Hope

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. Romans 15:13 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.15.13.KJV

As believers, we need to be ever mindful of the fact that we have a hope the world does not have. They don’t, because they choose not to. Thank God for His mercy and grace, for He has given us a choice.

Now, more than ever…

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations. Psalms 100:4‭-‬5 NKJV https://bible.com/bible/114/psa.100.4-5.NKJV

Its important to give Him thanks in all things now more than ever, with our entire world in [what seems to be] more turmoil than ever!

Are you thankful today? My hope and prayer is that your answer is a resounding yes!

The Family.

He said to them, “When you pray, say: “ ‘Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. -Luke 11:2 NIV

One of the most common mistakes the people of God can make when talking about others who are not Christians is that they are “children of God.” I’m sorry to say that it is simply not true. They are part of His creation, but they are not His children.

The Bible does not say that there are many paths to God. It does tell us that there is one God and one mediator between God and people, Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).

Before anybody accuses me of being elitist and claiming membership in some exclusive club, let me make this known: His family is open to you — if you answer His call. The adoption fee has already been paid by Jesus. All we must do is exercise faith in Him and what He has done for us. Are you in the family? Would you like to be?

In fact, a study of the Old Testament will not reveal any instance of the Hebrews referring to God as “Father.” Although many names and terms are offered for God, Father is never one of them. It is not until the advent of Jesus Christ that we are introduced to the possibility of Almighty God as our loving, personal Father. Loving, yes — but not as our Father.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “ Abba, Father.” -Romans 8:15 NIV

What goes around comes around…

The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. -Nahum 1:3 NIV

Sometimes it seems like ‘justice’ will never be served — as we understand it. But, if you think about it, it’s a good thing that God is slow to anger!

The Danger of PRIDE

A person’s pride will humble him, but a humble spirit will gain honor. Proverbs 29:23 HCSB

So often in my life I have been troubled by some issue and also have spent countless hours worrying about how I am going to deal with whatever it is before taking it to the LORD in prayer. What is that about? Simple. Pride.

From the days of Adam and Eve and their fall in Genesis until the present, mankind has used pride as a barrier to God and to fail bringing Him the glory He deserves. Pride caused Cain to murder his brother. Pride caused Joseph’s brothers to sell him into slavery. Pride caused Saul to feel threatened by David and relentlessly try to kill him. Pride caused the disciples to argue over who would be greater in the kingdom of God (Lk. 9:46). In every case, pride caused harm to the individual and inevitable humbling to all who came under its control.

Let us all pray that our pride will be recognized by us and not get in the way of the Holy Spirit on our lives as believers!

Sowing & Reaping

Indeed, they sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. There is no standing grain; what sprouts fails to yield flour. Even if they did, foreigners would swallow it up. -Hosea 8:7 HCSB

The expression “you reap what you sow” is an expression I heard my parents and countless others say many times over in my life. Even with that, I can’t tell you how many times I had to learn that lesson the hard way!

Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.
-Galatians 6:7‭-‬8 HCSB

Are you sowing to the Spirit or to the flesh? Fortunately, God is loving and patient, allowing us to change our ways and embrace faith in Him. Reap the best harvest of your life, an eternal one with Christ!

A New Creature!

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. -2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

We are new in Christ. Brand new.

When I was younger, we were able to go to a local tire store and buy ‘recap’ or re-treaded tires. New rubber treads were molded to old, worn casings. While the tires may have looked like new, they certainly were far from that. Often, especially on big trucks that logged a lot of highway mileage, the tread would fly off of the casing and be found littering the roadway. If the driver was lucky, they would not lose control of their vehicle and would simply put on another bargain-priced tire.

What would cause the destruction of the tire? Something new was molded onto an old, corrupted casing. The ‘inner man’ (casing) was corrupted from age and abuse and would collapse under the pressure and heat of the road.

Such it is with people. We labor in a fallen world under the burden of our sin. The longer down the road we travel, the more corrupt we become as we suffer the wear and tear of our separation from God. Often, we look for things to make us look good and feel good (temporarily). So we ‘put a new tread’ over our tired, worn-out lives. Perhaps the covering is a romantic relationship, job, a new car or place to live. Maybe it is gambling, drugs or alcohol. Whatever it is, if not from God, it is no more than a self-destructive covering on an old and worn casing that is bound to come off and reveal the corrupt and worn part that is our very being. More than that, the damage may be severe and permanent.

So what can we do? The answer is Jesus. He is the one who can renew our very being! Have you been reborn by the Holy Spirit? It’s as simple as asking the One who died for you to come into your life as your Savior. We cannot come to Christ on our own. It’s not a matter of being a ‘good guy’ or being a righteous Church member. Our righteousness is as “filthy rags” to God (Is. 64:6). We need Jesus. We need what He has to offer us: SALVATION. LOVE. A PLACE IN HIS FAMILY.

The Value of Sound Doctrine

In a follow up to my last post, I think it’s important to reiterate the need to be well-versed in solid biblical doctrine.

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. -II Timothy 4:1‭-‬5 NKJV

holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. Titus 1:9 NKJV

Many more verses will document the value of righteous doctrine. My prayer is that you know its value, study it and employ its truth in your daily walk with Christ.

Doctrine

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from serving as my priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your sons. -Hosea 4:6 CSB

Please note, they were destroyed for lack of knowledge, not how they feel or what they ‘believe.’ Too often, Christians view doctrine as something divisive and not worth the effort of studying. Sadly, they are deceiving themselves and rejecting God’s directive to study and “show ourselves approved.”

Be diligent to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. -2 Timothy 2:15 CSB

How do you regard doctrine? Do you spend time studying God’s Word to glean the harvest of knowledge He has there for you?

Open my eyes so that I may contemplate wondrous things from your instruction. -Psalms 119:18 CSB