Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Psalm 37

Psa 37:1 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Everyone has been hurt by someone. A friend may have not been there for you. Trouble may have come to you like a wave, the waters covering you casting you about, powerless, alone and frightened. Afflictions may have taken you and you suffered alone in silence. Some may carry secret hurts too painful to mention. Evildoers, have done their evil to you and they seem to prosper; they have no remorse. God knows and he cares. They will not get away from his justice. Do not be envious of their power or prosperity. They cannot have your soul or your worth, this belongs to God. Seek the Lord with all your heart, He cares and he wants to help you. In Jesus forgive them so that they will have no more hold on you. Give them all to the LORD.

Psa 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

All flesh will be cut off and wither, but in the LORD there is life eternal.

Psa 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

This Psalm was written by David who would be king of Israel. He suffered at the jealousy of King Saul who chased him and tried to kill him for twenty years. He knew what it meant to be despised without a cause of his own. His advice is from the LORD and his personal experience: trust in the LORD, do good to all and towards God; in this manner you shall dwell and be fed. Your needs will be met.

1 Pet 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
1 Pet 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
1 Pet 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.
1 Pet 2:18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
1 Pet 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.
1 Pet 2:20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

We have desires of the flesh for friends for love, food and drink, for warmth and shelter and clothing. All these God will give to us if we seek Him first.

Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Mat 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Mat 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Mat 6:28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
Mat 6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Mat 6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Mat 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mat 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mat 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

All good comes from God. Think also on His things. What does he wish for us to do? First we are to love him above all else, even above our own life. If we love him most, then His will is our hearts desire. LORD, be glorified through your servant; you are LORD of glory.

Psa 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Prov 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.
Prov 16:2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.
Prov 16:3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

Be committed to God. Be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Learn of Him, learn the Bible. Walk in the truth that you know. Ask God for more wisdom, seek him and he shall bring your desires to pass. How many desire things, only to find that they soon do not mean so much to them? The things of God are precious and lasting. Things of the world perish, souls are eternal. Seek the Lord to bring souls to him, to make your life a blessing to others.

Psa 37:6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Our righteousness is through being in Christ Jesus. His righteousness is seen in and through us. We are the bearers of his light and truth in a sin darkened land, we shall appear as the light of noonday. Some will be drawn to the light, others will hide in darkness. We are of the LORD and walk in His light and love.

Psa 37:7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Jesus is our rest.

Mat 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Be not envious of the prosperity of evil doer; do good to others.

Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Rom 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Rom 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Psa 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
Psa 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

Evil shall be cut off, shall be removed from the inheritance of the LORD. We shall inherit the earth as a paradise for a thousand years and then heaven.

Isa 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Psa 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

Look at the world, how much has changed and how quickly. Once great businesses are bankrupt or are no more. Just as change is coming fast in the natural so shall it be in the spiritual.

1 Cor 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Psa 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

Mat 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Meek, in the Greek language implies strength under control. Spiritual meekness shows a willingness to submit under God's authority, to not demand one's own way. A spiritually meek person is a person of character and discipline, submitting their own desires to the better will of God. The meek shall prosper and inherit the earth. Jesus was meek, in him we will inherit the earth as he returns to rule at the end times.

Psa 37:12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.

As a snarling animal, like a wolf.


Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers:
Acts 7:53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
Acts 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Acts 7:56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
Acts 7:57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
Acts 7:58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
Acts 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Psa 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

The LORD is almighty and shall laugh in supreme contempt; his days are numbered. There shall be no wolves with the sheep of God.

Psa 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
Psa 37:15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.

This is like the story of Esther where Haman had built a gallows to hang Mordecai the Jew. The gallows were used to hang Haman and his 10 sons.

Est 8:7 Then the king Ahasuerus said unto Esther the queen and to Mordecai the Jew, Behold, I have given Esther the house of Haman, and him they have hanged upon the gallows, because he laid his hand upon the Jews.

All enemies of the Jews shall be destroyed. Even now there is war in Israel, may we never side against God's old covenant people.

Psa 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Psa 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.

We do not need a lot of things to be content.

1 Tim 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
1 Tim 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Tim 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
1 Tim 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Psa 37:18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
Psa 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Our days are ordered of the LORD. Our inheritance is eternal life through Jesus Christ. The days are evil, we do not have to be ashamed: the LORD will keep us in times of famine.

Psa 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

They shall be burned and nothing saved, so shall they consume away in the fire of God's wrath.

Psa 37:21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous showeth mercy, and giveth.

We had a neighbor whose teenage son would ask to borrow a rake, a tool and he would never return them. I had to go get them. I had a talk with him about being honest in returning what was borrowed. Sometimes it is just being forgetful, but it could be called a sin. The psalm says a wicked man borrows and never pays for what he keeps. Was I unrighteous in not giving him what was borrowed? Let the Spirit give you wisdom in this. It is good to be a giver and to give generously, but not so good to support a thief. Often we see people with signs seeking food or money. Food I give, but money I do not know if it would be used wisely. If they want monery for gas, it is best to take them to a gas station. Many use money for drug addictions or alcohol. Mercy and giving are good. Sometimes mercy gives to the undeserving, but were we deserving when God gave his Son to us for our salvation? Give according to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Psa 37:22 For such as be blessed of him shall inherit the earth; and they that be cursed of him shall be cut off.

Again a warning to those who chose the wrong way, that the end determines the place we shall be in for eternity. If we are with those who follow the LORD we inherit the earth and heaven. If we seek the LORD we are blessed in him; if we go the way of evil we shall be cut off.

Psa 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

We may say that we are walking in the Spirit and not in the will of the flesh. To have the LORD delighted with us, is only by the grace we receive in Jesus. Thank you Lord!

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Psa 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

follow: radaph , to persue, to chase after. The LORD'S goodness and mercy shall chase after you, to bless you now and forever more.

Psa 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Upholdeth: camek, to lean, lay, rest, support, put, uphold, lean upon

There is a hymn entitled "Leaning on the everlasting arms"' this is what is implied here. I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms.

Psa 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.

This is true, we may have encountered many hardships, but we and our children are never foresaken or without our daily bread.

Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

This may not be so true in Africa and other nations where persecution is so intense, but there is another daily bread that sustains us and that is the word of God.

John 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
John 4:33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Psa 37:26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.

The righteous is ever merciful, and lendeth perhaps food to the needy, without any desire to have it paid back. His family after him is blessed.

Mat 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Psa 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
Psa 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.

Depart from evil, avoid it, repent of it and do good, for the LORD loves judgement, and will not foresake his holy ones who follow him.

Judgment: mishpat, justice, knowing right from wrong and following the right way.

The LORD will not forsake us and we should forsake all that gets in the way of following him. The LORD must be most important to us.

Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Psa 37:30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.
Psa 37:31 The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.

The righteous speak wisdom, for wisdom is of God. His tongue speaks of justice, with grace. The law is in his heart so that he does not walk in evil ways. He follows the good things of God.

Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Psa 37:32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.

As they wanted to kill Jesus, for envy, they will seek to destroy you, for you do not approve of evil and they are evil.

Mark 15:9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
Mark 15:10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.
Mark 15:11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
Mark 15:12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
Mark 15:13 And they cried out again, Crucify him.

Psa 37:33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.

The story of Joseph shows to us the favor of the LORD upon a righteous man; sold as a slave, cast into prison and then by his wisdom and favor he was raised to be second in command in Egypt.

Gen 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.

Psa 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
Psa 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
Psa 37:36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.

It is a sad thing when a family member turns away from God for power and honor from the world. I have seen this happen and at the end of his life he has nothing, if without Lord. His children even mock him at his funeral with boasting songs of pride in the flesh.

Psa 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

Take note and watch the man of faith, for he shall have peace.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Psa 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
Psa 37:40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

Psa 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
Psa 18:3 I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Free Indeed

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Disciples learn deeper of Jesus and his word. They follow him all the way to eternal life. Jesus is the savior from our sins. There is no other way for our sins to be forgiven, but by faith in Jesus. Although Jesus came in the flesh, he is Spirit eternal; the Living Word. He came from God, His Father, in heaven and he returned to God. He brought us truth and life. We must see Him as he is and receive his testimony. If we believe in him, we shall not perish, but live with him forever in glorious spiritual bodies. The earth and the world shall pass away, but God's kingdom is everlasting. Those who come to him will be saved from death and hell. He is the way, the truth and the life. The truth received and believed, shall make you free and give you eternal life.

John 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

No truth in their words, they were in bondage in Egypt for 400 years and in bondage due to lack of faith for forty years in the wilderness.

Acts 7:6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years.

Some of the Jews thought by being descendants of Abraham that they were free and accepted by God. Faith is required, they still had no faith, as they rejected Jesus their Messiah, with all the proofs of his ministry.

Jesus is the promised Messiah who would deliver those who trusted in him from bondage. Two kinds of bondage: physical and mental. Freedom from bondage begins with believing the truth of God's word. Being free of sin is through faith in Jesus, not of blood inheritance, nor of self will, nor of the will of another, but it is of God, born again by faith in Jesus.

John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

You are servant to who you obey. We are to obey God above all else. When we disobey God's will, it is sin for us. If we willingly continue to disobey God, we are servants of self or someone else.

Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine (teaching of God's word) which was delivered you.
Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Praise God, Jesus has made us free by faith. Our faith requires obedience. If we sin, we confess to him and he restores us.

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

John 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Many think they are serving God by doing certain laws or requirements of religion. They are not in Christ Jesus, so their service is only as religious bondage. If by faith we are received by Jesus, the Son of God, you shall be free indeed. You are no longer just servants, but are become sons and daughters, adopted into God's family. This is the Amazing Grace of God through Christ Jesus.

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

What spirit are you of? Jesus continues to speak to the Jews.

John 8:37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.
John 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
John 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. John 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

Abraham obeyed God and was a man of faith. They served the one who would kill God's Son and who is the enemy of our souls.

John 8:41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

You were born of fornication, referring to the birth of Jesus out of season as fornication. We know he was God's son, as the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

John 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

The father sent the Son, to provide a legal way for our sins to be forgiven. Death was required for sin. Jesus took our punishment and grace forgave us and made us the children of God. Why would anyone refuse such a free gift?

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 8:43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

You are blessed if you can hear the word's of Jesus.

Mat 13:13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Mat 13:14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Mat 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Mat 13:16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

Jesus had discernment, knowing their hearts

John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
John 8:45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

You are of your spiritual) father, the devil. You are known by your words and actions. He is a liar and so are you. A child of God speaks the truth. He seeks to kill me and so do you.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:...

John 8:46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

They were not seeking truth but to lie and destroy.

John 8:47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Is this important? Yes, it is essential to know the truth. Truth comes from studying God's word through His Spirit, the Spirit of truth. If we are of the devil, studying the word is used to accuse and destroy. Know what spirit you are of. Discern the spirits. For if we are convinced of a lie, it could destroy you or others. We are what we believe. Our thoughts control our actions.

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

This is the key to victory. Paul is looking to Jesus and is finding his strength and trusting in Him. There is no condemnation to them, who have received Christ Jesus by faith. Our eternal standing is to be one with Christ, we are children of God. Jesus bore the condemnation we deserved - and as He is condemned no more, neither are we condemned.

Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

In Jesus we are free from the law of sin and death, the Mosaic laws, and are led by the Spirit of God. The laws are written on our hearts.

Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Thank You Lord Jesus for bringing us your victory. You died on the cross, not for yourself, for you are holy. You died for the world lost in sin and bound by laws they could never keep. You bought us with your shed blood. We receive you as master and we are in you, becoming one with you. Father God sees us in you, your blood covering us . We are free in our standing from all sin and oppression. There is no condemnation for us. We have passed from death into eternal life. Help us to understand all that this means so that we may serve you in strength and in truth.

We must remember that we are the children of freedom and as such we are not to be placed into bondage by another.

Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
Gal 4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

Those of the flesh are the ones to persecute those in the Spirit. I see this in chat rooms, vile talk and yet claiming to be Christian. They oppose those who are in the Spirit; they are upset with the word of God, accusing me of being judgmental. The saints will judge the world and the angels. We are to be lights and salt in the world and the darkness cries out; foul play! You are judging us. No the light hurts blind eyes, and the salt of the world stings festering sin. God will judge as to the final judgement; we are to judge spirits and sinful behavior as to truth and error, according to God's word and Spirit. It is love to warn another of hell to come. It is love to lead another to saving grace.

Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

Really no one can please God apart from Christ and the help of the Holy Spirit. God has designed us to be inadequate in the flesh to please him. It is always by submission in humility and by simple faith in Jesus that we please him.

Cast out the bondwoman and her son; the law, traditions and works that keep you a slave to the law.

Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

We are heirs with the son of the freewoman.

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Someone who is legally made free in Christ can still live in bondage; they are deceived into placing themselves back into slavery.

But isn't this what the devil likes for us to do? Yes!

D. L. Moody spoke of an old black woman in the South following the Civil War. Being a former slave, she was confused about her status and asked: Now is I free, or be I not? When I go to my old master he says I ain't free, and when I go to my own people they say I is, and I don't know whether I'm free or not. Some people told me that Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation, but master says he didn't; he didn't have any right to.

This is exactly where many Christians are; legally free in Christ, yet in bondage because their "old master" has deceived them. We are children of God, our Father is LORD God of all. We are not to bow to any other spirit or religion or idol. We "be" free.

Walk in Freedom

1 Pet 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

Yes, we are free in Christ, but we should not use our freedom to do sinful things; instead we are to do the works of a child of God.

Rom 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Always remember your calling to inherit everlasting life. All that we experience here leads to this end. Love one another, there is nothing so beautiful then to love and be loved in return. Love and as much as is possible, live at peace with all people, living in truth; the truth shall make you free. Not the truth of the world's thinking, not religious bondage to laws that we cannot keep, but truth that by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ we are saved and made children of the most high God.

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

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

There Came Wise Men

Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Suddenly, unexpectedly there was with the one angel a great number, an army of angels singing praises to God.
Glory, honor and praise to the most high God, and on earth peace, inward peace that comes from the presence of a loving God, and God's good will and grace resting on human beings. Heavens angels came down, not in the big city, not to the temple for the priests, not to Caesar or to kings, but to lowly shepherds. Jesus would be called the good shepherd and also the (sacrificial) lamb of God. He was the way and the means of our forgiveness and our salvation. Shall we join the angels in shouting praises to God? Glory to God in heaven, Emanuel, His Son is with us.

Luke 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
Luke 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

The shepherds believed the angels and they wanted to see the babe for themselves. Out of all people, these lowly shepherds were given the message first. The humble receive first from the things of God.

Luke 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
Luke 2:18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

These were the first men to preach the good news.

Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Luke 2:19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

Mary kept all these things, and thought about them in her mind. What am I to do as a mother of this child from God? Perhaps remembering Hannah, who dedicated her son to the LORD.

Luke 2:20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

The Shepherds returned from abroad, the first missionary evangelists. The returned to tending their sheep. We have a message to proclaim to all the world: Jesus Christ is come to take away the sins of those who will receive him. We continue to work but with new purpose and meaning in our hearts.
Did everyone believe? Probably not, but they planted a seed of truth in many peoples minds. The shepherds had nothing to lose. King Herod would hear from the wise men and seek to kill Jesus because he was said to be a king. The Chief priests would hear from the testimony of Jesus and seek to kill him from envy. Satan was king of the world, he would use the powers of men's authority to kill Jesus. The Shepherds only tended sheep, they were glad to hear the message and to share it. How about you?

Luke 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Jesus, savior, just as John before him, the angel Gabriel told them the name given by God. Jesus being a Hebrew child under their laws, even kept the law as a baby. Thank God for obedient parents who do as God requires.

Luke 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

Purification or cleansing, was a ceremony to remove sins, yes even babies are born with sins. Jesus identified with sinners, in this ritual, in baptism and on the cross. Yet, he had no sins.

Luke 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
Luke 2:24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Both the baby and the woman were to cleansed by an offering of sacrifice, The customary offering was a lamb. If they were poor, the offering could be two turtle doves or two pigeons.

Lev 12:7 Who shall offer it before the LORD, and make an atonement for her; and she shall be cleansed from the issue of her blood. This is the law for her that hath born a male or a female.
Lev 12:8 And if she be not able to bring a lamb, then she shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons; the one for the burnt offering, and the other for a sin offering: and the priest shall make an atonement for her, and she shall be clean.

Note, that the wise men had not yet come with gold for them. They were poor, offering two pigeons, or two doves, but the Father above would provide for them. The wise men would bring them valuable gifts.

Luke 2:25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luke 2:26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

An elderly gentleman of faith. He was devout, he worshipped God and believed the scriptures, that spoke of the consolation; the word used for the Comforter, the Spirit of God, of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him. He was a Spirit filled man full of faith, expecting to see the messiah before his death.

Luke 2:27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
Luke 2:28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
Luke 2:29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

Being full of the Spirit, the Spirit of truth led him to the temple when Jesus was brought in. He took the child in his arms, no doubt with eyes filled with tears. He is the one he was waiting to see. He blessed Jesus and God blessed him with a fulfillment of a promise; now he could die in peace.

Luke 2:30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
Luke 2:31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Simeon had seen the light of the world. Perhaps in remembrance of Isaiahs prophecy seven hundred years earlier;

Isa 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.
Isa 60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.
Isa 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Jesus himself as a man would speak these words;

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Luke 2:33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
Luke 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

The fall and rising again of many in Israel;

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
John 12:33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

Jesus himself would fall under the persecution of those in power and be lifted up on the cross. He would be buried and resurrected again. To come to him we must fall down and repent of sins and he will lift us up to receive new life. We receive him and we go up with him to heaven. For those who reject him, they are cast down into hell after they die. Now is the time to receive Jesus, humble yourself, put off the sinful life and put on Jesus. He is the power to rise above the worlds ways into eternal life.

Luke 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
Jesus brought the two edged sword, it would divide truth from darkness, and bring the Spirit of discernment.

Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

The light and the truth came through Jesus; the way to heaven and life eternal.

Luke 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

A prophetess, one who hears from God and speaks his word. This is one hearing from God, not a psychic or seer. The psychic is of the dark spirits of satan. One should never listen to a psychic, but a prophet of God we are not to despise.

1 Th 5:20 Despise not prophesyings.

Luke 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
Luke 2:38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

She came to the baby Jesus as Simeon was blessing and prophesying of him and she joined in, confirming by two godly witnesses that this was indeed the one sent who would save Israel. Anna was witnessing of Jesus to all those who were looking for redemption in Israel.

Matthew Continues the story:

Mat 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Tradition has it that they were three kings, but they were astronomers and probably more then three. They brought three gifts to Jesus.

Mat 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

All the world had heard the prophecy that a king would be born from the lineage of David. Probably Daniel the prophet had informed the wise men in Persia at the time that Israel was held captive. The wise men knew what they were looking for and were looking for a sign. They came to worship the Messiah. They were following a star, as the children of Israel followed the glory fire coming out from Egypt to the promised land.

Mat 2:3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

The people had no idea that a king had come. Herod was troubled and filled with jealousy and fear. Perhaps the people knew of Herod's ways and feared for what would be coming. Herod was a ruthless cruel king even killing members of his own family.

Mat 2:4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
Mat 2:5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
Mat 2:6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
A ruler is born in Bethlehem who came from old, from everlasting. The everlasting king of the Jews is born in Bethlehem.

Mat 2:7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
Mat 2:8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

Herod sends the wise men to Bethlehem to inform him when the Messiah is found. The lying King said that he would worship him too, but the devil was in him. He would try to destroy the Messiah. Satan opposed Jesus from the start and will oppose his servants today and until he is judged by Jesus, the Christ, at the end time.

Mat 2:9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

I think the star may have been an angel of light.

Mat 2:10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

True worshippers rejoice at the presence of the Lord. The scribes and pharisees and the people that the Messiah came to bless, were uninterested and at the most frightened. How will you feel at the presence of our Lord?

Mat 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

The baby no longer was in the stable. This meeting occurred sometime afterwards, for they were living in a house, but still in Bethlehem. It was a temporary home for them as they had originally come from Nazareth. They gave gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold was a gift to King Jesus. Frankincense a sweet smelling fragrance for the great high priest, (Exo 30:34-37) who would offer himself a sacrifice, being the atonement for our sins. Jesus is our great high priest . Myrrh was a spice for his burial. They wrapped the body with white linen, using aloe and Myrrh, as spices. (John 19:39-40)

Mat 2:12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

They were following God and hearing him in a dream. They were believers connected by the spirit of God to God the Father. They obeyed the Father and not the wicked king. They went home another way, not giving any information to the King.

Mat 2:13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

The angel of the Lord comes to Joseph in a dream, apparently soon after the wise men departed with a warning and a command from God. Arise now, take the baby and Mary and flee into Egypt. Joseph had heard from the Lord before and believed. The just shall live by faith obeying God. There was no need to question, we are to obey. God sees the future and He is our guide.

He was told to stay until he heard again from God. How many of us let God direct our paths? Do we go as the Spirit leads us and do we stay until He says to move again? This requires a closeness to God, to be able to know his will. God wanted to be sure Joseph understood, because Jesus was in danger from Herod. " Herod will seek the young child to destroy him."

Mat 2:14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
Mat 2:15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

Mat 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

Herod was so mad with jealousy, that he would kill his potential rival, to be sure of this, he had all the children under 2 years old killed who were in the region of Bethlehem. Another prophecy is fulfilled.

Mat 2:17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
Mat 2:18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Jer 31:15 Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

Rachel had been buried in Bethlehem.

Mat 2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
Mat 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

All is clear, come home again. Satan seeks to steal and kill and to destroy but we have the Lord protecting us. Who satan has divided and scattered, the Lord will bring back home. Blessed are those who trust in the Lord.

Prov 10:28 The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.
Prov 10:29 The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
Prov 10:30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

Mat 2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

The angel having told Joseph to return to his home, because Herod was dead. Historians have said that when Herod was near death that he ordered the most prominent leaders in Israel to be held. When Herod died, they were to be put to death. No one would mourn Herod's death, but there would be tears shed over the death of these beloved people.

Mat 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

Archelaus was ruthless like his father Herod. Because of this Joseph being warned in a dream, did not return to Bethlehem.

Mat 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

Luke 2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

Nazareth comes from the Hebrew word "netzer" meaning "branch" or "sprout." It is used figuratively for that which is lowly or despised. The Messiah was lowly and despised by the world who knew him not.

Later, Jesus would gather followers, who questioned about him coming from Nazareth;

John 1:45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
John 1:46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Those who opposed Jesus would mention that he came from Nazareth. They knew him not as God's son. Yet, the demons knew who he was.

Luke 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,
Luke 4:34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah from heaven, our savior, our hope and our peace.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Glory To God

Mat 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Paul, in Philippians 2, explains that Jesus is the eternal son of God, who put aside his glory and was made in the likeness of a man; God's son was Spirit.

Phil 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Phil 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Mat 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

Joseph hearing that Mary was pregnant, could have publicly disgraced her and put her away from him, seemingly she had broken her vow to him to be faithful. In their culture the marriage vow lasted a year, where the couple were not to come together, but were in preparation for the day when the bridegroom would come. Somewhat like an engagement time, before the actually coming together.

Mat 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Mary had not been unfaithful, she was blessed to be the mother of the promised Messiah. Now Joseph understood; he would raise God's son. Joseph the carpenter who made things of wood, would have a helper; his son, who also had been with God the Father creating the worlds.

Heb 1:2 (God) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

A big responsibility for Joseph, from the family line of King David and a big honor for Mary, also a descendent of King David, to be parents of God's son, the King of Kings and the living word of God. The one who would save his people from their sins.

Mat 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Isaiah prophesied;

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Mat 1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Mat 1:24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
Mat 1:25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Luke continues:

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Ceasar was the Roman king whose legions had conquered most of the known world. With the Romans in command, they made highways for traveling from one country to another. Israel was under Roman rule and had to obey their laws and decrees.

For hundreds and hundreds of years, Rome prided itself on being a republic? A nation governed by laws, not by any man. The idea that no man was above the law, and the Roman Senate and the army and various political leaders lived together in a sometimes difficult arrangement. Now, Octavius would change all that. In 27 b.c. he arranged for the Roman Senate to give him the title Augustus, which means "exalted" and "sacred." Now Rome wasn't a republic, governed by laws; it was an empire governed by an emperor. The first Emperor of Rome was this same Caesar Augustus.(Guzik

Luke 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

Luke gives us another historical reference. Cyrenius was governor of the region near Galilee.

Luke 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Bethlehem, meaning city of bread, was the home of King David. Both Joseph and Mary were related to the king. Jesus, was called the bread of life. The bread of life was to be born in the city of bread, fulfilling a prophecy.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Luke 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Mary was near the time to give birth. She probably road on a donkey to Bethlehem which was eighty miles from Nazareth. There was no room in the inn, so Jesus, the lamb of God was born in a barn where animals were kept. She brought forth her firstborn son, probably with no help. She wrapped the baby Jesus in swaddling clothes, which is to wrap arms and all under the warmth of a blanket. The baby that was so helpless contained the eternal son of God, who brought forth the worlds, the Word became flesh. What a humble birth for one so great. They had no cradle, so they laid him in a manger, which is an animal feeding trough. The date of the birth is not known. From the fourth century tradition has been to celebrate his birth on December 25; other scholars say it was probably between April and October. Generally a census would take place after the harvest season, around September or October, when it would not seriously affect the economy, the weather was good and the roads were still dry enough to allow easy travel. The important thing is that Jesus was born in a quiet place away from the worlds eyes. The son of God, the living word, came into the likeness of a human and dwelt among us.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.


Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

In that culture, shepherds were considered the lowest class of people. These shepherds may have been caring for the lambs used for the temple sacrifices. The season to be in the fields was from April to October, while the weather permitted.

Luke 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

The angel of the LORD mentioned earlier was Gabriel. The glory of the Lord shone about the shepherds.

Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

A bright shining in the dark of night, would frighten most anyone, so the angel said, be not afraid. Then the angel brings a message of good tidings, the gospel of great joy, which was to all people.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

The fulfillment of Micah's prophecy.

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

The Jews required a sign as did the father of John the Baptist, which caused him to be speechless until John was born. This was a simple sign, a baby in a feeding trough; a makeshift cradle a humble place to lay the new born baby Jesus.

Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Suddenly, unexpectedly there was with the one angel a great number, an army of angels singing praises to God.
Glory, honor and praise to the most high God, and on earth peace, inward peace that comes from the presence of a loving God, and God's good will and grace resting on human beings. Heavens angels came down, not in the big city, not to the temple for the priests, not to Caesar or to kings, but to lowly shepherds. Jesus would be called the good shepherd and also the (sacrificial) lamb of God. He was the way and the means of our forgiveness and our salvation. Shall we join the angels in shouting praises to God? Glory to God in heaven, Emanuel, His Son is with us.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Events Leading to the Birth of Jesus

Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
Luke 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

The angel Gabriel, the same angel that announced the birth of John to Zacharias and Elisabeth, now comes to Elisabeth's cousin, Mary. It was the sixth month, the sixth month of Elisabeth's pregnancy.

Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
Luke 1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
Luke 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

A frightful thing to see an angel, and this one was praising her, now that is really strange. Hail, thou that art highly favored. She was given grace as we receive grace from God. She did not give grace to others, she is not queen of heaven, no, she was a humble Jewish virgin given grace and chosen by the LORD. The LORD is with thee, he has chosen Mary for a most blessed honor. Out of all women she was chosen to bear God's son, the Messiah.

Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Immanuel means God, the one true God, Jehovah. He would also be called Jesus,
meaning: Jehovah is Salvation.

Out of all the virgins of Israel, past and present,she was the most favored of God. She was the virgin that Isaiah prophesied of. She had heard this prophesy from the teachings in the temple. Many today are praying to angels and being told new things in dreams and visions from angels, no, we are not to do this. We pray to the Father, our God, in Jesus' name. Anything we hear from an angel must have been spoken of in the scriptures. We are led by the Holy Spirit and served and protected by the angels. The false book of the Mormons was supposedly given by an angel.

Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luke 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

The child to be born after John is the eternal Son of God, come in a human body. The Word of God, would take on the form of a human being; a baby born of a virgin who would grow into a man and be our savior from sins.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Mary, was engaged to a man, but no relations were to occur until after one year. Both Joseph and Mary, were from the house of David the king. Through king David was to come an everlasting king; this was Jesus; the son of man, heir of king David an earthly king and the Spirit Son of the Most High God; fully man and fully God.

Luke 1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

How shall this be that I should have a son as you said? "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest:" For I have not been intimate with a man. The normal age for a betrothal to be married at this time was thirteen or fourteen years of age. Mary was so young and inexperienced and innocent. She asked with faith and sincerity.

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The Holy Ghost shall overshadow you, this word literally means, that a cloud will envelop you. The Shekinah glory cloud of God. The same cloud that came to Moses. We think we understand how a baby comes, but never was a baby born by the Spirit of God, only one other was so born; Adam. This baby would be conceived of the Holy Ghost, the second Adam, born of a virgin.

1 Cor 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

Luke 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

The angel makes mention of another miracle baby, conceived in the normal way, but of elderly parents. Her cousin Elisabeth was six months pregnant with a son; John the Baptist. He was full of the Holy Ghost from birth. Would it not be logical that Jesus, Son of God would also be filled with the Holy Spirit, or perhaps it is enough to say he was God in the womb? The bread of life in the "bread basket." Great wonders would come from these two sons and great sorrows, turned to joy. The living life giver would experience all the pain and suffering of a human and come forth victorious over the devil and the grave as the Living Son of God. With God, nothing is impossible. His promises he will fulfill.

Luke 1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Mary submits as a woman servant of the master. May it come about according to your words spoken. Mary believed the spoken word and submitted herself as an obedient servant. This is what the Lord wants from each of us, to be willing servants, believing and obeying his word. Then we shall also say, with God nothing is impossible.

Luke 1:39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
Luke 1:40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

In the days following the angels announcing that she would be with child, by the Holy Spirit. It was then the sixth month of Elisabeth's pregnancy with John, the Baptist.

Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

A reaction shared from John to his mother, a quickening of the Holy Ghost. The babe leaped in the presence of Jesus, within Mary; and Elizabeth spoke by the Holy Ghost.

Luke 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
Luke 1:43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? Luke 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Luke 1:45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Elisabeth prophesies a blessing to Mary, through the Holy Ghost. Keep believing Mary, for God will perform what he has promised. This is for us to remember, keep believing, for God's word is true. If we do what he requests of us, he is faithful to perform his promises to us. Miracles are an evidence of his presence, and salvation; with new life and healing.

Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
Luke 1:47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

Mary exalts the LORD for His favor towards her. Her exaltation is similar to the words of Hannah.

Luke 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Luke 1:49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

Mary sings praises to God. Magnifying the LORD, rejoicing in God her saviour, for he has regarded her low estate. Mary was not claiming to be mother of God, or Queen of heaven. She looked to God for salvation and considered herself to be a humble person. But, by the grace of God she was highly favored to be chosen to be the birth mother of the human Jesus; son of man, son of God.

Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
Luke 1:51 He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
Luke 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

The words of Hannah, the mother of Samuel who also had a miracle birth.

1 Sam 2:1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
1 Sam 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
1 Sam 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

Luke 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.


1 Sam 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
1 Sam 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.


Luke 1:54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
Luke 1:55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

She magnified the LORD, giving him glory. As Elisabeth had spoken by the Holy Ghost, so does Mary. These things were not the words of a young woman so much as the inspired word of God. God would bless this humble young woman who trusted in his words.

Luke 1:56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Mary probably stayed with Elisabeth until the time that her baby was delivered and then returned to her home in Nazareth of Galilee.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Five Fold Ministries

Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

An Apostle; a messenger of the Gospel sent forth by the Lord, usually to a new area of ministry. The apostle Peter spoke of appointing an apostle to fill the vacancy of Judas. He gave the LORD two choices and cast lots.

Acts 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Acts 1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
Acts 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two thou hast chosen,
Acts 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

To be of the twelve, they had to have followed Jesus from the Baptism of John and have seen the resurrected Jesus. Does this mean there are to be no more than the twelve, as apostles? Jesus chooses the apostles and he chose the apostle Paul, not of the twelve.

Acts 22:10 And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

Rom 15:15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,
Rom 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

1 Cor 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1 Cor 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1 Cor 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1 Cor 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1 Cor 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1 Cor 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
1 Cor 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Cor 15:11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Paul is an example of an apostle chosen by Jesus by divine appointment, not having been with the twelve. If Paul was selected, then Jesus may select others to be apostles, not of the twelve, but as those sent to special ministries. Perhaps there is an apostle sent to the Internet? An apostle sent to Africa? If Jesus sends, who can deny? We are not to add to the Bible. A modern day apostle is sent to minister, not to add to the Holy Scriptures.

Some prophets: A prophet; one who is moved to speak by the Holy Spirit a message from God. This is not a made up message from a person's thoughts, but a message from God.

Rom 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

1 Cor 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

A prophet does not exalt himself, but speaks the word of God with boldness. There are no prophets adding to the Bible; the Bible is complete.

An evangelist; one who brings the good news of salvation to others. The first evangelists were not apostles, they were from the seven deacons, full of the Holy Spirit. These were Philip and Stephan, the martyr.

Acts 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

We have seen evangelists like Billy Graham and many others who speak to thousands the gospel message. My friend Barbara who has orphanages in Zambia Africa, said that their will be an evangelist coming to her area for the first time, to hold meetings. Pastors and teachers must follow up after the evangelist leaves and teach the new converts the Bible truths.

A Pastor; a shepherd who should also be a teacher. He cares for the well being of the church flock and feeds them. They shepherd the flock. Jesus us is our example of a good shepherd.

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
John 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
John 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

A teacher; one who teaches concerning the things of God. A teacher is to explain the Bible so it can be understood. He is to teach from the Bible with illustrations, by the Holy Spirit. It should be easy to understand, not to impress others with his own knowledge. He is to teach on the level of those being taught. Wisdom is needed from God. It is to edify or convict the hearer to do God's will.

1 Tim 1:3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
1 Tim 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

2 Tim 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

The five ministries are to edify the church; those of faith.

Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Perfecting: furnishing or equipping of the saints, the holy ones of God, for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ. The holy body of Christ on earth are the holy ones of God; born of the Spirit , the new creations in Christ Jesus.

The church is not an organization to be a member of, it is the living Body of believers who belong to Jesus Christ.

Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Eph 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

We are to be as the body of Jesus to do his work on earth, united as one in his Spirit. This is the atmosphere of the early Church during and following Pentecost and is to be for the Church now.
What has happened? A recent study has shown that there are as many divorces among Christians then for non-Christians. A selfish worldly church must receive from the five ministries and do the will of Jesus Christ. He is coming for his bride the Church, pure and undefiled by the world.

Rev 19:6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
Rev 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
Rev 19:9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What Manner of Preaching?

Phil 1:12 But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;

Paul under house arrest, was chained to a Roman soldier, a guard. He shared the gospel with these soldiers of the kings guard who shared with others.

Phil 1:13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places;

The gospel even spread throughout the Kings palace. Nero was the King, he had poisoned his mother to remove her from power. When Rome burned, he was reported to be singing and playing a harp. He reconstructed a large palace and gardens after the fire. He was suspected of starting the fires so he had a new sect, the Christians blamed . They were killed by animals in the arena and used as human torches in the night. In these times of great persecution, the good news spoken through Paul by the Holy Ghost had power to bring others to Jesus Christ, even facing death. Persecution was used to spread the gospel to other lands as people fled to find new safe places to live.

2 Tim 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2 Tim 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2 Tim 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

Phil 1:14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Those brethren who were people of faith perhaps would not speak in his presence, but they grew more confident knowing that Paul was imprisoned. Some were not as gifted as Paul at teaching, but in his absence they began to teach, even no doubt to many churches that Paul had established. Praise God for them. They will increase as they are faithful and hear and preach the word. No fear in Christ Jesus.

2 Tim 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Tim 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Phil 1:15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

Some preached Christ even of envy and strife. Seeking to look better than another, seeking personal glory; debate and strife and name calling. This sounds like many of the Christian chats. Can Jesus be honored from envy and strife? Thankfully, even in the midst of envy and strife, some preach in good will. Have you been in chats of arguing and strife. With many people clamoring and have seen one person posting the word of God? One stands out from the rest, preaching from good will, with love in his heart. Those seeking God are drawn to the one of good will. Those who like to argue join in with the strife makers. Some churches teach against other denominations, a negative sermon, from strife and envy. We need to preach the truth in love.

Phil 1:16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

Some preachers spend more time preaching against other preachers, then they do preaching the gospel.

Prov 13:10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Prov 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

Contention: matstah, debate and strife, perhaps even preaching against the teachings of Paul, as some do today, adding afflictions to Paul by doing this. If we preach to hurt someone, we are not of God. His Spirit is not to destroy, that is of the devil. Jesus came to seek and to save. To encourage and to build the church.

Phil 1:17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

Others preach of love, respecting the work of Paul. Paul wrote epistles to the churches while he was under house arrest, he was not defeated in his afflictions, but serving in the Spirit to edify the church. Paul wrote the Books of Colossians, Philemon, Ephesians, and Philippians during his imprisonment in Rome.

Phil 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.

Paul was not going to be upset; it was not about him, but the gospel that is important. So long as Christ is preached; whether in mocking pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. A preacher of the gospel rejoices when Christ is preached. If I am no longer able and if I am able to share, I rejoice in seeing others speaking the word of faith. Our preaching is not to make a name for ourselves, but to make His name known in the world and in the church.

It is not good when the name of Jesus is used for another spirit, another Jesus, not of God. This is the antichrist spirit that is growing in the world and in many large churches. The new age church speaks of a universal christ, a cosmic christ in every heart. This is not the Jesus who came in the flesh to die for our sins.Some came glorifying themselves and preaching against Paul and preaching another Christ. In Corinth, I see others coming in dressed up in fine apparel with excited voices preaching another gospel, one of great Charisma, but preaching in error.

2 Cor 10:17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
2 Cor 10:18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
2 Cor 11:1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
2 Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
2 Cor 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Cor 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
2 Cor 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
2 Cor 11:6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been thoroughly made manifest among you in all things.
2 Cor 11:7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?

1 John 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

Phil 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,
Phil 1:20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Salvation will be complete when Jesus calls us to be in his presence. We hold onto our faith, we keep going, praying one for another in the Spirit. Keep on believing, keep on preaching, being bold in His Spirit, so that by our life Christ Jesus is magnified, in this life and in eternal glory, amen.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Watch and Pray

I think we miss great needs in another's life, because we do not take time to watch and pray. Perhaps we are concerned about our own problems, needs or desires? We need to take time to watch and to pray. At the time when Jesus, in the flesh needed the comfort of his closest friends, they slept.

Mat 26:36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
Mat 26:37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

Mat 4:21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

Peter, James and John were with Jesus, before he would be betrayed by a friend; Judas. We should know the friends that we can trust and go to them when in need. Jesus knew that he was going to suffer more than any man and be crucified on a cruel cross. Watch and pray. Watch for the trouble coming, perhaps sound an alert. Can we apply this? Yes, trouble is coming on our nation, the signs are everywhere; watch, sound the gospel message forth unto all in the land; repent and come to Jesus, now is the time of salvation. Backslider, repent and come back to the Lord who has given you his own life, to save your soul.

Watch the countenance of Jesus, see that he is sorrowful and carrying a heavy burden. Come along side and pray with him, encourage him; watch and pray.

Mat 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

Jesus speaks his need to his friends. How will we know of a need if we do not share, one with another? Share with trusted friends, not a Judas, but those who are faithful. My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, he was grieved so very much even to the point of death. He just wanted to die and cast off this body of flesh, but he always did the Father's will. We must not seek death; watch and pray, there are others grieving more than you, they need your help and love. Watch with me, love me, understand with me what I am suffering. Yes, there is much to watch for.

Mat 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Here is the essence of prayer. We may ask anything, in His will and we will receive it. Always submit your request to the will of the Father, for He has a greater purpose for you than we can ask or think.

1 Cor 2:9 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.
1 Cor 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Watch and pray in the Spirit and he will reveal the deep things of God to you. Jesus was not allowed to escape the cross, because God the Father used this to defeat satan and to bring a multitude of souls to Himself. Jesus submitted to the will of the Father.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

It was time to make our salvation possible; we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb of God, who takes away our sins. We are bought with a great price. God who so loved the world, chose to come in a man to buy back our souls that were taken by satan, because of the sin Adam. We are bought with the price of the blood and death of Jesus, followed by His resurrection to glory. We are become as Jesus, son's of God, our sins are removed in him, for he took them all to the cross never to be remembered again. This great sacrifice was not easy, for he suffered greatly for us, being our Great High priest to make intercessions for us, as well as our Savior.

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

Mat 26:40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

watch: gregorio, to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one. Another similar word, watchings: agrypnia, means sleeplessness, watching.

Paul described his afflictions in Christ;

2 Cor 11:27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Jesus was asking them to stay awake. He was not asking them to pray for an hour, when we pray and are tired, we may go to sleep. He was asking them to stay awake, trouble is coming, be alert and perhaps share with me my sorrows by bearing them with me. Most of us have casual fellowship of greetings. When asked "how are you", we say fine, because we know they do not want to take time to really hear our needs.

Gal 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

The law of Christ is to love the brethren.

John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Do not expect the world to help you when in afflictions.

Mat 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Watch and pray for yourselves as well, that ye enter not into temptation.

Mat 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

The mother's name was Mary, but there were so many Mary's, perhaps this is why Zebedee's name was so often used? She was one of the Mary's who were ministering to him as he went to the cross.

Mat 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
Mat 27:55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
Mat 27:56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.

Mat 20:21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
Mat 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
Mat 20:23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.
Mat 20:24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.
Temptation for personal glory, temptation of the lusts of the flesh, watch and pray for the flesh is weak.

Phil 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Phil 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
Phil 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Phil 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Phil 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
Phil 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;Phil 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Seek to be like Jesus, not to seek personal glory. He gave up all, we give up all, to do his will.

Mat 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mat 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
Mat 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Mat 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Look up your redemption is near; watch and pray and do the wortk of an evangelist. Love one another and seek to share with one another until he comes to wipe away all tears.