Wednesday, December 17 2014
The teachings of Paul cover many of the lifestyle issues that Christians will encounter in their relationship with Jesus Christ. There is obviously not enough space within this blog to comment on all of them, but I would like to speak to how Christians interact with each other.
Matthew 19:19 KJV
 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The Apostle Paul supported this doctrine when he wrote some very specific instructions on how to "love" or treat each other. Perhaps, there were some issues that the Phillipian church was dealing with and their Bishop took upon himself to pen some instuctions. He wrote...
Philippians 2:2-5 GW
 Then fill me with joy by having the same attitude and the same love, living in harmony, and keeping one purpose in mind.
 Don't act out of selfish ambition or be conceited. Instead, humbly think of others as being better than yourselves.
 Don't be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.
 Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.
Paul's instructions are pointed. He first writes to the "church body" and reminds us that we have one purpose. There is an anointing in unity and the church needs to stand arm in arm as we reach the lost of our communities.
He continued to instruct us on self ambition and humbly thinking of others "better" than yourself. He warns that we should be more concerned with others than ourselves.
As he continued to write his instructions, Paul says, "Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had". Having the same attitude as Jesus can eliminate many of the "issues" within churches. Jesus put others first, touched the untouchable and loved those that did Him wrong. His reaction was not to pull away from Judas but kiss him.
As we maintain our relationship with Jesus Christ, we must remember these simple instructions to the church. They go against the grain of human nature, but they line up to the attitude of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are to mirror Jesus Christ and to keep His purpose.
Tuesday, December 09 2014
Require ~ to have need of; need.
The question is simple. What does God require of me? The answer is simple. The Bible is full of things that God requires of us. There are steps to salvation, lifestyle choices and to endure to the end. Pastors stand in pulpits each week and preach the "requirements" that God expects so that we can make it to heaven.
We are required to pray, study the Bible, fast and attend church. We are required to bear fruit, display the fruit of the Spirit, and operate in the Gifts of the Spirit. We are required to "go" and make disciples, preach the word and be instant in season and out. We are required to mature as Christians and stay on the narrow path. We are required to fight the good fight of faith and endure to the end.
There is one word that God requires of us that encapsulates everything tht we are to do to make it to heaven. That word is "obedience". Obedience has been a theme throughtout scripture starting with Adam and Eve. Noah was told how to build an ark and Moses was given the exact instructions on constructing the tabernacle.
God has never left it to man to "figure it out". He has given us the instructions on how to make it to heaven. We call it the Bible. It includes instructions how to receive salvation and mature as Christians.
When asked, "What does God require of me?", the answer is simply "obedience". When obedient, everything else falls into place.
Monday, December 08 2014
John 19:28-30 KJV
 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
When we finish something significant or meet a goal that you have worked diligently to achieve there is a feeling of accomplishment. It can be a moment of overwhelming emotion and reflection.
A successful business man and author named Harvey Mackay said, "A great accomplishment shouldn't be the end of the road, just the starting point for the next leap forward."
The setting for the scripture that I read a moment ago, is Jerusalem 2000 years ago. Jesus Christ had been stripped of his clothes, beaten, had his beard pulled out and a crown of thorns placed in his head. He was spit at, made fun of, betrayed, denied and abandoned.
And after all that...
He was hung on a cross to endure a savage and brutal execution.
The writer of the scripture, John, pens something that speaks to the God that we serve.
He said, "Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished (achieve or complete successfully), that the scripture might be fulfilled"
What did he accomplish, achieve or complete successfully?
Isaiah 53:3-5 KJV
 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
In verse 30 of John 19, John quotes Jesus as saying "It is finished".
There are four different Greek words that are used in the New Testament that is translated as "finished".
The word that John wrote so many years ago "teleo" meaning "to end, that is, complete, execute, conclude, discharge (a debt)"
Jesus was not saying that it was over or complete because He was no longer going to be an influence on mankind, but what he is saying is that I have just payed your debt.
Paul told the Corinthian church;
1 Corinthians 6:20 KJV
 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
We are sinners
Romans 3:23 KJV
 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
and sin has a price.
Romans 6:23 KJV
 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:23 GW
 The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus Christ in HIs Eternal love and Grace took your sins upon Himself and paid the price for your freedom from sin.
1 Peter 1:18-20 KJV
 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
The death of Jesus Christ was not the final moments of a great man, but the payment to redeem you back so that you have the ability to have a intimate and personal relationship with Him.
The Psalmist wrote:
Psalm 103:1-4 KJV
 Bless the Lord , O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
 Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Job 19:25 KJV
 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
Adam and Eve were created to be immortal. They were without sin, disease, struggles, trial and shame. Their relationship with God in the garden of Eden was intimate.
Their choosing to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil sent man into a downward spiral and allowed the enemy, Satan, to have dominance on Earth.
But it was through His death that the end became the beginning...
Revelation 1:18 KJV
 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
God wants to have a deep, intimate and personal relationship with each of you.
He is not worried about:
Where you are from
The color of your skin
The amount of money in your pocket
The sins that you have committed
Because all of that can end today and you can have a new life in Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 KJV
 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
On the day of Pentecost, the questions was asked, "Men and Brethren, what must we do?"
Acts 2:38-39 KJV
 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.