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Monthly Archives: April 2012

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:24-26

Heb 11:24-26  By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  (25)  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;  (26)  Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.

Moses’ defense of his Israelite brother is retold in Exodus 2:10-14 & Acts 7:21-25. When we look at both passages together this is what we find out…

At the age of forty, Moses saw an Israelite being beaten brutally by his Egyptian overseer.  Upon seeing this, Moses defended the life of his Israelite brother by killing his abusive Egyptian taskmaster.

In this event in Moses’ life, we see him choosing to follow the calling of His Lord, to be deliverer of the children of Israel.   He had chosen to stand with his Israelite brother instead of remaining in the good graces of His adoptive family.  By turning against his adoptive Egyptian family and their kingdom, he was not only rejecting its benefits of wealth and great worldly authority, but was now inviting the kingdom’s wrath to fall upon him.

What was his motivation to choose against the sinful pleasures of the Empire to become hated fugitive?  It was his faith.  He understood that to be obedient to his calling, and suffer affliction for the cause of Jehovah, would result in much greater rewards than the pleasures this world has to offer.

The Lord has called each one of His people, out of a heart of appreciation, to be “living sacrifices” for His honor and glory (Rom 12:1).  Are we willing to do as Moses of old and fulfill our divine calling at the risk of losing the world’s acceptance and offerings? By His grace alone, our faith will be strong and we will choose His will when faced with personal sacrifice for His glory.

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:23

Heb 11:23 (KJV) 23) By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw [he was] a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. 

The birth of Moses is retold in Exodus 1:8-2:10.

During the enslavement of Israel by the Egyptian empire, the Israelite nation began to prosper under the Lord’s hand of blessing.  The Egyptian ruler, Pharaoh, feared that the growing Israelite nation would eventually overtake the Egypt. To remedy this situation, Pharaoh issued a decree for all the Jewish male babies to be killed.  In doing this, he was hoping to stem the growth of the Israelite nation and ensure their future enslavement to Egypt.

Following Moses’ birth, his parents (under penalty of death) refused to turn over their son to be killed. Instead, they hid him from Pharaoh.  Not only was this an act of their love for their son, but according to our text, it was also an act of faith.  Moses’ parents trusted in their Lord to protect their entire family as they worked to save the life of their son, Moses.

We are told that because of their faith in Jehovah, “they were not afraid of the king’s commandment”.  How wonderful it is to trust God to the exclusion of all of our fears.  As Christians, the next time we find ourselves faced with the need to step out in faith and go against our fears, keep in mind, we have trusted our Lord with our eternal destiny… surely we can trust our Sovereign, Loving, Lord with our temporal fears as well.

Mark 4:37-41 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.  And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?  And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

No One Understands…

One of the worse feelings in the world is when we feel that no one understands us or the situation we are facing.  There are times when those who are closest to us seem to have no understanding of the pain, anxiety or fears that we have within us.  It is this very feeling of being misunderstood that accompanies depression, anxiety and, at the extreme, suicidal thoughts.

What is God’s message to His people who feel so very misunderstood and isolated?   You are not alone…Jehovah, the Creator of heaven and earth is a loving, kind and concerned God.  He cares about you and He understands you and your situation in life.  Listen to what the Bible says about how concerned He is about you…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Eph 2:10 (KJV)  10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Gen 16:13 (KJV) And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me…

Luke 12:6-7 (KJV)  Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Exod 33:17 (KJV)  … for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name.

Job 31:4 (KJV)  Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?

Ps 56:8 (KJV)  Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book?

2Kgs 20:5 (KJV)  …Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears:…

Isa 41:13 (KJV) For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.

2Tim 4:17 (KJV)  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me;…

Phil 4:19 (KJV)  19But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

THE STUDY:

The Bible, God’s Word that He has given to mankind, reveals to us the following…

  1. God has made you.  You are the unique creation of His hands. (Eph 2:10)
  2. God sees you and is watching over you. (Gen 16:13)
  3. God knows you so well that He has counted the very hairs on your head. (Lk 12:6-7)
  4. God knows you by name (Ex 33:17)
  5. God sees the path you are on in life and is watching your very steps. (Job 31:4)
  6. God puts your tears in a bottle. (Psa 56:8)
  7. God hears your prayers and sees your sorrow (2 Kngs 20:5)
  8. God will take  your hand and help you (Isa 41:13)
  9. God will stand beside you and strengthen you (2 Tim 4:17)
  10.  God will supply all your needs (Phil 4:19)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

What a glorious message from God’s Word… no matter what you may face, no matter how often you are misunderstood by man… the Lord will always understand, accompany and care for you.  You are His, nothing can separate you from His love.

Rom 8:31-39 (KJV)

What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.  Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

For those who have yet to be saved…

God’s love was shown to mankind through the sending of His Son to come and die on the cross …

Rom 5:6-11 (KJV)

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Titus 3:4-7 (KJV)

But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;  Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;  That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Won’t you turn to Christ and trust in Him for the forgiveness of your sins?  You will never be left alone nor misunderstood by Him.

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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: Heb 11:22

Heb 11:22  By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

This verse brings us to an end of a 6 verse section of Hebrews (Heb 11:17-22) that spoke of four generations of patriarchs that had trusted in the Lord. In each generation these men had lived lives that exhibited their great faith in the future fulfillment of the promises of God :

  1. Abraham trusted that God would keep the Abrahamic covenant, this faith enabled him  to be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac Vs 17-19
  2. Isaac showed his trust in the fulfillment of the promises of God by handing them      down to his sons, Jacob and Esau. Vs 20
  3. Jacob’s faith in God’s covenant was shown by blessing his grandsons upon his death      bed. Vs 21
  4. Finally, in our text today, we see Joseph’s belief in the future deliverance of Israel from Egyptian captivity, told others of the promise and gave instructions on how his bones   should be delivered back to the promised land following Israel’s release.      Vs 22

Four generations of men who trusted in the promises of God, being handed down from generation to generation.  Are we handing down God’s promises to the future generations?  Are we displaying our faith to our loved ones through our words and actions?

Folks, words are cheap and our children can see through our words.  By living Godly lives we give our faith life, meaning and importance to our loved ones and all those around us. May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:21

Heb 11:21  By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

The story of Jacob blessing his sons and grandsons followed by his death is found in Gen 48:8-49:33.

Here we are told that Jacob, physically weakened and facing his upcoming death (probably the same day – Gen 49:33), handed down the blessings and prophecies of God to his grandsons and then worshipped Jehovah.

If we knew that our death was approaching, how would we fill our final hours?  Would it be in the enjoyment of a worldly pleasure?  Perhaps spending time with our earthly family?   Or would we be hurrying to have arrangements made for the handling of our physical body and worldly possessions?   Worst of all, would some of us be quickly trying to find peace with God before facing Him in eternity?

How many of us, following the example of Jacob, would confidently know the Lord’s will for our lives and be seeking to fulfill it until we drew our last breath?

We do not know what tomorrow may hold for us.  It is very possible that someone who is reading this may never live another day.  Are we ready to meet our Lord?  If so, are we confident of His will for our lives and are we seeking to follow Him daily?  By actively making both spiritual and temporal preparations for our death now, we will be able to spend our last hours serving Him and experiencing His peace and the love of those around us.

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

God’s Poem

God is the subject of a multitude of poems that have been written throughout the ages.  Mankind has tried to capture the person, works and thoughts of God through the use of the written verse, but to no avail.   How can fallen, sinful mankind ever adequately understand, and then describe God?  It is an impossible task.

But did you know that God has personally written a poem that can be read by all mankind?

The Bible tells us all about the poem that is written by the hand of God and meant exclusively for mankind.

THE SCRIPTURE:

 Eph 2:4-10 (KJV)  4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  6) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:  7) That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 THE STUDY:

Vs 4 – But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

We are saved because God is a merciful God who loved us

 

Vs 5 – Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

When we were spiritually dead, the Lord intervened in our life and gave us spiritual life.  This spiritual life was undeserved by us.  It was given to us as a free gift of God’s grace.

 

Vs 6 – And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

When we were saved, our Lord raised us up together with Him to live a new life in Him.  He also gave us an eternal inheritance that included an eternity with our Lord in heavenly place.

 

Vs 7 – That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

One of the great reasons He saved us was to be “trophies of His grace”.  After salvation, our lives have become living testimonies of His grace and kindness. When we deserved death, He gave us life.   When we deserved punishment, He gave us forgiveness.  When we deserved the lake of fire, He gave us  an eternity with Him!  Our changed life of fruit bearing shows this to others.

 

Vs 8 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

The faith we exercised when He saved us is a gift that originated with God.  He gave us faith so that we might place it in Him.

 

Vs 9 – Not of works, lest any man should boast.

The salvation He gave us was not deserved by us, nor could we perform any good works to gain it.  We were given life and forgiveness not because of us… it was because of Him.

After reading all of these verses about God’s grace in salvation, one big question stands out…. What can we ever do to show Him our appreciation for all He has done for us?  He gave His all for us, when we did not deserve it… how can we say “thank you” ?

In Vs 10, Paul now explains our responsibility to Him for all He has done for us:

For we are his workmanship,

  1. We are His (workmanship) creation both physically and spiritually.  He created us physically, and based on the above verses, it is clear that He created us spiritually as well.  We are what we are because of Him.
  2. We are his “workmanship” – The greek word is Poieo or “poem”.  This points out that we are his poem.  We are His composition, written by Him.  We are one avenue for the expression of His thoughts and words.  (2 Cor 3:2-3)
  3. Just as a poem reveals it’s author to others, so too, we are to reveal our God to others      around us through our life, words, and actions exercising the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23)
  4. God’s creations always reveals Him…
    1. Physical creation reveals God – Roms 1:20
    2. Spiritual creation reveals God – Eph 2:10

created in Christ Jesus

The basis of our salvation is the work of Christ on the cross.  God wrote this “poem” based upon the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

 

unto good works,

God saved us so that we might exhibit good works in our lives.  These good works of speech, actions and fruits are seen by others, revealing God to all who contact us.

which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God designed and prepared us to have good works beforehand.  Before we could do these good works God had to intervene and prepare us beforehand.  Our salvation was a part of the preparatory work that He did in our lives.

APPLICATION:

For those who are saved:

God’s eternal plan for us was that we would be living witnesses of His grace and love.  To bring this plan about He chose to save us, then He brought us to salvation and then equipped us through the indwelling Spirit to bear His fruit.  Out of love and appreciation we are to bear fruit and reveal Him to others.

For those who are not saved:

Throughout this lesson one basic principle has been brought forth…. Jonah described it by the phrase “salvation is of the Lord”.  Salvation from sin is an act of divine grace that cannot be gained nor merited by man.  The Lord has issued the invitation:

Matt 11:28-30 (KJV)  28) Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  30) For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

Won’t you come to Christ, humbly turning from your sins to Him.  Trusting Him to intervene in your life, save you and enable you to live a life of service to Him?

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:20

Heb 11:20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

We can read more about Isaac blessing his sons in Genesis 27:1-46. (Please note… the background to the blessing of Esau and Jacob involves God’s allowance of deceit and corruption to bring about His will.  This subject is much too complicated to do it justice in a daily devotion format. Therefore this aspect of our account will be ignored in this posting.  Thank you for understanding.)

Here in our text, when we see that Isaac “blessed” his sons, he gave three different types of blessings material, immaterial and spiritual:

  1. To Jacob, Isaac declared material, immaterial and spiritualblessings from God….
    1. Material – “To Jacob, he promised, Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:” (Gen 27:28)
    2. Immaterial – “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee:” (Gen 27:29a)
    3. Spiritual – “cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.” (Gen 27:29b)
    4. By doing this, he was passing down the Abrahamic covenant to Jacob
  2. To Esau, Isaac declared material and immaterialblessings from God….
    1. Material – “And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, thy dwelling shall be the fatness of the earth, and of the dew of heaven from above;” (Gen 27:39)
    2. Immaterial –  “And by thy sword shalt thou live, and shalt serve thy brother; and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck.” (Gen 27:40)

 A Godly parent is one that is concerned about all three areas of their children’s lives:

  1. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with passing down the Lord’s material blessings to their children.  (2 Cor 12:14)
  2. Also, working to meet the child’s immaterial needs in life is honorable as well. Their      education, manners, submission to higher authority, fulfill responsibilities given to them, qualities of leadership, ability to mediate disputes… all the different “morals” that will be needed to be successful in this earthly life are also a parents responsibility to supply to the child. (Titus 2:3-5)
  3. But finally, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, parents should be concerned about their children being spiritually blessed of God.  Parents should be teaching them their need of salvation and the precepts of the Word, so they might live lives pleasing to God. (Deut 4:9)

Let’s be sure we are doing our best to meet the future needs of our children.  We can do this by a consistent preparation NOW for the upcoming generation of servants of our Lord.

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:17-19

Heb 11:17-19  By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,  (18)  Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:  (19)  Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

The account of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, his son, is found in Gen 22:1-19.

Abraham’s faith in the promises of God was put to the test when he was called upon to sacrifice his son, Isaac.  We had seen previously, that the conception and birth of Isaac was the result of a promise that God had given to Abraham and Sara (Heb 11:11-12).

A part of the original promise given by God was… “thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, [and] with his seed after him” Gen 17:19.  God promised that Abraham would have a son (Isaac), and also, God promised that Isaac would have descendants who would inherit the promises of His covenant.

In our Hebrews text, we read that Abraham’s faith was tried when he was called upon to offer up his son, Isaac.  As a result of his faith, he was compliant to God’s wishes and was prepared to complete the sacrifice.  What was his motivation to make this incredibly difficult decision?  He knew God was faithful in keeping His promises and He had power over physical death.

Basically, Abraham thought along these lines…

  1. God has promised me that Isaac would have descendants.
  2. As of yet, Isaac has had no children.
  3. I know that God will not break His promise, therefore, God is not done with Isaac.
  4. If God is not done with Isaac, God will still fulfill His promise and use Isaac, even if I sacrifice him.
  5. Therefore, if I sacrifice Isaac, God (having all-power) will raise Isaac from the dead and use Isaac for His glory to fulfill His promises to me (Abraham).

WHAT GREAT FAITH!!!!  Abraham’s faith was blessed, as God supplied the ram as a replacement for Isaac.  God received the ram as a  “figure” (symbolic replacement) of Isaac.

Would to God, when we are called upon to serve will remember His faithfulness to His promises and His all-mighty power to intervene and give us the victory.

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH Blog Awards Received

First of all, I apologize to all the bloggers who have nominated SIH blog for awards in the past few weeks.  My schedule and responsibilities did not allow me to acknowledge your nominations until now.

Thank you so much for your patience.  Once again I apologize.

In the past few weeks SIH Blog has been nominated for the following awards:

Adurna Blue’s Follower Award – Terry at Terry 1954

Very Inspiring Blogger Award – Jelillie at Reinventing the We’ll

Angela at Meeting In the Clouds

Versatile Blogger Award – Terry at:  Terry 1954

Let me just say a few things about each of those who nominated SIH blog:

Terry at http://terry1954.wordpress.com/ – I have only started following Terry’s blog for a few weeks now, but I can truly say that her blog has touched my heart.  She is an honest, kind lady who is sharing with us the blessings and hardships that she faces as a caregiver for her brother who is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.

Jelillie at http://jelillie.wordpress.com/ – Jelillie is a Husband, Father of 4 children and a Pastor.  Pastor Jelillie blog contains wonderful teaching of Bible truth.  One of his sections that is most enjoyable for me is his “Chapter Charts” postings that shares three main truths found in any given chapter in the Bible.  Its interesting, and fun, to see what different main topics are found in each chapter by Pastor and his readers.

Angela at  http://meetingintheclouds.wordpress.com/.  Angela has been a follower of my blog for quite sometime.  I count her as a friend.  She has been a tremendous source of encouragement for me as the SIH blog has progressed.  Her blog is a great combination of spiritual truth, illustrations using common everyday events, and fantastic graphics (wish I had her artistic ability).

I can truthfully say that I can recommend all three of these blogs for consistently encouraging and profitable reading.

Now for a few things about myself…

  1. Jesus Christ is my Savior, Lord and Friend.  If I am anything at all, it is entirely because of Him.  Every morning I wake up, every breath that I take, every word that I write, every good deed that I might do… is totally by His gracious intervention in my life.  Without Him, I would be nothing.
  2. I am married to a wonderful lady, Eva, who is my greatest encourager on the face of the planet.  She is dedicated to serving the Lord and taking care of her husband…. (boy, do I need taking care of!).  I have a few medical issues that pop up from time to time.  It is my beloved wife that watches my diet, prepares my meds and constantly works for my physical welfare.  I honestly, can say, I believe I am alive today because the Lord has seen fit to use her to take care of my  physical needs.  Besides that, she is the best at knowing just the right thing to say when I am struggling spiritually.  She makes a me complete person
  3. We are privileged to share our house with our mother.  Marie, Eva’s mother, my mother-in-law, is a tremendous blessing to me.  She is a very sweet, kind lady that has tremendous entertainment value for the entire family.  I’m sure glad she has a great sense of humor or I’d be in trouble right about now!
  4. My heart’s desire is to glorify God by helping Christians come to a better understanding of God’s Word.  In our world today, especially in our nation, we have such a need for Biblical truth.  It seems like in each generation that appears a bit more of the truth is lost.

Now for things I love in life (things not “people” so I will not mention the Lord, my wife etc etc )…

  1. I love explaining God’s Word to others…. This is when I fill most fulfilled and spiritually useful.
  2. I love reading (the Bible and theology books).
  3. I love my dog “Zeek”.  What a dog!  I believe he is suffering from some type of mental illness but the vet doesn’t agree.  You know, he seems kinda “dumb” at times.  But I love him anyway!
  4. I love helping others.
  5. I love to eat. (My wife’s cooking is great!)
  6. I love to tell jokes… only problem is I’m not very good at it!
  7. I love to watch a good movie or TV show and get lost in the plot.

I would like to nominate the following blogs for the awards (I am trying to nominate those who I have not nominated previously for awards) There are so many wonderful blogs and followers, it is very difficult for me to make final choices:

Versatile Blogger Award –

To Debbie at http://iftodaywehear.wordpress.com/  Debbie’s blog combines a Bible verse with a short explanation and a daily poem related to the Bible verse.  I check it out every day for a source of encouragement during a break from my writing.

Very Inspiring Bloggers Award –

To Jon at http://justificationbygrace.com/    Jon’s blog is a storehouse of Biblical truth from past spiritual men such as Spurgeon, M’Cheyne etc. as well as Jon’s own writings and audio messages.  The Lord has blessed Jon with  the truth of His Word.  This is the most Scripturally sound blog I have found.

Adurna Blue’s Follower Award –

To Tahlitha at http://justmyfaithtalking.wordpress.com/.  Tahlitha’s blog combines Bible verses with everyday illustrations and applications for the Christian.  I’ve found that her postings are an encouragement to anyone who is seeking to live their life in alignment with God’s Word.  Tahlitha chooses subjects that are very applicable for today’s Christian living.

Once again, thank you so much to all who have nominated SIH, those who have been nominated and all the other bloggers who are such an inspiration to me.  Lord bless you all!

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:14-16

Heb 11:14-16  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  (15)  And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  (16)  But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

In our text, we read that those of faith, “declare plainly” that they seek a country.  The meaning of the phrase “to declare plainly” is the idea “to put on exhibit, to uncover, or to reveal publically”.

These Godly men and women did not live their lives for the accumulation of the wealth, comfort and fame that this world has to offer. They knew a “better country awaited them”.  But their testimony did not stop there. Through their actions and voices they “put on exhibit” to everyone that they were on a pilgrimage.  Their travels were taking them THROUGH this fallen world and TO another world yet to come.

The world to come is called “heaven” or the “New Jerusalem” (Rev 21: & 22:), the city that God has prepared for each one of His chosen people of faith.  The existence of heaven proves that we are loved, a part of God’s family, and heirs of wonderful blessings to come (John 14:2-3)

Are we living our lives as if we are on a pilgrimage through this world?  If so, are we verbally explaining to others our motivation, the “great hope” that we possess of eternity with Him?

By God’s grace alone, might we all aspire to be like the faithful servants of Hebrews 11 who, by their voices and actions, “declared plainly that they seek a country.”

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

The Kingdom Of God

How often in the Scriptures do we read about the “kingdom of God”?  It is a phrase that appears 69 times in the New Testament.  What do we mean by the “kingdom of God”?  How does the “kingdom” affects the lives of each one of us as Christians?  Let’s take time to study this subject to learn more about God’s kingdom and those who are a part of His “kingdom”.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

THE STUDY:

To begin our study we need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of a “kingdom”.  The word translated Kingdom in the NT is the Greek word “basileia”.  This word has two basic ideas behind it:

  1. The first idea is the AUTHORITY to rule that a King possesses (Luke 1:33, Luke 17:20, Matt 12:28etc)
  2. The second idea is the REALM that is ruled over by a King.  When Basileia is used in this way it can speak of either:
    1. the land area and physical possessions that a King rules over (Mat 4:8, Mark 6:23,  Heb 11:33 etc)
    2. the group of people over which a king rules. (Rev 1:9, Col 1:13, 2 Pet 1:11, etc)

As we study the “Kingdom of God” we are going to be looking at God as our King.  We will be examining both His authority to rule, and those He rules over.  Finally we will be coming to an understanding of the importance of that His rulership in each of our lives.

Let’s look at a few verses that help us to understand more about the “Kingdom of God”

Luk 17:20-21  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:  (21)  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

The Bible makes it plain that the “Kingdom of God” has a spiritual aspect to it (Luke 17:20-21).  When the Lord reigns in today’s world, it is not simply His Sovereign reign over all the nations and events that take place in this world, but it also involves the Lord reigning in the hearts of His people.   This reign produces righteousness, joy and peace (through the work of the Spirit) in the hearts of believers.

Mat 4:23-24  And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.  (24)  And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

Luk 11:20  But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

Here, we find that as the Lord proclaimed the “gospel of the kingdom”. In other words, the Lord presented the gospel message that He was the promised Messiah of Isa 53:, (whose work included His death, burial, and resurrection).  The gospel message is called “the gospel of the kingdom” because, when we accept the gospel, by faith, we will become a part of His kingdom (ie He will begin ruling in our hearts).

As our Lord proclaimed the gospel, He accompanied it with miracles; the healing diseases and sicknesses, casting out demons, to name a few.  Why did He do these things in conjunction with the proclamation of the gospel? These miracles accredited the Lord’s ministry and message. It proves to those watching that God was with Him.  These miracles showed that He was the true Messiah and that the gospel message had the authority of God.

Jesus made it plain that as He GENUINELY cast out demons, it was proof positive that He had authority over the powers of darkness.  His authority (His kingdom) was in full view of all.  He was the Messiah sent from God, with God’s great authority behind Him.

Mat 7:21-23  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  (22)  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  (23)  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Here, we find the kingdom of God given the title the “kingdom of heaven”.  This is because those who are a part of God’s kingdom here on earth, will eventually enter into God’s eternal dwelling place to live with Him forever.  This eternal dwelling place is temporally in heaven, later it will come down to earth (described as New Jerusalem in Rev 21:1-2)

What is the outstanding characteristic of those who are a part of God’s kingdom? “he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”.  Submission to the Lord ruling in the heart and life is the outward mark of citizenship in His Kingdom.  This principle is emphasized in the following parable…

Luk 19:11-27  And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.  He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 

And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.  Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.   And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.  And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.  And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:  For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 

And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:  Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?  And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.  (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)  For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Once again we can see that, in the context of the appearance of His Kingdom, the Lord emphasized the need for submission to His reign in the heart.  His servants were to be included in His kingdom, they all exhibited varying levels of submission to His Kingship.

However, His “citizens” (those subject to His laws but not inwardly in submission to His will) were described as “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”  This is a picture of being denied access into His kingdom and being consigned to an eternity outside of His kingdom and presence.  This type of individual is described clearly in the following passages:

1Co 6:9-10  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  (10)  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Gal 5:21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5:5  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

These verses from the Apostle Paul and many other similar verses help us to see that, undoubtedly, those who are a part of God’s Kingdom are those who are in submission to His will.  This is a very important mark of those who have been translated into His kingdom. (Col 1:13)

Act 1:3  To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

The issue of having hearts that are in submission to His will is so important that the Lord took the last 40 days of His presence on earth (at His first coming) to instruct the apostles on things concerning His reign in their lives… in other words, teachings on practical Christian living, or how we are to live our lives for Him.  This was a very important issue for the apostles to understand and teach to the churches that would be forming.  Notice, in ALL of the NT writings, we find among the major themes practical Christian living being addressed. All of this was instruction for those of us who are a part of His kingdom… ie those who are in submission to the will and ways of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This is what is meant by His kingdom on earth And our role in that kingdom.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:                                                              

For those who have trusted in Christ.

We have seen that being a member of His kingdom involves us experiencing His reign in our hearts.  Remember, if we have been saved, we are a member of His kingdom, and as such, we are to be in willful compliance with His will and ways.   Are we living our lives for Him today?  Can we honestly say that, within us, we have a heart that is in submission to His desires for us?  If so, let us continue on fulfilling His will for our lives.  If we cannot honestly say that we are experiencing a SINCERE willful submission to His will then our very salvation is brought into question.   

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

For those who have never experienced the graced of God in our hearts bringing us into willful submission to His desires, your greatest need is for the Lord to work an act of grace in your heart and life.  By recognizing you have sinned against almighty God and admitting that you are living a life of rebellion to His desires for you, you have begun the first step to receiving forgiveness and a changed heart in Him.  By turning from your sins and turning to Christ, trusting in His work on the cross as the complete payment for your sins, and accepting Him as Lord of your life; you will find forgiveness and peace for your life.  Along with this forgiveness and peace you will receive a “new heart” that is now desirous of His will and service in your life.  You will  be able to honestly say that you WANT to please your King, the King of King, the Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:13

Heb 11:13   These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

The Lord turns our attention from the faithful characters in the Bible, to what they all had in common during their life of faithful service on earth…

  1.  Until the day of their death, they exercised their faith in the Lord.
  2.  While serving on earth, they did not experience their promised eternal blessings.
  3.  Even though they did not receive their eternal blessings, they still believed God’s promise to receive them.  The process of coming to belief in God’s promises are described in 3 steps:
    1.  Saw them afar off – By the Holy Spirit’s illumination through God’s Word, they were given a very basic understanding of what awaited them. (We will never be able to understand all the future blessings of God this side of heaven – 1 Cor 2:9)
    2.  Persuaded of them – They became convinced they would receive them.  In their minds, the future blessings of God were not a “possibility”, they had become a certainty… it was only a matter of time.
    3.  Embraced them – Once convinced of their receipt, these promises became a part of their very existence.  They “hugged” the promises bringing them to themselves and making them a part of their day to day walk with Him.
  4.  They lived their lives as if this sinful world was not their permanent home. They didn’t live their lives to gain what the world offered them, but they lived their lives to lay up treasures in the world to come. (Matt 6:19-20)

Have we ever trusted in Christ as our Savior?  In doing so, we have become a part of His family and joint heirs of a wonderful eternity with Him in heaven.

If Christ is our Savior, do we simply have a “head-knowledge” of the wonderful eternity that we may enjoy someday?  Or, has the Lord graced us with a certainty that we will receive His promises without doubt?

If we have this certainty within us, have we really embraced this truth and made it a part of our day to day walk with Him?  If so, the truth of our coming eternity will affect EVERY decision we will make in this land through which we are passing through!

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:11-12

Heb 11:11-12  Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.  (12)  Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

The story of Sara’s faith concerning the conception, and birth, of Isaac is found in Genesis 17:15-17:22, 18:1-15 & 21:1-7.

In Genesis 18:12-15 we are told, “(12) Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?….  (15)  Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.”

Here, we have a clear progression in Sara’s faith:

  1. Sara’s original reaction to God’s promise that she would bear a son in her old age (90 yrs old) was one of unbelieving laughter.
  2. After being reminded of the Lord’s power and ability, we are told her laughter turned to fear as she realized she doubted Almighty God.
  3. In our Hebrews text, we are told that Sara “through faith” conceived and bore Isaac.

How often do we experience the same type of development of faith in our life?

  1. The Lord places us in a situation in which we can only be victorious through His intervention.  We begin in unbelief, seeing our circumstances as overwhelming and impossible.
  2. But when we are confronted with our Lord’s greatness, we fearfully regret our      doubting attitude, clearly seeing our sin of unbelief.
  3. Then slowly, gradually, by His grace alone, His presence in the midst of our trial begins to be seen and our faith begins to strengthen. We begin to see our impossible obstacle as another hurdle we can leap through the ability given to us by our Lord.

The next time we are faced with a river of trials we, seemingly, cannot cross; follow the example of the father of the deaf and dumb child and cry out to the Lord…. “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

And then take heart, remember, the words of the Lord to Peter… “Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:”

and then to Paul… “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Our Lord is using this time in our lives to strengthen us and build up our struggling faith!

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Contentment: A Gift From God

The O’Jays song, “For the Love of Money”, was the #9 song for the year 1974.  It later became the theme song for Donald Trumps “The Apprentice” tv series.  This song sounds a warning concerning our society’s obsession with material riches.  If you would like to hear the song, in its entirety, take a listen here… For the Love of Money

Materialism seems to be running rampant in our society.  Some say that materialism is the “engine” that drives our economic system.  Others would say that an insatiable desire for wealth is playing a huge part in the economic ills that our society is now facing.  Should a Christian embrace or reject materialism?  The Apostle Paul addresses this subject in Phil 4:10-13 & 1 Tim 6:6-12.  Let’s see what he had to say about it….

THE SCRIPTURE:

Phil 4:10-13 (KJV)

10) But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

11) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.

12)  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13) I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1Tim 6:6-12 (KJV)

6) But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7) For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.

8) And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9) But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10) For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11) But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12) Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

THE STUDY:

In our text, Phil 4:10-13, we find the proper Christian attitude toward the riches of this world.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

The Apostle Paul was writing from a prison cell, having been arrested by the Roman government opposed to his preaching of the gospel message.   During his stay in prison, Paul’s needs were supplied through the love offerings from various churches.  The church at Philippi was one of Paul’s supporting churches.  For a period of time, the Philippi love offerings had ceased, and then began once again.  Paul understood that the church had always cared for him, but, at times were unable to send him offerings.

It was during these “lean” times that Paul had learned a very important lesson.  It was in this context, that Paul began instructions concerning the need to be content with what we have.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content.

Paul was not writing this to try to “beef up” his support.  He had learned an important lesson he wanted to share with the Philippians… it was a lesson about contentment.  Paul had learned no matter what his monetary situation might be, he needed to be “content”.  The Greek word for content means “your self has enough”  or simply “to be enough”

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

In Paul’s life he knew how to be humbled and to be overflowing.  In every area of life, Paul had experienced fullness and satisfaction as well lack and hunger.  Yet in all these conditions, Paul knew he needed to be content.  He viewed each situation with the attitude…. it is enough.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

How could Paul ever say that when hungry… it is enough?  How could he possible look at times of lack as “I am content”?  It was only through the strength that Christ had given to him.

This verse is a very well-known and highly quoted verse.  Let me quickly say that I do believe through Christ we can do all things… there is no limit to what we can accomplish with Christ’s enabling.

However, clearly in the context of this verse.  By “all things” Paul is describing all types of conditions of want and need.  What he is saying, contextually, is that he can be content in any area, through the strengthening of Christ.

Paul also addresses the subject of contentment in 1 Tim 6:6-12

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Paul understood that a Christian will greatly profit if a their life is a testimony for Christ and they are content with that Godliness.

In other words, being content with a Godly life is having our priorities straight.  Living a godly life for Him is what is important.

For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.

The material possessions of this world have no lasting value.  Their only value is of an earthly nature.  But living a life for Christ has eternal value.

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

We need to be content with the blessings of food and raiment.  This is all we need to live a Godly life… we need nothing else.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

Those who have an overflowing of possessions are open to sinful opportunities and traps.  They have more occasion to fulfill sinful lusts of their flesh.   It is these lusts that can overcome men causing them to perish or ruin their lives.

Increased wealth demands increased self-control and increased submission to the will of Christ.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Once again sinful desires are in view.  When a Christian places their heart on selfish gain, all types of sin will take place.  Love and selfishness are two exact opposites.  Selfishness for the Christian. results in a departure from the teachings of the Lord and brings upon themselves remorse for their sin and wasted life.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

As Christians we are flee the selfish desires for heaping up unneeded, overflowing wealth.  Instead we are to follow the path that leads to:

  1. righteousness – just, aligned with law
  2. godliness – portraying God in our lives
  3. faith – belief, commitment
  4. love – self sacrifice
  5. patience – to bear under
  6. meekness – gentle, humble

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

What are Christians to do?:

  1. fight the good fight of faith – fight the Godly war against the powers of darkness in this world.
  2. lay hold of eternal life –  Assure ourselves of the truth that eternal life awaits us. Then serve Him now realizing the temporal things of this world are of little value, but the spiritual things are eternal!
  3. whereunto thou art also called and hast professed a good profession… – live like we      are called to eternal life.  Live a Godly life and declare to others the Lord that we serve.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

By concentrating on our service to our Lord, we are putting first things first and “laying up in store” that which is eternal.  1 Tim 6:17-19

For those who have yet to be saved..

That which is of most value cannot be purchased nor gained through the work of our hands.  It is a free gift coming from a gracious Almighty God.    By coming to Him, willing to leave your sin and selfishness behind, you too can receive this gift.

1Pet 1:17-21 (KJV)

17) And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning [here] in fear:

18) Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;

19) But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20) Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21) Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

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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: Heb 11:8-10

Heb 11:8-10  By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  (9)  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  (10)  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

The events in the life of Abraham are recorded in Gen 11:27 – 25:8.  God’s initial call for Abraham to leave his homeland, and the blessings that would result, are found in Genesis 12:1-5.

Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:” (Gen 12:1)

As Abraham trusted in his Lord and followed this calling, it brought great personal sacrifice upon himself.  He sacrificed by leaving his home, family and friends behind, as well as sacrificing his own family’s security and comfort.  Abraham’s sacrifice was to result in receipt of a wonderful inheritance: (Gen 12:2-3)

  1. I will make of thee a great nation,
  2. and I will bless thee,
  3. and make thy name great;
  4. and thou shalt be a blessing:
  5. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee:
  6. and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Although a wonderful blessing from God, this temporal inheritance was not the motivating force behind Abraham’s step of faith.  We are told in our text that Abraham was motivated by the eternal blessings that awaited Him.  The earthly land of Caanan could not begin to compare to the New Jerusalem, Heaven his eternal inheritance…

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”  (see also Heb 11:13-16).

Is the Lord burdening our heart about making a great temporal sacrifice for Him? Is He asking us to give up something in this world, so that we might be of greater heavenly service to Him?  If so, let’s keep our eyes on our heavenly home and the eternal blessings that await us.  There is nothing on earth that can begin to compare to the value of knowing we are pleasing our Lord and will spend eternity with Him someday.

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:7

Heb 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

The account of the life of Noah is found in Genesis chapters 6 through 9.

Based upon the wickedness that had engulfed the earth, the Lord had chosen to bring judgment upon mankind through a world-wide flood.  Up to this point in time in history, it had never even rained.  God had sent water to feed the crops by sending dew upon the earth (Gen 2:6).   How difficult it would be for anyone to understand what “rain” or a “flood” would be like!

However, God, solely by His grace (Gen 6:8), warned Noah of the upcoming flood and instructed him on the way to safety… the building of an arc.  If Noah, through God’s gracious intervention,  believed God’s message and followed God’s instructions, he would be able to save his family, and himself. If, in a spirit of unbelief, Noah mocked God’s warnings and rejected God’s instructions; death would come upon him and his family, just as the other unbelievers of his day.

In our text, we are told that Noah responded in a spirit of reverence and respect (fear) for God and His Word, accepting it by faith. This reverence and respect motivated Him to believe the flood was coming and prepare for it just as God directed him.  His faithfulness resulted in bringing salvation to himself, and his family.  This salvation was not limited to salvation from the waters of the flood, but also salvation from their sins.

Noah’s acts of belief and preparation of the ark had three results.  They condemned the unbelieving world, giving them a visual testimony of faith, and how to prepare for the coming judgment.  It also was his God-given faith in the Lord and His Word that worked his salvation and righteousness. And it was also through his faithful actions, his family came to a trust in God as well.

When God graciously works in our life, calling us to trust in Him and His Word… let’s rely on Him for grace and take that step of faith.  In doing so, we will be setting an example that will glorify God in the eyes of all who see us, encourage other believers, and set the example for lost loved ones to trust in Him as well.

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

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SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:6

Heb 11:6   But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

In our verse, we are clearly told that faith is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY to please God and have a close walk of communion with Him.  In this verse, the Lord tells us we must possess faith in two basic areas… the PRESENT and the FUTURE:

  1. Faith in the PRESENT involves a continual recognition of the Lord’s intervention in our lives.

It is saying, “I believe that He exists and He is actively intervening in my life. He is with me, caring for me, blessing me, leading me and enabling me to fulfill His desires in me.”  In other words, it is believing that “He is”

Just as Abel presented his sacrifice to the Lord, mingled with faith; so, too, our lives should be a lived as a sacrifice of faith presented to Him every day (vs 4).

  1. Faith in the FUTURE involves exercising faith in the promises for our future that the Lord has given to us.

It is saying that “I believe the sufferings of this world are only temporary, I am going to a far better place to be with the Lord.  I believe any sacrifice I make is insignificant because, someday, I will be rewarded for my faithfulness”…   this is believing that “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

We are reminded of this type of faith in the life of Enoch, who faithfully served the Lord and was rewarded by being translated, opening to him an eternity in the Lord’s presence (vs 5).

Let’s all strive to live our lives as a living sacrifice, motivated by these two types of faith in our hearts.

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

Our Forgiving Lord

(Author’s note:  Due to the many Bible verses being referenced in this blog posting, I would request that you have a Bible close at hand as you study this very important subject.)

Ps 86:5 – For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

One of the many attributes of our Lord that sets Him apart from all others is His willingness to forgive those who have sinned against Him.  Not only is He just and righteous, but He is also a Lord who has supplied the payment needed to deliver His people from their sins.

Let’s take a few moments to study our Lord’s willingness to forgive our many sins.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Psalm 86:5 – For thou, Lord, [art] good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

THE STUDY:

In our text, we can see four different traits that are exhibited in the Lord’s treatment of those who possess a Godly sorrow for their sins.  These four include:

His Lordship –

The title “Lord” refers to God’s sovereign rule over all. Our God possesses the authority to control and rule over all of His creation. (Rom 9:20-21)  He is the only One with the authority to forgive sins. (Matt 9:5-6)  The ability to pay the penalty of the sins of others is an act only reserved for the Lord of all the universe. (Psa 130:4) The Lord paid the sin debt for the world through the giving of His life on the cross.  (Eph 5:1-2)  Only the life of the Lord has the needed value that it needed to be given only once to pay the price for the sins of millions. (Heb 10:10-13)

His goodness –

The word for “goodness” is translated many different ways in God’s Word.  A few of those are “beautiful”, “precious”, “prosperous”, and “favorable”.  As you can see from this sampling, the idea of “goodness” carries with it the idea of beneficial and desirable. One of the many reasons that our Lord is beneficial to us is because of His great forgiveness and mercy that He shows to His people.  (Psa 103:1-5)  The value of His mercies cannot be overemphasized. (Eph 2:4-9)

His readiness to forgive –

The phrase “ready to forgive” refers to the Lord’s willingness to forgive anyone who calls upon Him seeking forgiveness driven by a heart filled with Godly sorrow. (Neh 9:16-17) Our Lord’s willingness to forgive and His desire to pardon the many sins that we commit is clearly displayed in Psa 103:8-18.  Our Lord does not get pleasure from seeing the lost die in their sins (Ezek 18:23, 18:32).  Nor is He willing for His people to perish (2 Pet 3:9)

His plentiful mercy –

His tender loving kindness is overflowing and plenteous.  His divine mercy can forgive the worst of our sins. (Eph 1:6-8, 1 Tim 1:13-14).  There is no limit to His grace, kindness and forgiveness. (Roms 5:17-21)

To whom does the Lord grant this mercy, grace and forgiveness?… Our text tells us it is to “all them who call upon thee”.

What does it mean for a person to “call” upon the Lord?  The word translated “call” refers to addressing someone by title.   It is a picture of someone who recognizes a higher authority and then comes to Him wanting to communicate their need to them (Phils 2:5-11, Matt 11:28-30). When the Lord tells us to “call” upon Him, he is teaching us several things…

First of all, it tells us we must recognize the true Lord and Savior.

It is not enough for someone to come to “God” or to ask forgiveness of a nebulous being.  We must recognize that a personal God does exist, He holds authority over us, and that He has promised to save us if we come to Him.  (Hebs 11:6).

We must recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and come to Him personally.  (Acts 4:10-12, Matt 1:21, John 3:36, John 14:6, 1 Tim 2:5-6).  To deny that the Lord Jesus is the ONLY Savior of the world is to deny the clear declaration of Scripture.

Secondly, to call upon Him teaches us that we must willfully turn from our sins and be willing to forsake our sins to obey Him.

We must desire to do His bidding and put Him first in our lives. (Isa 55:6-7, 1 Pet 2:20-25, Hebs 12:24-25, 1 Thess 1:9-10, Acts 14:15) The Lord invites us to turn to Him as a part of the gospel message (Acts 26:15-18)

Third, to call upon Him is teaching us that we must come to Him

We must see our need of salvation from sin; intending to communicate our request to Him; trusting that He will deliver us from our sins.  (Isa 55:1-3, John 6:37, John 7:37, Rev 22:12-17, Psa 9:7-10, Isa 26:3-4)

This is the message of God’s forgiveness for our sins… this is the only way to receive divine forgiveness of our sins.  May the Lord Jesus be glorified in this posting.

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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.

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

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:5

Heb 11:5  By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

A short reference to the life of Enoch is recorded in Genesis 5:18-24.  He is also mentioned in Jude 1:14-15.  This is what these verses tell us about Enoch:

  1. Heb 11: – Enoch lived a life pleasing to God. He affected others around him by this faithful testimony.
  2. Jude 1: – How did he please the Lord?  We are told that he delivered prophecies concerning the Lord’s 2nd coming in the last days.
  3. Gen 5: – He “walked with God”. By this, we know that Enoch had a close relationship centered on communion with the Lord.

In our Hebrews text, we are told that he was “translated” by God.  A result of this “translation” is that Enoch “should not see death”.  The word “translated” carries with it three ideas…

  1. To be carried or transported
  2. To switch sides or transferred from one to another
  3. To be changed or reshaped

Based upon the definition of “translated”, and the fact that Enoch did not face physical death, we can begin to understand what took place in the life of Enoch:

  1. God took Enoch immediately from earth to heaven without Enoch experiencing physical death.
  2. Since he did not experience death, we can assume that Enoch’s soul did not leave his body.  Apparently, when God “took” him, He took both his soul and his body.  If this is the case, then his body was glorified allowing it to enter into heaven in a sinless condition.
  3. (If we remember, this same type of event happened one other time in history when Elijah was glorified and taken to heaven without experiencing death – 2 Kings 2:11).

What a wonderful blessing it would be to “bypass” physical death on the way to spending eternity with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  The wonderful truth is each one of us, if we have come to a saving knowledge of Christ, possess the possibility that we will never experience physical death. Our faithful Lord promises us that, if we are living when He comes again, we too, will be glorified and taken to live with Him for an eternity!  Let’s thank Him today knowing that, it is possible, we will never face death! (1 Cor 15:51-57)

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

SIH Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/all-about-salvation/

SIH Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven/

SIH Email: settledinheaven@gmail.com

SIH’s Think On These Things: Heb 11:4

Heb 11:4  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

The account of Abel’s and Cain’s offerings can be found in Genesis 4:1-10.

Abel’s sacrifice was a lamb of his flock, while Cain’s sacrifice was that of the crops which he had grown.  Both were valuable personal possessions.  Both were the result of physical labor of the offering’s giver.  Both were given to the Lord.

Why was Abel’s sacrifice “more excellent” than Cain’s sacrifice?  According to our Hebrews verse, it was because Abel offered the sacrifice “by faith”.  During the sacrifice, as the lamb’s blood was being shed, Abel believed that the Messiah would come and be a sacrifice for the forgiveness of sin (see Heb 12:24).  In other words, this sacrifice was a display of Abel’s faith.

This same sacrifice declared that Abel had been given righteousness (given to him by God’s grace through faith).  By accepting Abel’s offering, God was publically testifying that Abel had received the saving gifts of faith and righteousness.

Although murdered by his brother, Abel’s testimony is still spoken of throughout the ages.  How can this be?  The public testimony of Abel’s faith was recorded in God’s Word. It is this same Word that is still being read and taught 6000 years later.

Our public testimony, when mixed with faith, is pleasing to God and profitable for man.  It has lasting, eternal value. Little did Abel know that one simple sacrifice would result in an ageless example of saving faith and obedience to the Lord; so, too, our testimony of faith.  We never know how the Lord may choose to use our testimony in His sovereign plan to redeem mankind from their sin.

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

SIH Homepage: http://www.settledinheaven.org

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