Friend or Foe?

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So whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God. – James 4:4b ISV

When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we were instantly given the gift of the Holy Spirit.  When we received that Spirit, we become a part of the bride of Chirst and He has so much more that He wants to share with us. God placed Him in our hearts to lead us and to guide us into all truth.  The Trinity longs for the time when we will allow the Holy Spirit to do just that.  They are jealous of the time we spend focused on worldly things.  Just as new lovers and newlyweds want to spend all of their time together, so does God want to spend His time with us.  Just as Jesus warned us that we have committed adultery with a woman/man when we allow immoral thoughts to remain in our minds, we commit adultery with the world when we spend time on worldly things.  To the extent that those things become more important, take up more of our time and cause us to make comments that hurt other people, we have become friends with the world and enemies of God.  We are incapable of serivng two masters.

24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. — Matt. 6:24 NIV

We could replace the word money in this verse with other words, such as  drugs, grandkids, popularity, power, sports, vocations, possessions or you can fill in the blank and the verse would still be just as true.  Anything that we put above being obedient to God in any and every respect becomes our idol and we become enemies of God.  When we face a choice in what to do or say and we feel that little nudge from the Holy Spirit, we must learn to stop and think.  Do I really want to hurt my spouse, my Jesus who died for me?  If not, then we need to temper our words and/or actions or completely change them so that they honor and glorify God. We need to remember David’s request:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. — Psalm 19:14 NKJV

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-12-2018

God Does Not Tempt Us

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13 When someone is tempted, he should not say, “I am being tempted by God,” because God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.  – James 1:13 ISV
When we were born physically, we were born into a sinful world. We live in bodies of flesh that have carnal desires.  Because sin is still in the world and we are all infected and affected by it, we follow(ed) after those fleshly, carnal desires. The lifestyles that we live(d) are/were not pleasing to God. Jesus sent His Son to redeem us from this fallen state.  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are born again spiritually, we become new creations in Christ Jesus. We get a new heart with new desires but, the flesh does not just automatically and instantly give up and die.  The old desires are still there and it is a constant, second by second battle to defeat the desires of the flesh.  To kill those fleshly desires, we not only need open heart surgery, but we need major brain surgery.  Our mindset and our attitudes have to be changed. When carnal, evil, unkind, sinful thoughts “pop up” in our minds, we can be sure that those thoughts do not come from God, but, rather from satan and his minions. We must always remember that they are liars and they are here only to destroy us.

8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. — 1 Peter 5:8

We are tempted by these evil thoughts.  If we allow ourselves to be enticed and follow those fleshly desires, they lead us to sin and sin eventually leads to death.
But we have a way out, we have a redeemer and a High Priest who has suffered those same temptations and understands our weaknesses. He defeated satan at the cross, so that we could live full, abundant lives.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-28-2018

A Friend of the World is an Enemy of God

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You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. – James 4:4 NLT

The Greek word (moi-kho’s) that is translated as adulterers has more than just a sexual connotation. It is anyone committing an act of infidelity or unfaithfulness to God. These actions are what depict us as “friends” of the world. If we live a lifestyle that is filled with these kind of actions, then we show by our actions that we are “enemies” of God. Our flesh is constantly warring against the Spirit that God has placed inside us. We need to be guided by God’s Holy Spirit not by our fleshly desires.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil​l​ the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.–Gal. 5:16,17 (KJV)
We cannot win the war by ourselves, the flesh is too strong. But God gives us grace and mercy. He is made strong in our weaknesses. If we are faithful to walk “in the Spirit”, God will fight and win every battle for us.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-06-2017

Armed and Ready for Battle

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11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  — Eph. 6:11 NLT

Every day we are involved in spiritual warfare. This warfare will not be won by flesh and blood because our enemy is not flesh and blood. The enemy may very well come to us dressed in human form and looking beautiful enough to entice us into fighting the battle on his terms and his territory. We cannot and must not allow him to do that. The battle is not ours, it is the Lord’s and we must allow Him to fight the battle through us and for us. Evil rulers, spirits, and authorities in the unseen world are stronger than we are. But they are no match for the One who lives in us. Do not fear the enemy unless you are not prepared to meet the enemy. Be prepared at all times.
God has prepared the armor for us to wear when we are in battle and the battle rages 24/7. There is never a second when we are not engaged in spiritual warfare. The devil never rests, so we must always be on alert. Our belt is the truth of the Gospel and our breastplate is the righteousness of God. Our feet are shod with the peace of God, faith is our shield, salvation is our helmet, and the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. Immerse all this armor in prayer without ceasing and we will be well able to resist the enemy and able to stand firm in any battle.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Post 02-23-2017

Gotta Tell Somebody!

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14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? — Romans 10:14 NLT
 
 
When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, we became a part of a family and took on the family name, Christian.  One of the biggest responsibilities that comes with the family name is telling others about our new family and inviting them to become a part of that family.   “Go and make disciples”  isn’t a suggestion, it is a command.  That doesn’t mean that we all have to lay down what we are doing and go to foreign countries but it does mean that wherever you are is your mission field.  “Go” to your family, your neighbor, your business associate, your friends and your enemies.  Telling others about Jesus should be considered a privilege and it should be a joy for us to do it.  When God called us to be His child, He had a plan and a purpose for us.  He has a part for each of us to play in building His Kingdom here on earth and in heaven.  Can we be Christians without “going and telling”?  Each of us should ask God that question and seek His answer diligently.  Can we be happy, joyful Christians without “going and telling”?   Since not telling is being disobedient, I seriously doubt it.  If you have never experienced the joy of leading someone to Christ, ask God to give you that opportunity today. 
Post 08-12-2016

God’s Word Brings Peace

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6 If your sinful old self is the boss over your mind, it leads to death. But if the Holy Spirit is the boss over your mind, it leads to life and peace.
— Romans 8:6 New Life Version (NLV)
 
 
Spiritual battles are fought in our minds.  The thoughts that we allow to linger in our minds long enough will turn into words and actions.  That is why the mind must be guarded at all times.  In the early days of computers, there was an acronym that was used quite frequently when computers spit out garbage or nonsense.  That acronym was “gigo” , garbage in, garbage out.  Our minds are the most fantastic computers imaginable.  It is said that most of us never even use ten percent of the capacity of our brains.  So, if we feast on visual and oral garbage for hours every day, then that is what is going to come out of our minds.  We need to be God-focused, not sin-focused.  Don’t fall into the enemy’s trap of remembering and rehearsing your sins and mistakes.  Rather, focus on what you know to be true.  God fulfills every promise.  He forgives us every time we fail.  When satan tempted Jesus, Jesus responded with scriptures. We must fight evil the same way.  That is the example we are to follow. If satan whispers in your ear that you are not forgiven, just quote 1 John 1:9 to him.
9 If we tell Him our sins, He is faithful and we can depend on Him to forgive us of our sins. He will make our lives clean from all sin.
Post 08-09-2016

From the Head to the Heart

even-smaller-bug-light137 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. — Matt 13:37-39 NIV

We are warned over and over in the Bible, that as the end draws nearer, there will arise more and more false prophets even in the church. They will seem genuine to those who do not have the Holy Spirit abiding in them and therefore, have no discernment.  They will preach and teach a “cheap” grace.  A grace based on head knowledge and not on what we have in our hearts.  They will expound doctrines that do not require holy lifestyles or they will add manmade rules that require more than the Bible requires for salvation.  Whether they add to or subtract from the Biblical requirements for salvation, they are both wrong.  When we have truly accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and He gives us the Holy Spirit, we are saved.  We are clothed in His holiness and righteousness.  There is nothing we can do to make ourselves more holy or more righteous than He made us.  A Christlike lifestyle is the external proof of what we believe in our hearts not what we know in our minds.  Our thoughts and actions are the fruit of the Spirit, a good tree will bear good fruit and a bad tree will bear bad fruit.  It is a natural and a spiritual law that we cannot change.  For fruit trees to bear an abundant crop, they require a lot of care.  So, everyday, fertilize the tree with scripture and wash it with the water of the Word.
Post 01-18-2016