Tag Archives: Following Christ

Who Is God?

Turn with me in your Bibles to Jeremiah chapter 1. Jeremiah comes right after Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon, Isaiah, JEREMIAH. Jeremiah was known as the “Weeping Prophet”. Why? Because God had been good to Israel, but Israel turned away from God. God’s people were chasing sin. God’s people had become indistinguishable from the lost peoples around them. So God sent Jeremiah to a hard hearted people with an uncomfortable message.

Jeremiah preached to Israel more than 40 years. The Book of Jeremiah, is the longest book in the Bible by Hebrew word count. It has 22,285 Hebrew words.

Jeremiah Teaches Us The Goodness
& Faithfulness Of God

We see God’s goodness in Jeremiah’s appointment: We are told in Jeremiah 1:1 that these are “the words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, of the priests that were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin” (1:1). Jeremiah is the “son of Hilkiah”. Jeremiah’s father “Hilkiah” is the Hebrew חִלְקִיָּה Chilqîyâh, {pronounced khil-kee-yaw’}, which means “The LORD {YHWH} Is My Portion”. The Priestly Tribe of Israel, the Levites, were given no land when they entered Canaan. As priests, God was their Portion (Deuteronomy 10:9; 18:1-8). As the son of a Priest,… Continue reading

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Jesus’ Prayer From Calvary

Turn with me in your Bibles to Psalm 22.

The disciples watched everything Jesus did. Watching Him pray:

Luke 11:1 … as {Jesus} was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

One of His disciples came to Jesus one day and said, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples”. That was when Jesus taught them what we call the Lord’s Prayer. The Lord’s Prayer we know best in is Matthew 6:9-13, but the Lord’s Prayer is also recorded in:

Luke 11:2-4 And {Jesus} said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

This, I’m sure, is a different “Lord’s Prayer” than the one most of you have memorized; but Luke’s account has all the same elements as does Matthew 6:9-13. Continue reading

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Be Strong – Grow In Grace

We are not saved by:
religious ritual, by bead counting, by praying to a saint or to Mary.
We are not saved by animal sacrifices, nor by holy water, nor by
ceremonial baptism (which is but a like figure of salvation – 1 Peter 3:21). We are not saved by genuflection, by a human priest’s blessing,
by last rites, by institutions, by human efforts.

We are saved by Grace. 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 anyone should boast”. It is the sacrifice that Jesus made on the Cross that saves me. When I received Jesus as Lord and Savior, believing Him to be the one and only Messiah, the Savior, and believed He died for my salvation, and rose from the grave for my justification – then God the Holy Spirit saves me. It is the Spirit of God that causes the Christian to be “born again”. Not as we were, but as children of God.

It is GRACE that brings us to the new birth. It is GRACE that makes the new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Rituals do nothing. The Apostle said:

Galatians 6:15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature…. Continue reading

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Reject Not The Counsel Of God

Saving faith comes to Jesus, and bows down at His feet. Saving faith clings to Jesus, adoring
Jesus as the Savior and Lord.

Simon had been greatly blessed by God. One commentary suggested that Simon might have been a leper that Jesus Himself healed, and so he now invited Christ to his home to “even up the score”. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I do know this.

You cannot be saved and NOT love Jesus. “We love Him, for He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). Though Jesus was a Guest in Simon’s home, he made no effort to provide even the smallest amenity – like a wash basin and a cloth – to the Lord. He fed Jesus, but begrudgingly. The woman, on the other hand, ministered to Jesus. She ministered to God! Jesus said, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little… Continue reading

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Jonah’s Prayer

I often have people tell me, “God doesn’t make us do anything. He has given us free will!”. If you agree with this, you need to read your Bible. Our God, He is Lord. He is in control of all things, and decides what will be. This is what we call sovereignty. Our God “works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11). If God is NOT sovereign, then how can the Scripture promise:

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

There is no “working together for good” if God is not in control. “By Christ Jesus all things consist or are held together” (Colossians 1:17). God said in

Isaiah 45:5-7 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create {calamity}: I the Lord do all these things.

And the Psalmist said in 115:3 (ESV), “Our God is in Heaven; He does whatever pleases Him”. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 19:21 (ESV), “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. The stepbrother of Jesus, James said in 4:14-15 (ESV), “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that”.

Our God is in control. Yes, He has given us free will, but HIS WILL will triumph. God does not bow to us, but we bow to HIM. He is God. He is the Potter, and we are the clay. He is the Shepherd, and we the sheep.

Are you at Jonah? Let’s start at verse 1:

Jonah 1:1-2 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me…. Continue reading

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The Nature Of Marvelous Faith

Atheists and humanists have faith. They have faith that there is no God, no Creator Who made all things. Their faith is in themselves, in what they do or perceive. These people believe that “I can do all things through myself who strengthens me”. There are many like this in the world. What does God say of those who are atheists? “The FOOL hath said in his heart, ‘there is NO GOD’. They are corrupt. Their works are abominable, and no good at all” (Psalm 14:1).

Some have faith in technology. They believe that technology will make our lives great. Medical technology will, they believe, extend life indefinitely. Artificial intelligence will usher in a paradise on the earth.

Some have great faith in politics or philosophy. They believe that, if their party or position were dominant, that America would blossom. Others put… Continue reading

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Memorial Service for Bill Tanner

John 3:16 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.

This verse is taught to children in Vacation Bible Schools. Most every person I meet has memorized the text. But this verse is part of a conversation that the Lord Jesus Christ had with a Rabbi named Nicodemus.

Nicodemus thought that he was in a good place with God. He was religious. He came to Jesus by night to commend the Lord. Nicodemus was a good man. But was he where he needed to be with God? No. Though he was good and moral, Jesus told Nicodemus:

You must be born again. Unless you are born again,
you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Heaven is God’s Kingdom. Heaven is God’s home. … Continue reading

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Faithful Is The Word (Part 3): Gospel Truths

This past Sunday we looked at several of the Apostle Paul’s “faithful sayings” that he gave to Timothy and Titus. Timothy was chosen of God to build the Church in Ephesus, whereas Titus was building the Church in Crete. Paul introduced these faithful sayings with πιστός λόγος {pistos logos}, or literally, “Faithful is the Word”. Our Jesus is faithful. God’s Word is faithful. Tonight we turn to,

1 Timothy 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

When We Are Saved By The Word Of God,
We Must Feed Our Souls On The Word Of God

Word Study:We read “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation”, pistos logos, which means “Faithful is the Word”. This pistos logos focuses on the word of the world, and the Word of God.

God’s Word is faithful, but man’s word is not.

In our world today there is the unprecedented spread of evil, spread liberally by technology. Now, I’m not against technology. I love technology. I program my own computers with the Linux Operating System, because – to me – Bill Gates and Microsoft are greedy for money. I use the internet to study and research Scripture. There are amazing resources available freely to those willing to use them, resources that used to cost hundreds of dollars to access. Praise God for the internet. Praise God for technology. But Beloved, you need to know that Satan himself uses the same devises to evil.

Satan and the fallen world has always used God’s
good gifts for evil, and always will!… Continue reading

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Faithful Is The Word (Part 2): Gospel Truths

Please turn with me in your Bibles to 2 Timothy. This morning we began to look at the “faithful sayings” the Apostle Paul shared with two young men, Timothy (a Jewish Greek) and Titus (a Gentile). Paul left these men in Ephesus and Crete to establish local Churches in those areas. We see Paul repeating a phrase:
“This is a faithful saying”
the Greek pistos logos, or literally
“Faithful is the Word”

In these phrases the Apostle is emphasizing the faithfulness of God in saving souls. This morning we saw that (1) God came to this earth the save sinners, and (2) God has given us a Faithful Word, the Holy Scripture, to grow us in our salvation.

The Lord Who Saved Us, Owns Us, And Will Keep Us

2 Timothy 2:11-13 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 if we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

This “faithful is the Word” is tied together with FOUR Ifs. We’ll look at these in order…. Continue reading

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Faithful Is The Word (Part 1): Gospel Truths

Let’s start by looking at the first five words of our text, “This is a faithful saying”. This is only two words in the Greek, πιστός λόγος, pistos logos, which means “Faithful is the Word”. This phrase is found several times in the books of Timothy and Titus. This is it’s first use.

Our Lord is Faithful To Save Sinners

Our Lord has some fifty names in Scripture. He is:

The Dayspring from on high (Luke 1:78)
The Alpha and Omega (Revelation 1:8)
The Amen, the Faithful & True Witness (Revelation 3:14)
The Bread of Heaven (John 6:32)
The Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4)
The Deliverer (Romans 11:26)
Immanuel, God With Us (Matthew 1:23)
The Door Of The Sheep (John 10:7-9)
The Heir of All Things (Hebrews 1:1-2)
The Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)
The Light of the World (John 8:12)

One of the earliest descriptive names of our God is FAITHFUL:

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God …

Our God is FAITHFUL. Our God is Father, Son, and Spirit. Our God is “The Word”. Remember those wonderful words:

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Faithful is THE WORD! Oh, this Jesus, this Eternal Son of God, of Whom the Scripture says …… Continue reading

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