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Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday - God's Love Manifest - John 15:1-17 - 3/19/17

The grapevine is a profilic plant: a single vine bears many grapes. In the Old Testament grapes symbolized Israel's fruitfulness in doing God's work on the earth. In the Passover meal, the fruit of the vine symbolized, God's goodness to His people.


Christ is the vine, & God is the husbandman who cares for the branches to make them fruitful. The branches are all who claim to be followers of Christ. The fruitful branches are true believers who by their living union with followers are as good as dead & will be cut off & cast aside.


Jesus makes a distinction between two kinds of pruning (1) separating & (2) cutting back branches. Fruitful branches are cut back to promote growth. God must sometimes discipline us to strength our character & faith. But branches that don't bear fruit are cut off at the trunk, because not only are they worthless, they often infect the rest of the tree.


Prayer, joy, & soul-winning are also fruit.


Abiding in Christ means (1) believing he is God's Son (2) receiving Him as Saviour (3) doing what God says (4) continuing in faith (5) & relating to the community of believers. Christ's body Jesus says to only live a truly good life is to stay close to him, like a branch attached to the vine. Apart from him our efforts are unfruitful.


When a vine bears "much fruit," God is glorified, for daily He sent the sunshine & rain to make the crops grow, & constantly be nurtured each tiny plant & prepared to blossomed. What a moment of glory for the Lord of the harvest when the harvest is brought into the barns, safe & ready for use! This farming picture shows how God is glorified when people come into a right relationship with him & begin to "bear much fruit" in their lives.


Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ. The joy of living with Jesus Christ daily keeps us levelheaded no matter how high or low our circumstances.


We are to love one another as Jesus loved us, & He loved us enough to give His life for us. Give all the love you can, & then try to give a little more.


Jesus made the first choice --- to love & to die for us; to offer us eternal life. We make the next choice --- to accept or reject His offer. Without His choice, we would have no choice.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale Publishing House, Inc., Wheaton, IL

2 of 2 ... The Beginning: Prelude To The Apocalypse: Book Review

The Corinthian church was so free in the grace of God that they begin to sin with some very real consequences. The truth is that we cannot exclude either the law or faith. It is faith that frees us from the law of sin & death (Romans 8:2). The eternal or second death is what we have been set free from. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).


It is understood that God is the ultimate power in the universe. In heaven all the angels obey the will of God. The fact that Satan had to go to God to get permission to sift Peter is further evidence of God's complete authority. God sits on the throne & listen daily to the adversary. If the adversary brings an accusation against us, God may allow him to chasten us. This has no effect on our eternal life. This will affect the quality of our life on planet Earth.


It is through the law that all sin was made known in the universe. Until the law came, sin was not understood or known (Romans 7:7-8). In other words we all must die in the flesh to fulfill the law. So we fulfill the law by dying & we fulfill the law of grace by living. Both laws are in effect & neither has been disregarded.


We can conclude that the flesh remains under the law of death & our spirit is under the law of grace. The Corinthians began to die & became sick due to sin. Paul admonished the congregation to walk in a worthy manner when involved with holy things such as the Lord's Supper (I Corinthians 11:26-30).


Christians need to understand that the law of grace is the eternal law & affects the spirit of man in eternity.


One of the most penetrating questions about life is this: "If God is good, why does He allow evil to exist?" As we know from Jesus, Satan is the father of all evil, (John 8:44). Job calls the angelic host "the sons of God" (Job 1:6-7). We find an interesting perspective in Job.


Satan, or Lucifer, was a covering cherub (Ezekiel 28:13-15). It's apparent that Lucifer wanted to be like God (Isaiah 14:12-15).


Satan believed & preached his doctrine of equality with God through knowledge of evil. If you knew God's secret knowledge of evil you would be like God (Genesis 3:4-5). As much as God loved His family, He must give them the freedom to choose their destiny.


The knowledge of evil caught the attention of one third of the angelic hosts (Revelation 12).


God knew that all creation could only live in harmony with love if it was voluntary. Anything else is not love. God only wants those who worship Him to do so in truth & spirit (John 4:23-24).


It is important to believe every Word of God.


Man & angels had to choose by faith whether to trust God or trust Satan.


God placed two trees in the garden. The tree of life was free & it yielded its fruit for food & life. The tree of knowledge of good & evil was beautiful to behold but contained only death. It was only the knowledge of evil that could bring death. Satan believed that if Adam & Eve would eat of it they would be as gods knowing good & evil (Genesis 3:5).


Satan does not have the power to take anything. Each time you see him in heavenly scenes he is asking permission to do what he wants. He asked permission to harm Job in Job chapter one. He asked to sift Peter as wheat in Luke 22:31. In Revelation chapter twelve, Satan stands before God day & night accusing the brethren.


We are faced with the choice of trusting God by faith or living according to the way of sin (Galatians 3:11).


Enoch & Elijah was taken by God without dying. And Enoch walked with God; & he was not for God took him (Genesis 5:24). By faith Enoch was was taken away so that he did not see death (Hebrews 11:5). Then it happened, as they continued on & talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, & separated the two of them; & Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven (2 Kings 2:11).


Christ was not a sinner & yet He was put to death. It was the will of God that He should be put to death. Jesus must also be recompensed for the wrong done to Him. His blood redeemed us from death & we are given to Him as His bride. Not only did Christ receive all who believe in Him, but He was given the keys of death & became Lord of all (Revelation 1:17-18).


We are given enough to make a choice of faith - to accept the Bible. The Bible does not seek to answer the questions of science.

Bruce Campbell is the author of The Beginning Prelude to the Apocalypse Companion Study Guide. He has been a pastor, evangelist and a successful business man. He currently runs The Secret Place, an international ministry to ministers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity degree. He, along with his wife and daughter live in Picayune, MS

Saturday, March 18, 2017

1 of 2 The Begining ... Book Review

Prelude To The Apocalypse: Companion Study Guide


Paradox: A statement, doctrine, or expression seemingly absurd or contradiction to the received belief or to what would naturally be believing, but perhaps really true.

Gnotics: Of, pertaining to, or possessing knowledge;

Apocalypse: The book of Revelation ... The revelation made to the Apostle John


(John 16:12-13) I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; & He will tell you things to come.


The Scriptures clearly teach that knowledge is surpassed by the love of God in Christ (Ephesians 3:19). Knowledge is not the ultimate reality in the universe.


First, the author would like to explain to his readers the oneness of God (1 John). The most important reality about God is that He is love. John tells us that God is love. God the Father, God the Son, & God the Holy Spirit & that Spirit is love.


Here is why we need to understand the nature of love & how it can manifest in differing ways. When most people think about love they often think of love in one way only. The love that does not fail & always accepts us even when we don't deserve it. This kind of love is explained in I Corinthians 13.


God the Father represents a different manifestation of love. Protective love is rooted in righteousness.


The first paradox that was formed was found in the nature of love. God brought us life into existence & He loved His creation with an everlasting love. When sin came into existence it threatened life itself. God loved his angels but they were turning away from love to evil. God must be able to judge His own children & removed evil from existence. The love that cannot fail, by nature, cannot fail even Lucifer. God, in a sense, had to sacrifice His own heart in order to throw the diseased sons of God into the place of eternal quarantine prepared for them.


The Godhead is manisfected in differing ways even though the three manifestations are love.


Simply put, Jesus taught us that there is no giving or taking in marriage in heaven & that we will all be like angels (Matthew 22:29-30). There is no feminine in the Godhead & we know from the book of Job that angels are called the sons of God.


The Hebrew word for Spirit ("ruach") is feminine in Genesis 1:2. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit is presented in the masculine gender. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit "the Comforter" (John 16:7).


The church takes on the role of the feminine in the relation to Christ. The Greek word for church (ecclesia) is feminine in gender. The church is called the bride of the lamb (Revelation 19:7; 21:9). The church receives the Spirit (seed) & produces life (John 7:38,39).


Jesus submitted to His Father's will. Even though He was one with the Father in Spirit, He took on the role of submission. The church, in the same way, must learn to submit to the will of Christ.


The maternal side of love cries out for forgiving (Luke 23:34). Many people have asked, as did Jesus, "Why did God forsake Christ when he was on the cross (Mark 15:34).


Jesus is directly referenced to as the lamb that was sacrificed for sin. Christ was begotten of God & not created. He is the same essence, substance, or Spirit as the Father (John 16:27-28; John 10:30).


The lamb (Christ) was slain from the freedom of the world (Revelation 13:8). When the knowledge of good & evil came into existence through the law, the perfect Love (Holy Spirit) in a real sense had to be sacrificed, lest it should forgive Satan. Pure love can never turn away from the children.


The Passover lamb, in contrast to the sin offering, had to be a male lamb (Exodus 12:5-8). The Passover lamb represented represents the reality of eternal death passing over all who take Christ (the lamb) into their life. These are picture types that teach us about God's plan for redemption of all who receive Christ. It also shows us the protective side of love in that we are protected from death through Christ.


God's ways make sense & everything God made reflects something about the Godhead.


Angels were not begotten but rather created. Adam was first & Eve was begotten out of Adam. Planets & moons are one matter & are drawn together by the unknown force called gravity. Adam & Eve are one flesh & drawn together by love. The Father & Son are drawn together by the Holy Spirit of love.


Let us be glad & rejoice & give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, & His wife has made herself ready (Revelation 19:7). We should not think of these pictures types in fleshly terms but rather spiritual.


As the bride of Christ we are to yield (submit) to His will. Remember that in the Spirit there is no giving or taking in marriage but we shall all be as angels. We as His bride, must learn submission to His will & then we shall be exalted. The will of Christ is found in the Sermon on the Mount & Beatitudes. He told us to learn the ways of love.


In chapter eight of Proverbs wisdom speaks to us declaring she was brought forth from God.


Comparison between Christ & Wisdom:

Through Wisdom all things created: Psalm 104:24; Jeremiah 10:12; Proverbs 3:19

Through Christ all things created: John 1:1,9; Hebrews 1:2; Colossians 1:16

Find wisdom find life: Proverbs 8:35; Ecclesiastes 7:12; Proverbs 4:20-22

Find Christ find life: 1 John 1:12; John 14:6; John 10:10

Wisdom established from everlasting: Proverbs 8:23

Christ established from everlasting: John 8:58

Wisdom invites to eat her Bread & drink her wine: Proverbs 9:5

Jesus is the bread of life. Wine is life: John 6:33-48; Matthew 26:28


Satan will try to turn the picture of the Godhead in creation upside down. Evil will grow if left unchecked by power & strength. Evil masquerades as good & takes advantages of innocence.


Imagine a time before evil existed. There was no need for law or protective because there was no knowledge of evil. Because creation was innocence, God had to create a way of understanding what sin was. He spoke into existence or permissive side of love is perfectly explained in I Corinthians 13.


Mankind will attempt to become as god & reinterpret all things through selfish ambition carnal desire & call it freedom.


The world is attempting to cast off God in order to pursue carnal lust & selfish desire. The law of God is hated by those who proclaim freedom. Anyone who stands in the way of this "freedom" will be hated & reviled, even as God is reviled.

Revile: To address scandalous language; abuse; be abusive in speech or act.


When there is no longer anything to stop sin, it will run rampant.


Evil must be resisted. God the Father must turn away from His own children (fallen angels, sons of God) & eventually separate them from the family. The disease called sin must be put away into a quarantine zone forever. That zone is known as hell.


There is a concerted effort in this day to make boys more like girls in their emotions. When men become emotionally driven instead of righteously driven there will be an eroding of strength in society.


Bruce Campbell is the author of The Beginning Prelude to the Apocalypse Companion Study Guide. He has been a pastor, evangelist and a successful business man. He currently runs The Secret Place, an international ministry to ministers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity degree. He, along with his wife and daughter live in Picayune, MS


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Saturday - Thankful for God's Steadfast Love - Psalm 40:1-10 - 3/4/17

Waiting for God to help us is not easy, but David received four benefits from waiting: God (1) lifted him out of his despair, (2) set his feet on firm ground, (3) established his goings (steadied him as he walked), & (4) gave him a new song.


The religious ritual of David's day involved sacrificing animals in the Tabernacle. Today we often make rituals of going to church, taking communion, or paying tithe. Make sure you give God the obedience & life-long service he desires from you.


Jesus portrayed this attitude of obeying & serving God (John 4:34;5:30).


God shows his righteousness & faithfulness to his people in his offer of salvation. David boldly proclaimed this to those around him. We want to tell other people what God has done for us. Since it is natural to share a good bargain with others or recommend a skillful doctor, then we should also feel natural sharing what God has done for us.


People who are faithful to us accept & love us, even when we are unloveable. Faithful people keep their promises whether promises of support or marriage vows. He loves us in spite of our constant bent toward sin, & he keeps all his promises he has made to us, even when we break our promises to him.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Friday - Loving God & Brothers & Sisters - I John 4:20-5:5 - 3/3/17

It is easy to say we love God when it doesn't cost us anything more than weekly attendance at religious services. But the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people right in front of us - our family members & fellow believers. We cannot truly love God while neglecting to love those who are created in his image.


When we become Christians we become part of God's family, with fellow believers as our brothers & sisters. We are simply called to accept & love them. How well do you treat your fellow family members?


Jesus never promised that obeying him would be easy. The hard work & self-discipline of serving Christ is no burden to those who love him. And if our load starts to feel heavy, we can always trust Christ to help us bear it (see Matthew 11:28-30).

Reference summary is used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Friday, March 3, 2017

Monday - Christ Died for Us - I John 3:11-17 - 2/27/17

We must love other Christians.

Cain destroyed his brother Abel when God accepted Abel's offering & not Cain's (Genesis 4:1-16). People who are morally upright expose & shame those who aren't. If we live for God, the world will often hate us because we make them painfully aware of their immoral way of living.


John echoes Jesus' words that one who hates another person is a destroyer at heart (Matthew 5:21,22). Christianity is a religion of the heart; outward compliance alone is not you is an evil cancer within you & will eventually destroy you. Don't let a "root of bitterness" (Hebrews 12:15) grow in you or your church.


Real love is an action, not a feeling. Sometimes it is easier to say we'll die for others than to truly live for them, which involves putting others' desires first.


Christians must show their love, & one way to do that is to provide money or material possession to help others' needs. How clearly do your actions say you really love others?

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stand - Book Review

Staying Balanced with Answers for Real Teen Life

The advice offered herein does not constitute a substitute for professional treatment, therapy, or other types of professional advice & intervention. The author nor publisher does not assume any responsibility for use of these materials & information.


Stand:

a. An attitude toward a particular issue, a position taken in an argument

b. Have or maintain an upright position, supported by one's feet

c. Withstand an experience or test without being damaged


When a guy is controlling, checks your phone, manipulative or a cheater, he is not Christ-like & he is not for you. We are reminded in 2 Corinthians 6:14 that we are not to be "yoked together" with unbelievers. In biblical times, a yoke was used to keep oxen together when they would plow the fields.


Cute guys don't always have cute character. Proverbs 27:19 says, "As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart." We know a person's heart by the way they live. You may be dating a cute guy, but does he treat you one way in private & another way in public?


When a guy truly cares about you, he will treat you with the same respect & adoration in public that he does in private.


Don't "sugar coat" how you feel & state upfront that you are only interested in being friends.


When your friends motives are pure, he can see things in other guys that you may not see & help protect you from making a mistake.


It is okay to say, "NO!"


Taking Out the Trash: "A woman is not written in braille. You don't have to touch her to know her." - Unknown


Why is it so important that we keep our morals? Our study group would like to assure you EVERYONE IS DOING IT. The girls in our study group have made a commitment to save themselves for their husbands.


You must be the one that is worthy of the chase.


In case you're still tempted to experiment with sex outside of marriage, knowing that approximately 750,000 teenagers get pregnant every year may help yu reconsider ("Teen Pregnancy Facts"). If you fantasize about quitting EVERYTHING in your life to take care of someone else for the next 18 years, you are definitely in the minority. I have never spoken to an unmarried teen who said, "I'm so glad I got pregnant." Their friends eventually went off to college & they were left alone. Contrary to what "Hollywood" promotes, most guys do NOT stay with or marry the teen mother of their child.


God loves you & you will never find a love greater than His.


Compromising your morals & your values is going too far.


So what if we've already messed up. I've got good news! Jesus Christ gave His life so that we can be healed from past mistakes. He can forgive you & give you a new start TODAY when you ask HIM for one. This is what His grace is all about. We've all messed up, & we all need forgiveness. Don't allow shame to tell you it's too late to start over. THAT IS A LIE. God wants to walk with you into every situation in your life. I John 1:9 say's, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just to forgive us & PURIFY us." He can restore the purity you have lost & make you a new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). He loves you & has great plans just for you when you turn away from making your own decisions & allow Him to help you make the right ones.


Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times." Friendship is an "equal opportunity" relationship, & both friends must take responsibility for the friendship to work.


Communication is crucial in friendship because when we stop talking, problems arise.


Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8


Trust is a key characteristic in friendship.


God NEVER Changes!


ask God to till the hole that is there with the "high" only He can give.


Choices are life-changing.


It's our job to share the truth. It's God job to do the changing.


Beating the Bullies: Your values doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth. Idiot. Ugly. Fat. Loser. For most of us, nothing is more painful than rejection. Bullies feed on their victims reactions such as hurt, fear, insecurity, & weakness. God did not design us to be mistreated or bullied. Bullies do not get to defines us, GOD does.


The most important thing you must DO is to notify your parents & health officials immediately after the rape occurs, whether it is by a boyfriend, family member or a stranger.

Shannon Perry is an author, conference speaker, recording artist & TV host. She worked in the public school system for over fourteen years as a school teacher & counselor before entering full-time ministry. She helped create an Anti-bullying program which is still used by one of the largest school systems in America. She has one son who is a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.

She is the creator of the "In Her Shoes" Conference written especially for Moms & their teen daughters.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sunday - The Source of All Love - I John 4:7-19 - 3/5/17

In reality, love is a choice & an action. God is the source of our love: he loved is enough to sacrifice his son for us. Jesus is our example of what it means to love; everything he did in life & death was supremely loving. The Holy Spirit gives us power to love; he lives in our hearts & makes more & more like Jesus. God's love always involves a choice & an action, & our love should be like his.


The world thinks love is what make you feel good, & it is willing to sacrifice moral principles & others' rights in order to obtain such "love." Our definition of love must come from God who is holy, just, & perfect. At the same time, if we truly know God, we must learn to love as he does.


"Only begotten" means God's unique Son.


Love explains (1) why God creates; (2) why God cares; (3) whey we are free to choose; (4) why Christ died; & (5) why we receive eternal life.


Nothing sinful or evil can exist in God's presence. He cannot overlook, condone, or excuse sin as if it never happened. We can be acquitted (Romans 5:18) by his atoning sacrifice ("propitiation").


Jesus is the complete expression of God in human form & he has revealed God to us. When we love one another, the invisible God reveals himself to others through us, & his love is made complete ("perfect").


John isn't telling us how many people to love, but how much to love the people we already know. Our job is to faithfully love the people God has given us to love, whether there are two or two hundred of them. If God sees we are ready to love others, he will bring them to us. God provides us the strength to do what he asks.


When we become Christians, we receive the Holy Spirit. God's presence in our lives is a proof that we really belong to him & gives us the power to love. If you lack assurance of your salvation, listen to the Holy Spirit within you (Romans 8:16).


The day of judgment is that final day when we will appear before Christ & be held accountable for our actions. We can look forward to the judgment, because it will mean the end of sin & the beginning of a face-to-face relationship with Jesus Christ.


If we ever begin to dear eternity, heaven, or God's judgment, we can remind ourselves of God's love. We can be confident of what lies ahead if in this life we have determined to be more like Jesus.


God's love is the source of all human love, & it spreads like fire. In turn, they love others, who are warmed by God's love through them.

Reference summary used from Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday - Christ Creates Holy Living - Galatians 5:18-6:10 - 2/26/17

Live each day controlled & guided by the Holy Spirit. Then the words of Christ will be in your mind, the love of Christ in your actions, & the power of Christ will help you control your selfish desires.


In order for us to follow the Holy Spirit's guidance, we must deal with them decisively (crucify them). These desires include obvious sins such as sexual immorality & witchcraft.


The Spirit produces character traits, which are found in the nature of Christ. The result will be that we will fulfill the intended purpose of the Law - loving God & man. Which of these qualities do you desire to produce in you?


Because the God who sent the Law also sent the Spirit, the by-products of the Spirit-filled life are in perfect harmony with the intent of God's Law.


When you do your very best, you feel good about the results & there is no need to compare yourself with others. When you are tempted to compare look at Jesus Christ. His example will inspire you to do your very best, & his loving acceptance will comfort you when you fall short of your goals.


It would be certainly be a surprise if you planted corn in the ground & pumpkins came up. Every actions has results. If you plant to please your own desires ("soweth to the flesh"), you'll reap a crop of sorrow & evil; if you plant to please God you'll reap joy & everlasting life.


It is discouraging to continue to do right & receive no word of thanks or see no tangible results. In due time, we will reap a harvest of blessing.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday - Practice Mutal Discipline - Matthew 18:15-20 - 2/24/17

These are Jesus' guidelines for dealing with those who sin against us. Jesus' words are not a license for a frontal attack on every person who hurts or slights us. They are designed to reconcile those who disagree so that all Christians can live in harmony.

By contrast, we should go to the person first, as difficult as that may be. Then we should forgive that person as often as he or she needs it.


Ideally, the church's decisions should be God-guided & based on discernment of his Word. Handling problems God's way will have an impact now & for eternity.


Jesus looks ahead to a new day when he will be present with his followers not in body, but through his Holy Spirit. Two or more believers, filled with the Holy Ghost, will pray according to God's will, not their own; & thus their requests will be granted.

Reference summary used from Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday - Wholeness by Prayer & Action - James 5:13-20 - 2/23/17

James refers to someone who is incapacitated physically. Thus oil can represent both the medical & the spiritual spheres of life. Jesus Christ is Lord over both the body & the spirit.


The elders should be on call to respond to the illness of any members & the church should stay alert to pray for the needs of all its members.


"And the prayer of faith," does not refer to the faith of the sick person, but to the faith of the church. God heals, faith doesn't, & all prayers are subject to God's will. That is why God often waits for our prayers of faith before intervening to heal a person.


"Confess your faults" can be translated "Confess your sins." Christ has made it possible for us to go directly to God for forgiveness, but confessing our sins to one another still has an important place in the life of the church. In Christ's Kingdom, every believer is a priest to other believers. We must help others come to Christ & tell them of Christ's forgiveness.


The Christian's most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. Since God's power is infinitely greater than our own, it only makes sense to rely on it - especially because he encourages us to do so.


For more about the great prophet Elijah (Elias), read his Profile in I Kings 18.


Clearly the person who has slipped away is a believer who has fallen into sin - one who is no longer living a life consistent with his belief. Christians disagree over whether or not it is possible for people to lose their salvation, but all agree that those who move away from their faith are in serious trouble & need to repent. James urges Christians to help backsliders return to God. By taking the initiative, praying for the person, & acting in love, we can meet the person where he is & bring him back to God.


The book of James emphasizes faith in action. Right living is the evidence of result of faith. The church must serve with compassion, speak lovingly & truthfully, live in obedient to God's commands, & love one another. The body of believers ought to be an example of heaven on earth, drawing people to Christ through love for God & one another. If we truly believe God's Word, we will live it day by day. God's Word is not merely something we read or think about, but something we do. Belief, faith & trust must have hands & feet - ours!

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Tuesday - The Sower & the Seed - Luke 8:4-15 - 2/21/17

Jesus often communicated spiritual truth through parables - short stories or descriptions that take a familiar object or situation & give it a starting new twist. By linking the known with the hidden & forcing listeners to think, parables can point to spiritual truths. A parable compels listeners to discover the truth for themselves, & it conceals the truth for themselves, & it conceals the truth from those too lazy or prejudiced to look for it. In reading Jesus' parables, we must be careful not to, read too much into them.


Why would a farmer allow precious seed to land "by the way side," upon rocks, or among thorns? He is using the acceptance method of hand-seeding a large field - casting it by handfuls as he walks through the field. That some of the seed produced no crop was not the fault of the faithful farmer or the seed. The yield depended on the condition of the soil where the seed fell. It is our responsibility to spread the seed (God's message), but we should not give up when some of our efforts fail. Remember, not every seed falls on good soil.


God told Isaiah that people would hear without understanding & see without perceiving, & this is what happened to Jesus. The parable of the soil was an accurate picture of the people's reaction to the rest of his parables.


Wayside people, like many of the religious leaders, refused to believe God's message. Hard-rock people, like many in the crowds who followed Jesus, believed his message but never got around to doing anything about it. Thorn-patch people, overcome by materialism, left no room in their lives for God. Good-soil people, in contrast to all the other groups, followed no matter what the cost.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishing, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday - Walk in Newness of Life - Romans 6:1-11 - 2/20/17

This section deals with sanctification - the change God makes in our lives when we become Christians. Chapter 6 discusses the continuing struggle believers have with sin.


God forgiveness does not make sin less serious. The availability of God's mercy must not become an excuse for careless living & moral laxness.


In the church in the apostle Paul's day, immersion was the usual form of baptism - that is, new Christians were completely "buried" in water. They understood this form of baptism to symbolize the death & burial of the old way of life. Coming up out of the water symbolized resurrection to new life with Christ.


We can enjoy our new life in Christ because we are united ("planted") with him in his death & resurrection.


The power & penalty of sin died with Christ on the cross. Our "old man," our sinful nature, died once & for all, so we are freed from its power. The "body of sin" is not the human body, but our rebellious sin-loving nature inherited from Adam. The apostle Paul has already stated that through faith in Christ we stand acquitted, "not guilty" before God.


Because of Christ's death & resurrection, his followers need never fear death. This will affect all our activities - work & worship, play & Bible study, quiet times & times caring for others.


We are fully fenced off (because of our union & identification with Christ) from all the old ways of believing & behaving. We have a new start & the Holy Spirit will help us become in our daily experience what Christ has declared us to be.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible, KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday - Freedom in Christ - Galatians 5:1-17 - 2/19/17

Christ died to set us free from sin & from a long list of laws & regulations.


Trying to be saved by keeping the Law & being saved by grace are two different approaches.


We are saved by faith, not works, but love for others & for God is the response of those whom God has been forgiven.


It only takes one person to infect all the others by persuasion.


Persecution proved that the apostle Paul was preaching the true Gospel.


The "flesh" is not a reference to the body, but to the sinful nature that attempts to use our bodies to lead us into sin.


At the same time, you must beware of confusing your feelings with the Spirit's leading. Being led by the Holy Spirit involves the desire to hear, the readiness to obey God's Word, & the sensitivity to discern between your feelings & his promptings.


The Holy Spirit is infinitely stronger, but we are weak. Our only way to freedom from our natural evil desires is through the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday - Produce the Fruit of the Spirit - Galatians 5:22-16 - 2/18/17

The "fruit of the Spirit: is the spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in us. They are the by-products of Christ's control, & we can't obtain them by trying to get them. If we want the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us, we must join our lives to his. We must know him, love him, remember him, imitate him.


A person who is rich in the fruit of the Spirit fulfills the Law for better than a person who observes the rituals but has little love in his heart.


In order to accept Christ as Saviour, we need to turn from our sins & willingly nail our natural evil desires to the cross. As Christians we still have the capacity to sin, but we have been set free from sin's power over us & no longer have to give in to it. We must daily commit our sinful tendencies to God's control, daily crucify them, & moment by moment draw on the Spirit's power to overcome them.


As we live by the Holy Spirit's power, we need to submit every aspect of our lives to God - emotional, physical, social, intellectual, vocational. The Holy Spirit is the source of your new life, so walk with him.


Those who look to God for approval won't need to seek it from others.

Reference summary used from the Life Application KJV Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuesday - The Lord is God Alone - Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - 2/14/17

Monotheism - believing only one God - was a distinctive feature of Hebrew religion. Many ancient religions believed in many gods. But the God of Abraham, Issac, & Jacob is the God of the whole earth, the only true God. This was an important insight for the nation of Israel, because they were about to enter the promise land filled with people who believed in many gods. Both then & today, there are people who prefer to place their trust in many different "gods." But the day is coming when God will be recognized as the only one. He will be King over all the earth.


We are to love God, think constantly about his commandments, teach his commandments to our children, & live our daily lives by the guidelines in his Word. God emphasized the importance of parents teaching the Bible to their children. The church & Christian schools cannot be used to escape from the responsibility. Eternal truths are most effectively learned in the loving environment of a God-fearing home.


Jesus said that loving God with all your heart, soul, & mind is the first & greatest commandment. This command, combined with the command to love your neighbor, on compass all the other Old Testament laws.


The Hebrews were extremely successful at making religion an integral part of life. The reason for their success was that religious education was life-oriented, not information-oriented. They used the context of daily life to teach about God. The key to teaching your children to love God is stated simply & clearly in these verses. If you want your children to follow God, you must make God a part of your everyday life. You must teach your children to see God in all aspects of life, not just those that are church related.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Monday - Christ, the Wisdom of God - I Corinthians 1:18-25 - 2/13/17

God's way of thinking is not like the world's way (normal human wisdom), but God offers eternal life while the world cannot. We can spend a lifetime accumulating human wisdom & never learn how to have a personal relationship with God. We must come to Christ to learn this important truth.


Many Jews thought the Good News of Jesus Christ was foolish because they thought the Messiah would be a conquering King accompanied by signs & miracles. Jesus had not restored David's throne as they expected. Greeks, too, considered the Gospel foolish; they did not believe in a bodily resurrection, they did not see in Jesus the powerful characteristics of their mythological gods; & they thought no reputable person would be crucified.

The Good News of Jesus Christ still sounds foolish to many. Our society worships power, influence, & wealth. Jesus came as a humble poor servant, & he offers his Kingdom to those with faith, not works. This looks foolish to the world.


The message of Christ's death for sins sounds foolish to those who don't believe. Death seems to be the end of the road, the ultimate weakness. But Jesus did not stay dead. His resurrection shows his power even over death, & he will save us from eternal death, & give us everlasting life if we trust him as Saviour & Lord. This sounds so simple that many people won't accept it. They try other ways to obtain eternal life (being good, being wise, etc.), but their attempts will not work. The "foolish" people who simply accept Christ's offer are actually the wisest of all, because they alone will live eternally with God.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Saturday - Led by the Spirit of Christ - Romans 8:12-17 -2/11/17

"Mortify the deeds of the body" in verse thirteen means to put to death or regard as dead the power of sin in your body.


The apostle Paul uses adoption to illustrate the believer's new relationship with God. In Roman culture, the adopted person lost all rights in his old family & gained all the rights of a legitimate child in his new family. He became a full heir to his new father's estate. Likewise, when a person becomes a Christian, he gains all the privileges & responsibilities of a child in God's family. One of these outstanding privileges is being led by the Spirit. We may not always feel like we belong to God, but the Holy Spirit is our witness. His inward presence reminds us of who we are & encourages us with his love.


Because we are God's children, we share in great treasures as joint-heirs. God has already given us his best gifts: his Son, forgiveness, & eternal life; & he encourages us to ask him for whatever we need.


There is a price for being identified with Jesus. Along with the great treasures, the apostle Paul mentions the suffering that Christians must face. In many parts of today's world, Christians face pressure just as severe as those faced by Christ's first followers. Even in countries where Christianity is tolerated or encouraged Christians must not become complacent. Nothing we suffer however, can compare to the great price Jesus paid to save us.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Friday - The Spirit Brings Life - Romans 8:1-11 - 2/10/17

The "flesh" as used throughout this chapter refers not to our human bodies, but to the principle & power of sin. Sin is present & often operating in our body, not to be equaled with the body.


"Not guilty; let him go free"- what would those words mean to you if you were on death row? The fact is that the whole human race is on death row, justly condemned for repeatedly breaking God's holy Law. Without Jesus we would have no hope at all. But thank God! He has delivered us not guilty & has offered us freedom from sin & power to do his will.


The Spirit of life is the Holy Spirit. He was present at the creation of the world, & he is the power behind the rebirth of every Christian. He gives us the power we need to live the Christian life.


Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins. In Old Testament times, animal sacrifices were continually offered at the Temple. The sacrifices showed the Israelites the seriousness of sin: blood had to be shed before sins could be pardoned. But animal blood could not really remove sins. The sacrifices could only point to Jesus' sacrifice, which paid the penalty for all sins.


Daily we must consciously choose to center our lives lives on God. Use the Bible to discover God's guidelines, & then follow them. When the Holy Spirit points out what is right, do it eagerly.


A Christian is anyone who has the Spirit of God living in him. If you have sincerely trusted Christ for for your salvation & acknowledged him as Lord, then the Holy Spirit has come into your life, & you are a Christian. When the Holy Spirit is working within you, you will believe that Jesus Christ is God's Son & that eternal life comes through him; you will begin to act as Christ directs; you will find help in your daily problems & in your praying; you will be empowered to serve God & do his will; & you will become part of God's plan to build up his church.


The Holy Spirit is God's promise or guarantee of eternal life for those who believe in him. He is in us now by faith, & by faith we are certain to live with Christ forever.

Reference summary used from the Life Application KJV Bible, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Wednesday - Power & Strength through Weakness - II Corinthians 12:7b-10 - 2/8/17

We don't know what Paul's "thorn in the flesh" was because he doesn't tell us. Whatever it was, it was a chronic & debilitaling physical problem, which at times kept him from working. This thorn was a hindrance to his ministry, & he prayed for its removal; but God refused. Paul was a very self-sufficient person, so this thorn was difficult for him. It kept Paul humble, reminded him of his need for constant contact with God, and benefited those around him as they saw God at work in his life.


Although God did not remove Paul's physical affliction, he promised to demonstrate his power in Paul. The fact that God's power shows up in weak people should give us courage. We must rely on God for our effectiveness rather than on simple energy, effort, or talent. Our weakness not only helps develop Christian character; it also deepens our worship, for in admitting our weakness, we affirm God's strength.


God does not intend for us to seek to be weak, passive, or ineffective - life provides enough hindrances & setbacks without us creating them. When they come, we must depend on God.


Paul was not merely revealing his feelings; he was defending his authoring as an apostle of Jesus Christ. He was hurt that the church in Corinth doubted & questioned him, & he defended himself for the cause of the Gospel, not to satisfy his ego.

Reference summary used from the Life Application KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois