Archive for the ‘better than life’ Category


Under Gods Command

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

All Christians have faith. Some, however, have the spiritual gift of faith, which is an unusual measure of trust in the Holy Spirit’s power.

“Prophecy” does not just refer to predicting the future; it can also mean giving a message received from God to the community of believers: “The one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort” (14:3). The prophet Joel had written the words of the Lord, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy” (Joel 2:28). As with the gift of faith, the ability to share one’s faith with power is available to everyone (see 14:1–5), but to some the Spirit gives a special measure of this gift. Paul wrote in Romans, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith” (Romans 12:6). Some have interpreted “prophecy” to be fulfilled in various sermons throughout church history. Others, however, say that prophecy is not a sermon, but a spontaneous, Spirit-inspired message that is orally delivered in the congregation for the edification and encouragement of the body of Christ.

Opinions differ over exactly what Paul meant by “tongues.” Some believe that this refers to speaking in earthly languages that a person did not say that this refers to an “ecstatic” language, a “heavenly” language. Most likely the second view is correct. Probably the only time that the word “tongues” refers to other earthly languages is when describing Pentecost. The rest of the time in the New Testament, the word refers to ecstatic languages unknown to anyone—languages of angels (13:1). Speaking in tongues is a legitimate gift of the Spirit. The exercise of the gift demands some guidelines (as noted in chapter 14) so that the purpose of the gift—to help the body of Christ—is not lost. Those who speak in tongues should follow the guidelines; those who do not speak in tongues ought not seek the gift as a sign of salvation or of special closeness with God, for it is neither. It is a gift of God, given only to whomever God chooses. If a person has not experienced the gift of tongues, he or she ought not seek it but seek what gifts God has given. For more, see the notes in chapter 14.

Lets Bring it Home: No matter what gift(s) a person has, all spiritual gifts are distributed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit decides which gifts each believer should have. We are responsible to use and sharpen our gifts, but we can take no credit for what God has freely given us. Note that discussions about spiritual gifts usually create difficulties when two central points are overlooked: (1) Properly used, spiritual gifts are not self-serving but serve the whole body of Christ (12:7); (2) each gift becomes practically useless when used without love (chapter 13). As you seek to identify and utilize the gifts God has given you, make loving God and loving fellow Christians your highest motives.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 21:18 The wicked become a ransom for the righteous, and the unfaithful for the upright.

The God of heaven loves the righteous, and He gladly sacrifices the wicked for them. The ransom price to purchase and bless the righteous is the lives of wicked transgressors. He will save the righteous by sacrificing their wicked enemies, and He will return their wicked designs against the righteous upon their own heads. Consider Psalm 7:10-17!

Are you envious at the prosperity of the wicked? Are you troubled by their hatred for the righteous? Are you afraid of their proud waves? They shall foam out their shame in everlasting darkness! But before they get to that dark place, they shall be sold to trouble. There is a righteous God, and He makes differences in how He treats men (Ps 58:10-11 The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked. Then men will say, “Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.”)

The best example to illustrate this lesson is the ransom of Egypt for Israel. The LORD loved His people Israel, and He heard their cry by reason of the hard bondage the Egyptians put upon them (Ex 1:13-14; 2:23-25). He had respect for them, but He did not have respect for Egypt. They were about to become the ransom for His righteous nation.

He sent ten plagues and horribly destroyed them before drowning Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. Pharaoh’s counselors admitted the plagues had destroyed the nation (Ex 10:7). With the firstborn dead in every home, the Egyptians begged for Israel to leave, so Israel “borrowed” the wealth of the whole nation to never return it. And the Lord joyfully directed Israel to spoil the Egyptians this way (Ex 12:35-36). Give God the glory!

The LORD declares of this transaction, “For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life” (Isaiah 43:3-4). This is the lesson.

God directed Joshua to stone Achan and his family to save Israel (Josh 7:1-26). Saul’s seven sons were hanged to ransom Israel from a famine from the LORD (II Sam 21:1-14). And Haman and his ten sons were hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordecai and the Jews (Esther 7:10). There is a God that treats men differently (Ps 58:10-11).

Consider the words in another proverb, “The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead” (Pr 11:8). The Lord will pluck the righteous out of trouble and put the wicked in his place! The Lord will punish the wicked instead of the righteous.

God used Assyria as his tool to chasten Israel; then He turned and crushed Assyria for their actions and attitude (Is 10:5-19). And He did the same to Babylon, whom He used to punish Israel and other nations for seventy years before punishing them (Jer 25:8-14).

The servant that did not earn a return on his single talent was punished severely, and his talent was taken and given to the man with ten. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer; yes, the poor are sacrificed for the rich in this spiritual parable (Matt 25:14-30).

Dear reader, if you fear the Lord and seek to live righteously, the Lord loves you and will gladly sacrifice the wicked for you. There is no need to fear them at all. The Lord is in His holy temple, and He will never let the wicked have their way with you. Your lesson in this proverb is the glorious providence of Almighty God in disposing of events in this life for the benefit of His people. He will sacrifice others for the benefit of His children.

The day is coming when Christians will judge the world and angels (I Cor 6:2-3). The devils and sinners have persecuted them for thousands of years, but the day of vengeance is coming, when the martyrs under the altar of God shall have their great desire fulfilled (Rev 6:9-11). Both wicked men and angels shall be sacrificed in place of His children.

Let this lesson drive away any fear or intimidation of the wicked, and let it replace that fear with a humble desire to be the honourable and beloved people of the most High. For “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper” (Is 54:11-17). And “he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of mine eye” (Zech 2:8-9). Thank you, Lord, for defending and saving the upright in heart. Consider Psalm 7:10-17 again. Glory!


Under Gods Command (Messing with Believers is messing with God)

Zechariah 2:08 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After he has honored me and has sent me against the nations that have plundered you-for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye. 

Believers are precious to God (Psalm 116:15); they are his very own children (Psalm 103:13). Treating any believer unkindly is the same as treating God that way. As Jesus told his disciples, when we help others we are helping him; when we neglect or abuse them, we are neglecting or abusing him (Mathew 25:34-46).

Lets Bring it Home: Be careful, therefore, how you treat fellow believers-that is the way you are treating God.


Under Gods Command

Proverbs 19:20 Listen to advice and accept instruction and in the end you will be wise. 

Are you wiser today than last year? Than ten years ago? These are important questions to answer. How wise will you be later in life? A godly person will greatly desire to grow in wisdom. And the way to increase wisdom is easy – you need to hear the counsel of wise people and accept their teaching. You need to appreciate and apply instruction from others.

Today is your opportunity to change your latter end. Will you be an older wise man or women, sought by family and others for wise advice? Or will you be an old fool, more a burden than a blessing? What you do today determines what you are tomorrow! You are not too young, and you are not too old. Consider your latter end, and receive instruction today!


UNDER GODS COMMAND
LIVING IN UNITY! WAKE UP CHURCHES! WE ARE THE ONES RUNNING PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE CHURCH

I went to Church Sunday and the preacher told a story about a young man who had to go through a beat down in order to be accepted in the gang he joined. Well, sometime later the Preacher got the young man to turn away from the gang and to turn to the Church, well he did this and joined the Church. Sometime later, the young man stop coming to Church and no one knew why, and could not contact him. The Preacher finally caught up with him, and asked him why he stop coming to Church. The young man said, that when he joined the church he thought he would experience the same family love from Christians that he did with his gang, but he didn’t. So he went back to where he felt part of a family.

A good friend reminded me of this Scripture.

Psalm 133:1-3 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is life precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

David stated that unity is pleasant and precious. Unfortunately, unity does not abound in the Church, as it should. People disagree and cause division over unimportant issues. Some delight in causing tension by discrediting others. Unity is important because

(1) it makes the church a positive example to the world and helps draw others to us;
(2) it helps us cooperate as a body of believers as God meant us to, giving us a foretaste of heaven;
(3) it renews and revitalizes ministry because there is less tension to sap our energy.


Under Gods Command

John 13:1-2 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.

Jesus knew he would be betrayed by one of his disciples, disowned by another, and deserted by all of them for a time. Still “he now showed them the full extent of his love.” God knows us completely, as Jesus knew his disciples. He knows the sins we have committed and the ones we will yet commit. Still, he loves us. How do you respond to that kind of love?

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.


Under Gods Command
Jesus Summarizes His Message

John 12:47-50 “As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So what ever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

The purpose of Jesus first mission on earth was not to judge people, but to show them the way to find salvation and eternal life. When he comes again, one of his main purposes will be to judge people for how they lived on earth. Christ’s words that we would not accept and obey will condemn us. On the day of judgment, those who accepted Jesus and lived his way will be raised to eternal life and those who rejected Jesus and lived any way they pleased will face eternal punishment. Decide now which side you’ll be on, for the consequences of your decision last forever.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.