“Reconciliation in Christ” 12/04/2017 Posted by Don Merritt for “The Life Project”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

                                Image result for picture keep trusting in the Lord. He has a plan

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

Original post @   https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2016/11/07/reconciliation-in-christ-2/

 

Reconciliation in Christ

Ephesians 2:11-22

Paul, in these verses, completes the picture he began in the first 10 verses of this chapter that we covered earlier by tying together the picture of God’s redemption and reconciliation of all people.

It is important to bear in mind that he is addressing Gentiles here, those who were not included in God’s covenants in the past. They were excluded from relationship with God and to a great extent even from social relationships with the people of God. In fact, the people of God, the Jews, looked down upon the Gentiles, calling them dogs and treating them as second-class people. The Jews bore a sign of their covenant relationship with God that the Gentiles did not, a sign that would forever keep them separate; the sign of circumcision that denoted the offspring of Father Abraham. No, a Gentile man couldn’t “fake it.”

Then came Jesus Christ.

Jesus brought the two groups together through His death on the cross in which He bore the sins of all in His own body, putting their sins, along with the very Law itself to death. After that, there is no more hostility between Jew and Gentile, for all who follow Christ are members of one Body; this is the theological truth. It was not, however, the practical truth. Paul knew only too well of the hostility that so many Jews still had for Gentile Christians… even within the church, and I have little doubt that there were some hard feelings among the Gentile believers as well. In the centuries that have followed, this has, sadly, remained the case in many places, not only between Jew and Gentile, but between rich and poor, black and white, aristocrat and common, social divisions that carry into the Body of Christ. Yet we must be reminded that secular cultural social divisions have no place whatsoever within the Body of Christ, for there is no Jew and no Gentile, there is no rich or poor, aristocrat or common, black or white… or any other social distinction in the Body of Christ, for in Him we are one people, bound together by the bonds of His love.

Of course, all too often, sin remains in our midst, as we are dwelling in a fallen world.

 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22

Thus Paul states the eternal reality that is the church, the reality as God Himself sees reality. Now, with that eternal reality set before us, let’s consider whether or not we might carry forward our own earthly notions of “proper” social distinctions, and ask ourselves if this is pleasing in God’s sight. Take your time, consider carefully…

As you consider, consider an example from history. After the Civil War in the U. S., slaves in the American South were emancipated. Slave owners, by and large, had encouraged their slaves to be Christians, and now those slaves were free, churches were established outside of the plantations with both black and white congregations, but of course they were normally segregated, as were most other things in that society. The writings from that and succeeding generations left behind have some very creative justifications for this, and for a hundred years it continued, and even today the trend remains in many places. So that begs another question, don’t you think?

What sort of testimony for the Gospel would we create (or have created) if we would live the gospel of Jesus Christ, rather than just talk about it, and actually, really and truthfully treat one another as brothers and sisters in Christ, even if it means incurring the wrath of the rest of the community?

Yes, it is surely something to think about… and possibly something to act upon.

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P.S. (from bruce)  ) 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/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

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?q=picture+keep+trusting+in+the+Lord.+He+has+a+plan&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj3xJeGsPDXAhXjkeAKHfikCWYQsAQIKA&biw=1169&bih=868#imgrc=cS3cCL304Sfw9M:

 

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“Biblical Counseling: The Danger of Comparison” 12/03/2017 Written by Pastor Jim Lee for “THE DOMAIN FOR TRUTH”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

Written by Pastor Jim Lee for “The Domain for Truth” @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/biblical-counseling-the-danger-of-comparison/#comment-56374

 

Biblical Counseling: The Danger of Comparison

The Danger of Comparison

Selected Scriptures

 

Establish the need: Have you recently been shackled and miserable in comparing yourself to others?

Purpose: Today we shall look at four points to help us think more biblically about comparison of others so that we would think biblically and also have the grace of God to deal with ungodly comparison.

  1. Scripture talks about the problem of comparison

  2. Beware of thinking all comparison is bad

  3. Know the kinds of comparisons that are dangerous

  4. Fight ungodly comparison biblically

I. Scripture talks about the problem of comparison

  1. Point: Not all comparison with others are godly.

  2. Proof

    1. For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)

      1. Note here Paul says that he is not bold to compare himself with others.

      2. Specifically the other people who he does not want to compare himself with others are “those who commend themselves

    2. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.” (Luke 18:11)

      1. This is a parable Jesus told.

      2. The Pharisee of course has problems in this parable.

      3. Among the Pharisee problem is an ungodly comparison where the Pharisee in comparing himself with the tax-collector thought of himself as self-righteous before the Lord.

  3. Practice:

    1. We need to see that not all comparison is godly.

    2. Even as we go through this study, ask yourself if there is any ungodly comparison you might be making in our life.

    3. We need to be honest with ourselves before God: Do we have any problem of comparison with others that might not be godly?

II. Beware of thinking all comparison is bad

  1. Point: Of course seeing the examples of others does involve comparison. But when we talk about the danger of comparison this does not mean there is no place of seeing the examples of others.  We must avoid heading towards the other extreme of thinking all comparison is bad.

  2. Proof #1: There is a place for godly examples of others that are meant to be encouraging

    1. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi: “Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.” (Philippians 3:17)

      1. Paul wants the church to follow his example.

      2. Paul also want the believers to remember their observation of Paul and others’ lives.

      3. Note also Paul’s life was to be a “”

    2. Paul wrote to the church in Philippi: “For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you,” (2 Thessalonians 3:7)

      1. Note Paul doesn’t just say to follow his example here but that the church themselves “know how you ought to follow our example” which reinforce the point that following examples is a part of a Christian life and obligatory one at that.

      2. Paul’s specific example along with his missionary team is that they “did not act in an undisciplined manner

    3. Other passages that talk about following and being encouraged by godly examples in a positive light: John 13:15, 1 Thessalonians 1:7, 2 Thessalonians 3:9, 1 Timothy 4::12, Titus 2:7, James 5:10, 1 Peter 5:3.

  3. Proof #2: There is a place for even ungodly examples of others that are meant to discourage to sin

    1. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth: “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.” (1 Corinthians 10:6)

      1. In the context Paul was referring to Old Testament events in which God judged Israel for their sins.

      2. Here Paul said these were “examples for us

      3. What is the purpose of these examples? “so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.

    2. just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7)

      1. Here Sodom and Gomorrah is discussed.

      2. Jude tells us that their destruction “are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

    3. Other passages that show the role of negative example for the Christian life to motivate Christians to avoid sin: 1 Corinthians 10:11, Hebrews 4:11 and 2 Peter 2:6 .

  4. Practice:

    1. Does seeing the godly examples of others become enrouagement and a pattern for you to be godly?

    2. Does seeing God’s example of judgment against sin motivate you to forsake sin?

III. Know the kinds of comparisons that are dangerous

  1. Point: Here we want to know what kinds of comparisons are dangerous by looking at its motivation and fruits.

  2. Proof

    1. It is dangerous when we compare ourselves to others and the results is that we are robbed of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives: “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.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

      1. Note the fruit of the Spirit is the fruit of God’s Work in our life, specifically that of the Holy Spirit.

      2. If your comparison with yourself to others result in the absence of love, joy and peace in the Lord, it does not please God.

    2. It is dangerous when we compare ourselves to others out of the motivation of fearing man and/or desire to please man: “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)

      1. Here the problem Paul mentioned is the problem of trying to “please men;” note “please men” is mentioned twice in this verse.

      2. Sometimes the reason why we engage in comparison is because we are fear men or are trying to please them.

      3. For example: We do what everyone is doing in our neighborhood in raising children just because “everyone is doing it” and you don’t want others to think badly about you.

    3. It is dangerous when we compare ourselves to others and the results is we covet: ““You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17)

      1. Note here that this is part of the Ten Commandments.

      2. If our comparison leads us to want to have something someone else have and it makes us want to acquire it inappropriately, such as stealing, or having something we should not have that is of the other person, we are in sin.

    4. It is dangerous when we compare ourselves with others and the results is envy and jealousy: “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.” (James 3:14)

      1. Note here that James describe negatively “bitter jealousy

      2. Jealousy/Envy is similar to coveting but there is also a distinction between the two.

      3. If our comparison leads us to envying others, that is wanting something someone else have but being bitter that we do not have it, and/or we start thinking wrongly of the other person, we are in sin.

      4. Note also how James noted there’s a dimension of pride when it comes to jealousy when he said “do not be arrogant.” That is because behind the thought of envy and ungodly jealousy is the thought “I deserve ___,” or “I should be good enough for ____.”

    5. It is dangerous when we compare ourselves with others and the results is self-righteousness: Recall the purpose of the parable of the Pharisee who compared himself with the tax collector: “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:” (Luke 18:9)

      1. Here we see the problem is that the comparison is driven by self-righteousness.

      2. The result of course is the view of contempt towards others.

      3. We must remember when we have ungodly comparison of ourselves with others and we are below others, we feel miserable. But when we have an ungodly comparison with others and we are above them, or “lead the pack,” we can self-deceive ourselves we have no room for growth according to God’s standard, or are blind to other areas we need to grow.

    6. It is dangerous when we compare ourselves to those who set themselves as the standard: “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with [a]some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)

      1. We earlier saw that this verse goes against some form of comparison.

      2. Here specifically the kind of comparison that is not approved is when we ourselves to those who “measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves

      3. That is, their standard is to put themselves as the standard.

      4. Those who practice this kind of comparison are described by Paul as “without understanding

      5. Remember the standard we are to pursue is not others, but God’s Word.

  3. Picture: The Fruits of ungodly comparison in marriage and family.

    1. The Husband and Wife:

      1. Discontent with one’s marriage: He or she’s might catch himself/herself saying: “Other wife/husbands do ___, but you don’t!”

      2. Quarrels with spouse; thoughts of ungodly comparison manifest itself in arguing with one spouse.

      3. Emotional and Physical Infidelity

      4. Apathy

    2. Parenting:

      1. The child have no understanding of grace: Everyone is always better and the goal is all about works to be better than someone else.

      2. The child is exasperated: The fact is there is always someone who will always be better than the child; it makes the child feel hopeless.

      3. The child rebels: Other fruits follow from hopelessness. The child questions whether the parents love them and love them only on the basis of works; having failed, they abandon their love of their parents and see the parents’ authority as tyrannical.  Thus they bear fruit of rebellion.

      4. The Child has a warped view of God: Fathers mirror God the Father; having train them in ungodly comparison to the standards of man, there is no transcendent standard of God’s Word, nor of the right view of grace and works.

  4. Practice

    1. How do you know you have the right and wrong kind of comparison?

      1. Review the teachings in this section.

      2. As a rule of thumb: Does your comparison with others bring about more sins in your life or draw you closer to the Lord?

    2. We must be watchful of our lives and heart from the danger of ungodly comparison.

IV. Fight ungodly comparison biblically

  1. Point: How do we fight the sin of ungodly comparison?

  2. Principles

    1. Principle 1: Humble yourself before Lord: “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:10)

      1. We must not forget that often there is a dimension of pride behind our comparison of ourselves to others.

      2. The antidote to pride is humbling ourselves before the Lord.

    2. Principle 2: Confess and Repent of any sins: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

      1. From principle 2 we see we must humble ourselves and that manifestation includes confessing and repenting to the Lord.

      2. Note if we confess to God He forgives!

      3. Note also He cleanse us when we go to Him! He can cleanse us and break the chains of ungodly comparison in our minds!

    3. Principle 3: Resolve that all that you do be driven by God-centered motivation rather than man-centered motivation. Recall: “For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)

      1. We ultimately want to please God instead of man!

      2. Desiring to please God first frees us from many ungodly comparison with others!

    4. Principle 4: Resolve that your standard is ultimately God’s Word and not just other people

      1. The standard is not merely others; the standard is God’s Word!

      2. Being focus on God’s Word as the standard frees us from only comparing ourselves to others. Also God is gracious to work in us if we are saved!

    5. Principle 5: Substitute thanksgiving and praise to God instead of the ungodly fruit of comparison

      1. Thanksgiving and praise to God cannot coexists with envy, jealousy and covetousness; so praise God and give thanks to God!

      2. Have a weekly inventory of what you are thankful to God for.

      3. Share to others including your wife and kids what you are thankful for.

      4. If you struggle to be thankful resolve to study the Gospel deeply to see the riches we have in Christ! Study the doctrines related to the Gospel deeply such as the order of salvation.  Read with a good commentary on Ephesians!  See what grace and inheritance have been given to you in Christ!

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P.S. (from bruce)  ) 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/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

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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“How can I overcome an addiction to internet porn?” 12/2/2017 Posted by www.gotquestions.org

 “Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org/

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

                                             Image result for picture pornography Bible

Posted by www.gotquestions.org

Original post @  https://www.gotquestions.org/QOTW.htm

 

Question: “How can I overcome an addiction to internet porn? Can addiction to pornography be defeated?”

Answer: Studies show that terms relating to porn are by far the most commonly searched-for terms in the internet search engines. Every day, literally millions of people do searches related to the porn industry. The powerful imagery of internet pornography is highly addictive. Many men (and women) have been caught in the snare of internet porn and find themselves helplessly addicted to its visual stimulation. This results in uncontrollable lust, an inability to experience true sexual intimacy in marriage, and often intense feelings of guilt and despair. Pornography is the #1 cause of masturbation, sexual assault, and sexual deviancy. Most importantly, pornography is offensive to God, and is therefore a sin that must be confessed, repented of, and overcome.

There are two primary aspects in the battle to overcome an addiction to internet porn: spiritual and practical. Spiritually, addiction to pornography is a sin that God desires you to overcome and therefore will enable you to do so. The first step is to make sure you have genuinely placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you are unsure, please visit our page on salvation and forgiveness. Without salvation through Jesus Christ, there is no possibility of a true and lasting victory over pornography: “Apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

If you are a believer in Christ and are struggling with an addiction to internet porn, there is hope and help for you! The power of the Holy Spirit is available to you (Ephesians 3:16). The cleansing of God’s forgiveness is available to you (1 John 1:9). The renewing capacity of God’s Word is at your disposal (Romans 12:1-2). Commit your mind and eyes to the Lord (1 John 2:16). Ask God to strengthen you and help you to overcome pornography (Philippians 4:13). Ask God to protect you from further exposure to porn (1 Corinthians 10:13), and to fill your mind with things that are pleasing to Him (Philippians 4:8). These are all requests that God will honor and answer.

Practically speaking, there are numerous tools to combat an addiction to internet pornography. There are good programs available at www.X3pure.com and www.PornAddiction.com. There are several quality internet filtering programs that will completely block your computer from accessing pornography, such as Covenant Eyes. Another fantastic tool is available at www.X3Watch.com. X3watch is accountability software. It tracks your internet browsing and sends a report of any objectionable websites you have visited to an accountability partner of your choosing. Your temptation to view internet porn would be greatly reduced if you knew your youth pastor, parent, friend, pastor, or spouse would receive a detailed report about it. There are also quite a few good books on overcoming porn addiction: Every Man’s Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Purity One Victory at a Time by Stephen Arterburn and The Game Plan by Joe Dallas.

Do not despair! An addiction to internet porn is not an “unforgivable sin.” God can and will forgive you. An addiction to internet porn is not an “unconquerable sin.” God can and will enable you to overcome it. Commit your mind and eyes to the Lord. Commit yourself to filling your mind with God’s Word (Psalm 119:11). Seek His help daily in prayer; ask Him to fill your mind with His truth and block unwanted thoughts and desires. Take the practical steps listed above to keep yourself accountable and block access to internet porn. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Recommended Resources: X3watchThe Gospel & Pornography by Moore & Walker, and The Conquer Series

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P.S. (from bruce)  ) 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/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

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?q=picture+pornography+Bible&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi14qeYx-rXAhUBneAKHd5dDfEQsAQIKw&biw=1169&bih=868#imgrc=nLR9EaWzZR0gCM:

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Christianity, Daily Devotion, Exortation, faith, God, Gospel, Holiness, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“So, You Say You Have No Sin?” 12/01/2017 Written by Wally Fry for “Truth in Palmyra”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

 Written by Wally Fry  for “Truth in Palmyra”  @   https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com

 Original post @  https://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/so-you-say-you-have-no-sin/

So, You Say You Have No Sin?

1 john 1_8.JPG

1 John 1:5-10

So, here we have it. One of the biggest things that holds back men and women from salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus came so save us from our sin. If we don’t even understand that we are sinners, then, as the verse above says, “the truth is not in us.” I could say it no more clearly than that.

“I’m NOT a sinner, and I don’t need any saving!!!”

Yes, you are. I am, you are and we all are. We sin by nature and choice.

But let’s get more specific. It’s easy to toss out the general idea about how we are all sinners by nature and by choice. But we should actually discuss some particulars of our sin. Most people would agree that the Ten Commandments are a major source of a great number of the specifics of God’s Law. We should give ourselves a test. By the way I fail this test miserably!

Have you ever told a lie? Any lie, small or large. Any lie, whether a little white lie or a big black one? What is a person who tells lies called? A liar of course

Have you ever stolen anything? Big or little. Have you stolen a pencil at work? Run copies on the company printer? Have you cut in line? Then you stole that person’s spot. What do you call someone who steals? A thief of course.

Have you ever used God’s name in vain? This doesn’t even have to be the most obvious one where we actually use His name as a curse word. Have you called Him “the Big Guy?” Any use of the Holy name of God in a flip way is considered blasphemy by God.

Ever looked at a member of the opposite sex with lust? Of course we all have, unless we like the same sex. Jesus taught that to look at a woman with lust is to commit adultery of the heart.

We really have not gotten through all of the Ten Commandments, which are His moral law, and we have established that for the most part we are all lying, stealing, blaspheming adulterers at heart! (Thanks to Ray Comfort for that little test by the way)

So, the only question that remains is: Someday when you stand before God will you be found innocent or guilty? Based on our test, the answer obviously seems guilty is the only possible answer. To really get this, we have to understand and try to look at the issue from God’s perspective. We might look at some of those things and just not consider them to be a big deal; however, God disagrees. The real issue is this: Do we get to rate ourselves, so to speak, against our own human thoughts about right and wrong, or are we subject to the evaluation of a Perfect and Holy God?

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P.S. (from bruce)  ) 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/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

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

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Christianity, Daily Devotion, Exortation, faith, God, Gospel, Holiness, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Walk in the Truth” 11/30/2017 Posted by Alister Begg for “Truth for Life”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

                                     Image result for picture gal 5:16

Posted by Alister Begg for “Truth for Life”  @  http://info.truthforlife.org

Original post @  http://info.truthforlife.org/devo-nov28-2017?ecid=ACsprvtsJ0lo-BUDVcX1V_dkWnwBedxpoE2OllD8OwSi2M6mlqU7h0BVZE8kCfIbtD7bZoGiBqJK&utm_campaign=Daily%20Devotion%20Emails&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=58815414&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-95AWpetA1CKS_Zl7GloEZn9nSH8k2iFhNShT7AeDPQQkI8qbNgsS_3dNeWJWk_a0NHzDit7xISZr7JGGIwhGfkob7K6HnBFTCU6i2J_MmtqfeToJM&_hsmi=58815414

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL NOVEMBER 28, 2017

Walk in the Truth

 

For I rejoiced greatly when the brothers came and testified to your truth, as indeed you are walking in the truth.


3 John 3

 

The truth was in Gaius, and Gaius walked in the truth. If the first had not been the case, the second could never have occurred; and if the second could not be said of him, the first would have been a mere pretense. Truth must enter into the soul, penetrate and saturate it, or else it is of no value.

Doctrines held as a matter of creed are like bread in the hand, which provides no nourishment to the body; but doctrine accepted by the heart is like food digested, which by assimilation sustains and builds up the body.

In us truth must be a living force, an active energy, an indwelling reality, a part of the warp and woof of our being. If it is in us, we cannot then part with it.

A man may lose his clothes or his limbs, but his inward parts are vital and cannot be torn away without absolute loss of life. A Christian can die, but he cannot deny the truth.

Now it is a rule of nature that the inward affects the outward, as light shines from the center of the lantern through the glass: When, therefore, the truth is kindled within, its brightness soon shines in the outward life and conversation.

It is said that the food of certain worms colors the cocoons of silk that they spin: And in the same way the nutriment upon which a man’s inward nature lives gives a tinge to every word and deed proceeding from him.

To walk in the truth conveys a life of integrity, holiness, faithfulness, and simplicity-the natural product of those principles of truth that the Gospel teaches and that the Spirit of God enables us to receive.

We may judge the secrets of the soul by their appearance in the man’s behavior. Today, O gracious Spirit, let it be ours to be ruled and governed by Your divine authority, so that nothing false or sinful may reign in our hearts, in case it should extend its malignant influence to our everyday lives in the community.

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright © 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission.

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P.S. (from bruce)  ) 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/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

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?q=picture+gal+5:16&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi0jP3lyeTXAhVkQt8KHed6BT4QsAQIOA&biw=975&bih=617#imgrc=iLVVsFQmcsX65M:

 

 

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“How to Find Joy in the Lord” 11/29/2017 Written by bruce r mills for “God’s group”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org 

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

                              Image result for picture joy in the Lord Bible

Written by bruce r mills for www.Godsmanforever.com   Revised from 8/31/2015

 

 

“How to Find Joy in the Lord”

 

1 Peter 1:7…  that the genuineness of your faithbeing much more precious than gold that perishesthough it is tested by firemay be found to praise, honorand glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,  (NKJV)

Today I write about joy…  You may wonder why I chose to open today’s writing with a scripture verse speaking about faith…  I chose this scripture, because it goes hand in hand with the kind of inexpressible” joy the apostle Peter speaks about in the next verse, that I want to share with you today…

This genuine faith the apostle Peter is writing about in the opening scripture, is the kind of faith you must have, that even through the worst trial of your life (where your faith will be tested by fire), it will still remain strong…  This faith is originally given to the believer by God, and is called saving faith…because only God can change the will of the unbeliever…  For our mortal will to be changed, we must first be drawn in by God (John 6:44), before our hardened heart of stone is regenerated by Him, as we are graced with salvation…   (See note at the end for more about God’s grace, through saving faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ)…

But once the new Christian is filled with the Holy Spirit, at the moment they become a redeemed child of God (John 14:26), the growth of this faith will only occur when the new Christian remains focused upon the Lord…  I am going to re-post the link to an answered question about “what does renewing your mind mean ?”(Romans 12:1-2)…that I used in my writing the other day, titled… “How Big is Our God ??”…   This gives us suggestions on how to best to find continuous joy in the Lord…  http://www.gotquestions.org/renewing-the-mind.html

Here is a quote from this link, which I would like to share with you… “The only way to replace the error of the world’s way of thinking is to replace it with God’s truth, and the only infallible source of God’s truth is found in his revealed word, the Bible.Transformation through renewed minds comes as believers expose themselves to God’s Word through the faithful exposition of it each week in church, personal Bible study and group Bible study. A solid church that believes in preaching the Word, reading the Word and singing the Word is invaluable in helping us renew our minds.”

My friends, spending time (hopefully daily) feeding upon God’s Word (Matthew 4:4), is how we as Christians best equip ourselves to fight the spiritual warfare every Christian will find themselves engaged in…after they become a redeemed child of God…  The apostle Paul tells us who we as Christians must be prepared to battle, in…

Ephesians 6:12…  For we do not wrestle against flesh and bloodbut again st principalitiesagainst powersagainst the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.  (NKJV)

God’s Word is described by the apostle Paul, as the sword of the Spirit…which is the only offensive weapon in the 6 pieces of spiritual armor the apostle Paul writes about, in…Ephesians 6:10-20…  Here is the link describing what the apostle Paul pens about God’s whole set of protective spiritual armor, worn to fend off Satan’s attacks… http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=eph%206%3A10-20&version=NKJV;KJV

When the Christian focuses on the Lord as the most important Person in their life…spends time in God’s Word to put on the “Whole Armor of God”…and takes the apostle James’ advice…and submits their life to God (James 4:7-8)…their life will be transformed by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit living with-in them…

The apostle Peter goes on, after the opening scripture, with this, in…

1 Peter 1:8…  whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believingyou rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,  (NKJV)

I believe this “inexpressible” joy the apostle Peter is speaking about, is the same God given joy Jesus tries to explain to His disciples, at the “Last Supper”, as recorded in…

John 15:10-12…  

If you keep My commandmentsyou will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11  These things I have spoken to youthat My joy may remain in youand that your joy may be full.  12 This is My commandmentthat you love one another as I have loved you

 

My friends, Jesus is giving His disciples some last minute advice on His 2 most important commandments, which Jesus previously gave to us in…Matthew 22:36-40…   When we as Christians are able to keep these 2 commandments…the apostle Paul so eloquently and accurately pens this, from…

Ephesians 3:19we will “know the love of Christ which passes knowledgethat you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” 

This supernatural  “love of Christ which passes knowledge”, and the “inexpressible” joy allowing us as Christians to “be filled with all the fullness of God”…is indeed Christ’s joy with-in us, filling us with His joy, so that our joy may be full”…

Love, joy, and peace are the first 3 (and I believe the most important) of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which are the 9 “Christ like” attributes that should be growing in the life of the true disciple (follower) of Jesus Christ…  This spiritual, lifelong growth process (commonly known as progressive sanctification), means the disciple of Christ is being conformed day by day into the image of Christ…Romans 8:29…  Here is a link for more about  what is called progressive sanctification… https://www.gotquestions.org/progressive-sanctification.html

This renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2) is something we as Christians should be seeking the Lord’s help to accomplish each and every morning, as we wake up and pray to the Lord…in preparation to wage spiritual warfare with Satan and his fallen demon angels…  I call it…“putting on the Lord Jesus Christ”, as the apostle Paul pens, in…Romans 13:11-14

(Here is the link…  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Rom13%3A11-14%2C%201thes5%3A7-8&version=NKJV;KJV )

You will notice in this scripture, the apostle Paul’s comparison of putting on the armor of light, to putting on the Lord Jesus Christ…  In our own mortal strength, we will fail most every time… But in the full power of the Holy Spirit, we as Christians should be able to defeat Satan every time…1 John 4:4…  And by this same supernatural power working in us, we should be able to keep our flesh pretty much in check… (The tongue is my biggest problem) This will only become a reality, if we remain focused on the Lord, and remain in humble submission to the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit that God has given to all of His redeemed children…

Heavenly Father, help all of Your children to find joy in the Lord (even through life’s toughest trials), as we do our best to submit to Your will and Your ways…  I pray for this fullness of Christ, and the joy it will bring into all of our lives, in Jesus’ most precious name and for His sake…Amen…

Blessings in Christ,  bruce

P.S. Here is a link 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, after first being drawn in by God…John 6:44…  https://godsmanforever.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/gods-group-thoughts-for-7112013-the-truth-about-sin/

 

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Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Christianity, Daily Devotion, Exortation, faith, God, Gospel, Holiness, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Your Gift” 11/28/2017 Written by Beejai for “THE RIVER WALK”

“Our Daily Bread”     http://odb.org

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

Written by Beejai   for  “THE RIVER WALK” @   http://tworiversblog.com

Original post @  https://theriverwalk.org/2017/11/26/november-26-your-gift/comment-page-1/#comment-30812

 

November 26 – Your Gift

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11)

Read: Daniel 2:24-3:30, 1 Peter 4:7-5:14, Psalm 119:81-96, Proverbs 28:15-16 

Relate: Do you know what your spiritual gifts are? Have you taken any assessment that can help show you? How recently? Do you have five minutes? Here’s a link to a good and very quick (but not necessarily thorough) online assessment:

Spiritual Gifts Test

React: So, what does it say your gifts are? Do you agree? Were there any surprises? In what ways are you using your giftings on a regular basis? In what ways can you make small changes in your daily life to better use those gifts? What are some other gifts you believe you have that weren’t included in this assessment? How are you using them?

In case any of you are curious, the test told me my top five are faith, apostleship, intercession, teaching, and tongues. No. There aren’t any surprises and I can almost laugh to see how easily and often they are each applied in my daily life. Other gifts that I believe I have that aren’t on this list I believe I have are that of a worshiper, writer, and a student. Yes, I do believe the ability to study is a gift, not a curse. So there it is. Of course, I expect your answers in the comments. 😉

Respond:

Dear God,
I am so thankful for the diversity not only in appearance and culture, but also in passion and talent among Your people. Forgive me for the times I have jealously wished I had other gifts that might seem more important rather than appreciating where You have blessed me. Forgive me also for the times I have looked down on the gifts and passions of others simply because they are not ways You have stirred my heart. Help me to use my gifts to be a blessing to Your Church and Your world. Help me also to help nurture and develop the gifts You have placed in others so that Your health can be a healthy, growing body of love. 
Amen

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P.S. (from bruce)  ) 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/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/

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

 

 

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Christianity, Daily Devotion, Exortation, faith, God, Gospel, Holiness, Hope, Jesus Christ, Love, Mercy, Peace, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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