being cleansed from sin (Job 21;15, Job 34:9, Job 35:3).  God also knows those of us today who are faking our faith.  Pretending to love – not fervently and unfeigned – but to receive some sort of benefit from above (1 Peter 1:22).

Our Father warns us several times in the New Testament there will be people today – and in the days to come – just like this.  With covetousness and feigned words, some will make merchandise of us (2 Peter 2:3-4).  Whole houses will be subverted for filthy lucre (Titus 1:10-16).  By those with a ready mind for money (1 Peter 5:2) – charging for God’s free message (2 Corinthians 11:9).

If we file into such churches and buy into their misguided messages, and allow ourselves to be deceived by the vain words of any man or woman; no matter how great and wise a Christian they may seem (Job 32:9) – to their worldly profit, we are lightly esteeming our Savior (Deuteronomy 32:15). We are being very disobedient children (Ephesians 5:6).  Both Jesus and God do not deserve this kind of treatment.

In the most selfless display of love ever, God decided His only Son deserved to die for our sins – a worthy lamb without spot or blemish (John 3:16, 1 Peter 1:19).  Jesus – the one without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), the one with no guile ever found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22), the one who did not deserve to die for anything he ever did – did.  So by God’s grace, Christ would taste death for all (Hebrews 2:9).

Believers or unbelievers, God does not “owe” anyone anything, at anytime – ever.  The Lord has already given us everything He could ever give.  As Christians, we can’t go around counting up all our righteousness acts and wonderful works, then redeem them for worldly blessings from above. We’ve overcome the world – having been redeemed from the grave by God through His Son’s redemptive blood (1 Peter 1:9, 1 John 5:4).

Therefore, any work we do for God is always as unprofitable servants (second lead verse).  Any type of deserving attitude simply reverses servitude and merit back on ourselves.  Christ died in vain if that is ever our mindset.  It’s our duty to do all He commands – especially repentance unto salvation (Acts 17:30, 2 Corinthians 7:10).  Remission of sins is not a recommendation.

A debt is something owed – such as money, goods, or services.  It is an obligation to repay or render the same in return.  Our Father is never in debt to us. We owe Him everything – including giving our lives if need be (John 15:13) – for what He did for us at Calvary.  This is not reckoned of grace – but out of our debt to Him (Romans 4:4).  We have already received God’s very best.  Our Father deserves our very best to serve Him in return – always.

Read Full Post »


(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– Keep your heart with all diligence – for out of it are the issues of life. – Proverbs 4:23

Being diligent is being careful – persistently without pause.  Sadly, we can sometimes take better and more consistent care of our cars than our hearts. These hearts we have are desperately wicked and deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9).  It takes dedicated diligence and discipline throughout every day to guard them.

To keep them from being distracted, discouraged, and disappointed by all of Satan‘s subtle devices.  We cannot be ignorant of them – or he will gain advantage of our hearts, minds, and souls (2 Corinthians 2:11).  Without our shield of faith, his fiery darts will hit and ignite blazes in them – time and again (Ephesians 6:16)

We are to give all diligence to our faith, then adding to it virtue.  To virtue, we add knowledge – to knowledge, temperance.  To temperance we add patience – to patience, godliness.  To godliness, we add charity (2 Peter 1:4-7).  These all keep our hearts from being corrupted by the world again – and from being blinded by its bright lights (2 Peter 1:4,9, 2 Corinthians 4:4).

We have to live in this world.  However, we are to no longer lust and long for the lies it offers – of which the devil is father of (John 8:44, Titus 2:12).  Still, we are going to witness immoral and ungodly behavior wherever we go.  We can’t avoid such things completely – unless we are literally living under a rock.

Jesus Christ said such things cannot defile us by themselves (Matthew 15:11).  But – our hearts are like vessels – containers which are continually filled and emptied with either the world or Word.  We are to be diligent as to which one we keep more of in our hearts.  Before they are filled to the brim – before they break and burst – and something hurtful comes blurting out of our mouths (Matthew 15:18-20).

If we are holding more of the world – we’re withholding space for the Word – and vice versa. Whatever abounds – is bound to come forth in our words and actions – for out of the abundance of our hearts, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).  And, life and death are in the power of our tongues (Proverbs 18:21).

Read Full Post »


(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– Declaring the end from the beginning – and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand – and I shall do all My pleasure.” – Isaiah 46:10

– That which has been – is now; and that which is to be – has already been … and God requires that which is past. – Ecclesiastes 3:15

God declared the end of this earth from the very beginning (lead verse).  There is never anything new under His sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The Lord has seen it all before; and has already seen what is coming down the road.  Known to God are all His works from the beginning – they were finished by Him before He started – before He formed the foundation of this planet (Acts 15:18, Hebrews 4:3).

Whatever has happened in this world, or to us in the past – good, bad, or in-between – was required by Him (second lead verse).  What is coming in the future requires faith (Hebrews 11:1).  If we ever definitively decide we know before He does – that is prejudging and presumption (Proverbs 27:1, James 4:14).  All things must pass per His judgement, including us (Hebrews 9:27) – His way; not ours.

Everything past, present, or future – has to have purpose – or how else would He be qualified to judge us daily (Zephaniah 3:5) – or this world when the time comes (Romans 3:5-6)?  Would we want a Creator to make peace – then create war, without any cause to do so (Isaiah 45:7)?  As if our just God did such “just because” – without any justification. Don’t some people still seem to believe this?

Everything that happens to us or this planet each day – or doesn’t happen, is going perfectly and precisely according to His plan from the beginning of the world.  Just because life isn’t going perfectly and precisely according to our own personal plans, in our own little worlds; even within the church – doesn’t make us right – and God wrong (1 Chronicles 13:4, Proverbs 21:2).

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: