It Is Test Time
April 19, 2017, 7:36 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags:

(1 John 1:5-10) “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Do you notice the “If we say” phrases in this passage. First, “if we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in darkness”, second “if we say that we have no sin”, and third “if we say that we have not sinned”? Take time to find these phrases and notice what they reveal. “We lie, and do not the truth”, “we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us”, and then “we make him a liar, and His word is not in us”. It is apparent that John is giving us test of the reality of our relationship with Christ. Can there be a more important test? Do you pass?

Bringing the Church Back Together
April 9, 2017, 12:24 am
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First John is the heartfelt writings of a man who sought to please God in all He did. Although at one time, this son of thunder, called upon Christ to bring fire down upon a group of people who didn’t receive Jesus he would have his life changed. Instead of speaking in anger, the Holy Spirit who was working in him transform him into Christ-likeness, and by the time of the epistle, he was known as the Apostle of love. His heart ached for his people to have the relationship with God that was a part of His plan. John writes to guide his people toward this relationship that brings joy and fulfillment. As a result, John write to encourage young Christians not to give up and become mediocre. Here are the four reasons for John writes the epistle:
I John 1:4- “These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
I John 2:1- “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.”
I John 2:26- “These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.”
I John 5:13- “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life.”
In our world today, we have a tremendous problem with the “unchurched” or “de-churched”. Two thousand years ago, John the beloved apostle wrote to people who were facing the same problem. Seemingly, there were those within the church that struggled with sin, which hindered the Holy Spirit’s control in their life, robbing them of joy. In their desire to be happy in the midst of their persecution, the turned to false teachers who misled them as they pointed them in the wrong direction. John writes to remind these believers to focus on Jesus, the Son of God, and to realize that it was in Him and Him alone that they were given the gift of eternal life. This personal relationship with God, when cultivated and developed produces true faith, godly ethics, and a passionate love for our God and for His people.

The Safest Place
March 18, 2017, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book

Psalm 27:5 states “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.”
The pavilion was a tent in the middle of the camp used as the tabernacle, a place of worship and offerings. During battles the king would use it and surround it with soldiers, making it safe from a human point of view. But the verse mentions “the secret of His tabernacle” which is most likely a reference to the holy of holies. Here I think the writer is using this as a metaphor. The safest place in the nation was the holy of holies, which was considered the dwelling place of Jehovah’s presence. The only person to enter this place was the high priest and He would do so only once a year. Yet the place was thought to be filled with the glory of God all the time. So this was the safest place to be hidden, in the presence of God. In the New Testament, we are said to be in the “hand of the Father” and no one can pluck us out. We are in the safest place possible, in Christ! God is so good.

Who Holds Everything Together?
March 15, 2017, 3:18 am
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book

Colossians 1:17 “And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” A simple verse but so deep! Jesus was there before anything was made! But look at this part, “. . . and by Him all things consist!” All things, and all things means “ALL THINGS” are held together because of Jesus. If He did not exist, nothing would exist. Jesus the Christ, the Preeminent One is the controlling, cohesive”glue” of the universe. He holds everything together! So when we understand this, when we live this, casting our cares on Him makes so much sense. Becoming a living sacrifice is so practical! The question to ask, “Is He keeping my life together today?

Walking in One Who Is!
March 12, 2017, 9:38 pm
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“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him.” (Col. 2:6)
I love to read verses in multiple versions to try to understand them better. Started this back at Piedmont when I was a student. Sometimes a verse will come alive when I can understand it as the Holy Spirit makes me understand what is being said. This verse is a challenge to continue walking with Christ in the amazing adventure He takes us on. Here’s what I really love, on this journey, Christ is in me, transforming me to be like Him. Notice what else He does as we follow. See the words “rooted and built up in Him. As we walk with Him, our roots grow down deeply in Christ and we will be built on a strong foundation. The foundation? Christ in you, the hope of glory!
So today, walk with Him. Even better, remember I am crucified with Christ and the life I now live is because Christ lives in me!

Bible Study What We Should Pray, A Look At Paul’s Prayer for the Colossians
February 19, 2017, 3:25 am
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Colossians 1:9-12 Prayer is a weapon used to encourage Christians to do God’s will each day!

Why Paul prayed (1:9a): For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you…
Notice- “we”. Prayer is a group thing.
“For this reason”
a. The Spiritual Life of the Colossians.
a. Their faith
b. Their love
c. Their reputation
b. The Gospel they received was the true gospel of the story of Jesus.
c. Their godly pastor, Epaphras
a. He shared the gospel with them.
b. He was a dear fellow servant (slave) of Jesus Christ.
c. He was a faithful servant
d. He was a positive person.
What was in Paul’s prayer? (1:9b): And asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will…”
a. Knowledge-“full, clear, deeper, mature knowledge” pointing to a “knowledge that is higher than normal knowledge”
b. What makes this so important is because the heresy in the Colossian church was Gnostism, or “secret knowledge gained by rituals. Paul used the word “epiginosko”, or higher knowledge, available to Christians through the work of the Holy Spirit. The Christian is growing into a deeper, clearer, more mature knowledge of God’s will.
c. This is focusing on the moral will of God (how God wants us to live for Him). Growing in this knowledge will help us understand God’s providential will, the more specific things that we focus on.
d. Paul wanted the Christians “to be filled” with the knowledge of God’s will so their lives will have purpose.
e. Paul was not satisfied that these Christians would simply have an intellectual command of full, clear, deeper knowledge of the will of God but he wanted them “to be filled” with this knowledge. Knowledge of the divine will was to pervade all their existence – thoughts, affections, purposes, and plans. Christians are to be filled, controlled by, and dominated with the will of God for their lives because apart from Christ there is no meaning or purpose to life.
1. Through all spiritual wisdom. –Discerning (or the ability to discern the facts and see how they are relevant to everyday life) the will (revealed by the Bible) of God.
2. and understanding. –This word seems to imply the ability to apply the facts that are relevant to real life situations.
Why should we know God’s will? (1:lOa)
a. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord… Paul wanted the Colossians to know God’s will so they would lead a godly life that honors God.
b. And may please him in every way, –Paul wanted the Colossians Christians to seek to please God in everything we do, say, or think.
c. We are to seek to please the Lord in everything we do, say or think. The Christian is to live life to bring satisfaction to Christ, to bring joy to his heart.
What are the consequences of living a life that honors and pleases God (1:lOa-12a)
a. Bearing fruit in every good work (not works that save but works that give evidence that you are saved.
b. Growing in the knowledge of God, –Not only should the Colossians be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, but they should continually grow in the knowledge of God Himself. We should not just know about God but have a growing intimate relationship with God.
c. Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience with joy,
a. Christians are to live in God’s power, which makes all spiritual actions within His will possible.
b. Giving Thanks to the Father… We are to live as thankful people.
d. Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. We are to praise God who gives us (“saints” or saved, set apart ones”) a great inheritance.


Who Do You Listen to About Life?
January 29, 2017, 5:01 am
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book
Psalm 103:8-13 “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.”
When we live this thing called “LIFE” sometimes our circumstances become our focus. At those times, it is important to remember important truths about God. Here are a few.
First, God is merciful and gracious. Notice that this doesn’t say that God shows mercy and grace, although He does. In that case, we are talking about what God does. But it is important for us to remember and focus on Who God is. The characteristics of mercy and grace aren’t words to describe God’s attitudes or actions but attributes to describe who He really is. Because of this, we can be sure that all that God does will always fall within the realm of mercy and grace. Mercy is the idea that we don’t get what we deserve. Notice “He hath not dealt with us after our sins”. If God did, we would get justice and it would be fair. But God shows us mercy. He has removed our sins or transgression as far as the east is from the west away from us. He does because He is merciful. Then notice He shows us love like a father. He pitieth us. In other words, He loves us. Not because we deserve it but because He is gracious. When we fail, the easy thing would be to walk away or to condemn us. But God stays, correcting, convicting, encouraging, changing us. Not because we deserve it or have earned it with our good efforts. Simply because He is gracious.
Second, God loves us. He expresses love toward us. God sees what we can be in Him and constantly works within us so that we become that. When we fail Him and come short of His standard, He doesn’t treat us as a judge would. He treats us in love. Many times I did stupid things that my dad was disappointed that I did. But while I can think of many times my dad was upset, disappointed, and angry over my disobedience, rebellion, and stupidity, I can’t think of one time that my dad stopped loving me. (It was close a few times!) But God, my Eternal Father, took it upon Himself to love me to the extreme. Unconditionally, He loves me. In spite of my failures, rebellion, disobedience, and SIN, God doesn’t punish me because He took my punishment on the cross. Justice has been done and I have received grace, unearned favor with God.
So tonight, I choose to remember the truth about God. At times Satan tries to get me to look at the events and circumstances in my life as things to question God about. Sometimes, Satan tells me that God is punishing me by having Teresa hurt. Sometimes Satan yells “If God is good, why are y’all going through bad things?” When he does, the Holy Spirit reminds me God is merciful and gracious and God loves me. Who are you going to believe: the One who is described as” the way, THE TRUTH, and the life” or the one who is described as “the father of lies”?