Bearing The Gospel…

Acts 4:10 (NIV)

Then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.

As enter the season of preparation to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Gospel message we bear within ourselves should be a light for all to see. So, I would like to look at our Verse of the Day in its surrounding context in order to understand how we “image” the transformation of the Gospel in our lives:

Acts 4:1-14 (NIV)

The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the Apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; and the number of people who believed grew to about five thousand. The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ (Citing Psalm 118:22) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

To me, this passage affirms that the role of the Holy Spirit in the declaration and demonstration of the Gospel is essential. The Holy Spirit healed the man who was lame. The Holy Spirit gave Peter both the words to say and the courage to say them without reservation before the religious authorities. There was no hesitation or concern about the possible outcome (punishment) that might ensue. The religious authorities had been provoked; their religious paradigms had been challenged. And yet, “there was nothing they could say.” Sometimes I wonder why the Church today no longer seems as effective in the declaration and demonstration of the Gospel. Are we afraid to operate in the divine power we have been given? Does the Church, at large, simply ignore the Holy Spirit and His reality?

Maybe we should go back to the Day of Pentecost and review the powerful, prophetic word delivered by Peter. The events that took place are captured for us in Acts 2:1-21, and I encourage you to click on the link and read it have context for the following commentary. I believe you will see there is a definite connection between salvation and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. His indwelling presence produces in us the power of testifying and proclaiming the “wonders of God” and the “works of faith.”

Romans 15:18-19 (NIV)

I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So, from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.

Hebrews 2:1-4 (NIV)

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will.

Proclaiming the Word of God and the Good News of Jesus was confirmed by signs and wonders through the power of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, as the writer of Hebrews explained, it is God who testifies and affirms the truth of His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ with signs, wonders, various miracles, AND by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will. HIS testimony is not conjured up by the will or power of people. Further, the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell every believer in these latter days as Joel prophesized and as Jesus promised and as Peter affirmed has been fulfilled. The gifts of the Spirit were not solely for the Apostles as some bible scholars purport. It is evident that the Holy Spirit indwelt disciples who served under the Apostles; and there are many other instances of people being filled with the Spirit recorded in the Book of Acts.

Acts 6:3-8 (NIV)

Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also, Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism. They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them.  So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. Now Stephen, a man full of God’s grace and power, performed great wonders and signs among the people.

Acts 11:15-18 (NIV)

“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as He had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit.’ So, if God gave them the same gift He gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

Through the transformation of faith and spiritual rebirth, God created us in Christ Jesus to do good works – which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Cf. Ephesians 2:10) And Jesus declared, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (Cf. John 15:5) So it follows that believers are filled with the Holy Spirit in order to abide in Jesus and to bear the fruit of the Spirit through good works. This is the heart of the Gospel. Yes, this is the message we should declare with the boldness and power of the Spirit God gave us. (Cf. 2 Timothy 1:7) We should be obedient to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit we have received … as distributed according to His will … as a testimony of the salvation we have received by grace through faith.

My friends, I believe that in order to BE the Gospel, in order to have credibility before an unbeliever, the presence and power of the Holy Spirit must be manifested in us – demonstrated through a sanctified life and through signs, wonders, various miracles, and the gifts we have received. And since these are “distributed” to us by the Holy Spirit, we have His credibility. I ask us to consider: “Do we display our credentials?” “Do we exercise our giftings? Do we operate in the power of the Spirit? Or do we quench Him? In order for the Body of Christ to be effective in proclaiming the message of salvation through Jesus, we must collectively exercise our individual Spirit-filled gifts. Indeed, it should be “natural” for us to operate in the supernatural….

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. ~ Micah 3:8

His Divine Power…

2 Peter 1:4 (NIV)

Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Our Verse of the Day seems to be missing something.  It begins with “through these.”  Perhaps we should ask: “through these what?” Let’s go back to the beginning of the passage and look at the context:

2 Peter 1:3-11 (NIV)

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I would like to outline this passage in order to better understand what Peter wants to communicate to us.  His assertion in Verse 3 is quite powerful, and it is a concept I believe we need to incorporate into our own theologies. Peter states that the divine power of God has given us EVERYTHING we need to live a godly life. We should probably stop right there and reflect on the sufficiency of His power to equip us to walk in righteousness and holiness. And Peter indicates that it is through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness, our Creator, that we have received this power to live in godliness. To me the key thought here is our KNOWLEDGE of God. It is our knowledge of Him that activates this divine power we need to live; and this knowledge is imparted through His Word – revealed in His Son and by His Spirit….  Yes, His power has been given through Christ Jesus. It is available to us who believe in Him!

Inn the context, I believe that “through these” is referring to His “glory and goodness.” Our call to salvation in Christ Jesus expresses both the glory and the goodness of God! The Father is glorified in the Son.  He is exalted with honor and praise for this gift of His grace in which we stand through faith. (Cf. Romans 5:2) And the eternal life we have received in Christ Jesus demonstrates the goodness and love of God. Peter continues, and he declares it is through the glory and goodness of God we have been given His very great and precious promises. Oh, can we even fathom what has been said here? The promises of God in His Word are too numerous for me to begin to recount here. Dr. David Jeremiah counted nearly 7,500 promises of God in the Bible! Indeed, it is because of His Being … His Glory … His Name … His Goodness that we even have His great and precious promises to trust!

Now, notice that Peter affirms that “through them” … His great and precious promises … we are invited to participate in the divine nature. Do we comprehend what this means? To participate in the divine nature … to live in godliness, God-likeness, holiness? Well, that is what happens when are born-again of the Spirit and become a new creation in Christ! We receive His divine power to overcome the darkness of our sinful nature. Peter articulates it: “we have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” Although we are IN the world … we are not OF the world any longer. We do not belong to the world because we have been called out of the world. (Cf. John 15:19)  And it is through this understanding that we begin to abide in our Lord Jesus.  Apart from Him and His divine power we can do nothing. (Cf. John 15:5)

My friends, as we abide in Christ and He in us, the process of sanctification begins its transformation within us. And I think that Peter does a great job describing how His divine power works within us … building upon our faith in Jesus (His greatest and most precious promise to us) so that we can participate in the divine nature of God. The Holy Spirit leads us to make every effort to add to our faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if we possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Through abiding in Christ, our knowledge of Father God will be completed. Perhaps this is why Paul petitioned God to fill believers with the knowledge of His WILL through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives. (Cf. Colossians 1:9) I believe it is vital in order for us to have an effective and productive life in the Kingdom of God.

Well, these are some thoughts on divine power and promises we have received through Jesus Christ. May they inspire and encourage you to “add to your faith.”

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. ~ Romans 5:1-5

Be Prepared To Answer…

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

Our Verse of the Day is one of the most succinct instructions we can find in the Bible regarding evangelism in its “simplest” form.  We do not have to pass out “religious tracts” in the mall or door-to-door in order to be evangelists; although there might be occasions for us to use that method of sharing the Gospel. We do not have to stand on street corners with signs, banners, and megaphones heralding Scriptures to passersby; although if the Spirit directs you to do so … you should obey Him. But if you think about it, when most of us were “confronted” by the Gospel message, the context was probably somewhat different.  Your exposure to the message about Jesus Christ probably came through someone with whom you had a relationship. It could have been a parent, a sibling, a family member, a friend, a co-worker, or simply an acquaintance. Maybe someone did hand you a Gospel tract, or a religious billboard caught your eye and planted a seed of spiritual introspection. But most likely it was seeing “something different” in the life of another believer or hearing the personal, spiritual experience of someone you trusted that inspired or encouraged you to have a “real” relationship with God….

As I read this verse, I connected with its instruction on “how” to be an effective witness of the Gospel. First of all, Peter indicates that we must have a deep relationship with Jesus ourselves.  In our hearts we are to “revere Christ as Lord”.  This means we have humbled ourselves and wholly surrendered our lives to His authority. This means we esteem Him worthy of all praise, honor, and worship.  This means we have experienced His life-changing grace in our own hearts and desire our lives to reflect the holiness for which He saved us.  As the writer of Hebrews admonishes us: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” (Cf. Hebrews 12:14) Yes, if we revere Christ as Lord in our hearts, we will pursue a life that is sanctified in order to live godly and worthy lives before Him.

If we are living a life that demonstrates a genuine, intimate relationship with our Lord Jesus, then I’m fairly certain others will see it.  And sometimes your life in Christ will produce curiosity in someone who is seeking to have “more” of that “something different” you have in your life.  It will be attractive to them because you display the way, the truth, and the life of Jesus. In this context, Peter instructs us: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” Note the extreme language: ALWAYS. To be prepared means we have “practiced” in order to be ready.  We have “refined” our thoughts about our own personal encounter with Jesus.  We have “reflected” on our own experience of repentance, redemption, and reconciliation in our lives. As a result, sharing the Gospel … well it simply becomes a matter of sharing our own story!

But do this with gentleness and respect,” Peter advises. His approach sounds very similar to what Paul counseled, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Cf. Colossians 4:5-6) Indeed, this is why I think we need to reflect on how to best communicate and share the good news of Christ Jesus. The manner and the circumstances in which we shared the Truth with someone will determine our effectiveness in reaching that person for God.  If we appear pious or act superior in our tone, we will not reflect what Jesus taught: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Cf. Mark 9:35) So the question to ask is whether you and I are “prepared” to answer anyone about our faith and hope in Christ?  Or perhaps a more pertinent question to ask might be: “Is our love for others evident in our lifestyle and walk of faith – so much so that it would be a conversation starter for a stranger or an unbeliever?”

My friends, for unbelievers to respond to the Gospel, they need to see an “authentic” Gospel impact within us.  They need to see a genuine outcome of the power of God in order to believe such power exists and that it does produce change. We live in a generation and a culture that increasingly dismisses or rejects the existence of God; and more specifically, the wonderful message of Jesus. And I believe some of this intellectual skepticism might stem from inadequate “evidence” of the work and power of God in the lives of those who profess faith in Him. If our manner of life looks no different than the culture or the world, how can we have any impact on those seeking to come out of it?

John 3:5-8 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again. The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So, it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

I love the metaphor that Jesus used when He conversed with Nicodemus. We cannot see the wind, yet we can observe its movement and impact.  Likewise, we cannot see the Spirit of God, yet a person should be able to discern His manifestation in the life of a believer! If our lives do not authentically reflect the transforming power of Christ, then how is there evidence for an unbeliever to move from skepticism to the truth they are desperate to find? I believe when the presence of God is seen because His impact is observable, a seed of faith can be planted. And so, I pray that each of us will be introspective and consider if the “wind” of our lives is sufficient to “stir the leaves” of doubt in the heart of an unbeliever.  If it is, I would venture to say that someone is going to ask about the difference they see in you … your life of faith in Jesus Christ. And if they do, be prepared to tell them your story. I know it will be a great one to share!

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Be Strong and Courageous…

Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

I believe our Verse of the Day is both a timely and a prophetic word for us today! I am under conviction even as I type these words. God has been pressing each of us to be obedient … each of us to operate in faith and obedience to something He has placed on our hearts to do! Perhaps, you and I just need one more “push” to do it! Maybe this Scripture will be the encouragement we need to act! Have you ever considered that God commands us to be strong and courageous?  Is that not the key to walking forward in obedience to whatever He has called us to do?  And when God gives us something to do for Him, will He not empower us to accomplish it?  Look at the surrounding context of our verse:

Joshua 1:1-9 (NIV)

After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Note the intensity – “Have I not commanded you?” The implication here is that the Lord commands us to be strong and courageous! Indeed, I am reminded of what Paul wrote to encourage Timothy in the work of evangelism: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline! (Cf. 2 Timothy 1:7) Therefore, do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. The Spirit of God gives us what we need to do to accomplish the good works that He prepared in advance for us to do. (Cf. Ephesians 2:10) And we have the promise of Jesus who declared, “Surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.” (Cf. Matthew 28:20b)

These are some powerful assurances and promises of God. They were spoken to others – but I believe they have been written (recorded) for our hope and encouragement as well. God commands us to “exercise our faith.”  To be strong means we operate in the supernatural. To be courageous means walk in faith – expectant of a victorious outcome. Yes, there are battles ahead and there are challenges and oppositions to face; but God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. God did not give us a spirit of fear; rather, the Holy Spirit empowers and equips us to accomplish His will. He fills us with the love of God so that in this world we are like Jesus. (Cf. 1 John 4:17) He imparts to us sound minds to understand what Jesus taught and remind us of everything He said. (Cf. John 14:25-27) His Spirit lives within us, and will be in us forever. (Cf. John 14:15-17)

Oh, let us open our hearts to embrace each of these truths today:

  1. God has commanded me: “Be strong and courageous.”
  2. God has urged me: “Do not be afraid and do not be discouraged.”
  3. God has promised me: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

My friends, I pray we will apply this Word to our hearts … and to the situations or circumstances that God has engaged us to be His instruments. I pray we will believe Him and begin to move where He is moving … to work where He is working … with boldness and confidence! Yes, know that God is with you to accomplish His will. Whatever the Lord God has called you to do … just do it! In Jesus’ Name, I pray with boldness and confidence. Amen!  

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:10-12

The Spirit God Gave Us…

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Our Verse of the Day should be a familiar one as I have quoted it numerous times in the past.  I have always liked this verse because of its powerful reminder that we have been equipped by the Holy Spirit (the Spirit God gave us) to be courageous … to be bold … to minister in the authority given to us … to love as we have been loved … to exercise self-discipline, self-control.  I thought that I would reprint the verse in various translations to afford us a broader sense of what Paul is communicating in his epistle to Timothy:


For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (New King James Version)


For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (English Standard Version)


For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. (New Revised Standard Version)

For the Spirit that God has given us does not make us timid; instead, His Spirit fills us with power, love, and self-control. (Good News Translation)


For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. (Amplified Bible)

Each of these translations captures a nuance of the Spirit-filled impact that can resonate within our beings. The Spirit God gave us equips us with will-power; capacity; ability; authority; courage; perseverance. He enables us to overcome timidity; cowardice; and fear when it comes to living out the new life … the new creation … conceived within us when we came to faith in Jesus and received Him as Lord and Savior. Indeed, I believe repentance from sin and submission to God were the first manifestations of this power He gave us. When our spiritual conception occurred and brought forth a new birth in Christ, we received His power to exercise personal discipline and to walk in self-control.  As we abide in Christ and grow in Him, He enables us to bear the fruit of His Spirit … love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. (Cf. Galatians 5:22-25)

This is a powerful, straightforward message for us to embrace. God has given us the spiritual power and resources to live a godly life … a worthy life. We just need to awaken to it … step into it … and walk in it each day! I pray we will be stirred and inspired … filled with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding … so that that each of us may live a life worthy of the Lord Jesus … that we might please Him in every way … bearing fruit in every good work and growing in our knowledge of God … being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience. Amen. (Cf. Colossians 1:9-11)

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Peter 1:3-8

You Are a Faithful God

Psalm 33:4-5 (NIV)

For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love.

As I contemplate the theme of our recent studies, I am captured by the confirmation of our Verse of the Day regarding the faithfulness of God and His Word. Our verses have been prophetic – encouraging us to rely on God … His strength … His wisdom … His power to affect every situation and circumstance in our lives.  And now this verse reminds us and affirms for us: God is trustworthy … He is faithful … His love is unfailing! I just love how King David captured these truths that we are urged to ponder and meditate upon.

I have reprinted the complete Psalm 33 for your convenience. There is no need for further comment.  Just let it fill you with hope and bless your inner being today.

Psalm 33 (NIV)

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise Him.
Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to Him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to Him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

For the Word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love
.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea as into a heap; He puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere Him.
For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance.
13 From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind;

14 From His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth—
15 He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.

16 No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.
17 A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.
18 But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love,
19 To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.

20 We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
21 In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

Answer me quickly, Lord; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in you. ~ Psalm 143:7-9

You Are My Strength…

Psalm 18:1-2 (NIV)

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Our Verse of the Day continues to remind us that God is the source of our strength.  He is our rock, our fortress, and deliverer when we are facing the challenges and battles of life. He invites us to take refuge in Him … to allow Him to be our defense … our shield.  There is no power like our God! Indeed, what a powerful word we have from the inspired pen of King David!

Oh, I just sense there is someone … or perhaps many who need this Verse of the Day! You are fighting spiritual battles … that are beyond your own understanding … beyond your own strength … beyond your own abilities.  Let me assure you they are battles that belong to the Lord! You do not have to carry them! You were not meant to carry them! God is wanting to show you HIS power, HIS strength, HIS love and care for you … in order to build your faith and to increase your trust in HIM and Him alone! For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Cf. Ephesians 6:12)

Paul gives us some spiritual context for the battles we all will face in life: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons of our warfare are not of the world; on the contrary, they have divine power to demolish the strongholds of the enemy. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (Cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5) Yes, the battle belongs to the Lord! It is His divine power that will carry you through them! So, I encourage you to take up the sword of the Spirit … which is the Word of God. (Cf. Ephesians 6:17) For the Word of God is the ONLY offensive weapon we have been given for battle! Yes, the Word of God is sufficient to arm you … for it is the power of God unto salvation. The Word, along with our spiritual armor, equips us to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power so that we will be able to stand our ground … and having done everything to stand! (Cf. Ephesians 6:10-17)

My friend, I encourage you to take every thought of defeat captive and to make it obedient to Christ. Through prayer, seek Him and allow Jesus to be your stronghold and fortress … your shield and strong tower. Go to Him in faith and trust that He goes ahead of you and that He is your rear-guard. Settle in your heart this truth: “No weapon formed against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. (Cf. Isaiah 54:17) Yes, this is my prayer for you and all who are on the front lines of suffering and hardship … for those who are in engaged in any struggle to difficult to fight alone. Take refuge! Find rest in the Lord Jesus Christ! He invites each of us: “Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Cf. Matthew 11:28-30) And Jesus has promised: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (Cf. John 14:27) Oh, indeed, there is peace and rest for your heart that you can receive today! His name is Jesus, and He is watching over you.  I pray that you will seek Him with all our heart….

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings! ~ Psalm 61:2-4

A Servant of All…

Mark 9:35 (NIV)

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Our Verse of the Day continues our call to humility, and I used it in a previous commentary.  Jesus taught that if you want to be a leader … if you want to be first … then you have to put yourself last.  A leader is expected to be a servant … a servant of all.

Mark 9:30-36 (NIV)

They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because He was teaching His disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill Him, and after three days He will rise.” But they did not understand what He meant and were afraid to ask Him about it. They came to Capernaum. When He was in the house, He asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” He took a little child whom He placed among them. Taking the child in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the One who sent me.”

What I find fascinating concerning the argument over who was the greatest in the group of disciples is that the matter came up on the heels of their failure to heal a boy possessed by an impure spirit. Jesus had rebuked them for their lack of faith … even though He had given them power and authority to perform such signs and wonders. (Cf. Mark 9:14-29) Nevertheless, they were apparently enamored with their “power” to exercise authority over physical affliction, illness, and demonic oppression. One can sense that these giftings began to fill them with spiritual pride. It would seem they were misguided with self-importance because of the power and authority given to them. So, Jesus had to correct their wrong thinking. Their gifts were given to serve other people … not themselves or to affirm their own spiritual egos. Their gifts were given to draw people to the divine source of power manifested through those gifts and to confirm the truth of the testimony of God concerning His Son. Spiritual gifts are about Jesus … and not about us.

How easy it can become to glory in our spiritual gifts rather than to exalt the One who gave them. Jesus cautioned the disciples to keep their attitudes in check … to remain humble even while operating in the supernatural. This is evident from the narrative below:

Luke 10:17-20 (NIV)

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

It is not always about what we do or how we serve the Lord Jesus. It is simply about Him … His Name … His Identity … His Love which surpasses all understanding! As Jesus stated, we should rejoice in our salvation through Him! The gifts of the Holy Spirit are the tools He uses through us (His servants) to show forth His power and glory … so that the Gospel is seen and heard in truth by unbelievers! Gifts confirm your authority to speak the truth – not to exhibit some sort of superiority over others. Spiritual gifts manifest your heart is obedient to the One who called you and gifted you to serve one another in love. And Jesus role-modeled this “unorthodox” approach to spiritual leadership with His disciples:

John 13:1-17 (NIV)

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For He knew who was going to betray Him, and that was why He said not everyone was clean.

When He (Jesus) had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” He asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than His master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent Him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Think about this scene for a moment.  Jesus has just humbled Himself like an ordinary servant to make an important point with His disciples.  Jesus had just taught them that He and the Father are One; and yet, Jesus demonstrates that He is willing to serve out of reverence to the Father who sent Him into the world.  Servants are not greater than their masters.  Messengers are not greater than the ones who send them.  And that is what His disciples were to become … SENT ONES or Apostles.  Likewise, we are sent ones … sent for the same mission … to share the good news of Jesus Christ. We are not greater than the One who has called us and sent us on this mission.  Therefore, we are to follow the example of Christ – and be servants of all! Paul, as usual, shares some very practical advice on HOW to be a servant:

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (NIV)

Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the Gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

As believers we are called to be “servants to all”. This is our job description as followers of Christ.  We are to be ambassadors of the good news found in Jesus Christ … as though God were making His appeal through us. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:20) Paul did the most incredible work in this regard, and he urges us to follow in his footsteps. Yes, we as believers have been ordained to join the “legacy of witnesses” who have testified to the truth that is found in Christ Jesus! We came to faith because of hearing the message of Jesus Christ that was preached to us and we received it in our hearts.  We were born again of imperishable seed through the living and enduring Word of God. (Cf. 1 Peter 1:23) And like the Apostles before us, we have been “sent” to serve living in our generation.

Will we be obedient to His call to share the Gospel with those God has chosen for salvation? Are you and I willing to wash feet?  Are you and I willing to become all things to all people so that by all possible means we might facilitate their coming to faith in Jesus Christ … and therefore be saved … bringing glory to the God who saved us?  What are we willing to do for the sake of the Gospel? These are the questions of “servant leadership.”  Indeed, we must humble ourselves to answer them as Jesus did…. Amen.

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. ~ Mark 10:42-45

The Struggle Is Real…

Ephesians 6:12-13 (NIV)

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

We have studied this passage before, but I would like to revisit it again because conflicts within human relationships are inevitable. And I want us to consider this scripture within the context of close relationships. Our innate human nature is to be focused on our own physical needs and emotional desires. And while it is not inherently wrong in to seek our own well-being; to exert a self-centered will on other people in the process can be a source of contention and disagreement. And the ensuing conflict will have to be navigated or negotiated in order to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Cf. Ephesians 4:3)

What Paul shares with us here is some insight into the source of our interpersonal conflicts … that they may not always be in the natural or physical realm (against flesh and blood); rather, Paul asserts that when we have struggles against with one another, the issue is most likely a spiritual one … a spiritual battle, if you will. And so, the fight is not necessarily with the person in front of you; rather, it is against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil that can exert themselves in our minds and through our bodies (actions). I believe this knowledge should cause us to pause and think before we react to what another person is saying or doing. For example:

Matthew 16:21-23 (NIV)

From that time on Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that He must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke Him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!” Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

While Peter may have been well-intentioned in his feelings and how he addressed Jesus in that moment of emotion; Jesus clearly indicated that he was wrong. And Jesus told Peter that his concerns were misguided by spiritual forces of evil … by Satan himself. Thus, a conflict ensued and Jesus used the occasion to teach the disciples a profound lesson in spiritual warfare:

Matthew 16:24-26 (NIV)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Likewise, Paul goes on to speak about the “armor of God” and its protection against the spiritual forces of evil. (Cf. Ephesians 6:14-16) He taught that our only offensive weapon against evil is the sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of God. (Cf. Ephesians 6:17) And Paul affirmed that prayer in the Spirit … on all occasion with all kinds of prayer and requests … was essential to inflict offensive maneuvers against the spiritual forces of evil. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Cf. Ephesians 6:18) Yes, when someone gets adversarial with you … pray for them! Seek counsel from the Word of God! And remember that disciples of Christ Jesus must deny themselves … take up their crosses … and follow Him. In a sense, this means you give up your right to be “right” because Jesus taught us to give and expect nothing in return; when offended to turn the other cheek; and to love and pray for our enemies.

Matthew 5:38-45 (NIV)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

Note Verse 45 – “that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” A child of God … born of the Spirit through the Word … will follow Jesus and put His teaching into practice. And this is what Peter instructed in his epistle as well – encouraging believers to understand that we, too, will suffer like Jesus as we follow in His footsteps:

1 Peter 3:8-18 (NIV)

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (Cf. Psalm 34:12-16) Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.

I believe it is clear that offenses will come. There will be differences and disagreements between people … even people of faith. But if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Cf. Romans 12:18) For Jesus taught us to pick up a cross of suffering for ourselves and to follow Him … “that we may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conform to His death,” as Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10. For even if you should suffer for what is right … you are blessed. So, stand your ground, and pray! Pray in the Spirit! Yes, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people! Love, bless, and pray for those who oppose you! For the battle is a spiritual one … and in the end, the battle belongs to the Lord.

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Walk By The Spirit…

Galatians 5:16 (NIV)

So, I say walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

In Leviticus 11, Moses has been instructing on the practices of consecration … separation from the world in order to be a distinct people for service to God. In the context, Moses is revealing dietary ordinances distinguishing between clean and unclean animals – what is acceptable for consumption and what has been deemed detestable. And for our purpose today, the issue is not what foods we can eat or avoid; rather, the issue is discerning between clean and unclean … between holiness and unrighteousness. Thus, we see warnings and admonitions as Moses proclaimed the Word of God and wrote: “Do not defile yourselves by any of these creatures. Do not make yourselves unclean by means of them or be made unclean by them.I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground.I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.” (Cf. Leviticus 11:43-45)

Notice the phrases: “Do not ….” Do not defile yourselves. Do not make yourselves unclean. These speak to our own conduct … our own behaviors … the fulfillment of our own desires as opposed to what God has ordained and purposed for us. And this issue of holiness has been the challenge for humans since the beginning. In Genesis 6:5, we read: “The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” His displeasure with humans was so great that God caused a Great Flood of the earth to eliminate its wickedness – sparing only Noah, his family, and a remnant of the animals. Yet, what do we read afterwards as Noah built an altar to the Lord and offered sacrifices in worship? “The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in His heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood” (Cf. Genesis 8:21) Interesting that despite the rainbow and the revealed mercy of God, the condition of the human heart still remains unchanged….

It is clear from Scripture (and personal experience) that humans have a sinful nature … a propensity and capacity (human will) to separate ourselves from God rather than drawing ourselves to God. Sin separates us from God. Sanctification draws us to God. So, if we intend to respond to this command from God; if we want to be holy (set apart) because our Father and Creator is holy, then we need a solution to our innate inclination towards evil within our hearts. And this concern brings me to what Paul exhorts in our Verse of the Day: “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Let’s look at our verse in its surrounding context:

Galatians 5:13-25 (NIV)

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Citing Leviticus 19:18) 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

From this passage, we can readily understand that the acts of the flesh stem from every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart. Such behaviors … such human conduct … define the sin which separates us from intimacy with God. And so, to walk in the Spirit … to live under His perpetual influence … it is necessary to be filled with His abiding presence. The Holy Spirit must indwell you in order for the process of holiness to be ignited in your heart. And this leads me to Jesus! Jesus sends the gift of the Holy Spirit to indwell the one who believes in Him … and receives Him. This is the abiding, personal relationship that Jesus taught His disciples … and teaches us even now in our generation:

John 15:1-12 (NIV)

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes (cleans) so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Powerful words … powerful affirmation! God in His mercy, to address sin within the human heart and to remove its deception and corruption of our souls, sent His Son, Jesus, to this earth to rescue us … to redeem us … to deliver us from the power of sin and its penalty: Death! (Cf. Romans 6:23) Christ paid the ultimate penalty of sin for us on the cross! Every drop of His precious blood was poured out for us. He was the Lamb of God slain to atone for our sin. (Cf. 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10) Why? Because God is Holy! And to be in relationship with Him, we must be holy according to His command. And Jesus is the One who consecrates and sanctifies us before God. When we are in Christ, when we belong to Him, we receive His power over sin. As the Apostle Peter wrote: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” (Cf. 2 Peter 1:3)

My friends, God is calling His people … His children to holiness! Yes, the Father is calling all who desire to intimately know Him … who want to become His children … to sanctification and holiness through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Because He has said, “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Holiness begins when a person places his or her faith in Jesus Christ; and it is manifested through the fruit of the Spirit. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Indeed, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh….

So Now You Know…

Have a Blessed Day!

If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. ~ 1 John 1:6-8