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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’


KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire – wanting nothing. – James 1:3-4

– Not that I speak in respect of want – for I have learned in whatsoever state I am in – therewith to be content. – Philippians 4:11

– The devil does not come to you with his red face and horns.  He comes to you disguised as everything you’ve ever wanted. – Anonymous

The disembodied hand writing on the plaster wall was spelling out and sealing Belshazzar’s final fate, to be brought upon him by God later that same night (Daniel 5:5).  This, on an evening starting out as a celebration of the king’s power, posterity, and possessions (Daniel 5:1-4).  However, the mood of the party-goers changed – as did Belshazzar’s demeanor when the words “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” (Daniel 5:25) appeared before them.  The king’s knees shook in fear and he soiled himself upon seeing it (Daniel 5:6).  Before he knew what the message meant, his guilty conscience before God got the best of him.

He understood immediately the words were from above – and it was not going to be good news.  When David was brought in to interpret, Belshazzar’s worst fears were realized (Job 3:25).  He’d been weighed in God’s balances and found to be wanting, and his kingdom was to be split among the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:24-28). What was Belshazzar wanting?  Salvation – and it was too late.  No more space would be given to repent (Revelation 2:21).  The king’s neck had stiffened against God so much for being absorbed in idolatry, want, and pride – he was cut off from heaven forever (Proverbs 29:1, Daniel 5:23, Daniel 5:30).

When our Father in heaven says not to do something, He means not to do it.  God does not give out casual recommendations, or friendly suggestions and advice on how we are supposed to live in steadfast (Hebrews 3:14) alignment and agreement with His will and way.  Instead, He gives us commandments to humbly obey and abide by every second until we die (Philippians 2:8).  They are not heavenly options to ponder over and pass on.  Therefore, when God tells us we are not to want – then we are not to (Psalm 23:1).  Living in want keeps us from being presented as peaceful, unblameable souls at the end (2 Peter 3:14).

Why?  Want is worldly.  It is walking in the spirit of err – not in the way of truth (Proverbs 19:27, James 1:16, 1 John 4:6).  Not only does want keep faith and belief incorrectly focused on things below (Colossians 3:2), but it leaves a heart wide open for seeds of sins like lust, covetousness, envy, and greed to take root and grow.  Then, they slowly spread worldly weeds throughout the soul as it all gradually chokes out the Word, and production of spiritual fruits commanded by God to be continually be brought forth in keeping with repentance unto salvation (Mark 4:19, Galatians 5:22-23, Matthew 3:8, John 15:16, 2 Corinthians 7:10).

Any true Christian (John 3:5) in a state of want is spiritually unstable in all their ways (James 1:6-8, James 4:8).  Faith, trust, and belief in – and love of God and Christ waver and drift (Ephesians 4:14, Hebrews 13:9), often spiking and dipping drastically based on whether a want is being fulfilled/obtained or not.  A person in this condition cannot be content with anything they have in life now – because they’re concentrating on future wants (Hebrews 13:5, Luke 3:14).  Dissatisfaction in this sense breeds impatience with a God they want to do their will as soon as possible, making it impossible to receive heaven’s promise (Hebrews 10:35-36).

The definition of want is a lack or deficiency of something – or someone.  Sadly, some will spend their whole life pursuing want after want.  Looking for certain people, following dreams, and making purchase after purchase to acquire desired material possessions.  All to find a feeling of fulfillment and purpose – hoping a life of repetitively obtaining wants will be what it takes to create a lasting sense of happiness.  Although they may be aware of a nagging, inner emptiness and loneliness throughout – they keep relying on and turning to external means and methods to make the ache go away – trying to fill and fix the bothersome void.

They don’t work.  As Billy Graham said, “They make for great fire escapes, but terrible fire extinguishers.”  No one but Christ can quench wants.  Godly joy and fulfillment can only be regenerated daily by Jesus residing in the soul by faith through the power of the Holy Ghost (Ephesians 3:16-17, Titus 3:5).  This is why one must be born again of the Spirit (John 3:5) for all wants to begin subsiding through repentance and remission of such sin.  This is when God begins rooting out and burning up weeds of want (Matthew 15:13, John 15:1-6), to produce a spiritually fruitful soul (Galatians 5:22-23), from branches of inner happiness.

Through His truth, God has to transform an always “wishing and wanting” soul conformed to this world (Romans 12:1-2) into a perfectly content being – no matter what state they are in at all times (second lead verse) – even if they have no more than food and clothes (1 Timothy 6:8).  Worldly Christians would not want a life with so little, for they would see it as God messing with them.  They desire earthly blessings; not eternal.  Unholy pastors prey upon this “more is better” approach to achieving a happy life with Christ (1 Corinthians 15:19).  Gearing and steering sermons into alignment with the world – not the Word.

Don’t misunderstand – for there can be seemingly noble and honorable wants such as sound health, happy homes, or strong inter-personal relationships.  However, these desires can become a means to an end.  In other words, God may only receive praise when these wants are first achieved – then maintained.  If health starts failing, homes become filled with strife, and relationships falter, then problems with God can begin.  Along with the words “This is NOT what I want (need) right now.”  However, He requires all things past (Ecclesiastes 3:15), and we must get past all want to be in agreement with Him (Amos 3:3).

In conclusion, when anyone gets deceived by the devil, they begin believing they know themselves better than anybody else – including the One who fashioned their heart in the womb to be desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).  In turn, they foolishly start trusting their heart and self (Proverbs 28:26, 2 Corinthians 1:9) to know exactly what they need and want at all times.  Being certain that whatever they get will “work out” – and it does not.  Or, maybe it does for varying periods of time, until the devil tempts and entices them once again they have got to buy or try some new thing they see on TV or hear about from others (Acts 17:21).

It’s an endless cycle for some as Satan constantly spins his”want wheel” before their eyes.  It’s how Christians can end up feeling like they are being spiritually yanked about (Matthew 11:30) by a dizzying array of daily product options to consider, and periodic life-change choices to make or forsake.  Their attempts to partake at God’s and the devil’s table simultaneously – beget jealousy in Him (1 Corinthians 10:21).  It says His grace isn’t sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) as they are still in want of something or someone.  Life with Christ isn’t satisfying.  It’s why hell will never be full – and full is how Satan wants it (Proverbs 27:20).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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– God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth. – John 4:24

There has been a TV ad running here in Gainesville for about six or seven months now, promoting various aspects of an area Christian school.  Near the end of it, an voice from off-screen says, “I believe God has a spiritual home for everybody.”  Yes, it’s true He does. However, this house is a habitation in our heart.

Our soul is where all true worship of our Father starts, and then finishes upon our final breath.  Not within the confines of any physical building or dwelling man designates as a “house of worship” – or a “house of faith.”  It does not mean people cannot go to these places, but they’re not where worship is centered.  

Why?  Well, God says the following words to us in the book of Acts: “However, the most High does not dwell in temples made with hands.  Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool.  What house will you build for Me?  Or, what is the place of My rest?  Has My hand not made all of these things (Acts 7:48-50)?”

In a similar vein, when the apostle Paul was in Berea, he penned these words about Him: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth – doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands.  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as if He needed anything (Acts 17:24-25).”

This is why true worship can only be within us.  It begins, continues, and finishes with our last day on earth.  It is why we must be “born again” of the Spirit at some point before we die (John 3:5).  This is the only church plant mattering to Him – for a seed of salvation is sown in the heart when it takes place.

It begins growing, and starts producing spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).  An inner church is birthed, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone.  In whom all the building is fitly framed together – so it grows into a holy temple of God in our soul (Ephesians 2:20-22).

All other forms of external worship are wrong and fraudulent.  They create a feigned, often forced faith, complete with fake smiles.  It can fool many for a long time, but not God (Hebrews 4:12-13).  Being born again is the only way we can be guided into all truth without being lied to (John 16:13, 1 John 2:27).

Otherwise, we can be deceived by a lot of likeable lies disguised as His truth.  We can then be dangerously misled.  With Satan having his own seat in Sunday pews (Revelation 2:13) spewing forth such falsehoods (John 8:44).  Or, preaching these fallacies and errors standing in the pulpit (Ephesians 6:12, James 1:16).

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– For if the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? – 1 Corinthians 14:8

– God has not called Christians to a playground, but a battlefield. – Billy Graham

There certainly seems to be an extremely vocal – but very confused and uncertain sound coming from much of the modern church and Christianity these days.  It is growing louder with every passing year – as the apostasy of man’s last days draw near (2 Timothy 3:1-7).  It shows no signs of being silenced soon.

It is becoming an almost mind-numbing and annoying noise to a growing number of people who might be secretly wishing it would just stop.  Sounding as if millions of Christians all around the world are absent-mindedly jangling their believer keys.  Everyone at once, with no real reason to do so (1 Timothy 1:6).

It is discordant.  It can sound like everyone knows how to play individual tunes of truth very well on their own spiritual instrument (Ezekiel 33:32).  However, it is rarely in harmony with heaven or others.  So few Christians seem to be following the score composed by the Chief Musician anymore (Psalm 19).

This is how vain (and profane) babblings about the Bible are born.  It is also how back and forth salvos of Scripture start.  They only increase ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:16).  Those partaking in such outbursts speak into the air (1 Corinthians 14:9), seemingly not caring how spiritually unfruitful it all is (Titus 3:8,14).

All the while, fewer and fewer Christians seem to understand what they are truly saying about God’s Word.  With more and more unable to affirm what it is they are saying by being able to completely back it up with Scripture (1 Timothy 1:7).  Some just put their own personal spin on it – and pass it off as His truth.

Some behaving as if they’re still natural beings trying to teach God’s Word with worldly wisdom (Proverbs 3:5, 1 Corinthians 1:27, 2:13).  Others appearing as if they’ve swerved from the truth; removed from the gospel they first heard.  Perverting God’s to serve worldly interests (1 Timothy 1:6, Galatians 1:6-7).

All in all, it creates much more clutter than clarity in Christianity – more confusion than contentment.  It leads to minds saying, “I really don’t know why I am doing all of this, so I might as well go have some fun while I do (1 Corinthians 15:19).”  Sadly, this can be a person’s whole approach towards life, and the Lord.

One person says a few words about God, someone else says different ones – yet nobody really seems to know why believers assemble together anymore (Acts 19:32).  Christians uncertain like this are generally restless, discontent, and confounded.  This is not belief in God; but disobedience (1 Peter 2:6-8).

These are the ones crying, “I just want to know what God’s plan and will is for my life.”  Such queries show muddled minds still corrupted by Satan’s subtleties; and uncorrected by Christ’s simplicity (2 Corinthians 11:3).  God tells us how to enter His rest and find His will in three verses (Hebrews 4:10, Romans 12:1-2).

This confounded playground atmosphere plays right into Satan’s hands.  The devil must delight as he sits in pews, or preaches from pulpits (Revelation 2:13, Ephesians 6:12) looking at foolish Christians having Sunday fun.  Who wants a mourning house when they can have one of mirth (Ecclesiastes 7:4, James 4:9)?

Faith does not equate to fun.  Who wants to wage war against the prince of this world (John 14:30), if they are having a good time in it with God’s Word?  This means one is still living in pleasure (James 5:5).  Still minding earthly matters and still entangled with the affairs of this life (Philippians 3:19, 2 TImothy 2:4).

The devil is a wrathful and wicked wolf who has been giving a short time by God to steal souls, to kill and destroy (Revelation 12:12John 10:10).  We can’t sit idly on the sidelines of this eternal battleground as a neutral party.  If we are not with Christ at all times, we are for Satan when we are not (Matthew 12:30).

This swirling air of steady confusion and questioning seeming to exist today shows people who are clearly not grounded in God’s love.  They have no inner root to produce spiritual fruits until death (Ephesians 3:16-17, John 15:16, Galatians 5:22-23).  Only worldly whirlwinds can be sown and reaped (Hosea 8:7).

So when the heavenly trumpet of truth keeps calling Christians to arms against the devil, who is going to bang on the battle drums with uncertain, having fun, or ho-hum minds?  If somebody does, any echoing strains will beat the air and go nowhere (1 Corinthians 9:26).  Meanwhile, Satan keeps roaring (1 Peter 5:8).

The only job God gave the devil was to deceive and devour the world (Revelation 12:9).  Shipwrecking faiths to such unsalvageable statuses, faith might not be found by Christ upon returning (1 Timothy 1:19, Luke 18:8).  Unable to detect it in those who avoided good warfare by siding with Satan (1 Timothy 1:18).

Of course, who’s going to have any desire to fight the good fight of faith, if they have already captured the flag of salvation from the outset (1 Timothy 6:12)? Who’s going to go back and hate their life in the world after that?  Risking the loss of it on the battlefield for eternal souls between God and Satan (John 12:25)?

Leaving such a conflict to Christians who actually sat down and counted the cost of their life beforehand – who understand one cannot win a war without fighting it first (Luke 14:28).  The ones who put on the whole armor of God daily to deflect the devil’s fiery darts. Doing all they can to stand up (Ephesians 6:11-17).

An uncertain sound is unsure.  It’s hesitant, wavering, and doubtful.  In Christianity, it can quickly lead to wicked and unrighteous debating about God’s Word (Romans 1:29).  Instead of believers simply abiding by it, and humbly obeying Him unto death just like Jesus Christ did (John 15:1-6, Philippians 2:8).

Sadly, there seems to be no air of debate among far too many Christians today about the certainty of their salvation (Hebrews 9:15).  Somehow having managed to defeat the devil, destroy the last enemy of death (1 Corinthians 15:26), and script the finishing of their faith before Jesus Christ ever does (Hebrews 12:2).

Leaving them to spend their remaining time living in pleasure and laying up treasures on earth (James 5:5, Matthew 6:19-20).  Enjoying the spoils of salvation’s victory before it’s ever won (Revelation 12:10).  Why would they want to go back out to the battlefield and get their uniform bloodied like Christ’s body was?

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

–  I charge you before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that you observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality – 1 Timothy 5:21

True faith in Jesus is impartial (James 2:1).  Our Father does not play favorites and neither must we (Romans 2:11).  We are partial if we’re attempting to be people-pleasers for worldly reasons (Galatians 1:10) such as preserving the praise, admiration, or respect of others.  Or trying to gain or maintain some type of favor or advantage (Jude 1:16) – maybe in regards to career concerns or money matters.  

If we are showing preference to any person more than another – are we not then partial to ourselves and the judge of evil thoughts (James 2:2-4)?  Just like Jesus did, we are to esteem all others better than ourselves, not just those we think we may be able to get future favors out (Philippians 2:3-5).  God is well-pleased when we do good, but not if we hold people hostage with it later (Hebrews 13:16).

We’re to love our enemies, do good, lend – and hope for nothing again while here on earth.  It does not matter if others appear to be unappreciative or evil. For as God is kind to such people – we must be the same (Matthew 6:20, Hebrews 11:14-16Luke 6:35). Otherwise our intentions are worldly and misguided, arising out of selfish or prideful minds.  God always knows such thoughts (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Playing favorites in this life is a harbinger of hate. Joseph’s brothers could no longer speak peaceably with him after they saw how much more their father favored and preferred Joseph than them.  It created hatred inside their hearts (Genesis 37:3-4).  Showing partiality like this, is being a part-time Christian.  We are only playing the part when we think there might be something “in it” for us (Luke 17:7-10).

True Christians have been born again of the Spirit (John 3:5).  We are all one body in Jesus (Romans 12:5, Galatians 3:28).  If we should have respect to persons, we commit sin (James 2:9).  It means we’re not following the example of Christ’s steps (1 Peter 2:21).  We’re still playing favorites – flattering others with insincere praise to further our personal interests. God shall cut off all such lips (Psalm 12:2-3).

 

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(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)

– 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)

– Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving – let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God – which passes all understanding – shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

– We pray not to inform God or instruct Him, but to beseech Him closely.  To be made intimate with Him, by continuance in supplication; to be humbled; to be reminded of our sins. – John Chrysostom

Supplication seems to be a word not attached much anymore to how and why we pray – or who and what we pray for.  It is the action of asking God earnestly (serious in intention and purpose) out of our humble hearts.  It is not presenting Him a list of demands as if He has to keep proving and demonstrating His love for us – over and over again – by giving us what we want (Psalm 23:1).  Once was enough at the Cross.

God promises to supply all our need according to His riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).  Therefore, supplication isn’t trying to get more for ourselves.  It is learning to love others more and transgress less ourselves – how and why God commands us to (1 Peter 1:22, Acts 17:30).  So our intent and purpose in prayer becomes seeking His constant help in keeping our hearts pure and purged from sin.

So, when God shows us compassion in forgiving our sins according to His truth, we can then show the same compassion to others in forgiving their sins against us (1 Kings 8:46-50).  Our Father’s mercy towards us in this regard – not giving us what we deserve each time we sin (Hebrews 2:2-3) – is to be our motivation for showing mercy to all others.  If we cannot, He will judge us without mercy (James 2:13).

Therefore, we have to keep our hearts purified from sins like haughtiness and pride (Proverbs 16:18, 1 Peter 1:22) through abiding side by side daily with God.  So He can keep burning bitter spiritual roots away (Malachi 3:2, John 15:1-6, Hebrews 12:15) – allowing better fruits to be brought forth.  So they grow to maturity and remain as a steady and ready supply to others (John 15:16, Galatians 5:22-23).

So when we pray each day with supplication, we go into a closet (Matthew 6:6), so nobody else but God can see or hear us.  Then, we begin presenting our proper requests to Him with thanksgiving – without thinking about getting any personal thanks from Him here on earth (Luke 17:7-10).  Then, confessing our sins and humbly asking for His help in keeping our hearts clean through His heavenly correction.

Not instructing Him to give us material things we may think we want or need – as if we know long before He does what such things are (Psalm 23:1, Matthew 6:8).  This is just asking amiss, making requests for money or materialistic items to consume upon our own lusts (James 4:3).  This still shows worldliness – and keeps us enemies with God – who considers us adulterers and adultresses for such (James 4:4).

All so our prayers don’t start sounding fake or feigned to others, or start feeling mechanical and empty to ourselves.  As if praying to God is just something we’re “supposed” to do.  So prayer doesn’t wind up becoming a part-time practice – because it seems to be ineffective for the most part.  For we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) – because Satan preys the same way (1 Peter 5:8-9).

When we practice praying with supplication as we walk in abidance with God’s ways – without trying to guide Him into ours – we shall ask what we will, and it will be done unto us (John 15:7).  We learn to start praying for others to walk worthy of God – and His ways as well.  So they increase in their knowledge of Him, and are strengthened with all might according to His power (Colossians 1:9-11).

We begin seeking the wealth and welfare of all others through our prayers and supplications (Ecclesiastes 5:9, 1 Corinthians 10:24).  Or we ask only for godly wisdom and judgment to be given unto us, without ever asking for anything personal for ourselves (2 Chronicles 1:10-11).  So we stop leaning on our understanding of prayer (Proverbs 3:5-6), and start experiencing a peace surpassing all understanding.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– “So then, because you are lukewarm – and neither cold nor hot – I will spit you out of My mouth.” – Revelation 3:16

– Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin.  They just want to be saved from the penalty of their sin. – Francis Chan

Don’t we all like to have our food reasonably hot or cold?  It just seems to enhance its overall flavor.  It brings out the taste of any seasoning better.  Much more so than if such foods were left out on an open table or kitchen countertop somewhere.  There, hot foods slowly cool off, and cold foods slowly warm up to room temperature.  They become lukewarm.

If we try tasting them in such a state, it is often quite unpleasant to our taste buds.  They would send us a warning sign something wasn’t quite right.  We would spit these foods out.  Hot or cold foods may have been sitting out for so long, dangerous and unseen bacteria such as salmonella start multiplying.  Food poisoning might result if we were to digest them.

The word lukewarm has many “not-so-positive” meanings – such as tepid, indifferent, perfunctory, non-committal, apathetic, and lacking conviction. Food fits the first definition – but not really the rest. Those apply more to emotional and spiritual feelings of being lukewarm.  We have all probably heard of someone getting a lukewarm reception; perhaps even receiving one ourselves.

It’s a half-hearted response.  Half-hearted means lacking interest or spirit.  This is not how we are to love the Lord as Christians (Deuteronomy 6:5).  God did not put His whole Spirit into us when we were born again of such (John 3:5), so we would live a life honoring Him with half a heart.  If we do, the rest of our heart has to be somewhere else (1 Corinthians 10:21, Colossians 3:2).

Any lack of passion as Christians can lead to passivity and apathy.  Any lack of commitment can lead to becoming comfortable and complacent.  Any lack of true worship from the heart (John 4;23-24) can lead to wrong works full of confusion, envying, and strife (James 3:16).  Any lack of interest or spirit can lead to indifference and insensitivity (Matthew 24:12). This can develop dull ears (Hebrews 5:11).

Lack of devotion leads to deviance from heaven’s straight path (Matthew 7:14).  Making us targets for the devil’s fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16) and devices; increasing our ignorance of his subtle lies the less devoted we are (Genesis 3:3-4, John 8:44, 2 Corinthians 2:11).  Remaining as novices – lifted in pride like this – and likely candidates to be taken captive at will (1 Timothy 3:6-7, 2 Timothy 2:26).

Any lack of the steadfast, moving forward daily faith God requires us to have unto the end for salvation (Hebrews 3:14) – leads to spiritual stagnation.  It’s a sense of feeling stuck in one place.  Air and water in such states quickly develop impurities from lack of movement.  They become very unhealthy to breath or drink.  Faith poisoning can result from any heart like this.  Bitterness can take root (Hebrews 12:15).

Salmonella can form on food sitting around too long. Sitting around too long as Christians can create problems for our salvation.  God requires us to move as we’re led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:1).  Samuel was of no use to God when he started sitting around mourning over Saul.  God told him to get up and go – there were things still to do (1 Samuel 16:1).

Being in any of the lukewarm states of being above, such as apathy, makes it very easy for backsliding to be birthed among believers who may be stagnating, straying, or stumbling (Hosea 11:7).  This backsliding can feel perpetual (Jeremiah 8:5).  It stems from still being filled with some of our worldly ways – and not all of the Word’s (Proverbs 14:14).  It’s hard to climb heaven’s staircase this way (2 Peter 1:3-11).

All in all, it makes for a lackadaisical, lounging around and lukewarm walk with God for any Christian like this.  Some seemingly unconcerned about a salvation they feel is secure (Philippians 3:12-14).  This is the devil’s deception.  Satan wants people to believe they’ve already received a promise we’re all to wait with patience until the end for (John 3:17, Hebrews 10:35-36, 1 Peter 1:13, Revelation 12:9).

This is a very flippant approach to faith.  It is foolishly being nonchalant about salvation – a hope we all have not seen yet (Romans 8:24-25).  It all fits the definition of a “devil-may-care” attitude towards God. Not really hot or cold – people professing faith just kind of lukewarmly hanging around waiting for Jesus to return.  However, maybe wondering if this will really happen at all (2 Peter 3:4).

God didn’t hang Christ on the Cross for us to be like this.  Much has been given to us – much is required (Luke 12:45-48).  Just as food sitting around too long in the same place can become lukewarm, so can a faith sitting around in the same place too long.  With lukewarm food, we can just spit it out of our mouth onto a plate.  If our faith should continue this way too long, God could spit us out into the pit forever.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– But the tongue no man can tame … it is an unruly evil, full of poison. – James 3:8

– Therefore, if we seem to be religious, and we cannot bridle our tongues, we deceive our own heart – and our religion is in vain. – James 1:26

Just by putting the smallest of bits in the mouths of big horses, man has been able to get such creatures to obey him.  Mighty ships driven on the oceans by the fiercest of winds, can still be kept on course and controlled with the smallest of helms.  Even so, the talk from our tiny tongues can chart the course of our days.  They can bring forth obedience or disobedience – blessings or curses (James 3:3-5,10).

However, no man can tame them.  They are unruly. We can speak right words or wrong ones.  We can emotionally or spiritually poison another person just by the talk from our tongues.  We can corrupt any good manners we may have established, simply by the words we speak ( 1 Corinthians 15:33).  If we love life and want to see good days – we are to refrain from speaking evil and guile (1 Peter 3:10).

Death and life are in the power of our tongues (Proverbs 18:21).  One slip of them can shipwreck the faith of even the closet brother or sister (1 Timothy 1:19).  Another slip can set off sparks and kindle a fire like hell (James 3:6).  Burning down spiritual buildings, consuming belief, and leaving Christian lives smoldering in the ashes.  We are not like the phoenix.  We cannot always rise from such ruin.

We are to ask God to set a watch before our mouths, and to keep the door of our lips (Psalm 141:3).  We can pray, preach, go to church, do charitable work – and appear to be very religious in the eyes of many others.  However, once a single wrong word escapes our mouth – it is on the lam.  It is not like a fleeing convict trying to make a breakaway – whom we can just go capture again and bring back to prison.

God warns us repeatedly about the power of our words to others … in His Word to us.  A wholesome tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse one can break spirits (Proverbs 15:4).  We can increase the joy or sorrow of another.  We can wound their heart or mar their mind with thoughtless talk.  Just one careless word can reopen an emotional scar from years ago, or aggravate an inner wound from yesterday.

Be warned – we will all give an account of every idle word we speak on earth to God.  By our talk and communications below heaven – will be justified or condemned by our Father above (Matthew 12:36-37). However, only God can teach us to tame our tongues (lead verse).  This comes from being born again of the Spirit (John 3:5) – when Christ comes to dwell in our hearts by faith (Ephesians 3:16-17),

So we are taught the truth with no lie – and learn to put off lying tongues (Jeremiah 9:5, 1 John 2:27).  So we learn to speak and act more and more like Jesus each day (Ephesians 4:20-32).  So we practice the gospel we preach (Romans 2:19-23, 1 Corinthians 9:14).  So we don’t just weigh in on whatever is going on in Christianity – but so our words start having weight – in showing the lost the way to the Cross.

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture):

–  But you, O Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book – even to the time of the end.  Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. – Daniel 12:4 

– Information is not knowledge. – Albert Einstein

We now have more information readily available at our fingertips than at any time before in human history.  If we are not careful – we will call this information knowledge.  If we are not careful in regards to God’s Word, we will call it knowing Him. Our Father warns us through Daniel this increase of knowledge is a sign of the end.  Many will run to and fro, to acquire more – and it won’t be enough.  

However, possessing knowledge does not mean a thing if we don’t know what to do with it.  Much wisdom is grief, and we that increase knowledge – increase sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:18).  It just puffs us up in pride if we haven’t yet learned to edify others in true Christian love (1 Corinthians 8:1, 1 Peter 1:22). All this information – even about God – just fills our hearts until something spills out (Luke 6:45).

Knowing about Jesus to ourselves is a lot different from showing Jesus to others.  We have been given the mind of Christ as born again Christians (John 3:3-7, 1 Corinthians 2:16).  Are we learning to love, walk and talk more like Jesus daily by obeying the Spirit of truth (Ephesians 4:20-32, 1 Peter 1:22)?  Or, are we just increasing knowledge by learning more verses about Jesus – without living them?

We are probably doing the latter if we say Jesus is Lord of our life –  but we are still not doing what he says (Luke 6:46).  Such as not having learned yet to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31) – or, still not esteeming others better than ourselves like Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5).  Sharing Bible knowledge of Christ with the lost, must fall on disbelieving ears if we are not showing them Christ.

Knowledge is an idol otherwise.  We can increase our intelligence in leaps and bounds – and still find we are insensitive to others.  We can honor God with our lips (Mark 7:6) – loving how much we’ve learned about Him – without having learned how to love others.  In addition to an increase of knowledge, another end time signal will be the love of many growing cold as iniquity abounds (Matthew 24:12).

In general regards to this, author Daniel Keyes wrote the following: “I have learned alone that intelligence doesn’t mean a thing.  Here in your universities, intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge have all become great idols.  But I know one thing you’ve overlooked – intelligence and education that hasn’t been tempered by human affection, is not worth a thing.  Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts.

Keyes ends with this: “But all too often a search for knowledge – drives out a search for love.”  It is true. Any quest for more Bible knowledge can quench the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19).  We have been given amazing minds.  However, if they are not being transformed daily from the inside-out (Romans 12:2), learning His truth about love – we don’t know a thing as we should (1 Corinthians 8:1-2)

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