Category Archives: Bible Thoughts

My Thoughts From October 6, 2013

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My Thoughts From October 6, 2013

This morning as I was praying, I found myself praying that God would break every yoke, shatter every chain and set His people free. Then I heard a small still voice say, “I already have.” Immediately my thoughts went to our dog, Gunner.

Yesterday as I was walking into the back yard I realized that Gunner had pulled the swivel that he is chained to up out of the ground. I told him to sit and he did. Gunner knows where his chain will reach, his boundaries. When told to sit down, he did not realize that he was free.

Like Gunner, there are times that God’s children do not realize that they have been freed. Their yokes have been broken, their chains have been shattered, and they have been set free. After the thoughts of Gunner, the verse “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36 NKJV) came to mind. Instead of praying what I was, I felt urged to pray that God’s people would be delivered from a spirit of captivity.

May the sounds of the enemy be drowned out and may you walk in the freedom that God has given you through His Son Jesus Christ.

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Clean Up Your House

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Clean Up Your House

The glory of God will come to the church first but it will not stay unless the people take it home with them. If we do not clean up our homes (spiritually) , and keep them that way, the glory of God will not stay in our church. God will not have a double standard. He expects the same standard at home as He does in His church.

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 NKJV
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
‘I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.’
Therefore
‘Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you
I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the Lord Almighty’ ”

We must sanctify ourselves. We must keep ourselves clean if we want to experience a continuing outpouring of the glory of God. Each one of us should ask ourselves, “Is there life or death in my home?” There are different things in our homes that can (and will) bring about a spiritual death in our homes. Ultimately, spiritual death in our homes means spiritual death in our church.

Love Leads To True Conversions

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Love Leads To True Conversions

We were not saved to serve or work. We were saved to love. God saved us so that we could have an intimate relationship with Him. Out of that intimate relationship He will place in us a desire to be His hands, His feet, His mouth to a dying world. In the tabernacle, in the Old Testament, there were many people working in the outer court, but their hearts were far from God.

Isaiah 29:13 NKJV
“Therefore the Lord said:
‘Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men’ ”

Mark 7:6-7 NKJV
“…These people honors Me with their lips
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”

God wants your heart so He can give you His. In Acts we see an important truth. When we worship (minister to God), He will put His desires and burdens within us. Then He will fill us with the desire to work (minister to others), and He will give us the words to say. Then the Holy Spirit will bring in the harvest. The people converted will have an encounter with the Holy Spirit, not with man.

The Holy Spirit filled the believers to praise God.

Acts 2:11 NKJV
“…we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

The Holy Spirit filled Peter with a desire to preach a sermon. The Holy Spirit put His words in Peter’s mouth.

Acts 2:14 NKJV
“But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, ‘Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be know to you, and heed my words.”

Acts 2:38 NKJV
“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit brought forth conversions.

Acts 2:41 NKJV
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.”

As you fulfill your royal priesthood duties, ministering to God, He will fill you with a desire to be His servant, to minister to others. As you do your part, ministering to others, the Holy Spirit will do His part. He will bring fourth true conversions.

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Dear Father,

We thank-you that You first loved us and made a way for us to be able to have an intimate relationship with You. May our love for You grow stronger each and every day. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help us to guard our hearts. Cause us to honor You with our lips and our hearts. Help us to follow Your commandments, not the doctrines of men. Fill us with Your desires and burdens. We desire to be Your hands, feet and mouth. When people look at us may they only see You — let them encounter Your Holy Spirit, not man.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Do You Love Me?

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Do You Love Me?

Revelation 2:1-7 NKJV

“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write ,

‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lamp stands” ‘I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nethertheless I have this against you, that you have left you first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place – unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.’ ”

The church in Ephesus had it’s good points (strong areas) and it’s bad points (weak areas). They were instructed what to do to correct the bad points (weak areas).

I. Strong Areas

The church in Ephesus was praised for rejecting evil, their perseverance, and their patience.

A. Reject Evil

The church would not accept immoral and wrong thoughts or behaviors.

B. Perseverance

The people had faithfully labored for the Lord’s name.

They were determined to continue in their labor for the Lord and in their belief in Him despite the many difficulties they faced.

C. Patience

The church exhibited the ability to endure waiting and delay without becoming annoyed or upset. They behaved calmly when faced with difficulties.

D. Hate Immorality

The church had a strong distaste and aversion for things that were contrary to accepted moral principles.

E. Hate Idolatry

The church had a strong distaste for the worship of idols or false gods.

 

II. Weak Areas

The church in Ephesus was lacking in their love for God. Their love for Christ was no longer fervent. The church had experienced a considerable drop-off of love to the Lord. Many within the church had began to love the world and the things of the world more than God. Their lifestyle was a reflection of their love for God.

III. Instruction

The church in Ephesus was instructed to admit, repent and do the first works again. They should once again do the things that they had done before their love for God had dimmed.

Revelation 2:4-5 NKJV

“Nethertheless I have this against you, that you have left you first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place – unless you repent.”

A. Admit

They had to admit that they had grown cold in their love for God, that they had left their first love (They had left the love feast-intimate communion with God).

No matter what the situation is, you will never get anywhere in finding a solution until you first admit that there is a problem. Problems will not go away by sticking our heads in the ground and pretending that nothing is wrong.

Like the church in Ephesus, we must remember where we have been and look at where we are now. Is our love for God stronger now than it’s ever been? Or have we too grown cold and turned away from our love of the Lord? Do we love the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind.

Matthew 22:37-38 NKJV

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”

 

B. Repent

The church at Ephesus was told to repent. They church at Ephesus knew that they were to have vibrant (throbbing with vitality and enthusiasm), intimate communion with God, however they no longer did. They had become lukewarm and complacent in their worship and communication with God. They had become pleased with themselves and what they had. They were self-satisfied.

James 4:17 NKJV

“Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

 

True repentance is turning from your sin and going the opposite way, to make a conscience decision to turn away from sin. True repentance is to ‘Go and sin no more.’ The people were to ask God to forgive them of their sins, including lukewarmness and compliancy.

C. Do

After they repented for leaving their first love (the love feast – intimate communion with God), they were instructed to do the first works again. They were to once again enter into a time of intimate communion and worship with God.

Zechariah 1:3 NKJV

“Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Return to Me,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord of hosts.’ ”

Conclusion

If the church as Ephesus would listen to and obey the instructions given to them they would be allowed to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. The same is true for us today – both the church and the individual believer. Our lifestyle WILL reflect our love for God.

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Dear Father,

We thank-you for Your Word, which gives both correction and promises. By the power of the Holy Spirit, show us our weak (bad) points and may we be quick to repent. May our love for You be fervent. Keep our eyes on You and not on the world. May we seek Your will and eternal riches – not the pleasures and enticements of this world. Don’t allow us to let our love for You to grow cold. Remove lukewarmness and compliancy. Release the spirit of conviction within Your body – may we repent and do the first works again. Cause each believer to evaluate their life – let them remember where they have been and look at where they are now. May Your body not become pleased with themselves or self-satisfied. Open our ears to hear what the Holy Spirit says to us and may we act upon His instructions. Let us truly see that our lifestyle will reflect our love for You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Head And Shoulders, Knees And Toes

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Head And Shoulders, Knees And Toes

“Head and shoulders, knees and toes,

Knees and toes, knees and toes

Head and shoulders, knees and toes,

All for Jesus!”

Many of us sang that little song as a child. May God stir up within each of us the reality that He wants all of us. He wants our head, our shoulders, our knees and our toes!

Deuteronomy 6:5 NKJV

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

 

 

Our Head – our mind and thoughts.

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Our Shoulders – to help carry each others’ load.

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Our Knees – Pray and have a close fellowship with God.

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Our Toes – Go and compel others to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

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Heart of Reconciliation

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Heart of Reconciliation

In the story of the prodigal son we see an example of reconciliation. Each believer must ask themselves who they are in the story – Are they the father or are they the older brother? Are they following Jesus with a heart of reconciliation?

Luke 15:11-32 NKJV

“Then He said: “A certain man had two sons.
And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.
And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.
Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.
And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
“Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’
“But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.
So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.
But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
“And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

 

A wealthy man had two sons. The youngest son demanded that his father give him his inheritance so that he could move away from home and live on his own. The father granted his youngest son his request. He divided his estate and gave his sons their shares.

The youngest son moved to a country far away and while there he wasted all his money. His disregard for his father had separated him from his family. After the son had spent all his money, a famine spread across the land. The only job (work) that he could find was feeding pigs. Since he was a Jew, this was a very humiliating. Pigs were considered unclean, and their meat was forbidden as food. The son was so hungry that he desired to eat the food he was feeding to the pigs. One day the son realized his sin against God and his father. He decided to return home to ask for a job as a hired servant, at least that way he would have food.

While the son was on his way home, a great way off, his father saw him coming. The father ran out to meet his returning son. The two embraced and the son confessed his sin and unworthiness to his father.

The father gave his son a robe, a ring, and sandals as a sign of his full acceptance and forgiveness. Then the father had his servants prepare a celebration for his returning son.

The oldest brother had been in the field working and upon his arrival at the house he heard a celebration. He became very angry when he was told that it was for his returning brother. He found fault in his brother and he did not think that the younger brother deserved a celebration because of his past.

The father had to leave the celebration and go out to the older son. Because of his anger, judgmental attitude, and self-pity the older brother would not even come into the house where the celebration was taking place.

The father had reconciled the son unto himself and his family, and he had expected the older son to do the same. Instead of having the father’s heart of reconciliation, the older brother was not pleasing to see or hear.

The father looked at the youngest son’s future – what it could be. The older brother looked at his younger brother’s past – what it had been.

At salvation we become a new creature. Our relationship with God changes. We become reconciled to God and we have the privilege and responsibility of telling others that they can receive the same reconciliation. Do you look at a person’s future – what they could be in Christ, or do you look at their past – where they have been?”

 

Dear Father,

Thank-you for the salvation that You have freely given me. I did not have to work for it or earn it in any way. It was a free gift given to me. At salvation I became a new creation – my relationship with You changed. Through Jesus I became reconciled to You. By the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to tell others that they can receive the same reconciliation. May I follow Jesus’ example with a heart of reconciliation. Help me to look at a person’s future – what they can be in Christ, and not at their past – where they have been. Fill me with compassion for the lost – even those who have brought trouble on themselves.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

The Returning King

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The Returning King

 

Many people gladly embrace Jesus as a baby in a manger, but they fail to see Him as a returning King.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NKJV

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 NKJV

“But concerning the times and the seasons brethren, you have no need that I should write you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are the sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.”

Many love all the trappings of Christmas holidays, but they do not respect or reverence Jesus as the Son of God and the returning King. These people will put on a mask and play the part of being religious for all to see while lacking a relationship with God.

Mark 7:6-8 NKJV

“He answered and said to them, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men – the washing of pictures and cups, and many other such things you do.”

Isaiah 29:13 NKJV

“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandments of men”

Jesus referred to those who were religious as whitewashed tombs.

Matthew 23:25-26 NKJV

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

Dear Father,

Thank-you for Your Word which tells us that Jesus will return for us. May we acknowledge that Jesus is our returning King, the King of Kings, in everything we say and do. May we not be found asleep when Jesus returns. By the power of the Holy Spirit, cause us to be watchful and sober. May we never get so caught up with the trappings of Christmas that we fail to respect and reverence Jesus as Your Son and as our returning King. Remove all the religious masks and cause us to seek an intimate relationship with You. May we truly honor You with our hearts and not just our lips – let us cling to Your commandments and shun the empty traditions of men.

In Jesus’ name, Amen