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Principles for Mediation

SIH STSTA ICONA simple definition for mediation is “to make peace between two warring parties”.  Mediation is a type of conflict resolution that involves using a third party to settle a disagreement between two opposing parties.  It can be used in the framework of our legal system, our corporate system or even in personal and family disputes.

As Pastor, there are many opportunities to minister as mediator in the lives of others. Disputes can take place within the pastor’s family, or within church member’s families, or even within the church assembly as a whole.  In many cases, the Pastor is looked to as the individual that is best equipped to bring the disagreeing parties to peace.

Although mediation has become more frequently used in today’s time, mediation has been used throughout history as an avenue leading to peace.   Even in Bible times we find many examples of mediation taking place.

In our blog entry today, we will be looking at an example of mediation being performed by the Apostle Paul.  Let’s see what we can learn about the act of mediation and the Biblical principles that should regulate all acts of mediations….

THE SCRIPTURES:

Philemon 1:1-25

THE STUDY:

For this study the entire book of Philemon will be our text.  Philemon is a very small New Testament book found between the books of Titus and Hebrews.  If you are like me, when I was starting to study the Bible, I used to confuse Philemon with the book of Philippians.  Philemon is made up of only 1 chapter and has three main characters.  It is extremely important to understand these three characters for us to get a clear picture of the content, and teachings, of the book of Philemon:

  1. Philemon – He was a very rich man, a Christian, and a beloved acquaintance of the Apostle Paul. He owned servants and loved them and cared for them as if they were members of his family. Possibly, Philemon was saved under the ministry of Paul.
  2. Onesimus – He was a spiritually lost individual who is described as an “unprofitable” servant of Philemon.  Perhaps, he had stolen from Philemon; perhaps, he was a slacker; or maybe, he was a complainer, stirring up trouble among the other servants; we cannot know for sure.  He had illegally run away from Philemon.  During his flight, he met the Apostle Paul.  Under Paul’s ministry, Onesimus had been saved and desired to go back to Philemon and serve under his authority once again.
  3. Apostle Paul – Paul takes upon himself the ministry of mediation between Philemon and Onesimus.  Paul writes the letter of Philemon, asking His beloved acquaintance (Philemon) to accept Onesimus back and forgive him of any wrongdoing Onesimus had committed against Philemon.

In our study today, we will find many different aspects to Paul’s mediation techniques that set him apart from the mediators of today…

1-3) Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ, and Timothy [our] brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer, And to [our] beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house: Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s greetings to Philemon and the church that met in his house.   Throughout Paul’s writings we find him wishing other Christians to have grace and peace. (Rom 1:7, 1 Cor 1:3, 2 Cor 1:2, Gal 1:3, Eph 1:2, Phil 1:2, Col 1:2 etc) It is as if this was Paul’s “signature” greeting.   If we have experienced the Lord’s grace in our hearts, and if we have peace and communion with Him we are being blessed indeed.

4-7) I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints;  That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.  For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

Philemon’s testimony of faithfulness and service to the Lord had reached the ears of Paul. Here, Paul is thanking Philemon for his faithfulness and trusting the Lord to give Philemon fruits for his faithful labor (“that the communication of thy faith may become effectual”).  Paul also tried to encouraged Philemon to continue his faithfulness by explaining how Philemon was a blessing to others.

Paul, now, begins his ministry of mediation on behalf of Onesimus….

8) Wherefore, though I might be much bold in Christ to enjoin thee that which is convenient,

Mediation principle number #1:  We must always make sure that our mediation is upholding the principles of God’s Word.  We should NEVER lead others to act, or make agreements that of against the Word of God.

First, Paul reminds Philemon that Paul has a Biblical basis for commanding Philemon to forgive and accept back Onesimus.  Paul makes it clear that he could pressure Philemon to forgive.

Here, the word “convenient” is translated from a Greek word meaning “to be proper” or “to be fitting”.  As a Christian, it is only proper or fitting for us to forgive others.  Since we have been forgiven for so much by our Lord should we not be willing to forgive others for the little they have done against us? (Matt 18:23-35)

9) Yet for love’s sake I rather beseech [thee], being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

Mediation principle #2: We should always seek a willing agreement to bring peace, not an agreement that is forced or manipulated. 

Paul realized that Philemon should not be forced to forgive Onesimus.  A forced forgiveness is really no forgiveness at all.  To forgive, we must willingly choose to show our compassion to the offender. Paul continues by stating that instead of commanding forgiveness based upon the commands of Christ, Paul is now appealing to Philemon’s love for the Lord, Paul, and even Onesimus.  In other words, Paul is asking Philemon to forgive and accept back Onesimus, because Philemon loves Paul and out of appreciation for what Paul has done for Philemon.  Paul was asking this favor of his longtime friend Philemon.

10-11) I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds: Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:

Mediation principle #3: the Mediator must be honest and open with both sides, revealing any “hidden agendas” or relationships the mediator has with either of the two parties.

Paul makes clear that he is working on behalf of Onesimus.  Please notice Paul was “up-front” with Philemon telling him of Onesimus and the purpose of his writing to Philemon.

Mediation principle #4: the Mediator should only speak using information he knows is true.  He should not use information based upon assumptions, nor guesses, when he is trying to bring the two parties to peace.

Paul then makes it plain that Onesimus has changed.  The one who used to be an unprofitable servant was now profitable as a aide of Paul’s, and would be profitable to Philemon if he accepted him back.  Paul knew this from his experiences with Onesimus. Paul knew that Onesimus had changed and, therefore, would be profitable to Philemon.

12 – 13) Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:  Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:

Mediation principle #5: the Mediator should willing to live under the same agreement that he is asking the parties to agree to.  If the Mediator isn’t willing to live under either side of the agreement there is a question whether the agreement is fair or not.

Paul tells Philemon that he would be willing to accept Onesimus as his servant.  He sincerely believed that accepting Onesimus back would be of benefit to Philemon.  If Philemon refused to accept Onesimus back, Paul would be glad to fill Philemon’s role as master of Onesimus.

14) But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.

Mediation principle #6: the Mediator must take into account the legal, and moral, rights of both parties of the dispute.

Paul did not simply allow Onesimus to stay with him and serve him.  Paul recognized that Philemon had the legal, and moral, right to Onesimus.  So Paul sent Onesimus back to his rightful owner,Philemon.

15 -17) For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?  If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.

Mediation principle #7: The Mediator should seek an agreement that allows both parties to benefit. Their purpose should be to accomplish the purposes of both the parties of the disagreement. 

Paul had previously said that, if Philemon accepted Onesimus, he would benefit from Onesimus’s service.  Paul now makes sure that if Onesimus is accepted back, it will be for Onesimus’s welfare also.

Paul asks Philemon to accept Onesimus, not as a servant, but as a physical and spiritual family member.  After all, Philemon, Onesimus, and Paul were beloved of God, they were saved and all a part of God’s family.  As spiritual brothers they should be loved of one another as well.

18) If he hath wronged thee, or oweth [thee] ought, put that on mine account;

19) I Paul have written [it] with mine own hand, I will repay [it]: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

Mediation principle #8: A Mediator should be unselfish and willing to make sacrifices to make bring peace between the two parties. 

In this case, Paul was willing to repay any debt that Onesimus owed to Philemon, if the debt stood in the way of Philemon accepting Onesimus back.  Paul was being very gracious to both parties; to Onesimus (Paul was willing to pay the debt Onesimus had incurred); to Philemon, because He was willing to pay Philemon (even though Philemon owed Paul his very life).   Paul certainly was willing to “bend over backwards” to see this attempt at mediation be a successful attempt.

20) Yea, brother, let me have joy of thee in the Lord: refresh my bowels in the Lord.

Mediation Principle #9: Mediation should not simply “a job”, it should be looked upon as a calling, and an opportunity to glorify the Lord through the mediator’s actions  

Paul recognized this mission of mediation had spiritual repercussions.  Seeing Onesimus with Philemon, would bring joy and spiritual strength to Paul, knowing that he had successfully  obeyed the Lord and fulfilled His will for the life of Paul.

21) Having confidence in thy obedience I wrote unto thee, knowing that thou wilt also do more than I say.

Mediation Principle #10 – The Mediator must always approach the mediation with a positive attitude, believing that both parties will sincerely negotiate and, in the end, do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.

Paul knew Philemon and trusted him to do what the Lord desired of him.  Paul believed  that Philemon would be willing to go above and beyond to please his Lord and be kind and gracious to Onesimus the disobedient servant who was in need of forgiveness and grace.

22) But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

23) There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;

24) Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas, my fellowlabourers.

25) The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with your spirit. Amen. 

Paul then closes his letter to Philemon, making preparations to visit Philemon soon and see him face to face.

Not only is Philemon a wonderful book illustrating many principles for Scriptural mediation, nut more importantly, it also presents to us a picture of Christ’s mediation before the Father on behalf of sinful mankind.  In our next blog entry, we will be studying this aspect of the book of Philemon.  May the Lord be blessed in your study of His Word.

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 23:3b

SIH TOTT ICON(Psa 23:3b) … he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Our Lord, as our Shepherd, directs us to please our God with our lives.  It is through the Spirit’s application of the Word that we find direction for our day to day living.  Why does God do this for us?  It is for “His name’s sake”.  In other words, it is to glorify and bring praise to Himself.

Do you want to honor the Lord for all He has done for you?  Then simply read His Word and follow the Spirit’s leadership.  You will be glorifying and honoring Him in the eyes of all who come in contact with you.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                        Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                  SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

The Candle Lighter Award – Dedicated To My Lord Jesus Christ… The Light Of The World

Thank you to Angela at http://meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Candle Lighter Award.  It is such a blessing to see how the Lord is using Angela to reach others. Both of us are like minded in realizing that without the Lord “(we) can do nothing”.  The Lord has used Angela as a vessel to deliver to me wonderful, God-glorifying, thoughts for my day and encouragement thru her example of faithfulness to her blogging ministry.

Once, again I would like to emphasize that this award is dedicated to my Lord, for it is only through Him that this blog can exist.  You see, I owe Him my everything: my physical life, my spiritual life, my ability to think and write,  any talents I may possess …. John 9:33 describes me to a tee… “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.”

Oh how true that is… that is why I want to clearly state that this award is my Lord’s.  He is the poet… my life is simply the poem that He has written … Eph 2:10 …For we are his workmanship (or poem), created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

This award was created by Believe Anyway who says “I call my award The Candle Lighter Award. It is for blogs and bloggers that light a candle in the darkness with their blog. What does it mean? Whenever I see a post or blog that I think brings light to the world, I will put a copy of this post and give them The Candle Lighter Award.”

You can read more about the award at

http://believeanyway.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/creation-of-new-blog-award-the-candle-lighter-award/

Believe anyway writes: “What does the recipient have to do to accept it? Just accept it and put the Candle Lighter Award badge from my blog onto their blog. Please put the link from this post about my creation of the award in a post on your blog so people can read about it. What else do recipients have to do? Nothing. If they think someone else is a Candle Lighter, they can give them the award anytime they want and as often as they want. There is no limit to how many blogs you award The Candle Lighter Award to and no limit to how many times someone can receive it.”

If you are looking for good blogs to read, Believe Anyway has a list of recipients on her blog. She would like to be sent the links for anyone to whom you pass the award, so they can be added to the list.

Keeping with the spirit of the Lamp Lighters Award… I would like to nominate:

Tom and Charlie at http://photobotos.com/ for their unique photography blog.  It displays the beauty of our Lord’s creation along with adding some humor to my day as well.

I would also like to nominate http://groveonline.wordpress.com .  This blog is written by a Bible College student who shares Bible teaching on various areas of doctrine.  Although, I do not agree with everything that is said (so what else is new).  Grove shares ALOT of good Scriptural information.

And finally I would like to nominate my wife’s blog  http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com/   Here, she uses her photographs and artwork  to present truths about our Lord.

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 23:3a

SIH TOTT ICON(Psa 23:3)     He restoreth my soul…

Our Lord is a constant source of spiritual strength and vitality for His people.  Dear Christian, do you feel tired in your service to Him?  Are you “weary in well-doing”?  Patiently wait upon His renewal and His comfort in your life. He has not left you alone, nor has He ignored your faithful service to Him…

Isa 40:31 (KJV) - But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                           Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                   SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 23:2

SIH TOTT ICON(Psa 23:2) – He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

For the Christian, two of the most overlooked gifts of grace are peace and rest.  Through the work of Christ on the cross, we can rest knowing we are at peace with Him and are being held secure by Him.

In Psa 23:2, the Psalmist centered on these two gifts.  To be “led beside still waters” speaks of the peace that we are given when we follow His path to salvation and Godly service. To be “made to lie down in green pastures”, speaks of the rest we can enjoy knowing we are at peace with Him.

Do you know that your sins have been forgiven and you are in a right standing with God?  This is the first step to being able to rest and be eternally protected in Him.

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                        Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                   SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

Harmony: The Unity Of The Trinity In Salvation

SIH STSTA ICONHave you ever heard a symphonic orchestra play a piece of classical music?  What a beautiful music can be made when many individual musicians play together in unity!  Of all the classics, one of the most recognizable is the 1812 Overture.

Take a listen here, notice all the differing parts being brought together to produce a wonderfully unified piece of music http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2W1Wi2U9sQ

Many people working together harmoniously is a very important part of our life.  In almost every aspect of our world around us we can see the results of unified effort.  In some cases, it seems like a miracle when you have many individuals fulfilling a different set of roles being brought together to accomplish great things.

The Bible is filled with examples of Christians working together in unity for the cause of Christ.  We are given both historical examples, and commands, encouraging the many to work together to proclaim the gospel and serve Him for His glory.

But the greatest Biblical example of unified effort is not found in the service of Christians for the Lord, it is found in the work of the Trinity.  In our text we find a PERFECTLY unified effort on the part of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to graciously bring salvation to His chosen people.

THE SCRIPTURES:

 Eph 1:3-14 (KJV) – 3) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ:  4) 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:  5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,  6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.  7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;  8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;  9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in him:  11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13) In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

 THE STUDY:

In our text, note how each person of the Trinity performs different roles in a unified effort to graciously save us from our sins.  In Eph 1:3-14, we find the definitive roles of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit explained in detail:

Vs 3-6 – The working of God the Father includes:

  1. “chosen us in him” – God the Father selected us (the chosen, the elect) out of a sinful, spiritually dead world, so that we would live holy lives and guiltless lives.  Therefore, we should serve Him from a heart of love and gratitude for all He has done for us.

2.  “predestinated us” – God the Father predetermined that we would become an adopted member of His spiritual family.  This adoption would take place based on the work of Christ which was performed in alignment with the desires of God the Father.

Why did the Father choose and predestinate us?  So that He might receive all the praise, glory, and honor for the salvation that was to be given to us.  We cannot claim that we deserve His salvation… we only chose to love Him and come to Him because He first loved us and drew us to Himself. (John 6:44, 1 John 4:19)  Likewise, we were not adopted into His family because we deserved it, it was only based upon His work which resulted in us becoming joint-heirs with Christ. (Roms 8:13-14)

Vs 7-12 – The working of God the Son includes:

  1. “redemption through His blood” – Christ paid the full ransom that was necessary to purchase us (the chosen) from the bondage of sin and deliver us to the Lordship of Christ.  He paid this ransom through His blood that was shed on the cross. (1 Pet 1:18-19)  Coming from this ransom payment is the forgiveness of our sins, past present and future… He paid for ALL our sins because we can not make the payment for ANY of our sins. (Hebs 10:10-13)  He did all this for us, not because we deserved it, nor because   we did any work to attain it, but Because He wanted to show undeserved favor to us.

The salvation that is given to us by grace is a display of His great wisdom and insight into the true nature of our needy, hopeless condition.

  1. “made known… mystery of His will” –  It is through the first coming of Christ that we have on display the mystery of salvation by grace to Jew and Gentile.  When Christ came, He taught us (through His words and example) of God’s will for salvation to be given to man by grace.  (Rom 16:25-27)
  2. “gather together in one all things”-  At the end of time, as eternity is ready to be ushered in, Christ will gather together all His redeemed into one glorious group of worshippers who will spend eternity  with Him.  This will be done based upon His work on the cross and the gracious giving of salvation to His people. (Col3:11)
  3. “obtained an inheritance” -  Based upon His death on the cross, those who are adopted into His family look forward to an inheritance.  This inheritance involves many blessings, including living eternally with Him on a New Earth over which we will rule (much as Adam and Eve was given dominion over the garden of Eden).(Rev 21:-22:)

Why did Christ do all of this for us?  So that He might be honored, glorified and praised,  He accomplished what we could not accomplish.  He worked salvation from our sins and acceptance by the Father.

Vs 13-14 – The working of God the Spirit includes:  

  1. “ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit” – We (the chosen) came to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ only after we had received the gospel message.  Receipt and belief in the gospel message is an absolute necessity for our salvation.  (Rom 10:14-17)  Following our turning to Christ in faith for salvation, we then were sealed with the Holy Spirit.  To be sealed involves a spiritual mark identifying the new believer with Christ. (2 Tim 2:19)  It also involves a preservation of the believer, securing and protecting Him eternally. (Eph 4:30)
  2. “the earnest of our inheritance” – The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our future inheritance we will receive.  (2 Cor 1:22)  Once again, we see the security of the believer in view.  The Spirit seals us until we receive our glorified bodies and enter eternity with the Lord.  The glorification of the body is the last step in the redemption process and is described here as the “redemption of the purchased possession”.  Praise the Lord, we are eternally secure in Him…. NO ONE (including ourselves) can take us out of His protecting hand of grace. (John 10:28-30, Rom 8:29-30)

Why did the Holy Spirit do all of this for us?  So that He might receive the glory for His part in our salvation.

To summarize…. The work of the Trinity in our salvation is a harmonious work that encompasses every aspect of our salvation from beginning to end.  EVERYTHING involved with our salvation, both His workings and our response to His workings, is an act of His grace.

Jonah, when he was engulfed in the whale’s belly could do nothing to save himself.  His only hope was that the Lord might intervene and sovereignly save him from his predicament.  Jonah learned the lesson that his physical deliverance was only of God when he said, “salvation is of the Lord”.  (Jonah 2:1-10)

As Christians, we should borrow a page from Jonah’s book.  We should come humbly before Him and serve Him from a heart of gratitude proclaiming our spiritual “salvation is of the Lord”.

If you have never come to a saving faith in Christ: turn from your sins, come humbly before Him (realizing your inability to save yourself) and trust Him to meet all your spiritual needs.  Realize your salvation is in His hands… He promises to pardon any that will come to Him.  Rest assured, if you have come to Him (in repentance and faith) He will save you and you will be eternally secure in Him…

John 6:37-39 (KJV)

37) All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  38) For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  39) And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”.  On this page, you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.

Please visit the “Settled In Heaven Ministries” homepage – http://www.settledinheaven.org

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com

The following are other places you can find “Settled In Heaven” blog (updated once per month): www.settledinheavenbibleblog.posterous.com  www.settledinheavenblog.blogspot.com

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

 

SIH’s Think On These Things: Psa 23:1

SIH TOTT ICON(Psa 23:1) A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

A shepherd’s care of his sheep includes feeding, protecting and leading them.  When we understand that our Creator, the All-knowing Lord, is feeding us; and the All-powerful, Sovereign Lord is protecting us; and the Sinless, Loving Lord is leading us… what more could we want?

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                        Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                   SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH’s Think On These Things: Phil 4:23

SIH TOTT ICONPhp 4:23:  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. To the Philippians written from Rome, by Epaphroditus.

Throughout Paul’s writings, one of his most common requests is for his readers to be given God’s grace.  “Grace” is shown to us anytime God gives benefits to us that we do not deserve.

When we opposed God, He sent His Son to die so that we might be forgiven of our rebellion against Him.  As fallen mankind, we deserved to be eternally separated from our Lord in never-ending torment.  And yet, He has promised to us, an eternity in His presence.   What great graces He has shown to each and every one of His people!

If we began to list all of His graces, we could never complete the list.  Beyond our salvation… our physical life, our families and other loved ones, our talents and abilities, the fruits of the Spirit, our material possessions, our EVERYTHING are gifts of His grace.

As we begin our day, let us center our attention on how good our Lord is to us.  And then, with thankful hearts, let’s give Him our best knowing that we owe our all to Him!

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                                Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                  SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH’s Think On These Things: Phil 4:19

SIH TOTT ICONPhp 4:18-19:

But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 In Phil 4:19, we are told that our God has an unlimited amount of resources He can draw upon to meet the needs of His people.  His blessings flow to us through the work of His Son, Jesus Christ.  It is really important to note the context of verse 18.  This promise is given immediately after sacrificial giving is discussed.

When we are faced with the opportunity to sacrifice for the cause of Christ, remember, He is able to meet the necessities of our lives.  Give freely of our time, talents and finances to help others, and know He will supply our needs. (Luke 6:38)

May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

Settled In Heaven Web Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org                       Settled In Heaven Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com                                                     SIH Salvation Blog Page: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

Versatile Blogger Award – Presented To My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ For His Glory

Thank you Angela, (a blogger who loves our Lord and glorifies Him in her writings), at ( https://meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com/ )  for nominating Settled In Heaven, for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Angela’s blog features a unique presentation of the principles of God’s Word that can be understood and beneficial to the young and old alike.  Personally, her blog has been a wonderful blessing to me and an inspiration for my ministry.

THE RULES TO FOLLOW FOR THE VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD:

1. Add a picture of the award to your blog post.                                                                            2. Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their blog.                               3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.                                                                                         4. Nominate other Bloggers and inform those they have been nominated.

Here are seven random facts about the role of my Lord in my life (in chronological order):

1. My Lord has graciously allowed me to live (and walk) on this earth for 53 years.  After being born with multiple birth defects (congenital neuro-sacral defect) that normally cause early death or, at the least, paralysis of the lower limbs.

2. My Lord blessed me with a wonderful, supportive family (parents and 2 sisters) that sacrificed so much for me during my early years at home.  I truly believe it was the Lord;’s use of  their love and care for me that I am alive today.  As I grow older, I am coming to a greater realization of all they have done on my behalf.

3. The Lord opened my sin-blinded eyes, broke my sinful heart, turned me to Himself, and granted me faith in Him and made my future secure in Him.  I did not deserve His forgiveness, patience and love.  I owe Him my everything.

4.  My Lord is blessing me everyday with a wonderful, Godly wife that is supportive of my ministries and loves me with an unconditional love. (Trust me, her love HAS to be unconditional to put up with me!)  After being married for 12+ years to Eva,  I still wake up every morning thanking the Lord for bringing us together.  Apart from the Lord Himself, she is my greatest source of encouragment, strength and care.

5. My Lord has also blessed me with a loving Mother-in-law that graciously puts up with me as well.  To be honest, she breaks the typical “mother-in-law” stereotype.  I actually enjoy spending time with her!

6. The Lord mercifully continues to work in my life, in spite of myself.  He forgives my daily sins and He continues to show me truths from His Word.  He graciously allows me to continue to preach, to write, and to study His Word. It is in His Word that I receive daily instructions for living my life on earth.  I praise and honor Him for His Word.  I truly do not know how I could live without it.

7. My Lord has blessed me with His peace. Although I do not know what tomorrow may hold, I know that He has me in His hands and He will never let me go… I am eternally secure in Him.

Here are the nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award in no particular order:

1. PJ at PJ’s Prayerline – http://pjsprayerline.blogspot.com/

2. LoopyLoo at My Blog - http://loopyloo305.com/

3. Anthony at You Decide – http://wdednh.wordpress.com/

4.  Paul Cheng at Certainty Of Drawings – http://certaintyofdrawings.blogspot.com

5.  Joy at Live With Joy – http://www.2livewithjoy.com/

6. Eva at Alive With Christ Art –  http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com/

Congratulations to all the bloggers! Enjoy the honor.

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