My Journey through Romans 10

Just Zeal Ain’t Gonna Get It. Wake Up All Ye Believers. It’s Time to Know God.

Grab your hot cup of cocoa and warm gingerbread for this read.It’s kinda long.  This message is precisely for those who art in the Body of Christ. Though many may not find this as an encouraging blog, I assure you that if you look honestly within self and your churches, this blog is meant to encourage you and set you on fire for the Lord. As you know, I’m not a “tone it down” writer. Did God “tone it down” to the church in Laodicea? (Rev. 3:14-21) (TYHS) Let me start with Paul’s reality of many, even TODAY that say they “know God”:

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. (Romans 10:1-2)

Paul was a unflinching writer of what he had done, what he had seen and what he had heard. It is for these reasons that he could say: “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”(Romans 10:3-4)  Paul came to know God.  He did not just go from city to city preaching and writing to Believers for entertainment like a Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus show. Lord knows if we are honest with ourselves, we know in our hearts and minds that we have become a congregation that does not know God in the way He wants us to know Him. We can’t even share our confessions with one another in church (James 5:16) without being whispered about. Some rely on being entertained in the church by too many circus acts. These  are just a few things showing that we are not submitting to the righteousness of God. That’s a no-no. And now we move on to the real stuff. 😛

A Real Moment

lukewarm-church-2There are many a time I’ve fallen short of knowing God when under attack by family members, church members, and illnesses. Let’s call the shortness self-sufficiency- the natural stress response when we all tend to forget that God is in the midst. Get the hence, Satan. In this world, there are too many (Believers included) who are the protégé of evil, and way too many shepherds misusing (double-tonguing) the word of God as though they were a professional at using every wind instrument in an orchestra. It is exhausting and sickening to know, to see and to hear of these non-Christ like behaviors that continue to go on in the church. If we knew God, our behaviors would be different. Amen. Daniel fell sick for a reason knowing the outcome of disobedience for the Lord’s people. (Read Daniel 8)

lukewarm-3I came to the conclusion that there are many members sitting in many churches crying out to know God. There is a suppressing of the knowledge of God going on. How do we stop suppressing the knowledge of God? By faith first. Paul said, But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (vs. 8-9) And  “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (vs. 17) Begin with faith when you preach, teach, and learn the truth of and about God. (TYHS) EVERY BODY in the church needs to wake up and start believing in this truth 100% that Paul shares with us. We have the zeal, yet we are not feeling the burn of the knowledge of God. Not only do we show that we have not faith in God, but we also show that we have not faith in each other in the church.Stop playing church.

I wish shepherds knew what is really on the mind and hearts of their members. I wish members knew what is really on the mind and hearts of their shepherds. This would eliminate gossip, the uncommitted and hardened hearts within the body of Christ. All are afraid to speak the truth in love to one another. Until truth is communicated within the body of Christ, we present-day Laodicean’s (most churches if not all) will continue to be naked without the covering of God. Personally, I’d rather have hurt feelings instead of walking around both blind and naked all the time in church. It would do us good to heed this message for “These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation.  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”  (Rev. 3:14-17)

lukewarm-church-1Because we are lukewarm, we are sickening to God and he has become very nauseated with the church.  It is natural for us to spit out anything bad tasting from our mouth, is it not? God prefers us to be either for Him or against Him, does He not? When you have a close friend, is it your wish for them to be for you or against you?  Jesus is the Believer’s husband, we are the bride, should we not agree to “ride or die” (to be down with your husband/wife no matter what, through it all the good and the bad.) with Him? Yes there are members (individually I might add) who are committed to “ride or die” with God; the problem is that we, the church as a WHOLE have become spiritually uncommitted and we lack the knowledge of God.

Stop the “Self-Sufficiency” teachings that teach us to rely on self first. Stop the “Leadership Training” that limits the gifts of others within the church. Stop avoiding and frowning upon the testimony of Christ that others have to share. Without testimonies, over half of the bible would be missing.

Stop having church favorites. The church is NOT a catering business in which one caters to a select few because of so-called church positions. The church is not a business entity period. We need to use the heart of God. He is no respecter of persons.(Acts 10:34; Rom. 2:11)  He gives visions to many in the church. Did he give visions to only one person in the bible? We all have to share these God-given visions with one another. If shepherds open the doors of truthful communication in love with all church members, gossip would not rear its ugly head from the pulpit and the pews. The church is not a venue where the ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’ mentality  should be taking place. Favoritism shows a lack of knowledge present within the body of Christ. We all have to work together using the knowledge of God. In many churches, even the zeal is gone. BB King would say “the thrill is gone.” Change the setting of your hearts to show favoritism towards the mind of God.

The church is not a theater. In many churches, people who ACT as though they know God can come across as friendly to visitors, but have a problem being friendly with their own members. Stop it with the wearing of a Christian name tag in the church for visitors to see. Let us stop with the man-made teachings and the micromanagement in the body of Christ. Stop these things because they are not in line with His word. (Read Isaiah 29:13 ; 1 Timothy 6:20-21; Titus 1:16) May we begin to obey the word of God. His question found in Luke 4:46 pertains to us today :And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

We are just like Israel, up and down, all day, every day. ‘But to Israel he saith, “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” (vs. 21) We need to get back to the bible to have God’s kingdom mentality. The Lord said “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” (Rev. 3:19-20)  Just zeal ain’t gonna get it. Wake up all ye believers, it’s time to know God. There is going on in the world a widespread planting of in-home churches as in the days of old with many that know God and those that truly want to know Him.

I came across this message while looking for something else: It is written by Steven H. Atherto. I’m not sure why it popped up in my search. 🙂

http://www.thefishermenministry.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/How-should-the-Church-Operate.pdf

Prayer Moment– Lord, we repent of our sins committed within your churches.  Help us Lord, we who are offended by this message to come to know you spiritually and to become obedient to your word. Come into our church doors Lord. Set us on fire with the knowledge of you. Cover our nakedness in Jesus name. Amen.

My Journey through Romans 9

All You Need to Know About God’s Mercy- A Choosing of One Over the Other

Read slowly the following verses:

13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. (Ref. Malachi 1:2-3)
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

So what say you of God’s mercy? We often cry out loud, “Lord have mercy…” when tragedy happens or when someone does something outside of their character. We ask quietly in prayer, “Lord have mercy…” when things are not going the way we want them to go in our lives and/or in the lives of others.

Some of us as Believers wrestle with believing verse 13 as being something God could do. Even though Esau aka Edom was hated, we find in studying God’s word that Esau (Edom) was still blessed. Know the spiritual meaning of the events between Esau and Jacob to understand God’s statement so I don’t have to go into it here. (Read Genesis 25- 27) We know that everything starts “In the beginning, God”.  We know that Esau and Jacob (Israel) were twins. We know from God’s mindset, there can be only ONE ruler that He chooses to oversee and follow through on His will. That I firmly believe and Jesus is the CHIEF model for my belief.  There have also been many a times, God has stepped in to put a chosen person back in line with his will; Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jonah and even you and I, are just a few that he chose to have mercy on. From the beginning to the end of the bible, we are shown that there is always a choosing of one over the other.

Years ago, I purchased a book titled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. It was a book written about lessons learned in the authors’ life. As for me, all I really need to know about life and how God operates I learned in the book of Genesis. The events found there clearly show why He had to come down to earth as Jesus in the NT face to face to show us what we need to know. Is that not the mercy of God leading us back to Him as in the beginning?

quote-4In some cases, we show mercy upon those we do not know but hear about via news reports and those that don’t seem fitting to receive our mercy, but God. When we see others that we truly love losing their way in life or hurting do we not choose to show mercy by helping the one that is lost and in pain? There are also those who some choose to harden their hearts against (last U.S.A election is a prime example) as God chose to harden Pharaoh’s heart against God’s own people.(TYHS) A quote came to my mind made by General Thomas Jonathan Jackson aka “Stonewall Jackson” of the Civil War, that reminded me of our election outcome. He said “Duty is ours; consequences are God’s.” Many exercised their duty to vote, enough said.  Isn’t that eerie, Stone Wall and here we are about to inaugurate a President that wants to “build a wall.” Get ready to Watch God Work is all I can say. The Holy Spirit led me to say more about our election than I wanted to. Thank you Holy Spirit, there must be a message in here for someone out there. 

Wisdom Moment– There’s a message here for you. Grab it!  God is about to do some great things in teaching the world who He is once again. It’s his H.M.O. (holy modus operandi) He made the choice. The bottom line is that God chooses to works through whom He wills. Being a preacher’s kid, a doctor, or a church goer doesn’t necessarily put one in the line of God’s will to lead. Remember that God chose Paul, a murderer of His chosen people.(TYHS) Question to you beloved reader: What did you learn about God’s H.M.O when he chose to show Paul mercy? And what did Paul teach us about ourselves in 1Timothy1:15? “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

clapNow beloved, go back and read the verses at the beginning of this blog; add verses nineteen(19) through twenty-nine (29) to get a blessing. It is a truth for me in reading this chapter that ‘All You Need to Know About God’s Mercy- A Choosing of One Over the Other’ is a message that we all need to be attentive to. It’s not about hate, but about righteousness and God’s choice to fulfill His will and promises.Glory Hallelujah!

I leave you with some quotes from the author of All Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum:

“I know what I really want for Christmas. I want my childhood back.
Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of or hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded and terribly vulnerable to joy.”

Are You Keeping Your Heart With All Diligence?

I felt the need to reblog, for the hearts of many have grown cold. There is way too much division in the church and in our homes.
Words of Wisdom- Check your heart before your mouth opens.

Biblical Thoughts

Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

heartguard1

As I was reading over this verse, a lot of things came to mind about the power the heart has. When it stops beating and pumping blood, out of it flows life as we have lived it. When it is beating and pumping blood, out of it flow the issues of life. That is so fascinating to me…the things that go into and out of the heart. Most of us don’t give the flow much thought or else we would have lived or live our lives per the Proverbs verse above. In essence, we tend to forget that the mouth plays a big role in the flow.

Even though we freely make decisions and act upon what’s in our heart, do we even ponder deeply about the fact that God has total control…

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My Journey through Romans 8

No Condemnation – A Pardoning of the Lord?

Let me begin by sharing a few scriptures that speak about condemnation. I’ll start with the three most important verses (KJV) first to give us the Root that oversees the act of condemnation.

John 3:17- For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 3:18- He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 12:47-48- And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
  • 1 John 3:20- For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
  • James 5:12- But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
  • Psalm 103:12-As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
  • Isaiah 55:7-Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

In Romans 8:1, we will find three (3) requirements necessary for Believers to receive “no condemnation”: (1) one must be in Christ Jesus, (2) one must not walk after the flesh, (3) one must walk after the Spirit; of which a daily practice of these requirements will be advantageous to us for our walk with God.

With that being duly noted, we can better understand this fact. Not all Believers walk after the Spirit. We all experience unexpected wrestling matches because of the law and sin against the spirit and the flesh.  But, then there is God’s grace and mercy. Per Peter, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)  And, John tells us that “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 3:16)  We should look at these two verses as encouragement for the Believer when Satan tries to set us upon the pedestal of condemnation as he tried with Job. Thank you Holy Spirit!

Thank you Jesus! And why should we thank Jesus?  Because what was a mystery to the people in the OT is no longer a mystery to those of us today.

Knowledge Moment – Thomas asked Jesus what was the way and “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:5-6) Paul confirms this in his letter to Timothy concerning the “knowledge of the truth”: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

Please read the full chapter to understand the depth of the glory to come. I close here with the knowledge Paul shared with us: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  (Hence, a good reason for us to follow the three(3) requirements listed above- that’s just my view.I’m working it! 😛 )

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:34-39)

The Final Proof of No Condemnation and that there will be A Pardoning of the Lord – (Revelation 22:3-4)-And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. Now that’s very encouraging, ya think? And you say, “I agree with you Shelia in Jesus name. Yeah!”

condemnation

Mission Possible 4 U – 1 Peter

Great blessed morning to you. I’ve been up with God since 4 this morning. Poof, how time flies when you’re having fun. It is now 9:34 am. That’s my testimony. I love spending time with the Lord. 

As I was finishing up my study plan this beautiful and cold Sunday morn with 1 Peter, I noticed there were four questions asked in this letter he wrote “to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,  Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:…”

Let me put on my Mission Impossible voice. “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves (fill in the mission- see below) and should any member of your team be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.”

5-sec-timer

The Mission (2 Part)

(A.) Answer each question that Peter put forth? Of course you’ll have to read the corresponding verses on your own.

  1. 1 Peter 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.
  2. 1 Peter 3:13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
  3. 1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
  4. 1 Peter 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

 

(B.) Rejoice! rejoice

Poof!  The end of all things are at hand:be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.(1 Peter 4:7)

 

 

 

 

My Journey through Romans 7

shakesphere

To Live or To Die, that is the question. The question is NOT “To be or not to be.” However, “Shake-us-sphere” aka Shakespeare came close in his soliloquy.  😛

On this journey I made a list of seven notes about being released from the law and sin. It’s important to acknowledge to self that we as Believers do indeed sin and sometimes become so bound up in it that we are unable to release ourselves from it. Peradventure, some are astonished about what sin is and wrestle with it daily.  If we are not cognizant of our sin, what then? (((JESUS)))   And now, allow me to share my words of understanding. Please read the bible verses in Romans 7 to receive your understanding.

  1. God’s law never dies. (Entire Bible)
  2. If you strictly follow the law then the law has dominion over you as long as you live. It’s basically a marriage between you and the law. Paul gives an ensample of a marriage between a man and woman. A living spouse is only released from the marriage if the spouse dies and is free to remarry without being labeled an adulterer/adulteress. If both are still living and one remarries then that one is called an adulterer/adulteress. According to the word a divorce still bounds one to that marriage even if one remarries. Huh? The only thing that is clear to me with this scenario is that the point is this: someone must die for another to be released from the law. (vs.2;3)
  3. You only become dead to the law by the body of Christ which is a good thing. If we are honest with self and with God, we know how impossible it is for us to follow the whole law. Who alive have not broken one or more of the Ten Commandments? Even so, now we are assured that Christ is the ‘someone’ that released Believers from the law. Believers that are alive in Christ “should bring forth fruit unto God.” (vs.4)
  4. Let’s swim for a moment. While swimming in the flesh w/o some lifeguard protection, the motion of deadly waves can cause one to drown. Drowning = Death. Sometimes the flesh thinks its ok to swim in calm waves. Don’t be fooled by the motions. By law, oceans always have waves. (vs.5) Ocean Moment- http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/wavesinocean.html
  5. Deliverance from the law allows you to be more attentive to serve in newness of spirit (the new way) and not serve the flesh which is administered by the letter (the old way). Point– An antique piece can be renewed, yet it is still an antique. (TYHS) In Christ, you still have the same old body but you are no longer bound in that old body when you have freedom in Christ. The chains have been broken; the prison door has been opened. Peter can testify to that. ( vs. 6) Speaking of testify…why is it that some churches no longer allow time for testimonies anymore? Sad!
  6. The law is NOT sinful, but you learn what sin is because of the law. Let’s look at it this way using this statement- “I would not have known it existed had I not seen it there with my own eyes.” (vs.7)
  7. Sin is always ready to seize its moment because of the law. Remember, it is always alive and crouching at your door looking for that opportune moment for breaking the law. (vs.8)

In verses 9 thru 23 we will find the wrestling match between the law and sin, the spirit and the flesh. S-T-R-E-S-S is what it boils down to. The wrestling between the spirit and the flesh cause us to be in a ‘do I do’ or ‘do I not do’ constant Thorn-ful Stress Head Lock.

wrestlingStory Moment– (Read Genesis 32-33) This study reminded me of the wrestling match Jacob had. Let me go into the childhood part of mind here before closing out this blog. Jacob was on his way to meet his brother Esau, who he betrayed while in the flesh.(TYHS) He was afraid to approach Esau first, so he sent his servants ahead of him with a message for Esau. Messengers returned with a report from Esau. Jacob becomes scared, puts the people and things he love most into one group and the people and things he loved less in another group. Guess which group was placed in front to allow a chance for the other group to flee.

He then prays to God, chose gifts to appease Esau and sends his servants ahead of him with the gifts as he slept in the camp. He woke up from his sleep and took his two wives, two maidservants, and his eleven sons and other stuff he had over the crossing of Jabbok’s brook. (Still serving the flesh)  Now he was alone, the wrestling match begins with “a man with him until the breaking of the day.” 

The man could not get a good choke hold on Jacob, so he used his touch move to the hollow socket of Jacob’s thigh to push it out of joint to slow Jacob down. Jacob still had a hold on him as he asked Jacob to “ Let me go, for the day breaketh.”  Jacob said “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” He asked Jacob what was his name. He then told Jacob that his name is “no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power (wrestled) with God and with men, and hast prevailed. Out of that wrestling match comes a new name and something to remind him of why he received it. What something reminds you that you are new in Christ and blessed?  To live or to die, that is the question beloved.

Jacob was blessed by the man and he believed that he had met God face to face and that his life was now preserved. The story ends, Jacob has no fear of meeting Esau, they meet, hug cry (you know what forgiveness releases you of) and introduced family they never met. And so, Jacob arrived at his destination without wrestling with his brother.

There were three points that the Holy Spirit shared with me here. (1) Jacob was no longer serving the old flesh(backstabbing a family member), but was now living and serving God with a newness of spirit and with a new name. I guess flesh shrinkage does wonders. (2)God can work through you to change even the negative attitude of another person that has cause to be against you. Is that not a blessing? Go ahead. Let’s shout for that is an opportunity for a “Praise God” moment. I surely can’t wait for the day that I receive my new name. (3) No where in the bible does it allude to the adage “choose (pick)  your battles wisely” that is preached and taught. The bible does show and tell us that we are to be ready for battles(wrestling matches) as Jacob was. Had he not been ready to fight, the wrestling match would have been over before daylight, don’t you think?

And now I close.

The bottom line of this wrestling match is as Paul states in verses 24-25: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

 Thank you for reading and may you receive many blessings and understanding from the Holy Spirit.

 

Come, let us worship and sing with joy, “I will never be bound again”.

https://youtu.be/r4vx1YKAU7U

My Journey through Romans 7

 

The Law of The Mind     Romans 7

I became excited about this travel through Romans 7 after reading and rereading all of its verses. It is a very revealing and edifying chapter about the mind. I found in verse 21 something so true for many a Believers, some will admit it and some will not: “I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.”  Let’s say it out loud together three times. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  And that my friend is the law of the mind.

mind-free-2From the pulpit to the pews, from the pillar to the post, the law of the mind is what all humans deal with. It doesn’t matter what the sin because SIN is SIN. There is no apples to oranges comparison in the Lord’s eyes, and we can look at the biography of the writer of this book to know that. (TYHS)

Now ask self, how often do I wrestle with that law? Is it safe to say that the Believer wrestles daily or once a year with that law? Even if one is unable to answer these questions, one surely knows that sin will be ever present and crouching at our door until the Lord’s second return. And it is the mind that jumps starts how we handle sin every time its head is reared. If sin were to be put on the calendar like Halloween, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, we’d be expecting it a certain time every year, right? Then in our minds, we’d know how to prepare for it as we do other holidays or special days like birthdays and anniversaries. However that’s just not the case, sin occurs daily on the calendar in the lives of many Believers and others for the bible tells us so.

Side Thought- I wonder why is it that sin never gets tired of crouching?

Now, let us understand what the mind is. Many know the meaning of a lot of things and words, but rarely think about meanings on a spiritual level until the Holy Spirit brings it to our attention as He did with me in this study.

Mind (n)- 1.(in a human or other conscious being) the element, part, substance, or process that reasons, thinks, feels, wills, perceives, judges, etc.: the processes of the human mind. 2. Psychology. the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities.

We may even go so far as to describe the mind as being the eyes of our heart. It is through the mind that God communicates with us. In Isaiah 1:18 God says “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  We also know from experience that the mind communicates with the heart. But, not always does the mind and heart agree. There is often a manifestation of conflict between the two, which is why we often lose the battle with the flesh. In reading verses 14-25, we discover the truth of the matter concerning the law of the mind. Yet, in Christ the flesh is defeated. I think I heard this once in a sermon of Adrian Rogers, “Already the power of sin has been broken, but freedom from its presence is not yet come. Wait and stand faithfully in the Lord for the war with sin will be won.” The already and the yet…praise the Lord, the day will come where we shall no longer war with the law of the mind. Yes, Lord!

mind-lostWe as Believers need to be conscientious in remembering with our mind that sin is ALWAYS crouching at our door and the desire to please God is the image of who we really are in Christ Jesus.  Amen. Stating that reminded me of the time my child was battling leukemia. On his good days( a rarity), when scheduled for after chemo check-ups, he would be nice to the certain nurses. There was one nurse in particular that he gave the nick name “least expected”. I asked him one time why did he call her that. He told me that she was never expecting him to be in a good mood after chemo, so he decided he would play tricks on her. Unbeknownst to him, I’m sure she just played along because he had leukemia. I think I said that to say this, the mind does play tricks on us when we least expect it to. This too is sort of a way to understand how the law of the mind works. I pray that made sense to you.

However, the conclusion of the matter is this, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) This is probably why God asks of us to “reason together”, for He is a merciful and mindful God. Yet!

Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts.

My Journey through Romans 6

Rom. 6:4-Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  

Perennial : present at all seasons of the year : persisting for several years usually with new herbaceous growth from a perennating part: persistent, enduring (b: continuing without interruption :  constant, perpetual <the perennial quest for certainty> (c: regularly repeated or renewed :recurrent <death is a perennial literary theme>

hostasNow why did I choose this word for this chapter, you’re probably asking. Well, let’s see. In previous blogs, I shared my understanding of justification by faith and by the blood of Jesus Christ; a clearer understanding of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and how it directly pertains to us as sinners and Believers. Once I got through that understanding, I arrived at verse 23: For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is ETERNAL life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  This may sound confusing to some, but it is an understanding I received from the Holy Spirit.

Here we grow! Eternal, hostas, anyone? I’m not sure about other perennials, but I am absolutely positive that hostas grow in a newness of life every spring. The bulb appears to have an eternal life span. And, every spring, for twelve years I find myself digging them up to separate them and find another place to plant elsewhere in my yard. Perhaps, I should start potting them to sell. They are quite expensive plants at the nursery. Hostas spread every year and need very little care if any at all. Thank you Jesus! The only baptism (water) they got this past year was from rain. Here in Alabama, there has been a drought. Where is Elijah?

During my study, I discovered that there are two differences between the hosta plant and humans. (1) We only need one baptism. (2) Humans need lots of care daily in order for us to grow for us to walk in newness of life for any season. We have to plant ourselves into believing the word of God in order for us to fully grow in Him. Remember we are justified by faith and by the blood of Jesus Christ. It’s not just a spring thing. The one thing hostas and humans do have in common is that we both come in many varieties. Yes! Thank you Holy Spirit.

When we die, we die a physical death which is a certainty, only to be resurrected upon the Lord’s return which could be any season. We will not die a physical death and grow back during the spring like the hosta plant, even though it is still present throughout all seasons. I’m so amazed that every spring it blooms with new leafage and it is always more beautiful and fuller each year as the old leafage yellows and dies. The new leafage grows over the old. Exciting!  That is something we as Believers/ Christians need to experience when we plant ourselves in the Word of God. However, there is another death that the Believer must encounter first which is to be dead in Christ. This is something we all find hard to understand the fullness thereof-to be dead in Christ. Even I don’t fully understand Paul’s message in this chapter, but I am determined to understand in all its fullness.

I just wanted to share two commentaries in this blog instead of going on with more of my thoughts.  I think the ensample of the hosta plant will allow you to think a little deeper about walking in the newness of life. Thank you for reading and I pray that you were blessed by this message.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Romans 6:3-10)
Baptism teaches the necessity of dying to sin, and being as it were buried from all ungodly and unholy pursuits, and of rising to walk with God in newness of life. Unholy professors may have had the outward sign of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness, but they never passed from the family of Satan to that of God. The corrupt nature, called the old man, because derived from our first father Adam, is crucified with Christ, in every true believer, by the grace derived from the cross. It is weakened and in a dying state, though it yet struggles for life, and even for victory. But the whole body of sin, whatever is not according to the holy law of God, must be done away, so that the believer may no more be the slave of sin, but live to God, and find happiness in his service.
Geneva Bible Study (Romans 6:3-6)
(3) There are three parts of this sanctification: that is, the death of the old man or sin, his burial, and the resurrection of the new man, descending into us from the virtue of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, of which benefit our baptism is a sign and pledge.
(c) To the end that growing up as one with him, we should receive his strength to extinguish sin in us, and to make us new men.
(d) So that Christ himself, being released of his infirmity and weakness, might live in glory with God forever.
(e) And we who are his members rise for this purpose, that being made partakers of the very same power, we should begin to lead a new life, as though we were already in heaven.
(4) The death of sin and the life of righteousness, or our ingrafting into Christ, and growing up into one with him, cannot be separated by any means, neither in death nor life: by which it follows that no man is sanctified who lives still to sin, and therefore is no man made partaker of Christ by faith, who does not repent and turn from his wickedness: for as he said before, the law is not overturned but established by faith.
(f) And by means of the strength which comes from him to us, so we die to sin, as he is dead.
(g) For every day we become more perfect: for we will never be perfectly sanctified, as long as we live here.
(h) Our entire nature, as we are conceived and born into this world with sin, is called “old”, partly by comparing that old Adam with Christ, and partly also in respect of the deformed state of our corrupt nature, which we change with a new.
(i) Our corrupt nature is regarded as belonging to Christ, not because of what he has done, but by imputation.
(k) That wickedness which remains in us.
(l) The end of sanctification which we aim at, and will at length come to, that is, when God will be all in all.

 

Beloved, let us all look forward to becoming perennial (regularly repeated or renewed) as the foliage on the Branch of Christ. I encourage us all to walk in newness of life.

Let’s Grow!

 

 

My Journey through Romans 5

Justified by the blood of Jesus; not just by faith?

In Romans 5:1-2, Paul gives us three things to look forward to when justification comes by faith: (1) we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, (3) and we will rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Skip to Lou! In Romans 5:6-11, Paul gives us a message from the cross. Not only is our justification through faith in Jesus, but we are also “justified by his blood” and that we “shall be saved from wrath through him.”  Shout out loud, “Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”  Not the blood of Abraham, Buddha, Mohammad, Wicca witch, Vishnu, or Mary, the mother of Jesus. Only one way!  Now, after reading that I thought it so amazing that we give blood to save lives, but others are not justified through the giving of our blood. That’s how we know Jesus is Lord. Is it possible that we can save others from wrath through the giving of our blood?  No, not at all, because the truth be told we are a weak people. And, I have been told “some men weaken at the site of blood”, per a few nurses. Admit it. Paul speaks of our weakness in verse six (6) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

I found four truths mentioned in this chapter that verified that only Jesus was capable of following through on. We as sinners could never pay anyone enough money to: (1) die for the ungodly (2) commend our love toward all sinners (Ex. A lot of people hate the sinner and the sin committed by homosexuals, murderers, liars, racists, adulterers, false prophets, etc.) (3)  Reconcile others unto God by our death (4) be the one and only atonement for the sins of others. Jesus did. But God. Now peradventure there are some that will commend their love toward all sinners, because that IS something we are capable of doing when the heart is right with God. Right?

Speaking of blood..let’s go back to “In the beginning” for a moment. Do you know of the first time blood was shed in the bible? Nope, it wasn’t when Cain slew Abel. It was when God provided “garments of skin” for Adam and Eve to cover their known nakedness. Gen.  3:21 and Lev.7:8 lead us to believe that an animal sacrifice took place as the atonement for their sin of disobedience, therefore I believe that the blood of an innocent animal was shed.(TYHS!)  “And then there’s” us (not Maude)  you and I, who God in the form of an innocent man, Jesus Christ died for the ungodly by the giving of His blood. The first powerful lesson I learned in this chapter is how strong of a role disobedience to God played in the shedding of innocent blood. Now, let this soak in. God said “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.“(Lev.17:10)Ouch! (TYHS!)

 

jesus-bloodThe other powerful lesson I learned is to always share with others just how potent God’s love for us is; which was through the blood sacrifice of His “only begotten Son”.  Think deeply about it folks, God has always provided a substitute for sin or a way out for His people. He has always done things for us that we are not capable of doing for ourselves.  We are not capable of punishing ourselves for wrong doings. We can’t outsmart God. We are not capable of escaping God’s justice; therefore a penalty had to be paid according to His laws. Nothing but the powerful blood of Jesus could settle that debt for all mankind. Amen.

All throughout the Old Testament, pick a story, any story, you will find how often the disobedient people of God were covered by His grace that abounded much more than their sins. (vs. 20) And so I can agree with Paul when he stated that “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”(vs. 8-9)  Shout ((((Thank you Jesus))))

 

Do you remember this hymn?  http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Nothing_but_the_Blood/

What can wash away my sin?

 Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

 What can make me whole again?

 Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Challenge- Make a list of sinners you would die for by the giving of your blood. Now that’s going to be a challenge for sure. 🙂

bloodjesus