Tag Archives: John

16 Sep

Heavenly Communication

Today communication is possible through many different means. How many times do we communicate with others throughout the day? God the Creator of communication desires to communicate with us. This is possible through prayer and the Bible. God speaks through His Word, the Bible, and we speak to Him through prayer.

The Bible is no ordinary book. Its author is God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (II Timothy 3:16)

The Bible contains sixty-six books recorded by a variety of men, yet it has a unity that can be explained only by the fact that its writers were all inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible’s purpose is to give God’s message to the world. The Bible’s theme is the redemption of man.

This Book is a precious, perfect, powerful book of history, law, poetry, wisdom, and prophecy which engages its readers with stories of love, adventure, wars, suffering, heroes, friendship, greed, dedication, sacrifice, and much more.

Word pictures give insight to personal testimonies of what the Bible is:

In John 4:14, Christ presents the Word as SEED, which when planted in the heart of unbelievers and is received, will result in that person’s salvation.

In Jeremiah 15:16, Jeremiah says that the word is the “JOY and rejoicing of the heart.”

In Psalm 119:105, the writer declares: “Thy Word is a LAMP unto my feet and a Light unto my path.” In other words, the Word gives understanding and shows the way to journey through this life.

In Jeremiah 20:9, Jeremiah describes the Word as a FIRE that cannot be hidden but must be shared with others.

Volumes may be written about the Bible, but only when its pages are opened and its words read, will the reader understand the life changing power of God’s Word, the Bible.

“The Bible is a book in comparison with which all others are of minor importance and which in all my perplexities and distress has never failed to give me light and strength.”
Robert E. Lee

21 Aug

The Dominion Mandate

To have dominion is to rule. At the highest level, it means that man understands that he has a free will and a measure of power delegated to him by God and that he is charged with using that free will and power responsibly.

Psalm 8:6-8 6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.

But some men fail to recognize that.

John 19:10-11 10Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?   11Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. 

Even though man has repeatedly failed to exercise dominion well, that doesn’t mean that God failed in His design. The way one rules is determined by the character of the one ruling.

When Adam sinned, he forfeited dominion to Satan who became the prince of the power of the air. The Dominion Mandate is still in force even though it has been greatly affected by man’s sin. The mandate came from God, and God will never cede total dominion to Satan, although Satan certainly has the power to influence man to use the mandate for fleshly, carnal purposes.

While most fail to recognize the biblical basis for the mandate, it is still in effect and indirectly authorizes all honorable occupations – science, technology, medicine, commerce, government, education, the arts, etc. God’s intent was for it to benefit mankind and to honor Him.

We are God’s stewards. He has charged us to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish (fill) the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (Genesis 1:28). May you and I as believers do our part well.

11 Aug

Small Things

“For who hath despised the day of small things?” (Zachariah 4:10)

In 587 B.C., Jerusalem was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. The magnificent temple that Solomon built was among the ruins. Soon after the destruction, the Jews from the tribe of Judah were exiled to Babylon. Their stay would last approximately fifty years.

In 538 B.C., Cyrus, the King of Babylon, allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. However, the returning Jews were few in number, and their resources were small. Twenty years would pass before the building of the second temple. Finally, under the leadership of Jeshua, the High Priest and Zerubbabel, the governor, the building of the second temple began. There were many difficulties, but God promised that the temple would be finished, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit.” (Zachariah 4:6) As the foundation was laid, the old men cried and the young men shouted for joy.

The temple was completed in 515 B.C. After seventy years, the Jews could once again worship God in their temple. It was during this difficult time of temple rebuilding, that God asked the question: “For who has despised the day of small things?” (Zachariah 4:10) God is not hindered during difficult times because He is the God of all resources.

Does this not encourage our hearts in this time of uncertainty! Small things become great things when given to God. Today, we find ourselves somewhat in a day of small things. Our choices have become smaller. If severe suffering comes, what should be our reaction? We serve a God who has promised: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)

There are many examples of how God used small things to accomplish His purpose. For example, Christ used a lad’s lunch consisting of five barley loaves and two small fish to feed at least 5,000 people. (John 6:9) May we in these days think of the importance of small acts of service to others: a card, a phone call, an email, a smile, a meal, a prayer, an expression of gratitude. We serve a God today who promised that by His Spirit He would accomplish great things in “the day of small things.”

“Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things – a chance word, a tap on the shoulder, or a penny dropped on a news stand – I am tempted to think…there are no little things.” Bruce Barton

When a small thing provides a great blessing, it is no longer a small thing.

27 Jul

More Great Truths for Times Like These

Recently I shared some truths from God’s Word in a devotional entitled, Great Truths for Times Like These. Here are more great truths. These are not original, but were shared by a lady in a former Sunday School class in regard to dealing with trials in life. I was so challenged by them that I wrote them down in the back of my Bible and added Bible references to them.

A time of crisis is no time for sloppy thinking.

1 Corinthians 2:5
That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

The greatest danger is always the flesh.

Romans 7:18
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

God’s Word is always the answer.

John 17:17
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

God’s glory is always the goal.

1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

God Himself is always enough.

Philippians 4:19
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Making those truths come alive in our lives is part of the trying that the Lord permits us to go through. This lady’s sharing these truths was particularly revealing as she had been through treatment for cancer herself, and her teenage daughter was suffering from acute leukemia. Both were doing well at the time she shared these with the class.

13 Jun

Praise God From Whom all Blessings Flow

It has come to my attention these past few weeks and months that I’m not giving God the credit He is due. I find my prayers are generally directed to Jesus Christ with barely a mention of God the Father or God the Holy Spirit. In the early 13th, 14th and 15th centuries the prayers were directed solely to God and not to Jesus or the Holy Spirit, I believe this too was erroneous. But in this 21st century our prayers are devoid of God the Father.

After all my friends, it was God who determined to set us apart to have fellowship with Him even before He created the world.

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love (Eph. 1:4)

It was God who was grieved in His heart that because of sin in our lives He could not have that sweet fellowship that he so desires.

Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Gen 3: 23,24)

It was God who sent His only begotten Son to be the propitiation for our sin, that that sweet fellowship might be restored.

Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God (Rom.3:25)

It was God to whom Jesus prayed when his disciples asked Him to “teach us to pray”. “Our Father who art in Heaven hallowed be Thy Name”. It was God to whom Jesus promised His disciples that when He was no longer walking the earth with them He would pray the Father and He would send the comforter (Jn. 15:26). It was God to whom Peter referred to when he said “because it is written be ye holy for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). It is God who is now already sitting on the throne invites Jesus to join Him when He says “The Lord said unto My Lord sit thou at my right hand” (Ps 110:1).

So you see my friends, it is important to honor the entire Trinity: God the Father, God the Son who God the Father sent and God the Holy Ghost who indwells us. Let us work at realizing what great things He has done. As the song writer says “Praise God from who all blessing flow. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost”.

03 Jun

Great Truths for Times Like These

One of the hardest things in the Christian life is to reconcile God’s involvement in life-threatening illness, tragedies of all types, the impacts of the evil acts of other people, and in general, bad events or situations that occur in life. The current pandemic is one of those situations. However, regardless of circumstance, the Bible assures us of God’s love and care and continual working in our lives. The following eight foundational truths are for times like these.

God’s love for us is indisputable.
He loved us so much that he sent His only begotten Son to die for us that we might have everlasting life.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

God is interested in us personally.
He knows every sparrow that falls. He knows every hair on our heads. He has told us to come to Him with literally our every need. He knows and He cares about the details of our lives.

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.(Matthew 10:29-30)

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (Philippians 4:6)

God is not surprised by the things that happen to us.
He is omniscient or all-knowing. He is never caught off guard.

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? (John 18:4)

God does not promise to deliver us from all the bad.
That includes evil and suffering and the impact of the choices of others. But He does promise to give us the ability to endure, and the grace, and the peace, and the strength that is needed to meet the situation.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18)

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (1 Peter 2:21)

God will never leave us nor forsake us.
His way is perfect. In return, He asks us to place our faith and trust in Him, regardless of the circumstance.

As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2 Samuel 22:31)

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17)

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)

God is working to conform us to the image of Christ.
He is a sovereign God, who will work the tiniest blessing and the greatest evil to our eventual good.

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. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:28-29)

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6)

God is good, every day, all the time.
His love for us and watch-care over us are ever present.

Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes. (Psalm 119:68)

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. (Nahum 1:7)

God’s secret things are beyond human understanding.
We must be content to leave those with God.

The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29)

Regardless of what may come our way, we can stand firm on these rock-solid, sure foundational truths.

30 May

Free Indeed

Here in Brazil we frequently have “sound trucks” that drive through the neighborhood with propaganda of various sorts. Recently I heard one trying to convince the listeners that what they were offering was FREE! I thought…NOTHING is free! Some way or another they are going to get our money, and what they are advertising as free will be nothing more than a freebie of little value.

But I DO know of ONE thing that is absolutely free—salvation in Jesus Christ! And it’s only free for us because Somebody already paid the price.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

We run after freebies and promotions and try to get something for nothing. But how many of us give any thought to that which is most precious and most necessary…a true relationship with God? This time of quarantine has given most of us more “free time” than we normally have. Have we used it wisely to nurture our relationship with the Lord? He freely gives us all things, but too often we don’t even know what He offers, much less how to appropriate that into our lives. May we use our time to get a better perspective on the “free” salvation that cost Jesus everything, and that offers everything to us!

16 May

A Unique Identity

Through the centuries, the Christian has made a positive difference in the world.  Before Christ ascended back to heaven, He gave His disciples an important responsibility to fulfill: that is to be the light of the world.  Light was one of the early creations of God.  In Genesis 1: 3, “God said let there be light, and there was light.”  Light is a symbol of holiness and purity.  John Wesley said that “God is not only the author of light, but also the fountain of it.”  Darkness is the opposite of light, symbolizing sin and guilt.

Being the Light of the world requires using the resources that God has provided for this calling.  First, the Bible gives the “how.”  Psalm 119:130 reveals that “The entrance of Thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”  Christians are to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).  Obeying the word of God keeps us from sin and walking in darkness.  Christ is the source and power of light to which we must stay connected.  If we follow Christ, “We shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Also, the Holy Spirit who lives in every believer gives guidance.  The Spirit is our comforter, counselor, and advocate who teaches and guides us into all truths.  Only as we walk in the Spirit, do we really walk in light.

Not only do the Word and the Holy Spirit equip the Christian to be the light of the world, but also prayer is essential.  Prayer is a line of  communication between man and God, which creates a fellowship of personal contact.  In prayer, we may come for confession of sins over and over again.  A clean light shines much brighter.  Christ invites us to ask, and we shall receive.  How pleased God must be when we come in prayer just to praise Him and to give praise for blessings that cannot be numbered.  Luke18:1 reminds us “That man ought always to pray and not to faint.”

Having the gifts of God’s Word, the Holy Spirit, and prayer, we are equipped to be the light of the world if we choose to please our Father’s leading:

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt.5:16). 

Every day, those who walk in darkness need a light.  Love cannot be hidden when it shines in action.  Shine forth!

11 Apr

We Are Adopted

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father… And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together… And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:15, 17, 23)

A marvelous doctrine in Scripture is adoption. To fully appreciate its significance, it is important to understand what it is not. When someone tells us that he or she was adopted, we know exactly what that means. Often a husband and wife discover that they cannot have a child. An option for them is adoption. They work through an adoption agency to take a child which is not their own and bring that child into their family. Through the legal process, that child becomes theirs and takes the family name.

Adoption in Scripture is not the same as described for the human family. We do not become a child of God through adoption. We become His child through the new birth. We must be born again in the manner of Nicodemus to enter God’s family. At that moment, our RELATIONSHIP with God changes.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3)

What then is spiritual adoption? The word translated adoption means placing as an adult son and involves the believer’s inheritance. Following a lost person’s becoming a child of God through the new birth, he is instantly adopted by God, thereby placing him in the position of an adult son. At that moment, the believer is invested with his inheritance of spiritual blessings by becoming an heir of God and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. However, the full realization of his inheritance must wait until he receives his glorified body. As an adult son, he is in a position spiritually to inherit all the glories of heaven. He is rich because of his POSITION in God’s family.

What a precious thought that you and I as believers are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ in all the glory and riches that await us in heaven and for all eternity.

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