Archive | July 2017

Changes – It’s In The Seed

Believers often look at how much God has “changed” them since they were saved. Many say they are a new “creation” and they base that comment on 2 Corinthians 5:17. Several Bibles use the word “creation” but the King James Bible uses the word “creature” and there is a good reason for that. But I am not going to convince you creature is the correct word, you will convince yourself after you read this post.

We know God created everything, including the sun, stars, trees, animals, flowers and man. And because these all are living, they are called creatures of God’s creation according to Webster’s 1828 dictionary.

So I considered, why did God use the word creature in 2 Cor. 5:17 and not the word creation? What is the difference between a new creation and a new creature? This will be exciting so stick with me a moment.  When you use the word creation here in 2 Cor. 5:17 it is like you are saying you are re-created in the same form, the same being. But if you use the word creature, that means a whole knew being.

So I considered, why did God use the word creature? God did not “re-create” believers in the flesh and God did not “re-create” believers spirit man because scripture tells us when we get saved our spirit man is “quickened” or made alive unto God. Our spirit man is not re-created meaning it is not a new creation. And our body and mind are not re-created.

Before we are saved we have a body, a soul (our mind, will and emotions), and a spirit. Our spirit however, is dead unto God because of the sin nature we inherited from Adam and Eve. Once we get saved, we have the same body and our mind is “renewed” and our spirit is “quickened” unto God according to

Ephesians 2:1-2 KJV  “And you hath he quickened , who were dead in trespasses and sins;
[2] Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

So using the word creation would be like saving God re-created us in this body and that, according to scripture, is in error. Now my regular readers know – I am a staunch believer in God having one word, not 54 different versions of his word and that is why I believe the King James Bible is God’s word in English. And the KJV uses the word creature, not creation, for a reason.

So I wondered why did God say creature? 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

So, before you were saved compared to now, after you are saved, are you the same creature? Consider this. Take a tomato seed or corn seed and look at it, study it, hold it in your hand. Now think, when that seed is planted in the ground, it brings forth fruit after its kind. It brings forth a stalk loaded with tomatoes or loaded with corn, right? But you planted only one seed.

You planted one seed but the one seed grew into a stalk and produced several tomatoes or many corn. Are the “offspring” of the tomatoes or of the corn a new creature or a new creation?

Let’s take this a step further. The seed of man is in the sperm of a man. Once the seed has been planted in a woman, a baby begins to grow inside the woman. After about 9 months, a baby is born. Is the baby a creature or creation?

Genesis tells us God created everything and God put seeds inside “things” so they would “replenish themselves” . So tomato seeds replenish tomatoes and corn seeds replenish corn and human seeds replenish humans.

But what about God and believers? Remember,  Paul said if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. They are not a new re-creation of themselves but they are a completely new creature. A new being. How do we know? 2 Cor. 5:17 says so,  “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

New creatures come from the seed of their creature. It is all in the seeds. For God, we are told the seed is the word of God. Luke 8:11 KJV  “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”

For the true born again believer, Jesus explains it this way. Luke 16:16 KJV
” The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.”

A change came. The Old Testament up to John was not about the kingdom of God. That is what Jesus says in Luke 16:16. But since then, the kingdom of God is preached. What is the kingdom of God?

Luke 17:20-21 KJV  “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
[21] Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

And when Paul explains the kingdom of God to the Corinthians, Paul tells them the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 1 Corinthians 4:20 KJV
” For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”

So how does one get into this kingdom of God? It is in the seed. Jesus explained it this way –

Luke 8:10-15 KJV. “And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
[11] Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
[12] Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
[13] They on the rock are they , which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
[14] And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
[15] But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it , and bring forth fruit with patience.”

So the tomatoes growing on a stalk are a creation. The corn is a creation. The baby is a creation. But the believer is a completely new creature. And Paul said to the  Colossians, you are dead. The old you is dead.

Colossians 3:1-4 KJV  “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
[2] Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
[3] For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
[4] When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

And Paul explains to the churches –
1 Thessalonians 1:5-6 KJV  “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
[6] And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost:”

So the true born again believer is not a new creation of themselves like a new tomato or corn. But believers are a new creature who is temporarily housed in this earthen vessel (our mortal body) but as the apostle John tells us – 1 John 3:2 KJV  “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

Believers are completely new creatures created in Christ from the seed of the word of God. And although Paul likens our new creature to babes in Christ, Paul uses the earthly understanding to teach new creature truths. Just as true water baptism is immersion picturing a dying, burial and resurrection of the believer, a person truly gets saved, they died and are a completely new creature in Christ,  created from God’s seed ( the word of God).

So if you use the word, a new creation in 2 Corinthians 5:17 instead of a new creature, you are saying with your mouth, confessing with your tongue that you are a new person created in your family’s image. But if you are a new creature, born from the seed of the word of God, all things have become new and you are a new  being created in Christ Jesus.

Until next time.

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It’s What You Do With It

There is a saying that goes something like, God created you and that is a gift from God. What you make of yourself is your gift to God. At face value, the saying is doctrinally in error but the message is designed to encourage people to make your life count for God.

We go through the motions in life. We get up in the morning and hopefully spend time alone with God every morning,  before we start our day. Then we go about our business all day, come home and spend time with the family and then, go to bed. Then we start the process all over again the next day.

When I heard a preacher explaining how believers stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ and unbelievers stand before the Great White Throne Judgement, the preacher emphasized the wood, hay and stubble from 1 Corinthians. The preacher was focusing on rewards Jesus gives us but I was reminded to always re-evaluate what I am doing, my labours. Why? Because our labours are going to be tried, tested to see not only our motives, but the purpose of why we labour in specific “things”.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 KJV  “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
[12] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
[13] Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
[14] If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
[15] If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Isn’t it time we all look at what we do all day, every day, and ask, is this wood, hay and stubble? When I looked at my work, my job, I asked if it was wood, hay and stubble. Then the Lord helped me to see my work provides a means to help others, to share the gospel, to be a blessing to others. Yes, my work provides for my needs but if it is all about providing for me, where is the reward? But if I use my provisions for the Lord’s glory, the Lord’s business, therein is the reward. It is what you do with “it” that matters.

Scripture tells us of two people, one a believer and one an unbeliever. The believer struggled all their life and the unbeliever was wealthy and had everything. There are people like this today. And believers have an opportunity to earn eternal rewards that Jesus gives us. Sadly,  many believers are earning wood, hay and stubble because they are caught up in the cares of this world, this earthly life. And in the mean time, souls are going to hell. We need to be about our Lord’s business, not our business.

Luke 16:19-31 KJV  “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
[20] And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
[21] And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
[22] And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
[23] And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
[24] And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
[25] But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
[26] And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
[27] Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:
[28] For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
[29] Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
[30] And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
[31] And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

We believers are ambassadors for Christ. This world is not our home. I encourage you to build rewards and not wood, hay and stubble.

Until next time.

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Bullies, Torment & Death

Last time we said –

What is the motive or purpose of a bully? To scare you. Bullies threaten people to scare them into doing something or into agreeing with them. A bully’s method of operation is fear.

You see, fear and torment get rooted in your mind, in your thoughts. So for example, if some bully has been bullying you, the bully wants to plant fear into your mind, into your thoughts. Then every time you see that bully or hear something about that bully, fear rises in your mind and brings torment to you.

The apostle John explains in 1 John 4:18 fear has torment. The context is those in Christ are not tormented by fear. So if you have fear, you are tormented  by that fear. 1 John 4:18 KJV  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Notice, fear has torment. So the more you practice fear, the more fear grows and the more fear grows, the more torment one has. If no fear, no torment.

One of the greatest fears of mankind is the fear of death. Why does mankind fear death? Most people know, naked came I into this world and naked I leave this world. Another words, when you die, you can not take anything physical from this world with you. People fear death, I think, mainly for two reasons. One, they do not know if when they die, it will hurt, have pain, physical pain. And two, they do not know what happens to them after they die. And because of these two main things, people “fear” death.

All of the religions in this world have their own theories about death, but only one book knows about death, can explain death and can prove what they say, the scriptures. Not only did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead, but Jesus himself, rose from the dead.

There are many examples of people on earth seeing things in heaven. And people on earth being “caught up” into heaven including Elijah, Enoch, (who I believe are the two witnesses in Revelation). Paul mentions 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 KJV  “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
[3] And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
[4] How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”

There are plenty of Scripture that tell us when our physical body dies in this world, God gives us a different body. After you die in your body, you will either go to heaven or hell and neither location has to do with how good you have been. The entire Old Testament points to the Lord Jesus Christ and his coming. The New Testament shows he came and he is coming back – first in the clouds to gather believers (see 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and then Jesus is coming and will stand on the Mount of Olives and the mountain will split.

Zechariah 14:4 KJV  “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”

Maybe we will do a post on the second coming of Jesus very soon. But this post is about fear and bullies.

God is love, not fear. God is life, not death. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 KJV
” The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Who is the thief? Satan, the devil.  Paul explains the flesh, death and Jesus in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 2:14 KJV  ” Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he  also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”

The fear of death brings bondage
Hebrews 2:15 KJV  “And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Hebrews 2:16-17 KJV  ” For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
[17] Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”

You see, Jesus is God clothed in humanity. And Jesus destroyed the devil’s power over death in this world. Why do you think God told Satan that Satan could not kill Job? The first time Satan wanted to go after Job, Satan took away Job’s family and worldly possessions but God would not let Satan touch Job physically.

Job 1:12 KJV  “And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.”

The second time Satan went after Job, God told him okay but save his life. Don’t kill him. Job 2:6 KJV  “And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.”

Why would God tell Satan to save Job’s life? Satan had the power to kill people. But as Paul tells us, Jesus took that power away from Satan when Jesus died on the cross shedding his blood for mankind’s sin debt and then Jesus rose from the dead conquering death, hell and the grave.

Hebrews 2:14 KJV  “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;”

Notice, that he (Jesus) through death, would destroy the devil. The devil has no power or authority over anyone who is in Christ.

And we know from Scripture, Satan entered Judah Iscariot trying to destroy Jesus. Luke 22:3 KJV  “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.”

We also know Satan is going to enter a man in the future because Paul warns in 2 Thessalonians 2, Daniel mentions it in the book of Daniel and in the book of Revelation John explains the coming Antichrist.

The answer to fear? Get in Christ, don’t just believe in your head, invite the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and ask him to forgive you and save you, to save your soul.

Until next time

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Bullies And Torment

What is a bully? Someone who provokes quarrels or arguments with others. How does a bully provoke arguments? Insults? Mocking? Making fun of people? Threatening people?  Why does a bully, bully people? Usually, a bully wants you to think they are superior to you. And if you do not agree with their conclusion about themselves, they “bully” you.

But what is the motive or purpose of a bully? To scare you. Bullies threaten people to scare them into doing something or into agreeing with them. A bully’s method of operation is fear. But what if you are not afraid, how does the bully respond?

The apostle John explains in 1 John 4:18 fear has torment. The context is those in Christ are not tormented by fear. So if you have fear, you are tormented  by that fear. 1 John 4:18 KJV  “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Notice, fear has torment. So the more you practice fear, the more fear grows and the more fear grows, the more torment one has. If no fear, no torment.

Fear can consume people and fear brings worry. Worry and fear stops people from stepping out by faith. But ask yourself, how did this fear, this torment happen to you? Something was said to you and you chose to believe it. You chose to believe the one who bullied you. You chose to believe the words of someone wanting to put fear inside you. And fear brings torment.

You see, fear and torment get rooted in your mind, in your thoughts. So for example, if some bully has been bullying you, the bully wants to plant fear into your mind, into your thoughts. Then every time you see that bully or hear something about that bully, fear rises in your mind and brings torment to you. Not only are people bullies, but Satan wants to plant fear in you too. So how do you get rid of the fear and torment?

If fear and torment rest in your mind, your thoughts, you get rid of fear and torment by telling yourself, out loud, ” I refuse and reject fear.” Your knees could be knocking and your body trembling but control your thoughts and your body will come into subjection to your mind.  Kick the fear and tormenting thought out of your mind and thoughts and replace it with God’s word, spoken out loud.

You have to look at the subject matter of the fear. Then go through a concordance and find scripture that speaks to that subject matter and write the verse down and memorize the verse. So the next time fear on that subject comes up, you reject the fear thought and say I reject that thought because God says, then quote the verse out loud. After a few times of doing this, that fear and torment, on that subject matter, will leave you. God will give you victory over that matter.

Then when something else comes into your mind trying to cause you to fear, repeat the process. Find a scripture on that subject matter, write out the verse, memorize the verse and when fear pops its ugly head, fight back  by saying out loud, I reject that fear and quote scripture by saying God says, quote the verse, then say I choose to believe God.

You may not “feel” like fighting like this works right away but remember,  we live by faith not by sight and not by feelings.  Hebrews 11:1 KJV  ” Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

So if your faith is in God’s word, then speak out loud God’s word. We will continue this next time, Lord willing.
Until next time.

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How To Change Your Life

Everything we do in life always starts slow, let me explain. Typists start slow as they learn how to type, but through practice, they improve. Carpenters start their trade slow then improve through practice. We improve our skills through practice and learning more about our field of interests. Even lawyers learn what works and what does not work.

Think back to when you first heard about Jesus. We learn about Jesus and see people who have changed their life because of Jesus. Why? So why did these people change?

Scripture tells us, Romans 10:17 KJV
” So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
People hear the word of God and choose to believe or reject the word of God. Most people make a decision on what they will do with the information God’s word gives them. If they choose to believe God’s word, they get saved. But often, these believers do not consider the rest of God’s word.

I am not saying they do not read or study or learn God’s word, they do. These new believers are actually like a sponge absorbing God’s word. But they are getting head knowledge more often than not. But if they used God’s word to get saved, why don’t they use God’s word for other things in their life.

All the head knowledge is great but doesn’t one have to use what one learns? Putting knowledge into action produces results. How can you understand capitalism if you do not put the principles of capitalism to work? How can a musician be a musician if they only use head knowledge and never play?

Can one be a Christian if they know and understand what God’s word says but they never act on what God says? And if you act on what God’s word says, what is the difference between a successful Christian life and a mediocre Christian life?

One night I had a talk with the Lord. I asked him if that is all there is to a Christian life – go to church Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night and read and study your word? After I asked God that, I heard inside me, no, there is a lot more. I asked what am I missing. Since that night, the Lord has shown me things I did not know.

It bothered me because I asked the Lord, I have been reading and studying your word regularly for 30 years and why didn’t I see that? Why was this never taught? Why didn’t my church explain this? I’ll never forget when I realized we are actually in a battle with beings we can not see, Ephesians 6. I remember asking the Lord out loud, how do we fight against things we can not see? I heard inside me, Do what Jesus did. Immediately my mind went to Jesus being tempted of the devil in Matthew 4.

Matthew 4 gives us three examples of Satan attacking, how Satan attacked and how Jesus fought against Satan. Jesus used the word of God. If we use the word of God to get saved, why don’t we use the word of God for other things like Jesus did?

We learn a lot of things from scripture that help guide us through life. We learn how to deal with people who come against us because of our faith, we learn about sowing and reaping, about work, about growing our spirit man and bringing our flesh under subjection. We also learn we are in a battle with beings we can not see. So we learn there are beings in the spirit world that our fleshly eyes can not see.

You see, the battle is always between what God says and what you see in your present reality. Believers have two paths, their walk through this world in the flesh and the walk of their spirit man. Paul tells us to bring our body into subjection to our spirit man.

1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV  “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

Galatians 5:16-17 KJV  “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
[17] For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

Galatians 5:25 KJV  “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

If you, as a Christian, walk the flesh path, you are working and building what you see in this world and you feed your flesh. We know scripture tells us, in this flesh dwelleth no good thing. So if you spend your Christian life on things in this world, things you see in this world, things you want in this world, you are living in the flesh and are called by God’s word, a carnal Christian. Your flesh gets puffed up and you live for the desires of your flesh.

And if you walk the spirit man walk, you learn how to use God’s word to win battles. You learn to trust and lean on God and his word so no matter what your present reality is, you trust and believe God and his word. Then everytime you go through a battle and you call on the Lord God to help you, and he does, it builds your confidence in the Lord and his word. You see things change based on God’s word because you are using God’s word, not only for salvation, but for every day of your life. That is what strengthens your spirit man. And no matter what you see in your physical world, you believe and trust God and his word and you speak what God’s word says out loud.

Once you continue strengthening your spirit man and keep speaking God’s word about a matter, people will notice something is different with you and they will pay attention. A good example of this is the Thessalonians.

1 Thessalonians 1:8 KJV  “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.”

Why did the people notice? Because these believers had evidence of the working power of God’s word. God’s word not only has power to save souls and the evidence is a changed life, but God’s word has power for growing our spirit man and our every day life to change us and the things in our life.
Until next time.

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God Pays Dividends Part 2

How would you respond to God if suddenly your husband or wife died? Or what about if you lost a child, how would you respond? Maybe you loose your job, or your house, how would you respond? Not only did we look at Job last time, but we also looked at Naomi. Then we saw how Job’s wife wanted Job to lash out at God. Naomi blamed God and Rachel carried her sorrows with her through her life. And Rachel did not want to let go of her sorrows, she wanted to name her son Benjamin after her sorrows. Imagine, every time Rachel looked at Benjamin she would think of her sorrows, (see God Pays Dividends Part 1).

As we said last time, there are some who preach if you are having hardships it is because God is punishing you for your sin. Scripture and the examples God gives us do not support that teaching. Think about it in patterns. Is there a pattern of God killing his children? Or God wiping out his children? No, God wipes out unbelievers, not his own children.

How did your parents punish you when you were growing up? Maybe a spanking? Maybe sent to your room? Privileges taken away? Grounded? By your disobeying your parents you were punished. Now I am going to throw you a doctrinal curve.

Doctrinally, Paul writes the book of Hebrews to the Hebrews. Paul explains the father child relationship as God and his children. And Paul even says, Hebrews 6:1 KJV  “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,”

Leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ….. why did Paul say that? Because what are believers to Christ? The doctrine of Christ to believers is a bridegroom and bride, not a Father and child. Believers are espoused to Christ. The principles of the doctrine of Christ is not a Father punishing his child and not Christ punishing his bride. But I digress.

Yes, God is our Heavenly Father but the church, born again believers in Christ are the bride of Christ. Even brides go through hardships, suffering and pain before the wedding. But those trials and tribulations are not the bridegrooms doing. Many believers and unbelievers do not understand the relationship of Jesus Christ and the church. It is a relationship of the bridegroom and the bride. Would you beat up your bride before your marriage? Do you believe Jesus will beat up his bride before the marriage?

So when believers go through trials, testing and hardships, those who do not study scripture react similarly to Job’s wife, to Rachel and to Naomi. Naomi and Job’s wife blamed God. And Naomi’s trials made her bitter. Rachel wanted to saddle her son Benjamin with her own sorrows. And Job’s wife wanted Job to curse God which means she wanted Job to walk away from God.

Every time you go through a battle in this life and you call upon the Lord and he rescues you, it builds your faith and confidence in the Lord. Sometimes God wants to see if you will walk away or get bitter. When you understand each time of testing or trying of your faith is only a season in your life and you trust the Lord with all your heart, you move to a new season. We are to be conformed to Christ.

Like Abraham, who was faithful even up to offering his son Isaac, we learn Abraham went through that difficult season and for Abraham’s faithfulness, God paid Abraham a dividend.

In Genesis 15 God promises Abraham a son. In Genesis chapter 22 Abraham offers up Isaac as the Lord requested. Then the Lord stops Abraham. Abraham passed a test God was using to see if Abraham would do something God asked him to do, even if Abraham did not want to do it. What happened? God paid Abraham a dividend.

Genesis 22:15-19 KJV  “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
[16] And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord , for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son :
[17] That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
[18] And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
[19] So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.”

Paul explains to the church in  2 Corinthians 4:16-18 KJV  “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
[17] For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
[18] While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

You see, dividends are a corporation’s profits. Investors are paid a portion of the profits the business made for the year. That payment, by the corporation,  to the investor, is called a dividend. Investors take the dividend and reinvest it back in to the company. The investor, at some time, will cash out and receive the fruit of his labor in his investing.

When believers 2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV
” For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

1 Corinthians 3:8 KJV  “Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.”

1 Corinthians 16:2 KJV  “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

Notice, God prospers us. We are not suppose to use what God gives us, dividends, to buy bigger houses, lots of land. Notice what Jesus said about the rich man and camel in Matthew 19.

Matthew 19:21 KJV  “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.”

Matthew 19:28-29 KJV  “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
[29] And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”

So you get a few extra dollars, do you buy something for yourself or do you invest in God’s business by helping the poor or others and be sure to share the gospel of salvation with everyone you help.

Every battle you have gone through has paid you a dividend. So when God gives you the victory, don’t spend the dividend on foolish things of this world, reinvest the dividend into your next battle. Remember,  Ephesians 6:12-13 KJV
” For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places .
[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Until next time.

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God Pays Dividends

Remember when things in Job’s life went wrong? Remember his friends try to convince Job he must have sin in his life or these bad things would not happen to him? Remember Job’s friends were trying to convince Job that God was punishing him because of his sin?

There are “friends” and even pastors who teach Job’s friends message today. They teach if bad things are happening to you it is God punishing you for your sin. Three questions:

1. Were Job’s friends right or wrong?
2. Did Jesus pay for all your sin at the cross?
3. If Jesus paid your sin debt at the cross, why would God still punish you for your sin?

When bad things happen in your life be very careful what comes out of your mouth. Some people falsely blame God and walk away from the Lord. Some pray and seek the Lord and lean on Jesus. And some let their hardships define the rest of their life.

Paul mentioned those who depart from the faith – 1 Timothy 4:1 KJV “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

The Lord tells us to trust him. We lean on the Lord. Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV
” Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
[6] In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

There are two scripture examples I want to point out where  people let their problems in life define them. Rachel, Jacob’s wife and Naomi, both tried to identify their life by their hardships. Let me explain briefly but read the account in Genesis 35 and the book of Ruth 1:19-22.

Rachel’s name means ewe. Rachel had two of the 12 sons of Jacob and Rachel struggled with her sister Leah over Leah being more fertile than she. You can read the account in Genesis. But notice when Rachel was giving birth to her second son, Benjamin in Genesis 35:16-20, Rachel was going to die in child birth. And as Benjamin was born, Rachel wanted Benjamin’s name to be Benoni. Benoni means son of my sorrow.

Rachel wanted to carry her sorrows and put her sorrows on her son for his whole life. Did Benjamin deserve to have a name about his mother’s sorrows? No. Benjamin had nothing to do with Rachel’s sorrows. Notice how Jacob handled this.

Genesis 35:18 KJV  “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin.”

Benjamin means son of the right hand. Rachel was going to weigh Benjamin down for his whole life for something that affected Rachel, not Benjamin.

Another is Naomi. Naomi, her husband and their two sons leave God’s people and go to live with the heathen in Moab. Her two sons marry heathen Moabites. One son marries Orpah and the other son marries Ruth.

Then Naomi’s husband dies, then her two sons die. Naomi has now lost everything she left Bethlehem with, her family. Who did Naomi blame? God. And Naomi wanted to carry her hardships with her and let her hardships identify who she was for the rest of her life. How do we know?

Naomi means my delight. When Ruth went with Naomi, back to Bethlehem, Naomi told her friends in Bethlehem,  

Ruth 1:20-22 KJV  “And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me.
[21] I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the Lord hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?
[22] So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Beth-lehem in the beginning of barley harvest.”

Naomi wanted to go from, my delight to Mara which means bitter. She wanted the rest of her life to be known as bitter. Like Rachel who wanted her son to be labeled for his whole life as the son of my sorrows, Naomi wanted to be known as bitter.

Naomi chose to leave Bethlehem with her husband and sons. She lost everything. Naomi could not do anything about loosing her husband and two sons. But now Naomi needed to decide what she would do and she chose to go back to God’s land, God’s people. We read the book of Ruth, four short chapters, and we learn Ruth ends up marrying Boaz. Who is Boaz? King David’s great grandfather.

Rachel and Naomi fought battles they were suppose to go through. But instead of going through the battles, they wanted to carry the battles with them. They wanted the battles to define their life and who they were. And Naomi blamed God. Sound like Job’s wife?

Job 2:9-10 KJV  “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
[10] But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

We all go through tough times, hardships and persecution but God tells us if we stick with him through this season in our life, as believers, he will pay us a dividend. 2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;”

We will pick it up from here next time, Lord willing.

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