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Serving Christ For His Glory… What Does “His Glory” Mean?

SIH STSTA ICONINTRODUCTION:

From the pulpit, from the classroom, and from the mouths of most Christians, we hear the instruction to “serve the Lord for His glory”… unfortunately, this phrase can be very confusing for each one of us due to the variety of teachings about the Lord’s glory found in the Bible.

Many times, when the Bible describes God’s glory (as in Exo 24:17), it is speaking of a bright manifestation of the very presence of God.  This meaning of the phrase reveals to us that God’s glory “appears” (Exo 16:10), “can be seen” (Num 14:22) and is “revealed” (Isa 40:5) to us.   When we tell others to “serve the Lord for His glory” are we telling them to serve our Lord in the hopes of seeing His presence revealed as a bright, overwhelming light?  I think we all understand this is not the case.

In at least three different occasions (Job 40:10, Psa 93:1 and 104:1-2), God’s symbolic clothing is described as his glory.  If we use this Biblical definition then we are to serve Him to receive a vision of the symbolic clothing that He is said to wear.  Of course this is not the meaning of “for His glory” that is to motivate us to service for Christ.

The Bible also describes His glory as being revealed in a thunderstorm (Psa 29:3).  Does this mean we serve Him so that we will see lightning and hear thunder roll?  We can all agree, this is not the case.

The list goes on and on.  When God’s glory is described it can be revealed to man in many, many different ways.

So what is “God’s glory” and how is it shown to mankind when we serve Him and bear his fruits in our life?  In other words, what is the Scriptural motivation for our service to Christ?  These questions are what we will be seeking to answer in this Bible study.

 

TODAY’S TEXT:

Matt 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

1Co 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

 

TODAY’S LESSON:

To come to an understanding of our motive for service (as we serve Christ “for His glory”, we need to understand the definition of the term “glory”.  The word glory is translated from several different words in the Bible.  In the Old Testament, it is translated from these Hebrew words and their forms:

  1. kabowd – weight, splendor, honor
  2. paar – to gleam or boast
  3. hadar – ornament, splendor
  4. halal – to shine, flash forth, boast
  5. shabach – laud, praise, command
  6. tipharah – beauty, boasting
  7. howd – splendor, majesty, vigor
  8.  addereth – mantle, garment, robe
  9. tohar – brightness
  10. yeqar – wealth

 

In the New Testament, it is translated from these Greek words and their forms:

  1. doxa – dignity, honor, praise, worship
  2. kauchema – to  cause to boast
  3. kleos – praise, respect

 

As we can see, in both the Old and New Testaments, the most basic, shared meaning behind all the words translated “glory” involves a revelation of the Lord’s excellence.  Whether it be speaking of the bright light like fire that appeared over Mt Sinai, the Lord’s clothing being symbolized as a bright light or His voice thunders and “is full of glory”, we can see that the Lord’s greatness is being described.

Excellence, or the Supremacy over all others, is the central theme we can see in all the above words translated “glory” in the Word of God.  To put it very simply, the phrase “the glory of the Lord” is describing a revelation of the Lord’s greatness.

When we are told to “serve the Lord for his glory” we are being told to serve the Lord motivated by the desire to reveal His Greatness to others.  This should be the motive and goal in all of our ministries and in everything we do…

1Co 10:31 – “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

 

We should never seek to exalt ourselves or others around us, our one purpose of ministry is to allow the greatness of Christ to be displayed in us.  This is symbolically like Christ’s glorious light that shines forth from us revealing our Savior to the world around us….

Matt 5:16 – “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

 

As you can see from the above passage the way that Christ’s light shines forth from us is through the fruits of the Spirit which we possess within us.  When we bear these fruits the end results are good works which exalt Christ.

This is the true meaning behind the phrase “we are to serve the Lord for His glory”.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

Let’s close our study this morning by asking a few very simple questions….

Why do we serve the Lord and live our daily lives for Him?

Is the end result of our ministry His glory, our glory, or a combination of both?

May we all seek to have Jesus glorified in everything we do!

 

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“Worthy One” … Our Lord Jesus Is The Worthy One!

Happy Thanksgiving From SIH Ministries!

ThanksgivingPosting

 

 

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day To All Our Followers and Visitors To SIH Ministries…

 

 Be Blessed, Safe, And Loved On This Day That Is Set Aside To Meditate On The Lord And His Goodness To Us!

You Have Been, And Continue To Be, A Source Of Great Encouragement To Us!

 

“The Three Great Benefits Of Thanksgiving”

SIH STSTA ICON(Thanksgiving Devotional 2014)

 

 

This Psalm, which is attributed to King David is a Psalm that was written during times of great affliction (Vs 1-12).  In this Psalm, we find David explains his situation to God (Vs 13-21) and then, asks for His intervention in the situation (Vs 22-29).

Then, in an act of faith, he begins thanking the Lord for His future intervention in the situation (Vs 30-36).  What great faith… To honor and give thanks to the Lord before He worked!

This Psalm gives us a wonderful example to follow during times of heartache in our lives.

However, we will not be looking at this entire Psalm in detail for this lesson.  Instead, the intent of this lesson is to look more closely at David’s time of faith in and thanksgiving to the Lord and the benefits accrued from it.

 

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Psa 69:30-32 KJV

(30)  I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

(31)  This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.

(32)  The humble shall see this, and be glad: and your heart shall live that seek God.

 

THE STUDY:

(Verse 30)   David’s determination to honor the Lord with his thanksgiving:

I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.”

 

In the midst of David’s trials, before he saw the intervening hand of God, we see him determined to honor the Lord and praise Him with thankfulness.

Before we begin to look at the benefits of giving thanks to the Lord, we need to understand the basic definition and some principles of concerning the giving thanks…

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  1. David’s definition of “thanksgiving”.

In this text, the Hebrew word that is translated “thanksgiving” is the word “towdah”.  This word helps is to understand the basic idea behind thanksgiving.

This word means “to extend the hand”.  This pictures for us the idea of handing over a gift to show our appreciation.   It involves not simply a verbal thank you, but it is a thankfulness that is backed up by our actions (normally some type of giving of ourselves motivated by appreciation).   In the OT a common way that thanksgiving was shown was through the handing over of an animal for a sacrifice of worship to Jehovah.

Folks, this is a very important point.  The type of thanksgiving that David had in mind when he penned this verse, was not a simple saying “thanks”, but it was a deeply sincere type of thanksgiving that would be shown by sacrificing for the one we appreciate.

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  1. David was compelled by the Holy Spirit to “praise” the Lord…

The idea of “praise” involves directing attention to the Lord.  It is like shining a spotlight on the Lord allowing those around us to clearly see Him and learn more about Him.

David was going to do this by singing songs that would clearly tell others of His greatness and all He had done, and would do, for David.

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  1. David desire was to “magnify” the Lord through Thanksgiving (through giving of himself )…

The idea of “magnify” involves making something greater or higher in other’s sight.  By David giving of himself for the Lord, others would see how great God is.  David’s acts of thanksgiving would “magnify” the Lord in others’ sight allowing them to see His value for their lives more clearly.

Now that we have learned about the meaning and motives that should lie behind our thanksgiving, let us now begin to see the benefits of the giving of thanks to our Lord for His person and His wonderful works on our behalf…

 

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(Verse 31)   Benefit Of Thanksgiving #1… It Pleases God

This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs.”

Our verbal praising of the Lord (songs) and magnifying the Lord through our actions (thanksgiving) are more pleasing to our Lord than outward religious acts of piety and worship.

Religious acts of worship that are done out of routine and necessity are the acts of those who hypocritically serve the Lord.  However, our willful words of praise and acts of sacrifice motivated by appreciation are acceptable, and desirable, to God.   As a matter of fact, the word for “please” actually implies a type of pleasure or happiness.  In other words, these sincere acts of worship make our Lord happy.

One of the great benefits of the giving of thanks is that we are pleasing God with our lives.

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(Verse 32a) Benefit Of Thanksgiving #2… It Helps Others

“The humble shall see this, and be glad:”

Not only do our giving of thanks to God please Him, but they also are beneficial to others around us.

The greatest benefit comes to those who are humble.  This teaches us two truths:

 

  1. If “the humble” are referring to those who are lost, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, recognizing they can do nothing to secure their own salvation…

The convicted lost can greatly benefit from our words and acts of thanksgiving because our thanks will point them to Christ, His love, grace and kindness, and His willingness to intervene and grant salvation to those who cannot save themselves.  As we tell others of His gracious workings in our lives, motivated by a spirit of thankfulness, we are telling others that our Lord can and does intervene in the lives of the helpless comforting them and meeting their every need.

Folks, think about it, every time the Lord intervenes in a seemingly  “impossible” situation in our life, it is an outward display of His ability to intervene in the life of a lost individual and do for them what they cannot do for themselves… deliver them from their sins and the punishment for sin that awaits them.

 

  1. If “the humble” are referring to those who are by faith submitting to the Lordship of Christ, then we are being told that our words and acts of thankfulness encourage the heart of believers. This takes place in two ways:

First of all, the saved are encouraged knowing that others are serving the Lord and honoring Him with their lives even in the face of great trials and testings.  In effect, we are telling them they are not alone.

Secondly, the saved are encouraged knowing that, if the Lord has (or will) intervene and meet our every need in the midst of the storms of life, there is no reason for them to doubt His intervention in their life as well.  As they see His blessings upon us, they recognize His ability to bless them as well.

Another of the great benefits of the giving of thanks is that we are helping those who are around us.

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(Verse 32b) Benefit Of Thanksgiving #3… It Revives Ourselves

“and your heart shall live that seek God.”

David now tells us that words and acts of thanksgiving to the Lord are beneficial to the thankful one…it revives the heart of the thankful… it encourages and strengthens them.

How is this so?  When we verbally, and actively, thank the Lord for His blessings, it reminds us of His love for us, what He has done for us in times past, and the blessings He has promised for us in the future.   It encourages our hearts knowing that He has been with us in times past and, therefore, there is no reason to expect Him to continue to accompany us along our life path whatever may come our way.

The last of the great benefits of the giving of thanks is strengthening and encouragement for the thankful one. 

———————

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION/SUMMARY:

During this thanksgiving season when our attention is turned towards the Lord’s goodness and blessings He has shown to us May we all actively present our thanksgiving to Him, realizing we are not only pleasing God by encouraging those around us and strengthening ourselves in His joy.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

 

For other Bible Lessons on Thanksgiving please click on link:

A Christian’s Thanksgiving Day

Therefore, O God, We Thank Thee

Let The Redeemed Of The Lord Say So

 

For the 30 part series of Thanksgiving devotionals please click on link:

A Month of Thankfulness” 30 Part Devotional Series

 

 

 

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Visit our video blog: http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

 

 

Christ Is The Bread Of Life…

SIH HALTAL ICONAnd Jesus said unto them…Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

I am that bread of life.Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever:

and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (John 6:32,47-51)

 

For The SIH Devotional On This Subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Dh

True Love Covers The Shame Of Others

SIH TOTT ICON1) Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
2) And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
3) And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4) They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5) Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6) This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard][ them not].
7) So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8) And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9) And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10) When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11) She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
(John 8:1-11)

 

For The SIH devotional on this subject:

http://wp.me/pU88A-3Dk

Why I Believe In Jesus Christ…. Adrian Rogers

The Christians Labor Day

SIH HALTAL ICON

Share Christ With Others This Labor Day Holiday!  Labor Day Devotional…

Speaking for myself, I always look forward to Labor Day, enjoying an additional paid day off work and much needed time with my family. But as much as I enjoy the US Labor Day celebration, there is a much greater Labor Day in the future for those of us that are servants of the Lord. Let’s take a few minutes and learn more about the eternal Labor Day that the Lord has so graciously promised to us.

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.  (Rev 14:13)

For the SIH Labor Day Devotional Click Here:

http://wp.me/pU88A-6L

The Results Of Our Polls…

SIH ICONIn previous postings, I had asked for your input concerning what subjects of upcoming studies would benefit you the most.  We had given two separate polls…. One poll was concerning our daily devotional studies and the other poll addressed our longer, weekly Bible Text/Video lessons.

In this posting we’ll be looking at the results of the polls, a few of my thoughts and my tentative plans for the future postings on the SIH text blog.

THE SCRIPTURES:

2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

(2 Peter 1:2-4)

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THE STUDY:

Our text for this morning is a perfect reflection of the goals and motivations behind Settled In Heaven Ministry….

2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Peter’s desire for those he was teaching was two-fold.  It was for God’s grace and peace to be given to those to whom he ministered.

Please notice that Peter understood that grace and peace can only come through knowledge of God and Jesus Christ.  It is this knowledge that Peter was striving to share with those who was reading his letter.

Folks, this is the same desire that I have for each one of you who has given of your time and effort to read the SIH postings, search the Scriptures to see if these postings are truth, and then apply these teachings to your lives.  It is both a blessing and a privilege to be able to minister to you and my greatest desire is for you to be graced and given peace through His Word.

This is why I presented the two polls.  To come to a better understanding of what areas of study would benefit you the most.  This was done in the hopes of better equipping us for service to and increasing our knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Peter goes on to explain to the readers that the grace and peace we receive comes from Him and is a display of His great power.  How has He exercised that power on our behalf?  It is by giving to us His instructions in the way of life and by equipping us to live a Godly life.  Both of these were handed to us through the knowledge of Him as given through His Word.

Simply put,…

1. Peter preached the Word revealing Christ to them.
2. Christ was revealed and understood by his listeners, this caused them to become more understanding of the way of salvation.
3.  They heeded the call to salvation by trusting in Christ as their Savior.
4.  They continued to be taught by Peter which resulted in them being equipped to serve their Savior.
5.  This entire process was based upon God’s gracious intervention upon them.
6.  This brought to their lives peace and contentment.
7.  As the sinner received the Word, was saved, and then began to live Godly lives, God’s great power was on display.
8.  All of this took place through God’s Word that was spoken to them by Peter.

The greatest thrill for me would be to know, when I stand before Him at the judgment, that this very process has taken place in the lives of those to whom I have ministered.   That is, truly, why SIH exists. To exalt Christ through the teaching God’s Word, showing to the lost their need of salvation and to equip the saved for service to Him.

4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Through this same Word of God, we find wonderful promises:

1. promises of what Christ has done for us though His death, burial and resurrection,
2. promises concerning our future eternal home,
3. promises of God’s unrelenting presence and enabling while we live our lives on earth.

All of these are given to us to motivate us and give us confidence to serve Him with all our being.  We are to serve Him knowing that “we are more that conquerors through Him that loved us.”

May the SIH postings be blessed of the Lord to give us strength and confidence of our victory that is in Christ.

I wanted to share this text with you to help you to understand the motivating forces in my choices for the postings on the SIH blogsite.  I hope it helps to explain some of the decisions that I will be making…

First, in case you are interested….let me give you the results of both polls and then I will share with you my tentative plans for SIH ministries…

If you are not interested, you can drop to the last section of this posting to see what’s in store on SIH blog….

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Poll Results and my Thoughts:

For the Daily Devotions: (72 votes)

1. 19%- Reflection of His Grace (v by v through Ephesians)

2. 18% – Overcoming Fear (Various Psalms)

3. 13% – Lasting Joy (v by v Philippians)

4. 11% (tie) – In Search Of Life’s Meaning (v by v Ecclesiastes)
11% (tie) –  Faith Without Works Is Dead (v by v James)

6. 10% – Overcoming Life’s Trials (v by v Job)

All others were less than 10% of the vote.

a.  I was surprised that “Reflections of His Grace” was a high vote getter.  I did not realize that teachings on God’s grace would be desired by so many.  I am really thankful for this.  The book of Ephesians and the subject of grace are probably two of the areas I enjoy teaching through the most.

b. I was REALLY surprised that “Jesus The Final Victor” (v by v Revelation) was a low voter getter (6%).  I thought, for sure, that it would be very high.  There seems to be so much about prophecy on the internet today it seems as if it is a very popular subject.  But the more I thought about it, maybe that’s why it ranked low.  There is so much available there is no desire for more?

Except for those, everything else ended up about where I thought it would.

For the Weekly Bible Text/Video Lessons: (110 votes)

1.  11% (tie) – The Importance Of The Local Assembly
11% (tie) – The Person and Work Of The Holy Spirit
11% (tie) – To Love As Jesus Loved

4.  10% (tie) – Bible Prophecy
10% (tie) – The Spirit World

All others were less than 10% of the vote.

It was in this poll that I got A LOT of surprises….

a.  First of all, out of the top subjects “To Love As Jesus Loved” is a surprise.  This subject was suggested by one reader.  I simply listed it in this poll and sure enough it was one that many wanted.

b.  I am really thankful that “The Importance of the Local Assembly” ranked so high. It is a pleasant surprise for me. I see a tendency by many to misunderstand the purpose of and benefits that can be attained through local church involvement.

c.  The others that ranked high, I was surprised, but I can understand why they were up there.

d.  Of those that ranked low, I am really surprised at two of them.  Both “The Family” and “The Role of Human Government” I thought would be very highly rated.  Probably pushing the top.  Boy, was I wrong.  My reasoning was this… in both these areas we can see a GREAT need…

First of all, the families in our country seem to be moving farther and farther from Christ’s desires for the family unit.  In both Christian and lost families, it seems like the basic guidelines the Lord has established are no longer understood nor adhered to .  The roles of the father, mother, and children, as well as the nature of marriage (one man and one woman) are falling by the wayside.   But this subject only got 7% of the vote.  That is equivalent to about 8 votes out of a total of 110 votes.

Secondly, I was almost certain that “The Role of Human Government” would be number 1 over all of the others.  There is so much being talked about concerning Nationalized Healthcare, Gun Control, Immigration, Support of the Poor etc etc… all the political stuff that we see taking place.  There are so many Christian websites that are constantly speaking on these issues.

I have to be honest.  From what I can tell from many of the sites, many Christians believe that the role of the government is limited to upholding the commands of God (by punishing evil and rewarding obedience to Christ) and defense of her citizens.  I agree with both of these, but I truly believe there are other responsibilities that have been given to her.

I have seen very little teaching on the subject.  It appears like Godly governmental responsibilities is assumed without looking in detail at the Bible teachings.    Anyhow, this is why I thought it might be up at the top. Instead it had only gotten 4 votes making up 4 % of the poll.

e.  Also, “The Charismatic Movement” was low.  I have had 6 requests from bloggers over the past year  to give a detailed study on this subject, so I thought it might be pretty high up. It ended up getting 9 votes total but still was only 8%.  I do recognize that a part of the problem might be confusion with “The Person and Work of the Spirit”.  They sound, and are, very similar.  The “Person and Work of the Spirit” will include all the teachings of the Charismatic Series plus much much more.  It will be the longest of the series in the poll.  Maybe the reason why the “Charismatic Movement” was low was because the readers wanted more teaching on the Spirit than simply the CM so I understand that.

All of the above is what sticks out in my mind.

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So now, if the Lord allows me to follow through with my initial thinking what will the future hold for SIH ministries…

Concerning Daily Devotions:

LORD WILLING:….

1.  By God’s grace, we will finish looking at the entire book of Proverbs by the end of 2013.  At the rate we are going, probably it will be in the beginning of November.
2.  If there is any time left in 2013, we will look at a few miscellaneous Psalms (concerning fear and the holidays) to finish up the year.
3.  Beginning on January 1st of 2014 we will do a verse by verse devotional series on “Reflections Of God’s Grace from Ephesians.”  It will be about 2-3 months long.
4.  Immediately following, we will begin a devotional study on “Learning To Love As Jesus Loved”, probably another 3 month study.
5.   As time passes, I trust the Lord will lead me further…..

Concerning The Bible Text/Video Studies:

LORD WILLING:….

1.  Our series on the Human Conscience is set to end on Sunday, July 28, 2013
2.  I’ll post some miscellaneous studies on every Sunday through Labor Day weekend.
3.  Beginning the first Sunday after Labor Day, we will begin the on “The Importance Of The Local Assembly”.  This should last about 2 – 3 months.
4.  We will have miscellaneous studies to finish off the year.
5.  Beginning the first Sunday of 2014 we will begin “The Person and Work Of The Spirit”.  This will probably be 6-9 months in length.
6.  The Lord will lead us after this series….

Also, if the Lord gives me the ability to complete studies for our daily devotions and Sunday lessons with time left over in the week, I will be teaching on Saturdays “The Family” and “The Role of Human Government”.  After those I will be posting on high ranking subjects like “The Spirit World”, “Lasting Joy” and Bible Prophecy.

But I can’ t have any real assurance about these.  Currently my studies in Proverbs and The Conscience have kept me busy and I have had no time for Saturday lessons.  That is why I’ve been doing miscellaneous Theology term postings and other reminders of postings I have done in the past.  Time and the Lord’s grace and desires will make the final decision on these things.

All I can say is thank you so much for your participationin our polls… It has really been a learning experience for me and it has helped me greatly to understand more of your needs.  May the Lord bless us as we continue studying through His Word.  I trust you will continue on following SIH ministries and allow the Lord to teach us as He sees fit.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

Please visit…

Settled In Heaven Ministries Home On The Web: http://www.settledinheaven.org
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com
Settled In Heaven Ministries Video Blog: http://youtube.com/settledinheaven
Email Us At: settledinheaven@gmail.com

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.”

Oh What A Thing Fear Is!

SIH STSTA ICON

Ever since I was a you boy at home, I enjoy watching scary movies.  John Carpenter’s 1982 movie “The Thing” is at the top of my “favorites” list.  It is a movie about scientist’s trapped with an alien in an Arctic research station.  The catch is this… the alien can assume the shape and identity of any scientist at the station.  You can imagine the basic idea of the movie, the scientists are constantly in fear, not knowing who is human and who is the alien. It is my ideal type of horror movie… not so gross and bloody, but  scary.

You might think that I enjoy being afraid.  Well, yes and no.  Yes, I enjoy being afraid when I know my fear stems from a movie that is simply entertainment.  I know in just a few hours, at the close of the movie, everything will be ok.  However, when I face fears that exist in reality, I have an opposite reaction to them…  I HATE THEM.

One of the most difficult things in life, for me, is to be forced to face my worst fears.  The longer I live, the more I am noticing one important truth… my fears are at their worst when I am not thinking about my Lord.  Where faith is, fear shrinks away.

Within the confines of Scripture, we can find many principles about how a Christian can get through the fearful times in their life…

THE SCRIPTURE:

And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king. And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way: Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you. (1Sa 12:19-24)

THE STUDY:

In our text, the Lord had given the nation of Israel judges to rule over them.  A judge had been given the authority from God to enforce the laws of the Lord, but they could not make any new laws.   Israel saw that the other nations were ruled by kings.  These kings had both the authority to uphold existing laws and to write new laws.  Out of jealousy, the Israelites demanded that Samuel place into office a king, so they would be like all other nations.  (1 Sam 8:)

It is easy to miss the horrible sin they were committing… by asking for a King, Israel was saying, the laws of God were not sufficient meet their needs, they needed a King who could add to the laws of God. What a horrible attitude to have!  No wonder, when they realized what they had done great fear fell upon them.

In our Scripture, we find the basic principles Christians are to follow when faced with fears of any type:

“And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.”

Principle #1 – At times, we bring fearful times upon ourselves due to the sinful choices we make.  By living lives of obedience to Christ we can avoid some of our fearful times. (Exo 20:19-20)

“And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness:… For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.”

Principle #2 – Despite our past failures, by placing the Lord first in our lives (through repentance), we can rest assured the Lord will be with us… He is a great, faithful, forgiving Lord. (Psa 130:4)

“Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you:”

Principle #3 – During fearful times we should be thinking of others and not just ourselves.  We should be prayerfully seeking to meet the spiritual and physical needs of those around us.  By concentrating on others, the Lord helps take our mind off our fears and trials we are facing. (1 Thess 5:23-25)

“but I will teach you the good and the right way:”

Principle #4 –  The fearful times of our life are great opportunites to present the truths of God to others.  This can be done through our words as we tell others about Him goodness to us during fearful times.  But also, it can be done through our lives as they watch us handle the fearful times with grace and peace.  (James 5:10)

“Only fear the LORD”

Principle #5 –  During our fearful times, as we concentrate on the Lord’s greatness in authority, power, faithfulness, and wisdom.  This develops a reverence or “fear” of Him in our hearts and minds.  In His greatness we can find comfort, and assurance, knowing He is in control and accompanying us in our daily walk. (Gen 15:1, Deut 20:3-4, Deut 31:6-8, 1 Chron 28:20, 2 King 6:16-17)

“and serve him in truth with all your heart”

Principle #6 – Fearful times in the life of a Christian should bring us closer to Him.   Our service should be greater, our relationship to Him more intimate.  This will lead to greater strength and peace during the troublesome times. (Zech 8:13)

“for consider how great things he hath done for you.”

Principle #7 – We are to be remembering His past gracious acts on our behalf, saying as King David did, “David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.”(1Sa 17:37, Isa 43:1, Joel 2:21)

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

In these times of economic and political uncertainty, fear is beginning to enter the lives of even the strongest of Christians.  During these fearful times, please remember…

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Php 4:6-7)

(see also Matt 6:25-34)

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Your main concern should be on your eternal destiny…

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Mat 10:28)

Above all else, please keep in mind, if you are eternally secure in Christ all the events of this world fade in comparison.  Just knowing that you are going home to be with the Lord for an eternity, takes the  sting out of even the greatest life threatening trials we may face in life….

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.   (1Co 15:55-57)

Look to Jesus Christ and turn to Him in faith.  He will forgive you of your sins and be with you throughout the trials this world may throw your way….

 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (Isa 55:6-7)

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.”

The Great Mission

SIH STSTA ICONAs Christians, we are all given the responsibility to tell others about our Lord an all He has done for us. (see Mark 5:18-20; Psa 66:16)  However, the Lord has given His local assembly of believers added responsibilities as we minister for Him.  What are those responsibilities?  How important are they?

In this lesson, we all be looking at the mission the Lord has given to His local assemblies on earth.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Matt 28:16-20 (KJV)

16) Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.

17) And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

THE STUDY:

As we begin our study of the responsibilities given to the local assemblies of Christ, it is important to notice to whom the Lord is speaking…

Matt 28:16-20 (KJV)

16) Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17) And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

Here, we find the eleven apostles (the twelve minus Judas) meeting with the Lord.  They were meeting with Him on the mount, separated from the great multitudes that had been following Him.  These apostles, were the very beginning foundation of the Lord’s local church with Jesus, Himself, being the cornerstone of that assembly.

Our Lord clearly taught this principle in the writings of Paul to the local church at Ephesus…

Eph 2:19-22 – “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

(see also Matt 21:42-45; Roms 9:33; 1 Pet 2:7-8)

18) And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

As the Lord begins to address the very beginnings of His local assembly on earth, He reminds us that He is the one that possesses the power (authority) of God Himself.  The word for “power” does not speak of physical strength… it speaks of authority.  Jesus possesses all authority over both the physical and spiritual creation of God. (1 Peter 3:21-22)

Our Lord Jesus has the right to tell us what He would have us to do for Him.  He is our Creator (John 1:1-4), He is our Redeemer (1 Pet 1:18-21) and, therefore, He is our Master (Rom 9:20-21, 1 Cor 6:19-20).

The Lord now turns our attention to the three great responsibilities He has given to His local assemblies….

19) Go ye therefore,

Here, we are told to “go”.  This sums up the local church’s responsibility.   We should not expect the lost world to come to us and join us in the cause of Christ.  We are to go forth into the lost, and spiritually dead, world fulfilling the great responsibility we have been given.  (Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47-48)

As we go into the world we should be going with the authority, power and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ… our warfare is to be by Him, and for Him, not through the carnal means of a sinful world (2 Cor 10:3-5)

As the local church ministers among the lost world their goal should be three-fold:

and teach all nations,

The word for “teach” here is a Greek word that means “to evangelize”, in other words to take the gospel message to those who are unsaved.

The first goal of the local assemblies is to take the gospel to the lost (through our words and actions), (Rom 10:13-17; Rom 16:25-26; Acts 26:16-18) and then pray for them, that Christ might bring them to Himself. (Psa 68:20, 2 Tim 2:24-26).

baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Following their receipt of salvation, we are to immerse in water those who have believed.  This is the public declaration of what the Lord has done for them. It pictures the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.  It also pictures the believer’s death to sin and new life in Christ. (Rom 6:3-5, Col 2:12-15)

Once baptized, the believer is eligible to become the member of the local assembly.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:

The word for “teach” in this verse is a word that means “to indoctrinate”, or “to teach”.  This local church responsibility involves instructing those who are members of the church.

We are to teach church members the practical and doctrinal truths of God’s Word.  This involves teaching the Word in its entirety.  (2 Tim 4:1-5, 2 Tim 3:16-17)

Note this instruction involves the practical application of His Word to member’s life (“teaching them to observe…”)

and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.

The Lord is promising to accompany the local church as its ministers for Him on earth.  (Matt 18:20, Rev 1:11-13)  It is only through His enabling and intervention that the church can fulfill its mission for Him. (Matt 10:16-20, 1 Pet 1:12, 1 Cor 1:18-24, Rom 1:16)

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

As believers, our Lord would desire for us to be scripturally baptized and then to join a Bible believing church.  During our time of church membership, we are to be instructed from His Word, and then to live out these truths as faithful servants of Christ.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

If you have never trusted in Christ as your Savior… the first priority of your life should be to search the Scriptures, recognize your sin and the True Savior, Jesus Christ.  Turn from your sin, trust in Christ and His work as the basis of your salvation and accept Him as Lord of your life.  It is only after you have trusted Christ that you can follow Him in baptism, church membership and faithful service to Him.

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) – https://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.”

The Observance Of The Lord’s Supper

SIH STSTA ICONTo those who have requested this information, I hope it helps…This is a typical Baptist church service in which we observe the Lord’s Supper…

The Message: 1Cor 11:20-34 (KJV)

20) When ye come together therefore into one place, [this] is not to eat the Lord’s supper.

Although they were claiming to meet with the intent to glorify God by observance of His supper…

21) For in eating every one taketh before [other] his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.

22) What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise [you] not.

They could not have been meeting with the right motives in mind for the supper.

Their actions clearly revealed this… each selfishly ate without consideration of the others.  They brought their own suppers to church to eat in front of others.  Some ate to fulfill their own fleshly desire of hunger, others drank to excess causing drunkeness.  In both cases, this was selfish behavior not behavior that desires the Lord’s glory.

Desires and Intentions are very important in the observance of the Lord’s Supper.  Our motives should be:

vs 23-24 – To remember His physical suffering for us

23) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24) And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

Paul’s instructions were based upon the example that Christ Himself set as He led the first observance of the Lord’s Supper.

The bread is symbolic of the body of Christ (His sufferings on the cross).  As we chew the bread it is a picture of Christ’s body being abused, torn and broken on our behalf.  As we swallow the bread it is picturing that His work has been applied to us.

vs 25 – To remember His shed blood for us.

25) After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

Paul’s instructions continue …

The fruit of the vine is symbolic of His shed blood (His life given on the cross – the life of the flesh is in His blood).  His shed blood is the basis of the convenant of salvation by grace that the Lord has given to us.  As we pour the fruit of the vine from the cups to our lips it pictures the His blood being poured form His body.  As we swallow the fruit of the vine, we are picturing His blood being applied to us.

vs 26 – To remember His death and His second coming.

26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Paul now summarizes what he has covered so far….

A combination of His body being abused, torn and broken along with His blood being shed is symbolic of the process of death that He went through on the cross.

4.  vs 27-34 – To drink of it worthily  

27) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink [this] cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of [that] bread, and drink of [that] cup.

29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

30) For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

Paul gives ample warning about the need to take care in the partaking of the Lord’s Supper.  To eat of it in an unworthy fashion is sinful and, therefore, makes one guilty of the body and blood of Christ.  He suffered to pay the price for our sins.  Some of those sins He died for were the sins of partaking of the Supper unworthily.

How do we eat of it unworthily?

  1. Selfishly partaking of the Supper by having the wrong desires and motives for partaking of it. (context above)

2.    Selfishly partaking of the Supper by having known, unconfessed sin in our lives, those sins have caused His death and suffering.  Lord sent sinful away before eating.  (John 13:18-30)

  1. a.    Jesus at sop (before Lord’s Supper) says that one will betray Him’
  2. Disciples ask Him who it is…

John 13:26-30 (KJV)

26) Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped [it]. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave [it] to Judas Iscariot, [the son] of Simon.

27) And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

28) Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

29) For some [of them] thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy [those things] that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

30) He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Therefore, we are to take time to give all opportunity to examine ourselves to be sure we have right motives and desires in the supper and that we have no unconfessed sin in our lives.

By partaking of the supper unworthily, we are harming ourselves and may face sickness or even death.  This is a big deal, no small issue.

  31) For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.

32) But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

 How do we avoid this type of judgment, by taking the time to judge ourselves and take care of our known sins, our desires and intentions in observing the supper.

 33) Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.

34) And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

 Therefore, we are to make sure we give all the needed time to examine our lives and to prepare our hearts properly for the supper.  No selfishness by hurrying the self examination or fulfilling hunger.

 The Observance of the Lord’s Supper

 

  1. Message
  2. Invitation and Time of      Examination combined
  3. Uncover Table
  4. Read :

1 Cor 11: 23 – 24) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

 

  1. Prayer For Bread
  2. Distribute Bread
  3. Hold Up Bread and      Read:

1 Cor 11: 23 – 24) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

 

  1. Eat Bread
  2. Read:

1 Cor 11: 25) After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

 

  1. Prayer For Cup
  2. Distribute Cup
  3. Hold Up Cup and Read:

1 Cor 11: 25) After the same manner also [he took] the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink [it], in remembrance of me.

 

  1. Drink Cup
  2. Read:

Matt 26: 29) But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.

1 Cor 11:26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Matt 26: 30) And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

 

  1. Closing Prayer of      Thanksgiving
  2. Sing      Closing Song
  3. Dismissal      – Everyone quietly leave church

Escaping Fear’s Grip Part 3

SIH STSTA ICONAnyone who is familiar with the current events of the day, realize that we are living in fearful times.

Terrorism; our nation’s debt, crime, and unemployment; the decrease in value of our homes, investments, savings and retirement plans; shortages of oil and food;  the recent rash of  floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes; personal tragedies and trials, the loss of health, the loss of strength that comes with aging or sickness… all of these, and many others, produce anxiety, fear, and in some cases panic, in the hearts and minds of us all.

So what are we to do in these troubled times?  What is the answer to fear in the hearts of someone who has lost their job, is facing the foreclosure of their home and, perhaps, does not know where their next meal is coming from?  What about those who are suffering the loss of a loved one through death or divorce? Even worse, what can possibly take away the anxiety and stress that stems from losing a loved one who was the sole provider for the family? What comfort can be given to someone who is facing failing health with no medical reason to believe things will get better?

By God’s grace, over the next few blog entries we will be looking into the Word of God to see what comfort we can find during these catastrophic times of our life.  In our 3-part study we will be looking at three basic principles:

  1. Realize that the fearful times will remind us of God’s presence in our lives.  He is always with us.
  2. Realize that the fearful times fulfill a purpose in our lives. It opens doors of opportunity to us.
  3. Realize that the fearful times will come to an end.  A glorious eternity awaits us.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Rev 21

1) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

2) And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.

4) And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

5) And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

Ps 30:5 (KJV)

5) For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

Rom 8:18 (KJV)

18) For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

2Cor 4:16-18 (KJV)

16) For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.

17) For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;

18) While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.

Heb 11:13-16 (KJV)

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.

14) 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.

THE STUDY:

If you are like me, it is during the fearful times of my life that time seems to stand still.  My fearful times seem to last for an eternity…. hour by hour, day after day… they seem to continue on, almost without end.  Then finally, there appears light at the end of my tunnel and the sun beings to shine once again.

But this is only my perception of things.  In reality,  the fearful, difficult times of my life, in comparison to eternity, only last a moment….

2 Cor 4:16-18 – “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.”

Let’s stop and think about it just a minute, even if our fearful time last a lifetime, compared to eternity it is nothing. A lifetime is basically 80 years.  Compared to eternity, 80 years is nothing.  If you would take one grain of sand and compare it to all the sand found on every beach in the world, our time of distress would be smaller.  If you would take one drop of water and compare it to all the water in the oceans, rivers, lakes and wells in this world, our time of trials would be less. Truly, in the big scheme of things, a Christian is so blessed knowing that the trials of life are only short-lived and we have a wonderful eternity awaiting us…

 Rom 8:18 – “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. “

 As we read His Word, we become familiar with many of the servants of our Lord who faced trial upon trial, distress upon distress.  Think of the Apostle Paul who suffered tremendous heartache and trials at the hands of those that opposed Christ and His ministers…

2Cor 11:23-27 -” Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I [am] more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty [stripes] save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; [In] journeyings often, [in] perils of waters, [in] perils of robbers, [in] perils by [mine own] countrymen, [in] perils by the heathen, [in] perils in the city, [in] perils in the wilderness, [in] perils in the sea, [in] perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.”

This same Paul, who so greatly suffered at the ends of the enemies of Christ, was able to write that these sufferings were not “able to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us”.

What a tremendous truth that applies to every follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Every fearful time we face is under our Lord’s control… it is for our good and His glory… and it is only temporal in nature. It cannot be compared to the glorious eternity awaiting us!

Chapter 11 of the book of Hebrews summarizes the great motivation that kept the OT saints as they served their Lord.  In verse number 13-16 we read…. 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.  For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.  And truly, if they had been mindful of that [country] from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.  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.

How could the OT saints be faithful to their God in the midst of such trials and struggles that they faced?  How could they continue on in the midst of so many fearful times in life?  It was this very principle that kept them going…. they knew that they had awaiting them a far better place.  They knew they had eternity with their Lord to look forward to.

You may ask, “What is so special about eternity for the Christian?”  No mortal man can begin to explain the greatness of eternity with God.  However, by His grace, He revealed eternity to the Apostle John and, then, God gave John the words to pen in Revelation chapter 21:& 22:. Here, we find beautiful descriptions of eternity with our Lord.  I would encourage every believer to memorize these chapters, and then use them as a constant motivation to serve our Lord.

For purposes of this blog, I will share only the beginning verses of chapter 21.

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

When we read these verses, I believe it pretty much sums it up.  Yes, dear fearful, suffering believer, your fears will come to an end and your sufferings will pass.  Someday, in the near future you will no longer be in the presence of sin, sickness, trials and distress.  Fear will be a thing of the past.  We will be with our Lord, enjoying His glory, His love, and His eternal presence.

 As we conclude our study on dealing with the fearful times of our lives, let us all remember that, for God’s people, our sorrows and fears will only last a season…. but joy will come in the morning when we go home to be with our Lord.

 Psa 30:5 – For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning.

 PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

We have seen that the Bible clearly promises that the fearful times in our lives do not have to overcome us.  We can be victorious even when we are in the midst of these dark, seemingly hopeless situations that we face….

How can we know if this promise applies to us?  David, in Psalm 27:1, touches on this subject.

[A Psalm] of David. The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

 In these verses, David links his relationship to God with the application of His promises to us.  David describes his relationship to God as “the LORD is my light and my salvation”.  David here says that the Lord has given him the “light” of knowledge and understanding of the truth of His Word.  He goes further and says that the Lord is his “salvation”.

It is only when we have been enlightened with the truths of His Word and we have received deliverance from our sins, that we can apply His promises to our lives.  Have you ever been forgiven of your sins?  Have you ever come to Him understanding your spiritual needs and His divine supplies?

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 ————————————————————————

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://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.”

Escaping Fear’s Grip Part 2

SIH STSTA ICONAnyone who is familiar with the current events of the day, realize that we are living in fearful times.

Terrorism; our nation’s debt, crime, and unemployment; the decrease in value of our homes, investments, savings and retirement plans; shortages of oil and food;  the recent rash of  floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes; personal tragedies and trials, the loss of health, the loss of strength that comes with aging or sickness… all of these, and many others, produce anxiety, fear, and in some cases panic, in the hearts and minds of us all.

So what are we to do in these troubled times?  What is the answer to fear in the hearts of someone who has lost their job, is facing the foreclosure of their home and, perhaps, does not know where their next meal is coming from?  What about those who are suffering the loss of a loved one through death or divorce? Even worse, what can possibly take away the anxiety and stress that stems from losing a loved one who was the sole provider for the family? What comfort can be given to someone who is facing failing health with no medical reason to believe things will get better?

By God’s grace, over the next few blog entries we will be looking into the Word of God to see what comfort we can find during these catastrophic times of our life.  In our 3-part study we will be looking at three basic principles:

  1. Realize that the fearful times will remind us of God’s presence in our lives.  He is always with us.
  2. Realize that the fearful times fulfill a purpose in our lives. It opens doors of opportunity to us.
  3. Realize that the fearful times will come to an end.  A glorious eternity awaits us.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Dan 4:34-35 – “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

Ps 40

1) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, [and] established my goings.

3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, [even] praise unto our God: many shall see [it], and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Blessed [is] that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

4)Many, O LORD my God, [are] thy wonderful works [which] thou hast done, and thy thoughts [which are] to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: [if] I would declare and speak [of them], they are more than can be numbered.

Ps 64:9-10 (KJV)

9) And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing.

10) The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

THE STUDY:

PRINCIPLE #2 – Our God Has A Purpose For Every Fearful Time of Our Life…

As Christians, we all need to understand that our Lord controls all events in our lives.  Even wicked King Nebuchadnezzar, after having received a divine work of grace in his heart came to understand the absolute authority of the Lord….

 Dan 4:34-35 – “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

 With acceptance and understanding of this truth comes the acknowledgment that all the events of our life are either caused, or allowed by the Lord.  In the book of Job, we find the perfect example of the will of allowance exercised by the Lord in the lives of those who have trusted in him.  In this example, the Lord allows Satan to intervene in the life of Job within limits set by God…

 Job 1:6-12 – “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them… Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?  Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

 Job 2:1-6 – “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD…  And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he [is] in thine hand; but save his life.”

 Even Satan, himself, is limited in his workings by our Lord.  The Lord restrains and controls Satan limiting the extent of his interaction with God’s people.  This principle applies to every event that takes place in our lives…. the Lord either causes the event, or He allows the event to take place in our lives.

Knowing that the Lord is in control of all things, leads us to our next question. “If our Lord is in control of every event in my life, why does He allow the fearful times to come?”  There is a simple answer to this question, as well as a more complex answer.  Let’s look at the simple answer first….  The Bible is clear, everything the Lord allows in the life of His people is for their benefit…

Romans 8:28 – “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.”

 As His people, we can know for certain that everything that takes place in our lives is allowed for our benefit.  In one way shape or form we will gain by going through this time of anxiety, doubt, and fear.

 Now for the more complex answer to our question, “Why does God allow the fearful times of our lives?”

#1 – These difficult times in our lives are used by Him to get our attention.

We all live in a busy world.  Unfortunately, for many of us, we get so busy that we do not take the time to listen to the leading of the Spirit in our lives. The Lord uses the fearful times in our lives to bring us back to Him and to be more receptive to His leadings through studying His Word.  When fears enter our lives they drive us to our knees approaching Him in prayer.  As we come to Him in prayer and Bible study, we come listening and willing to obey His will.  The prophet Hosea makes this clear for us in Hosea 5:15, as he describes the reason for the dark times Israel was facing….

I will go [and] return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. “

 Why does He need to get our attention?  Many times, during the course of our lives we allow sin to creep into our lives, or we cling to tightly to a possession in our life, we have gradually drifted away from Him.   As we seek His face through prayer and Bible study, He shows us His will and  guides us to a closer walk with Him.

#2 – These difficult times are placed in our lives to prepare us for greater service to Him.

The Lord uses the fearful times of our lives to strengthen us and prepare us for future service for Him.

The fearful times of our lives can be used to increase our faith, teach us to count our blessings, to   under the importance of spiritual blessings and minimize the importance of temporal blessings.   Also, these times draw us closer to Him, and gives us a firm foundation of experience in His will and ways.

In Ps 64:9-10, we find several aspects of this principle… “And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

When we come face to face with His power and glory we will become better witnesses for Him.  Why? It is during these hard times of life that we begin to consider His workings and dwell on His purposes, as well as His greatness and gracious intervention in our lives.   This, then, leads us to a greater trust in Him, more gladness during the hard times and an increase in glory and honor to Him.

All of these characteristics are used by Him to make us better servants.

# 3 – These difficult times come in our lives to prepare us for future trials to come.

We live in a fallen world.  We live in a world that is slowly decaying due to the affects of sin.  This is a very sad, yet true fact of life.  Because sin exists and its affects upon us,  we will always be faced with hard times in our life.  Many times the Lord allows us to go through hard times now so that we will be built up to face future trials.

Let’s look at the life of the young boy David.   When David was a young boy he was given the responsibility care for his father’s sheep.  During his tenure as shepherd, David was faced with great trials.  At different times, David was faced with protecting the sheep during attacks by predator animals.  Specifically, a bear and a lion attacked his flock.  At the time these attacks took place, David was faced with dark, fearful life experiences.  He had to risk His own life to protect the sheep he had been called to protect.

It was these dark events in his life that prepared him for an even greater fearful event…. facing the giant Goliath.

Remember the account of David facing Goliath?  Please notice what David said in 1 Samuel 17:32-37…

And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou [art but] a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.  And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:  And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered [it] out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught [him] by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.  Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.”

 Clearly, we can see that David’s dark times of facing a bear and a lion had prepared him for the future fearful time of facing the giant Goliath.   Could it be that the current trials we are facing in life are being allowed by God to gradually build us up for greater trials that lie ahead?  This is a real possibility.  If this is so, it is a wonderful display of our Lord’s love for us.  He loves us so much, He is taking the time to prepare us and equip us, so we can handle the future dark times of our lives.  David recognized this fact about the Lord in Psa 121:5-8…

The LORD [is] thy keeper: the LORD [is] thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

 What a great Lord we serve, He uses even the fearful times of our lives to help us and prepare us for the future…. To God be the glory great things He hath done.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

We have seen that the Bible clearly promises that the fearful times in our lives do not have to overcome us.  We can be victorious even when we are in the midst of these dark, seemingly hopeless situations that we face….

How can we know if this promise applies to us?  David, in Psalm 27:1, touches on this subject.

[A Psalm] of David. The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

 In these verses, David links his relationship to God with the application of His promises to us.  David describes his relationship to God as “the LORD is my light and my salvation”.  David here says that the Lord has given him the “light” of knowledge and understanding of the truth of His Word.  He goes further and says that the Lord is his “salvation”.

It is only when we have been enlightened with the truths of His Word and we have received deliverance from our sins, that we can apply His promises to our lives.  Have you ever been forgiven of your sins?  Have you ever come to Him understanding your spiritual needs and His divine supplies?

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 ————————————————————————

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://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.”

Escaping Fear’s Grip Part 1

SIH STSTA ICONAnyone who is familiar with the current events of the day, realize that we are living in fearful times.

Terrorism; our nation’s debt, crime, and unemployment; the decrease in value of our homes, investments, savings and retirement plans; shortages of oil and food;  the recent rash of  floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes; personal tragedies and trials, the loss of health, the loss of strength that comes with aging or sickness… all of these, and many others, produce anxiety, fear, and in some cases panic, in the hearts and minds of us all.

I am the first to admit that, at times, I am scared.  I don’t know what the future holds for my family, my country and my self.

It is during times like this that I realize how blessed I have been in life.  There was a time terrorism was insignificant in the world, our nation was being blessed economically, socially and spiritually. Life still contained personal trials and heart aches, but  I had the strength and health that was necessary to face any task that was at hand, in general, life was good.  Sadly, looking back, I realize I did not appreciate the blessings I was given.

I  have no one to blame but myself.  I didn’t count my blessings and now, as I grow older, I begin to see these temporal blessings falling by the wayside.  As these blessings begin slip away, anxiety, stress and fear fill the void.

So what are we to do in these troubled times?  What is the answer to fear in the hearts of someone who has lost their job, is facing the foreclosure of their home and, perhaps, does not know where their next meal is coming from?  What about those who are suffering the loss of a loved one through death or divorce? Even worse, what can possibly take away the anxiety and stress that stems from losing a loved one who was the sole provider for the family? What comfort can be given to someone who is facing failing health with no medical reason to believe things will get better?

By God’s grace, over the next few blog entries we will be looking into the Word of God to see what comfort we can find during these catastrophic times of our life.  In our 3-part study we will be looking at three basic principles:

  1.  Realize that the fearful times will remind us of God’s presence in our lives.  He is always with us.
  2. Realize that the fearful times fulfill a purpose in our lives. It opens doors of opportunity to us.
  3. Realize that the fearful times will come to an end.  A glorious eternity awaits us.

THE SCRIPTURES:

Isa 41:10 (KJV)

Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee: be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

 Ps 27

1) [A Psalm] of David. The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

 THE STUDY:

PRINCIPLE #1 – Our God Is With Us During The Fearful Times of Our Lives…

As we face the troublesome times of our lives three basic issues produce the feelings of fear that we experience…

  1. feelings of isolation (no one knows what I am facing, no one can remedy my situation, no one cares about me)
  2. feelings of confusion (why is this happening to me? What should I have done differently?, what can I do now to change my situation?) and finally,
  3. feelings of inability (my circumstances are out of my control, I cannot continue on under this burden, I’ve done all I can and it has not helped)

In our text (Isa 41:10), we are given insight into overcoming all three issues that produce our anxiety and fear.

“Fear thou not; for I [am] with thee:” –

#1 -feelings of isolation – Remember our gracious Lord is ALWAYS with His people. We are never alone as we face the many fearful times in our life.  He is with us, holding our hand through the difficult times that we face.

Do we remember Psalms 23?  It is perhaps the most familiar portion of Scripture known to man.  Within the verses this Psalm we find verse 4:  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

How about Psalms 57:1?  “To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave. Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast.”

Throughout a lifetime of trials and anxious moments, David had come to an understanding that His Lord was ALWAYS with him and that He was the refuge to whom David would flee.

“be not dismayed; for I [am] thy God:”

#2 – feelings of confusion – Remember our Lord is with us to lead and guide us through our troublesome times.  Although we may not understand the path we should take during these times, our Lord does know and He will lead us on a daily basis.  Although confusion may abound as we try to “figure things out”, our Lord will be our mainstay and compass, directing us through the indwelling Spirit to the right path to take.

David wrote about this principle in Psalm 18:28 – “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”   When we are in the middle of the dark times of our life, it is much like being in a darkened room.  We cannot see what lies ahead of us, nor can we perceive how to proceed.   But  David understood, as we can understand, that the Lord, through His Spirit, would enlighten His path.

“I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”

#3 – feelings of inability” – Remember, our God is the all-powerful Creator and Lord of heaven and earth.  There is nothing our God cannot do.  He can intervene and change even the most hopeless situations that we may face.   It is during the times of our greatest weaknesses and inabilities that our Lord can display His greatest acts of power and sovereignty.

Paul understood this principle as he came to a point of acceptance of his physical infirmities in 2 Cor 12:10, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Isaiah during the course of his prophetic ministry had faced persecution, rejection, mockery all while being ignored by almost his entire nation.  It was only through the many experiences of rejection and seeming failure that Isaiah came to understand this important principle found in Isaiah 40:28-31…

“Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, [that] the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? [there is] no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to [them that have] no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 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. “

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

We have seen that the Bible clearly promises that the fearful times in our lives do not have to overcome us.  We can be victorious even when we are in the midst of these dark, seemingly hopeless situations that we face….

How can we know if this promise applies to us?  David, in Psalm 27:1, touches on this subject.

“[A Psalm] of David. The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

In these verses, David links his relationship to God with the application of His promises to us.  David describes his relationship to God as “the LORD is my light and my salvation”.  David here says that the Lord has given him the “light” of knowledge and understanding of the truth of His Word.  He goes further and says that the Lord is his “salvation”.

It is only when we have been enlightened with the truths of His Word and we have received deliverance from our sins, that we can apply His promises to our lives.  Have you ever been forgiven of your sins?  Have you ever come to Him understanding your spiritual needs and His divine supplies?

If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved.  Please click on this link for more information about salvation.

If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area.  The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you.   If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

————————————————————————

My Main Blog “Settled In Heaven” (updated twice weekly) – https://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.”

The Filling of the Spirit (The Spirit Controlling Our Lives)

SIH STSTA ICON(Due to the length of this blog entry, I have chosen to abbreviate the Scripture texts… please have an open Bible at hand as we study this important subject.)

One of the most talked about subjects among Christians is the doctrine of “Spirit filling” and the results of this filling in the lives of Christians.   The only way for us to come to a sound understanding of this doctrine is to examine the many examples of Spirit filling that are found in both the Old and New Testament scriptures:

THE SCRIPTURES:

Exod 28:1-4 (KJV)

…And thou shalt speak unto all [that are] wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, …

Exod 31:1-5 (KJV)

….Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,…

Exod 35:30-35 (KJV)

… Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah;And he hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship;…

Deut 34:9-12 (KJV)

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom;…

Luke 1:13-16 (KJV)

…and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

Luke 1:39-42 (KJV)

… and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, and blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.

Luke 1:67-70 (KJV)

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied,…

Luke 4:1-2 (KJV)

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan,…

Acts 2:1-4 (KJV)

…And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Acts 4:5-14 (KJV)

…Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, …

Acts 4:27-31 (KJV)

…and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Acts 6:3-5 (KJV)

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom,…

Acts 7:54-60 (KJV)

…But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, …

Acts 9:10-19 (KJV)

…that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost…

Acts 11:22-26 (KJV)

….For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord…

Acts 13:8-11 (KJV)

…Then Saul, (who also [is called] Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him,And said,…

Acts 13:50-52 (KJV)

…And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

THE STUDY:

  1. The OT references to “Spirit filling”
    1. Exo 28:3, 31:3, 35:31–     In each of these cases, the Spirit filled men which gave them the wisdom and ability to construct the furniture and garments related to the tabernacle and the worship services.
      1. Exo 28:3 – Being “wise-hearted” was the result of Spirit filling

ii. Exo 31:1-3, 35:31 – The God’s sovereign call of Bezaleel brought about the Spirit filling which gave him the wisdom understanding and knowledge to perform all manner of workmanship.

  1. Deut 34:9–     The filling of Joshua took place when Moses laid hands on him.   Laying on of hands was the public declaration of God’s choice of Joshua was the successor to Moses.
    1. This filling then enabled Joshua to lead the children of Israel in the promised land.

The NT references to “Spirit filling”

    1. Luke 1:15–     Here we find John the Baptist, filled while in his mothers womb. John the Baptist as the forerunner of Christ was to announce Christ’s coming to the world.  This event was the first time he announced Christ’s coming.
      1. This filling enabled John to recognize, and react to, the Messiah who was still in the womb of Mary.
    2. Luke 1:41-67–     In these verses, we read of John’s parents Elizabeth and Zacharias blessed Mary and the Messiah who was in her womb.
      1. The Spirit filling allowed both Elizabeth and Zacharias to recognize the Messiah in Mary’s womb and also enabled them to make their proclamations of blessings upon Mary and the Christ.
    3. Luke 4:1–     Following Christ’s baptism, we find Him described as being filled with the Spirit.  Perhaps this Spirit filling took place from His conception, or perhaps from His baptism.  In either case, we find Him filled before His encounter with Satan in the wilderness.
      1. Probably, Christ was filled with the Spirit to enable Him to perform all His wondrous acts during His earthly ministry.  However, in the context, we can see, for certain, that one reason for His filling was to empower Him during the temptation that was about to take place.
    4. Acts 2:4 –     The Holy Spirit sovereignty filled the believing church members of the church at Jerusalem.  This took place during the Day of Pentecost
      1. This filling enabled the church members to speak in known human languages that were unknown to the speakers (but known to the hearers).  This allowed the Christians to proclaim the wondrous works of the Lord to foreigners who did not speak the Greek language.
    5. Acts 4:8 –     Peter and John were filled with the Spirit during their examination at the hands of Jewish religious leaders.
      1. This filling allowed them to answer with boldness and clarity as they were being questioned.
    6. Acts 4:31–     The believers, assembled to hear John and Peter speak were filled with the Holy Ghost as they were listening to the account of John and Peter.
      1. The believers were enabled to speak the word of God with boldness in the face of threatened persecution.
    7. Acts 6:3-5–     Here we read the Godly men of Jerusalem, who were soon to become the first deacons of the church at Jerusalem, were filled with the Spirit
      1. This filling gave these Godly men the ability to fulfill the office of deacon.
    8. Acts 7:55–     Stephen was filled with the Spirit immediately before he was martyred for the cause of Christ.
      1. This filling gave Stephen the ability to continue to proclaim the truth of God even in the face of death by stoning. Also, the filling allowed him to look into heaven and see the Lord.
    9. Acts 9:17–     Saul (Paul) was filled with the Holy Ghost immediately following Ananias hands being laid upon Him. This marked the beginning of Paul’s earthly ministry
      1. This filling resulted in Paul receiving his sight, gaining strength and then beginning his public ministry for the Lord.
    10. Acts 11:22-26–     Here Barnabus is described as being “a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith”.
      1. This filling allowed Barnabus to preach Godly messages empowered by the Spirit resulting in many souls being saved.
    11. Acts 13:8-11–     Here Paul, as he faces Elymas the sorcerer, is said to be filled with the Spirit.
      1. This filling of the Spirit resulted in Paul’s being able to stand up against the demoniac sorcerer and strike him blind.
    12. Acts 13:52–     Paul and Barnabus, following being cast out of Antioch, is filled with the Sprit and joy before beginning to minster in Iconium.
      1. This filling allowed Paul and Barnabus ot remain encouraged in the Lord and to minister to those at Iconium resulting in “a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed”

Please notice, in all the above examples the filling of the Holy Spirit was given to fulfill a specific ministry or calling.  Although forgiven of our sins, we, as Christians, are still sinful, fallen human beings, constantly hindered from faithful service by our sinful flesh.  The filling of the Spirit is one way that God enables us to serve Him in extraordinary capacities.

Also notice that the speaking of tongues only took place in one instance out of seventeen instances of Spirit filling.  There is no reason to believe that the speaking of tongues automatically accompanies the filling of the Spirit…. it is clear that, normally, tongues not did accompany Spirit filling in Bible times.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

Eph 5:1-20 (KJV)

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.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.Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.Be not ye therefore partakers with them.For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:(For the fruit of the Spirit [is] in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is].And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

In this passage of Scripture, Paul gives us instructions on the necessity of living a Godly life in the midst of this sinful world.  Loving with a self-sacrificial love, separation from the sin and the sinful influences of this world, living a life of wisdom, understanding and fulfilling the will of God in our lives; these all are themes touched upon by Paul.

Then Paul makes the statement “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit”.

The need for the Spirit’s filling in every Christian’s life is clearly linked to living a life that rises above the sinful influences of this world.   As a part of fallen mankind, we all have a bent toward sin.  Without the Holy Spirit filling our life and controlling it we are destined for spiritual failure in our day to day walk with Him.

Also, please note that Paul, in a sense, relates “Spirit filling” with “being drunk with wine”.  Why?  Drunkenness controls every aspect of a person’s demeanor… It affects speech, movement, judgement… the list goes on and on.   This is very similar to the Spirit filling a person’s life.  It is then that the Spirit is in control of our entire being.  Our thoughts, emotions, words, and actions are all under submission to His will and ways.

What are some results of this Spirit filling? A joyous, contented., thankful heart set on glorifying the Lord … “ Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”

How is a Christian filled with the Spirit?  By, willfully, turning over every aspect of our lives to the rule and reign of Jesus Christ.  That is when the indwelling Spirit will take control of our entire being and work in us bringing about success in our individual ministries the Lord has chosen for us.

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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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Is There Life After Death?

SIH STSTA ICONThroughout history the subject of life after death has a much debated subject.  It is no different in today’s time.  Views on the existence of life after death vary, based upon the belief set held by the individual.  Some of the most common views include:

  1. Denial – the belief that all aspects of life ceases at physical death.
  2. Reincarnation – is the belief that a soul is reborn in a new body.
  3. Spiritism – in many of its forms, believes that the soul of the dead remain upon the earth in the form of ghosts (or spirits)
  4. Eternalists – teachings include the belief that the souls of the dead continue to exist being separated from this temporal world, and entering into eternal, spiritual habitations.

What we believe about life after death is of extreme significance; what we believe about life after death will dictate how we look at the role of our life on earth:

  1. If no afterlife exists, then there is no reason to prepare for an afterlife. This view centers on experiencing all that this world offers to please our flesh.  We can basically, eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.
  2. If there is reincarnation, then our works and our lessons learned in this life are central to our future state of our soul.  This centers us on our outward works and gaining lessons through experience.  It implies that our eternal state is dependent upon our works.
  3. If Spiritists are correct, after death, our relationships with those on earth are not severed, the dead can still communicate, and be present, with those living on earth.  There is very little use to prepare for the afterlife; in many ways, life continues on as it was, only in a spirit form rather than a corporeal body. 
  4. If the Eternalist view of the afterlife is correct, the need to prepare while on earth is of utmost importance.   There are no second chances, the importance of the material world is minimized when compared to the spiritual world to come. 

We are going to find out what the Bible says about life after death and how this belief set and the affect it had on Job’s life…

THE SCRIPTURE:

Job 19:23-27 (KJV)

23) Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!

24) That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!

25) For I know [that] my redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:

26) And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I see God:

27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; [though] my reins be consumed within me.

THE STUDY:

Job, at this point in his life, was facing many difficult trials, brought about by Satan, but allowed by God. (Job 1:6-12, Job 2:1-6)

Some of the trials Job was facing included:

  1. Loss of possessions and livelihood (Job 1:13-17)
  2. Loss of children (Job 1:18-19)
  3. Loss of health (Job 2:7-8)
  4. Loss of Wife’s support (Job 2:9-10)
  5. Loss of Friends support (judgmental, prideful) (Job 4:-on)

Basically, Job was alone, poverty, stricken, sick, and mourning… yet what was his response?…

Job 19:

23) Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!

24) That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!

Job knew his mind wouldn’t change, what he was about to say was the foundation of his life and belief system.  

Also, he knew these words could be of help to many others following in his footsteps of a tried, tested life.  These words should be kept throughout the ages.

25) For I know

Job didn’t “think” or “hope” or “was pretty sure”… he “KNEW”  – in other words, he was certain of this set of 5 truths:

[that] my redeemer

1st Truth – Job knew that he had been purchased out of the bondage of sin.

liveth,

2nd Truth – Job knew his Redeemer could help him now.  He was living, He not only had worked on his behalf in the past, but he could help him now through the trials he was facing.

 and [that] he shall stand at the latter [day] upon the earth:

3rd Truth – Job knew that his Redeemer would come again.  Job recognized that he was King of Kings and Lord of Lords. There is coming a day He will return and judge the world for their sins.

26) And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I see God:

4th Truth – Job knew that he would be resurrected someday with glorified body. Being delivered from the many trials of life that he faced.

27) Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; [though] my reins be consumed within me.

5th Truth – Job knew He knew he would be dwelling with the Lord, personally, for an eternity.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who are saved …

What a wonderful set of motives to keep Job on the right track, serving God and being in submission to His will, no matter what the obstacles we may face in life.  Job summed up his commitment to the Lord by saying…. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15

As Christians, we should all be sharing in Job’s motive and his resolve to put His Lord first in his life no matter what we may face along life’s way.

For those who have yet to be saved…

Job shares, with all believers, the knowledge that his life on earth will be followed by a wonderful eternity with His Lord.   All of this was given to Job freely, through the grace of God, as Job responded to the calling of His Lord and trusted in the coming Messiah. 

This same set of promises can be a part of your life.  How does this take place? By simply turning from your sins and coming to Jesus accepting Him as your Lord and Savior.  He promises to save you and give you a glorious eternity with Him.

John 5:22-29

24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

 ——————————————————————————————-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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A Christmas Devotion: The Christmas Story Explained Part 2

SIH STSTA ICONHere is part number two of our study of the birth of Christ as we find it in the book of Matthew.  If you remember, we had divided up the Matthew passages into two parts:

Part #1 – Matthew 1:18-2:10

Part #2 – Matthew 2:11-23

THE SCRIPTURE:

Matthew 2:11-23

THE STUDY:

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

The identity of this star is up to much debate ranging from the planet Jupiter, to an alignment of planets, or perhaps a comet or meteor.  Different scientists and scholars hold to different views.

One thing, I think, is important to remember… it was possible for the Lord to miraculous create a light in the sky to lead His people.  Remember the “pillar of fire” that led the children of Israel through the wilderness? (Exo 13:21, 14:24, Num 14:14, Neh 9:12 etc.) Could it be that this star was a miraculous act of God prepared exclusively for this one time showing to lead men to Christ?

And when they were come into the house,

Note they come into “the house” not into the stable.  Joseph, Mary and the Baby were no longer in the stable by the time the wise men arrived at Bethlehem.  Most people believe that it took as long as 1-2 years for the wise men to travel from Persia to Bethlehem.  Keep in mind, Herod’s decree was to kill all babies 2 years and under.  Why two years?  Could it be that was approximately how long the star had been appearing in the sky?  And that was how long it took for the wise men to travel from the east?

they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

At the sight of the baby, the wise men kneel down in submission to Him… a sign of their belief in God’s prophecies and the baby being the Christ, their King.  The gifts that were given to Christ was significant.  In the Bible, many times gold is symbolic of kings (Dan 3:1).   Frankincense was used as incense for worship picturing our communion with God (prayers arising to God from earth – Ex 30:34)   The myrrh was used for the embalming of dead bodies (John 19:39).   These gifts teach us that the baby was a King, who was sinless having perfect communion with His Father, and he would taste death for His people.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

The wise men then departed to their country (probably Persia), being careful not to go through Jerusalem where Herod lived.  You can see where the Lord gave them wisdom to understand the true person of Christ and to see through the motives of Herod.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

God the Father continued to care for Jesus and His family by warning them of the decree of Herod.  Probably this was the same angel that had appeared to Joseph in Matthew 1:20.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

From Bethlehem they went to Egypt, trying to escape from the decree Herod had issued.  This was in fulfillment of the prophecy (probably Hosea 11:1.)

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Herod’s decree is issued and heinous death of infants resulted… this was in fulfillment of the prophecy found in Jeremiah 31:15.

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.

Again, the Lord, through His angel,  directs the lives of this family by telling them to return to Israel at the death of Herod.

And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee:

They return to Israel.  But Joseph would not enter into the province of Judaea because Herod’s son had now taken the throne of his father.  The Lord then directs them to the province of Galilee through the use of a dream.  Please notice how God had gone before this young family every step of the way, leading and guiding them, always for their protection and safety.

And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.

They settled in the town of Nazareth which was Mary’s home town (Luke 1:26).  This would be the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Isa 53:2-3.  Nazareth was a despised city, those who were citizens were looked down upon (John 1:46).  By Christ being given the title Nazarene, he was being looked down upon and rejected by many, just as Isaiah 53:2-3 prophetically described Him.

Please note that in the account of Christ’s birth in Matthew, we find prophecies of His origins to range from He came from Bethlehem, He came out of Egypt and He would be called a Nazarene.  Before Christ’s coming to the earth, NO ONE could have reconciled these passages.  It looked as if He was going to be born in 3 different locations!  However, once He came to the earth and lived His life, all three of these prophecies made perfect sense.

It is much the same with futuristic prophecies for us today.  Great care needs to be taken thinking that we have all the events of the future figured out.  Until these events actually take place, none of us can say for certain, exactly what the future holds for us.

We will continue our study of the Christmas story by looking at the account from the book of Luke in our next blog entry.

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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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

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In God We Trust

The motto “In God We Trust” first appeared on US coins during the Civil War era.   Since that time, with only a few exceptions, the motto has continuously appeared on US government coins.  For a full, in-depth account of the motto’s history please refer to the following:

http://www.ustreas.gov/education/fact-sheets/currency/in-god-we-trust.shtml

Without a doubt, this motto has stood as a public testimony of our nation’s belief in the existence of God.   This motto is a part of our legacy as a nation… throughout history, our nation has sought out  God during it’s most troubling hours.   Despite the current attempts to remove this motto from our coinage, our historical reliance on God can never be denied.

The Bible talks about a nation’s need to trust in The Lord.  But in a much more personal context, the Bible repeated declares the necessity for an individual to place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the only One who can save us from our sins.

THE SCRIPTURE:

And if ye call on the Father, … 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. (1Pe 1:17-21)

THE STUDY:

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:

All mankind will stand before God the Father and be judged for the works that they have done during their life on earth.   (James 5:9, 1 Pet 4:5)   Knowing this, we are to take our time on earth very seriously.  We are to always have a reverence for the Lord, and His desires for us, so that we will not be found wanting at our judgment. (2 Cor 7:1, Hebs 12:28)

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;

“Redeemed” is translated from a Greek word meaning “to be released from bondage through a payment”.

For those who are saved, we need to remember that we have been removed from the bondage of our sin through a payment much more precious than gold or silver.

This payment was not received through the empty pursuits of our previous lifestyle.  It was received as we turned from our past lifestyle of sin to Christ and His work. (Acts 26:17-20, Acts 14:15, Hebs 9:14)

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

The precious payment made was that of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  He was the sinless Son of God who came to the earth and died on the cross for the sins of His people.  (Matt 20:28, Eph 1:7, Col 1:13-22, Rev 7:14)

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

Christ’s earthly ministry and death on the cross was a part of God the Father’s sovereign plan from before the creation of the world. (Rom 16:25-26, Eph 1:4-14, Eph 3:11, Titus 1:2-3 ).  The fall of man, and man’s need of a Savior, did not come as a surprise to the Lord.  This is another display of His greatness…He is truly an all-knowing God. (Isa 45:21, Isa 46:10, Acts 15:18)

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.

“believe” is translated from a Greek word that means “to entrust” “to commit to”

If we commit our sin, our life, and our eternity to Him…we receive forgiveness of our sins and eternal security through Christ.

It is through the work of Christ that we can receive the ability to believe in God (John 6:26-29, Eph 2:4-9, Mat 16:17, John 6:65)   This same God is the One that brought Christ from the dead and glorified Him at the Father’s right hand in heaven. (1 Cor 15:15, Acts 4:10, Acts 2:32-33, Phil 2:5-12)

Why did Christ die for us and grant us faith so that we could be saved?  So we could live our lives trusting in God and having hope for our future knowing we are saved and headed for a wonderful eternity in heaven.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

We should never undervalue the great price that was paid for our salvation.  Although our salvation was free it was by no means cheap.  Out of appreciation for His great sacrifice and price paid, we should be willingly serving Him.  Knowing we are bought with a great price.

For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.(1Co 6:20)

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

By committing yourself to Him (your sin, your life, your future), you will be forgiven of your sins and assured of an eternity with Christ.   Without trusting in Christ, the Bible makes it plain that you must face the eternal judgment for the sins you have committed.  The worst aspect of this judgment is being separated from God for an eternity, while receiving your punishment in the Lake of Fire.

God is sending an invitation to you through His Word to turn to Him, entrusting your life to Him, before it is too late.

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mar 1:14-15)

——————————————————————————————————————–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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