Posts Tagged ‘bible’

The Extravagant Love of Christ

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The last rays of light that will fall on this darkened earth just before the end comes will be a revelation of God’s character of love. This is Bible teaching:

 

That last “revelation” will obviously be the same as the light of that “another angel” who comes down from heaven having great power. The “earth is lightened with his glory” (Rev. 18:1, 2). It’s not legalism gone wild, nor soft-soap emotionalism; it’s love (agape).

 

That “glory” in turn will obviously be the same as the message Jesus describes in John 12:32, 33: “‘I, if I am lifted up, will draw all to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by what death He should die.” That “love” which will “reveal the character of God” must be the same love that “holds together,” “controls” and “compels,” or motivates the ones who believe in Jesus. They are moved henceforth to live only for Him, “no longer for themselves” (2 Cor. 5:14, 15. There is tremendous power locked away in that “love” known as agape. Jesus longs to put His character in every believer! John 3:16

 

Again, that revelation of love in the last days must be what Paul meant when he said that he “determined not to know anything among [the Corinthians] except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). That was not extremism; it was only a “reasonable service” that Paul saw as appropriate to the extravagant love Christ had shown for him  ( Rom. 12:1). It was agape, not ordinary human love. Paul saw what we have not yet seen clearly.

 

In these last days when sin and selfishness will become so rampant, the Lord Jesus will be honored by those who “follow the Lamb [the crucified, risen Christ] wherever He goes. … They are without fault before the throne of God” (cf, Rev, 14:1-5). Whoever they are, there WILL be such a people who will glorify Christ! We might eventually be surprised who will end up in that group; let’s walk humbly before Him.

God has done this to demonstrate his righteousness both by the wiping out of the sins of the past and by showing in the present time that he is a just God and that He justifies everyone who has faith in Jesus Christ.  Romans 3:26 (J.B. Phillips New Testament)

Jesus longs for you to come to Him so He can change you into His image and likeness thus  ready for Heaven!! 2 Corinthians 3:18, 2Corinthians 5:14-15,17,20, 1John 3:2

 

Revelation 14:6-13: A Biblical Study On God’s Final Message To The World!!

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 Sea Cave In Malta

What follows is over 200 Bible Texts contained in 13 Bible Studies all related to Revelation 14:6-13. Please use these powerful studies to draw close to God and He will draw close to you!! James 4:8. It is my deep conviction that Jesus is about to come!!

He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.  Revelation 22:17,20

I entreat you to remain in God’s Word and let Him share His Steadfast Love with you—a love that will change you making you more like Him!!  2Corinthians 3:18     2Corinthians 5:14,17

Why not open the door and let Jesus in right now!! Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

This Commentary  Is Provided By The Andrews Study Bible On

Revelation 14:6-13   Digital Edition from Accordance now available »

Jesus Is About To Come!! Are You Ready?

Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people—

saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”

And another angel followed, saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the     presence of the Lamb.

11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”

“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.”

EXPOSITION

What is The Purpose of Prophecy?

The precise future events on earth are known only to God before they actually take place. Prophetic predictions are given in the Bible not to make people speculate about the future, but rather to build faith after they have come to pass (see Jesus’ words in John 14:29). Prophecy has a function in our hearts until its fulfillment arrives. It should make Jesus—“the morning star” and “light” of hope—shine in our everyday lives. Our relationship with Jesus is what saves us with Eternal Life 2Peter 1:19,John 17:3

  Revelation 14:6–13 The three last messages to be preached to the earth by the end-time remnant before the Son of Man arrives in the clouds (Rev 14:14). These are the messages that were commissioned in Revelation 10:11. For more on the mission of the REMNANT, see Revelation 18:1–4.

THE REMNANT
Closely related to the topic of the church is that of remnant. In the Bible a remnant is that part of God’s people that remains faithful to Him, especially in times of crisis and apostasy.

Isaiah 10:20–34
Rom. 11:5
2 Pet. 3:11–14
Rev. 12:17
Rev. 14:6–13
Rev. 18:4
    Revelation 14:6 gospel. Fulfills Matt. 24:14. The first of three angels who proclaim God’s final message to the world. In the context of Revelation, the gospel includes the good news of Christ’s Second Coming, in which He rescues His people.

Matthew 24:14 The great call—or commission—to proclaim the gospel to the world is given repeatedly in the NT (see Matthew 28:19–20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21). This worldwide proclamation is a clear sign that the coming of the Lord is about to occur. All humanity will be given an opportunity to respond to Christ. Only then will the cosmic conflict come to an end. On the Great Commission, see also Matt. 28:19–20; Acts 1:8; Rev. 10:11; 14:7.

 SALVATION
Romans 6:23 tells us that sin leads to death. And the rest of the Bible describes a shattered world in the wake of ongoing human sin and its results. Is there no hope for us and our world? The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes, there is!” Salvation is the divine act of delivering believers from the curse and power of sin and then restoring them to fellowship with God.

Mark 10:45
Rom. 3:21–26*
Rom. 4:6
Rom. 5:10
Rom. 6:23
2 Cor. 5:17
2 Cor. 5:19
2 Cor. 5:21
Gal. 2:16
Gal. 3:10–13
Gal. 3:13
Eph. 1:7
Eph. 2:4–10*
Col. 1:15–20
Heb. 9:13–14
1 John 2:2
1 John 4:10

RESURRECTION
   To be resurrected means to rise from the dead. The Bible teaches that Christ won the victory over death and the grave through His resurrection, and that He wants to pass on His resurrection blessings to each of His followers. As such, the Bible’s teachings on the resurrection are among the happiest of any found in Holy Scripture.

Job 19:25–27
Isaiah 26:19
Dan. 12:2
Matt. 24:31
John 5:28–29
John 11:25
Acts 24:15
1 Cor. 15:51–55
Phil. 3:21
1 Thess. 4:14
1 Thess. 4:16
Rev. 20:4–5

THE SECOND COMING
 The Second Coming of Jesus is one of the most widespread teachings in the Bible. It is the hope of the ages. It is at the Second Coming that Jesus brings to completion the work that He began at His incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. It is only at the Second Coming that human beings will be fully saved from sin and its influence.

Matt. 24:3
Matt. 24:21–22
Matt. 24:26–27
Matt. 24:32–33
Matt. 24:37–39
Matt. 25:31–46
Mark 13:1–37
Luke 21:5–36
Luke 21:25–28
John 14:1–3
Acts 1:11
1 Thess. 4:13–18
1 Thess. 4:17
1 Thess. 5:1–11
2 Thess. 1:8
2 Tim. 3:1–7
Titus 2:13–14
2 Pet. 3:3
2 Pet. 3:10
Rev. 1:7
THE MILLENNIUM
What happens after Jesus comes again? Where will the saved be? The wicked? God and the angels? Those topics have been asked by Christians down through the ages. The Millennium refers to the 1,000 years immediately following Christ’s return.

John 14:3
1 Cor. 6:3
Rev. 20:1–15
Rev. 20:4–5
Rev. 21:2

THE NEW EARTH
God tells us that after the Millennium He will create a New Earth that will not have the problems of this one. This is where the saved will spend eternity.

Isaiah 11:6–9
Isaiah 35:5–10
Isaiah 65:17–25
Isaiah 66:23
2 Pet. 3:13
Rev. 7:15–17
Rev. 21:1

   Revelation 14:7 Fear God. Means “revere, respect, hold in awe” (Ps. 111:10; Prov. 3:7; 9:10). But it can also mean “Be afraid” for those who do not take Him seriously (Rev. 6:15–17). hour … has come. The final judgment begins before the Second Coming. It is the context for the final proclamation of the gospel. For the various stages of God’s JUDGMENT, see note on Rom. 14:10, 12. worship … sea. This language makes an unmistakable allusion to the SABBATH command with reference to CREATION (Ex. 20:8–11), thus indicating that the Sabbath has particular relevance in end-time gospel proclamation. To rest from one’s works is the ideal response to the gospel (see Heb. 4:1–11). The admonitions to “fear” and to “worship” in this verse are placed directly in the larger immediate context of keeping God’s commandments (see Rev. 12:17; 14:12), with obvious references to the Decalogue.

JUDGMENT
Just what is judgment? How does God carry it out? Should Christians fear or rejoice that they are to be judged by God? These and other questions are central to this important Bible theme. The good news about God’s judgment is that it is always in favor of believers. Christians have nothing to fear from God’s judgment. Rather, they have everything to gain.

Ex. 32:33
Ecclesiastes 12:13–14
Dan. 7:10
Dan. 7:22
Dan. 7:26–27
Dan. 8:14
Matt. 7:24–27
Matt. 16:27
Matt. 25:31–46
Luke 10:20
John 5:22
John 5:24
Acts 17:22–31
Rom. 2:6
Rom. 14:10, 12
2 Cor. 5:10
Phil. 4:3
James 2:12
Rev. 3:5
Rev. 6:10
Rev. 11:18
Rev. 14:7
Rev. 19:2
Rev. 20:4–5
Rev. 20:12

CREATION
One of the great mysteries of life is that our world exists in all of its complexity and order. How did it come about and what does God’s work in creation mean for our lives? These are questions that people from all cultures and times have asked. The first words of the Bible treat this important topic.

Gen. 1:1
Gen. 1:2
Gen. 1:3
Gen. 1:26
Gen. 1:27
Gen. 1:31
Gen. 2:2–3
Gen. 2:7
Ex. 20:8–11
Ps. 19
Ps. 33:6–9
Ps. 95:1–6
Ps. 104
John 1:3
Rom. 1:20
Eph. 3:9
Col. 1:15–20
Heb. 1:2
Heb. 11:3
Rev. 14:7

THE SABBATH
Closely related to the creation of the world, and in fact the last aspect of the Genesis creation story, is the reality that God Himself rested on the Sabbath. Thus the seventh-day Sabbath predated by many centuries the origin of the Hebrew people. Jesus asserted that at creation the Sabbath was made for “man” (i.e., all human beings; Mark 2:27); thus, it was not limited to the Jews. Because of the Sabbath’s role in symbolizing allegiance to the God of the universe, Satan and his allies have worked hard to obliterate the Sabbath, or substitute it with something else, in order to turn minds away from the Creator God.

Gen. 2:2–3
Ex. 16:22–30
Ex. 20:8–11
Ex. 31:13
Lev. 23:32
Deut. 5:12–15
Neh. 13:4–22
Isaiah 58:13
Isaiah 66:23
Ezek. 20:12, 20
Dan. 7:25
Matt. 12:8
Matt. 12:12
Mark 1:32
Mark 2:27–28
Luke 4:16
Luke 23:56
Acts 4:23–24
Acts 13:14
Acts 14:14–18
Acts 16:13
Acts 17:2
Acts 18:4
Acts 20:7
Heb. 4:4
Heb. 4:9
Rev. 1:10
Rev. 14:7

 Revelation 14:8 Babylon … great city. The first mention of Babylon, the focus of God’s judgments in Rev. 16–18. See note on Rev.11:7–8. This is a condemnation of corporate opposition to God. Gospel and judgment are closely related in Scripture (see John 3:18–21). all nations. End-time Babylon precipitates worldwide opposition to God. Babylon in the OT also represented the oppressor of God’s people and “confusion” (see Gen. 11:1–9).

  Revelation 14:9–11 If anyone. The focus shifts to individual responsibility in the final crisis. See note on v. 8. worships … hand. Recalls Revelation 13:12–18. wrath of God. The seven bowl plagues of Revelation 16 (see Revelation 11:18; Revelation 15:1). cup … indignation. Allusion to Isaiah 51:17–23. brimstone. Sulphur. See also Rev. 19:20; Gen. 19:24. forever. An obvious allusion to Isaiah 34:8–10. In the Hebrew context, forever is not necessarily absolute; it is long enough to accomplish God’s purpose. For more on HELL and the punishment of the wicked, see Rev. 20:10; Matt. 10:28.

 HELL
Here is another topic that people have a special interest in. Hell is generally thought of as the place where the wicked will spend eternity. But how will that time be spent? Different understandings about hell have made the topic a controversial teaching down through Christian history. Some have taught that the wicked will consciously suffer in hellfire throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. Others claim that the Bible says that the wicked will be burned up in the fires of hell and will cease to exist. What does the Bible teach on this topic?

Isaiah 34:9–10
Mal. 4:1
Matt. 3:12
Matt. 10:28
Matt. 13:42
Matt. 25:41
Matt. 25:46
Mark 9:43
Luke 16:23
Rom. 6:23
2 Thess. 1:9
2 Pet. 3:12–13
Jude 7
Rev. 14:9–11
Rev. 20:10
Rev. 20:14

Revelation 14:12 patience. Endurance in the context of suffering (Revelation 13:9–10). Might also imply patiently waiting for Christ’s return. keep the commandments of God. Obedience to God’s law is an essential characteristic of God’s people in the end time. faith of Jesus. Can mean “faith in Jesus” or “Jesus’ faith,” meaning what Jesus believed—the doctrines held and taught by Jesus. Revelation 14:12 has a contextual relation to Revelation 12:17 and the conflict pictured in chap. Revelation 13. For more on obedience to God’s LAW, see Revelation 12:17; Ex. 20:1–17; Matt. 5:17–19; 1 John 2:3–6.

 THE COVENANT
A covenant is a binding agreement made by two parties. It is a legal contract, but it is also a relationship. The topic of covenant undergirds an understanding of both Bible testaments. God’s everlasting covenant made with Abraham and his descendants through Christ has always been based on faith.

Gen. 6:18
Gen. 9:8–17
Gen. 12:1–3
Gen. 15:17–18
Gen. 17:7
Ex. 2:24
Ex. 19:5–8
Ex. 24:3–8
Lev. 26:44
Deut. 28:1–2
Deut. 28:15
Jer. 31:31
Jer. 32:40
Ezek. 36:27
Ezek. 37:26
Matt. 26:28
Luke 22:20
1 Cor. 11:25
2 Cor. 3:3
2 Cor. 3:6
Eph. 2:12–13
Heb. 8:10
Heb. 13:20

 LAW
Closely connected with the theme of covenant is that of law. Just as there are laws that guide life and relationships in the physical world, so there are also laws in the spiritual realm. Jesus tells us that the basic law is love (Matt. 22:36–40). How is that law of love related to the Ten Commandments and other facets of God’s law?

Gen. 26:5
Ex. 16:27–28
Ex. 20:1–17
Deut. 5:1–21
Ps. 19:7–11
Ecclesiastes 12:13–14
Matt. 5:17–19
Matt. 22:36–40
John 14:15
Rom. 3:20
Rom. 3:31
Rom. 7:12
Rom. 13:8–10
Gal. 5:14
Eph. 2:10
1 Tim. 1:8
Heb. 8:10*
James 2:10
James 2:12
1 John 2:3
1 John 5:1–5
Rev. 12:17
Rev. 14:12

   Revelation 14:13 Blessed. See note on 1:3. from now on. Those who die in this context (Revelation 14:6–12) will not have to experience the trials of the final events. But this may be a reflection of the persecution of 13:15. their works follow them. Their salvation is secure. See 1 Timothy. 5:24–25.

This Heart Felt Appeal Is By Your Very Best Friend  Jesus Who Died For You Because He Couldn’t Live Without You!!!! He Wants To Save You If You Will Just Come To Him Now!!!!

 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17

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Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ Philippians 1:6

 EXPOSITION

John 6:35,51

John 6:35  And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

 

   John 6:35 I am. The unique expression in Greek recalls Ex. 3:14–15. It is used in three ways in John: (1) simple self-identification at a human level (see note on 6:20); (2) with metaphors that point to the spiritual life Jesus offers (e.g., I am the bread of life, or the light, door, Good Shepherd, etc.); and (3) as a direct claim to deity (8:28, 58; 13:19). bread of life. A revelation of who Jesus is (6:35–50) and a reference to the Lord’s Supper in vv. 50–59. Jesus is the “bread” that leads to eternal life (see 17:3). For more on the LORD’S SUPPER, see Matt. 26:26–29; John 13:1–17.

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world!

John 6:53 flesh … blood. The cross is the basis for eternal life. Jesus uses Lord’s Supper language in  John 6:50–59 to describe the benefits of His sacrifice.

There is Plenty of Assurance for our Salvation!! Be Very Encouraged As You Read About:

1Thessalonians 1:5  1John 2:28  ASSURANCE OF SALVATION   1John 5:11-13
Many of us are insecure in our Christian walk. We know that there are things in our lives that are less than perfect. Must we live in insecurity, or can we have peace of mind in our daily walk with God? The Bible tells us that we can have assurance, the divinely given confidence of believers that they are truly saved in Jesus.

John 3:36
John 5:24
Rom. 8:16
Rom. 8:31–39
Eph. 2:8
Heb. 4:16
Heb. 6:19
Heb. 11:1
1 Pet. 1:3–5
1 John 4:17
1 John 5:10–13

Christ “The Reaper”

And another angel came out of the temple, calling with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Put in your sickle, and reap, for the hour to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is fully ripe.” So he who sat on the cloud swung his sickle across the earth, and the earth was reaped. Revelation 14:15-16

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 I Am Coming Quickly

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.”

Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.Amen. Revelation 22:20-21

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Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened,
That it cannot save;
Nor His ear heavy,
That it cannot hear
Isaiah 59:1

Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

 This Commentary Is Provided By The Andrews Study Bible

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Trust God To Save You!!

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Mark 1-17-18

 

 God Will Save You If You Simply Let Him!!

You are not able, of yourself, to bring your purposes and desires and inclinations into submission to the will of God; but if you are “willing to be made willing,” God will accomplish the work for you, even “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5. Then you will “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12, 13 MB 142

 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. John 17:3

No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends. John 15:15

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. John 6:37-40,47

Seek the Lord while you can find him.
    Call on him now while he is near.
   Let the wicked change their ways
    and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
    Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously Isaiah 55:6-7 NLT

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever Psalms 23:6 NLT

 

The Spirit Gives To You!!

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By Max Lucado

Call it what you wish. A talent…a skill set…a gift. The terms are different, but the truth is the same. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12:7, “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.”

You aren’t the only person with your skill. But you are the only person with your version of your skill. You entered the world uniquely equipped. Psalm 139:13-15 describes it as “knit together, woven together in the dark of the womb, intricately and curiously wrought.”

Each of us! Not some of us, a few of us, or the elite among us. Each of us has a beauty that longs to be revealed and released. It is you at your best! When you stand at the intersection of your skill and God’s call, you are standing at the corner of Promised Land Avenue and Glory Days Boulevard.

Praying God’s Promises In The Spirit

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 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.

John 12:32

 

 

 

 

Post By Pastor Dennis Smith

Please visit Pastor Smith’s Website.


 

God has given us many promises in the Bible to meet our every need.  Both the Old and New Testaments have outstanding examples of God’s people claiming the promises of His Word when facing difficulties.

One of my first exposures to the Bible’s teaching on prayer was in The ABC’s of Bible Prayer; a book by Glenn Coon.  I learned the concept of claiming God’s promises in prayer as a young Christian, and it was proved to be a great blessing throughout my life and ministry.  The prayer formula is simple:

Ask – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”  (Matt. 7:7)

Believe – “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”  (Mark 11:24)

Claim the promise with thanksgiving before any answer is seen – “And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.’ Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come forth!’”  (John 11:41-43)

In these verses we see that Jesus thanked the Father for hearing and answering His prayer before there was evidence of it being answered.

God’s promises are sure.  We can be confident that God will do what He says:

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent.  Has He said, and will He not do it?  Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”  (Num. 23:19)

And He can do what He promises:

“Ah, Lord God!  Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.  There is nothing too hard for You.”  (Jer. 32:17)

Just as the oak tree is in the acorn, so is the fulfillment of God’s promise in the promise itself when claimed by faith.  Concerning the promises of God’s Word, Ellen White writes:

“In every command and in every promise of the Word of God is the power, the very life of God, by which the command may be fulfilled and the Promise realized.”  (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 38)

God’s power and very life are contained in the promises of the Bible.  Nothing can stand in the way of His promises being fulfilled when we claim them by faith in persevering prayer.

In 2 Chronicles 20:6-12 we find a marvelous prayer model of claiming God’s promises.  Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, was facing an imminent invasion by a confederacy of armies.  He had made preparation for such a crisis by building up Judah’s army and defenses.  He had more than 1 million well-trained men ready for battle.  However, when the threat became known to the king, his first response was not to look to his preparations for war, but rather look to the Lord.

When we face problems in life, our response should be the same – look to the Lord first.  This doesn’t mean that we don’t do what we can to meet whatever situation may arise.  The danger is that we have the tendency to go immediately to our human resources for help and deliverance.  Our mind often begins formulating ways to solve the problem rather than turning to God first.  Jehoshaphat’s response is a good example for us to follow.

This prayer reveals five steps for victoriously praying for the promises of God:

  1. The king began by praising God’s attributes, especially those related to the problem he was facing (verse 6).  He recalled that God rules over all the kingdoms of the nations, that “power and might” are in His hand, and that no one can withstand Him.
  2. The king recalled past victories, similar to the present victory Judah needed (verse 7). Recalling God’s provision in the past, as related to our present need, reminds us of God’s faithfulness and builds our faith.
  3. He stated in prayer a promise God had made to His people in the past – a promise related to the problem he was facing (verses 8, 9).
  4. Jehoshaphat then stated the problem (verses 10-12).
  5. He praised God before any evidence of victory was seen (verses 18, 19).

Treasures From The Vine—Simply Abide

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Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

 

Religion is meant to be in everyday life a thing of unspeakable joy.  And why do so many complain that it is not so?  Because they do not believe that there is no joy like the joy of abiding in Christ and in His love, and being branches through whom He can pour out His love on a dying world.

 Andrew Murray, The True Vine

 When a new graft is placed in a vine and it survives there, there is a twofold process that takes place.  The first is in the wood. The graft shoots its little roots and fibers down into the stem, and the stem grows up into the graft, and what has been called the structural union is affected.  The graft abides and becomes one with the vine, and even though the vine were to die, would still be one wood with it.  Then there is the second process, in which the sap of the vine enters the new structure, and uses it as a passage through which sap can flow up to show itself in young shoots and leaves and fruit.  Here is the vital union.  Into the graft that abides in the stock, the stock enters with sap to abide in it.

When our Lord says: “Abide in me, and I in you,” He points to something analogous to this. “Abide in me”: that refers more to that which we have to do.  We have to trust and obey, to detach ourselves from all else, to reach out after Him and cling to Him, to sink ourselves into Him.  As we do this, through the grace He gives, a character is formed and a heart prepared for the fuller experience:  “I in you.”  God strengthens us with might by the Spirit in the inner man, and Christ dwells in the heart by faith.

What If I Have Grieved The Holy Spirit–What Next?

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I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26

 

 

Please Explore Pastor Dennis Smith’s Website

 

There are things we can do that will grieve the Spirit.  If we do not daily seek Him and cooperate in following where He leads us, our Christian experience will weaken.

God doesn’t force.  When we receive the baptism of the Spirit, He will have a greater impact in our life.  We will feel His prompting more strongly.  He will be daily putting the desire in our heart to obey God.  He will call us to study God’s Word and to pray more.  The Spirit will cause us to begin loving righteousness and hating sin.  However, we are always free to disregard His prompting.  When we do this we begin the process of “grieving,” or “quenching,” the Spirit.  Paul gives practical advice in many portions of Scripture on how to avoid doing this.  These practical counsels to the believer on living the Christian life are intended to help us maintain the fullness of the Spirit in our lives.  Two examples of such counsel are found in the following Bible verses:

“And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.  Therefore, putting away lying, each one speak truth with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.  ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.  Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.  Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph. 4:24-32).

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.  See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:14-19).

Paul knew that the Spirit of God dwelling in believers would be prompting them to do the things listed in these verses.  If we refuse to yield to His prompting, though, we will be in danger of grieving and quenching the Spirit.

If you find that you have grieved the Spirit, don’t become discouraged!  Ask God to forgive you, and He will (1 John 1:9).  Then ask God in faith to fill you anew with His Spirit, and He will do that, too (Luke 11:13).

David knew God’s mercy.  He had committed the sins of adultery and murder.  He had walked away from the prompting of God’s Spirit in his life when he committed these terrible acts.  Yet when he was convicted of his sin by the Spirit, he turned to God in prayer.  Note especially these words:

“Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with Your generous Spirit” (Ps. 51:9-12).

When we find that we’ve been slipping away from God we must not let another moment go by without confessing our sin, accepting God’s forgiveness, and claiming the promise of the renewing of the Spirit in our lives just as David did.  Then we will be strengthened once again in the “inner” man to be victorious over Satan:

“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:16-19).

We serve a wonderful God.  When we have failed Him, let us remember:

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy.  He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.  He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.  For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him” (Ps. 103:8-13).

Bible Study Tips – Memorize Scripture- Standing Strong Through the Storm

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“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

When China’s best-known pastor, Wang Ming-dao, was finally released from prison, he stated, “In these past 20 years, I have not had a copy of the Bible. Happily between the ages of 21 to 24, I spent my time at home doing the housework and studying the Scriptures. I memorized many passages. These passages in my heart came out one by one and strengthened me. Had it not been for those words of God, not only I, but many others, would also have been defeated.”

Pastor Lamb in southern China was in prison for many years at that same time. “I understood then why I had memorized so much of God’s Word while in Bible school,” he says. “I kept my sanity only by repeating Bible verses over and over.”

The best way the church can prepare for trials and persecution is by seriously studying and learning the Word of God. Christians need an overview of the whole Bible. Understanding God’s outline for mankind in the Bible aids in memorization as well.

What is the right attitude to bring to Bible study? Some read and study the Bible with the intent to get something from it to teach to others. But first, we should approach the Bible with the desire to see the goodness and loving-kindness of God and understand how “wide and long and high and deep”is His love for us (Ephesians 3:17-19). Let His love show you His supply for your own need and then you are better able to meet the needs of others.

Second, approach the Bible with humility. Study the Bible to discover what God has said. Bible study is meant not merely to inform but to transform.

In restricted countries where Bibles are in short supply, pastors are often in a quandary as to which of the many spiritually needy he should share these precious books with. Progress in Bible memorization is one method they can use for determining who will receive the available Bibles. One house church group in Vietnam decided to give them to the believers who were most determined to use them. The criterion used was memory work. So Bibles were shared only with those who recited flawlessly Psalm 119—all 176 verses!

Open Doors is committed to provide God’s Word to those for whom it is not available. “It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes….”(Romans 1:16-17)

RESPONSE: Today I will memorize a new verse from God’s Word, the Bible.

PRAYER: Pray for the Christians in restricted countries where there is a shortage of God’s Word.

Understanding John 3:16

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Stars 71

 

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to him belong,
They are weak but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

What a great song. You have probably sung this song all of your life. Your affection for Jesus Loves Me, may have started as early as infancy when your mother rocked you to sleep. For many, the melody and the words are familiar, but the deep truths of the song have alluded them.

Before reading on, stop and let this phrase flood your soul: Jesus loves me, and Jesus loves you. He loves you with all of your struggles, and issues. He has loved you through the issues and trials, the failures, and the grief. He waits patiently for you to come to him, because He truly loves you.

John 3:16 is the best known verse in the world and like the song, familiarity with the words often mean that its truth can be overlooked:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

Read it again: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God loves you enough to give his Son for you.

What would it mean for you if you believed this enough to live like someone who is loved by God? And what would living like you are loved look like? How would this reality affect the way you pray?

Study material on John 3:16 excerpted with permission from the NIV Mom’s Devotional Bible (Zondervan, 2013).

* * *

Let’s look at the context of John 3:16

Jesus’s conversation with the pharisee Nicodemus – the most famous conversation in the Bible.

John has more to say to us here than to describe God’s love and the matter of our conversion [in John 3:1-21]. The conversation with Nicodemus is a model conversation, a paradigm if you will, of Jesus bringing the light of God to one who is captive in darkness.

John has an interest in how Christ’s work extends to those in darkness even though he is “the light.” He speaks to Nicodemus at night. That is, Jesus must step into darkness itself in order to redeem those captive to it. This notion reminds me of Jesus’ saying in Mark 2:17: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have come to call not the righteous, but sinners.”

God is not demanding some moral or religious preparation from us that makes us interesting and acceptable to him. On the contrary, his mission is to enter the darkness and find us…

Of course when Jesus challenges Nicodemus that he must be “born again/from above” [3:3], he is making a fundamental statement about theological anthropology. That is, humanity is broken beyond all repair. God’s work in the world is not a question of fixing the part, but rebuilding the whole. It is described comprehensively as nothing short of another birth… As Augustine once taught, the problem with humanity is not that we sin, but that we are in a state of sin that needs a comprehensive solution. Nicodemus, then, and everyone in Jerusalem (2:23)—as well as everyone in the world (2:25)—lives with this infirmity…

The transformation offered to Nicodemus also opens the question of the nature of true religion. That is, religion is not necessarily a matter of personal knowledge or ethical behavior. Nor is it fidelity to religious traditions, no matter how virtuously they evoke higher ethical, religious behavior among us. Jesus is claiming that true spirituality is not discovering some latent capacity within the human soul and fanning it to flame. It is not uncovering a moral consciousness that is hidden by sedimentary layers of civilization’s corruptions. Nor is it inspiring aesthetic qualities that promote society in its finest form. It is not a “horizontal” experience that takes up the materials available around us in the world.

Rather, Jesus claims, true religion is “vertical.” It has to do not with the human spirit, but with God’s Spirit. It is a foreign invasion, sabotage of the first order. True religion unites humanity with God’s powerful Spirit, who overwhelms, transforms, and converts (in the full meaning of the word) its subject. Our role in this transformation is belief (3:16, 18), and yet it is a belief that is aided by God’s work within us since we live in the darkness and have our spiritual capacities handicapped by sin…

Will we step out of the darkness, out of the world, out of death, and place our [trust] on the truth of what Jesus says and who he is?

Study material on John 3:16 excerpted with permission from the NIV Application Commentary: John by Gary Burge (Zondervan, 2009)

Chapters in Life

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Certain chapters in this life seem so unnecessary—like nostrils on the pre-born. Like suffering.  Loneliness.  Disease. Holocausts.  Martyrdom.  Hurricanes, earthquakes and monsoons.

If we assume this world exists just for pre-grave happiness, these atrocities disqualify it from doing so!  But what if this earth is the womb?  Might these challenges, severe as they may be, serve to prepare us, equip us for the world to come?

The apostle Paul wrote in 2nd Corinthians 4:17:  “These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.”

Eternal glory?  I’d like a large cup of that,  wouldn’t you?

Everything in this life is preparing us for the next.

I Messed Up–God’s Steadlast Love Never Ends

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 The very foundation of Salvation is grounded in the realization that God’s unmerited love toward us is greater than any other power– Including death!!    Romans 8:38-39, Ephesians 3:14-21

 

 

 

 

We’ve all messed up.  Said the wrong words, loved the wrong person, reacted the wrong way…walked when we should have waited, indulged when we should have resisted.

You’ll mess up more if you let yesterday’s mistakes sabotage today’s attitude!

The Bible says, God’s mercies are new every morning.  Receive them.  Learn a lesson from them.

Thunderbolts of regret can ignite and consume you.  What makes the difference? Counteract them with downpours of God’s grace, daily washings of forgiveness.

Once a year won’t do.  Once a month is insufficient.  Sporadic mistings leave you combustible.  Weekly showers leave you dry.  You need a solid soaking every day!

Lamentations 3:22-23 says “The Lord’s love never ends; His mercies never stop.  They are new every morning.”

What a gift He has given to you.  What more do you need?