Tuesday, April 17, 2018
052161_e1017dc7e1604b80aa8a16e62cfe0e9a~mv2
He Came Full of Grace and Truth
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. John 1:14–18 (KJV)
The truth is all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous no not one. All of our rightest is as filthy rags.

The truth is that sin will kill you. The wages of sin is death. The believer who does not die to siin will find that it will kill his peace, joy, and even his sense of self-worth. All of this is true. But thank God when he chose in the fulness of time to enter this world in the form of man that he did not come only in the mantel of truth. He came as a model of grace.

The grace of God allows for the forgiveness of sin and eternal life. It makes broken people whole. It is the healing balm for all sin sickness. Grace tells us God has accepted us. It tells us He believe in us. Grace is the amazing revelation that by His stripes we are healed.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Who Would Have Ever Thought….
d-man-thinking-red-question-mark-thought-bubble-above-his-head-over-white-background-30387383


Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Rom 8:33 (KJV)

Who would have ever had thought of justifying guilty people. They come in all sizes and shapes, and all are guilty, all have battled in their own ways against God. All have sinned, there is none righteous. Only God would think of justifying them.

Who would have ever thought that God would justify me? And yet Christ died to save sinners of whom I am chief. Only God would care enough to reach down through time and eternity to save me, from me.

Who is able to justify sinners like us? Could we do it ourselves? Never! Could we do more good things then bad and have a sort of salvation? Never! All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. Only God can justify. Only by the grace of God are we saved. Peter, led by the Holy Spirit, got it right:

10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:10–12

Thursday, April 19, 2018
les-24-nr-1.png
Grace Alone
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8–9 (KJV)

Grace is that circumstance of salvation initiated and completed in the heart of God as demonstrated in fulfillment by the Cross of Christ. Faith is our simple believing that God is the architect of our salvation and the author and finisher of our faith.

Grace can’t be bought with good works, it can’t be removed for bad works. It stands alone as the full pardon of our sinfulness regardless of what we do. We can’t pay God for grace for then it would not be grace. God’s unmerited favor is extended to all who sin, and it is received by all who believe.

We are saved by grace or we are not saved. We will never work up salvation, we will never pay or give anything to God that will balance the books between our sin debts and His grace pardon.

I suppose all of this is deeper than I like to think in my little brain. If you have read this far it may be that you are troubled at my feeble efforts to think theologically about our sin and God’s grace.

So, let me put it in the simplest of all terms: ACCORDING TO THE CROSS OF CHRIST YOU ARE FORGIVEN.



Friday, April 20, 2018

The Trifold Motive of God’s Grace

657ad5c9aaf7e735921b303c7a61ccb1
1. Grace allows the saved to participate with God in good works. We are His workmanship and we are called to serve Him with gladness. We are called into a eternal adventure, ministry, and service that is much more than we would have ever accomplished with Christ.


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

2. Grace brings us out of the temporal and into the eternal. Our greatest treasures must not be laid up on earth but in Heaven’s safe keeping.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (KJV)

3. Grace is far more than a free ticket to Heaven. There is much more in the here and now and in the hereafter!

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9–10 (KJV)
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Eph 2:7 (KJV)


Monday, April 23, 2018

The Vanity of the Mind

Aug26_ABQuote

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. Eph 4:17–19 (KJV)

Other people may indeed walk in the vanity f their minds; it should not be so of Christ followers. A good read on vanity is the OT book of Ecclesiastes. It was written by King Solomon who had been granted great wisdom. It is the “been there, tried that, now what” book. The pursuit of self-desire (wealth, health, pleasure, possessions etc) is all vanity.

1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. 2 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. 3 What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? 4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever. Eccl 1:1–4

The greatest treasure on earth is not stuff or self; it is life itself.

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Matt 6:19–21 (KJV)

It is a spiritual grace to turn from the ways of the world to the ways of Heaven.



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Way

6366
20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph 4:20–24 (KJV)


The vanity of the mind was our topic in Eph 4:17-19. Verses 20-21 remind us that we have no learned that way of life from Christ. Those who hear and are taught by Him learn another way to live. The way of Christ is the way of the disciple.

Believers are in the business of putting off the old ways and thoughts of the carnal life and putting on the new life in Christ with all of its glory, grace, and goodness. In my old life I would have smirked at those thoughts. But where Christ is Lord there is a powerful sense of glory, grace and goodness. Life is transformed as the mind is renewed and we learn to live in the way less traveled. This way that we go is not boring and legalistic, it is holy and right.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Put Off and Put ON

KJV_Matthew_9-17

20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Eph 4:20–24 (KJV)

The effect of grace wraps the heart of the saved in a desire to be transformed. Saved people do sin but we do not love it; it has become a great sorrow in our lives. If you can sin willfully, enjoy it, and feel no sense of sorrow about it, then it is likely you have not come to Christ.

Therefore, the life of the disciple is a journey of grace and repentance. We are constantly putting off the old ways and the old man. We consciously put on Christ, His righteousness, and His purposes. We not only want to hear what the Lord has to say, we want also to follow His teachings and do His will.

What are some things you want to “put off?” Can you identify hurts, habits, and hang-ups in your life that need removal and replaced with a new way of thinking and living? The putting off of the old must be accompanied by the putting on of the new


Thursday, April 26, 2018

It Is Finished

it_is_finished
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. John 19:30 (KJV)


When Christ gave up His spirit on the Cross his last words spelled the doom of death and sin. God’s work of saving grace was completed in that moment.

The wages of death for sin is paid, and all who believe are forever
ransomed and redeemed

.
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1 Tim 2:6

The enmity between God and man is forever reconciled for those who come to Christ.

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Cor 5:19–20

All of our sins past, present, and future are covered in the blood of Christ.

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:1–2

It is at the cross of Christ that God brings His salvation; all we bring is our sin.




Friday, April 27, 2018

The Convicting Work of the Holy Spirit

2012520_1

Yesterday we looked briefly at eh Finished Work of Christ for our salvation. Today we look toward the convicting work of the Holy Spirit.

By this work of God the gospel of His saving grace is revealed to the mind and heart of the unsaved by the Spirit of God. He convinces of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.

7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; 11 concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. John 16:7–11 (KJV)

Only by this illuminating work of the Spirit can the Satan-blinded mind of the unsaved (2 Cor. 4:3-4) understand the way of life in Christ Jesus.

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Cor 4:3–4


Monday, April 30, 2018

The Changed Life

31162325_1609899072460416_6651830161593335808_o
1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:1–10


Zacchaeus had was a short man of low stature. The one was physical issue and the second was about his character. The physical was nothing but the character issue was going to kill him. A Jewish tax collector for the Roman Empire was nothing less than a traitor to his people.

But grace called out to him and said he did not have to climb trees to be with Jesus, he needed to come down.

Grace brought him into intimacy with the Lord. And Grace was at work when his life was transformed forever. Grace can and will transform us too.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

1fe834f1e76ef9356a15557498c28f58

Grace Is Grace Because

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom 3:23 (KJV)

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:23


1. It is not limited in any way by the recognition of human guilt and sin. All of that is removed as far as the east is from the west by the Cross of Christ.

2.
It is not offered on any sense of human obligation. Grace is unmerited favor. It cannot be bought or earned in any way. Our service to the Lord are acts of worship and love. (They have nothing to do with appeasement).

3.
It is not based on any sense of human merit. Grace cannot be deserved, for we are not deserving. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We cannot bulld a tower of Babel that allows us to enter into the presence of God’s glory.

Our part in Gods work of grace is to believe.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:18


Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Our position in Christ is the motive of imitation.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12 (KJV)

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:26

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Eph 1:5

I will always remember the day I quit high school (in the twelfth grade). I was working in the cafeteria in Quantico Va. I had not gone home for a day or so because I knew Dad would not be happy. He walked in while I was working and asked what was my plan. I said I had decided to quit school, go in the Army and get a GED. He quietly said: “That’s OK if that’s what you want to do, it’s your life. Just don’t use my name anymore.” Then he turned around and walked out. The next day, I was back in school. Dad is gone to Heaven now. But that day taught me volumes about being a child of God.

He will never tell me to quit using the family name (Christian); but I am often reminded that the way I live and the decisions I make reflect on it.

6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:6 (KJV)
if-my-people-who-are-called-by-my-name-will-15016956
Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Keeping Work of God

1-thessalonians-5-23-24
"The dear biblical testimony is to the effect that the believer is kept always and only through the grace and power of God.

Because of the work of Christ on the cross, God is presented as not only being free to save meritless sinners, but He is presented as being free to keep those whom He has saved.

Under legal relationships people endured in order that they might be saved:

13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matt 24:13 (KJV)

Under grace relationships people endure because they are saved. God alone is "able" to keep.


28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:28"
Grace: An Exposition of God's Marvelous Gift.

The more we study the contrasts between law and grace the more we come to understand that the law points to our need for grace. And grace is that wonderful work of God that justifies, sanctifies, reconciles, and glorifies His people.

Once saved always saved. Eternal life is not eternal if it can be lost.



Friday, May 4, 2018

The Delivering Work of God

romans-6-12

"The Christian who is perfectly saved from the guilt and penalty of sin needs also to be saved from the reigning power of sin. God alone can save in any case, and therefore deliverance from sin, weakness, and failure is provided, not by human effort, but by the power of the indwelling Spirit; and is secured, not, on the principle of works, but on the principle of faith. Deliverance, too, is always and only a work of God."

Grace: An Exposition of God's Marvelous Gift.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Gal 5:16

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. Rom 6:12–14

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. 1 John 2:15–17

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13

We are delivered now from the penalty and the power of sin. We are being delivered from the presence of sin. None are sinlessly perfect in this life, but we can have greater victory over sin as we walk in the Spirit.



Monday, May 7, 2018

God’s Grace Will

3-15-12-copy
3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Eph 5:3–16 (KJV)


God’s grace will take us where we are, and how we are. But it won’t leave us that way.

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Eph 2:8

God’s grace will not only accept us how we are, it will change us from darkness into light: into the perfect man, the image of Christ.

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 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; Eph 4:11–14


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Life’s Healing Choices

51HYldAeSJL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Life happens. Happiness and healing are yours for the choosing.

16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:16–17 (KJV)

Church houses were never meant to be places for self-righteous people to strut. They are more like triage centers for those who have fallen in the sin wars. They are places of healing for the wounded. They are learning centers for those who would dare to be faithful followers of Jesus.

A church house is a meeting place of the church. The church is the people: wounded, broken, learners, disciples one and all.

Are you wounded? Do you find life is full of hurts, habits, and hang-ups? Then you may be ready to start making life’s healing choices. They are given freely by God to all who seek Him.

18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isa 1:18

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

meme-matthew-unto-me-1231857-wallpaper
TEN Ministries We Support and/or Serve
Pray for them this morning.

1. Life 107-Sex Trafficking

2.
The Hundred Movement

3.
MAPS

4.
Celebrate Recovery (At WHC on Tuesdays)

5.
New Direction Mustard Seed
6.
ABCCM Ashville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry

7.
Rescue Mission Western Carolina Rescue Ministries

8.
Room in the Inn (at WHC June 3-9)

9. Special Needs Ministries at WHC

10. Craggy Prison and Madison County Jail


Thursday, May 10, 2018


I could believe that Jesus would forgive sin,” says one, “but then my trouble is that I sin again, and that I feel such awful tendencies to evil within me. As surely as a stone, if it be flung up into the air, soon comes down again to the ground, so do I, though I am sent up to heaven by earnest preaching, return again to my insensible state. Alas! I am easily fascinated with the basilisk eyes of sin, and am thus held as under a spell, so that I cannot escape from my own folly.”

Spurgeon, C. H. All of Grace: An Earnest Word with Those Who Are Seeking Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. Chicago: The Bible Institute Colportage Association, n. d.. WORDsearch CROSS e-book.


21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” Matt 1:21 (KJV)
The promise is not that Jesus would just save us from the penalty of sin, or the power of sin. It would hardly be a good promise at all if it did not also save us from the presence sin.

This is the great longing in the soul of every believer: that we would sin no more. I for one have not fully attained this grace. But it pursues me, and I pursue it. It is like a dance of holiness in which I stumble, step on my toes and my Master’s. But still He holds me and lifts me up.

I cannot overcome the will of my old nature. But God can. This is why my life as a disciple of Christ is a continual journey into repentance. One day at a time. I am not as I used to be, but I have yet to see what I will be by His grace.

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2



Monday, May 14, 2018

Filled with the Spirit holy-spirit

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Eph 5:17–21 (KJV)

The “wherefore” in verse 17 harkens back at least to the beginning of the chapter and may refer to all that is written in the first four chapters. God calls His people to live godly. We are to live as Christ lived and as Christ now lives in us through the Holy Spirit.

If we are to know what the will of the Father is, we must be filled with the Spirit. A vessel filled with fresh water will have fresh water. But if anything is added first then it can never be “filled” with water. It will be filled with a mixture. If we add dirt first then the fresh water, we come up with mud.

The
filling of the Holy Spirit gives us power and purity to perceive God’s will and perform it. It is His presence that gives power over sin, joy in the Lord, and the ability to submit to each other in the fear of God.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Lord, We Long….

6120ef18e1c4ccb44073ac76cffedb7c
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Eph 5:17–21 (KJV)

Be not unwise.
It is possible to have much knowledge but not know how to use it. There are many educated foolish people. They are well schooled but don’t have the sense to come out of the rain. Wisdom is most worthy when it guides us to understand the will and ways of God.

Be not drunk with wine
The teaching here is about wine but the drug of the day may not be wine or alcohol. It might be pleasure, materials, pride, etc. Many people are intoxicated with themselves. Those who are filled with other things cannot be filled with the Spirit of God.

Be Filled with the Spirit.
We must be emptied of self and the world before we can be filled with God. There is one baptism when the Spirit comes into the life of a new believer, but there are many fillings.

Lord, we long to know and walk in your will for today. Let us be empty so we will be filled with You. Amen.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018
5119fb3d240f5475151e6bc04f2371ac
Making Melody
17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Eph 5:17–21 (KJV)

Verses 17-18 give a clear admonition for Gods’ people to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Verses 17-21 gives a snapshot of what that looks like.

Psalms, hymns, spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord give reference to the joyful attitude of the believer in an intimate relationship with God. Poetry and singing give deep expression from the heart and soul. Where there is no song there is likely no laughter. Something is missing in the life of a believer who cannot worship God in song. We may not be able to carry a tune but the issue is not our musical aptitude but our spiritual attitude. Love and worship must be expressed. Good music in worship is not so much about lyrics and sounds as they are about being less self-conscious and more God conscious.

Submitting your selves to one another in the fear of the God is all about loving God with joyful reference and loving his children without any reservation. Unconditional love for those who Christ died to save is the natural and spiritual outcome for a life that is filled with the Spirit. Such love is about more than affection, it is about preferring the other more than self.

10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Rom 12:10

21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. 1 Tim 5:21


Thursday, May 17, 2018
6e04c01128a8c80e004a1161ca680869

Jesus the Humble Holy One

3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Phil 2:3–11 (KJV)

Strife and vainglory ought not be found in the body of Christ. Love for one another should prevail. Murmuring tends to go away and the songs of melody in the heart take over.

Christ is our example. He is the humble holy one. When we begin to think as He thinks there is no room for selfishness. We are too busy loving others and no longer feel the need to fix them. Christ made himself of no reputation and took upon himself the form of servant (slave).

Humility is the lifestyle of faith. The humble become channels of grace. It is a matter of us holding hands with John the Baptist and making the confession over and over:

30 He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30


Friday, May 18, 2018

The Foot Washer

609a8e51cc2d23bc0f41c12019e14678
Jesus Washing Peter’s Feet, Ghislane Howard, contemporary.
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. 5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. John 13:3–16 (KJV)


21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Eph 5:21

Meet God. He is the King of kings, Lord of all, preeminent in all things, Creator, Master, Ancient of Days, Wonderful, Counselor, Prince of peace, Saviour, Redeemer, the Word made flesh full of grace and truth, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, Lion of the tribe of Judah, O! Lest I forget, He is a foot washer. Jesus is His name.

Foot Washer! Yes, that’s right, foot-washer. But why would He, the Lord of lords do that? Because He wanted to illustrate our place of serving each other, by taking the towel of service and the wash bucket into his own, soon to be nail-scarred hands.



Monday, May 21, 2018

Marriage, Grace and the Church Part 1

This+is+a+great+mystery,+but+I+speak+concerning+Christ+and+the+church.
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Eph 5:21-25 (KJV)


Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition. It is a 100% surrender of the husband and wife to each other before God. Before the text above calls the wife to submit to her husband, it calls on all of us to submit to each other in the fear of God.

The submission of the wife to the husband is about Divine design and order. It is not a reduction in value of the wife. Both the wife and the husband are equal in both sin and grace:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Rom 3:23

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

Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. The love pg Christ for the church is such that he died for us. The One Who washed the feet of the disciples also called them to walk with Him not as slaves but friends.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. John 15:12–15


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Marriage, Grace and the Church Part 2

il_fullxfull.1432844828_iqu0

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Eph 5:21-25 (KJV)

Connie and I did not come from happy homes. We married young and that was just one of our mistakes. Most of our family and friends expected we would divorce. One said he would buy us a new car if we made it through the first year. On February 1
st we will have been married fifty years. How did we do it? What kept us together in the trials and troubles of life? We did not have a good example to follow. We talked about calling in divorce lawyers more than once. But here we are. How did it happen? How did we manage to stay married when divorce is so easy?

The answer is simple: GRACE PREVAILED. God’s grace picked us up when we fell, steadied us when we stumbled, and sheltered us in many storms. God’s grace is more than sufficient.

Our home has become a safe place. We eat a lot, we laugh a lot, and we love loving each other. It has become a grand thing just to spend a weekend at home. Together. We have learned to give and take. The grace God gives us we give to each other all the time. The Christian principles in the text above work, and they work best in a home where Jesus is Lord.


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Marriage, Grace and the Church Part 3

il_fullxfull.1432844828_iqu0

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Eph 5:21–33 (KJV)

The husband bears the greater responsibility for the marriage and home. Why would I say that? A brief study of this text calls the wife to submit to the husband (and they should submit to each other). But the rest of it calls the husband to love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself for it.

The bold prints in the text above give focus on the works of Christ for the church. His love for us has placed in His heart a desire to meet our every need. My first years of marriage were about me. But as I grow in the Lord I find that most of my life is more about Connie. Early on I started asking myself this question: What can I do to help her be all that God made her to be?