Tag Archives: love God

Mislabeling Jesus

Already we see Satan’s hand at twisting the truth. The Pharisees and Scribes are at the Synagogue with Jesus not to worship God, but to find something they can use to “accuse” Jesus. These people have redefined religion, redefined Judaism. The Great or Primary Commandment of the Law (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:29-30; Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 30:6) is

Matthew 22:37 (ESV) … You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

The second pillar of the Law is:

Matthew 22:39 (ESV) … You shall love your neighbor as yourself ..

Jesus said “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:40). That is, if you were to take the Law of God and condense it, these two commandments are the foundation upon which the Law rests. God’s faith is relational, not ritual. This unnamed man with the withered hand is suffering. If the Scribes and Pharisees were in the same position, they would want to be healed – even on the Sabbath Day. Redefining religion, they make it more ritualistic than relational. The Psalmist knew this, and said “You, O God, do not delight in sacrifice … you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings” (Psalm 51:16). God wants a relationship with us, with His people. He wants us to be in union with Him, loving Him and others…. Continue reading

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Being A Good Soldier Of Christ

Unless believers pass on Bible truths to the next generation, the Gospel light cannot continue to burn. The Books of Timothy were written by the Apostle Paul to pass on Biblical truths in a world covered with darkness.

Paul met Timothy (or his Roman name, Timotheus) in Acts 16 during his second missionary journey. We read:

Acts 16:1-3 Then came {Paul} to Derbe and Lystra: {located in Southern Asia Minor & Turkey} and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, {or Timothy} the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, {Eunice} and believed; but his father was a Greek: 2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

Timothy gave his life to the Lord, and committed to following the Apostle Paul as he moved to start new churches. Though Timothy’s mother Eunice and grandmother Lois were believing Jews (see 2 Timothy 1:5), Timothy’s father was a Gentile. Because of this Timothy had never been circumcised. Though the Apostle believed that:

Colossians 3:11 … there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Circumcision is not necessary for salvation. Nonetheless, Paul asked Timothy to be circumcised since he had a Jewish mother, so that his lack of circumcision would not hinder his ministry among the Jews. Many of the Pharisees would not even listen to an uncircumcised person. There’s a principle in this that we need to understand. … Continue reading

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The Faith That Perseveres

The religious leadership of Israel had gradually moved away from God.

The Pharisees placed more emphasis on being physically born a Jew, and on knowledge of Scripture rather than application of Scripture.

The Pharisees, Scribes, and Priests of Israel gathered together in conspiracy, we are told in …

Matthew 26:3-5 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty {conspiracy}, and kill him. 5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people {political conspiracy}.

As Paul said,

1 Thessalonians 2:15 {they} both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets…

The Jews plotted against Jesus. They hired men to tell lies about Jesus at His trial. They held Jesus’ trial at night so there would be few witnesses to what transpired. In short, those who should have known better violated numerous teachings in God’s Word in order to get rid of Jesus. They did the same thing with the Prophets that God sent to them. Jesus said of these pitiful religious lost people:… Continue reading

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Walking Worthy Of The Gospel

It shocks me, but doesn’t surprise me when the lost do terrible things. This past Tuesday, May 24, 2022 an 18 year old man named Salvador Ramos went into Robb Elementary School and killed nineteen children and two adults. Seventeen others were wounded. The young man earlier that day shot his own grandmother in the face, severely wounding her.

What creates such a horror? People are quick to blame guns, and call for gun control and additional laws, including enhanced background checks prior to the sales of guns. Sadly, there’s no easy answer that government can give us to the problems we face in our nation. The first murder in the Bible was not committed with a gun, but an unnamed weapon (Genesis 4:1-10). The horror is not in the weapon, but in the heart of the one who murders another.

Had Ramos gone into that classroom and killed 21 people with a machete, or a stick of dynamite, or a poison gas, it would be just as horrible. The horror is that his heart could yield a weapon to destroy lives made by God.

What are the first causes of this terrible behavior? Bloodshed, murder and mayhem are pushed through network media and the larger movie screens and streaming services, along with sexual perversity of every kind. Children are allowed to play video games where they participate in bloody mayhem. The Bible says:… Continue reading

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Two Wandering Hearts

The world loves to blame it’s woes on something or someone else. Dear ones, the action you take, moment by moment, will lead to whether you are blessed or cursed tomorrow. God has given you the gift of life. You have neither earned it, nor deserved it. What you do with that gift is up to YOU. You can twist the gift. You can choose poor companions for your journey. I heard one speaker tell a group of graduating High School students:

“The friends you embrace today will determine your future tomorrow.”

Let’s look at Luke 15 –

the longest “Parable” Jesus ever Created

Someone asked Jesus one time, “Why do You speak in parables?” (Matthew 13:10). Jesus said, “Because the Godhead wants you, My followers, to understand the truths of the Kingdom of God, but the Godhead does not… Continue reading

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Let’s Live To Please Jesus

Lifeway Research, one of our Southern Baptist Resources, released a mid-pandemic study May 2021 on the state of the Church in the United States. The study noted that prior to the pandemic “In 2019, approximately 3,000 Protestant churches were started in the U.S., but 4,500 Protestant churches closed…” The information did not just come from the Southern Baptist denomination, but analyzed “congregational information from 34 denominations and groups representing 60% of U.S. Protestant churches to arrive at the church plant and closure numbers for 2019”. In 2014 there were more openings than closings of Churches, but in 2019 the trend reversed.

The American Church is experiencing a demise, though we live in a place of amazing freedoms. However the early Church GREW in a hostile Roman and Jewish world.

Christians were not only persecuted by the Roman Empire for the first 300 or so years that the Church started, but the Jewish religious authorities actively sought out and persecuted Christians as members of a cult. The term “Christian” was not a compliment. The Bible says:

Acts 11:26 … the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

An article in Relevant Magazine entitled “Where The ‘Christian’ Name Really Came From” notes:… Continue reading

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Saving Our Nation

Turn with me in your Bibles to Jeremiah Chapter Five.

The Book of Jeremiah is the longest book in the Bible. By counting the number of words in Hebrew or Greek, Jeremiah has 33,002 words, whereas Genesis has 32,046. Jeremiah is also a very difficult book to read – and few Christians have ever read or contemplated its words. Most believers look at the Book and think, “This only deals with Israel and Judah – not with the Church. Jeremiah wrote to a people under the Old Covenant of works. The Christian and the Church are under the New Covenant – so there’s nothing here for me”.

I disagree. The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things which happened to Israel and Judah are examples for us in the Church Age (1 Corinthians 10:11). Further, the Apostle wrote:

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: 17 That the {believer} of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

When the Evangelist Stephen (Acts 6:8) preached Christ at the “synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians” just prior to his martyrdom, Stephen referred to Moses and Israel, saying:… Continue reading

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Choose You This Day

Turn with me in your Bibles to Joshua chapter 24.

Joshua is an old man now, ready to retire as the General of Israel’s Army. Joshua made a decision as a young man to follow God. He has led Israel through battle after battle, to victory after victory, because he followed the Lord. At the end of the road Joshua had many more blessings than he had cursings. Why? Because he chose to follow God. He chose to rest in God’s Grace.

Someone asked me the other day, “If God is all powerful, if God is everywhere, and if God is ultimately in control, then why is our country – our world – in such a mess.”

The problem is not God’s, but ours. God is gracious. God is faithful. And we consistently keep choosing to walk apart from God. You are the sum of all the choices you have made in life. And Beloved, you are responsible for the choices you make. … Continue reading

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My People Have …

Adam and Eve were given rule over all the earth. “They were both naked … and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). They were stewards of all creation in God’s stead. What happened? The Serpent (a picture of Satan – see Revelation 12:9 & 20:2) came into Eden and, like Monty Hall, offered Adam something in place of what he already had. Adam took the bait. He switched a ten dollar bill for a figment of his imagination hundred dollar bill. Adam didn’t just lose Eden. Adam didn’t just lose the world. Adam lost his relationship with God. Adam traded his relationship with God for something worthless.

We repeat this pattern over and over.

In the Book of Jeremiah, the Prophet is speaking to a nation (Israel), warning them that destruction is coming. Last time we were in this Book, we were in chapter one. There God gave Jeremiah two visions. He had the vision of:

Jeremiah 1:11 … a rod of an almond tree… Continue reading

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Without …

God hates sin. Sin calls for death, separation from God. God despises sin because it causes His creation (us) to be far from His embrace. Sin separates us from God (Colossians 1:21). Evil is sin’s outworking.

BEFORE THE CROSS the ONLY place you could receive forgiveness for sins was at the Temple.

BEFORE THE CROSS the ONLY way you could receive forgiveness of sins was by sacrifice of animals via the priests of Israel.

What Animal Sacrifices Teach Us

Only by the shedding of blood is there remission of sin. Why was it shedding of animal blood? Because a sinner cannot pay for the sins of another sinner. Man is fallen. We are all broken, all sinners. Innocent animals were sacrificed to cover man’s sins, but this covering was temporary and insufficient.

A perfect Man was needed to make proper payment for our sins. There were no perfect Men, so God made one!

The broken cannot make a perfect Man – so God decided to do so. God Himself entered into His creation as Jesus Christ. The Book of Hebrews tells us that it is only Jesus that can make purification for sin (Hebrews 1:3). It is only Jesus Who – among all humans – entered this world without sin. It is Jesus that the Father said,

Hebrews 1:8 (ESV) “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom”

Jesus Christ is God the Son, Who came into this world to save us from our sins. The Scripture says:… Continue reading

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