Archives for : October2013

Please Forgive Me Father

Praise God, that you feel the burden of your sins and that you feel the desire to repent! Be glad at this: your soul is not dead, your heart is not empty and your conscience is not numb or your sins would not weigh on you.

So it’s time to give it up! Whatever has happened, has happened. God lives to forgive. Any sins up to this very moment have been cast into the Sea of Forgetfulness once you turned them over to God. There are no “same sins” with God. They are erased. The slate is clean and you start fresh.

Relax in that. God is not looking at you and holding your past against you. He sees you through the loving and forgiving eyes of Jesus. The second you relied on Jesus, the power of forgiveness was granted.

Each time you turn to Him, it’s granted. Each time you turn to Him, you’ll see less of your sin and more of God.

May you know the depth and breadth of His peace and love.

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Micah 7- Fest upon the Word

7 I am upset because I am like fruit that has been gathered,
like grapes that have already been picked.
There are no grapes left to eat.
There are none of the early figs that I love.
2 By this I mean that all the faithful people are gone.
There are no good people left.
Everyone is planning to kill someone.
Everyone is trying to trap their brother.
3 People are good at doing bad things with both hands.
Officials ask for bribes.
Judges take money to change their decisions in court.
“Important leaders” do whatever they want to do.
4 Even the best of them is as crooked
as a tangled thornbush.

The Day of Punishment Is Coming

Your prophets said this day would come,
and the day of your watchmen[a] has come.
Now you will be punished.
Now you will be confused!
5 Don’t trust your neighbor
or trust a friend!
Don’t even speak freely
with your wife.
6 Your enemies will be the people in your own house.
A son will not honor his father.
A daughter will turn against her mother.
A daughter-in-law will turn against her mother-in-law.

The Lord Is the Savior

7 So I will look to the Lord for help.
I will wait for God to save me.
My God will hear me.
8 I have fallen, but enemy, don’t laugh at me!
I will get up again.
I sit in darkness now,
but the Lord will be a light for me.

The Lord Forgives

9 I sinned against the Lord,
so he was angry with me.
But he will argue my case for me in court.
He will do what is right for me.
Then he will bring me out into the light,
and I will see that he is right.
10 My enemy said to me,
“Where is the Lord your God?”
But my enemy will see this,
and she will be ashamed.
At that time I will laugh at her.[b]
People will walk over her,[c] like mud in the streets.

The Jews to Return

11 The time will come when your walls will be rebuilt.
At that time the country will grow.
12 Your people will come back to your land.
They will come back from Assyria and from the cities of Egypt.
They will come from Egypt
and from the other side of the Euphrates River.
They will come from the sea in the west
and from the mountains in the east.

13 The land was ruined by the people
who lived there and by what they did.
14 So rule your people with your rod.
Rule the flock of people who belong to you.
That flock lives alone in the woods
and up on Mount Carmel.
That flock lives in Bashan and Gilead
as they did in the past.

Israel Will Defeat Its Enemies

15 I did many miracles when I took you out of Egypt.
I will let you see more miracles like that.
16 The nations will see those miracles,
and they will be ashamed.
They will see that their “power”
is nothing compared to mine.
They will be amazed
and put their hands over their mouths.
They will cover their ears
and refuse to listen.
17 They will crawl in the dust like a snake.
They will shake with fear.
They will be like insects crawling
from their holes in the ground
and coming to the Lord our God.
God, they will fear and respect you!

Praise for the Lord

18 There is no God like you.
You take away people’s guilt.
God will forgive his people who survive.
He will not stay angry with them forever,
because he enjoys being kind.
19 He will come back and comfort us again.
He will throw all our sins into the deep sea.
20 God, please be true to Jacob.
Be kind and loyal to Abraham,[d] as you promised our ancestors long ago.

 

Revelation 21-The New Heaven and the New Earth

21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared. Now there was no sea. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem,[a] coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud voice from the throne. It said, “Now God’s home is with people. He will live with them. They will be his people. God himself will be with them and will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain. All the old ways are gone.”

The one who was sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this, because these words are true and can be trusted.”

The one on the throne said to me, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega,[b] the Beginning and the End. I will give free water from the spring of the water of life to anyone who is thirsty. All those who win the victory will receive all this. And I will be their God, and they will be my children. But those who are cowards, those who refuse to believe, those who do terrible things, those who kill, those who sin sexually, those who do evil magic, those who worship idols, and those who tell lies—they will all have a place in the lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

One of the seven angels came to me. This was one of the angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues. The angel said, “Come with me. I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 The angel carried me away by the Spirit to a very large and high mountain. The angel showed me the holy city, Jerusalem. The city was coming down out of heaven from God.

11 The city was shining with the glory of God. It was shining bright like a very expensive jewel, like a jasper. It was clear as crystal. 12 The city had a large, high wall with twelve gates. There were twelve angels at the gates. On each gate was written the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. 14 The walls of the city were built on twelve foundation stones. On the stones were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod made of gold. The angel had this rod to measure the city, its gates, and its wall. 16 The city was built in a square. Its length was equal to its width. The angel measured the city with the rod. The city was 12,000 stadia[c] long, 12,000 stadia wide, and 12,000 stadia high. 17 The angel also measured the wall. It was 144 cubits[d] high. (The angel was using the same measurement that people use.) 18 The wall was made of jasper. The city was made of pure gold, as pure as glass.

19 The foundation stones of the city walls had every kind of expensive jewels in them. The first foundation stone was jasper, the second was sapphire, the third was chalcedony, the fourth was emerald, 20 the fifth was onyx, the sixth was carnelian, the seventh was yellow quartz, the eighth was beryl, the ninth was topaz, the tenth was chrysoprase, the eleventh was jacinth, and the twelfth was amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each gate was made from one pearl. The street of the city was made of pure gold, as clear as glass.

22 I did not see a temple in the city. The Lord God All-Powerful and the Lamb were the city’s temple. 23 The city did not need the sun or the moon to shine on it. The glory of God gave the city light. The Lamb was the city’s lamp.

24 The peoples of the world will walk by the light given by the Lamb. The rulers of the earth will bring their glory into the city. 25 The city’s gates will never close on any day, because there is no night there. 26 The greatness and the honor of the nations will be brought into the city. 27 Nothing unclean will ever enter the city. No one who does shameful things or tells lies will ever enter the city. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will enter the city.

Troubles with Israel-2 Chronicles

16 In Asa’s 36th year as king,[a] Baasha attacked Judah and then built up the city of Ramah to keep Asa from leaving Judah on any kind of military campaign. 2 So Asa took gold and silver from the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple and the king’s palace. He gave it to his officials and sent them to King Ben-Hadad of Aram. Ben-Hadad was the son of Tabrimmon. Tabrimmon was the son of Hezion. Damascus was Ben-Hadad’s capital city. 3 Asa sent this message: “My father and your father had a peace agreement. Now I want to make a peace agreement with you. I am sending you this gift of gold and silver. Please break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel and make him leave us alone.”

4 King Ben-Hadad made that agreement with King Asa and sent his army to fight against the Israelite towns of Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, and the storage cities in the area of Naphtali. 5 When Baasha heard about these attacks, he stopped building up Ramah and went back to Tirzah. He stopped all the work he was doing. 6 Then King Asa gave an order for all the men in Judah, with no exceptions. They had to go to Ramah and carry out all the stone and wood that Baasha was using to build up the city. They carried the material to Geba in Benjamin and to Mizpah and used it to strengthen those two cities.

7 At that time Hanani the seer came to King Asa of Judah and said to him, “Asa, you depended on the king of Aram to help you and not the Lord your God. That’s why the king’s army has escaped from you. 8 Did you forget what happened with the Ethiopians and the Libyans who also had a powerful army with many chariots and horse soldiers? That time you depended on the Lord to help you, and he let you defeat them. 9 The eyes of the Lord go around looking in all the earth for people who are faithful to him so that he can make them strong. Asa, you did a foolish thing. So from now on you will have wars.”

10 Asa was angry with Hanani because of what he said. He was so mad that he put Hanani in prison. He was also very rough and cruel to some of the people then.

11 Everything Asa did, from the beginning to the end, is written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 Asa’s feet became infected in his 39th year as king.[b] Even though the infection was very serious, Asa did not go to the Lord for help. He went to the doctors instead. 13 Asa died in the 41st year as king[c] and rested with his ancestors. 14 The people buried Asa in his own tomb that he made for himself in the City of David. They laid him in a bed that was filled with spices and different kinds of mixed perfumes, and they burned a large fire for him.[d]

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Worship that Pleases-Hebrews 13

Worship That Pleases God

13 Continue loving each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. 2 Always remember to help people by welcoming them into your home. Some people have done that and have helped angels without knowing it. 3 Don’t forget those who are in prison. Remember them as though you were in prison with them. And don’t forget those who are suffering. Remember them as though you were suffering with them.

4 Marriage should be honored by everyone. And every marriage should be kept pure between husband and wife. God will judge guilty those who commit sexual sins and adultery. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money. And be satisfied with what you have. God has said,

“I will never leave you;
I will never run away from you.”
6 So we can feel sure and say,

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
People can do nothing to me.”
7 Remember your leaders. They taught God’s message to you. Remember how they lived and died, and copy their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 Don’t let all kinds of strange teachings lead you into the wrong way. Depend only on God’s grace for spiritual strength, not on rules about foods. Obeying those rules doesn’t help anyone.

10 We have a sacrifice.[a] And those priests who serve in the Holy Tent cannot eat from the sacrifice we have. 11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place[b] and offers that blood for sins. But the bodies of those animals are burned outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also suffered outside the city. He died to make his people holy with his own blood. 13 So we should go to Jesus outside the camp and accept the same shame that he had. 14 Here on earth we don’t have a city that lasts forever. But we are waiting for the city that we will have in the future. 15 So through Jesus we should never stop offering our sacrifice to God. That sacrifice is our praise, coming from lips that speak his name. 16 And don’t forget to do good and to share what you have with others, because sacrifices like these are very pleasing to God.

17 Obey your leaders. Be willing to do what they say. They are responsible for your spiritual welfare, so they are always watching to protect you. Obey them so that their work will give them joy, not grief. It won’t help you to make it hard for them.

18 Continue praying for us. We feel right about what we do, because we always try to do what is best. 19 And I beg you to pray that God will send me back to you soon. I want this more than anything else.

20-21 I pray that the God of peace will give you every good thing you need so that you can do what he wants. God is the one who raised from death our Lord Jesus, the Great Shepherd of his sheep. He raised him because Jesus sacrificed his blood to begin the new agreement that never ends. I pray that God will work through Jesus Christ to do the things in us that please him. To him be glory forever. Amen.

22 My brothers and sisters, I beg you to listen patiently to what I have said. I wrote this letter to strengthen you. And it is not very long. 23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy is out of prison. If he comes to me soon, we will both come to see you.

24 Give my greetings to all your leaders and to all God’s people. All those from Italy send you their greetings.

25 God’s grace be with you all.

Footnotes:

Hebrews 13:10 sacrifice Literally, “altar.” Here, it means the sacrifice (offering) of Jesus. He gave his life to pay for people’s sins.
Hebrews 13:11 Most Holy Place Literally, “the holies,” the place in the Jewish Tabernacle or Temple where God met the high priest.

Test the Spirits-1 John 4

4 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

God’s Love and Ours

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.image

Lord Watch Over Us.-Psalm 121

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

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Psalm 3- Lord Watch Over Me

Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”[b]

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.

Freedom in Christ- Galatians 5

5 We have freedom now, because Christ made us free. So stand strong in that freedom. Don’t go back into slavery again.Listen! I, Paul, tell you that if you start following the law by being circumcised, then Christ cannot help you. Again, I warn everyone: If you allow yourselves to be circumcised, then you must follow the whole law. If you try to be made right with God through the law, your life with Christ is finished—you have left God’s grace. I say this because our hope of being right with God comes through faith. And the Spirit helps us feel sure as we wait for that hope. When someone belongs to Christ Jesus, it is not important if they are circumcised or not. The important thing is faith—the kind of faith that works through love.

You were doing so well. Who caused you to stop following the truth? It certainly wasn’t the one who chose you. Be careful! “Just a little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise.”[a] 10 I trust in the Lord that you will not believe those different ideas. Someone is trying to confuse you. Whoever it is will be punished.

11 My brothers and sisters, I don’t teach that a man must be circumcised. If I do teach circumcision, then why am I still being persecuted? If I still taught circumcision, then my message about the cross would not be a problem. 12 I wish those people who are bothering you would add castration[b] to their circumcision.

13 My brothers and sisters, God chose you to be free. But don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do what pleases your sinful selves. Instead, serve each other with love. 14 The whole law is made complete in this one command: “Love your neighbor[c] the same as you love yourself.”[d] 15 If you continue hurting each other and tearing each other apart, be careful, or you will completely destroy each other.

The Spirit and Human Nature

16 So I tell you, live the way the Spirit leads you. Then you will not do the evil things your sinful self wants. 17 The sinful self wants what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit wants what is against the sinful self. They are always fighting against each other, so that you don’t do what you really want to do. 18 But if you let the Spirit lead you, you are not under law.[e]

19 The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: committing sexual sin, being morally bad, doing all kinds of shameful things, 20 worshiping false gods, taking part in witchcraft, hating people, causing trouble, being jealous, angry or selfish, causing people to argue and divide into separate groups, 21 being filled with envy, getting drunk, having wild parties, and doing other things like this. I warn you now as I warned you before: The people who do these things will not have a part in God’s kingdom. 22 But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their sinful self. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. 25 We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. 26 We must not feel proud and boast about ourselves. We must not cause trouble for each other or be jealous of each other.

How to Love the Lord with all your Soul

Luke 10:27 “He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…’”

How do you love the Lord with all your soul? This is a huge question. We need to know the answer to this because it is one of the four things Jesus said we need to do in order to love God completely.

We love the Lord with all our soul by living a life of faithfulness to all that the Lord has required of us. While loving the Lord with all our heart has to do with affection, loving the Lord with all our soul has to do with devotion.

 

The soul literally is the part of us that defines who we are. The essence of the  biblical definition for soul means life, personality, the inner self and our identity. It’s where we make our decisions and choices that ultimately decide our lifestyle and behavior. Think of the soul as the “core you”.

To love the Lord with all your soul means to love Him in the way we live, in the choices we make and in the behavior and lifestyle we adopt.

Here are three predominant ways to love God with all our soul.

 1. Love the Lord with all your soul by making godly choices.

Our lives are the sum of the choices we make. Plain and simple. Our choices show what we are committed to and they reflect our core values, defining us and displaying our lifestyle before the world.

We do what we value. If we treasure our relationship with the Lord our choices will simply mirror the Treasure. Choices flow from what we treasure most.

Ask yourself: How do I spend my money? What do I do with my time? What kinds of things do I read? What programs do I watch? What do I do for entertainment? Where do I go for relaxation? What things give comfort in difficult times? What kind of friends do I have?

All of these result in choices that demonstrate whether we love God with all our soul.

 2. Love the Lord with all your soul by pursuing obedience to His Word.

 John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command”

Love must be demonstrated. When we keep His commandments, when we live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God, we are tangibly expressing our love for the Lord.

I’ve been happily married for over 26 years. In those 26 years I have made decisions based on love that I did not feel like making but I did it anyway. I am obedient to the covenant that I made over 26 years ago to love unconditionally whether I feel like it or not.

That’s why this second part of the First Commandment is vital. Sometimes we are not going to feel like loving God but we do it out of love for God, nonetheless. In the Kingdom, obedience usually comes first and feelings second.

 3. Love the Lord with all your soul by pursuing a life of humility in attitudes and speech.

Embracing humility is the stage where we can express our love to the Lord. Jesus taught us how to love from a place of meekness, serving us unto death.

 “Meekness is power and privilege under control. It speaks of restraint in the use of power except to promote love. Meekness is not to be confused with weakness which is the absence of strength.” Mike Bickle

This meekness is expressed most dynamically in our attitudes and speech. What we say and how we say it enhances or quenches our ability to love the Lord by the power of the Spirit. Wrong speech will ultimately affect our spiritual lives and work against our love for the Lord.

 Matthew 12:34 “ For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

When Jesus is our Great Treasure then our affections are captured. This is how we love God with all of our heart.

When our affections are captured then choices become god-centered and a lifestyle of humility and godliness is born. This is loving God with all your soul.

Two down and two to go. In the next few weeks we will look at how to love God with all our mind and strength.