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Showing posts with label apostle Paul. Show all posts
Showing posts with label apostle Paul. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Master's Mind - Book Review

The Master's Mind: The Art of Reshaping Your Thoughts

In fact, the Master has a whole different list of attributes in mind for us: hope, strength, beauty, joy, love, creativity, freedom, power, peace, patience, goodness, laughter, organization, effectiveness, and purpose.

Between the flesh, the world, and the Devil, we don't know what to think, and, therefore, our lives are filled with hurt, pain, and regret.

Jesus died to save us from our sins and set us free. He made a way for our souls to be rescued from our enemies.

It's time to return to the Master's Mind.

In approximately AD 31, Jesus Christ of Nazareth was asked the seemingly impossible question: "What is the greatest commandment of God?" Jesus simply replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength."

If we can master our minds and bring our thoughts into alignment with the Lord's will and perspective, the rest of our lives will follow suit.

Praise the Lord that He has told us who He is, who we are in the light of Him, and what we have been placed on this earth to do.

God does the rescuing and the saving. Our job is to steward what He has given us.

What we think determines our action. Martin Luther King Jr. determined that he would not rest until all people were viewed as God intended - equal. Mother Teresa determined that the poor would not be forgotten. Our Lord Jesus Christ walked His entire life on earth with a focus on completely obeying His heavenly Father, including the determination to end up on the cross to save us from our sins, as we see in this passage from Luke: "When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51).

The Bible tells us of an ancient high-ranking official who made a personal choice that would dictate the rest of his life and effectiveness. His name was Naaman, and he was a Syrian army commander who had leprosy, a terrible skin disease. Knowing that he was desperate for healing, his little servant girl told him of a prophet in Israel who could heal him by God's power. Figuring that it was worth a shot, Naaman went to see the prophet Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to tell Naaman that he would be healed if he washed seven times in the Jordan River.

Naaman was furious. He believed that the prophet was simply going to "call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure" him (2 Kings 5:11). When things didn't go the way he thought they should, he stormed off in a rage.

His attendant hurried after him and convinced him to reconsider. Sure, washing seven times was unorthodox, but what if it could heal him?

He relented - and came out healed from leprosy.

Naaman's false assumptions, ignorant thoughts, and prideful heart almost cost him his healing. What are we believing today that is keeping us from God's best?

It's true of God: Isaiah 14:24 tells us, "The LORD of hosts has sworn: As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand."

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. (Acts 17:26)

Before the New York firefighters and police officers ran into the collapsing Twin Towers on the fateful day of 9/11, they thought about it. Their heroic choice to risk their lives to protect others from a burning building was the result of truly stunning thoughts: Their job is to rescue others and put them before themselves. They would not let fear dictate their response.

"The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasures produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45)

Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was explaining that our characters and beliefs determine the lives we live. Doing one thing on the outside doesn't make up for thinking another on the inside.

And when it comes to matters of faith, we spend the majority of our energy on sin management, completely avoiding the core issues. We'll never experience transformation until we address the thoughts at the root of our problems.

Bad thinking is dangerous. Wrong thinking can keeps us ineffective, wasting time on things that aren't important instead of living the lives God has for us.

Paul wrote in Romans about the distorted thinking common to humans and the consequences it brings. Since our sin nature is rooted in how we think our thoughts continue to be the primary block between us and God.

Jesus spoke about lust being equated with adultery.

Adam and Eve were the best of us: unadulterated humanity, good, pure, and perfect. But the day they ate the fruit that God told them not to eat, all of that changed. With their rebellion, sin entered the world and chaos was unleashed.

If you do not know the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love He demonstrated on the cross by dying for your sins, now is the time to engage with that truth.

God knows our plight. He knows we are hopelessly lost. When Adam and Eve threw away our birth right, He launched a redemption plan. The plan came to fruition approximately two thousand years ago, when God entered humanity and joined us where we were, in all our messiness. Doing all that we could not do, the God-man, Jesus Christ, offered up His perfect life - not only to satisfy our debt sin, but also to trade with us, the lost, so that we might be found and set free. We acknowledge that He is the King and His way is right. We offer open rights in which He can dwell by the power of His Holy Spirit so that we are never alone - not now, not ever.

"The most important thing about us is not what we do, but who and whose we are in Christ."

All He asks is that we stop fighting and let Him do what He does best - be our Savior and King. Paul the apostle wrote, "Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God" ((Romans 5:1-2).

By definition, grace is "undeserved favor." Grace isn't earned; rather, it's given out of the goodness of someone else's heart.

Grace even cuts at the heart of the oldest and greatest of sin: pride. The same sin that caused the fall of Lucifer stirs in our souls. Once grace takes hold again, we experience peace.

God is working in us, and we can have faith in that process. But we also need to be aware of the biggest enemy of them all: the Devil.

The Devil is real, and he's a bad guy. He introduced the sin that brought down our world, he's a bully who picks on us every day, and he doesn't fight fair.

Listen to the apostle Peter: "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith" (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Sin takes us from where we should be to where we should not be. Sin ruins our thoughts and poisons our hearts.

Sin is godlessness.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Therefore, God will never lead someone to sin; doing so goes against His very nature. He will test believers by putting them through difficult training that will strengthen them and reveal their current conditions (like a refiner's fire).

Satan seeks to harm.

God's intention is always for believers to emerge from a trial better than when they started, either in strength or in knowledge. He promises that every situation will have a way out - an escape hatch that can be utilized through obedience.

As we've seen, the Bible says that Jesus was tempted, yet was without sin. It also says, "In your anger do not sin" (Ephesians 4:26 NIV).

Acting on sin is temptation.

Praise the Lord that He is with us and that the Holy Spirit is helping us navigate all of this!

Nebuchadnezzar made a name for himself as a warrior king. He won the famous battle of Carchemish against the Egyptians the year he was called to throne. He fused his alliance with the Medes by marriage and expanded his territory by military force until he controlled much of the Middle East and all the trade routes across Mesopotamia.

He was so impressive that Saddam Hussein sought to claim his reincarnated personality. Hussein named one of his guard divisions after the ancient king and began rebuilding ancient Babylon in his honor, inscribing on the bricks, "To king Nebuchadnezzar in the reign of Hussein."

This great and powerful king lost his mind.

God leveled Nebuchadnezzar for pride and arrogance, and once that was done, he lifted his hand immediately and miraculously. Nevertheless, his story reminds us that even the might fall sometimes, and no mind is invulnerable.

Everybody remembers Mister Rogers' Neighbor right? But did you know that it aired from 1968 to 2001, produced 895 episodes, and earned four Emmy awards?

There's a reason that a Presbyterian reverend from Pennsylvania received the coveted Peabody Award, the Ralph Lowell Award, more than forty honorary degrees, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

He wanted to use children's imaginations as God intended them - to think through new perspectives.

You and I are precious - and so is every human on earth.

On the day Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they sold their souls to the Enemy.

Jesus Christ needed to come to set us free. We are free to become what He created us to be and not be forced into the mold of our enemies.

Our Master paid for us.

Even if we are free, we still need a Savior. We are still designed for relationship with God as our Father. We are still built for His glory. We are not our own.

We long to worship.

Christianity needs to be a thriving relationship with God filled with the Holy Spirit and all the incredible blessings He has given us. We need to be so filled up that the Holy Spirit forces out evil.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit gives us "living water."

Paul says that we have been raised with Christ, which means we are a new creation, born again with all the sin of our lives dead and gone.

Transformation always begins in our thoughts.

When Jesus told His listeners to "repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 3:2), He did not simply mean "feel terrible for your wickedness now that I'm here." Repent doesn't only mean to turn away but to change one's mind and start agreeing with God.

Jesus Christ is the One who can set us free, not just when we get to heaven, but increasingly so right here on earth.

God will hold us accountable for how we manage our minds and handle our hearts.

One of the precious tools God has provided is supernatural protection for His children. The apostle Paul called it the armor of God in Ephesians 6:11-18.

Lance Hahn is the senior pastor of Bridgeway Christian Church in Rocklin, California. His first book, How to live in fear mastering the Art of Freaking Out, Chronicles his personal struggles with panic disorders and offers tools for thriving through fear. A popular speaker who enjoys writing, Lance is a husband to Suzi and father to two daughters.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday - Called to Preach - Acts 9:10 - 20 - 8/20/17

(Jesus Calls Saul/Shaul/Paul on Damascus Road - Saturday - 8/19/17)

Paul was an outstanding missionary, theologian, and writer of the early church.

Paul was born in a Jewish family in Tarsus. Paul's family was of the tribe of Benjamin. Paul probably came from a family of tentmakers or leatherworkers and, according to Jewish custom, was taught this trade by his father. Apparently the business thrived and Paul's family became moderately wealthy.

The true way of the Lord was one of the earliest names for Christianity. The glory of God (or Christ) is often described as the light. The street called Straight, which runs through Damascus from east to west. Saul, like the prophets, was chosen for a special purpose.

Saul's conversion marks a turning-point in the history of the early church. The encounter with Christ was followed by three sightless days: Saul was identified with Jesus in his death and three days in the grave, and identified with him too in baptism and newness of life.

The Way was the name given to the church before the people of Antioch invented the new name 'Christian.'

Damascus, a key commercial city, was located about 175 miles northeast of Jerusalem in the Roman province of Syria.

As Paul traveled to Damascus, pursuing Christians, he was confronted by the risen Christ and brought face to face with the truth of the Gospel.

Paul refers to this experience as the start of his new life of in Christ. At the center of this wonderful life was Jesus Christ - Paul did not see a vision, he saw the risen Christ himself (Acts 9:17).

Anyone who persecutes believers today is also guilty of persecuting Jesus because believers are the body of Christ on earth.

Paul opened his eyes - but could not see - he was temporarily blinded.

Ananias was sent by God to Paul. He greeted Paul as "Brother Saul." Ananias feared this meeting because Paul had come to Damascus to persecute believers and take them in chains to Jerusalem. But in obedience to the Holy Spirit, he greeted Paul lovingly.

Immediately after receiving his sight and being with the believers in Damascus, Paul went to the synagogue to tell the Jews about Jesus Christ. Paul took time alone to learn about Jesus before beginning his worldwide ministry, but he did not wait to witness. Although we should not rush into a ministry unprepared, we do need to wait before telling others what has happened to us.

Reference summary used from The New Oxford Annotated Bible with The Apocrypha RSV; The Life Application Bible, KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, IL; and The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Part I: The Heart The Key to Everything in the Christian Life: Book Review

The fact is the heart is the key to everything in your life! Your family, your job, your relationships, & your self-image all depend on the condition of the heart. The quality of your service & witness for Christ comes down to the condition of your heart. Even your future rewards in the kingdom of God & your responsibilities in His kingdom throughout all eternity will be determined by the motives & condition of your heart here & now.

You need to understand what constitutes a healthy heart, according to the Bible, before you can take real lasting steps toward building it up & keeping it in top condition. But you must realize that you have an Enemy who wants to take your heart captive. He wants to weigh it down with oppression, bondage, impurities, bitterness, hatred, envy, & strife so that it is weak & sickly throughout your life.

God meant for your heart to be alive with His presence, a place where He is enthroned as its rightful ruler. Your heart is a treasure that should be given fully to Him, for only in God your heart your heart will find its home. Your heart is meant to be, like the Holy Holies in the temple in the Old Testament, a place where God is vibrantly alive & present, where He lives & is enjoyed & is intimately experienced.

The loving & magnificent God of the universe has a purpose & a destiny for you. You are part of a plan that will rock Satan's kingdom to the core & shake up the world for Jesus Christ. No one else has been given your unique mission as it has been ordained by God Almighty.

There was a salt covenant with meals in the Bible in which a person would bind himself to another in utmost loyalty & truthfulness as salt was a symbol of enduring friendship, honesty, & close alliance. It is still common today for people from the Eastern culture to say, "There is salt between us."

Jesus Christ wants to make a salt covenant with your heart, too. He wants your heart to be forever knit & linked with His, united & moving forward as one.

The heart is the center of everything that is manifested & comes forth in your life.

The heart is "essentially the whole man, with all his attributes, physical, intellectual, & psychological ... & the heart was conceived of as the governing center for all of these. It is the heart which makes the man ... what he is, & governs all his actions."

Every moment you draw breath upon the earth, something is flowing out of your heart.

What flows out of the heart even determines the direction & course of your life.

The first usage of this word "wellspring" in Scripture is found in the book of Numbers, in which God reveals to Moses the borders of the Promised Land that Israel is to go & possess: "This will be your land, with its boundaries on every side" (Numbers 34:12).

God has set the boundaries of a Promised Land for your life where you can accomplish your God-given destiny & purpose that God has lovingly designed for you. This Promised Land is a place where you can enjoy the blessings of God, the peace of God, the deliverance of God, the protection of God, & the presence of God. The Promised Land is where God is enjoyed, praised, & glorified for His matchless love, grace, & mercy. But your heart can only remain in God's ordained Promised Land if you diligently guard its borders from infiltration by the enemy.

We must be aware that the enemy is always prowling near the borders of our hearts, subtly trying to gain entrance so he can establish a stronghold in the heart & exercise his control & influence.

In order to enter the Promised Land & keep its borders secure, we must guard our hearts with all diligence, protecting it from the schemes & strategies of Satan, devoting it instead wholeheartedly & passionately to God & His Word.

But the devil has also staked out a territory for your life, & it is called the wilderness. Evil is the active opposition of God's good purpose or design for a person with the intent of destroying, limiting, & hindering it in any way possible.

The devil is called the evil one (Matthew 5:37), if we are careless with our hearts, he will re-position the borders of life so that the destiny God has for you is shattered & broken into pieces.

An exodus is a departure from one geographical location to another. The most magnificent example in human history is, of course, the exodus of Israel out of the slavery & bondage of Egypt. Hundreds pf thousands of men, women, & children departed Egypt on their journey to a new land.

Is the exodus from your heart taking you to a land of promise or a land of bondage? Every journey have ever embarked upon in your life has come of the heart, & the condition of your heart will determine which path you decide to follow.

Without hearts that are utterly devoted to Him in all purity & faith, the gospel becomes dead in our Christian walk & growth.

We must take back our hearts from the clutches of Satan & allow God to heal, restore, & reign from the throne in our hearts.

The Spirit of God is the true guide, helper, encourager, purifier, & discerner of the heart. The Spirit of God enables Christians to follow God decrees, & it is always exerting its influence on the heart to obey God at all times.

The flesh & the Spirit are at odds & enmity & have been at war since the beginning.

Do people see Jesus when they see your heart? Open your spiritual eyes & look at your heart in the mirror of God's Word.

The heart is under vicious attack daily by the "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4) who wants to cripple, sicken, & twist it, so that it becomes dead to the things of God.

A Sleeping Heart Is Unguarded.

Prayer Guards the Heart.

The organ we call the human heart pumps 1,900 gallons of blood through it every day.

In Scripture we discover three important gateways to the heart: our eyes, our ears, & our thoughts.

The eye is the second most complex organ in the human body, next to the brain. Our human eye can distinguish up to one million color surfaces, & our eyes take in more information than the largest telescope known to man.

Although much good can come through the Internet, numerous people, including Christians, have allowed the Internet to consume them & poison their heart for God. Forty million U.S. adults regularly visit pornographic sites, as this is fast becoming the number one addiction not only in America, but also around the world.

Pornography is like a cancer in the Christian church & has destroyed many lives, marriages, & ministries.

The devil understood this truth & used it to his advantage in the temptation & seduction of Eve. She was deceived by the serpent because she failed to guard her eyes & thus her heart (Genesis 3:4-6).

Make a Covenant with Your Eyes.

The Ears: The Second Gateway To The Heart.

Together, the ears are stereo receivers responsible for collecting sounds, processing them, & sending signals to the brain in a form that it understands.

Faith comes by hearing.

Faith always dwells & blossoms in the heart, but it is born & originates in the ear.

Hear & Obey.

Hear, Hear! Listen, Listen! Obey, Obey!

Whenever God's Words are rejected, it brings death in some way, shape, or form to the human heart.

Test Every Word.

But we don't have to be deceived!

The Hebrew word rendered as "test" in this passage means to search out, examine, try, & prove.

The Priest's Ear: Set Apart for God.

God set up the ministry of the priest in such a beautiful way to minister the heart of God to the needs of His people. The priests were to help restore the hearts of His people to the ways of God & keep them on the path of His righteousness.

The Prophet's Downfall.

A prophet was never to speak his own words but only that which he divinely heard from the heart of God.

What a chilling statement as to what can happen to the heart when the ears go astray! The prophets had allowed their hearts to become full of idolatry, lies, & wickedness.

Your Life Is Molded By Your Ear.

Be Still & Listen!

The Prince of the Power of the Air: The Spiritual Battle for Your Ears.

Paul calls Satan "the prince of the power of the air," indeed the devil has shown himself to be the great broadcaster to the world in this media age (Ephesians 2:1-2).

Satan's programming never takes a break.

Never Fear: Our God Is Greater.

The World Never Satisfies Like God Satisfies.

The Ears: Music's Enormous Impact on the Heart.

We must be aware of the music we are allowing to saturate our hearts.

Music in the Bible.

The right music is powerful enough to drive away demons & negative spiritual influences from the heart (I Samuel 16).

Music can calm the heart & make it more receptive to hearing the voice of the Lord. Music can bring our thoughts, emotions, & desires into the presence of the Lord, where the life & words of God can flow into our hearts (2 Kings 3).

In Exodus 32, music caused an increase in evil in the hearts of the children of Israel, plunging them into idolatry.

Angelic Music

Music is a vital part of heaven & the throne of God. It has been part of the worship & praise of God since the beginning. Lucifer (Ezekiel 28:13-14), was created as a beautiful & wise archangel, an anointed cherub, & music was an integrated part of his being.

Corruption of Music.

Music can cause the heart to become a prisoner of war in Satan's kingdom.

Moses the Songwriter.

Moses was a wonderful songwriter in the Bible & we see his first song in Exodus 15 after the miraculous deliverance of the children of Israel from the Egyptian army. In Revelation 15, the song of Moses is sung in heaven.

Make Music in Your Heart for the Ears of God'

All Music Originates in the Heart.

David the Musician & Songwriter.

David was a wonderful skilled musician & songwriter. He was also an inventor of musical instruments (I Chronicles 23:5; 2 Chronicles 7:6; Amos 6:5). He helped to reestablish the functions the functions of the Levites in regards to music in the tabernacle & select singers & musicians from the non-priest to participate in worship services of song & music to God. At the heart of their music was the wonderful book of Psalm.

Psalms is the hymn book of the Bible.

Tim Rowe (author) has a doctorate of jurisprudence & a bachelor degree in biblical studies, history, & classics. An attorney & author of The Magnificent Goodness of God & How It Will Transform Your Life, he is president of Goodness of God Ministries & lives in Indianapolis with his wife & son.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday - God's Reconciling Love - Romans 5:6-11; 8:31-39 - 4/23/17

Christ in his death has borne the consequences of our sin & thus reconciled us to God. Note that the apostle Paul never speaks of a reconciliation of God to us; it is we who were estranged. Being now justified (& reconciled) by Christ's death, we shall ... be saved in the final Judgment by his life, through our participation in his present life as the risen Lord. Now, under the gospel.


Our confidence in God. To be a Christian in the first century was both difficult & dangerous. Neither death, nor life, whether we live or die we shall not be separated. Angels ... principalities ... powers are supernatural beings, whether evil or good, & or various ranks. Height & depth, the highest point to which the stars rise & the abyss (A deep crack or gap in the earth earth) out of which they were thought to to ascend; no supposed astrological power can separate us from Christ or defeat God's purpose for us.

Reference summary used from The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha Expanded Edition,An Ecumenical Study Bible, RSV

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday - Mutually Sharing the Gospel of Christ - Romans 1:1-15 -4/17/17

1:1-7 ... Salutation. Ancient Greek letters customarily began with the names of the sender & the recipient & a short greeting. Paul expands the usual form to express his Christian faith as well. God's Son, who came into the world physically descended from David, was manifested & installed in his true status at the resurrection. Saints, those who belong to God, consecrated to his service. Grace ... & peace.


1:8-15 ... Thanksgiving. After the salutation in ancient letters there usually came a short prayer of thanksgiving or of petition on behalf of the person addressed. This element also Paul expands in a characteristically Christian way.

Reference summary used from The New Oxford Annotated Bible with The Apocrypha Expanded Edition, An Ecumenical Study Bible, RSV

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday - Support Ministers Generously - I Corinthians 9:3-12 - 2/25/17

The apostle Paul used himself as an illustration of giving up personal rights. The apostle Paul had the right to hospitality, to be married to bring guests, to be paid for his work; but he willingly gave up these rights to win people to Christ. When your focus is on living for Christ, your rights become comparatively unimportant.


Jesus said that workers are worthy of their pay (Luke 10:7). The apostle Paul echoed this thought & urged the church to be sure to pay their Christian workers. We have the responsibility to care for our pastors, teachers, & other spiritual leaders. It is our duty to see that those who serve us in the ministry are fairly & adequately compensated.

Reference summary used from the Life Application Bible KJV, Tyndale House Publishers, 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

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunday - New Birth Brings Freedom - Galatians 4:8-20 -2/12/17

The apostle Paul commended the Galatians for not rejecting him, even though his condition was revolting (he doesn't explain what was wrong with him).


Such caring was what Jesus meant when he called us to serve the homeless, hungry, sick, & imprisoned as if they were Jesus himself. Do you avoid those in pain or facing difficulty - or are you willing to care for them as if they were Jesus Christ himself?


If you feel guilty & inadequate check your focus. Are you putting your faith in Christ or in rule-keeping?


The apostle Paul did not gain great popularity when he rebuked the Galatians for turning away from their first faith in Christ. Human nature hasn't changed much - we still get angry when we're scolded. But don't write off someone who challenges you. There may be truth in what he says. Receive his words with humility, carefully think them over. If you discover you need to change an attitude or action, take steps to do it.


"They" in verse seventeen refers to false teachers who claimed to be religious authorities, experts in Judaism & Christianity. Appealing to the believers' desire to do what is right, they drew quite a following. The apostle Paul said, however, that they were wrong & that their motives were selfish. False teachers are often respectable & persuasive. That is why all teachings need to be checked with the Bible.


The apostle Paul led many people to Christ & helped them mature spiritually. Perhaps one reason for his success as a spiritual father was the deep concern he felt for his spiritual children; he compared his pain over their faithlessness to the pain of childbirth. We should have the same intense care for those to whom we are spiritual parents. When you lead people to Christ remember to stand by them to help them grow.

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

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

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

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Sunday ... Re-Created To Live In Harmony - Galatians 3:26-4:7 -2/5/17

In Roman society, a youth coming of age laid aside the robe of childhood & put on a new toga. This represented his move into adult citizenship with full rights & responsibilities. Apostle Paul combines this understanding with baptism. By becoming Christians & being baptized, they were becoming spiritually grown up & ready to take on the privileges & responsibilities of the mature. You have laid aside the old clothes of the Law, & now you are putting on Christ's new robe of righteousness.


Jewish males greeted each new day by prayer, Lord, I thank you that I am not a Gentile, a slave, or a woman. The role of women was enhanced by Christianity. Faith in Christ transcends these differences & makes all believers one in Christ.


The original covenant with Abraham was intended for the whole world, not just for his descendants. All believers partake of this covenant & are blessed as children of Abraham.


The apostle Paul uses the illustration of slavery to show that before Christ came & died for sins, people were in bondage to the Law.


Thinking they could be saved by it, they became enslaved to trying - & failing - to keep it. The Good News is that we who were once slaves are now God's very own children with an intimate relationship with him. Because of Christ, there is no reason to be afraid of God. We can come boldly into his presence, knowing he will welcome us as his family members.


True Christianity: Christians are those who believe inwardly & outwardly that Jesus' death has allowed God to offer them forgiveness & eternal life as a gift. They have accepted that gift by faith & are seeking to live a life of obedient gratitude for what God has done for them.

Christianity is both private & public, heart-belief & mouth-confession. Our relationship to God & the power he provides result in obedience. Having received the gift of forgiveness & eternal life, we are now daily challenged to live that life with his help.


When the fulness of the time was come "God sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins. For centuries the Jews were wondering when their Messiah would come - but God's timing was perfect.


Jesus was born of a woman - he was human. He was born as a Jew - he was subject to God's Law & fulfilled it perfectly. Thus Jesus was the perfect sacrifice because, although he was fully human, he never sinned. His death bought freedom for us who were enslaved to sin so we could be adopted into God's family.


Under Roman law, an adopted child was guaranteed all legal rights to his father's property. "Abba" is an Aramaic word for father. It was used by Christ in prayer in Mark 14:36. As adopted children of God, we share with Jesus all rights to God's resources. As God's heirs, we can claim what he has provided for us - our full identity as his children.

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

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Purpose - Love for God - Living for Jesus

Romans 12:1 & I Corinthians 15:58

When sacrificing an animal according to God's Law, a priest killed the animal, cut it in pieces, & placed it on the altar. Sacrifice was important, but even in the OT God make it clear that obedience from the heart was much more important. God wants us to offer ourselves, not animals, as living sacrifices - daily laying aside our own desires to follow him, putting all our energy & resources at his disposal & trusting him to guide us.

Paul said that because of the resurrection, nothing we do is wasted. But if we maintain a heavenly perspective, we understand that we don't see the good that results from our efforts. Do the good that you have opportunity to do, knowing your work will have eternal results.

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Monday - The Spirit Made You a Believer - Galatians 3:1-5 - 1/30/17

The Galatian believers had become fascinated by the false teachers arguments, almost as thou they had been bewitched. Magic was common in the apostle Paul day. Magicians used both illusions & Satan's power to perform miracles.


The believers in Galatia, many of whom may have been in Jerusalem at Pentecost & received the Holy Spirit there, knew they didn't receive God's Spirit by obeying the Jewish laws. We must realize that we grow spiritually because of God's work in us, not by following special rules.


The Galatians knew they received the Holy Spirit when they believed, not when they obeyed the Law.


The Holy Spirit gives Christians great power to live for God. Some Christians want more than this.

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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Looking Forward & Looking Back ... 3/16/2014 Sunday School Lesson

Michtam . David . God . Lord . Psalm/Tehillim 16:6 (The Upright Are Blessed & Prospered) . Lord - instruct me in night seasons . right hand . rest in hope . Psalm/Tehillim 116:11 (The Upright Are Blessed & Prospered - Everlasting Life) . Hebrews 2 . Psalm/Teillim 16:6(The Upright Are Blessed & Prospered) . Acts 13:35-37 . Psalm/Tehillim 110:4 (Genesis/Bereshith 14:17-20) . seed of Abraham . Christ . Christ Jesus . the law . righteousness - God by faith . power of HIS Resurrection . forgetting - behind . reaching forth before . press toward the mark . Acts 2 . Promise of Holy Ghost . David . The Lord - my Lord . same Jesus/Yeshua - ye crucified - both Lord & Christ . Psalm/Tehillim 110 . Zion . beauty of Holiness . priest forever - after order of Melchizedek . Jesus/Yeshua of Nazareth - Resurrection of Christ . Promise of Holy Ghost . Sunday School Lesson

The Sunday School Lesson for 3/16/2014 is shared from Psalm/Tehillim 110:1-4; Acts 2:22-24,29-32 (Devotional Reading: Psalm/Tehillim 16:7-11; Background Scripture: Psalm/Tehillim 110; Acts 2:22-36)

The Sunday School Lesson is shared from Revelation 5:6-13 (Devotional Reading: Matthew 9:35-10:1; Background Scripture: Revelation 3:7; 5:5-13; 6:12-7:17; 22:16) for 3/23/2014.

Michtam ... A golden Psalm of David

Melchizedek (king of righteousness), king of Salem, his priesthood above Aaron's


Psalm/Tehillim 110:1-4; Acts 2:22-24,29-32

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Psalm 110 ... Psalm of Adoration: Of God's power, majesty, & glory ... Prophetical, Typical, & Historical ... Psalm/Tehillim 110:4 (Genesis/Bereshith 14:17-20) ... Priest & King - God's invitation - God's promise

Acts 2:22-24,29-32 ... Christ & Israel - The Resurrection. Acts was written by Luke the physician & Acts was written has been known as the Gospel of the Holy Spirit

Psalm/Tehillim 110:1-4

Verses 1,2 ... Jesus Christ; Prophecies Concerning Christ; Kingship

Verse 3 ... Eschatology/Last Things; The Millennium; The Universal Triumph of Christianity

Verse 4 ... Jesus Christ; Prophecies Concerning Christ; Kingship

(Genesis/Bereshith 14; Hebrews 5:6,10; 7:1-3 ... Reference Scriptures in Sunday School Book)




Acts 2:22-24

Verses 22,23 ... Jesus Christ; Christ's Crucifixion; Christ's Death

Verse 23 ... Works of God; God's Providence In Man's Temporal Affairs; God Overrules Human Designs

Verse 24 ... Jesus Christ; Christ's Crucifixion; Explanation, By New Testament Writers


Monday - March 10, 2014 - Protect Me, O God - Psalm/Tehillim 16:1-6

Psalm/Tehillim 16 - Satisfied with God - Verse 5 (assigned/allotted) ... portion: land, property, or food. Verse 6 (lines: measured by a line) ... David in distrust of merits (reward/honor/esteem) & hatred or idolatry. He sheweth the hope of his calling, of the Resurrection, & life everlasting.


Tuesday - March 11, 2014 - Show Me the Path of Life - Psalm/Tehillim 16:7-11

Satisfied with God - Psalm of Supplication: Expressing of trust in God ... Psalm of Adoration: Of God's goodness & mercy ... Prophetical, Typical & Historical


Wednesday - March 12, 2014 - Freed from Fear of Death - Hebrews 2:14-18

The Outline of Salvation (Hebrews 2:14-18) God's Programme For Salvation (Hebrews 2:1-18) Warning & Exhortation (Hebrews 2:1-4) The Outline of Salvation (Hebrews 2:5-18)


Thursday - March 13, 2014 - The Power of the Resurrection - Philippians 3:7-11

Paul (apostle): past & present ... Warning Digression (Philippians 3:1-21) Digress (turn aside/going aside)


Friday - March 14, 2014 - The Heavenly Call of God - Philippians 3:12-16


Saturday - March 15, 2014 - Made Both Lord & Messiah - Acts 2:33-36

Peter's speech ... Pentecost & The Preaching (Acts 2:1-47) The exaltation of Christ - The appeal


Sunday - March 16, 2014 - Placed on David's Throne - Psalm/Tehillim 110:1-4; Acts 2:22-24,29-32


Scripture reference used/taken from: The International Teacher's Handy Bible Encyclopedia/Concordance KJV Precious Promise Bible, KJV Topical Edition Bible, Zondervan Bible Commentary, Merriam Webster's Deluxe Dictionary 10th Collegiate Edition







Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Paul's Journey - Fierce Storm ... November, 2012

Day of Atonement . September/October . Apostle Paul . Rome . Storm . Euroclydon . Phenice . Crete . Winter . Courage . Weathering the Storm November 11, 2012 . Acts of the Apostles . Romans . Sunday School Lesson

Sunday School Lesson shared for the week of November 11, 2012 was shared from Acts 27:1-2, 33-44 (Background Scripture: Acts 27; Devotional Reading: Romans 1:13-17)


Day of Atonement (Acts 27:9) 'the fast' ... After the fast, September/October. This ceased during the winter time in mid-November, which was a dangerous time for sailing.

Phenice or Phenice or Phoenix, a port of Crete, Acts 27:12 'winter'

Crete, a large island in the Mediterranean, Acts 27:12

Euroclydon (northeast wind), Acts 27:14 'Euraquilo'

Paul, shipping toward Rome, foretelleth the danger of the voyage, etc. But is not believed. They are tossed to & fro with tempest, & suffer shipwreck, yet all come safe to land.



Thursday - November 8, 2012 - Paul's Journey to Rome Begins - Acts 27:3-12


Friday - November 9, 2012 - A Fierce Storm Dashes Hope - Acts 27:13-20


Acts 27:7-20

Verses 7-12 ... Industrial Employments & Products; Ships & Navigation; Wintering in Harbor to Avoid Storms


Verses 13,14,20 ... Industrial Employments & Products; Ships & Navigation; Storms


Verses 15,16,17 ... Industrial Employment & Products; Ships & Navigation; Maneuvres in a Storm, Undergirding & Scudding


Verses 18, 19 ... Industrial Employment & Products; Ships & Navigation; Maneuvres in a Storm, Lightening the Ship


Monday - November 5, 2012 - Called to Be an Apostle - Romans 1:1-7

Paul commendeth his calling to the Romans


Tuesday - November 6, 2012 - Encouraged by Each Other's Faith - Romans 1:8-12

Paul's desire to come to them..


Wednesday - November 7, 2012 - Eager to Proclaim the Gospel - Romans 1:13-17

What his gospel is, & the righteousness which it sheweth. Showeth that the gospel is for the justification of all men through faith.


Saturday - November 10, 2012 - Keep Up Your Courage - Acts 27:21-32


Sunday - November 1, 2012 - Brought Safety to Land - Acts 27:1-2,33-44


Scripture reference used/taken from: The International Teacher's Handy Bible Encyclopedia/Concordance KJV Precious Promise Bible & KJV Topical Edition Bible