A Christian Journey

Archive for August, 2014

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.

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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.

I Am Not Fit

“John answered them all by saying, I baptize you with water; but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandals I am not fit to unfasten.  He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”  Luke 3:16   Amplified

In our verse today John the Baptist is speaking to the crowd.  The previous verse states that the people questioned whether John was the Messiah.  In true humility John told them he was a mere mortal, just like them.

This verse spoke to me about our humanity and how pride can lift us to heights above where we should stand.  If you take a close look at all the great men and women of faith, they were very human.  We tend to see them as these pillars of faith and we could never achieve what they did.  They were mere mortals, like you and me.  The thing that made them great in the faith was their humility.  

I dare to say that we wouldn’t have wars and quarrels between people if everyone were humble, pride causes conflict.  If you have trouble being humble to another person, than humble yourself to the Lord.  Would it please Him if you showed humility?   He humbled Himself before the world, how else could He have allowed Himself to be hung on a cross.  Jesus yielded His will to God.  Let us all humble ourselves to God as well.

Built On The Rock

“They were Simon, and He surnamed him Peter.” Mark 3:16

In the third chapter of Mark Jesus appointed the twelve to continue to be with Him, starting with Peter.  It’s appropriate that he starts with Peter and that the verse he does it in is our 3:16 verse for today.

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus told Peter, “I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock, a huge rock like Gibraltar, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades, the powers of the infernal region, shall not overpower it.”  Jesus had just prior to this asked the disciples, who do people say that I am? Then He asked them, who do you say that I am?

He asks us that same question every day.  When we answer as Peter did by saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Then Jesus will answer us as He did Peter, “Blessed, happy, fortunate, and to be envied are you, for flesh and blood men have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven”

Our faith in Him is the rock upon which His church is built.  Remember that about your life as well, keep your faith in Him and nothing will overpower you.

Fix Your Mind

“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a lone juniper tree and asked that he might die.  He said, it is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers.”   1Kings 19:4    Amplified

I felt impressed to speak to those who might listen and need some encouragement after the sudden loss of Robin Williams.  He was one of my favorite people too.  For a lot of people it’s hard to understand how someone who could make so many people laugh be that depressed to take his own life. 

In thinking of depression and how to battle it my thoughts went to Elijah and our verse today.  The prophet had just done battle with the priests of Baal defeating them all and showing the power of God.  Talk about a celebrity who had it all, that was Elijah.  Yet when Jezebel heard about what he had done she sent a message to him that she was going to have him killed.  Verse 19:3 says, “then he was afraid and arose and went for his life….”.   How could he run from this hateful woman, but yet stood boldly before the king and the 450 prophets of Baal!  We can ask the same thing of Robin Williams, how can someone so famous and wealthy let depression get the better of him.  In both cases depression equals doubt.  The difference between these two men is that Elijah went to God with his depression and he didn’t take his life, he left it in God’s hands.

As believers we should look to God for all our problems including doubt of any kind.  I know many people who deal with depression, but I don’t believe it’s to that extent.  This event may be the wake up call that we all need to gain insight on this subject.  All people need love like the air they breath.  If you know someone who is plagued by depression or fear, be an encourager to them.  Depression usually comes when we focus on nothing but the bad and dwell on it.  When you dwell on anything that means you have taken up residence there.  It’s not a good house to live in.

Instead dwell on this, “Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.  And God’s peace shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, worthy of reverence, honorable and seemly, just, pure, lovely and lovable, kind, winsome, gracious, of any virtue and excellance, anything worthy of praise, think on, weigh, and take acount of these things, fix your minds on them.”

Follow Jesus

“And when Jesus was baptized, He went up at once out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Him.”  Matthew 3:16    Amplified

What a great way to start our study of the 3:16 verses of the Bible in the new testament, Jesus’ baptism.  Do you remember when you were baptized?  In todays verse John states he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove on Jesus.  I believe when you and I were baptized the same thing happened, only it wasn’t visible.  

Baptism is symbolic of dying to self and giving your life over to God.  In our flesh we aren’t able to do that, but the Holy Spirit enables us to do it.   Jesus is our example and this verse encourages me to study His life and how He handled situations to guide me in how I am to handle mine.  For example, in chapter four of Matthew, Jesus is led up to the mountain and is there for 40 days being tempted by the devil.  Isn’t that interesting, immediately after the Holy Spirit descends on Him he is led into temptation.  So how did he handle the temptation?  He spoke the Word, OUTLOUD, to the devil, the tempter can’t handle that and he had to leave Jesus alone.

So many times we see people who get saved falling away because they were tempted, they let the temptation get the better of them.    If they are truly saved, and only God really knows, I don’t believe they lose their salvation, but all they have is fire insurance.  I want more out of my walk with God, I know He loves me and will help me in trials and temptation.  To me it’s like a burglar trying to break in your house and you open the front door instead of getting the gun.   We are in spiritual warfare and God has the big guns.  To be at peace in this life we must follow Jesus and His example.  I think that might make a good study when we finish the 3:16 verses.  What do you think?