Friday, November 15, 2019

spiritual discernment.......are we hearing?

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower:  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.  But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13:18-23) 
Jesus explained the parable from the previous verses, saying He spoke in parables for those who hear . . . that is those who have spiritual discernment or understanding.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear! (Matthew 13:9)

No everyone gets it! Many come to hear of Christ in an emotional tome in their life. They make rash decisions on a whim or on emotion. It may be the right thing or popular thing to do because others decide to walk the aisle at a chapel or go for prayer at a funeral. Yet There is no follow up . . . no further study . . .  no teaching or discipleship .  . . no growth.

One goes on in life not even remembering how or when they were saved. Sad but true in so many cases! We must pursue the Lord and those we lead to Him. We all must constantly grow in faith. Peter was adamant about it and so I am as well. (2 Peter 1:5-15) Paul encouraged Timothy just he encourages each of us today. (2 Timothy 5:15-26)

Spiritual discernment.......are we hearing?

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Do we really want Jesus?

Do we really want Jesus, or simply what He can DO for us? Many, even some I know personally, have gone through the motions of praying, walking the aisle, or even baptism, yet all they really wanted was healing, momentary comfort, or relief from a troubling issue in the life. There is and never was a commitment to follow Christ as Lord and Savior! What a scary thought . . . to publically and verbally say one wants Jesus but not really mean it. What if they really believe Jesus has saved them from eternal salvation? Asking Jesus to be Lord and Savior requires commitment and sacrifice, not simply words a walk!

Do we really want what He offers? Do we really want Jesus?

One must know only confess and repent of sin (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:8, Romans 10:9-10, 1 John 1:9), but commit to follow Christ. Here from Jesus Himself:
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?  Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?  Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.(Luke 14:27-33)

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to
enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23--24)
Think about it . . . .

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Tatted by Jesus

 . . .rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer . . . (Romans 12:12)
Tattoos are cool for some and very popular in today's culture. Tattoos label a person, many times in a negative light even when wrongly labeled! Yet they tell a story of who, what and why a person a person believes in one thing or another. They have been marked, or tatted!
 Let us hold fast the confession of our  hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
So as CHRISTians, whether we are physically tatted or not,  we should be marked for and by Jesus! How we live, why we do this or that, and what we say and do should label us as
Christ followers . . . without the physical markings!

We should be known for our patience, our consistent prayer life, our unwavering faith, and our commitment to the Body of Christ.

These highlighted words in this commentary should be the words that tatt our lives as believers! Are we tatted by Jesus?

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Perfect rhythm

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you.  Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.”  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? (1 Corinthians 1:10-13)
Perfect rhythm . . . . All in unison . . . Whether  it's a church choir, elementary school chants, or 50,000 fans cheering on a team, a large group that is unified is powerful and effective!  Imagine a football team clicking on all cylinders, all eleven players moving as one unit. Now envision the entire Body of Christ living out God's Word in one accord . . . What would our world be like in the Church was truly one as Jesus prayed in John 17?
I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. (John 17:20-21)
Paul pleaded with the Philippians and he pleads with Us today who call Christ our Savior and Lord:
 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,  fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (Philippians 2:1-
Everyone huddle up . . . . Let's bring it in . . .  "TEAM" on three . . . 1 . . .2 . . .3.
Make no room for the enemy!!!

Monday, November 11, 2019

We are surrounded!

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.(Hebrews 12:1-4)
We are surrounded!  These are not words many would desire to hear, especially when in battle. However, for the believer, these as words of encouragement and strength, because we are surrounded by a HIStory of successful believers who have already overcome! They are our backup and our confidence that we too will overcome the world and all its challenges. In Christ, we have victory!
Not that I have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.  Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)
Keep moving forward . . . with confidence! Hear the cheers from above!!!!!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

You can represent Christ wel

Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set[j] a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.(Matthew 10:32-30)
I wanted to encourage my young students today. You can represent Christ well.  You can resist the evil one!
 It takes practice. It takes humility. You all must hold each other accountable. to please God. Make Him your speech and action!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

El Simchath Gili....En-joy His JOY!

 El Simchath Gili....En-joy His JOY! Learning more of Who God is every day!
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
As we read in Nehemiah, even in times of struggle, we can praise God. Even though we have not been the best and always obedient to the Lord, we can rejoice in His patience, mercy, and amazing grace. Each day, we can be refilled with His joy, despite our circumstances!
 And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:9-10)
As the Jews returned from captivity, they were saddened by their behavior yet God's Word still gave them reason to rejoice. Convicted of sin, we too can repent, rejoice, and be refilled with His joy! Knowing the King of kings as Lord and Savior gives hope in a world of hopelessness. He is my exceeding joy indeed!!!!

What about you?

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Elohe Tsadeki

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17-18)
Elohe Tsadeki . . . He is the God of my righteousness! The next big thing . . . we all want to have it, experience it, or invent it! Everyone wants it! However, the only real and genuine big thing is, was and always will be God! If we want Him we have to seek Him on His terms and strive to be like Him! He is righteous, good, merciful, grace-full, and humbly strong and mighty. These traits are the total antithesis of the world's view of success; greed, selfishness, power, self-centeredness, and lustful.
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.(Psalm 4:1)

To be like Him we must surrender to Him. The world sees surrender as weakness, not wisdom. Everyone is ruled by something. We are drawn by our desires and needs. What draws you and me?  Are we ruled by the world or by God?
 And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.  If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. (1 John 2:28-29)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Esh Oklah . . . A Consuming Fire!

A consuming fire can destroy, heat, and purify. It can destroy everything in its path. It can wipe out everything . . . good and bad. It can heat a person, a home, an entire building. It can sustain life and purify from illness and disease. A consuming fire can both kill all in its path or sustain the life around it!
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.  For our God is a consuming fire.(Hebrews 12:28-29)
 Our God who is a consuming fire, His name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14). Esh Oklah is literally translated from the Hebrew “to eat by fire.” Think of that for a minute. God is a consuming fire. We have people who claim to commit crimes in the “heat of passion.” They claim they are so consumed by the passion of the moment that they could not control their actions. Yet, God, as a consuming fire, is not ever out of control and He cannot ever sin. Like a consuming fire, He would purify what is precious (just as fire purifies precious metals) and destroy what is worthless. Moses met with God on the mountain in the form of a burning bush. The bush, though consumed by fire, did not burn. What is it that can be consumed by the presence of God and not be burned? 

Are you and I consumed by God's fire . . . His Presence? Are we surrounded by His Spirit? Is our life consumed by a fire within our hearts and bellow to do His will and burn with a desire to please Him? 

Are we consumed by the things of God or has the world consumed us?
 For the Lord your God is a consuming firea jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4:24)

Monday, November 4, 2019

To Know True Greatness......

To Know True Greatness......

After watching a late night Ravens victory over the Super Bowl champion Patriots, I realize I am witnessing the potential greatness of a new superstar in Lamar Jackson, the new "Great 8" in Baltimore (after Cal Ripken of course). While all that was great and I am excited as a fan, I am reminded of The G.O.A.T, Jesus Christ, winner and always Champion over sin and death!!!!

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,  from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,  that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
Of all the joys on this earth . . . of all we could ever experience in this life . . . of all the achievements and successes . . . . NOTHING compares to my God and knowing Him personally and for eternity!  There never has been nor will there ever
be one like Jesus! All Hail King Jesus . . . . The G.O.A.T. for ever!

Friday, November 1, 2019

less can be far more . . .the Lord provides.

 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:7-12)
Ahhh...... the One Who provides all I will ever need, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide! He gives me all I will ever need. Maybe not all I want, all I dream about, or all everyone else has, but all I will ever need! Love lessons are hard to learn, but they draw us closer to the Source of all resources! He provides what we need in order to draw closer to Him, which in many cases may be less than what we want. Many times, less can be far more!!!!!
Even when it seems we do no have enough, we have plenty.  In this nation, even the poorest have more than most in our world. What If we truly learned to be content, to even share from our own needs, and allowed God, Jehovah Jireh, to provide?
 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.(Philippians 4:17-19)

spiritual discernment.......are we hearing?

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower:     When anyone hears the word   of the kingdom, and does not understand  it ,  then the wicked  ...