~Romans 1:22, 24-32 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

During Jesus’ ministry, He preached in the Temple to the Jews using the Scriptures (Old Testament). He told His disciples that they would do greater things during their ministry – they would be spreading the precious Gospel. Once the New Testament was finally completed, the two Testaments made God’s complete Word for man. All of it is inspired and all of it is God breathed.

~2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Today’s text is clear about this sin. Even without using the Scriptures from the Old Testament, it is clear that homosexuality is condemned – even though the words were spoken by Paul.  Paul’s words were breathed by the Holy Spirit and Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit and told what to write.  We know that Jesus is part of the Triune Godhead. He is one in the three in one (I John 5:7). With that said, the Holy Spirit is also one of this three in one – He is the part of the Godhead that put God’s words into what we call the Bible.

~2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

What the Holy Spirit writes through Paul are the Holy Spirit’s words just as much as the words that Christ spoke. What the Holy Spirit writes in the Law of Moses are His words – God’s Words – just as much as Jesus’ own words. The three are one God! Why then should God’s words contradict itself? They don’t! God considers His words above even His own name!

~Psalm 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

When I was witnessing to a homosexual, one of her excuses to continue in her sin was that Christ Himself did not say that being gay was sin.  The sodomites in the Old Testament were stoned to death because of their sin. Christ believed, lived by, upheld and preached from the Law of Moses.  He was qualified and even called Rabbi as He was preaching to the Jews.   Just because the New Testament does not have Jesus quoted as exactly saying, “Sodomy/Homosexuality is sin” does not mean He did not speak of it. There are so many things that Jesus said that could not possibly be recorded because the book would be huge!

~John 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

What we do have is a clear record of Jesus supporting what was written in the Law of Moses. Jesus would be a hypocrite if He supported only part of that same Law! So let’s look at what Jesus did support.  Jesus said:

~Mat 19:4-6 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

This shows that Jesus supported the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. Genesis states that God made male and female, not male and male. This has been God’s way since the beginning and this is the sexuality that was instituted. Jesus was born Jewish and lived under the Law of Moses (see ~Galatians 4:4). Since Jesus endorsed and taught the Law of Moses in the temples, it stands to reason that Jesus would condemn the same things that are condemned in the Law of Moses, including homosexuality.

Furthermore, Jesus supports that whatever God has joined together (man and woman), let NO  man put asunder – that being the institution of marriage between a man and a woman! According to Genesis 1:27, the union of male and female is a clear depiction of God’s design for human sexuality. Even God’s creation is comprised of a male and female species. There is no regenerating of a species otherwise. Jesus spoke of monogamous female/male marriage relationships – He spoke of the sins of adultery, fornication, promiscuity, etc. All of His sayings revolved around a male/female relationship.  Jesus’ knowledge of the Law of Moses was complete for it was His word!  Jesus Christ, God Himself, does not change.  The Word says:

Heb 13:8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Therefore, His words from the beginning hold true today. What was considered an abomination, like sodomy, is still an abomination! Do not be deceived.  Oh and, by the way, my homosexual friend was gloriously saved and changed by the power of the Holy Spirit in her life.  Today, she is married to a wonderful man and has four beautiful children. This, too, can happen to you!

Repent today and be saved!

~1 Chronicles 16:11-12 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

On those difficult days where the trials of life seem never ending, turn your pain to the One whose compassion never ends.  (Lamentations 3:22) Our pains may be physical, spiritual, or they may be emotional. Either way, we are able to turn to the Father and pull from His strength. Relying on our own strength will not yield any good! (Job 9:4) Once we rely on the strength of the Lord, we can be certain that He will direct us. (Psalm 18:32)

Nothing separates us from God’s love!

~Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

God has a remedy to life’s discouragements. Seek Him (Deuteronomy 4:29), His strength (Psalm 105:4) and remember His marvelous works and wonders (Revelation 15:3). When combined with knowing that nothing separates us from His love, we encourage ourselves in Him! (Romans 8:39)

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times.

I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only somehow mustering the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, ‘Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.’

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!

~Author Unknown~

~Psalm 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

My Shepherd guides me and provides for me – not just my physical needs, but also my emotional and spiritual needs. I shall never lack anything as long as I stay close to my Shepherd. James 4:8

~Psalm 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

I find rest for my weary body, spirit and soul when I search His word – when I glean from it and apply it.  He provides water from His word which gives me everlasting life.  John 4:10

~Psalm 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

My soul could not be restored unless it was lost to begin with.  I was born a sinner (Romans 3:10) – we all are. However, at the moment of salvation, Christ restored me and placed His righteousness upon me.  Colossians 1:20 and Colossians 2:14

~Psalm 23:4 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.

God removes the sting of death for me, therefore I have no need to fear evil because Christ conquered sin and death. I Corinthians 15:55  The Lord guides me and directs me.  When I fall into sin, He uses His rod to correct me. When I stray from the path I should be on, He guides me with His staff!

~Psalm 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

One day I will eat at His banquet table at the marriage supper of the Lamb and I will be in His presence forever! Luke 22:30  I am so overwhelmed at God’s goodness! Praise be to God in the highest!

~Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Because I am a child of the King, His mercy and His goodness are always with me.  I have a promise that I will dwell with Him forever!

Thank You, Lord!

A few years ago, I was approached by someone who tried to convince me that Christians should honor the Sabbath, just as the Jews do, on Saturday and not on Sunday. I prefer to go to God’s Word than man’s. In my findings, I discovered this about the Sabbath:

1. God rested at the end of the six days of creation, not man. I could not find one single solitary verse about people keeping the Sabbath before it was given to Israel in the wilderness.

2. Once this occurred, it was given to Israel by God as a sign to them that they would be His people.

~Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.

This sign was for Israel, not the rest of mankind. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not keep the Sabbath but yet they were righteous.

If the Sabbath is to be kept by Christians, the New Testament would be strewn with verses regarding it.   There would be as many comments on the Sabbath in the New Testament as there were after the Law was given to Moses in the Old Testament.  However, instead of seeing verses that support Christians keeping the Sabbath, we find verses that claim that Christians are not bound to keep the Sabbath.

~Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Jesus kept the Sabbath because He was born a Jew under the Law and He kept all the Mosaic laws!

~Gal 4:4-6 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

I found an interesting comment made in Warren Wiersbe’s Bible Commentary on this subject:

The sabbath relates to the old creation and was given expressly to Israel; the Lord’s Day relates to the new creation and belongs especially to the church. The sabbath speaks of law as six days of labor which are followed by rest, but the Lord’s day speaks of grace, for we begin the week with rest that is followed by works” (Wiersbe’s Old Testament Outlines).

There are countless verses depicting worship and special events occurring on Sunday.  Here are a few verses supporting why a Christian sets aside Sunday as their day of rest – each of these occurred on Sunday:

~Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.

~John 20:19, 22 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

~Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Pentecost was always on a Sunday)

~Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.

Sunday is the day that the Lord rose from the dead. Since then, Christians have observed this day to worship, the Lord’s Day. It is in honor of His resurrection, not in honor of the sun god as was told to me by Sabbath keepers.  There is historical proof of early Christians worshipping on Sunday. The earliest I found in my research on the web was around A.D. 100 when Barnabas wrote:

Wherefore, also we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead.

There were a few more in that second century:

Be not deceived with strange doctrines, nor with old fables, which are unprofitable. For if we still live according to the Jewish Law, we acknowledge that we have not received grace … If, therefore, those who were brought up in the ancient order of things have come to the possession of a new hope, no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord’s Day, on which also our life has sprung up again by Him and by His death. The Epistle of Ignatius (about A.D. 107)

He, in fulfillment of the precept, according to the gospel, keeps the Lord’s Day … glorifying the Lord’s resurrection in himself.Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 194)

Again, I repeat myself from previous posts. Read the Word of God for yourself. Galatians is filled with verses about Christians not being under Jewish Law. Why would we want to entangle ourselves with this?

~Galatians 5:1-6 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

It has been man’s desire from the beginning to “get to Heaven” on his own terms. Yes, we have choices but the born-again believer does not have to make the wrong choices in life. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to successfully live separated lives. Again, it is choice! Today’s preaching from the pulpit rarely speaks of living a separated life. Instead, today’s preaching concentrates on God’s love and goodness (which is all true) but leaves out His judgment and chastisement. This type of preaching has been going on for quite some time and we are seeing the effects of this preaching in the lives of Christians.

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

I’m currently reading Sacred Betrayal by James R. Beller. It is an excellent book on Baptist history – and not only Baptist history but the decline of separated living. How sad to see where biblical doctrine has been watered down throughout the centuries. Is it any wonder that the believer is weak? Granted, we are responsible for our own spiritual growth. It is not up to the preacher to spoon feed us, Christian! Even a baby learns to feed himself, after all. As believers, we should be growing in the Lord at a steady pace. The preaching of God’s Word should be enforcing what we have already learned from the Word. The preaching should be the glue that binds all that we’ve learned together!

~2 Corinthians 2:11-15 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia. Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

So why then do we see so many misguided and weak Christians? If they are truly born again, they are failing in a few areas. You can read your Bible until the cows come home. But if you are merely reading for the sake of reading, you won’t glean a thing. The Holy Spirit may have brought out a couple of verses for you to glean from but you have ignored His prodding. The Apostle Paul exhorts us not to quench the Holy Spirit.

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.

Jesus called believers to a higher standard, don’t you see that? He didn’t give believers an open door to sin! This is what is being taught in churches today! How sad is that?  Baptists are looked upon with disdain because it is said of them that they claim salvation but live like the world!  Christ must be looking down from His Heaven and shedding tears at the perversions being taught in the Church today – all under the guise of “freedom” and “grace”!  Is it any wonder that some believers look to other “religions” that will help them to “feel” saved?  One will doubt their salvation if one is not in God’s Word being fed by the Master.  One will doubt their salvation if one isn’t led by the Holy Spirit.  How can you doubt your salvation when you are being obedient to God’s Word?  You are only as “spiritual” as the amount of time you work at listening to God and obeying His Words. The truth from God’s Word sets us free. We no longer live in doubt, shame, and bewilderment. We are secure in God’s love because of what Christ did. As a result of our salvation, we desire to follow after Him and do what pleases Him – not what pleases man!

~John 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

In kind, one will look to other doctrines if one isn’t grounded in what he has been taught by God – not by man, but by God!  Why does a Christian stray and try to live by religious laws again?  For example, if a person is born again, why would he want to go back to the Catholic church and see his Saviour being sacrificed in the mass day after day?  Why would a person who is born again want to follow  Levitical laws that placed burdens from which Christ freed us?  Why would a person who is born again be side tracked into a religion that requires you to not have electricity or phones.  Is it just so they can say they are separated?  Is it because they need this “extra” doctrine to prove to themselves that if they keep it they are truly saved?  God knows the heart, Christian!  God wants obedience to His Word.  If we are truly living according to His Word, we won’t need the religious bondage to make us “feel” saved.  If we are truly living according to His Word, we won’t doubt our salvation.  Obedience brings peace and leaves no room for doubt.

~2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Furthermore, following after false teaching brings burdens that cannot be carried.  Christ gave us freedom with our salvation.  It is a freedom from sin and an ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to say no to sin.  This is where Christians have dropped the ball.  They have become so complacent to sin and not living a separated life that they feel as though they can not conquer sin.

~Matthew 5:27-28 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

We are held to a higher standard, not an open ticket to sin.  Do Christ’s words sound like an open ticket to sin?  Does this sound like an open door to enjoy the things of the world?  The Christian is called to live with higher standards than the Ten Commandments!  These higher standards cannot be done in the flesh. They cannot be upheld by unbelievers. Only a yielded Christian can live by these standards – yielded to the Holy Spirit of God. But it takes a committed believer! It takes a believer who seeks after God’s will and applies what he has learned.  The Jews could not keep the Law and that is why our Lord and Saviour came to save them from their bondage of sin!  But here in Matthew, Jesus is adding that not only should they NOT commit adultery but they in fact commit adultery just by looking on a woman with lust in their hearts!

Christ taught separation. When a believer says he loves the Lord, then let him live like he does. The more a Christian dabbles in the world, the harder it will be for him to stay away from sin.  Eventually, that Christian will smell and act like the world.  Is it any wonder Christians are weak today? They are being fed man’s garbage, not God’s Word!  Whatever happened to comparing God’s Word to what the preacher says?  Whatever happened to the Christian spending quality time in his Bible and learning at the feet of Christ?  There are too many Martha’s and not enough Mary’s!  The more we separate ourselves, the closer we get to our Saviour and the less we love the things of this world.

Sit at Christ’s feet and learn from Him.  After all, the Holy Spirit penned His words for us to be able to glean from its blessed pages!  We are to study for ourselves (2 Tim. 2:15), not be spoon fed by the preacher!  We are to learn from Jesus, not from man! Man can deceive us but God will not.

~Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

No where in the Bible does it encourage to be of the world. No where in the Bible does it say that it’s OK to act like the world. No where in the Bible does it say to live like everyone else does. We are suppose to be (Titus 2:14 and 1 Peter 2:9) different, not like the rest of the world.

This is what is preached in today’s church: “We have to go into the world to win them.”  True, we do. However, no where does the Word say to be like the world – quite the opposite – we are to be “peculiar.” Christians who are not living separated lives are going to doubt their salvation and seek to find that peace within from something. Christians who are not living separated lives are going to be looking for “more” out of their Christian walk because they are not at peace in their spirit. They’re not at peace because the Holy Spirit is trying to convict them and guide them but they are quenching Him.  Be at peace by being in the Word and obeying what the Holy Spirit points out to you.  He’ll clean you through and through and you will never have to seek confirmation of your salvation.

~Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

Picture this in your mind’s eye as you read about the Psalmist’s description of his God. Mind you, David had just been delivered from the hands of Saul and he knew exactly Who had helped him!

1. God is his rock. David didn’t say that God was “a” rock but “his” rock. That’s personal – that says that David knew that his ground was solid – his ground was sure because of his personal relationship with God. God was David’s rock and his God was unshakable – solid – unwavering!  The Word says that Christ is our rock.

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Our Rock, Jesus Christ and His work on the cross, is unshakable, solid and unwavering as well.  Hallelujah!

2. God is his fortress. Again, David personalizes this statement. God wasn’t just any fortress, but “his” fortress. Have you ever seen pictures of biblical fortresses? A fortress sat upon a hill so the people could see whatever was coming their way from far off. What a beautiful depiction this is! We see that nothing takes God by surprise as He sees everything!  He is omniscient and omnipresent, therefore He knows what is coming in ten years from now and He will protect me!  I picture a mother hen in my head as she sees the enemy afar off and gathers her chicks under her wings to protect them. Just as the people would run to the fortress for protection!

~Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Our God desires that we run to His fortress, Jesus Christ.  The prophets of old penned time after time warnings to the Jews but instead they killed their prophets.  In Christ, we can hide and He will protect us!  It is His salvation that has been given to us and it is safe in His care!

3. God is his deliverer. Once again, another personalized characteristic of God from David. Do you remember when Moses delivered the Jews out of Egypt? They called Moses their deliverer. Moses saved the people from slavery and bondage at the hand of Pharaoh! David’s God delivered him from the enemy as well. God, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, delivered us from eternity in Hell through His work on the cross!

~Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

This same Rock and Fortress is our Deliverer!

4. God is his strength. David recognized that his own strength was nothing. His enemies were many and they were indeed strong. He needed God to take charge here and provide him with exactly what he needed for that moment.  David knew his weaknesses and was well aware that he had no power over his enemies.  David believed this so much so, that he trusted in the Lord. He knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that his God would come to the rescue and strengthen him at the time he needed it most.  Just as God did for David, Christ does for us!

~Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

There is nothing we can’t do for the work of Christ that He won’t equip us with!

5. God is his buckler. Just what is a buckler, anyway? Noah Webster defines it as:

A kind of shield, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war. It was composed of wood, or wickers woven together, covered with skin or leather, fortified with plates of brass or other metal, and worn on the left arm. On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off. The buckler often was four feet long, and covered the whole body.

I absolutely loved this! David compared his God as a buckler! His God was David’s defensive armor and shield in the time of war. We battle a spiritual warfare every day. But God is the one who protects us! Just as the mother hen noted above, He covers us under His wings just as the buckler covered the whole body. The devil does not have power over the believer because we are sealed by the Holy Spirit!

~Ephesians 6:12-13 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Who knows, maybe the day is coming where Christians may have to fight a physical battle against the enemy. We know the end times are here and our time on earth is short.  In the mean time, we can trust God to strengthen us in time of need and to be our Buckler!

6. God is his horn. Have you ever seen a Texas Long Horn? Oh my word! A full grown bull is as tall as I am when he stands erect! The horns can have a seven-foot spread from tip to tip! You wouldn’t want to mess with those horns, that’s for sure! The horn is a sign of strength and David used that comparison in this verse. There’s nothing that would be able to defeat his God. Christ is our horn of salvation! The devil cannot defeat the born-again believer! Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost as the time he made the statement that Jesus would be the horn of salvation for His people.

~Luk 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

How wonderful!! David knew that his God was his own “personal” horn of salvation. I immediately thought of my upbringing where I was taught that salvation came from the “church.” Salvation can only come from God and then we are added to His church. Salvation is of the Lord (~Psalm 37:39), not of man or of a “church.”

7. God is his high tower. I picture a high tower to be an extremely inaccessible place – one protected from the enemies of life. David personalized this characteristic of God as well. Again, his God was so high and so mighty that nothing could reach Him and pull Him down or defeat Him. When I think of this high tower, I think of Christ being in Heaven awaiting His return in the clouds to rapture His children to be with Him!

~Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

These seven characteristics of God, our Saviour, are so potent to me! They comfort me because I know that my salvation is not dependent upon me – it is all about God through Jesus Christ! My salvation cannot be taken away from me because He purchased it and keeps it safe. He guards my salvation – He is my buckler. He is my fortress and protects my salvation! He is my strength and my high tower and one day I will meet Him face-to-face and sit with Him in that Heavenly place!! Praise the Lord!

07. September 2010 · 4 comments · Categories: Poetry · Tags: ,

Did I meet the Master at the break of day?
Did I stop to listen, as I took the time to pray?
Did I glean a single word, from His Blessed Word?
Did I walk away as if nothing had occurred?

Yes, I met the Master at the break of day!
I listened as He spoke to me, when I knelt to pray.
His words like morning dew, refreshed my very soul.
I walked away uplifted from my morning stroll!

© Kate Plourde
September 6, 2010

Act 24:24-25 And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

When someone hears about righteousness, temperance and judgment, the first reaction is to sit up straight and do one of two things:

  1. Be thankful for God’s chastisement, repent and take heed to the warning; or
  2. Get offended at the message

In today’s text, Paul was witnessing to Felix and his wife.  Paul spoke of righteousness, temperance and the judgment to come without salvation.  The message must have cut to the core because verse 25 says that Felix trembled.  The Holy Spirit was working in Felix’s heart, obviously, but Felix chickened out for some reason.  The verse goes on to say that Felix told Paul that when it was a more convenient time he would call for him.  I wonder if Felix was embarrassed to get saved because his wife was there.  Or possibly he had other friends at the gathering and was “put on the spot.”  No matter what the reason, when the Holy Spirit of God convicts you to the point of trembling, you should not ignore it.

The topics Paul preached on were enough to cause Felix to tremble.  We all know what righteousness means – anything that revolves around God, His Holy Word and Godly things is considered righteous.  The judgment to come would cause Felix to tremble as well.  After all, when you hear that you are heading to Hell and eternal burning from one of the greatest preachers that ever lived, how can you not tremble?  Could it possibly be the other topic, temperance, which caused Felix to change his mind?

Just what is temperance?  Temperance is moderation.  Moderation covers a multitude of areas, doesn’t it? Our society today has no discipline over moderation. Americans over indulge in every area of life possible – every sin imaginable!  I think of someone with a hot temper – he should practice moderation or temperance.  I think of someone who loves his job so much that he neglects his family.  How about someone who loves to drink alcohol?  Or even drugs? Pornography is a booming industry!  Hollywood’s movies today would have been rated X even just 40 years ago!  One is hard pressed to find a teenager who has not had sex!  Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines temperance as:

1. Moderation; particularly, habitual moderation in regard to the indulgence of the natural appetites and passions; restrained or moderate indulgence; as temperance in eating and drinking; temperance in the indulgence of joy or mirth. Temperance in eating and drinking is opposed to gluttony and drunkenness, and in other indulgences, to excess.

I believe that Felix could have been offended in this area of Paul’s message.  He could have been a glutton or given to too much wine.  Who knows!  But when someone confronts you with one of your faults, you don’t readily give him the time of day, especially if you are a man of wealth and power.  In fact, you avoid that person.  You want to hear the Gospel in your “own” time, if at all – when it’s convenient for you, just like Felix.

Where are you today, reader?  Has someone talked to you about true Christianity?  Not the watered down Christianity being pirated today but a true born-again experience with Jesus Christ?  Jesus Christ changes lives.  He does not “save” someone only to have them continue to live their lives like they use to live.  This is what gives “Christians” a bad name today!  People claim they are Christians but yet they live like the devil and make a mockery of Christianity altogether.  The world sees these “professors” and they lump them all in with the true born-again believers.  A truly born-again person is a new creature – totally!  His life shows it – his heart shows it – his actions show it!

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Are you a homosexual who is fighting the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  You cannot be living in a same sex relationship and claim to be a Christian!  God destroyed an entire city for this sin – why would He allow it now?  To think that God allows this horrible sin and condones it is to deceive yourself!

Are you saying you are a Christian yet you are living with someone without being married?  Are you saying you are a Christian yet you consistently indulge in pornography?  An apple tree cannot grow oranges. You either produce Christ-like fruit in your life or the fruit of the devil. You cannot do both, at least not without conviction from the Holy Spirit and chastisement from God.

~Luke 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

The true born-again believer loves God’s Word, loves other believers, loves assembling with other believers, and loves the things of God. When he sins, he falls under great conviction and repents. The person who is not truly born again continues in his sinful lifestyle not wishing to stop, has no conviction to change and really doesn’t care. That is not the Christianity and holy living depicted in the Bible says.

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Christians are held to a higher standard than the religious person. The Ten Commandments say we should not commit adultery. The Christian is told by Jesus that anytime a man looks upon a woman and lusts after her, this man has committed adultery already in his heart. Therefore, if you see a “so called” born again Christian who has not changed his sinful lifestyle, chances are they professed salvation but never possessed it in their hearts.

I just want to make you think!  Where do you stand today?  Will you be like Felix and tremble?  Will you ignore the warning and wait?

~2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

~Romans 1:29-32 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Today’s text pretty much covers all types of sins. The last verse states that those who know God’s judgment and still commit such things are worthy of death. Furthermore, those who are guilty of supporting those sins are just as guilty of the same judgment! Wow! :shock: Do you see this?  Are you guilty of this, Christian?  Take a step back and look at your life.

When you go to the polls and vote, do you vote for someone who will support the abortion agenda yet you are against abortion?  You’re just as guilty as if you had done the abortion yourself!  Do you have friends or relatives who live a life of sodomy and they don’t know your stand on the issue?  Have you confronted them about it and told them they are living in sin?  If not, you’re as guilty of that sin!  How about couples who are living together?  Do you have friends you entertain in your own home and have not spoken to them about this?  How about if it’s your own child?

I believe you understand where I am coming from today.  If you think back on the morality of our beloved country 50 years ago, none of the sins I’ve just outlined were even spoken about in public, let alone encouraged or looked upon with complacency!  No – in fact, quite the opposite.  What has changed?  The Bible says that God never changes so His judgment will still be dispersed upon this wicked generation just as much as it was 50 years ago.

~Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

God never changes! What has changed is the heart and mind of man.  Man has allowed the sin of this world to harden his heart. After all, the more you sin the harder your heart becomes to sin and the less you are convicted of it.  What God considered sin thousands of years ago is still sin today.  What God considered an abomination thousands of years ago is still an abomination today!  It is man who has strayed and has hardened his heart to the point where sin is no longer considered sin! To abort one’s child was considered murder – now it’s considered an inconvenience! To be a homosexual was considered an abomination to God – now it’s a lifestyle.

I was having this same discussion with a dear friend last week. I told her that when I was a young teenager, the world was disgusted by the sodomite’s sin! Today the world is not even mildly annoyed – in fact, laws are being passed to protect them.  Those who speak out against it are considered haters and charged with a hate crime. The world gets further and further away from the Word of God. Should the Lord tarry His return, I would not be surprised that in 50 years, pedophiles will no longer be viewed as disgusting and horrible sinners but will be an accepted lifestyle of society – or it will be stated that it is a “disease” – or they will say ‘the poor dear is sick’!  Oh deceived generation of blind hard-hearted sinners! This generation no longer recognizes sin but, instead, calls sin “good” – all under the title of “tolerance”!!

~Isaiah 5:20-21 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Judgment is coming. God does not change, dear soul. God will judge according to His Word, not according to what feels good or what other people say is right. How can one say he is a Christian when he is committing sin that God has said is an abomination or he is supporting the very same sin? Turning a blind eye is equal to supporting that sin – can’t you see that? How can you allow yourself to be so deceived by the god of this world, the devil, the father of lies? It is a choice that you will have to make and I pray your choice is made before it is too late.

If you are a Christian, then act like one! Stand up for Christ and what He has taught us. Don’t try to smooth ruffled feathers in a family when there is sin running rampant. Stay away from it – do not support it – do not condone it! And worse of all, do not be silent! The devil has his way with his children.  Why not allow the Holy Spirit of God to have His way with you?  How will they (the world) know what the Bible says on this topic except you tell them? Don’t sit on the fence – after all, the fence belongs to the devil. That’s what he wants you to do!  Jump off that fence and run as fast as you can to the Word of God! Then stop being ashamed of what He has taught you and start shouting His judgment from the rooftop!

~Psalm 100:1 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Psalm 100 is filled with instruction for the believer! I absolutely love how we are instructed on how to conduct ourselves and our spiritual life.

  1. Praise your Lord:  The words from our mouths should be a joyful noise, not sounds that grate on people’s last nerve.  I’m sure you’ve been around Christians who appear as though they have been sucking on lemons!  Nothing is ever right for them.  They are in a constant state of complaining.  This is not becoming of a Christian.  Why would the unsaved world want what the complainer has?  I think of Matthew 5:13 when the Lord Jesus said we are the salt of the earth.  Salt causes one to be thirsty and our testimony should cause the unsaved to thirst after what we have, which is salvation.  Do you really think your complaining will cause the unsaved to thirst after what you have?  What kind of testimony is a complaining spirit to your Saviour?  Who would want Him after listening to you?  Let’s rejoice!  Let’s praise the Lord who saved us from burning for eternity in the Lake of Fire!  Praise the Lord!  Sing to Him hymns of praise and rejoice!  Rejoice, Rejoice oh Christian, lift up your voice and sing!  Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ, the King!!
  2. Serve your Lord:  Everything we do should be a joy because we are His!  Jesus told His disciples that if they gave a drink of water to someone who thirsted, it was as if they had given it to Him.  If we did each of our tasks in our daily lives as though we were doing it for our Lord, wouldn’t our attitude be different?
  3. Acknowledge your Lord:  We must remember who God is and it is He that created us!  We can’t rule the Master – the sheep can’t lead the Shepherd!  We must acknowledge that He is our Maker and He is our leader and we must follow.  When we acknowledge this daily in our prayer life, it is easier to follow.  It is when we try to do things on our own without His direction or His help that we find ourselves in trouble!
  4. Thank your Lord:  Everywhere we go we should be ready to share what God has done for us!  A grateful heart leaves no room for bitterness or discontent.  A grateful heart is ever ready to praise the Lord for all that He has done.  Some have to dig deep before they can find one tiny morsel of thankfulness!  How sad is that?  When the heart is thankful, the Lord is glorified!
  5. Embrace your Lord:  As you meditate on the Lord’s attributes, you realize just how small you are and just how big He is.  Our sinful nature is in need of His goodness and mercy!  Praise the Lord that His truths endure to all generations!  Praise the Lord that He loved us so much that He was willing to pay the price for our sins!  Oh what great love!  I know I can speak for many who say that once I enter Heaven’s gates, it will be His neck that I hug first thing so I can thank Him and praise Him for what He has done for me!  For without His mercy, I would lost for eternity!

He Lives!

Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.

Chorus
He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives,
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

~Proverbs 10:23 It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

The unsaved world does not think about living righteously. It is the furthest thing from their mind. In fact, and I speak from past experience, they cannot wait until the next moment they can do evil. Of course, at the time, I was not thinking that what I was doing was evil. All I cared about was that I had great pleasure in doing them!

The Word has so much to say on this subject. The wicked are explained with great accuracy in the Book of Proverbs. I did not think of myself as wicked prior to my salvation. In fact, I thought I was a pretty good person. But had I measured my life with the “yardstick of the Ten Commandments,” I would have seen that I did not measure up at all!

~Proverbs 4:16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

I took great pleasure in my sin and loved it when I could partake with others! During the work week, we would be busy planning what we could do on the weekend. Our plans always led to sin!

~Proverbs 6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

I am so thankful that one day a dear friend came to visit and told me the wonderful news about salvation. It was not something I had ever heard before. My religious experiences revolved around “being good” and the burden was too great because I could never be good enough! Christ’s salvation is free but we must be willing to repent from the lifestyle we are currently living. To blab a prayer-ette and remain in the same lifestyle does not salvation bring! Jesus said to “repent and believe the Gospel,” (~Mark 1:15). There must be a repentance or there will never be any change!

~2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

I have a friend who has been a born-again Christian for some time. She has been led by another to follow the ways of Messianic Jews. My spirit was not right within me and I felt unrest when I first heard about her “change.” So I began researching the Messianic Jewish beliefs. Having been raised catholic, I discovered many correlations between Judaism and that of Catholicism. Catholicism bases many of its rituals to Jewish Laws. It amazes me that a born-again believer would want to have the yoke of religion’s burden once again placed upon his shoulders!

I was led to Paul’s letter to the Galatians, which is an excellent book covering this very topic. By the time I got to the third chapter, I discovered that one who lives under the Law lives under a curse.

~Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them.

Jesus redeemed us from this curse so why would we want to go back to it? He became a curse so that we no longer had to live under that curse of the Law! The Law taught us that we cannot keep it all because we are sinful, therefore, we are cursed.

~Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

What was the purpose of the Law if it was a curse then? The Law is our schoolmaster, a teacher if you will. It shows people they are sinners! When people realize they are sinners and and cannot keep the whole Law, it then points them to faith in Christ. After salvation by faith, they are not under the Law any longer.

~Galatians 3:24-25 Wherefore the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

The born again believer receives the Holy Spirit at salvation, He lives within the believer and the believer is led by Him, therefore, he is no longer under the Law.

~Galatians 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the Law.

The Law was not given to produce righteousness. The Law was given to show man he was a sinner in need of salvation. If any righteousness can come from keeping the Law, then Christ died for nothing! Not only Judaism practices this but Catholicism as well. The rituals that are entrenched in religion add a burden that is unbearable and these Laws just cannot be kept without failure! At best, the individual who is attempting to keep the Law realizes how futile an attempt it is.

Gal 3:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.

We live under the Dispensation of Grace, not the Law. The born-again Jew has been released from the Law to live under grace. This grace given by God helps us to live righteously. Christ brought an end to that Law and brought forth righteousness.

~Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

~Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Christians are not under the Law but under Grace – but this Grace is in no way a license to sin. This is where confusion sets in for most churches today. There seems to be a lack of understanding concerning what Grace is. Grace is not passing over our sins nor is it merely unmerited favor. Grace is a God-given ability to live righteously.

~Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

This is grace – God’s power within us to stay away from sin! Christians are called to a higher standard under grace than that of the Law. It’s not an open door to sin – it’s not a free ticket to do all things because we have an ability to do so! In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Jesus said that the adulterer was guilty of that sin under the Law but under Grace, you are guilty of adultery if you even look at a woman to lust after her (~Matt. 5:28). The Law says you are guilty of murder if you kill someone. But under Grace, if you even hate your brother you are guilty of murder (~1 Joh. 3:15). The Law says you have sinned if you bow down to an idol. But under Grace, if you are covetous you are guilty of idolatry (~Colossias. 3:5). Does this sound like the Christian has a license to sin? Absolutely not! We are called to a higher standard! Many today have misinterpreted this Grace and say it is freedom and we can do whatever we want! Do you not see how deceived this is? Is it any wonder that some Christians are looking to a more righteous form of living?

God’s people were given Laws that they could not keep because of their sinful nature. They were not given the power to keep the Law, that is, they were not given Grace as Christians have under the New Covenant.

Why would a born again Jew want to go back to the things of the Law? Why would a born-again Christian wish to convert and become a Messianic Jew? Jewish Law had more than 600 Laws they had to follow – these were not just the Ten Commandments. The Word says:

~Galatians 4:9-11 After that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid [for] you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

If we are led by the Holy Spirit are we under the Law? No. “If ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the Law” (Gal. 5:18).

Why would one want to follow after the Old Covenant when it was not faultless?

~Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Jesus Christ brought us a better covenant!

~Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

My friend, if you are a born again Christian and have been led by others to follow after the Law, please study your Bible – especially Galatians. Paul, a Pharisee, would have been the perfect example if this were to be the life of a Christian. However, the Hall of Faith in Hebrews says Abraham, etc. lived by faith – these were all before the Law – and they were accounted as righteous. Be careful who you follow! Don’t be deceived. Christ saved us from the works of the Law to be born again under grace. We are called to higher standards than the Law and are given grace to live by those standards! Be careful!

~1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

When I repented of my sin and received the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I received an inheritance! That inheritance is eternal life in Heaven with my Saviour. An inheritance was given to me by Christ Himself because He purchased me with His own blood! Furthermore, today’s text says that this inheritance is incorruptible!

Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines incorruptible as:

1. That cannot corrupt or decay; not admitting of corruption. Thus gold, glass, mercury, are incorruptible. Spirits are supposed to be incorruptible. Our bodies shall be changed into incorruptible and immortal substances.
2. That cannot be bribed; inflexibly just and upright.

This sense of permanence is encouraging to the believer! I wondered what other verses contained this word in the Bible.

~1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

~1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

~1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Four times the word incorruptible is used. We learn that our inheritance of eternal life is incorruptible – we receive an incorruptible crown – at Rapture, we will receive an incorruptible body – and we are born again from an incorruptible seed by the Word of God.

What an encouragement for the true born-again believer! When God gives us something incorruptible – it is permanent. There is nothing we can do to revoke it. We are sealed – we have inherited eternal life, not by anything we have done but by everything Christ has done for us! Praise the Lord! Since my inheritance is not based on my works but Christ’s, I can be assured that it is settled! He entered my heart and His Spirit resides within, never to let me go! No wonder He convicts me and His desire is to mold me into someone that will bring Him glory! Yielded to His leading I must stay!

~Hebrews 13:5b … for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

~1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

The religion of my youth was filled with “try too’s” and failures. As much as I tried to be good and not to sin, I failed daily. The guilt was unbearable! Granted, I found myself in the confessional trying to appease my guilt but I always turned around afterwards and repeatedly sinned. Obedience to my “faith” and its teachings was impossible! Why? Because I had not received my new nature. My inner man was not sincerely interested in walking with God or living for Him. I was not willing to repent. I merely wanted to have religion but did not want to practice it with sincerity nor did I desire true repentance. This was no different than the sacrifices offered in Samuel’s day for sin. I was no better than those that the Word is referring to in today’s text! I did my religious duties but was not obedient to the point of salvation nor was I willing to let go of my sinful ways.

This soul is no different than Cain of old whose sacrifice was of his own creation. He chose to disobey God – and the Word tells us that he never repented, even after God confronted him with his sin. God gave him the opportunity to repent, but Cain chose not to do so! Choice – do I obey God or not? Do I repent or not? It’s left up to the individual as God does not force His will on us! So how do you know whether you are practicing religion or not? The Word says that you must repent and believe:

~Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Simply believing does not do it. The devil’s believe but that does not make them Christians!

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Repentance is the key! Repenting means a turning away from the former sinful life and living for God! This is true conversion! Without repentance one will be no better than Cain with his own idea of religion and no obedience! That is why the devils will never enter Heaven! Rebellion thrives when there is no obedience!

Once we desire to repent from our wicked ways and are truly born again of the Spirit of God, our desire will be to obey God and His Word. We will not always be successful and we will be filled with remorse when we do sin. But we will not stay in that sin and will be quick to get back on the path. This daily renewal of the mind, this obedience to God’s Word, is what God wants from us.

~2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

~Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

~Colossians 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

God does not want sacrifice – He wants obedience! Putting obedience to practice daily will change that inner man. He will grow from a tiny mustard seed to a strong tree in his faith! Let your obedience speak for your actions and not the sacrifice of Cain. It is this obedience to repent and believe the Gospel that converts the soul and renews the spirit!

~Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

One cannot put this verse into practice without true conversion. Without obedience, there is no repentance. Without obedience, there is no salvation. Without obedience, one is offering the sacrifices of Cain.

~Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

~Psalms 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

~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.

~Psalms 61:4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

~Psalms 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

The best place to be is under God’s covering!! David knew this and spoke about it five different times, and all occurrences are in Psalms in the King James Bible. The number five symbolizes God’s grace in His Word. I found this very interesting indeed!  David truly experienced God’s grace and knew it so much that he wrote about it repeatedly. No wonder he was the apple of God’s eye (Ps. 17:8)!!

It is by God’s grace that we are saved and not by anything we say or do!

~Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

God’s grace, just as He provided during the first Passover when the Israelites were trying to leave Egypt, covers us and protects us from eternal damnation in Hell. David placed himself under the covering of God’s wings – God’s protection – because he had been there many times and knew that it was a safe place for him to be. It was the right place for him to be.

David viewed the covering of God’s wings as:

(1) a place to hide from the cares of this world, its sin and its evil (Ps. 17:8).
(2) a place he could trust for protection and he could rely on God’s faithfulness – there’s no shadow of turning with the Lord (Ps. 36:7)
(3) a place where he could take refuge from the calamities around him – he knew he could run to God and be sure that He would give him a refuge where he could renew his spirit – revitalize his spirit – encourage himself in the Lord (Ps. 57:1)
(4) a secure place to be after salvation – knowing that he would abide there forever – he trusted in the fact that only God could provide that covering (Ps. 61:4) and that same covering was secure for all eternity!
(5) a place where he could rejoice because the Lord had helped him through all of his trials and tribulations – David had no doubts that God would continue to do so and, therefore, it brought David great joy and peace knowing he had a place to go  (Ps. 63:7)

I am on shouting ground, dear Christian! I praise the Lord God Almighty for keeping me under His wings, safe and secure for all eternity! Praise His Holy Name!

~1 Timothy 6:20-21 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. The first to Timothy was written from Laodicea, which is the chiefest city of Phrygia Pacatiana.

Science is no different today than in Paul’s day. Paul exhorted Timothy to avoid the profane and vain babblings of science which exclude the Word of God. God’s Word has taught us about creation, the universe, the shape of the earth, life, etc. Anything preached which is more or less than that which is referred to in His word is error in the faith!

Just today, I heard a man question the Pastor because the Pastor did not believe in the earth being billions of years old. A Christian must place his faith on God’s Word and not that of man. No matter how many theories there are on a certain issue, if they are contrary to God’s Word, the believer must choose who he will believe! How can a Christian say he believes in evolution and in the same breath say he believes the Bible? The two do not go together! Evolution began being taught as “the theory of evolution,” but now the word “theory” has been removed and it is believed as fact! Christians who believe in evolution ought to be ashamed of themselves!  The longer one delves into science and ignores the Truth of God’s Word, the blinder he will become.

~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

God has not left us helpless and without information! So open the Book, read and learn for yourself! God has promised wisdom to those who seek it!  It takes more faith to believe in a big bang and the whole evolution theory than it does to believe that God created all things.

~Isaiah 40:28 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.

~Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

I came across this picture and chuckled to myself! What a funny looking tree, huh? I truly believe that there is a lesson from God in every piece of His creation. When I was in grade school Science class, we did an experiment on this very topic. We planted a bean in a cup filled with soil. We watered it, put it in the sun and watched how much it grew from day-to-day. We all know that all plant life grows toward the sun. When you shade a plant, it stunts its growth and slows the process. If the plant finds the smallest speck of sunlight, it will grow toward that sunlight. The tree in today’s picture doesn’t seem to have had a shade problem and I’m not certain why it’s so crooked, however, I think you see my point.

I wondered at how much our own spiritual lives are reflected in this picture! What circumstances would cause a new Christian to grow up crooked? Today’s text indicates that that the new believer is easily tossed about with wrong doctrine. He is easily deceived and sucked into false doctrine. Paul exhorts the Ephesians not to be like children! The only way to spot false doctrine is by knowing the true doctrine … by studying one’s Bible! Don’t study to be a man pleaser but study to show yourself approved unto God! God will reveal Himself and His doctrine to you if you are studious!

~2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

There are thousands of people on this planet who are preaching wrong doctrine. Just turn your TV set on and watch on any given Sunday. It is so sad that people are sucked into this spiritual vacuum and fall prey to these charlatans! They fall prey because they have not studied for themselves! It is easier for them to let someone else do the studying and they just follow! Letting someone else do your studying does not exempt you from studying for yourself! You will be accountable for your own actions. It may be easier for you to follow after someone else but you can be certain that you will be tossed about and carried away with every wind of doctrine, as Paul said.

Following after Christ is not easy. Christ never promised that being His disciple would be filled with good things and that you would prosper in wealth and in health. He did promise that you would prosper spiritually and that you would inherit eternal life, however! If wealth and health are in the future of every believer if they just believe, then Foxe’s Book of Martyrs is clearly a record of spiritually lacking people who have died and not prospered in their lives. It’s a sham to tell people this – it’s a money-making business! If people took it upon themselves to study for themselves, they would easily see the truth and the truth would set them free! Jesus said that the pathway to destruction is a wide path and many go through it. The Christian’s path is narrow but it is straight if he stays on it and reads, studies and applies what the Holy Spirit teaches him!

~Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Rejoice with me this morning! I was searching for a particular verse to share with someone that contained the words “thou art my.” To my delight, the Lord blessed me with these verses that describe my God!! I pray they bless you as much as they blessed me!!

~Psalms 16:2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;

~Psalms 22:10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.

~Psalms 31:3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.

~Psalms 31:4 Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.

~Psalms 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.

~Psalms 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

~Psalms 44:4 Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

~Psalms 71:3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

~Psalms 71:5 For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.

~Psalms 71:7 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

~Psalms 89:26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.

~Psalms 119:57 CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.

~Psalms 119:114 Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.

Now receive a blessing and put your name in place of the word “my.” Enjoy 🙂

~Galatians 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Why is it so hard to find a “seasoned” Christian anymore? They are truly far and few apart. Many Christians start out well and are on fire for the Lord. But when the trials and tribulations of the Christian life set in, they are easily discouraged and give up. Some don’t give up until many years later. Why is that?

It is tribulation that seasons a Christian. As we experience each trial, we lean on the everlasting arms of Christ and we are able to see His hand in all of the details. We rest in His care and rely on Him to carry us through each one. We know that one day our trials will be over and our faith will be made sight when we see Jesus face-to-face!

~Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

When someone gives up and stops following Christ altogether (without ever coming back), one must question whether or not his profession of salvation was true. God does not treat His children differently – He gives them all the same care and helps them all through their trials. What makes this person who has given up different from the believer? Paul states in Galatians 5:7 that they were side tracked by false teachers and, therefore, did not obey the truth. Just what is the truth? Jesus said,

~John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

God’s Word is truth and the believer needs to feed himself daily with it! When one finds himself struggling spiritually, it is because he has not delved into the Word of God and fed himself. The average Christian would not miss a meal for fear of starvation. Why then would the average Christian consider going a day without God’s Word? Is not spiritual starvation worse?

It is God’s Word that fills the believer. It is God’s Word that guides us in all truth and reveals those deceivers to us! When wrong doctrine comes along, the Christian who is daily in the Word of God will spot it immediately. He will recognize wrong teaching as counterfeit and will steer clear from it.

~Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Don’t dismay, Christian! Keep running the race and don’t give up! Don’t let daily life get the best of you. These distractions are a ploy of Satan to discourage you! There are a lot of false teachers out there. Learn to recognize counterfeit religion by comparing it to the Truth!