Thursday, November 21, 2013

Your Sins Are Forgiven

A Sinful Woman Forgiven 
Luke 7:36-50 (NKJV)
36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”

50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

Monday, November 18, 2013

In Everything Give Thanks For This Is The Will of God For You

In a previous lesson we talked about how Jesus loves for us to come to Him as a little child.  We will continue this lesson by talking about "The Will of God For You".  I want to share with you a secret that I have learned that is really not a secret at all.  When I learned this valuable nugget of truth it seemed as though it was a secret because I had never understood this truth before.

What is this truth?  It's not all about me!  My life is not all about me, my desires or my will for myself.  I don't own my life to do as I once thought I did.  My life belongs to my creator, my Heavenly Father.  I mistakenly thought I was born to please myself, but I found out that I was born to please my Heavenly Father instead.

The more I read the scriptures the more the Holy Spirit reveals to me what pleases my Heavenly Father.  In 1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 my Heavenly Father reveal the key to me:

17 "Pray without ceasing. 
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
19 Quench not the Spirit."
Pray without ceasing - I believe this means to be in a constant state of prayer or communications with our Heavenly Father.  How do we do that?  Prayer is not just asking for things or needs.  Prayer is a communication directly with our Heavenly Father.  Through out the day I talk to my Heavenly Father about everything that is going on around me.
In every thing give thanks - In my constant state of prayer I give my Heavenly Father for every thing He has provided for me to enjoy; the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, the changing of the seasons, the friends and family that He has blessed me with.  These things are just of a few of the many I thank Him for when I talk to Him.  The more I give Him thanks for what He has provided the more He shows me His handiwork in my life.  The more He shows me the more I want to praise and worship Him.
For the is the will of God Concerning Me - His will for me to give Him thanks, praise and worship for at all times. The more I praise and worship in by giving thanks the more He blesses my life with peace, joy, and happiness.  The more I praise Him and worship Him the less I think about "ME" and my selfish desires.
I like the way the Amplified Bible says it: "Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]."
I like the fact that I can give my Heavenly Father thanks even in difficult times.  I give my Heavenly Father thanks when I don't feel like it. Why? He is worthy of my praise and worship even when I don't feel worthy.  He is worthy of my worship not because I love Him, but rather because He first loved us.
Quench not the Spirit - This means for us to not suppress or fight against the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts.  The Holy Spirit constantly speaks to our hearts and we can unconsciously resist the Holy Spirit's voice when we are full of worry and fear.  When we relax and let Him speak to our hearts then He can reveal to us the mysteries that God wants us to know.  He will reveal fresh revelation of Himself through the study of His Words.  He will give you peace even in the middle of a crisis or storm in your life.  Quit trying to fix everything going on in your life by your own will power.  Relax and let the Holy Spirit take over and He will work out all things according to His purpose
Now that you know God's will for you lift your hands, as the children in these pictures, and give God thanks for all He has done and is done for you.  Look for the little things He does and give Him thanks throughout the day.  The more you do this you will find that abundant life Jesus mentioned in John 10:10.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Just Shall Live By Faith

In the previous lesson Jesus asked the disciples, after He calmed the storm, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Mark 4:40 NKJV  The disciples had not yet learned how to exercise faith.  They had been with Jesus and had seen the miracles performed through Him, but they did not understand that Jesus had exercised His faith in God to preform the supernatural.  Jesus only did and said what the Father told Him to say and do.

The Just Shall Live By Faith

In this lesson we will look at some scriptures about the importance of living by faith:

Romans 1:16-18, Galatians 3:10-12, and Hebrews 10:37-39  Please read the entire chapter for each scripture mentioned and not just the verses mentioned alone.

Another scripture I want you to read about great faith is Luke 7.  Notice the Roman Centurion's faith and Jesus' reaction to this man's faith.  Please read the entire chapter and especially the last verse, ". . . it is your faith that has saved you, . . ."

I like this picture of the Roman Centurion because he's pointing as if giving a command.  He speaks and his men do exactly what he tells them to do.

Jesus exercised this same kind of command when He spoke to the wind as we talked about in the last lesson.  Did you know Jesus has given us, the believer, the authority to speak or give command to circumstances by using our faith?

Talk To The Mountain - Mark 11:22-24 NKJV

22 "So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them."
As a believer you have the authority to say or talk directly to the mountain in your life (circumstances) and "Be gone" and it will be done.  Believe that you have already received what you say, do not doubt in your heart and you "will have" what you have believed for.  Jesus is that one that said this and I want you to mediate on His words.  We have only scratched the surface of what it means to "Live By Faith".

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Speak To The Storm In Your Life

On October 30th I wrote an article titled "Perfect Love Casts Out Fear" about how Jesus was fast asleep in the boat that was being tossed to and fro during a fierce storm on the Sea of Galilee.  The disciples were so afraid they were going to die they awaked Jesus out of fear for their lives.

Jesus calmly gets up and walks to the bow of the boat and speaks to the storm saying simply, "Peace, Be Still!", and the winds obeyed His voice causing a perfect calm.  Today's lesson has to do with what Jesus said to the disciples after He calmed the storm.  He said in Mark 4:40 NKJV, . . . “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”  By asking that question Jesus is saying that if they were not so fearful they could have spoken directly  to the storm and the storm would have obeyed their voice just as it had His voice.

Now I know that many will disagree with me on this because of your past religious training that teaches only Jesus had the supernatural power to do all the miracles He did.  Did Jesus operate on this earth as The Son of God?  Was Jesus able to preform miracles while here on earth strictly because He is The Son of God?  The answer to both questions is "NO!"  It is true Jesus is "The Son of God", but Jesus is also an earthly man, born of a woman, and He operated on earth as a man.  

Where did Jesus' supernatural power come from then?  Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and as soon as Jesus came up out of the water power of the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus.  God then said, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased."  God was already pleased with Jesus even though Jesus had not done any miracles during His first 30-years of life as a man.  This is important to know and we will discuss this in more detail in a later lesson.

The Holy Spirit is the one that impregnated Mary in order for Jesus to be born as an earth man.  The Holy Spirit is the one that performed the mighty miracles through Jesus.  It was the Holy Spirit that dwelled in Jesus that also resurrected Jesus from the dead.  Jesus stated that He only does what the Father tells Him to do or what He has seen the Father do.  It is the Holy Spirit that sat on the throne of Jesus' heart and that is how He was able to hear and see God's instructions.  Jesus operated as a man by faith believing that God was fully able to accomplish what He said He would do.  Jesus was a man that lived and walked by faith as an example for us, the believers.

When Jesus paid the full price on the cross He redeem us from the curse of death.  Jesus was resurrected from death to life by the Holy Spirit and spent forty more days on earth teaching His disciples.  Jesus told His disciples that He had to leave, but He would not leave them alone.  Jesus promised them that He would send a helper, or comforter as the King James version calls Him.  The promised helper is the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit did come down and baptized the believers, in the Holy Spirit, when the day of Pentecost (50-days from passover) was fully come.

Jesus said that we can to the works that He did and even greater works than He did. The problem is that we have trouble believing some of the things Jesus said and the above verses are some of those.  The enemy comes along and whispers in our minds the same tricks he used on Adam and Eve.  He says, "Did Jesus really mean that you could do what He did?', 'You don't have the audacity to believe you can do greater works than He did do you?', 'Haven't you heard that supernatural miracles died out with the disciples and are no longer relevant for today?"  Some church doctrines teach their congregations that the supernatural events of Book of Acts, and other books of the New Testament, were for the early church only and not for the church today.  These churches do not believe in supernatural healing, like the miracles in Jesus' ministry, but yet they still pray for healing.

Is it possible the church has bought into the lies of the enemy therefore believing his lies rather than what Jesus said?  This is a tough question and I hope you take the time to read Jesus' words for yourself and question within yourself if your church's doctrines disagree with what Jesus said.

Jesus Promises Another Helper (Comforter)
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."  John 14:15-17
This same Holy Spirit that sat on the throne of Jesus' heart dwells in the true believer's heart.  Jesus lived, by faith, in every word He heard from our Heavenly Father as an example for us to live by today.  The power that lived in and worked in Jesus is the same power that lives in and works in us.  Study the scriptures for yourself and mediate on Jesus's words and then do what He says.  Read all of Matthew 7 for the full impact of what Jesus is teaching.

The reason I created this BLOG is because I have heard so many different believers, of various denominational churches, express their fears and confusions to me based on what they believe.  Unfortunately these people are so messed up emotionally they have trouble believing that even God cares if they exist or not.

I feel the Lord has placed on my heart to write each article with the intent of helping others to come to know just how much God loves them and wants them to enjoy life, and to live it abundantly.  I pray that you will open your minds to receive what God is saying to you as you read and study the scriptures mentioned.  Please feel free to send me an e-mail if I can answer any questions for you.

In our next lesson we talk more about how you can speak to the circumstances (storms) of your life and see miracles happen in your life and the lives of others around you. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Become Like Little Children

One thing I've noticed in studying the scriptures is how much Jesus loves little children.  Check out what He says in Matthew 18:2-4 Amplified Version:

2 "And He called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them,
And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all].
Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

and in Matthew 19:13-15 Amplified Version:

13 "Then little children were brought to Jesus, that He might put His hands on them and pray; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
14 But He said, Leave the children alone! Allow the little ones to come to Me, and do not forbid or restrain or hinder them, for of such [as these] is the kingdom of heaven composed.
15 And He put His hands upon them, and then went on His way."

Notice in the above verse the disciples thought the children were bothering Jesus, but to Jesus they were not a bother at all.  Why did Jesus love children so much?  I think the answer lies in Matthew 18:4 - Jesus welcomes those that come to Him with a humble heart that is loving, trusting, forgiving, and lowly (less important than others).    Children are an example of a trusting heart that is not burdened down with worries and cares of this life.

Believers are considered Little Children

Jesus called His disciples "Little Children" in John 13:33.  Paul called the church "Little Children" in Galatians 4:19 .  John called the church "Little Children"in 1 John 2, 1 John 3, 1 John 4, and 1 John 5.

Two Kinds of Prayers - Two Kinds of Attitudes

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 "Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ 13 And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:9-14 NKJV

I love to hear my Grandchildren pray as they pray with such innocence and faith.  Their prayers are always heard because their prayers are from an attitude of humility.  In the parable above Jesus teaches us about two different men praying to the same God and both men's prayers are heard, but only one man's prayer was received and answered.  The first man had a conceited and arrogant attitude boasting in his works.  The second man prayed with a humble heart boasting in nothing of himself.  His prayer was offered up to God seeking God's mercy because he knew his works were worthless.  This man's humble heart was made justified in God's eyes and God will exalt this man because of his humble heart.

To repent means to have a change of heart, a change of attitude.  Take a moment to examine your heart, as Zig Ziglar called it, "A Check Up From The Neck Up!"  Another phrase of Zig's I like is, "Stinking Thinking!"  Is there any stinking thinking in your heart, your attitude, or your prayers?  If there is then repent (change your direction, your heart, your thinking, your attitude) and become like little children.  When you do you will see changes in your life as the Lord will lift you up with joy and peace like you have never known before.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

What Do You Want For Your Birthday?

This week my wife asked me what I would like to have for my 65th birthday this month.   I couldn't think of anything so we went out looking around at different stores from some ideas.  I did see some really nice things, but I realized nothing really interests me.  This morning I searched online for ideas and found some music cd's and books that kind of interested me, but not enough to say to her, "This is what I would like to have!"

Things or "Stuff" doesn't interest me now as it has in the past.  I have found that I am content with such things that I have.  As I look back on my past I find myself being very excited about the wonderful events and circumstances that I have been blessed with.  Oh, yes I know there were setbacks along the way, but I count it all for joy and do not have any regrets.  There are some situations whereas I failed the test, but the good new is the Lord took those failures and turned them into blessings.

My life has been an exciting adventure, and so much so, I can say that I praise God because I have been blessed exceeding and abundantly beyond all that I would think of or even ask for.

The only personal gift I could come up with is shown in the Jesus art above - if you want to give me a gift for my birthday give me a hug when I see you.  And, if I do not get a chance to see you then I want you to hug your children, your wife, your husband, your parents, or a friend and tell them you love them.

Since I do not have any needs or wants for stuff the only other thing I could think of, to celebrate my birthday, would a gift given to help others.  Should any you, or any of my subscribers, family members, or friends desire to celebrate my birthday then give a gift by helping others -  here is a sample list of ministries that I support:

Why do I support these various ministries?  Jesus made it very clear in Matthew 25 that when we give of our personal time and money helping others we are ministering to Him also.  Our giving of ourselves, in service of others, is our calling, our ministry according to Jesus' statements in this chapter.  Notice also what happened the goats (the foolish, selfish, and unrighteous people on His left hand) in verses 31-46.

Check out the following list of sample circumstances of hardship Jesus gave as areas of ministry:
  • hungry - Feed the Children, The Salvation Army, Room In The Inn, GraceWorks, Nashville Rescue Mission
  • thirsty - Gospel for Asia (wells for water)
  • stranger - The Salvation Army, Room In The Inn, Nashville Rescue Mission
  • naked - GraceWorks Ministries, The Salvation Army, Nashville Rescue Mission
  • sick - Nashville Rescue Mission,
  • in prison - Angel Tree: Prison Fellow-ship
One ministry I left out was "YOU", you see we (the righteous in Christ Jesus) have all been called as ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  What was Jesus' ministry?  Everywhere Jesus went He helped people.  Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to get involved in the ministry of helping others through your time, your talents (skills and abilities), and your money.

I pray that you will accept your calling and fulfill your destiny God has called you to do.  Celebrate my birthday this month and Jesus' birthday next month through your giving and you will find yourself blessed exceedingly and abundantly beyond all you could think of or even ask for according to the power that works in us.  Ephesians 3:20,21