Most believers have heard the phrase, the name it and claim it crowd. So let’s go on a treasure hunt. God’s word is our treasure and if God’s word teaches us to, ” call things which are not as though they were “, then don’t we want to know this?
The phrase, name it and claim it, as far as I can see, comes from Romans 4:17. At least that is the verse most often quoted when referencing the words we speak.
We know we will be judged by our words, so our words are important and we should choose them wisely.
Matthew 12:35-37 KJV “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”
So what does Romans say? Let’s look at the verse. Romans 4:17 KJV “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.”
And Romans 4:18 says Abraham believed God against hope, believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations. How? According to that which was spoken. Spoken by whom? By God.
You see, Abraham wanted an heir. Abraham is about 86 years old when he is asking God for an heir. How do we know this? Because the account is in Genesis 15, 16 and 17. In Genesis 15 is Abraham’s conversation with God. Genesis 16 Sarai, Hagar, Abram engaged over Ishmael’s birth. And as you read through Genesis 16, the last verse says Abram was 86 years old.
But I want to draw your attention to a treasure nugget. You see, Romans 4:17,18 ( where the name it claim it comes from ) is rooted in God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 15. Romans 4 explains that against all hope, Abraham believed what God told him. No matter that Abraham’s body was old (86) and the promise was to Abram and Sarai having an heir not Abram and Hagar. Time passes and in Genesis 17 Abraham is then 99 years old meaning Ishmael is now 13 years old.
Genesis 17:18-22 KJV “And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee!
 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.
 But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
 And he left off talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.”
The treasure nugget is Genesis 15: 1, 4, 6.
Genesis 15:1-6 KJV “After these things the word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
 And Abram said, Lord God , what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
 And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
 And he believed in the Lord ; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
Notice verse 1. The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision saying….
The ( w ) is not a capital ( w ) indicating a proper name. Then notice the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision saying, … So the word of the Lord spoke to Abram. Abram also had a vision. Then look at verse 4, the same thing happens again. ” the word of the Lord came unto him, saying…” Students of the word of God know when God says something once it is important but when God repeats himself, pay special attention.
We know Jesus is called the Word in John 1:1-5; 1:14 and the ( w ) there is a capital (w). So what was the “word” that spoke to Abram in Genesis 15? Check it out. Until next time.
As I was considering the things I was thankful for this Thanksgiving I wanted to look at the bigger picture. Most people tell God they are thankful for family, for food, clothing and shelter, for good health. I tell God I am thankful for those as well, but I tell him all year long. So I wanted this Thanksgiving to look at the bigger picture.
When we thank God for provisions, for family, for a job and health these are all focused around us. They are self centered. And family changes, people die, and marriages break up. People also loose their jobs, or have financial distresses which impacts their provisions. So to thank God for family, food, clothing and shelter for good health are all fine, but centered around self. I didn’t want that for Thanksgiving Day.
So for my third “thing” I’m thankful for, let me give you a definition and see if you can determine what I am describing. Identify this word – ” A state of exemption from the power or control of another. Immunity.”
Any ideas what word this is defining? Let me give you a clue or two.
Romans 6:22 KJV “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
1 Corinthians 7:22 KJV “For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.”
John 8:32 KJV “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:36 KJV “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
The 3rd thing I am thankful for is freedom. As identified above, freedom is a state of exemption from the power or control of another. Nations and peoples seek freedom from tyranny. America was always a beacon for freedom. Freedom for the believer is freedom and liberty in Christ. Free from sin and the power or control of sin and death.
Believers are to live, walk and be led by the Spirit. That is why believers can go through things where most would cringe. You see, this body may be put in jail for following Christ. Like Peter, some may be crucified. Jews were slaughtered because they follow God’s lead and not this world’s ways. You see, no matter how much this world tries to tie you up, confine you or shut your mouth from preaching Jesus, they can not take the Holy Spirit from you. They can not take Jesus away from you because he is in your heart, soul and mind. So no matter what this world does, believers have Jesus Christ. Believers have Freedom.
Believers are free from sin and death. We have liberty in Christ. So as this world and America celebrate Thanksgiving and thank God for family, food, clothing, shelter, health all good things to be thankful for, I will be thanking God for freedom. How God has set me free because I freely chose to believe on and receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. And who the Son sets free is free indeed.
I truly am thankful for you, my followers. My prayer is you will use the opportunities God gives you to share the gospel of salvation with your family and friends this Thanksgiving. You never know who will be stepping in to eternity this month or year.
Until next time.
I saw this picture on Instagram and thought it was beautiful. It is not my original. I thank whoever posted it.
With everything going on in this world, we believers have peace. We rest in the word of God. When you think about it, someone shared the word of God with you and if you are a believer, you chose to believe God’s word. Not only did you decide to believe God’s word, you also decided to receive God’s word into your heart.
Things bombard our minds every day. We think on so many different things all day long. We think about our family, children, our home, our work and yes, on God. As we go through each day our mind, our mouth and our feelings pile up on us. We are bombarded with thoughts, words and feelings. As a believer, we turn to the Lord God for help, for answers and how to respond.
Yes, the Holy Spirit guides, teaches and comforts us, but his guidance, knowledge and comfort all come from the word of God. So this Thanksgiving week, I am also thankful for the word of God. I found salvation in God’s word. I found God in his word. I found Jesus. I found peace.
If we are left to things of this world, the wisdom of this world, the comfort of this world, we would not have true wisdom, comfort or knowledge because this world focuses on itself, not beyond itself.
Psalm 133:1 KJV “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
So as we get together with family over these holidays, my prayer is for peace in your heart, peace in your mind, peace with your family and peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. That peace has to come from your heart so your heart can turn your mind, your mouth and your thoughts off.
Psalm 126:5-6 KJV “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him .”
Until next time.
As the world starts preparing for their shopping bonanza, I wanted to celebrate one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is unlike any other ” secular ” holiday because it is a day mankind, America in this case, has set one day out of the year to give thanks to Almighty God for everything.
Not only is Thanksgiving a time to thank God for his bountiful blessings on us but a time to give thanks for everything. So I wanted to take this Thanksgiving week and each day of this week, to thank God for many great things he has done. I hope you will share how you are thankful to God for how he has touched you, your life and your family.
First, I want to thank God for our Saviour Jesus Christ. If God did not manifest himself in the person of Jesus Christ to take care of mankind’s sin, we would still be in our sin.
1 Timothy 3:16 KJV “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Isaiah 7:14 KJV “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Divisions are not “bad”. After all the land is divided from the sea. Heaven is divided into thirds. Scripture is divided into Old Testament and New Testament. Day is divided from night. And good is divided from evil.
Countries are divided into states or regions. Geography is divided into north and south or mountains and flat lands. And people are divided into black and white, short and tall. When people or governments try to blend everything together, they think the blending removes divisions. No matter how hard people, organizations, a press / media, or governments try to blend everything and everyone together, they can not remove these factual divisions.
So when God says he hates those who sow strife and division amongst the brethren, God is not talking about the factual divisions, he is talking about those people trying to stir up trouble and problems with other people. Actually, there are 6 things God really hates. Yes I said God has 6 things he really hates and the 7th thing God mentions is an abomination to God. Another words, God hates it with extreme hate. God is highly against it. What are these 7 things you ask?
Proverbs 6:16-19 KJV “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
Notice two of the six deal with lying. A lying tongue and a false witness that speaks lies. But notice what the abomination is – he that soweth discord among brethren. God really, really hates people sowing discord among brethren. Which brings me to a point.
When I look at the climate and culture of the American people, I am heart broken. In years past we have had disagreements but we always rallied together as a nation, under God, and as Americans. The left and the right, Democrat and Republican, always came together for the good of the country.
So when you see today people being down right mean and nasty or rioting and destroying other people’s property you have to ask what happened. Yes, in the 60’s there were race riots but that is when Martin Luther King Jr was killed. But today? A little over half of America elected a president that is half black and half white. And that president has divided the country and sown division. He fueled race riots by not enforcing the laws of the land and addressing the problems with over aggressive police.
He fueled anger and division by not enforcing immigration laws that were set up to protect America, her people and our way of life. He divided our people by forcing a Healthcare program down our throats that over 65 percent of Americans did not want. He fueled anger of a Christian nation by bringing in the Muslim Brotherhood into the Oval office. This man has lied to the American people with all his promises before he was elected only to see the opposite of what he said, come true. And to see blacks support him because of his skin color? So if the antichrist were black, would black people support the antichrist too? It is not about race. Only race baiters want to make it about race.
The sad thing is through the lies comes deceit. Deceit is intentionally deceiving someone. Scripture is very clear on deceit. And when a man puts his hand on the Holy Scriptures and swears before Almighty God to support and defend the Constitution of these united states of America, so help him God, and then goes about to deceive and undermine and sow strife and division, he is asking for God to act. Mark my words, God is going to have the final say and we will see this man of division be judged by God. He and his family are going to suffer greatly for his actions and it will be God himself that brings it on.
Why mention this? Because in the past when the left won, the right did not riot. When the right won, the left did not riot. We all came together as Americans for the good of the country.
People join teams to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Yes, as a team member you try to be the best that you can be. Why? To help the team win. America has always been a team of immigrants coming together to promote the American dream and God. And Christians are a team of believers coming together to further the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And when a person steps in and tries to disrupt the team, cause trouble for the team, divide the team, it is time for the team to stick together and remove the trouble maker. Turn the trouble maker over to God.
Friends, when trouble makers enter your space, learn to look at the fruit they produce. Galatians 5:22-26 KJV “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
Until next time.
Building on John 1:4,5
John 1:4-5 KJV “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
When Paul stood before King Agrippa in Acts 26:19 Paul testifies of how he got saved. Acts 26:13-19 KJV “At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:”
You have to ask, how long had Paul been saved when he stood before King Agrippa? When you read through the book of Acts and add up all the years identified, you come up with about 31 years. So Paul is giving an account of his salvation about 31 years ago. After Paul explains how he got saved he continues explaining things to King Agrippa.
Acts 26:20-32 KJV “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.
 For these causes the Jews caught me in the temple, and went about to kill me .
 Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:
 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.
 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.
 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.
 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.
 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.
 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:
 And when they were gone aside, they talked between themselves, saying, This man doeth nothing worthy of death or of bonds.
 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty, if he had not appealed unto Caesar.”
What was Paul’s message to King Agrippa? Verse 20 – Acts 26:20 KJV
“But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”
Repent and turn to God and do works meet ( suitable, proper, qualified ) for repentance. Another words, repent of your sin, turn to God and do works of a child of God.
And then look at the bombshell Paul drops. Acts 26:23 KJV “That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.”
Paul tells them there is a resurrection of the dead and the first one that rose from the dead was Jesus Christ himself. But there is more than one resurrection. You have the resurrection of Jesus, the resurrection of Old Testament believers including the prophets, the resurrection of the quick (alive) and the dead, the first and second resurrection and so forth.
Just because some people do not believe in a resurrection does not mean there isn’t one. For years people thought the earth was flat just to learn later they were wrong. When it comes to the resurrection, if you are wrong, you can not change your mind and come back to life. It would be too late because you would already be dead.
So life is in the Word as John 1 says and this life was the light of men. And because this Word is Jesus and he was the first to rise from the dead, those in him have a resurrection to life.
Until next time.