To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Believeth All Things” 7/31/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional 

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com/

Written by Pastor Rob Barkman for “Settled In Heaven Ministries” @ 
http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/  

View original post @ http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2014/07/30/to-love-as-jesus-loved-charity-believeth-all-things/

 

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Believeth All Things”

SIH TOTT ICON“And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things,hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)

View video @

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdjAj2A-XGY

As we continue looking at events in the life of Christ that set a wonderful example for us of Scriptural love. In this devotional, we will see Christ’s great love being on display as He entrusted His life into the hands of His Heavenly Father and entrusted different areas of service to each of His followers…

 

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: To Believe In, And Trust, Others

 

Christ’s love for His Heavenly Father was consistently on display throughout His ministry on earth. One way in which He shows us this love was by entrusting His life, work and future into the hands of His Father. On two separate occasions we see this trust exhibited very clearly for us…

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. (Luke 22:41-43)

 In this text we can see that Christ (as He prayed to the Father concerning His upcoming arrest, trial, suffering and death on the cross) laid aside His own desires, and chose to make His Father’s desires His first priority. In doing so, He was entrusting His father with His entire being.

 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.(Luke 23:46-47)

 Immediately preceding His spirit’s departure from His body, Jesus clearly declares that He was entrusting the welfare of His spirit in the hands of His Father. Not only did He trust His Father with the course of His life on earth, but He also trusted His Father with the course of His life in the afterlife.

 But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
[For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.  
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.(Mark 13:32-37)

In this account, Christ is reminding us that He has entrusted them with many various responsibilities in His absence… “gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch

He gave us this example to emphasize the need for all of His people to “Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

What was the basis of His trust, in giving us these important responsibilities for us to fulfill in His absence? His great love for us!

 

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

 

Peter reminds us that Christ has set the perfect example for us to follow in many areas. One of those areas is Christ’s trust in His Heavenly Father (“him that judgeth righteously”)…

21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:
24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:21-24)

 May we all learn to trust our Lord to the point we will fully commit our earthly life, and our existence in the afterlife, to Him.

 

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“Graceless Faith” 7/30/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional 

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com/

 

Written by the wise 85 yr old Robert VanHoose @   http://www.homilygrits.com 

 

July 30

Read Luke 6,

Psalm 103

.        “Graceless Faith”

“God is all mercy and grace— not quick to anger, is rich in love.God is good to one and all; everything he does is   with grace”  Psalm 145:8,9 MSG

If faith without works is dead, how dead is faith without grace?  In view of the riches of God’s grace that we’ve received at Christ’s expense, how can we not be gracious to others?

When we think of all of the forgiveness we have received and are going to need in the future, how can we not forgive others?
As a parent and grandparent I have had reason to be concerned about some questionable conduct.

It has personally been downright painful from a self centered perspective, but my real concern is that they may disqualify themselves from God’s best reserved for those who are obedient.

Just as God’s grace allows Him to love us not because of our sin and disobedience but in spite of it, we need to extend this same grace to others, even to those who don’t deserve it.

This whole concept of being gracious and affirming is not part of our inherited nature.  It is so contrary to our pride and anger sin nature that we are only going to be able to do it by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit producing the fruits of righteousness for us to bear.

The risks of our graciousness being taken advantage of and misunderstood are great, but the rewards are even greater. A life lived without grace is never going to be the abundant life God wants for us.

Father, let my overflowing cup of grace flow through me to others that You might be glorified. In Jesus’ name, Amen

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“Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Is Not Easily Provoked” Part 1″ 7/29/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com/

Written by Pastor Rob Barkman for “Settled In Heaven Ministries” @ http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/

View original post @ http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/to-love-as-jesus-loved-charity-is-not-easily-provoked-part-1/

To Love As Jesus Loved: “Charity Is Not Easily Provoked” Part 1

SIH TOTT ICONAnd though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, [and] is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away…  

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.

(1 Corinthians 13:3-8, 13)  

 View Rob Barkman’s video:

http://youtu.be/itcpsYqot1c

Christ’s Life:

 

The Characteristic of Scriptural Love: Does Not Get Irritated or Angered Easily

 

Christ was abused, mistreated and rejected throughout His ministry on earth. Isaiah the prophet foresaw this rejection of Christ when he wrote…

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, [there is] no beauty that we should desire him.He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”   (Isaiah 53:2-3)

Isaiah not only spoke of the great opposition that Christ would face, he also summarizes for us the common reaction of Christ to this great abuse when he said…

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.(Isaiah 53:7)

Although this type of loving calmness in the face of opposition took place throughout His life, I would like us to center upon just one event that clearly shows us Christ’s ability to control His temper, thereby treating others mercifully, even in the midst of great opposition and abuse. This took place just prior to His trial and crucifixion on the cross…

And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?
When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.
And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
Then took they him, and led [him], and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off…
And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote [him].And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee?And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.
(Luke 22:47-54, 63-65)

Here, in this event we can see Jesus had placed before Him a very telling choice. Would He direct His followers to physically oppose the false accusations, arrest, abuse, unjust trial, crucifixion and physical death; or, would He choose to withhold His anger, and His natural desire of self-preservation and allow this heinous abuse of Himself to take place unopposed?

Jesus answers this question for us in His verbal and active response to Peter:

His verbal response – Christ said “Suffer ye thus far. In other words, “allow this to take place”

His active response – Peter, showing his impatience, irritation and rashness lashed out and cut off the ear of one of the soldiers coming to arrest his Lord.   In comparison Christ, putting His patience and withheld anger on display, reaches out and heals the severed ear of the soldier.

Also Christ’s response to the false accusers is telling as well… “Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

In saying this, He was explaining for all to hear that He was going to be in submission to what was about to take place because “this is your hour and the power of darkness”. In other words, this is the time, set aside by God for the wicked powers of darkness to take Christ, abuse Him and put Him to death. In doing so, they would be bringing about the will of God in the redemption of His people (Isa 53:10, Acts 2:23).

Instead of Christ allowing His anger to rile and oppose the injustice against Him that was about to take place, we see that He simply submitted to the mistreatment, recognizing it was a part of God’s plan for His life and the redemption of His people. What was His motivation to allow the lost to take Him and abuse Him and put Him to death? It was His love for His Father and love for those God had given to Him.

Along with this study, we need to keep in mind that the Lord did display a righteous anger during His walk on earth. He displayed this righteous anger in at least three or four different occasions:

1. healing the man that had a withered hand (Mark 3:1-6) – angry and grieved at the hardness of their hearts

2. the two temple cleansings ( 1st – John 2:13-22; 2nd – Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48) – angered at the abuse of the worship place of His Father

3. the address of woes to the Pharisees (Matthew 23:1-36) – angry at the false teaching and misleading practices of the Pharisees.

A quick look at each event shows one thing in common. These displays of anger shown by Christ, in every case, involved anger concerning sins committed against His Father and the harmful results of those sins in the lives of others. It was never anger shown selfishly in opposition to opposition and mistreatment of Himself.

Our Lesson To Be Learned:

Do we ever find ourselves angry at those who abuse or offend us? Do we ever use anger in a defensive way trying to “get back” at others who have mistreated us? May we all follow the example of Christ and exhibit, love, patience, and mercy by keeping our love in control. Also, may we exhibit love at the proper times against sin and those who bring harm to others through that sin.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:   But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”   (Matthew 5:21-22)

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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What is a Christian, & “Do Christians sin?” 7/28/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

 The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com

 

Posted by http://www.gotquestions.org

View original post @ http://www.gotquestions.org/do-Christians-sin.html

 

Question: “Do Christians sin?”

Answer:

Before exploring whether or not Christians sin, let’s define a couple of terms. Regardless of how tattered the word Christian has become throughout history, the biblical definition of a “Christian” is one who is a Christ-follower, a disciple of Jesus (Acts 11:26). A Christian is NOT someone who has ascribed to a particular set of religious beliefs or practices, joined a church, prayed a prayer, or participated in certain sacraments or rituals. A Christian is a person who has responded to the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 6:44) by putting his or her whole faith in the finished work of Christ for salvation (Ephesians 2:8–9; John 3:15–18). Christians are those who have repented of their sin and have made Jesus Lord of their lives (Romans 10:9–10; Acts 2:38). They are born again by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 3:6–7).

Sin” is any thought, word, or action that is contrary to the character or law of God. We all sin (Romans 3:23), and even what we consider good deeds are often tainted by selfish motives or pride (Isaiah 64:6). Left to ourselves, it is impossible to please God or to be completely free from sin (Romans 3:10; Ecclesiastes 7:10).

When we come to Christ by faith and trust Him to forgive and cleanse us of all our sin, we are in that moment born again (John 3:3). That new birth of the spirit results in a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). God gives the repentant sinner a new heart that is now turned toward obeying and pleasing Him rather than self (2 Corinthians 5:9; Romans 8:5–6). Whereas we were formerly slaves to sin, we are now “slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:16). Sin’s control has been broken by the power of Jesus (Romans 6:6; Titus 2:14).

However, we still live in the flesh, and the flesh is prone to want what it wants. In Romans 7:21–23, Paul admits the battle between flesh and spirit in his own life: “So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” Each battle with temptation is won or lost based upon how fully we are surrendered to the control of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16–17).

The book of 1 John was written to Christians. The apostle says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9). It is clear from this passage that even those who have been born again and redeemed by the blood of Jesus will still sin. Through thought, attitude, or action, we will “grieve” (Ephesians 4:30) and “quench” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) the Holy Spirit at times. But this passage also reassures us that God offers continual, ongoing grace whenever we agree with Him about our sin and ask for His cleansing.

However, other passages clarify the boundaries of this ocean of grace. First John 3:6 says, “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” Verse 9 says that those who have been “born of God” will not continue to live sinfully. The implication is that this is not a matter of trying harder. Rather, it is the equivalent of saying, “A fish cannot remain on land for long because its nature is to seek water.” A fish could flop onto the shore and survive for a short time. But it was not made for land and cannot continue there. When we are born again, our natures change, and we cannot continue in sin. Christ not only erases our past sin; He also transforms our hearts so that we no longer desire it (Colossians 2:13–14).

Paul asked, “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1–2). Although Christians will still sin after being saved, the heart change that the Holy Spirit brings will result in a new attitude toward sin. Sin cannot continue being a lifestyle choice if we have surrendered our lives to Jesus. That’s what it means to say that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9; Colossians 2:6). We have a new boss. We cannot be followers of Christ and followers of sin at the same time. They are going in opposite directions (Luke 9:23; 14:33). Romans 12:2 instructs, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Renewal can take some time, but it is a process that produces a change of behavior.

When a true child of God goes astray, our Father administers discipline to bring him back into obedience. Hebrews 12:7–8 says, “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.” If a professing Christian can choose a lifestyle of sin without experiencing enough discipline to bring them to repentance, then according to this Scripture, it is highly unlikely that that person is a child of God.

Do Christians sin? Yes. Do they willfully continue in sin? No. Scripture indicates that, while we will always “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), we have the hope that the power of God is at work in us to “make us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT).

Recommended Resources: Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen and Logos Bible Software.

Related Topics:

Why are all Christians hypocrites? Are all Christians hypocrites?

If I am saved and all of my sins are forgiven, why not continue to sin?

What is the relationship between salvation and forgiveness?

Will God continue to forgive you if you commit the same sin over and over again?

Do we need to confess our sins to those we have sinned against?

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Change Is A Lifelong Process (Part 2)

Change Is A Lifelong Process (Part 2).

Posted in Daily Devotion | Leave a comment

“Change is A Lifelong Process” 7/27/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com/

 

 

Written by Ann Friend for “afriendofJESUS2013Blog” @ http://afriendofjesus2013.com/

View original @  http://afriendofjesus2013.com/2013/05/11/change-is-a-lifelong-process/

Change is A Lifelong Process

Posted on May 11, 2013 by Ann “afriend4ever54” Friend

God is always in control, even when we don’t understand the why of something.

Change is a lifelong process of challenges, we must walk through to know the will of God for our lives.

God use challenges , whether it’s a person or group of people, place (work) or things (traffic, long lines) to help produce more fruit in us–love (giving), joy (gladness), peace (free from worry and fear), long suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness (generosity), faith (dependability), meekness (gentleness) and temperance (self-control). Fruit, as well as, our spiritual maturity takes time to grow and mature. (shock face)

20130511-061809.jpg

Sometimes change is about adapting without complaining.
Sometimes, it is, what it is, keep moving forward.
Sometimes, we just aren’t ready for the next step.
Sometimes, we allow the “what if” to stop us.
Sometimes, our pride and/or stubbornness blocks our fruit from developing.
Sometimes, our free will to choose keeps us stuck.

Sometimes, we just lack encouragement. Remember Romans 8-28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

So change is the test to walk through challenges, by faith, trusting God without complaining.

The not complaining part, can be a retest many times before we mature in self-control.

When we surrender to the Holy Spirit, change and/or challenges become easier to walk through.

Some days can be just brutal, as soon as we recognize a challenge, let us breathe and praise The Lord that this too shall pass and The Holy Spirit will lead us all the way through.

God bless as we keep moving forward.

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“Why the Idea of “Social Justice” is Anti-Christian (redux)” 7/26/2014

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie    http://www.harvest.org/devotional

“Homily Grits Devotional”  http://www.homilygrits.com/

Written by Pastor Mike Campagna @ http://www.aheartforgod.org

Original post @ http://www.aheartforgod.org/2014/07/20/why-the-idea-of-social-justice-is-anti-christian-redux/

Why the Idea of “Social Justice” is Anti-Christian (redux)

July 20, 2014 By Mike Campagna

 

http://www.aheartforgod.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/430px-Domenico_Fetti_001.jpg

“‘But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, “Pay back what you owe.”‘” (Matthew 18:28)

SOCIAL JUSTICE

There’s a lot of talk about social justice in our day.

The best way to describe social justice is it recognizes an injustice in the social fabric and seeks to make it right.

Now it’s not that I’m against dealing with injustice or righting wrongs. The problem arises when men and women with a fallen nature (we are all sinners according to the Scriptures) begin to make determinations as to what is just and unjust. (Jeremiah 17:9) We don’t often get it right.

Allow me to just cut to the chase. God’s way is NOT social justice. It’s forgiveness.

Social justice requires everyone of us to go to hell. Forgiveness says, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe.” (John 19:30)

Social justice requires another to pay for his or her sins against me. (See verse at the beginning of this article.) Forgiveness says, “I forgive you as Christ has forgiven me.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

PARABLE OF THE UNMERCIFUL SLAVE

In our Lord’s story (parable) of the unmerciful slave (Matthew 18:23-35), a king wishes to settle accounts with his slaves. One slave owes the king ten thousand talents.

To understand the depth of payment required to settle accounts, you need to know the worth of a “talent.” A single “talent” was equal to 20 years worth of wages. Do the math. 10,000 talents times 20 years equals 200,000 years worth of wages.

Let’s say you make $20,000 a year. That means one talent equals ($20,000 times 20 years) $400,000. Then ten thousand talents equals 4 billion dollars! Bottom line: The slave can’t repay such an enormous debt. But the king forgives the debt of the slave any way. (It’s a picture of God’s forgiveness of us.)

The problem is the slave goes out afterwards and demands payment of a (in comparison) $7,000 debt he’s owed from a fellow slave. When the fellow slave begs for mercy, he has him arrested and thrown into prison until he pays back what he owes.

This reaches the king’s ears who calls the unmerciful slave before him and says, “‘”You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?”‘” (Matthew 18:32-33)

Such is the heart of social justice. It forgets the debt it owes God (or doesn’t even know it?!). It’s a selfish, bitter and wicked heart. (John 10:10)

“‘He who is forgiven little, loves little.’” (Luke 7:47c)

(The unmerciful slave choking his fellow slave picture above in the public domain: click here.)

You might also be interested in:

Mike Campagna:

Mike Campagna (affectionately known by some as Pastor Mike) is making the most of web technologies to encourage disciples. A self-proclaimed “twitterholic,” one twitter follower describes him as the “jogging, blogging, tweeting Pastor.” Visits to Pastor Mike’s blog (http://www.aheartforgod.org) number in the hundreds of thousands. His video blogs have been viewed over a half a million times. His day job is content manager/social media specialist for Sugar Pine Realty. Pastor Mike and his family have lived in the Sonora area of California since 1997.

 

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