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Convincing of Righteousness

Convincing of Righteousness

As we continue to look at how the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, we will now look at how the Holy Spirit will convict the world, the sinner, of God’s righteousness. The Holy Spirit cannot convict the sinner of his own righteousness, for he has none. Romans 3:10 states, “There is none righteous, not even one.” Not only is there none who is righteous, there is none who seek for righteousness. Romans 3:11 says, “There is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God.” Apart from the Holy Spirit convicting the sinner of God’s righteousness he would be left abandoned to his own unrighteousness never to seek or long for God’s.

We should give God the highest praise that He has sent the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Apart from that conviction we would be hopeless. Jesus would be useless to us because apart from the Holy Spirit we cannot see, or know Jesus. Jesus said in John 16:10 that the Holy Spirit convicts the world of righteousness, “Because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me.” As stated earlier, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin by convicting us of Jesus Lordship. In the same way, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin by convincing us of Jesus righteousness, and allowing us to know we are utterly lost in hopeless unrighteousness on our own.

Jesus asked in Mark 10:18, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.” The bible is clear that Jesus is God, and that He is righteous. He is perfectly righteous as is the Father and the Holy Spirit. God alone is righteous. Jesus proved His righteousness by going to be with the Father. Had Jesus not fulfilled all righteousness the Father would not have accepted Him. Yet, the Father did accept Him; therefore we clearly know that all righteousness has been fulfilled through Christ.

Jesus had nothing to prove by fulfilling all righteousness. He was perfectly righteous prior to taking upon the flesh and He remained so after He became flesh. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, not for His own sake, but for ours; for we have none. II Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” Since the wages of sin is death Jesus took upon the penalty for our sake. Since Jesus was sinless, death had no hold or claim on Him, therefore, Jesus arose from the grave defeating death. When one repents from their sin and turns to Jesus not only is their sins wiped away but God replaces the sin of the flesh with Jesus righteousness. Just as the Father would not have accepted Jesus apart from Jesus fulfilling all righteousness neither will He accept us apart from Jesus righteousness placed upon us through the acceptance of Jesus sacrifice to sin.

For this reason the Holy Spirit convinces the sinner, through His convicting power, first, that he has no righteousness of His own, second, that Jesus is perfectly righteousness, and third, that Jesus paid the price for our sins, will blot out our sins, and give to us His righteousness if we simply repent of our sins and turn to Jesus. Wow, that was a long sentence; but it is an amazing work that God offers to those who will receive. Apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and the submission to the conviction, the sinner will remain in his sins, unrepentant, thinking that he is sufficient on his own when he clearly isn’t. Only God’s righteousness is sufficient, and only Jesus paid the price for sin where we can be redeemed and receive His righteousness. Truly, that is amazing grace!

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Confirming the Son

Confirming the Son

After Jesus stated in John 16:8 that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment, He told us exactly why the Holy Spirit would do so. Jesus began this instruction in the next verse stating, “Concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me.” The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin because they do not believe in Jesus and He will start by confirming to the sinner that Jesus is Lord.

The first act of the Holy Spirits conviction is confirming the fact that Jesus is Lord. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 12:3, “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.” Does this mean that a lost person cannot speak the words, “Jesus is Lord?” Of course not. A lost person can certainly speak the words that Jesus is Lord just as a saved person can speak the words Jesus is accursed. However, those words will not represent the true conviction of the individual’s heart, nor will it represent the direction of the individual’s life.

Paul made this a little clearer in Romans 10:9-10 when he wrote starting in verse 9, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Apart from the convicting power of the Holy Spirit confirming to the sinner that Jesus truly is Lord they would never truly confess such a statement, and if they do, it will be a lie. However, once the Holy Spirit has brought about confirmation to the sinner that Jesus is Lord through His convicting power the sinner will then repent and confess Jesus as Lord. Paul then writes in verse 10, “For with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” The only reason the sinner has confessed with his mouth that Jesus is Lord is because the Holy Spirit has brought about confirmation of this fact within his heart through His convicting power.

Once Jesus has been confirmed as Lord the sinner will naturally repent from His sins and willingly, and joyfully, submit to Jesus’ lordship. One who has never repented of their sins may have been convicted of the fact that Jesus is Lord, but they chose to reject the conviction and never allowed it to truly bring confirmation within their lives. Since Jesus isn’t confirmed as Lord, they have no heart or desire to repent of their sins and live for Him.

Only after one repents of their sins and turns to Jesus can he come into agreement with Paul when he gave his testimony stating, “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (II Timothy 1:12). Oh, how sweet to have the confirming conviction that Jesus is Lord and know that you know. Do you know?

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Turning Condemnation into Compassion

Turning Condemnation into Compassion

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Matthew 23:37-39 NASB

In the 23rd chapter of Mathew Jesus exposed the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and wickedness. He boldly proclaimed truth to them by exposing their wicked ways. While exposing their hypocrisy, Jesus pronounced eight wows warning them of their impending doom for their wicked ways.

Jesus told them of their wicked intentions to kill the prophets that He would send. Jesus was also fully aware of the fact that they wanted to kill Him, and eventually would. Jesus knew that Israel would soon turn on Him and be hostile to Him and His followers.  However, Jesus compassion for them is clearly seen in His statement, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” He loved them even though they were unwilling to love Him back.

I have no doubt that Jesus was not proclaiming the wows to the Pharisees with a smile on His face and joy in His heart. I would imagine He spoke these words with a grief stricken soul and tears on His cheek. He knew if they did not hear and therefore respond to the truth they would stand eternally condemned.

Jesus was not preaching to bring condemnation on them, He was preaching to bring them into repentance. For this reason, He was preaching with compassion. Jesus Himself said, “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:17). Clearly the unrepentant will be judged. However, Jesus compels the lost with compassion to repent and be saved from eternal judgment. The heart full of condemnation has no desire to see the sinner repent, thinking they deserve what they have coming to them for their wickedness. However, the bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Therefore, apart from grace, we all stand condemned. How then am I any better than they? I have repented and therefore received grace. They stand in need of repentance, and therefore need to receive grace.

Clearly the world is becoming more and more wicked. Clearly, the world will remain in their wickedness until the Children of God share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them, the good news; and they must share it with a heart of compassion rather than one of condemnation. I have no doubt that the church will never reap a mighty harvest until it repents of its hardened heart. Just as Jesus did, when we evangelize we need to speak the truth. We need to call sin what it is and warn of the impending judgment for those who refuse to repent. However, Just as Jesus did we need to do it with a heart filled with compassion desiring the sinner to come to repentance before it is eternally too late.

The church today needs to be broken with compassion; a compassion that will bring the saint to his knees pouring his heart out to God in prayer on behalf of the sinner; a compassion that will move the congregation out of their comfortable pews and out into the community to proclaim truth and love to the sinner; and a compassion that overcomes selfishness, overlooking suffering and sacrifice for the sake of the sinner. In truth, we need a compassion that looks, acts, lives, and exists, just like Jesus. Until that time, the church will remain in its pews, the sinner will remain in their sin, revival will tarry, and judgment will come.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Reflections of Glory

Reflections of Glory

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” II Corinthians 3:18 NASB

Paul reminded the church of Corinth of Moses who caught a glimpse of the glory of God. The reflection of God’s glory caused Moses face to shine. Because of the hardness of the peoples heart Moses had to wear a veil over his face to hide the glory of God illuming from him. Paul also said that this veil remains in the hearts of men to this day and is only removed whenever a person turns to the Lord.

As Christians we are to be living reflectors of the glory of God. We are not to veil or hide the glory of God within us. Nor are we to use the Lord to bring glory to ourselves. We are to let His light shine from within us for the world to see and therefore be drawn to the Him.

In order for us to be a clear and bright reflection of God’s glory we need to be transformed from the fleshly man to the spiritual man. When we walk more in the flesh and less in the Spirit we are dim and dull reflectors of God’s glory. However, when we are full of the Spirit and have denied the flesh God’s glory shines bright. We should desire the glory of God to shine so bright within us it blinds the world from all else.

How then are we to be transformed into His image from glory to glory? The Word of God promises us if we seek God we will find Him. God has given to us several methods of seeking Him and finding Him such as, the bible, prayer, church, and service. All of these are wonderful ways God has given to us to discover His person, fall in love with Him, and then become like Him. These tools are not tools for salvation; they are tools for those who are already saved to seek Jesus all the more. The only means of salvation is to repent of your sins, and trust in the Lord by faith to save you from and forgive you of your sins. Once we are saved we use these tools to grow in our walk with Him, to draw closer to Him and more like Him.

Every believer should spend time daily in God’s Word, and in prayer, and to take every opportunity to be active in the church and in service unto the Lord. However, we need to be careful in not allowing these spiritual acts to become fleshly. When these acts become tedious acts of legalistic works that we do because we feel as though we have to, they are meaningless and far less beneficial. However, when we spend time in the bible, in prayer, and in church for the singular purpose of seeking God our service of Him will then be anointed with the glory of God. Our love and passion for Him will grow immensely and our service of Him will be as natural as breathing. Then the world will not see us and be greatly disappointed; they will see the glory of God and be very satisfied.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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In Pursuit of God’s Righteousness

In Pursuit of God’s Righteousness

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6:1 NASB

In the previous chapter Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16). Now we find here Jesus saying, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men.” However the emphasis is, “to be noticed by them.” If our heart is the applause and the approval of men then we have received our reward in full. What reward is that? The applause and the approval of men.

Clearly God wants us to live out a righteous life as a walking witness to His wondrous love and grace. However, we must ask ourselves, “Are we living a life that points other to Jesus or are we living a life that points others to ourselves?” If we are seeking glory for ourselves we dishonor God and have no reward. We must remember Lucifer was cast out of heaven for trying to steal God’s glory, and that God has clearly said, “I will not share My glory with another.” However, if we chose to live a life of righteousness in light of God’s mercy and grace for the purpose of pointing others to Him, our eternal reward will be great. Paul said in II Timothy 4:8, “in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

We must also remember that when we live a life in pursuit of God the world will often reject us and possibly persecute us. We do not intentionally try to stand in contrast to the world for the sake of provoking it, for that is another form of self-righteousness. In reality no one is attracted to self righteousness and everyone will reject it. It is probably one of the greatest stumbling blocks to the Christian world today. We are to live a life in accordance to God’s standards. God’s ways are not our ways and therefore will contradict the ways of the world. I am a sinner saved by grace therefore the righteousness that I pursues is not my own, I have none; it is God’s, and God’s alone. God has called me to holiness because He is holy and I simply invite the world to join me in my pursuit of Him.  Will you join me?

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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What Motivates You?

What Motivates You?

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 NASB

Selfishness, conscience, and love are the three basic motivators in the lives of Christians and non-Christians alike. Selfishness seeks only what is beneficial to the individual with their personal wellbeing as their only motivator. Those who are motivated by conscience are motivated out of a sense of duty and obligation in doing what is right whether it be legal or moral. The one who is motivated by love isn’t concerned for his own well being, nor does he do what he does simply because it’s the right thing to do according to the law or morality.

A Christian’s love should be our only motivating factor. Selfishness is strongly condemned in the Word of God. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit.” As Christians we should have a clear conscience of God’s law and expectations of morality. However, Jesus said in John 14:14, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Jesus commandment for us is to love. If we love Jesus the commandment of love will come naturally, without thought, and without hesitation. The more we love Jesus the more we will naturally obey this commandment of love. When we are living in accordance to the commandment of love it will impact every area of our lives from our families to our churches, in our service, giving, selflessness, even our conscience.

How then do we grow in this command of love? Jesus said we are to love one another even as He has loved us. He is our example. We love God because He first loved us. The more we repent of ourselves and seek Jesus in our daily lives the more we will know Him and the more we will love Him. The more we know and love Him the more His love will have a transformational impact upon our lives. We don’t seek love; we seek Jesus-He is love.

Selfishness and conscience have had great negative impacts on our families, churches, and communities. This negative impact has caused many in the world to turn away from the Lord. Children who are raised in church are turned away by seeing the hypocrisy of selfishness and conscience rather than the love of the Lord and far too many churches are better known in their communities for their fighting rather than their evangelistic efforts and works of ministry. However, the commandment of love when seen by the world will be a beautiful and refreshing sight to them. It will draw them in rather than turn them away. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Are you a disciple of Jesus? What motivates you?

Since godly love is a gift that we can only receive through knowing Christ only the truly repentant can truly love. In fact, I believe that love is one of the greatest evidences of one who has truly repented; a love for God first, then a love for their neighbor. So, what motivates you?

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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The Gift of Hunger

The Gift of Hunger

There are many gifts God gives that we often take for granted; hunger is one of them. Often times we think of hunger as a burden but it truly is a blessing. If we don’t eat we will die, and if we never know we are hungry we may never know to eat. Naturally as adults we know we are to eat if we want to live. However, a new born baby doesn’t know this. For this reason, God designed our human bodies, starting from birth, to become hungry so we will know to eat, so we will grow, be healthy, and live.
In I Peter 2:1-4 the Apostle Peter describes the hunger of one who is a new born babe in Christ. A new born babe in Christ is one who has recently repented of their sins, (I Peter 2:1), and has turned to Jesus. (I Peter 2:4). He said, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.” (I Peter 2:3). Then he said in the next verse, “If you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.”
In other words, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord by recognizing His grace and received it, and you have repented of you sins and tuned to Jesus, and therefore become a new born babe in Christ, you will have a longing, a hunger, for the word of God. Though I am not the one who sits in the judges seat, I seriously doubt that the one who claims to be converted and has never had any hunger for the Word of God, or anything of God’s is a true conversion. The truly converted, especially the new born, will have a longing, a hunger, for the Word of God as well as all things from God.
There are times when the human body will lose its apatite, its natural hunger, and not want to eat. But, those times are a sign that the body is not healthy. In the midst of battling cancer I was asked one question above all else: “How is your appetite?” If the body is not healthy it will not want to eat. In the same way, if we are not spiritual healthy we will not have a hunger for the word of God; we will have no hunger for anything of God. It is at that time that we should know we stand in need of repentance.
The new born will especially have a hunger for the Word of God. Just as a new born in the flesh is limited in its ability to do things so is a new born in Christ. Just as the new born in the flesh has a longing to grow, learn, and do more, so will the now born in Christ. The new born in Christ will have a specific longing for the Word of God for the very specific purpose of growing in respect to their salvation. If there is no longing to grow in the salvation than one needs to seriously question whether or not they have a true salvation.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Called for His Glory

Called for His Glory

“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble.” I Corinthians 1:26

More often than not God calls the week to demonstrate His might. Why? He wants His glory to shine and not ours. What we perceive to be our strengths so often become our weaknesses in the kingdom of God. We think we have wisdom, strength, and might, and think our skills and abilities are sufficient, not realizing they can lead us to great failures when we don’t surrender them to the Lord.

Paul was a greatly educated man with great skills as a leader. However, he said, “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” (I Corinthians 2:2). He also said in I Corinthians 2:4, “and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” Paul didn’t trust in his education or his skills; he trusted in the power of God.

Whether we are unlearned or greatly educated God will use us if our heart is to let His glory shine. If we are unwise and unskilled God will give us a great anointing and ability through His power if we are surrendered to Him. If we are full of wisdom and skills they too must be surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus. Even the greatest of education and skills are nothing compared to what God will give to us if we are humble. However, if we are full of pride we will fail. God will not share His glory with another.

Repentance isn’t just turning from sin, it’s turning from self. Repentance is turning from our ways, our heart, our desires, our goals, our visions, and seeking God’s. Remember, true repentance is turning to Jesus, making Him the absolute Lord and authority of our lives. Anything else falls short of His glory. After all, why would we want to trust in our abilities since I Corinthians 1:25 tells us, “The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Our God is a Holy God

Our God is a Holy God

We try so hard to justify our sins. We say things like “A little white lie has never hurt anyone” or “It’s okay if I take a little more than what’s mine; after all I deserve it.” We entertain ourselves with things that curse God’s name and promote the very things that God calls an abomination. We have allowed ourselves to become conformed to the ways of this world yet God’s word says in Romans 12:2, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” We need to understand that God is not okay with sin-any sin-not even a little white lie!

I Peter 1:15, 16 says, “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” God is holy in all His ways, His thoughts, His actions, and His motivation; even in His wrath and anger, He is holy. We so often fail to recognize the holiness of God. We fail to recognize that when we choose to sin (yes, even the small sin) and make excuses for our sin, we are dishonoring the very nature of God and who He has created us to be. He is holy and, therefore, requires His children to be holy. We ask and seek and knock; and when the door does not open, we automatically assume that there is something wrong with God. Rest assured there is nothing wrong with God. The short circuit will always be found on our end.

We need to ask ourselves, “Are we living out the holy lives God has called us to live”, or are we living lives that glory in the flesh and the things of this world? Have we been conformed to this world? Are your daily thoughts of God, or of this world? Do your actions glorify God or point to the world? Is your attitude one of Christ-likeness or of careless desires that lead down the path of least resistance? Is God your constant object of worship or do you marvel at the mortal ways of man?

It isn’t difficult to discover who we are living for if we simply take an honest look at how we are living. I John 1:5, 6 says, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” Clearly this scripture is teaching us that if we have fellowship with God we will not walk in darkness. Walking in darkness is walking in sin. If we walk in darkness we are walking in sin and, therefore, do not have fellowship with God. God is holy and, therefore, will not fellowship with an unrepentant sinner.

I am not saying that a Christian cannot sin. All Christians are susceptible to slipping into sin. However, this scripture is talking about walking in sin, not slipping in it. If you slip and fall, you get right back up, repent of your actions, and continue walking in the right path. However, if we are walking in darkness it is a demonstration of who we are. It is the consistent pattern of our lives. I Corinthians 6:9, 10 says, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Does this mean that anyone who has ever been drunk or stolen anything or has been guilty of coveting cannot be saved? Of course not! Paul is speaking here of the unrepentant soul whose sin define who they are. They are continually walking in and practicing the very things that God tells them to turn away from. The holy nature of God will not allow Him to fellowship with the unrepentant sinner. The Bible is clear, if we say we have fellowship with God yet we have unrepentant sin in our lives, we are liars. The Bible tells us to repent of our sins. (Acts 2:38). To repent is to turn away sin and turn to Jesus.

As we have already discussed, the church is the representation of the Kingdom of God upon this earth. We are commanded in God’s Word to preach the gospel of repentance to the whole world. The church should with open arms be inviting and welcoming to the sinners just as Jesus did, but expecting repentance and change within their lives. However, to the one who calls himself a Christian yet chooses to live in open and rebellious sin against God,  II Corinthians 5:11, 12 says, “But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.” Although we think little sins like little white lies are acceptable, be reminded that due to a little white lie about an offering God was the first to remove the wicked man from the church. (See Acts 5:1-11). God is holy and is in full expectation of His children and His church to be holy.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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Do You Really Love Jesus?

Do You Really Love Jesus?

In the second chapter of Revelation, Jesus praised the church of Ephesus for their perseverance in the midst of persecution, for staying true to the Word of God and opposing false teachers, and for standing strong in the name of Jesus. On the outside, the church of Ephesus looked like the perfect church. However, Jesus knew they had a deadly deficiency in their midst.

Jesus told the church of Ephesus that they are guilty of a great sin, “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” (Revelation 2:4). They began their ministry with passion and love toward Jesus. Yet, somehow through the years, their labor of love for the Lord slipped into the tedious traditions of the church. Jesus warned them and called them into repentance of their improper motivations of service. Just as so many churches today have replaced their passion for programs and their zeal for the name of Jesus for self notoriety, the church of Ephesus fell from being a church with a driving passion for Jesus to a church coasting along in autopilot.

Jesus told them that they needed to repent. Jesus warned the church of Emphasis that if they did not repent, there would be serious consequences to pay. However, if they chose to repent by turning back to their zeal and love of Him, God’s glorious hand of blessing would remain upon them. God always gives us a choice. Clearly, His heart is for us to choose loving devotion to Him that leads to blessing rather than His hand of wrath that is deserved because of our lack of repentance.

Stop and ask yourself right now, “Why do I serve God?” Is it out of a natural overflow of the love you have toward Jesus? If not, you stand in need of repentance! How can so many people who sit in churches Sunday after Sunday not serve the Lord? The answer is simple; it is due to the fact that they don’t love Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me you will obey Me.” Put simply, the Christian that refuses to serve the Lord is a Christian that does not love the Lord. Jesus did not say “If you obey me you will demonstrate your love for Me”; that is legalism. His heart is that we serve Him out of the overflow of love we have for Him with gladness and gratitude.

As I look at the church today, I see signs disregard, disrespect, due to a distant or altogether lacking love of Jesus. This lack of love for Jesus is drowning our world in spiritual devastation. We have allowed Satan to come in and bring devastating pestilence upon the very world God created and loves. We see it in preachers with no passion, deacons who are not dedicated, congregations clutching for control, churches who won’t console the contrite, and the word of God wavered by the ways of man. Our churches have become lodges and social clubs with privileged membership unwelcoming to the stranger. Pastors have become hirelings to do the work that no one else is willing to do “After all, that’s what we pay the preacher for.” The pulpit has become a place where a polluted gospel is preached as to not hurt anyone’s feelings. Dare we say that we are sinners, and there is a place called hell reserved for those who refuse to repent?  If the preacher were to preach the truths of hell, would it really matter? Even if we know our neighbor is hell-bound, do we really care, or at least care enough, to actually do anything about it? We fuss and complain about the wickedness of the world; yet, we hold the very keys to lose the power of God into this world. We have not lost that power; we have surrendered that power to the fleshly desires of man seeking glory for self rather than for God. The signs of spiritual drought are crying out before us, and God has given us the solution. However, we must first repent and return to our first love, Jesus!

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2017 in Bible Study, Devotional, Uncategorized

 

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