“The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ” 12/18/2016 written by bruce r. mills

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

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

Written by bruce r. mills @  www.Godsmanforever.com

 

                       

      “The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ” 

                              (Revised from 7/11/2013)

Here is the truth about sin, and how God’s grace through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ is given by God, to those who understand and obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…

Romans 5:12… Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (NKJV)

 

Most people believe sin began in the Garden of Eden, but it didn’t.  Sin began when God’s top angel Lucifer, decided to flex his power, and wanted to become equal to God…Isaiah 14:12-14

Sin, by its very nature, is born into every human being, since Adam and Eve fell in the Garden of Eden, to the serpent’s (Satan’s) temptations.  This natural sin nature is part of everyone’s natural make-up, from the time they are young children, until the time that they pass on from this life.

That 3 year old, who is told NO by their parents, goes right ahead and disobeys their parents at the first chance they get.  This rebellion against their parents turns into rebellion against God, as a child grows older.  God hates sin, because it is independent rebellion against God; and will devastate the lives of everyone that remains living in sin…in bondage to Satan and the ways of the world…1 John 2:15-16

The sad truth about sin, is that it blinds the unbeliever…

2 Corinthians 4:4… whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (NKJV)   (More about “the light of the gospel” of our Lord Jesus Christ, later)

Satan is the father of sin (John 8:44), and a master of disguise.  The Apostle Paul warns us about false prophets, and Satan himself, in...

2 Corinthians 11:12-14… For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. (NKJV)

Thank goodness God sent His Son Jesus Christ, born to the Virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18)…who’s shed blood on the cross at Calvary, will cleanse the sins of those who are first drawn in by God…

John 6:44… No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (NKJV)

Upon understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, the sins of the unbeliever will be replaced with the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:9…&…2 Corinthians 5:21)…as God’s free gift of grace, through saving faith alone in Jesus Christ, fills the heart, mind, and soul of the new redeemed child of God.

Ephesians 2:8-9… For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)

There is nothing an unbeliever can do on their own merit.  No amount of good works done in the name of the Lord, can cleanse away sins.  All of our own righteousness is absolutely worthless…Isaiah 64:6…  Jesus warns those who falsely believe that their good works done in the name of the Lord (like going to church every week), will forgive sins…when Jesus warns those around Him (and us) about this, in.

Matthew 7:21-23… Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (NKJV)

Having one’s lifetime of sins forgiven, is pure grace given to the unredeemed sinner by God.  God’s grace is given by God to those who seek Jesus Christ to become their personal Lord and Savior, through a personal one on One relationship, that is established between the unredeemed sinner and Jesus Christ.

This is accomplished through saving faith alone in Jesus Christ, through obedience to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, when the sinner realizes they can in no way save themselves, and turns to the Lord to receive God’s grace… (More about obeying the Gospel of Christ later)

So why should you desire to become a redeemed child of God ??  Very simply, to be in-dwelt with the Holy Spirit by God, to be supernaturally empowered to defeat Satan’s temptations, and our own carnal fleshly desires constantly urging us to sin… 1 John 2:15-16

The Holy Spirit living with-in the “born again” Christian, has been given to them by God to guide and direct EVERY facet of the redeemed child of God’s life…  It is the Holy Spirit that helps the Christian grow and mature the fruit of the Spirit, which the Apostle Paul pens, in…

 

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (ESV)

Look at this list of attributes the Holy Spirit will empower you with !!

Love, Joy, and Peace, are the most important of these 9 fruit of the Spirit…

How would you like to have a supernatural love that surpasses your mortal knowledge (Ephesians 3:19)…  A love empowered by the Holy Spirit that will enable you to love even someone screaming in your face, as Jesus tells us to do, in…Matthew 5:43-44

And how about having a supernatural  joy that enables you to go through life’s most difficult trial, and still be able to find joy…  The Apostle James tells us about this joy, in…James 1:2-4

 

 And wouldn’t you like to have a supernatural peace that will allow you to look upon your own death…knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you will be face to face with Jesus in heaven, the instant you breath your last breath here on earth !!  (2 Corinthians 5:8)

This supernatural peace surpasses our mortal understanding, as the Apostle Paul pens, in…

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

 

All of these God given blessings will be given to you by God, if you understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…  How is this done ??  You must pray to God, with what some call “the sinners prayer”, that should go something like this…

 

“Father I am sorry for my lifetime of sins…  I believe with ALL my heart, that Your Son Jesus suffered and died on the cross, shedding His blood to cleanse away all of my sins…  I believe that Jesus was buried, and rose again in 3 days…  I repent and turn from my sins with godly sorrow and a repentant heart…seeking Jesus Christ to come into my heart to direct my life…  Father, hear my plea to receive Your grace…  Grant me eternal life with You…  Fill me with the Holy Spirit…and I thank You and praise You in Jesus’ most precious name…Amen”

 

I can only tell you from my own personal experience…that I made this prayer seeking salvation several times, before God graced me with salvation.  It’s not the prayer that saves us; it is a changed heart that is regenerated by God Himself…  God knows our heart, and He will only grant saving grace to those who seek Jesus with ALL of their heart, mind soul, and strength…

God finally graced me with salvation when I prayed with true godly sorrow and a repentant heart…and I absolutely knew beyond any doubt, that I was just then a redeemed child of God…(Romans 8-16) It is   God’s decision, and God’s perfect timing, to grace someone with eternal life with Him in heaven.

Failure to obey the Gospel of Christ before you die will result in eternal separation from God, and you will forever forfeit your place in heaven…

 

2 Thessalonians 1:8-9  in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,  (NKJV)

All Christians who are Walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16), should absolutely, positively know for sure, that they are indeed a redeemed child of God.  The Apostle Paul tells us this, in…

 

Romans 8:15-16…  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  16 The Spirit Himself  bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (NKJV)

There should be no doubts for the Spirit filled Christian about where they will be headed upon their death.  No wondering if they are good enough to get into heaven.  Because none of us are good enough…

Romans 3:23…  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (NKJV)    

The power of the Holy Spirit can and will conquer sin, by those who without question, have placed their lives in the hands of the Lord.  The Apostle James says this best, when he penned this, in…

James 4:7-8… Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (NKJV)

 

My friends, these blessings of spiritual fruit are totally indescribable, and have to be experienced to be believed !!

For those who have been graced with salvation…we must do our best to remain walking in the Spirit…  We see this penned by the Apostle Paul, in…

Galatians 5:16…   I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  (NKJV)

We as Christians can only remain filled with the Holy Spirit (as the Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:18-20), if we live in obedience to God’s will and God’s ways…  Any unconfessed sin will leave us in a state of broken (or at least hindered) fellowship with God…

 

To become righteous again in God’s eyes (from a practical standpoint, because we are always positionally righteous before God), we must confess our sins before the Lord…repent of them…and turn from them… We see this very clearly, as penned by the Apostle John, in…

1 John1:9… If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness(NKJV)

Living for the Lord, with the Holy Spirit in total charge of your life, is a blessing that I pray everyone will come to experience…

Heavenly Father, Your Word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…Hebrews 4:12-13… I pray Lord, that You would draw to Yourself those that don’t yet know You as their personal Lord and Savior…John 6:44…  And that the truth from Your Word through obedience to the Gospel of Your Son Jesus Christ, would set them free from Satan’s chains of bondage to sin and shame…John 8:32…  I pray for this fullness of Christ in all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

 

Blessings in Christ, bruce r. mills

 

(Message me here, or send me an e-mail @ brucermillslast@comcast.net with any questions)

P.S.  For those who still believe they can earn their own way into heaven, listen to John Piper’s audio on… “Can My Good Works Outweigh My Bad?

https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/can-my-good-works-outweigh-my-bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Wait Patiently for the LORD” 7/12/2020 Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms”

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

Rest in Him - Psalm 37: 3-7 - Sharing the Gospel

Posted by David Kitz for “I Love the Psalms” @  https://davidkitz.wordpress.com/

Original post found @  https://davidkitz.blog/2020/07/03/wait-patiently-for-the-lord/

Wait Patiently for the LORD

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Reading: Psalm 37
(Verses 7-11)

Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the L
ORD will inherit the land.
A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity 
(NIV).*

effects-1

From the rising of the sun — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
When I consider this passage from Psalm 37, two thoughts stand out: Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him and do not fret—it leads only to evil.  

My natural tendency is not to wait or be still. I tend to fret and worry and then charge ahead simultaneously in different directions. Trust me; it’s hard to go in different directions at the same time. The end result is usually a bad case of self-inflicted paralysis, which often results in—you guessed it—a renewed bout of fret and worry. When will I learn? When will we learn?

Being still before the LORD requires practice. It is a learned response, not a natural reaction. When we wait for the LORD we show that we trust Him. We know that He has not forgotten us or the problems we face. In every situation He has our best interests in mind, even if we don’t understand the reasons, causes or solutions to our difficulties.

By being still and waiting before the LORD we demonstrate that we don’t have the answer within in ourselves. The answer—the solution—lies in Him. If we wait patiently, He will show us the way. And having waited patiently for Him, we can move forward with confidence when He gives us the green light.

It is quite likely that Jesus had the words of this psalm in mind when he gave these instructions in his Sermon on the Mount “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” Matthew 6:25-27.

We are to live in quiet confidence. In this psalm we read this promise, “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.” We can put our trust in the God who stands behind that promise.

Response: LORD God, help me to trust you today. Give me a peaceful heart that I may wait patiently for you even when the storms of life descend. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Your TurnDo you tend to fret? Does quiet prayer still your worries?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Nothing Can Break The Chain!” 7/11/2020 Written by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS 23 years ago.

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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Unshakable Hope! - Jodi Rosser

Written by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS 23 years ago.  He now writes by use of an eye-tracking computer, with only his eye movements.  Bill’s “Unshakable Hope” should give us all a reason to count our blessings !!  (bruce)

Read all about Bill @  https://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/about/

Original post @  https://unshakablehope.com/2020/07/10/nothing-can-break-the-chain/

Nothing Can Break The Chain!

 

My first blog post was eight years ago this week. My goal in starting this blog was to encourage and strengthen the hope of those going through difficult times. My goal remains the same. But, when I began this blog, it never occurred to me that I would be encouraged and have my hope strengthened by reading other blogs and the comments on my posts. I’ve never met any of my fellow bloggers, but many of you have become good friends, friends for life. (“Friends for life” is probably not much of a commitment for a guy on hospice :-). Seriously, I am thankful for your friendships.

The world has changed so much over the last eight years. In many ways, it’s gone from bad to worse.

The world is being shaken, but my hope in Christ remains unshakable.

Even amid trials, God still blesses His children. By far, the greatest blessing Mary and I have received since I started this blog is becoming grandparents. Our oldest daughter and our son-in-law have three adorable kids. Even though I’m not able to talk to them or play with them or even hug them, I am so thankful that God allowed me to stick around to experience becoming a grandfather.

Our oldest grandchild is a handsome and intelligent six-year-old boy named Jude. He is also a deep thinker. A few weeks ago, my daughter asked Jude to draw a picture describing his relationship with God. Below is the picture he drew:

It’s difficult for my old eyes to see, but there’s a chain securing Jude to God. I love the caption he wrote under the picture, “Nothing can break the chain.” He said the little picture in the upper left corner is “a mean bee that can’t get me because I’m protected.” When the pandemic began, my daughter and son-in-law helped Jude and his four-year-old sister Peyton memorize Psalm 91. On a recent backyard (social distancing) visit, they recited it for Mary and me. We think Psalm 91 is where he got the “protected” idea.

“Pops” is so proud of his three grand-kids!

“Nothing can break the chain” is an excellent summary of one of my favorite passages in the Bible:

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39).

Jesus is the “unbreakable chain” that connects us to God!

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6).

What would your picture look like if you were to draw a picture of your relationship with God?

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ALeKk03oDHnesX5uWOWc7QltKMO_2ue4Mw:1586011032404&q=image+unshakable+Hope+in+God&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjB0sjB_87oAhUwj3IEHewRBDwQsAR6BAgJEAE&biw=1245&bih=693#imgrc=1k_WJBCpm_WKNM

 

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“Our confidence for intimacy with God” 7/10/2020 Written by Mel Wild for “In My Father’s House”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

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God-Confidence, Not Self-Confidence – Wholehearted Men

Written by Mel Wild for “In My Father’s House” @ https://melwild.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://melwild.wordpress.com/2020/07/09/our-confidence-for-intimacy-with-god/

Our confidence for intimacy with God

 

Posted on July 9, 2020 by Mel Wild

Unlike the covenant of Abraham and Moses, our confidence is not based on pedigree or performance, respectively (see my post, “How God fulfills His promise to Abraham” for explanation). Our confidence is based on placement. When Christ died, we died; when He was buried, our sin was buried with Him; and when He rose from the grave, we rose with Him, to sit with Him in the Trinitarian life of God.

As I’ve said before, it’s not just what Christ did for us, or as us, but what Christ did to us.

He raised us up with Christ the exalted One, and we ascended with him into the glorious perfection and authority of the heavenly realm, for we are now co-seated as one with Christ! (Eph.2:6 TPT)

 

Even though this is already true, it’s amazing how many blood-bought Christians don’t have confidence to live in this continual heavenly union. We’re still on the hamster-wheel of religion, trying to measure up, trying to attain to something He’s already done for us. Or, we just don’t see the critical value of intimacy with God, relegating it to the esoterical, for the mystics. But this is a tragic misunderstanding.

Here’s what the writer of Hebrews said about intimacy with God:

19 For the law has never made anyone perfect, but in its place is a far better hope which gives us confidence to experience intimacy with God! (Heb.7:19 TPT*)

 

This may seem hard for a rational Western Christian to grasp, but intimacy with God is the goal, not learning theology (which may also explain why we’re so poor at cultivating healthy relationships).

Theology is important, but unless it leads us to having confidence to come to God for intimate union, we’ve missed the whole point. Beloved, we were meant to participate in the divine nature with God. This is the means to our freedom in Christ:

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Pet.1:4 NIV*)

 

It’s in this union with Christ where we receive all the promises of God:

20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.          (2 Cor.1:20 NKJV*)

 

Of course, Jesus Himself told us that we can do nothing apart from our union in Christ (John 15:5). Yet, we still seem to think we can…at least, in practice.

It’s in this intimate union where we experience eternal life:

Eternal life means to know and experience you
as the only true God,
and to know and experience Jesus Christ,
as the Son whom you have sent.
(John 17:3 TPT*)

 

The best that the Law could ever do was be our tutor until Christ came. Even though those who were under the Law were heirs, they were no better than slaves (see Gal.3:23-25). But, now, we have been placed in Christ in God!

For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col.3:3 NIV*)

 

It’s only here, in intimate union with God in Christ, where we actually experience eternal life, where all the promises of God reside, and where we find the freedom and purpose we’re looking for. This is the basis of our hope and confidence. This is our life in Christ.

* All emphasis added.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk03Xhr4RpOOV3YVYnMjC3frlVuUU5Q:1594327541248&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+confidence+in+God&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiUtIH2hMHqAhXkgnIEHbsyBU4QsAR6BAgBEAE&biw=1042&bih=577#imgrc=umG6NOUQa42PyM

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“Beloved” 7/09/2020 Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”

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Written by Beth Andrews for “Deeper Roots”  @  https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com

Original post @ https://dbethandrews.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/beloved/

 

Beloved

See the source image

 

I pray for two things every morning over my granddaughter. I pray that she will come to know Jesus as Her Savior at a young age and grow in love and knowledge every day. And I pray a verse over her from Ephesians 3:18-19:

“I pray that Joy, being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ [for her], [that she may] know this love that surpasses knowledge and may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

I didn’t grow up “rooted and established in love.” I grew up with judgment. I grew up with scary things happening to me. I grew up believing I was a disappointment to the people I wanted so badly to love me. I was so hungry to be loved that I married a man who, after four years of abuse, told me he didn’t love me. Friends who once told me they loved me, later walked away because my emotional neediness was too heavy a burden.

I’ve been in ministry long enough to know that many of you are shaking your head, probably with tears in your eyes, in understanding

But what I didn’t know, until much later in life, was that there was a God in heaven who loved me from before I was born. He loved me even as others used “love” as an excuse for abuse. He loved me despite all the scars on my heart and body. No – check that. He loved my scars. He loved my wounded, frightened heart. He loved me and the weight of my broken past.

If you only ever grab one thing I write, take hold of this and never let go: God loves you.

He loves everything about you – “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” Others may have hurt you, failed you, walked away from you, and hurled verbal darts at you. But God loves you with a pure and perfect love that will never end. Never. Receive it. Believe it. Plant yourself in it and grow. You are the Beloved of God.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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“Hated by the World” 7/08/2020 Posted by Don Merritt for “The Life Project”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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Daily Verse

Posted by Don Merritt  for “The Life Project” @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2020/07/08/hated-by-the-world-3/

 

Hated by the World

John 15:18-6:4

While the first 17 verses of chapter 15 discuss relationships within the Christian community, verses 18 and following discuss the relationship between the Christian community and the outside world.  In the first instance, the relationship is characterized by love, but in the second it is characterized by hate.  This is a new reality that the disciples must deal with, one that exists to this day. To begin to understand this phenomenon, we must remind ourselves that the world Jesus speaks of is continuing to live in rebellion against God.  Jesus brought this contrast between God and Rebellion into the harsh light of day and the people didn’t like it, and His disciples will soon do the same thing with the same result.  We too will make this contrast easy to see if we live according to His teachings, and in doing so we will also cause some to believe and be saved, but the majority will not appreciate our work.  For this reason, Christians in “tolerant” America are ridiculed in the press, movies and television, and are sometimes singled out in the public square for derision.

Christians are not “of this world” but instead “our citizenship is in heaven.” (Phil. 3:18-20) The world we live in today is “post-modern” meaning that the overriding standard of morality is what is right for me.  Post-modernism doesn’t allow anyone to say that something is “right” or “wrong” absolutely and calls on individuals to seek that which is right for them and demands “tolerance” from everyone else.  Obviously, post-modernism is not the philosophical basis of the Bible, and as we all know many people have a hard time listening to anyone tell them differently.  This entire philosophy demonstrates that most people do not wish to be reconciled to God, or as Jesus put it, to “know the One who sent me.”

As a result of Jesus’ ministry, the world was left “without excuse.”  He has spoken the truth of sin, death, right and wrong, and He topped it all off by confirming His teachings with miraculous signs so that there would be no way for anyone to claim that His teachings were simply another random philosophy: They were the very words of God.  As a result, rebellious humanity in large part hated both Jesus and His Father, as the prophets had foretold.

Jesus reminds the disciples about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Note that this is not a teaching about the Holy Spirit as much as it is teaching about what their responsibility would be.  The presence of the Holy Spirit is beneficial in a great many ways, but it doesn’t mean that we have no work to do; our part is to teach people about the Gospel and make disciples.

Jesus has told His disciples unpleasant facts about their future, and now in 16:1-4 He tells them why He has done so.  The unpleasant future would soon begin with the arrest and senseless murder of Jesus Himself by Jewish leaders who believed that they were keeping God’s Law by doing so.  The book of Acts documents a reign of terror against the early church in which many were arrested and tortured or murdered by people who thought they were doing God’s work in silencing God’s truth that is not only an irony but sheer madness.  Jesus has told them of these things so that they would not drift away from their faith when the trials came; so that they would hold steadfast in the knowledge that God’s plan was playing out.  In truth, the more the church has been persecuted, the more it has grown because of the courageous stand taken by the followers of Christ.  Sadly, there have also been times when the church itself has persecuted the truth by torturing and murdering “heretics” who were teaching the truth within the church.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

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A Flourishing Tree” 7/07/2020 Written by Adam R. Holz for “Our Daily Bread”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

Proverbs 11:28 | Proverbs 11, Proverbs, Bible proverbs

Written by Adam R. Holz for “Our Daily Bread” @ http://odb.org

Original post @ https://odb.org/2020/07/06/a-flourishing-tree

July 6

A Flourishing Tree

Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.

Proverbs 11:28

 

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Proverbs 11:24–30

I’ve always had a collector’s heart. As a kid, I collected stamps. Baseball cards. Comics. Now, as a parent, I see the same impulse in my kids. Sometimes I wonder, Do you really need another teddy bear? 

Of course, it’s not about need. It’s about the allure of something new. Or sometimes the tantalizing draw of something old, something rare. Whatever captivates our imagination, we’re tempted to believe that if we only had “X,” our lives would be better. We’d be happy. Content.

Except those things never deliver the goods. Why? Because God created us to be filled by Him, not by the things that the world around us often insists will satisfy our longing hearts.

This tension is hardly new. Proverbs contrasts two ways of life: a life spent pursuing riches versus a life grounded in loving God and giving generously. In The Message, Eugene Peterson paraphrases Proverbs 11:28 like this: “A life devoted to things is a dead life, a stump; a God-shaped life is a flourishing tree.”

What a picture! Two ways of life: one flourishing and fruitful, one hollow and barren. The world insists that material abundance equals “the good life.” In contrast, God invites us to be rooted in Him, to experience His goodness, and to flourish fruitfully. And as we’re shaped by our relationship with Him, God reshapes our hearts and desires, transforming us from the inside out.

By:  Adam R. Holz

Reflect & Pray

When has an undue focus on material things become a major spiritual struggle for you? What helps you keep your desires in proper perspective?

Father, thank You for the good gifts You give. Help me to keep putting my trust in You rather than the stuff of this world.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:   https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk0116oeoV4l3_QvVT9-xLq_9Yb_dIg:1594068903063&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+proverbs+11:28&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjJo9u1wbnqAhU0NX0KHSLyCZ8QsAR6BAgIEAE&biw=1042&bih=577#imgrc=BV3cfMO-wyrYtM

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“What do you know of this Christ?” 7/06/2020 Written by Gabrielle Guthrie for “See, there’s this thing called biology…~insanitybytes”

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God Works In Mysterious Ways©️ - YouTube

http://www.harvest.org/devotional

Written by Gabrielle Guthrie for “See, there’s this thing called biology…~insanitybytes” @ https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/

Original post found @  https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2020/07/05/what-do-you-know-of-this-christ/

“What do you know of this Christ?”

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“What do you know of this Christ?” That is a fabulous question, isn’t it?

wedding ring feathers closeup

So what do I know of this Christ? I know of His kindness mostly, and how well He understands me, how patient He is. It’s a bit funny how a close encounter of the God-kind always leaves me at such a loss for words. I’m left helplessly saying simple things like, “God is so good!”

So, I encountered Jesus when I was 3 years old, sitting by a compost pile in the sunshine. I felt Him, smelled Him, and saw this bright, warm light. How did I know it was God? I have no idea, but I knew with absolute certainty that it was Him and that He was as real as the scab I was picking at on my leg. It helps to have been a child, running wide open with no guile, no skepticism, as if bumping into God is the most natural thing in the world.

He was so beautiful and that experience just left a hunger for Him in me that is hard to explain.

My grandmother was my lifeline to the world, the only stability I really had in my life. She was shot in the head in a robbery, but she survived and almost recovered. I was mad at God for allowing it to happen, for taking away all I had to hang onto. I remember sensing His sadness when He looked down on me, and I just “knew.”  I knew her recovery was temporary, I knew she wasn’t going to survive after all. I knew that even that hope was going to be snatched away. A few months later she died while trying to testify against the bad guys. Stroke from her head injury.

I was really mad at the Lord at that point! I felt like, not only did He take my lifeline away, He allowed me to think she was going to be okay, and then He prophetically revealed to me that she wasn’t going to survive for long. I was just hurt, angry, had lots of issues. What kind of a God would show me bad things coming down the road that I was completely powerless to change? It took me years to understand how kind that was, how compassionate, how He had so often emotionally prepared me for the onslaught to come, before it even happened.

Kind of an old family joke built on multiple cultural stereotypes most of them false, but thank goodness we’re Italian. My dad was anyway.  It simply means, we aren’t afraid of confrontation, we aren’t likely to walk away and give you the silent treatment. Rather then withdrawing or just being hurt, I chased God down and demanded an explanation. That is how I know of His kindness, His patience, His willingness to carefully answer all of my questions, one layer at a time.

I love Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. I just kind of hung out with him for a while, asking what kind of a God would reveal knowledge to a prophet, knowledge that He knew would be ignored, that He knew would not produce fruit? In my case it was love. What kind of a God? A loving one. A protective one. Perhaps it was true in Jeremiah’s case, too? We people can be so material, so tangible, so goal oriented, as if the whole purpose of Jonah’s tale is about saving Nineveh, rather than simply bringing Jonah himself closer to the Lord? In a similar way we often want Jeremiah to be heard and to save the whole world, but perhaps God just wanted to draw closer to Jeremiah?

Sometimes I get fearful or timid or worried and the Lord likes to tease me, to remind me  that I am the one who marched up boldly to the Creator of the universe Himself, demanding an explanation, quite prepared to set Him straight and give Him a piece of my mind. That requires a certain amount of boldness or perhaps a certain amount of hysteria, if you prefer. Regardless, it has worked out well because what I know of this Christ is His grace, His patience, His mercy, and the great love He has for us, the huge investment He has made. Nothing can snatch us from His hand.

young female demonstrating evening dress

We are the apple of His eye, often with barely an inkling of how truly loved and valued we are, barely a glimpse of how good He is. We are much like the Bible says, peering at Him through the glass darkly, even perhaps peering at ourselves that way, through a foggy glass, not quite sure what we are seeing.

“What do you know of this Christ?” I know that He leaves me breathless and without words, kind of just helplessly trying to explain Him in a language that has not yet been written. All I can know for sure is that, He is so good and I long to know Him more.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit: https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk02TlP_WwQJFE3-IHMHWLWqHTmMM3A:1593977253496&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+God+works+in+mysterious+ways&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjt0uX_67bqAhWll3IEHVOKAqoQsAR6BAgBEAE&biw=843&bih=577#imgrc=lIOVWhFaWWFI4M

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“God’s Is the Victory” 7/05/2020 Posted by Alister Begg for www.truthforlife.org

Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

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1 Corinthians 15:57 | CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Posted by Alister Begg   for   www.truthforlife.org

Original post  @ https://www.truthforlife.org/resources/daily-devotionals/6/28/0/?ecid=ACsprvsRTRotApZf3u8cqEcDpSVUb4EkseiaoHwuZmHIm5NVkQx7u16hal56PDPk7FbE19cKnUP-&utm_campaign=Daily%20Devotion%20Emails&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=90291343&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-87yU4IUWXzASHJvhmPi7wOiq3ZShwU9WoSucPyDxw5ewJiV1SOsTm8bGe_MEHSK9AgNmNKBRz1jWX6ZvsVLTnby7HdNtP3-bQU78AvW0-cZMFP_-o&utm_content=90291343&utm_source=hs_email

 

DEVOTIONALS  

God’s Is the Victory

But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.

 Exodus 7:12

This incident is an instructive illustration of the certain victory of God’s handiwork over all opposition. Whenever a divine principle is set in the heart, even though the devil may create a counterfeit and produce swarms of opponents, we may be sure that God is in the work, and it will swallow up all its foes. If God’s grace takes possession of a man, the world’s magicians may throw down all their staffs, and every staff may be as cunning and poisonous as a serpent; but Aaron’s staff will swallow up their staffs.

The sweet attractions of the cross will woo and win the man’s heart, so that although he had lived only for this deceitful earth, he will now have an eye for heaven, and his mind will be set on the things that are above. When grace has won the day, the unbeliever begins to seek the world to come. The same fact is to be observed in the life of the believer. A company of enemies assailed our faith—our old sins; the devil threw them down before us, and they turned to serpents. What numbers of them! But the cross of Jesus destroys them all. Faith in Christ makes short work of all our sins.

Then the devil has launched another host of serpents in the form of worldly trials, temptations, unbelief; but faith in Jesus is more than a match for them and overcomes them all. The same absorbing principle shines in the faithful service of God!

With an enthusiastic love for Jesus, difficulties are surmounted; sacrifices become pleasures; sufferings are honors. But if faith is a consuming passion in the heart, then it follows that there are many people who profess it but do not have it; for what they have will not bear this test. Examine yourself, my reader, on this point. Aaron’s staff proved its heaven-given power. Is your faith doing so? If Christ is anything, He must be everything. Do not rest until love and faith in Jesus are the master passions of your soul!


Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?sxsrf=ALeKk005qRE7WzdCWYXv7Q_VLfCZAOdzHA:1593948259443&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+1+cor+15:57&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi9ka3-_7XqAhVxZTUKHajgBOkQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=843&bih=577#imgrc=znwLtnEAwdp0EM

 

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“Prayers for the Nation” 7/04/2020 Written by Dawn Ivey for “Drawing closer to Christ”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

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

Verse Insights - Harvest Church

Written by  Dawn Ivey for “Drawing closer to Christ”  @  https://drawingclosertochrist.com

Original post @  https://drawingclosertochrist.com/2020/07/03/prayers-for-the-nation/

Prayers for the Nation

As Independence Day, (4th of July), is approaching here in America, the word that is staying on my heart is “prayer”. We need prayers for repentance, healing, justice, equality, compassion, wisdom, peace…the list goes on and on.

2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV,  “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Photo by: Wendy van Zyl of South Africa 🇿🇦

Knowing God is sovereign over all things, people and events brings comfort. Trusting His love and protection day by day brings security. Focusing on His purposes brings perspective. I’m thankful that His ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8). When things seem to spiral out of control, He is still in control. His goodness and mercy never cease to follow us (Psalm 23:6). We are blessed to know and serve the God of creation.

No matter what part of the world you live in, I pray God’s presence and love would surround you, and that His Word would light your way. The hope we have in Jesus will never lead to shame (Psalm 25:3).

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P.S. (from bruce) When there is no other place to turn…turn to God !!  If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1SQJL_enUS832US832&sxsrf=ALeKk00s9liggePncFg0y6rhbVtNFBDBcA:1593863326846&source=univ&tbm=isch&q=image+2+Chron+7:14&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiv5KrLw7PqAhX4l3IEHdvkBqgQsAR6BAgKEAE&biw=1173&bih=867#imgrc=9DmbS7H3bZKyFM

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“Seek the Lord while He may still be found !!” 7/03/2020 Written by Louis Mize, a Facebook friend

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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Isaiah 55:6,7 (KJV) - YouTube

Written by Louis Mize, a Facebook friend  @  https://www.facebook.com/louis.mize

 

“Seek the Lord while He may still be found !!”

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