Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Essence of Love

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.   
Luke 10:27

God is the very essence of love and so not only should our spirit be full of love we should love God fervently with our whole heart!  We should build our relationship with God on love.

Jesus put it so simply when He said if you love me, you'll keep my commandments.  

If ye love me, keep my commandments.  John 4:15

Our love for God should triumph over every negative and self-centered thing in our life.

We are to love God in the good times and in the bad times; knowing:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 82:8

We need to get a Job mentality that says:

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: . . . Job 13:15

We don't want to be like the children of Isreal, whom God told Isaiah:

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:  Isaiah 29:13

God says we can't serve two masters. A master is anyone or anything that you put above God or anyone or anything that you try to make equal with God.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24

It is an awesome thing to know that God loved us before we were even conceived. God loves us unconditionally and He has blessings beyond our comprehension for those who love Him in return according to His word.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. I Corinthians 2:9

Let us strive to walk worthy of the love bestowed upon us by our Heavenly Father.

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord, we thank You for the dawning of a new day.  We thank you for Your sovereignty in that You allowed us to wake up this morning.   

We thank You for the life You've given us, for our health and for our strength.  We thank You Lord for being in our right mind; for having a mind to serve You.  We thank You for one more opportunity to unite in prayer and supplication before You.  We come to You, heavenly Father, with thanks giving in our hearts knowing that it is You and only You that is able to supply our every need; to equip us to run this race, to defeat everything that comes up against us, everything that is not like You and in so doing allow us to come out victoriously.

Help us, dear Lord, to strive for mastery in this race; for endurance to remain to the end.     Help us Lord to bring and keep our mind and our bodies under subjection to Your will; help us to change our mindset to have Your mind; knowing that your will is good, it is perfect, and it is acceptable; that You are the final authority in our lives.  Help us Lord to love You with all of our hearts, mind, soul and strength!  

Lord, You said in Your word that You know the thoughts that You have for us; thoughts of good and not of evil.  Help us Lord to see what You have for us and to walk in that direction.  Help us Dear Lord to make the right choice; that is to choose You in all of our ways.  Our heart says yes Lord, we will serve You and it will not be a duty or an obligation but a lifestyle; one that we carry out gladly!   Prick our hearts Lord, convict us of those things that are lacking in us concerning You; trouble our spirits and quicken our spirits to hear and obey what you tell us.  Help us to remember to acknowledge You in all of our ways.

In Your word Lord, You tell us that the battle is not ours, that it belongs to You.  Lord help us to trust You and stand firmly on Your word; to place ourselves squarely on the solid rock so we’re not so easily shaken when the storms of life come upon us.  When times get bad, help us to remember that there is a secret place in You where we can go, where You hide us from our enemies; where we can seek solace and comfort, where we can find strength to continue on in Jesus' name.  We thank You God for Jesus who You sent here to save us and wash our sins away.  Through His blood, healing is available.  In the name of Jesus is the power to come up against every bad and evil thing that comes against us.  It is through Your Holy Spirit residing in us that we have the power to run this race. 

We thank You Lord because we have someone in You Lord to call on when we’re in need.  You're just a call away!   Lord, we ask, in the precious name of Jesus, that You right every wrong in our lives and that You propel us forward in You, that You position us in Your will; give us constant refreshing to lay aside every weight and every sin.  Touch us Lord; just a touch from You will make everything all right.  Regardless of what we see in the natural, give us faith to believe that in You everything is already alright.  Open our eyes Lord so we can see in the spirit the things that You have for us, the plan and the purpose You've designed for us.   We know Lord that we are not saved to sit but that we have a mighty work through You to do.  Workers are needed for Your vineyard; prepare us Lord.  

Give us a mindset to say ‘use me Lord, if You need someone, Lord, send me, I’ll go!  
For all Your many benefits unto us, we owe You Lord, though we can never repay You for all that You've done for us – all we can do is give You a yes and be obedient to You and Your word.  Lord You've given us everything in Your word to keep us and sustain us, You've given us Your precious gift of Your holy spirit and You said If we delight ourselves in You that You will give us the desires of our heart, You said if we commit our ways unto You and trust You that You will bring to pass those things that You have declared.  Because You said it in Your word, Lord, we believe it.   And if our faith is not where it should be in You, Lord, I pray that You help our unbelief!

If ever we needed You, Lord it’s now Lord  - even as we wait on and receive instruction from You.  Open our heart and ears to hear and receive Your word.  You are our precious redeemer, and we pray that You bind us closer Lord to You Every hour of every day.  We pray that You send Your power, because we can’t make it without You and we can’t do it without You.   Lord, help us to be strong and of good courage knowing that You will never leave us nor forsake us.  You’ll be with us, You will lead us and guide us in the direction that we’re to take.

Lord we acknowledge before You that we just can’t do without You, we can’t win without You, we need Your power and Your strength.  We realize that it is no goodness of our own; nothing that we can say or do,  but You Lord, in your sovereignty, that keeps us and allows us to accomplish Your will in our lives.

Help us, oh Lord, to stay on the path that You have set before us; not veering to the left or to the right.  Help us Lord to meditate on You and Your word day and night.  Help us Lord even as we meditate on You, to hide Your word in our hearts so that we won’t sin against You.  Help us to keep our focus on You; You said Lord in all of our ways to acknowledge You and You will direct our path. 

And now, Lord we pray that You continue to be with us, that You lead us and guide us, give us wisdom and knowledge to speak and act according to Your will and direction to go where You would have us go.  Help us to walk upright before You to be in right standing with You, help us to present ourselves to a dying world as ambassadors, as beacons on a hill, as shining lights, and servants;  all for Your manifested glory; never forgetting that we are saved to help save and to be a blessing to others.  

We ask all these things and we thank You for all things, in the precious name of Jesus, Amen 

Final Scripture - make it your personal declaration!

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Salvation is of the Lord

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Acts 4:12

Apostle Paul had the vision. He valued his salvation highly and diligently fought the good fight. As the end of his life drew near, he was able to say with complete confidence that he would receive the crown.

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.  (2 Timothy 4:8)

When Apostle Paul awakes in the first resurrection, he will trade in his soldier's helmet for a far more glorious, imperishable and eternal crown of righteousness—the crown of a victorious soldier of Christ. We, too, can be assured of victory so long as we—like Apostle Paul—faithfully follow our God and His commandments from our heart, mind and body.

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:8–9) 

And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.  (Isaiah 59:16-17)

The sacrifice; that final sacrifice, made by Jesus Christ purchased our salvation.  Salvation is found only in Jesus Christ.

"O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle."   Psalms 140:7

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  Colossians 1:18

Our lifestyle is conformed to the character and actions of Christ.

"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.  1 Corinthians 2:16

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

Just as Christ's life was not easy on this earth, nor will ours be.

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.  1 Peter 4:1
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;  2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Remember that salvation comes from God, and that God is on our side. If we commit to fully follow and obey Him, it is impossible for us to lose our battle or our salvation.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."  Revelation 21:1-4

This is the salvation we are fighting for—to enter this glorious Kingdom! Never lose sight of this. This coming Kingdom, with its worldwide peace and prosperity, makes every price in this life worth paying. No matter what comes, no matter how vicious the attacks our enemy lands on us, we know that as long as we remain with God, we are moving slowly but unstoppable toward an eternal victory. What wouldn't we give for that?

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
  2 Timothy 4:6-8

(Biblical Studies)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Benefits of Spiritual Power

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

As you fulfill the purpose of power to extend the Gospel, you will encounter the opposition of Satan.   The source of power within us (the Holy Spirit) is greater than whatever awaits us.  Jesus has delegated power to you for spiritual warfare. He has given you power over all the power of the enemy:

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.             (Luke 10:19)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:10-12)

People fall into spiritual error for two reasons:

Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29)

Spiritual error results if you do not know the Word of God because you are open to deceptive doctrines and false teaching. Knowing the word of God is imperative as it is the sword in the armor of God; the only defensive weapon we have.  Consider Jesus during His ordeal with Satan in the wilderness.  He didn’t produce a tangible weapon.  He went toe-to-toe armed with the word of God as His weapon.

Spiritual error also results when you do not know the power of God. You are open to the deceptive power of the enemy. You fall victim to his powers operating against you when you have no spiritual power with which to resist his forces.

Some have a form of godliness and even know the Scriptures, but they deny God's power. The Bible warns regarding this:

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5)

The word of God lets us know of two benefits of spiritual power:

  Spiritual power conquers sin:

For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14)

  Spiritual power is used to edify:

To "edify" means to build up and promote spiritual growth.  The power from God was given to Apostle Paul to edify others, not to destroy them.  Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians:

For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction.            (2 Corinthians 10:8)

Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. (2 Corinthians 13:10)

Each person has a will of their own. That will is the power of choice. The demonstration of power creates willingness or openness to God:

Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. (Psalms 110:3)

God acts in proportion to the measure you permit His power to work in you:

Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

All you ask God for -- all that you think concerning spiritual truths -- is affected by the power of God at work in you.

The power of God is not only a force working through you, but the strength maintaining you. Apostle Paul said we are. . .

Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; (Colossians 1:11)

God's power strengthens you in difficult times when you need patience in suffering. You can face difficult situations with joy because of His glorious power at work in you.  It is an important purpose of His power at work in you.

And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

You are kept, or preserved through God's power, until the end of time:

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)

You live in a mortal body which will die unless Jesus first returns to earth. It is spiritual power that will raise your mortal body in resurrection:

It (the body) is sown in dishonor: it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. (2 Corinthians 15:43)

And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power. (1 Corinthians 6:14)

God's power enables endless life:

Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. (Hebrews 7:16)

All things that pertain unto life and godliness are given to you through the power of God:

According to His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue. (2 Peter 1:3)

Think of the many things involved in life. Think of the many virtues involved in godliness.  The purpose of His divine power is to give you these things--ALL THINGS according to the power working within us.

Biblical Studies