I just can’t understand it …

2Cor 3 praying2aAre those your words when you are flummoxed by an unbeliever who can’t or won’t believe in Jesus? Keep reading.

2Cor 3 Understanding Unbelievers—

One of the hardest things for a believer to understand and recall is how they were before they met Christ. Once spiritually alive all thoughts turn to share Him with those who are not yet “in the fold.” Yet, time and again we are met with indifference and often misunderstandings. We want them to live and fellowship with us but something is hindering them. What is the problem and is there a solution?

How many times have you read Paul’s words: whenever the words of Moses are read there is a veil over their minds and wondered what he meant? It wasn’t until one day when a neighbor, on her own and out of the blue asked me “Who is God?”  In my mind, I saw an open door but Satan saw his opportunity to shut it, lock it and hide the key. Excitement built only to be shattered that very day. As we sat and I explained to her the answer it was like a “veil” came down and separated us. To this day I can see that glaze in her eyes literally falling down; it was the strangest thing but now I know from Paul that it was that veil. Several attempts later were all for naught yet I prayed and continue to pray for another opening.

The words of Hughes: “A veil of intellectual darkness hides the glory which has been deliberately rejected.” Did you notice what Hughes says? The glory has been deliberately rejected but why? The answer is this: Satan “has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.” [2Cor 4] Satan has had his hand in this veil.

Beloved, keep praying for openings. Don’t give up hope. Pray specifically that Satan would be bound and that God’s love pours through you to that unbeliever. And yes one more thing, pray for my neighbor that God would remove that veil.

Do you have that someone who needs prayer too? Share with me so we can covenant together for their salvation.

0

Duck or Believer?

romans 12 duck or believer22a

Romans 12:2 The duck idiom says “if you look like a duck, swim like a duck, quack like a duck, you must be a duck.” According to abductive reasoning, this may or may not be true but it does reflect how we might be seen in the world. More and more believers are fading into the fabric of society. We live and work amongst unbelievers yet how many know that we are indeed born-again. Paul reminded his readers to not be conformed or molded into the world’s system.

Ducks waddle in the barnyard and we waddle in the world. The duck has been trained to discern danger and what is safe and we must do it as well.  We do it by being saturated with the Word so that we can discern truth from error and clinging to this promise: He who hath begun a good work in you will complete it on the day of Christ. It is all His power and all because we are a new creation in Christ. He enables us to “behold the glory of the Lord.” (2Cor 3:18] This is how the mind is renewed — by steadfastly gazing at the glories of Christ for what they really are.

Are we waddling with the ducks or standing out to share the gospel?

0

Purity? Righteousness? Where does the Church stand?

1Cor 5 6 the church2a

1Cor 5-6 Today’s society is attempting to teach us that there is no right or wrong but what feels good.  As a result we are seeing the decline of the church in the areas of purity and holiness. Like today, the Corinthian church had a serious problem. As a church they had failed to discipline the sin in their midst and in fact were accepting it and were proud. Why were they not sorrowing over this serious sin? Why had they not administered discipline?  The world would tell us that we must love all men and that biblical standards are outdated, antiquated and must be changed. But, God’s word does not reveal that thinking. What it does reveal is this: Sin will infect the entire church just as yeast infects the dough. It affects the whole body and the lines of purity and righteousness become blurred.

Begin with evaluating your church’s acceptance of sinful lifestyles. Follow the steps of 2Tim: Teach, rebuke, correct, train both in the home and in the church. The reason? Consider that Jesus may return at any moment. Is there any sin within you or the church that needs attention?  Remember these words: Be ye holy as I am holy saith the Lord. If need be, follow the discipline principles of Matt 18 (one on one, two on one, bring to church).

We are to love all but we must also be wise and discerning, know truth from error and keep the church unspotted from the world.

 

0

Help the Weak

Romans 15 helping others2aRomans 15 Wisdom

James reminded his readers about two kinds of wisdom, earthly and heavenly. Wisdom requires not just input of facts but also the practical outworking of that in us for many reasons such as being the shepherds, the ones who live out Christ to and before others.

Paul has spent the greater part of this letter to the Romans with the “facts.” Now he wants his beloved readers to demonstrate the truth of those “facts.” It takes great perseverance to live out the “facts.” Because of that Paul begins chapter 15 with these words: “But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak.” But why and how do we accomplish that? We investigate how Jesus did as he served the disciples for over 3 yrs. He patiently helped them to learn that both Jews and Gentiles were deserving of faith that leads to salvation. He taught them that to be blessed means that you seek opportunities to serve as He did for Peter’s mother or as He provided both physical and spiritual food to those in need for the 5000. In these ways, he saw their weaknesses and He provided strength.

But we are still left to answer the question of why. The clue is found in vs 6 “together you may with one voice glorify meaning to bring praise and honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Who in your sphere of influence needs strengthening? How will you assist them? Start today.

0

Peace & Perspective

Romans 12 peace

Romans 12:18 It’s All About Perspective

Paul reminds the Romans reading his letter: If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people. What if you are finding the situation in which you are nearly impossible? What do you do then? First, you return to his words at the beginning of this chapter: I exhort you or I urge you or I beseech you. Paul is not arguing for them to obey because of him but because of God. It has to start there realizing the price paid and the sorrow of our Lord’s heart to forgive us when we were unworthy of such love and peace. We have to return to the words of our Lord:  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God,” [Matt 5] This is the “when the rubber hits the road” section.

Putting life into that perspective we can move from the outward and inward expressions of no peace to peace. We can look at the problem through God’s eyes and see His love pouring through us to the person or circumstance. It’s all about perspective. I hear you saying but you don’t know my situation or the persons involved. But, even though, reader, I don’t know, God does. He wants you to stop and employ prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. He wants to use you as His conduit to bring peace.

It is just that simple.

 

 

0

Beware of the Deadly D’s

Luke 22 servant or satan2a

Luke 22 Dr. Luke has shown us from chapter 1 to now the contrast of the one who came to “seek and save the lost” with the one who seeks to destroy the king and the kingdom. We know from 2Cor that often he disguises himself as an angel of light and that he continues to walk about this earth seeking whom he may devour. In sharp contrast to him is The Servant who came lowly and meek lying in a manger to now where he will suffer at the cross. Observe if you will, how Satan works; not openly but behind the scenes seeking to disarm and destroy in the quiet, the unassuming, the orderly, the times of sacredness. This is where he seeks to do his work. This is his work for he is the author of the “deadly d’s” by which he seeks to disarm and destroy.

Deception: The religious leaders were seeking a way to execute Jesus and thereby will break the sixth commandment “thou shalt not murder” because they think they are offering service to God.

Disillusionment: Satan infiltrates the disillusioned traitor, Judas, who has so mastered the cloak of traitor that no one suspects. But Jesus knows and reveals his ways and his work.

Defensiveness: The disciples “began to question one another as to which of them it could possibly be who would do this.”

Disputing: The disciples began to dispute “which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.”

Distraction: While all of this is going on it seems that Peter’s attention has drifted and The Servant calls him back:  “Simon, Simon, pay attention!” As Peter’s attention is arrested, he hears the ominous warning: “Satan has demanded to have you all, to sift you like wheat.” And how does Peter handle this?

Self-defense: But Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!” And it is at that moment that The Servant predicts what will happen: “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know me.”

Satan has infiltrated and sought to disrupt the most sacred of times. Beloved, beware that it is when we are in the sacred moments such as reading, meditating, praying, busy about the Master’s business, that Satan will seek to do his work. It is then that we need to call upon The Servant to disarm him. We must “hold firmly to the faith” and “rekindle God’s gift that we possess”-learning to be discerning by words of the sacred scripture [Ps 119:11; 2Tim 2:15, Heb 5:14]. Call upon the power of the Holy Spirit which resides within you.

Jer 29:12 When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers.

 

 

0