Posts Tagged ‘Christ Jesus’

(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– That at the time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope – and without God in the world.  But now in Christ Jesus – you who were sometimes far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. – Ephesians 2:12-13

Loneliness is nothing more than a separation from God. – Billy Graham

It’s there in your heart – lying in wait.  You just hope it doesn’t hit – maybe hard like a howling hurricane sometime during this holiday season.  Maybe it will be while you’re out having a good time with friends – or at home hanging decorations on the tree with your family.  Without warning it strikes.  It’s too late to get out of the way.

A tsunami sweeps over your entire soul.  A tidal wave of inner and worldly wants, wishes, worry, or being without someone or something – washes over your heart.  Just for a second you feel lost and alone, despite having loving and laughing people around enjoying the spirit of the season with you.  Then – the wave is gone almost as quickly as it arrived.

What was in all that water?  Loneliness.  Tons of it – some coming in torrents at certain times like Christmas.  Loneliness is an emotional state of emptiness.  It’s a complex and often confusing condition where one experiences a powerful feeling of sadness – caused by separation from people or pursuits in life.  It can be a passing period for some – or a persistent pain in others.

In a spiritual sense – we are all born lonely upon this earth.  We are alienated from the Almighty through our inherent ignorance about the eternal wages of sin (Acts 17:30, Romans 6:23).  We begin with our desperately wicked and deceitful hearts (Jeremiah 17:9).  We start our lives separated from our Savior forever by such things (Ephesians 4:18, Colossians 1:21).

We are like aliens in a strange land (Exodus 18:3). Estranged from God by the enmity of sin and our carnal nature – lost and lonely in this world without the Lord and His Word (Romans 8:7, lead passage). Staying friends with the world is staying in enmity (a state of active opposition) to God.  We are enemies of God if we remain this way (James 4:4).

However, the world will try to lead us astray in this regard.  Most of us are surrounded at the start by loving family and friends as children.  Life soon gives us lots of things to do and learn.  Many people await to meet and befriend, whom we can surround ourselves with when we’re glad or sad.  All which can give us the outside illusion we shouldn’t feel alone inside.

Still, mankind has tried all kinds of worldly solutions over the centuries to combat any feelings of inner loneliness – by external means.  To remedy a longing to belong – to finally feel truly and eternally loved once and for all – without being lied to.  These attempts can lead some down many broad and destructive paths (Matthew 7:13).

People can seek comfort and companionship in other people – to ease their loneliness.  When this becomes too difficult or demanding on a day-to-day basis – or ends up being hurtful in the end, they can seek to numb feelings of inner isolation with things.  Things which don’t respond emotionally – or which question motives.

Some turn to careers, some to money, and some to the bottle – all attempts to feel less alienated; less alone.  They all may seem to work for a while – sometimes a very long time.  But, they cannot penetrate the human heart – they just feel like they do.  As Billy Graham once said – they all make great fire escapes, but terrible fire extinguishers.

The disciples had to be troubled when Jesus told them he was going away to be crucified – for Christ had been their companion and comforter for over 3 years.  Where Jesus was going, though – they could not go (John 13:36).  However, Christ promised them they would not be left comfortless and alone after he left (John 14:18).

Another Comforter would have to come to the disciples after Christ’s death and resurrection – which was the Holy Ghost (John 14:26).  To give them inner peace forever – to remedy and replace the passing or persistent pain of loneliness (John 14:16). We all have this same promise of hope today.  To keep our heart’s fear of being left alone at bay.

If we say we are Christians, then we have been born again of the Holy Spirit.  The middle wall of partition between our hearts and heaven was broken down when God gave us the gift of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 2:14).  Our Father’s love was shed abroad in our hearts for the first time – as He commanded His light to shine out of the darkness (Romans 5:5, 2 Corinthians 4:6).

When we were lost and unbelieving, we were without God in the world.  It doesn’t mean He wasn’t with us – He just wasn’t dwelling within us yet.  We were made nigh again to our heavenly Father by the blood of Christ shed at Calvary (lead passage) – so we wouldn’t have need to seek worldly answers anymore to questions of “why do I still feel alone sometimes?”

If we say we are born again believers, then we have the crucified Christ continually residing in our hearts by faith through the power of the Holy Ghost (Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 3:17).  Just like the disciples, we have a constant comforter in Christ.  To keep us from feeling so alone in the world.  For His Word which became flesh as Jesus – dwells within our fleshly vessels (John 1:14).

We have a friend in Jesus who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).  So we’re not bothered by loneliness so much – perhaps when we’re lying in bed at night after the busy-ness of the day has died down.  After all our activities may have temporarily alleviated any aloneness we might have been feeling deep inside.

Jesus is our mediator as Christians.  A middle man between God and ourselves, between the world and the Word, between our hearts and heaven (1 Timothy 2:5).  So we might call on Him in the middle of the night and talk with Him, when the world might be making us feel lonely again.  So we don’t call up friends at 3 AM instead – even those of the faith – who might be feeling the same way.

Our Father up in heaven is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3).  Christ completes this by dwelling in us as believers.  To keep our hearts and minds, and give us a constant peace from God which passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).  To console us and make us feel less unhappy when we are afflicted by any loneliness.

When we have found our true comfort in Christ – then we can tell the lost, lonely, and comfortless about our Lord – the shepherd and bishop of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).  To share the news about the One who never leaves or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5).  So we can lead them all to the Cross and Christ – so they are not left alone and alienated from the Almighty forever.

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(Scripture from the KJV)

Being content is a state of peaceful happiness.  The apostle Paul found this internally with Christ – no matter what was going on around him – and it wasn’t very pleasant many times (2 Corinthians 11:23-27, for example).  He endured far more than we could probably ever imagine going through as modern-day Christians.  Yet, he attained this sense of inner peace.  As believers like Paul was, we are to be content with such things as we have (Hebrews 13:5).

Anything more than food and clothing should be considered a plus for us (1 Timothy 6:8).  We are not to exact any more than what has already been appointed to us – being content with our wages.  Whatever they are – they are enough to spread the news of the gospel (Luke 3:13-14) – and we don’t need to be making any more by doing so (Titus 1:11, 1 Peter 5:2).  We don’t have to make merchandise of people to make the gospel known to them (2 Peter 2:3).

When we want for anything, we are not trusting God to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Psalm 23:1, Philippians 4:19). It’s very difficult to be wanting and content simultaneously.  We’re usually discontent when we want – because we see what we have as not being enough for whatever reasons – usually very worldly.  Our prayers will tend to be wanting as well when we don’t have inner contentment – full of asking God for thing amiss to consume on our own lusts (James 4:3).

Discontent is often a harbinger of contention and contending, which frequently gives way to mutually measuring and comparing ourselves with each other – even among our closest of brothers and sisters in Christ.  This is not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).  If we’ve yet to find the inner peace in all situations we face like Paul – will we not have tendencies to praise and thank God only when we’re getting what we want from Him – not what He wants us to have?  We can’t contend with God (Job 40:2) – and be content with Him at the same time.

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(Scripture from the NKJV and KJV)

– But the path of the just is a shining light – that shines more and more unto the perfect day. – Proverbs 4:18

– For the Lord shall be your everlasting light. – Isaiah 60:20

Few people – if any – ever see a forest fire start.  A still-lit cigarette gets carelessly tossed out the window of a car heading down a country road.  It lands in a pile of very dry pine needles – and lights the littlest of fires.  Nobody notices at first – but a flame has begun. Or, a bolt of lightning touches a tangled twisting of twigs along a remote forest floor – triggering the tiniest of blazes.

However, something has begun to burn in both places.  Whatever fuels and fans these flames from this point forward – determines how fast they grow, how far they go, and how bright they glow. The longer and stronger the blazes rage, the more effort and time it takes to extinguish them. These fires – no matter how and where they start – tend to consume almost everything in their paths.

Our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).  When we are truly “born again”, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost in our inner man.  Christ comes to dwell in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17).  It is a baptism of fire (Luke 3:16).  We  should have felt something when it happened – we should have felt a fire start to burn in our hearts.

The Lord has now shed His love abroad in our hearts by the Spirit given unto us (Romans 5:5).  God is now shining His lamp within us – to give the light of the glory – in the face of Christ Jesus.  A spiritual fire has been ignited in our earthen vessels of physical flesh (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).  A searing seal of love has been set within our hearts from heaven.  A blaze begins to build and burn – and it has a most vehement flame (Song of Solomon 8:6).

It’s a figurative fire – for we can’t actually see what is being burned. However, we should start to feel its effects – and others should start to see them.  To get going, forest fires tend to feed on fallen branches and leaves first – releasing locked-in nutrients – and depositing them back into the cleared soil.  This spurs new growth in time – after the fire passes through.

God works much the same way in our hearts.  Our Father in heaven is trying to consume any dead branches of anger and bitterness, despair and discouragement, unforgiveness and fear. When He has destroyed them – new growth of love, joy, and peace can come forth out of the unclogged and uncluttered soil of our hearts (Galatians 5:22-23).

Whatever is stoking our spiritual flame within us will determine how fast it grows, how far it goes, and how bright it glows.  As Christians, we must always be finding ways of the Word to stir up this gift – both in ourselves and others – so the fire does not die (2 Timothy 1:6).  Otherwise, dead growth will start to reappear.

It’s much like how a controlled burn works in nature.  Non-native plants that have crept in will be intolerant to a physical fire if it’s kept ablaze – while deep-rooted native plants are unaffected.  This clears out the clutter preventing new growth.  Nutrient recycling and regeneration is now possible.  Seeds can germinate much quicker as they are exposed to the sun earlier in the year.

Remember that while all this is happening, Satan will still be launching his fiery darts at our hearts (Ephesians 6:16) – trying to launch his own worldly blazes of lies at the same time.  The voice of the Lord divides the flames of any fire (Psalm 29:7).  If we are listening to His voice – they will be flames of faith.  If we listen to the devil’s voice, they will be flames of falsehoods.

God always knows what’s fanning and fueling these fires.  If His Word is controlling the burn – worldly plants that have crept in will be intolerant to it – while the plants deeply rooted in Him will be unaffected.  The Lord’s flame within us will help in continual nutrient recycling and regeneration (2 Corinthians 4:16).  Spiritual seeds can germinate much quicker are they are exposed to the Son earlier in our Christian lives.

Jesus reminded us to keep our loins girded about us – keeping our lights burning (Luke 11:35).  We must always take heed that this light is still not just more of the world’s darkness (Luke 12:35).  If the lamp of the Lord is truly burning bright in our hearts – our eyes should glow with His light – and everything we do should reflect the warmth of His Word (Luke 11:36).

In turn, our words to others can then warm the coldest of hearts that have been hardened by the world.  Just like the two men on the road to Emmaus, our hearts will be ablaze whenever Jesus opens up Scripture to us (Luke 24:32).  Our burning lights will burn brighter and brighter as that glorious day approaches – and we’ll be able to blaze trails so true into the darkest of nights on life’s journey – the darkness won’t be able to comprehend it (John 1:5).

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(Scripture refs – in order of use – at the end from the NKJV and KJV)

– How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard Him? – Hebrews 2:3

God is long-suffering and patient towards all mankind – He made all of us and is not willing that any should perish – but for all to come to repentance. Our Father in heaven takes no pleasure in the death of anyone. What He desires is for all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. However, the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

From our times as children, we have known the Holy Scriptures – to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. However, heaven is not a birthright. We are all born as flesh and blood beings into a corrupt and polluted world – neither of which can inherit the eternal kingdom of God.

Even though God does not appoint any of us to wrath at birth – He does not automatically appoint any to righteousness either.  We must be “born again” at some point in our lives – so God can come to dwell in our hearts by faith in Christ through His Holy Spirit.  So we no longer remain natural men and women still trying to learn God – who is a spirit – from the “outside-in” by our own flawed and finite human wisdom and understanding.

Without the Holy Ghost in us while we live – we cannot be sanctified.  We cannot become furnished and prepared for the Master’s every good work on earth.  Without the Holy Ghost in us when we die – we cannot be saved – and have our mortal bodies quickened and raised up on that last day.

Therefore, do not neglect such a great salvation.  Now is always the accepted time – for we never know what a single day will ever bring forth.  Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.  See then, that we do not refuse Him who speaks – for if they did not escape who refused Him that spoke on earth, how much more shall not we escape if we turn away from Him that speaks from heaven?

Be warned from Scripture:  Continued and defiant rejection of God, failure to learn from His heavenly correction and discipline – and failing to retain Him in our knowledge – is eternally dangerous.  This can make Him turn us over to reprobate minds and make us do all kinds of things we may not want to.  If it continues unabated, our Father in heaven can cut us off without remedy forever.

(Scripture refs in order of use: 2 Peter 3:9, Ezekiel 18:23, Ezekiel 18:32, 1 Timothy 2:4, Titus 2:11, 2 Timothy 3:15, 1 Corinthians 15:50, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, John 3:5, Ephesians 3:16-17, John 4:24, 1 Corinthians 2:11-16, John 5:39, 2 Timothy 3:7, 2 Timothy 2:21, 2 Timothy 3:17, Romans 8:9-11, Hebrews 2:3, 2 Corinthians 6:2, Proverbs 27:1, 2 Corinthians 6:1, Hebrews 12:25, Romans 1:21-32, Job 34:31, Proverbs 29:1, Luke 16:26).

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(Scripture from the KJV)

– Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor power, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God – which is in us in Christ Jesus the Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

If God did not love us – He never would have sacrificed His only Son to die for us (John 3:16). Our Father would have left us here stranded and alone and fending for ourselves – trying to face life and deal with all its complexities, confusions, and contentions without any help from above. That’s not how He designed us – but it’s how we many of us can live when we lean on our own worldly wisdom and understanding of things (Proverbs 5-7).

However, God’s strength to help us overcome these things and handle them rests in our weaknesses – when we glory in our infirmities. To those of us like this who are humble – He gives grace to – which is sufficient for all things … so that the power of Christ can truly rest upon and help us (2 Corinthians 11:30, 2 Corinthians 12:9). To those of us who exalt ourselves, remain prideful, and stay clothed in our own righteousness – God will resist – even as believers (Job 29:14, James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:5). And, He has His ways of humbling us when we do (Matthew 23:12).

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