Monday, February 25, 2013

His righteousness

What is His righteousness?

2 Corinthians 9:10 (NKJV) Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.

Most people now days would say God's righteousness would be to adhere to the Ten Commandments. Even in the church many believe that to be righteous, one must not smoke, drink, or cuss. I am not taking anything away from the fact that it is better not to smoke drink and cuss; it just does not define righteousness.

The Bible says in James 2:8, "If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself,"" It also tells us in Galatians 5:18, "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law." This law is the Ten Commandments. As a New Testament believer, I am God's royal priesthood (1 Pe. 2:9). I consider my law to be the royal law we learn about in James.

Galatians 5:14 says, "For all the law [royal law] is fulfilled in one word, even in this: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."  The Royal law hangs on love. This means loving God, loving my neighbor, and loving myself.

The Scripture at the top of this post says, "May God increase the fruits of your righteousness". The Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth). Then in Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) we read, "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"  The fruit of the Spirit is righteousness.

I want to display righteousness. I ask God to continually increase love, joy, peace, patients, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control---in me and through me. When I display this fruit, I display God. I want people to sense the presence of God when they come near me. I want it to bring God glory. I do not care if they smoke, drink, and cuss.

Bring God into your presence. Pray for Him to multiply your righteousness.

Be Blessed.

Monday, February 18, 2013

I am no theologian but...

Exodus 4:8 (NKJV) "Then it will be, if they do not believe you, nor heed the message of the first sign, that they may believe the message of the latter sign.

This passage comes from the first meeting Moses had with God in the burning bush. The verses before this one reveal God had a message for Moses to pass on. Moses wanted to know how to prove the message was from God. God gave him two signs to prove it.

The first sign was changing Moses' staff into a snake. The second sign was changing his leprous hand back to normal. The story can be found in Exodus 4:1-8. I am no Bible theologian but I think I see a message here.

I believe the staff represents Jesus. The shepherd's staff was used to protect the sheep from wild animals. God sent Jesus to save the world (John 3:16). I believe the snake is a picture of sin. The devil is a snake; he is also a picture of sin (Genesis 3:1).

The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:2, "For He made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Therefore, Jesus, whom God sent to save us, became sin and paid the penalty of sin on the cross. Jesus, our protector became sin depicted by the staff turning into a snake.

Leprosy speaks of contaminated flesh. When Adam ate the forbidden fruit, humankind became contaminated by sin. Salvation produces wonderful changes in a person. Spending time in the Word of God produces a supernatural change to take place in a believer. It decontaminates them.

I think when people see the difference in me; it is proof of the gift of salvation. It may not always be possible to explain what Jesus did for us on the cross---but we can still demonstrate it in our actions.

Be Blessed!

****Special Note to all my subscribers.

Christ Crucified will be officially released on March 1st. It has already started showing up in some on-line retailers. I will be offering free eBooks through Amazon March 1st to 3rd. I will send you a special notice with a link to download it. However, if you prefer a paperback version, I will be happy to send you an advance copy postage prepaid by me. Just send me a mailing address. This is one book you will not want to put down.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Multiply the Grace

1 Corinthians 2:2 (NKJV) For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

How do you encourage a church plagued with sickness and bondage? The apostle Paul faced this problem with the Corinthian church. The people served God but did not experience the freedom Jesus provided. Paul made this powerful statement---know Jesus and the crucifixion.

Paul taught them about love (1 Corinthians 13:4-8), and communion (1 Corinthians 11:19-32). The cross was a demonstration of love and communion is about fellowship.

I truly believe fellowship with Jesus is the best way to release the power of God into my circumstances. This message is echoed in 2 Peter 1:2. He said, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." Peter was teaching us to know Jesus personally and then grace and peace would multiply.* defines communion as, "the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings". Breaking bread at the communion table is a great place to study with God and learn about His love. I also like to meditate on His continual presence. I continually acknowledge His never-ending presence in my life. I bring my communion with God into my whole life.

My life has been flooded with grace. I make better decisions; many bad habits have faded away. I am more enjoyable to be with. I used to have terrible habits, many of my decisions were wrong, and I had a tendency to be rude. I sometimes wonder if it was a blessing to have so many obvious faults. I have truly seen God work in me. He has taken my weaknesses and provided me with strength to overcome them.

As I get to know the Lord Jesus Christ on a more personal level, I get a better understanding of His love for me. That is more wonderful than anything this natural life has to offer!

Be blessed.


Monday, February 04, 2013

Get some rest.

John 14:27 (NKJV) Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I have heard several preachers teach that we have the power to, “let not our heart be troubled”. The first time I heard this, I gladly received it as good advice. Then one night as I tried to sleep, I was overwhelmed with my emotions. I was very upset over something and no matter how hard I tried, I could not, “let not my heart be troubled”.

I tossed and turned for hours as my emotions got the better of me. I asked for God to give me strength in this weakness, but I still did not get a good night's rest. In the morning when I woke, I was still overwhelmed with this unholy emotion. I could not seem to let go. I knew I needed help to, “let not my heart be troubled”.

I decided to see if there might be a clue to help me with this. I looked up the verse above and read the passage before it. John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” There it was. The answer I needed; our helper, the Holy Spirit, will remind us of God’s promises. I was finally on the road to peace. I simply had to remember the promises of God for my situation.

What happened next completely changed my angry emotions to joy and compassion. I read a devotional, as I typically do in the mornings. This one covered the exact same situation I was dealing with. It contained a relevant Scripture that I was familiar with but had not memorized. The passage fit my circumstances perfectly. I knew the Holy Spirit brought it to my attention.

If my heart is troubled---I focus on God. I read a devotional, a book or study my Bible for a word on the situation I am facing. I expect to find one that talks to me and I always do. Having this experience has brought me to the peace of God that passes understanding (Philippians 4:7). God is so good!

Be blessed.