Monthly Archives: February 2019

Be Happy In The Lord

There Is Happiness In God

Psalm 127:3-5

 

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.

Jonah 4:6

So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head to deliver him from his discomfort. And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.

Luke 12:19

‘And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry.”‘

Psalm 16:11

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Psalm 21:6

For You make him most blessed forever; You make him joyful with gladness in Your presence.

 

People Being Happy

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King David Being Happy

King David was happy when the Ark of God was brought to the temple. He was also happy when he played the harp and made music to God.

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Psalm 16: 5-11

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

 

Where to find fruit

From: Charles Spurgeon

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‘From me is thy fruit found.’ Hosea 14:8

Suggested Further Reading: John 15:1–8

If I could bear fruit without my God, I would loathe the accursed thing, for it would be the fruit of pride—the fruit of an arrogant setting up of myself in independence of the Creator. No; the Lord deliver us from all faith, all hope, all love which do not spring from himself! May we have none of our own-manufactured graces about us. May we have nothing but that which is minted in heaven, and is therefore made of the pure metal. May we have no grace, pray no prayer, do no works, serve God in nothing except as we depend upon his strength and receive his Spirit. Any experience which comes short of a knowledge that we must get all from God, is a deceiving experience. But if you have been brought to find everything in him, beloved, this is a mark of a child of God. Cultivate a spirit of deep humiliation before the Most High; seek to know more your nothingness, and to prove more the omnipotence of the eternal God. There are two books I have tried to read, but I have not got through the first page yet. The first is the book of my own ignorance, and emptiness, and nothingness—what a great book is that! It will take us all our lives to read it, and I question whether Methuselah ever got to the last page. There is another book I must read, or else the first volume will drive me mad—it is the book of God’s all-sufficiency. I have not got through the first word of that, much less the first page, but reading the two together, I would spend all my days. This is heaven’s own literature, the wisdom which comes from above. Less than nothing I can boast, and yet ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.’ ‘Having nothing yet possessing all things.’

For meditation: Apparent fruit produced by our own efforts independently of God is no better than a mirage; it will vanish upon inspection on the Last Day (1 Corinthians 3:12–15). Fruit which is derived from Christ and acknowledged to be produced in us by him will abide in abundance to God’s glory (John 15:5,8,16). Joseph did not forget the source of his fruitfulness (Genesis 41:52).

Give God Praise Continually

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From: L.B. Cowman

Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually (Heb. 13:15).

A city missionary, stumbling through the dirt of a dark entry, heard a voice say, “Who’s there, Honey?” Striking a match, he caught a vision of earthly want and suffering, of saintly trust and peace, “cut in ebony”–calm, appealing eyes set amid the wrinkles of a pinched, black face that lay on a tattered bed. It was a bitter night in February, and she had no fire, no fuel, no light. She had had no supper, no dinner, no breakfast. She seemed to have nothing at all but rheumatism and faith in God. One could not well be more completely exiled from all pleasantness of circumstances, yet the favorite song of this old creature ran:

Nobody knows de trouble I see,
Nobody knows but Jesus;
Nobody knows de trouble I see–
Sing Glory Hallelu!

Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down,
Sometimes I’m level on the groun’,
Sometimes the glory shines aroun’
Sing Glory Hallelu!

And so it went on: “Nobody knows de work I does, Nobody knows de griefs I has,” the constant refrain being the “Glory Hallelu!” until the last verse rose:

Nobody knows de joys I has,
Nobody knows but Jesus!

“Troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” It takes great Bible words to tell the cheer of that old negro auntie.

Remember Luther on his sick-bed. Between his groans he managed to preach on this wise: “These pains and trouble here are like the type which the printers set; as they look now, we have to read them backwards, and they seem to have no sense or meaning in them; but up yonder, when the Lord God prints us off in the life to come, we shall find they make brave reading.” Only we do not need to wait till then.

Remember Paul walking the hurricane deck amid a boiling sea, bidding the frightened crew “Be of good cheer,” Luther, the old negro auntie–all of them human sun-flowers.
Wm. G. Garnett

Jesus Gives Second Chances

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Zacchaeus The Tax Collector

Jesus gave Zacchaeus a second chance to prove himself. Zacchaeus did reform himself and it must have pleased Jesus to see his positive turn around from the way he was.

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Zacchaeus, or Zaccheus (Greek: Ζακχαῖος, Zakchaios; Hebrew: זכי‎, “pure”, “innocent”),
was a chief tax-collector at Jericho, mentioned only in the Gospel of Luke. … He was short
in stature and so was unable to see Jesus through the crowd (Luke 19:3). Zachaeus then
ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree along Jesus’ path.

Luke 19:1-10

Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

The Woman Caught In Adultery

Jesus gave this woman a second chance to turn from her sins, and she repented.

 

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The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and
making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in
the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone
such women.

John 8:1-11

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there.10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

The Thief On The Cross

Jesus gave him a second chance and he repented.

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Wearing a loincloth and either holding his cross or being crucified; sometimes depicted in
Paradise. The Penitent Thief, also known as the Good Thief or theThief on the Cross, is
one of  two unnamed persons mentioned in a version of the Crucifixion of Jesus in the
New Testament.

Luke 23:39-43

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was [a]hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the [b]Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving [c]what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come [d]in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

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Hebrews 12

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose hear

The Woman At The Well
The woman at the well turned her eyes upon Jesus and received salvation and witnessed about Him to her entire town. 
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John 4

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

 

Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

By: Simposious.com

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Before Bartimaeus was given his sight, he first had faith in Jesus. His spiritual vision was not impaired. He believed in Jesus and was healed.

Mark 10:46-52

Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.

The Thief On the Cross

By: Simposious.com

The thief on the cross turned his eyes to Jesus and by faith he was saved from his sins.

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Luke 23:39-43

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was [a]hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the [b]Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving [c]what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come [d]in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

There Is Power Through Humility

Humility is the quality of being humble and means putting the needs of another person before your own, and thinking of others before yourself. It also means not drawing attention to yourself, and it can mean acknowledging that you are not always right.

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Humility

by Inspiration Ministries

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth who have carried out His ordinances; seek righteousness, seek humility. Zephaniah 2:3 NASB

When faced with a crossroad, where do we turn for answers? When confronting challenges, how do we make decisions? Our choices at these times reveal our true character. What we believe. What really is important to us. In these moments, many fall back to old habits. They do what feels comfortable and react like people around them.

Many simply seek to protect their resources. Even those who believe in God can find themselves abandoning their faith in favor of what makes sense to them. But the Bible warns that God has different standards. He looks for people who always trust Him. Who believe His Word and resist compromise. He looks deeply into our hearts, especially at our pride.

The prophet Zephaniah reminds us that God looks favorably on the humble. These people can seem the most hopeless, with the fewest assets, and the least influence. Yet they are more sensitive to the things of God.

Humble people find their strength in Him and seek His wisdom. They trust Him and keep His Word. They are people after His own heart, the kind of people Jesus spoke of when He said, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

Zephaniah urged his audience to “seek the Lord.” To remember that God promised to “leave among you a humble and lowly people” (Zephaniah 3:12). Today, humble yourself before God. Seek His forgiveness for any sins in your life. And dedicate yourself to serving Him. Make your life a living sacrifice.

 

Jesus Washes The Disciples Feet

John 13: 4- 10

This was  a great act of humility. He knew He was already betrayed by Judas. He did this to show the disciples true humility.  He wanted them to be humble with each other and supportive after His death.

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 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

 

Naaman Humbled Himself And Was Cured

II KIngs 5

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Naaman The Assyrian General

Naaman was a general over the Assyrian army but got leprosy. It was not curable in those days.He went to see Elijah to ask for healing. The great prophet told him to wash seven time in the Jordan river. The general humbled himself and after he did what he was told to do by the prophet he was cured.

II KIngs 5

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

 

 

 

God Is Awesome

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Great is our Lord

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By: Ryan Nelson

 Psalm 147:5

Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 

A.W. Tozer says, “Because God knows all things perfectly, he knows no thing better than any other thing, but all things equally well. He never discovers anything, he is never surprised, never amazed.” (click to tweet).

“Beyond measure” is a tough concept to grasp. In The Heavens: Intimate Moments with Your Majestic God, Kevin Hartnett grapples with what understanding beyond measure looks like:

“Indeed, through His own gracious revelation of Himself, we can understand God in part, but we can never fully comprehend Him, or even a single one of His qualities. There will always be more of His wisdom to understand, more of His power, more of His holiness, more of His love. We will never fathom Him, and we will never tire of Him. Through all eternity, we will look upon Him and marvel at the endlessly creative, wonderfully gracious, uniquely righteous, timelessly beautiful, unsearchably glorious, infinitely loving Maker and Ruler of all.”

 

Jeremiah 1:5

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Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. (see whole passage).

The FSB has a lot to say on this one verse. In the second layer of notes on “before you were born” it remarks:

“The Apostle Paul seems to have applied this aspect of Jeremiah’s ministry to himself in Galatians 1:14–16. Paul’s rationale in doing so appears to be based on Jeremiah’s reputation as a prophet ‘to the nations’ and reflected in his calling ‘from the womb.’ Paul makes an implicit comparison between himself and Jeremiah as a means to legitimize his own qualifications as an apostle to the Gentiles.”

God had a purpose and a plan for Jeremiah before he was even born. But that doesn’t mean Jeremiah knew his purpose—he tried to convince God he had the wrong guy (Jeremiah 1:6).

Don’t be discouraged when you don’t know God’s plan. God knows where you’re going, and he knows what you need to get there (Jeremiah 1:7–9).

 

Psalm 8:3–4

By: Ryan Nelson

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When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 

“The finger of God symbolizes His power: Pharaoh’s magicians attributed the third plague to the finger of God (Exodus 8:19); the finger of God wrote the Law on stone tablets (Exodus 31:18Deuteronomy 9:10); in the New Testament, Jesus cast out demons by the finger of God (Luke 11:20).”

When we look at the work of God’s fingers, our lives seem far less significant—and that makes his deep concern for our lives that much more meaningful.

“The psalmist marvels that God—the supreme Creator—involves Himself with humanity. Job uses a similar phrase but with a different emphasis. Instead of wondering at God’s care, Job—in the midst of his suffering—wishes God would leave him alone (Job 7:17–21).”

Somebody Cares

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By: Joe Stowell

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Hebrews 4:16

When I was a little boy growing up in Hackensack, New Jersey, I would often fall asleep listening to my little radio. One of my favorite shows was “Big Joe’s Happiness Exchange,” beamed to my bedside from the heart of nearby New York City. The program always began with a deep, mellow voice saying, “Have no fear, Big Joe is here,” and then to the best of my memory he would sing something like . . .

Somebody cares about you and worries till the sun comes shining through!
Somebody cares if you sleep well at night
If your days go all wrong or if your day has gone right.

Then the song would conclude . . .

Please believe me it’s so,
but in case you didn’t know it,
Somebody cares.

Then people from all over the city would call in to talk to Big Joe. With an understanding and quieting spirit he would listen and encourage those who were hurting and lonely. If they had material needs, other people would call in to offer help. It was love, grace, and mercy in action. And there was something really comforting about it, even to my little soul as I fell asleep.

I’ve always been glad that Jesus offers us comfort and help like that.

Even more caring than Big Joe and much more capable to meet our needs, Jesus desires to be personally involved in our lives, to grant peace to our anxious souls, and to supply all our needs. Not limited to a one-hour call-in program, our God is “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). And, when our troubles are so complex and overwhelming that we don’t even know what to ask for, we are assured that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness,” praying for us “with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). He promises that God will meet all of our needs “according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) and that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20)! And just when you think you are down for the count, He assures you that you are not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:9) and that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:31-39)!

Knowing that He is there “24/7” is great news!

I loved Big Joe as a kid. As an adult, I love Jesus even more! What comfort and strength to know that He is ready and waiting to supply mercy and grace in our time of need.

Have no fear—Jesus is here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Fulfills The Law

 

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Romans 13:8-14

Love Fulfills the Law

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”[a] and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

LOVE MY NEIGHBOR

By: Charles Stanley

The second part of Jesus’ love command is to love my neighbor as I love myself. At another point, Jesus takes our requirement for loving one another to another level. He says, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13). Loving our brothers just got harder. The standard of loving my neighbor as I love myself is a high standard but not as high as the standard of laying our lives down for our friends, an allusion to the sacrificial death of Jesus on our behalf.

How can I describe what that kind of love for my fellow man looks like?

The priority love to my fellow-man shows up in my relationship with my parents, ouch! Any of us who have lived through being a teenager probably have offenses toward our parents we would rather forget. But the kind of love Jesus describes honors our parents first.

Love for my fellow man is always redemptive. When I am offended I never become angry and throw insults around about the stupid idiot who just mistreated me. I will never murder someone, literally or figuratively, no matter how severely I have been offended or injured.

Love will always honor the sanctity of my marriage. I will never allow anything to break the covenant bond I have with my wife. Love will always honor the sanctity of my friends’ marriage. It is a holy thing. No matter how hot my friend’s wife may be, she is not mine and my heart will not desire her. With this kind of love, I will never commit adultery, even in my heart.

This Jesus kind of love will make every effort to earn, save and grow my wealth and do what I can to assist others to do the same. It will look out for the welfare of all of those around me. I will never allow a friend or neighbor to be taken advantage of so their wealth is unjustly taken from them.

Jesus love will always attempt to protect the reputation of my friends and neighbors. It will not receive gossip and other forms of fake news as if they were true.

This Jesus love penetrates even to the depth of my heart and makes me content with what I have and who I am. This love produces in me great contentment and peace and never desires what others have.

Those six paragraphs describe the six of the ten commandments that deal with our human relationships. Love looks good, doesn’t it?

 

Love Fulfills The Law

From: Grace To You

 

We want to take some time in the Word of God tonight, so let me encourage you to open your Bible, if you will, to Romans chapter 13.  We’re looking at verses 8 to 10.  The title of this particular section is:  The Key to Obedience.  Or I suppose another way to approach it is:  Love Fulfills the Law.  Romans 13:8 to 10 says this:  “Owe no man anything, but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill,Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not covet, and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely:  Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  Love worketh no ill to its neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” 

Now, as we noted in our last study of this particular text, in which we began to take a look at these verses, one of the results of justification, one of the results of salvation, one of the results of being made right with God is a new and unique relationship to society and that is a relationship of love. “A new commandment I give unto you” – Jesus said in John 13:34 – “that you love one another.  By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another.”  The distinguishing mark, as we know, then, of a Christian is love.  “It is love that not only distinctively marks a Christian but that fulfills the law,” says the apostle Paul. 

Now, in this brief passage, I pointed out to you that there are three features of Christian love,discussed the debt of love, the discharge of love, and the design of love.  We began last time by looking at the debt of love.  Verse 8 says, “Owe no man anything but to love one another.”  Now remember, the statement, “Owe no man anything,” is a bridge from the prior section.  In verses 6 and 7, he’s been talking about paying your taxes, which you owe the government.  And you are to pay your taxes.  That is a debt.  He bridges from there to the point about love by simply saying,“Owe no man anything but love.”  In other words, pay all your debts, and the one debt you’ll always pay and never really have paid is the debt of love. 

Somebody Cares

By: Joe Stowell

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” Hebrews 4:16

When I was a little boy growing up in Hackensack, New Jersey, I would often fall asleep listening to my little radio. One of my favorite shows was “Big Joe’s Happiness Exchange,” beamed to my bedside from the heart of nearby New York City. The program always began with a deep, mellow voice saying, “Have no fear, Big Joe is here,” and then to the best of my memory he would sing something like . . .

Somebody cares about you and worries till the sun comes shining through!
Somebody cares if you sleep well at night
If your days go all wrong or if your day has gone right.
.

Then people from all over the city would call in to talk to Big Joe. With an understanding and quieting spirit he would listen and encourage those who were hurting and lonely. If they had material needs, other people would call in to offer help. It was love, grace, and mercy in action. And there was something really comforting about it, even to my little soul as I fell asleep.

I’ve always been glad that Jesus offers us comfort and help like that.

Even more caring than Big Joe and much more capable to meet our needs, Jesus desires to be personally involved in our lives, to grant peace to our anxious souls, and to supply all our needs. Not limited to a one-hour call-in program, our God is “an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). And, when our troubles are so complex and overwhelming that we don’t even know what to ask for, we are assured that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness,” praying for us “with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26). He promises that God will meet all of our needs “according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) and that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20)! And just when you think you are down for the count, He assures you that you are not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:9) and that nothing can separate you from His love (Romans 8:31-39)!

Knowing that He is there “24/7” is great news!

I loved Big Joe as a kid. As an adult, I love Jesus even more! What comfort and strength to know that He is ready and waiting to supply mercy and grace in our time of need.

Have no fear—Jesus is here!

 

 

 

 

Develop A Solid Faith

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A Solid Faith

by Inspiration Ministries

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. John 11:25 NKJV

Born on this day in 1732, George Washington was known for fairness. While some have doubted his Christian convictions, the evidence is clear that his faith was genuine.

As a young man, Washington knew the Bible and sensed that God had a special call on his life. He often attended church services. It is said that he would begin and end each day with prayer, alone in his room.

As a soldier, he served with confidence, knowing that God was with him. He experienced many miracles. Horses were shot from under him, but he survived unscathed. His troops were spared when they could have been wiped out. Miraculously, their needs were provided.

As army leader, he insisted on times of prayer and told his men to “fight as true Christian soldiers.” As America’s first President, he made sure that faith was central to that office. Taking the oath in 1789, he laid his hands on the Bible, adding the phrase, “So help me, God.” This became a tradition for all future Presidents.

Washington’s tomb was engraved with Jesus’ words, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” His last words were “Father of mercies, take me unto thyself.”

The Bible reminds us that God needs to be the foundation of our lives. He created the earth. He is the source of wisdom. He alone can protect and guide us. Boldly let others know that you believe in God. Make sure that you trust Him and base your life on His Word.

 

All Things Are Possible With God

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By: L.B. Cowman

If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23).

Seldom have we heard a better definition of faith than was given once in one of our meetings, by a dear old colored woman, as she answered the question of a young man how to take the Lord for needed help.

In her characteristic way, pointing her finger toward him, she said with great emphasis: “You’ve just got to believe that He’s done it and it’s done.” The great danger with most of us is that, after we ask Him to do it, we do not believe that it is done, but we keep on helping Him, and getting others to help Him; and waiting to see how He is going to do it.

Faith adds its “Amen” to God’s “Yea,” and then takes its hands off, and leaves God to finish His work. Its language is, “Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in him; and he worketh.”
–Days of Heaven upon Earth

I simply take Him at His word,
I praise Him that my prayer is heard,
And claim my answer from the Lord;
I take, He undertakes.

An active faith can give thanks for a promise, though it be not as yet performed; knowing that God’s bonds are as good as ready money.
–Matthew Henry

 

God breaks your bonds

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Simposious.com

Psalm 46

7.The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields[d] with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

God Has Chosen You

From:  Simposious.com

 

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Isiah 41: 8-10

“But you, Israel, my servant,
    Jacob, whom I have chosen,
    you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
    from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
    I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Are You A Living Sacrifice For God?

 What does a living sacrifice look like in the practical sense? The following verse (Romans
12:2) helps us to understand. We are a living sacrifice for God by not being conformed to
this world. The world is defined for us in 1 John 2:15-16 as the lust of the flesh, the lust of
the eyes, and the pride of life. All that the world has to offer can be reduced to these
three things. The lust of the flesh includes everything that appeals to our appetites and
involves excessive desires for food, drink, sex, and anything else that satisfies physical
needs. Lust of the eyes mostly involves materialism, coveting whatever we see that we
don’t have and envying those who have what we want. The pride of life is defined by any
ambition for that which puffs us up and puts us on the throne of our own lives. 
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Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins

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Romans 12:1-8

Jesus’ sacrifice corresponds exactly to what Adam lost​—one perfect human life. (1 Corinthians 15:21, 22, 45, 46) The Bible says: “Just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one person [Jesus Christ] many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:​19) This explains how the death of one man can pay the ransom for many sinners. In fact, Jesus’ sacrifice is “a corresponding ransom for all” those who take the steps necessary to benefit from it.​—1 Timothy 2:​5, 6.

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

God’s Heart Revealed

By: Joe Stowell

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. —Revelation 3:19

It’s easy to think of God as a divine fly-swatter, just waiting for you to land so that—whap—He can nail you for your sins. But that’s not what we see in Revelation 2:1 – 3:22 in His letters to the seven churches. The pattern of the letters demonstrates God’s loving heart for wayward people.

Jesus began many of these letters by affirming the good things His people had done. This shows us that when we do what is good and right, the Lord is pleased.

But Jesus is also concerned about the faults in our lives. His commendation in these letters was often followed by clear words of reproof. And while it’s not comfortable to hear Him say, “Nevertheless I have this against you” (Rev. 2:4Rev. 2:14,20), He reveals what needs to be changed in our lives to keep us from self-deceit.

This moves us to the real heart of the matter—repentance. When the Lord told these churches to repent, He was revealing His love for wayward saints. His goal was not to condemn but to restore them to intimate fellowship with Him.

And don’t miss the fact that each letter ends with a specific promise for the “overcomers.” Clearly God desires to reward those who live lives that are pleasing to Him.

What’s He saying to you today?

 

How to keep the heart

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By: Charles Spurgeon

“The peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Suggested Further Reading: Mark 4:35-41

Cast your troubles where you have cast your sins; you have cast your sins into the depth of the sea, there cast your troubles also. Never keep a trouble half an hour on your own mind before you tell it to God. As soon as the trouble comes, quick, the first thing, tell it to your Father. Remember, that the longer you take telling your trouble to God, the more your peace will be impaired. The longer the frost lasts, the more thick the ponds will be frozen. Your frost will last till you go to the sun; and when you go to God—the sun, then your frost will soon become a thaw, and your troubles will melt away. But do not be long, because the longer you are in waiting, the longer will your trouble be in thawing afterwards. Wait a long while till your trouble gets frozen thick and firm, and it will take many a day of prayer to get your trouble thawed again. Away to the throne as quick as ever you can. Do as the child did, when he ran and told his mother as soon as his little trouble happened to him; run and tell your Father the first moment you are in affliction. Do this in everything, in every little thing—“in everything by prayer and supplication” make known your wants unto God. Take your husband’s headache, take your children’s sicknesses, take all things, little family troubles as well as great commercial trials—take them all to God; pour them all out at once. And so by an obedient practice of this command in everything making known your wants unto God, you shall preserve that peace “which shall keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ.”

For meditation: If the God of peace is with you (Philippians 4:9), you have open access to the peace of God—but check carefully all the conditions in Philippians 4:6.

The Great Reservoir

Enjoy The Reservoir of God’s Love
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The great reservoir

By: Charles Spurgeon

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23

Suggested Further Reading: Matthew 12:33-37

If I should vainly attempt to fashion my discourse after lofty models, I should this morning compare the human heart to the ancient city of Thebes, out of whose hundred gates multitudes of warriors were wont to march. As was the city such were her armies, as was her inward strength, such were they who came forth of her. I might then urge the necessity of keeping the heart, because it is the metropolis of our manhood, the citadel and armoury of our humanity. Let the chief fortress surrender to the enemy, and the occupation of the rest must be an easy task. Let the principal stronghold be possessed by evil, the whole land must be overrun thereby. Instead, however, of doing this, I shall attempt what possibly I may be able to perform, by a humble metaphor and a simple figure, which will be easily understood; I shall endeavour to set forth the wise man’s doctrine, that our life issues from the heart, and thus I shall labour to show the absolute necessity of keeping the heart with all diligence. You have seen the great reservoirs provided by our water companies, from which the water which is to supply hundreds of streets and thousands of houses comes. Now, the heart is just the reservoir of man, and our life is allowed to flow in its proper season. That life may flow through different pipes—the mouth, the hand, the eye; but still all the issues of hand, of eye, of lip, derive their source from the great fountain and central reservoir, the heart; and hence there is no difficulty in showing the great necessity that exists for keeping the reservoir, the heart, in a proper state and condition, since otherwise that which flows through the pipes must be tainted and corrupt.

For meditation: God is the only one who knows the natural wickedness of our hearts (Jeremiah 17:9), the only one who can renew them (Ezekiel 36:25-26) and the only one who can produce good from them (John 7:38-39).

God Hears You

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 We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank, and told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor? Whose fault is it that Christian people generally have such scanty portions of the free riches of God?
–McLaren

By faith God gives the victory over your problems.

 

God Is Our Help

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From: Simposious. com
God says, ” I am with you.” Church problem, family problem, big decision, God is with you. He will give you strength. More importantly, He is beside you lifting you up and encouraging you.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

God Strengthens Us

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From: Simposious.com

Strengthen your church, family, and friends by prayer. Prayer is powerful. Have faith that God hears and answers prayer.

Colossians 1:9-12

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience,12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

Tell The Good News Of Salvation

 

Tell People The Good News

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Malachi 3

God Sends His Messengers With Good News

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“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.

“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.

 

Bear Good Fruit

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From: L.B. Cowman

And every branch that beareth fruit he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit (John 15:2).

A child of God was dazed by the variety of afflictions which seemed to make her their target. Walking past a vineyard in the rich autumnal glow she noticed the untrimmed appearance and the luxuriant wealth of leaves on the vines, that the ground was given over to a tangle of weeds and grass, and that the whole place looked utterly uncared for; and as she pondered, the Heavenly Gardener whispered so precious a message that she would fain pass it on:

“My dear child, are you wondering at the sequence of trials in your life? Behold that vineyard and learn of it. The gardener ceases to prune, to trim, to harrow, or to pluck the ripe fruit only when he expects nothing more from the vine during that season. It is left to itself, because the season of fruit is past and further effort for the present would yield no profit. Comparative uselessness is the condition of freedom from suffering. Do you then wish me to cease pruning your life? Shall I leave you alone?”

And the comforted heart cried, “No!”
–Homera Homer-Dixon

It is the branch that bears the fruit,
That feels the knife,
To prune it for a larger growth,
A fuller life.
Though every budding twig be lopped,
And every grace
Of swaying tendril, springing leaf,
Be lost a space.
O thou whose life of joy seems reft,
Of beauty shorn;
Whose aspirations lie in dust,
All bruised and torn,
Rejoice, tho’ each desire, each dream,
Each hope of thine
Shall fall and fade; it is the hand
Of Love Divine
That holds the knife, that cuts and breaks
With tenderest touch,
That thou, whose life has borne some fruit

May’st now bear much.
–Annie Johnson Flint

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Ephesians 1

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

 

 Flee Sexual Immorality!

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I Corinthians 6:19

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

 

Teach Them God’s Good News

Proverbs 15: 30-33

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30 Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart,
    and good news gives health to the bones.

31 Whoever heeds life-giving correction
    will be at home among the wise.

32 Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,
    but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.

33 Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord,
    and humility comes before honor.