“Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11
As Americans set aside Thanksgiving Day for our nation to thank God Almighty for his favor and blessings he has given our nation – families across this great land also reflect and thank God for his blessings on them.
We know Romans 8:28 tells us, ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ”
Have you ever considered this verse in your own life? When we look back at our life we can see how God worked in our life. And by looking back we begin to understand how God works. So as we move forward through life we can better understand how God is working in our life. I would encourage you to examine your life and see how God has helped you, protected and prospered you.
As many of my regular readers know – I was first exposed to the truth of the gospel of salvation, where I understood it, at the age of 27. I did not know much about God or Jesus. But I told God I would give him 30 days to get through to me. If he did not get through to me I told him, say-la-vee. At the time I had no idea how disrespectful my comment was.
So in January, back then, I set aside the whole month to learn about God. I read the New Testament (didn’t understand much of it). At the end of the 30 days I had to make a decision.
The decision was not hard for me. After all I had been listening to preaching about hell for 30 days and I knew I did not want to go there. So on February 2nd I made the decision to ask God to forgive me and Jesus to come into my heart and save me. He did.
Keeping with the theme of this post, I wanted to consider Romans 8:28. So I looked at my life as a believer now and wanted to see where God worked in my life. At least where I could recognize his working. I reasoned if I could see how God worked in my life I could better understand how God works. Remember God tells us his ways are not our ways.
So here is an exercise. Look at the time before you were saved and see if you can spot times God was working for you or in your heart. Then once you got saved, see if you can spot times God has worked for you and write them down.
Then from the time you got saved make a list of people who came into your life and had a real impact on you. Not a casual acquaintance but someone who impacted your life. Family is family but try to pick other people too. People not related to you.
Then list where you were and what was going on in your life when you met these people. Where were you working? How did these people come into your life? Were these people believers or no? How were you introduced to these people? Then list how these people had such a great impact on your life. Have you tried to show them thanksgiving?
When I did this exercise I discovered four people God put in my life that had a huge impact on me and my life. Of the four, two were saved and two were not saved. The two that were not saved, God used me to win them to Jesus Christ and they got saved. But they still had a huge impact on my life. They helped me with things in this world.
The two that were saved really altered my life, one to good and one to heartache. God used them to help me grow up in the Lord. The one that caused me heartache, that put me through challenges I never thought I would go through in my life.
And now? I truly can look at how God has made Romans 8:28 more than a cliché. That verse is very real to me and I am living proof it is true.
So this thanksgiving not only thank God for his favor, his blessings, his grace but also take time to thank him for the people and connections he puts in your path to help you. You will remember those people who impact your life, for your life. Then thank the Lord. Until next time.
Here is a simple question but it has doctrinal implications. Is John the Baptist part of the Bride of Christ? Understanding the divisions in scripture help us to understand doctrine for our age, our time.
If John the Baptist is part of the Bride of Christ, then what John the Baptist taught would apply doctrinally to the Bride of Christ. If John the Baptist is not a part of the Bride of Christ, then his teachings, his doctrine does not apply to the Bride literally, but there is a spiritual application.
Remember, John the Baptist preached repent and be baptized to get saved. Paul did not preach repent and be baptized to be saved. Paul preached believe on not in but on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. We will look at what Paul preached later. So is John the Baptist part of the Bride of Christ? What does scripture say and what did John the Baptist say? John chapter 3:25-36 KJV.
25¶ Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying.
26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
(They are referring to Jesus as the one John barest witness of.)
27¶ John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
John the Baptist tells us he is a friend of the bridegroom, not the bride. Think of a wedding. You have the bride and her friends and family and you have the groom, the bridegroom. He has his friends and family. Neither friends or family of the groom share everything with the bridegroom. The bridegroom shares all with his bride.
So who is the bride? Jesus speaks parables to those listening to his preaching. And he speaks parables of a bridgroom. A very interesting study.
Remember, Proverbs 25:2 tells us God hides things and tells us we are to search it out. If you understand who the bride is you understand the differences between the promises made to the bride and the promises made to a nation, Israel. Check it out. Until next time.
For years I asked the Lord, what is the whole purpose of life in this world. It wasn’t until later I understood what the Lord was trying to get through to me. I was seeing all the heartache, the pain and suffering and how people went through some terrible things in this world and I couldn’t understand the purpose of it all. But God is God and he knows best and surely He has a purpose.
Scripture tells us God’s ways are not man’s ways. We see plenty of examples from scripture of “unjust” things. God’s people going through terrible things and some even killed. There is one common denominator for these people going through unjust “things”. What kind of “things”?
Look at Hebrews chapter 11. And when you get towards the end of that chapter, notice verses 32 – 40 particularly.
” 32. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33. Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36. And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38. (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40. God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”
So one would have to ask, Why would God carry us through heartaches, troubles, pain, suffering, and so many other unpleasant things in this world? We know this world is not our home. We know we are not a part of this world. So why go through all these troubles in this world?
Why does a child go through adolescents? What is the purpose of childhood? Jesus likens the thinking of children to immaturity. Children think like a child. What does that mean? Children do not forsee danger, they do not forsee consequences of their actions, they do not see reprocussions of words or actions and we do not expect a child to understand these things. God does not expect his children to understand either. And that is where trust comes in. Children trust their parents. And as a child trusts their parents, so should we trust God.
We know one day, our child is going to grow up and they will take the core values we teach them, with them throughout their life. It may not always be the way we expect our child to respond but God tells us if we train them up in the way they should go, when they are old, they will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6.
Our walk through this life in this world is indeed preparing us for the future. Just like a child grows up and then they start their life, so we as God’s children grow up in spiritual matters learning to do things God’s way.
As we walk through this earthly life, God tells us about different “stages” in life we will go through. God calls those stages seasons. And when we come to the end of our season in this world, God moves us into our future life, with or without Him.
Ecclesiastics chapter 3 verses 1 – 13 explains this life in this world,
” To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7. A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
9. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
10. I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
11. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.
12. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.
13. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. ”
So friends, everything we go through in this life in this world is preparing us for our future when we grow up in Christ. When we will be as he, Jesus is.
Be encouraged, God knows what he is doing so watch your words and attitude when going through troubles in this life. As a believer, we have a wonderful future. Until next time.
Why do people go to church? Why do you go to church?
Scripture talks about not forsaking the assembly of ourselves (believers). Hebrews 10:23-25.
“23. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24. And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. ”
Some people use these verses to say we are suppose to go to church and if you do not go to church, they claim, you are “back-slidden”. First, the term back-slidden is a term used for Israel, not the church. Second, the word church is not in those verses in Hebrews. And third, doctrinally the book of Hebrews is addressed to who? It says right at the beginning of the book, The Epistle (Letter) of Paul the Apostle To The Hebrews.
So we learn from the beginning of the book, it is a letter/epistle Paul wrote. And who did Paul address the letter to? Hebrews/Jews. So any questioning of who wrote the book of Hebrews is folly. God tells us Paul wrote it.
When you learn Paul was a Pharisee, someone who was legalistic about God’s word, a real religious guy and realize Paul was, as a Pharisee, lost and not saved until God got a hold of him in Acts chapter 9 (Saul later called Paul) you need to pay attention. Being legalistic or real religious does not get you to God or heaven. With God it is about your heart not your head, not your actions but your heart towards God. And as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.
So knowing Paul was a Pharisee before getting saved, you learn Paul had a great love for the Jewish people and that is clearly one reason he wrote the book of Hebrews. Paul even tells us and the Jews, in the book of Hebrews, about his love for the Jewish people.
So doctrinally, the book of Hebrews is not written to the church but to Hebrews. Sure, we have spiritual applications we use from the book of Hebrews but doctrine in the book of Hebrews is not written to the church. Again, who is the church? A called out assembly made up of Jews and Gentiles who have believed on and received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
The book of Hebrews explains, using Old Testament teaching examples, who Jesus is and compares the applications of scripture.
All of that said so I can go back to the beginning of this post. Believers can assemble anywhere. When believers assemble together they worship the Lord of glory and edify (build one another up in the faith) one another.
Church most often teaches “church stuff”. That means they may or may not teach scripture but they also teach church teachings; Another words, denominational teachings. They teach what you can or can not do until they get found out for doing the same things. The sad thing is people often blame God and then call all believers hypocrites.
It is not until you get knowledge that you understand, all are sinners. There is NONE righteous, no, not one. That is why Jesus/Yeshua came.
Jesus did not come and die a horrible death on the cross and rise from the dead so you could be nice and go to church. The Christian life is not about going to church Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday nights to do your “duty”. If that is what you believe in your heart, you might want to check your salvation. You see, doing works, doing your “duty” has nothing to do with your salvation.
Ephesians 2:7-10 says, “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
8. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ”
True knowledge comes from God and maybe it is time to really learn who God is and how he operates and what he expects from believers. Maybe it is time to see and hear what God says we need to do to go to heaven, not what man says and not what a religious organization says, but what saith the Lord God and then do what he says and you will get the results HE promises. Until next time.
What an eye opener. Let us try to show an example of knowledge and bringing thoughts captive.
Below is John chapter 4 verses 5 through 42, KJV. Keeping in mind our topic, knowledge, what was Jesus trying to teach this woman at the well? Remember, the woman at the well was “thinking” water from the well. We know she was thinking water from the well by what she said.
But Jesus was not speaking about the literal water in the well. What was Jesus trying to teach the woman?
Here are the verses and next time, we will explain.
John 4:5 – 42 “Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
7¶ There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9¶Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10¶Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11¶The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13¶Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15¶The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16¶Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17¶The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
19¶The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21¶Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25¶The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26¶Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
27¶And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
28¶The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
31¶ In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32¶But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
33¶Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
34¶Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
35Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
39¶And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
41 And many more believed because of his own word;
42¶And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
Until next time.
This is a short post with a powerful punch. We have heard how God doesn’t change and how God loves us. Yet, many have perceptions of God but not knowledge.
Understanding God’s ways or having knowledge of how God thinks or works in us, in our life and in the world is a puzzle sometimes. Need an example?
Okay. Look at 1 Kings 17. Remember Elijah? He lived during a time of drought and famine on earth. Remember God sent a raven to gather food and feed Elijah. Elijah was near a stream so he had water during the drought. But when the stream dried up, Elijah knew that was a sign that God wanted him to relocate. God even told Elijah to move to Zarephath.
Note: When a stream God is using to help you dries up, God may be telling you it is time to make a change, a move.
So God tells Elijah where to go, what city. But God also tells Elijah in 1 Kings 17: 7-16 KJV
7. “And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
8. And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
9. Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
10. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
11. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
12. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
13. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
14. For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
15. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by Elijah. ”
Knowledge – asks questions.
Why did God send Elijah to a poor poverty stricken widow and not to a wealthy person?
Who would you have sent Elijah to?
But God sent Elijah to a poor widow, why?
I encourage comments on this question. What do you think about this question? Why did God send Elijah to a poor, broke widow woman and not to a “well off” person?
Until next time.
Did you ever think about where your thoughts come from? Like when you first wake up in the morning and sit on the edge of your bed, thoughts about all kinds of things start going through your mind. Have you ever sat there and wondered, why am I thinking about that? And why am I thinking about that now? I have.
Let me show you how thoughts and knowledge tie together.
Colossians 1:19-22 KJV ” 19 For it pleased the Father that in him (Jesus Christ) should all fulness dwell;
20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:”
Notice where the thoughts come from? Thoughts that God hates me, thoughts of God is angry with me because I did this terrible thing, or I did this or that. Those thoughts are put into your mind by people, by family, by friends and sadly, even by some preachers and even by the enemy Satan. But what does God say? Read it again, Colossians 1:19-22 above. Read it over and over again until it sinks down into your heart and mind.
Thoughts planted in to your mind can be true, they can be a lie and (like Satan did with Eve) they can be half truths.
If the thought is true, it can be backed up with other scripture verses. As my favorite Old Testament prophet Isaiah says in Isaiah 28:9, 10 – ” Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.
10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”
Notice the topic is knowledge?
So knowledge comes from comparing line upon line and precept upon precept. Remember, knowledge is knowing that you know something. The information you sought was investigated thoroughly and you experiment and test your theories, you ask questions and you
come to a conclusion. When others test your information and come up with the same results you did, then they say you have knowledge in this field.
Some people devote their whole life to specific things. At the end of their life, you would assume they are very knowledgeable of that topic plus they have a lot of experience with their topic of choice.
The reason people get messed up with scripture doctrine is someone plants a thought in their mind. Most people never investigate or research that thought from scripture. They never compare thought or idea (precept upon precept) with other scripture verses. The result? God tells us the results in Ephesians 4:14 ” That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”
The result is we end up with (58) different religious denominations that use (15) different Bibles.
But when you can take a thought and search it out from scripture (AV1611 King James) you will see God will show you the truth from his word. You notice what you were searching out begins to be explained to you, by God himself.
Once you have searched it out in scripture and in prayer, God gives you your answer. Then it is up to you to decide if you will believe God or reject what God shows you or believe the person who put that thought in to your mind. Once you make your decision you have acquired knowledge in that topic.
Now let me say, if you choose to believe the person who put that thought in your mind over believing God, you base your knowledge on flawed information. An example.
For years people thought the world was flat and they based that teaching of a flat earth on information. But then one day Christopher Columbus sails and discovers other countries and proves when God’s word says the earth is a circle (round not flat) God was proven to be true and correct.
Isaiah 40: 21, 22 KJV ” Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:”
For years people had what they thought was accurate knowledge of the earth (it was flat) only to discover later that their knowledge was based on false information. Christopher Columbus believed God and the scriptures.
People have all kinds of thoughts about God, heaven, salvation and other topics. The question is, where are you getting your information from regarding these topics. Then, are you checking it out, precept upon precept, to make sure your knowledge lines up with the truth of God’s word.
Anyone with any real amount of scripture knowledge can make the word of God teach almost anything. That is how false doctrine is perpetuated. But to obtain knowledge in the truth, you must search out the scriptures and tackle topics line upon line and precept upon precept. Until next time.