A Christian Journey

Archive for August, 2014

The Blast Of The Trumpet

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God.  And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first.”    1 Thessalonians 4:16   Amplified

Well it’s been quite a while since we haven’t had a 3:16 verse in one of the books of the Bible.  What an awesome verse though that 4:16 is and so I wanted to share it.

For believers this verse is the going home day, the trip we’ve been waiting for.  Our Lord will return to get us and take us home, after that there is no aging, pains, tears, mourning, agony – well, nothing negative.  What a glorious day!!!

In verse 5:1 it says we don’t need to know the day or the hour, just be ready.  If you’re ready, then you need to make sure those around you are ready.  With all the troubling times in our world today we have the opportunity every day to speak to someone about Jesus coming back.  Ask them if they’d like to live where there’s no bad news or sadness.  If they say yes, then tell them how to get there.  It’s really easy, just tell them about the choice you made.

Make Melody To God

“Let the word, spoken by Christ the Messiah, have its home in your hearts and minds and dwell in you in all its richness, as you teach, admonish and train one another in all insight, intelligence, and wisdom in spiritual things, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with His grace in your hearts.”   Colossians 3:16  Amplified

In the book of Colossians Paul emphasizes again that we are to make God’s word part of our being as it lives in our hearts and minds.  As we grow in the Lord we are to in turn teach others about Him as He will give us wisdom to do.  Lastly, we should be making melody to God in our hearts about the grace He has so richly blessed us with.   The acronym for GRACE is God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.

Most everyone has a favorite hymn, sing it to the Lord today and everyday, it will brighten your spirits.

Order Your Life

“Only let us hold true to what we have already attained and walk and order our lives by that.”   Philippians 3:16   Amplified

As we continue our study of the 3:16 verses in the Bible, the verse today is quite clear.   In our walk with the Lord, let each of us hold on to what we have learned and to apply it to our daily lives.  As a point of instruction it’s always good, in studying the Bible, to read the chapters before and after the verse you are keying in on.    In the case of the 3:16 verses I have been reading the first three chapters of each book and then the fourth as well.  It helps you get a better lock on what is being said, the bigger picture so to speak.

Paul wrote this book to the Philippians while he was in prison in Rome.  The Amplified Bible points out that he uses the words joy or rejoice 16 times.  Most of us might have a hard time saying those words in prison, sometimes we have a hard time saying them in our daily circumstances.  Paul said his imprisonment had actually caused the gospel of Christ to spread more and he called himself a prisoner in His service, because he had so completely given over his life to the Lord.  He reminds us to stand firm in the love of God and to work together in the body of Christ, in harmony, putting others first.  Though Paul was a great apostle, he states in verse 3:12 that he had not attained perfection, but he pressed on toward that goal.  That gives me hope.

Some of my favorite verses in the Bible, and most well-known, are in the fourth chapter.  Verse 4 “Rejoice in the Lord always…”  Verse 6 “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything…..”  Verse 7 “God’s peace shall guard your hearts and minds……” Verse 8 “Whatsoever things are true, worthy, honorable, just, pure, lovely, winsome, gracious, virtuous, excellent and worthy of praise, fix your mind on them.”  Verse 9 “Practice what you have learned.”  Verse 11 “….for I have learned how to be content…..”

Finally, in verse 13, another power scripture we should all know. “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me, I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency.”

Superabundantly

“May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit, Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality.”  Ephesians 3:16  Amplified

Our verse today is what I call a power verse, one that gives us power to go through our everyday tasks and battles.   His glory surely is a rich treasury which He strengthens and reinforces us with in our inner man with mighty power. 

The inner man is your innermost being and personality, that’s where God dwells.   That mighty power to help us is what we need to plug in to.  As we seek His guidance and direction each day for each task, He is there ready to help us, but we must seek it.  

There’s more, verse 17 states, “May Christ, through your faith, actually dwell, settle down, abide and make His permanent home in your hearts!”  As a believer God is in your heart, but do you have Him in the center. Is He in the den, where you spend most of your time, or have you relegated Him to the shed out back.  We need God at the center of our life so we can receive power.

Vverse 18 states, “That you may have the power and be strong to grasp….the experience of that love.”  It goes on in verse 19, “That you may really come to know…the fullness of God.”  

Verse 20 is the most amazing, “Now to Him who by the action of His power that is at work within us is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.”   WOW!!!!!!

How can we not want Him in our innermost being, if we will let Him dwell there He will give us victory over all things.

Bow The Knee

“Now the promises were decreed and made to Abraham and his Seed.  God does not say, and to seeds, descendants, heirs, as if referring to many persons but, and to your Seed, obviously referring to one individual, Who is none other than Christ the Messiah.” Galatians 3:16   Amplified 

The book of Galatians starts out with Paul explaining that he was sent to preach to the Gentiles, Peter and the other apostles were sent to preach to the Jews.  In the second chapter of this book Paul states that Peter came to visit the church at Antioch and Paul got upset with Peter.  It seems that Peter had been visiting with the Gentiles in the church, but once some other Jews came he refrained from being with the Gentiles.   In verse 2:11 Paul says he confronted Peter about this to his face.   The fact that the great apostle Peter discriminated in this situation gives me hope, he was human.  He wasn’t right for what he did, but we have a tendency to think of the men and women of the Bible as being super human.  They were flesh and bone just like us.  The difference between them and a lot of humanity is that they were tender-hearted toward God.  When they did wrong they admitted to it and fell humbly before God in repentance.  That’s been a problem for mankind since the beginning, humility.  God loves a humble heart.  We too can be great men and women of God if we will only humble ourselves before God.    Our verse today is Paul discussing that in Christ the Gentiles are the same as the Jews, they have the same inheritance, for all must come to God through faith in Him.  Verse 3:26 states “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith.”

All will bow the knee to God, either you do it now or when you stand before the great judgment throne.  It will be too late for you to do anything about it once you stand before His throne.  Bow before Him now and call Him Lord.

The Veil Removed

“But whenever a person turns in repentance to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away.”  2 Corinthians 3:16

In our continuing study of the 3:16 verses of the Bible, Paul is explaining to the believers their relationship with the Lord.  Since most of his listeners were Jewish he frequently takes them back to the old testament in order to bring them forward to Jesus. 

The old testament always offered the promise of the Messiah.  The Jews couldn’t see Jesus as Messiah when He came because they were looking for a conquering Messiah, someone who would defeat their oppressors.  They had their feet and minds planted on this earth and only viewed the Romans, their enemy at that time, as their oppressor.  Had they been heavenly minded, which some were, they would have seen the great oppressor is a spiritual being, the devil, and he was defeated at Calvary.

Back to our verse today, Paul is reminding them that Moses wore a veil on his face because his face was shining from being in the presence of the Lord.  That brilliance over time faded, but he still wore the veil.  Paul says the Jews still have a veil over their hearts and minds by being hard-hearted and callous.  For believers though, those who have turned to the Lord and repented of their sins, the veil is stripped off and taken away.  Verse 18 tells us that we continue to behold, in the Word of God, as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.  That we are being constantly changed into His very image, by behaving as He would.

Through salvation the veil is removed so that we can see God, know Him as Savior and Lord, and become like Him.  Praise God!

God’s Temple

“Do you not discern and understand that you, the whole church of Corinth, are God’s temple, His sanctuary, and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you, to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually.”   1 Corinthians 3:16  Amplified

Paul is credited with writing most of the new testament, after the four gospels.  In the third chapter of 1 Corinthians he starts out telling them that they are spiritual babies needing to be fed milk.  Unfortunately most christians still today are in that same category.  Most go for their Sunday morning bottle feeding expecting that to sustain them all week, when they have a bounty to feast on in their own Bible.

Paul also told that early church that he couldn’t feed them solid food because they weren’t ready for it yet.  He said they were unspiritual in nature because they were controlled by their flesh and it’s impulses.   Our human tendency is to be driven by our feelings and emotions, both of those are untrustworthy.  As believers we are now spiritual beings and have a new life in Christ not to follow the urgings of the flesh.   When you are motivated by feelings or emotions stop and ask yourself, what is driving this, my spirit or my flesh?  It’s usually your flesh, so get into the spirit, seek God, and calm down.

In our verse today Paul is telling the church at Corinth that they belong to God. His temple is the church as a whole and in each of us individually, so treat both with respect.  What some do their own bodies no one would dream of doing to a church building.  We must see both as God’s temple to honor and respect. 

There’s also comfort in this verse because it says God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you.

It Dashes Them To Pieces

“Destruction, as it dashes them to pieces, and misery mark their ways.”  Romans 3:16

All of us prefer the love and peace of God, but for those who have not trusted in Him or worse have turned from Him, there is a sadder side.   That’s why you’ll hear people who don’t trust in Him only speak of the loving God.  I had someone ask me once why a loving God would send anyone to hell.   The answer is, God doesn’t SEND anyone to hell, they made that choice themself.  If you’re drowing and I throw you a life line, but you choose not to take it you will drown.  I didn’t make you drown, you made that choice yourself.

In the third chapter of Romans Paul is specifically talking to the Jews, but what he says applies to all of us.  The jews, however, thought they had a golden ticket to heaven because of their ancestry.  Paul advises them in verse 10 that “none is righteous, no not one.”  Our verse today is among the list of things the unrighteous do, but interestingly in the Amplified it says “as it dashes them to pieces”, they destroy themselves.  As always, though, God offers hope.  In verse 24 Paul says, “All are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace, His unmerited favor and mercy, through the redemption which is provided in Christ Jesus.”

As believers, once we realized what a scum sucking dog we were, we turned to Jesus for our salvation.  Now we can live out eternity in the love, joy and peace God provides.

Most people who are in sin, whatever that might be, know they are in sin.  We must pray for them and speak to them when the opportunity arises.  Speak to them of all the great things God is doing for you and if you speak of disobedience to God then tell them of yours.  Tell them how you felt before and after your salvation.  I believe most people want to be right with God, they are just too addicted to their sin to give it up.  Let your light shine so they can see how much happier they can be.

His Name

“And His name, through and by faith in His name, has made this man whom you see and recognize well and strong.  Yes, the faith which is through and by Him, Jesus, has given the man this perfect soundness of body before all of you.”   Acts 3:16   Amplified

Oh the beautiful name of Jesus! 

In our 3:16 verse today Peter and John have come to the temple at the hour of prayer.  They encountered a man cripped from birth who’s begging, he saw Peter and John and asked them for money.  It’s interesting what happens next. The scripture says Peter directed his gaze intently on the man, and so did John, and told the man, look at us!   The man paid attention to them.  Then Peter said, “Silver and gold, money, I don’t have; but what I do have, that I give to you;  in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!”  Then Peter took hold of the man with a firm grip and raised him up.  At once his feet and ankle bones became strong and steady.  The man jumped up and down for joy, and went into the temple with them walking, leaping and praising God.  All the people there saw him walking and praising God.

Our verse today comes after this incident when Peter is in the temple explaining to the people what took place with the man.  He preaches Jesus to them and even tells them that though they crucified the Messiah they can still repent and turn to Him for salvation.

God has instructed us not to use His name in vain, this is one reason why, it is so powerful for good.  Men have used it as a curse word, that is how the devil perverts anything of Gods.  We can speak life and healing into peoples lives by speaking the name of Jesus over them and telling them about His salvation.

What’s Keeping You From Eternity

“For God so greatly loved and deeply prized the world that He even gave up His only begotten, unique Son, so that whoever believes in, trusts in, clings to, relies on Him shall not perish, come to destruction, be lost, but have eternal, everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Well here we are today at the verse that prompted this study of the 3:16 verses in the Bible.  What an awesome scripture it is.   I love the Amplified version because it expresses so much more how God feels.  The Amplified Bible, as it says on its cover, captures the full meaning behind the original Greek and Hebrew.

He so greatly loved and deeply prized us, oh how beautiful that is.  Going back to the garden of Eden, He created us to fellowship with Him.  He breathed life into Adam, the spirit of life, His Spirit.   He walked and talked with them every day in the garden.  He wants that fellowship again and all can have it, but you must believe in, trust in, cling to, and rely on Jesus.  God promises eternal life to us, our spirit will never die, why would anyone pass that up.

In today’s verse Jesus was talking to Nicodemus and he accepted Him as His Savior.  We can be sure of this as Nicodemus was there after the crucifixion helping to take care of Jesus body. (John 19:39)

Jesus is calling you, don’t let pride keep you from eternity.