Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lazy Daze

Proverbs 6:6-13 Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy people. Learn from their ways and become wise! Though they have no prince or governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter. But you, lazy people, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? NLT

Proverbs 6:6-13 NLTThe lazy person claims, “There’s a lion on the road! Yes, I’m sure there’s a lion out there!” They seem to always have an excuse for their inability to get what they need to do done, when in reality they just don’t want to put out the effort do their share of the work. How many times do you hear people say, “I don’t have time” for doing something that they truly needed to do, but if you followed them for a day they would be embarrassed at all the wasted time and activities they engage in daily? I realize that I may be talking about me and you.

14 As a door swings back and forth on its hinges, so the lazy person turns over in bed. They spend they time sleeping, resting, sitting in front of the television, on the computer surfing or socializing, on the phone gabbing or texting, or somewhere playing games, where true responsibilities in life, necessities which they are accountable for, are being intentionally and willfully neglected. How are you & I?

15 Lazy people take food in their hand but don’t even lift it to their mouth. What you don’t earn, you don’t own or value. For example, I remember other teenage kids who were given a car by their parents and how they neglected the upkeep, trashed the interior, and drove with reckless abandonment. But other kids who paid for the bill for their car and the maintenance/upkeep would value and protect their ride. It was their money that was being spent, so it was truly their vehicle. This principle is applicable to everything. We don’t take lightly, what we earned, deserved and paid for by our good hard work. It is good to be industrious, because this creates value. It has been said: “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.”

16 Lazy people consider themselves smarter than seven wise counselors. I had a co-worker that would go out to a job and look for every reason that he could not do the job. At the end of the day, he would give the job print back to the boss with a list of all the reasons that he could not perform the work. The boss would then hand the job print to me and I would go out the next day and complete the work. It wasn’t that the work couldn’t be done, but the co-worker spent so much time in backwards thought and imagination to create intellectual arguments not to do the work. Instead of seeking ways to avoid, correct or eliminate obstacles, he manufactured them, so he wouldn’t have to do the work. Do we all do this in many other areas of our lives?

It is important that we keep our priorities straight. The most important thing in life is our salvation by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. We must also remember that we are not saved by the good and godly work that we do, but do have good and godly work to do that the Lord has put before the “workers in the kingdom of God”. We do not work to get saved from Hell, to God’s Heaven. There are no scales to determine if the “good” works outweigh our “sinful” works, so that we can earn our way in. Other false religions may say, “Do good works to reach heaven”, but Jesus says believe in me and “my finished work” on the Cross that paid for your sins and salvation. Christ said “It is finished” – Done. We do not work diligently, earnestly and honestly “to get saved”. Our Heavenly Father works and He has prepared good works for us. Jesus, our blessed Redeemer, worked and we desire always to please Him. We work, and we work hard, because we are saved. Laziness is not an option.

Ephesians 2:1-10 “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good works he planned for us long ago.” NLT

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In God We Trust

Psalm 145:1-13 “I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, and I will declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness. The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. All Your works shall praise You, O LORD, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power, To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.”

With what is going on today in America and around the world, it's not hard to see that people are looking for definition in their life. The clear boundaries of God though His Holy Word and the leading of the Spirit have become foggy & gray as the decreasing knowledge of the Bible and Jesus have opened the door to progressive change from godliness, led by and walking with the Spirit, to the perverted desires of the sinful nature and the unbridled works of the flesh (Galatians 5). Though looking for godly and positive lives, many of our brothers and sisters in ministry see this lack of knowledge of biblical moral absolutes defining “right & wrong” happening in our world today. Searching for meaning to life outside of the Gospel truth do not define true life, but leads to the situation of the blind leading the blind, because that which the Lord says is sin is contrary to our Triune God - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. So people are redefining their life based upon not only what they think is "right" in their own eyes (Joshua 21:25), but what secular humanism propagandizes as "right". The moral compass is on the world, the flesh and ultimately Satan. The loving, secure and safe boundaries lines for our lives (God's commands, statures, decrees, teachings, laws, et cetera found in His holy Word) are not only unclear, but being erased. Tolerance, normalization and acceptance of sin moved public opinion of Jesus from Lord and Savior to just Savior. Intolerance by sin towards Jesus is attempting now to remove the Redeemer of the world as Savior in public opinion and life. Where Jesus has commissioned His followers (the born again Believer, and the Children of God & the kingdom of heaven) to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."(Matthew 28:19-20), it is the secular society that is evangelizing us, our children and the world to forsake God, Jesus and the Holy Scriptures. Even some, so called, Christian denominations are saying that the Bible is NOT the defining authority on human behavior. Lives are being redefined along with sin and the consequences are the rejection and dismissal of God and the Bible as their Maker's will. The secular message is that the Word of God no longer matters, creating lost souls looking for meaning for life and the definition of love, joy, peace, and happiness that they disparately need and desire in all the wrong places. We know that God is in total control and in the end He wins, but what are His children to be doing to make an influence on this culture today, for Christ's sake on this generation? Shouldn't each and every one of us be telling everyone within our sphere of influence, and to the best of our God-given ability, about the gospel of Jesus Christ - the great Hope of mankind who are seeking definition for life but lost and dying in sin?

Because young people that I am close to are telling me that they are being pressured and tempted by godless friends and classmates to abandon what these Atheist call the "fairytale of a God" and turn their back on a faith in something that they believe does not exist ... to give themselves over to the sinful nature completely. The reality of secular humanism is not something that I can ignore. The darkness of unbelief is not really asking for tolerance, equality, or acceptance. There is a hidden agenda. It is asking for the abandonment of faith in God and the gospel of Jesus Christ by Believers. To eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow you die (Luke 12:19) is the theme of the day in the darkness of humanist America, and they what to rid this land of the Light of Christ. Morals, ethics, character, manners, charity, and faith in God are under attack. I believe that every professing Christian needs to stand up and join in this spiritual war happening today in America for the hearts, minds and souls of those that need to find the foot of the Cross, where they will not only find their loving Lord and Savior, but the true definition of their life in Jesus Christ. It’s not just a fight for souls for God, but a fight for America!

Mark 8:34-40 “When Jesus had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Fruit of the Spirit - Part Two

Ephesians 5:1-10Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”

The conditions of the sinful nature (the ungodly desires of the flesh) and the conditions of the fruit produced by walking in the Spirit of God are heart conditions. If the light of the Holy Spirit, through the repentant and regenerated heart of the born-again Believer by the atoning and redeeming death of Jesus for our sins, the resurrection of Christ defeating sin & the power of death, and the ascension of the Savior to the right hand of God in Heaven to intercede for the Saints, to judge, rule and reign as Lord of all, where the fruit of every heart, could you imagine the wonderful world that God’s green Earth would be? Not tolerating sinful and ungodly behavior, but crucifying them to live in the true Spirit. Let’s continue now with the list of the “Fruit of the Spirit” and see the blessings from God.

Faithfulness – keeping faith; maintaining trustworthy allegiance marked by a loyal sense of duty and responsibility – full of faith and true to your word and God. Joshua 24:14-15 "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Psalm 100:4-5 "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." Proverbs 3:3-4 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” The faithfulness of God.

Gentleness – having been brought under the subjection of the Lord, connotes a new natural disposition of being mild, docile, polite, refined, serene, soft and soothing; taming the old nature. Philippians 4:4-6Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 1 Timothy 6:10-12 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Peter 3:13-16Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” The gentleness of God.

Self-control – control of one’s emotions, desires, and actions; oneself and one’s passions.
Proverbs 25:28Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” 2 Peter 1:3-7His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

The passage comes to this godly conclusion: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Our Creator God, our Maker, our Heavenly Father, in his loving mercy & grace, sent Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and Savior, to take the penalty and pay the price for our sins with His innocent blood, taking our place on that cross to buy our forgiveness, restore our right relationship with God, free us from bondage, condemnation and eternal damnation, to citizenship and eternal life in Heaven with Him. Shall we not live for our Lord and Savior? By rebirth in the Spirit, shall we walk in the Spirit? May we nail the sinful nature and flesh desires to the cross and follow the fruitful life discipleship and serving Jesus. May this message be a light to those in darkness.

2 Corinthians 6:2-10Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” Living and walking in the Spirit; alive in Christ!

In Christ, Brian

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Fruit of the Spirit - Part One

Galatians 5:16-18 & 22-25 "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

It makes so much sense that we naturally have a sinful nature handed down to each of us through original sin; carnal desires of our flesh that are contrary and in conflict with the Holy Spirit that indwells within the heart of each Christian. Now that we’ve defined the acts, the works and the results of this sinful nature, let us look at the fruit of the life that is led by the Spirit, lives by the Spirit and walks in and aligned with the Spirit. This is a life not under the law and wrath of God, but free from the bondage of sin and filled with the happiness that each and every heart truly desires.

Love – passionate attraction, unchanging devotion and ardent affection by our living and loving God, in personal relationship. 1John 4:7-9 & 19Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. We love because he first loved us.” The Love of God.

Joy – the deep and spiritual experience of gladness, happiness, rejoicing, pleasure and delight by gratification of the redemption, salvation and security of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Psalm 16:8-11I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Habakkuk 3:18I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” The Joy of the Lord.

Peace – The state of tranquility; exemption from private quarrels or from war; freedom from fears and worries; a calm and quiet spirit despite the present moment or permanent situation or circumstances, knowing that Almighty God is always and forever in control. Psalm 29:11The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.Isaiah 26:3You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” John 14:27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” The Peace of God.

Patience – Forbearance and Long-suffering from a godly prospective that produces endurance without anger, complaint, or reproach. Luke 8:14-17Now the seed (The Word of God) that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.James 1:2-4My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”. God never promises that there with be no storms (trials & tribulations) in life, but promises to be with us through the storms and that we will learn to be stronger, wiser and more patient from them. The God of Patience

Kindness – the essential character, manner & nature of sympathetic, friendly, gentle, tender-hearted, generous, loving affection and benevolent actions habitually manifesting this disposition. Nehemiah 9:17You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them.” Psalm 117:1-2 “O praise the Lord, all you nations! Praise Him, all you people! For His mercy and loving-kindness are great toward us, and the truth and faithfulness of the Lord endure forever. Praise the Lord!” Colossians 3:11-14Christ is all and in all. Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.” The God of Kindness.

Goodness – the state or quality of being good, this virtue gets its original euphemism from the word ‘God’, so essentially means godliness: being godly. Psalm 16:1-2 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. O my soul, you have said to the LORD, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.Psalm 23:5-6You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.” Psalm 23:5-6Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.Romans 11:22-23Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness] if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.” The Goodness of God.

Like the post for the acts of the "sinful nature", the list of the fruit of the Spirit is going to take another day to properly define and back up scripturally. I'll end here and pick up from this point on my next post. I pray that this blesses you as much as it is blessing me to reseach, pray over and write ... for it is for the glory of God, in the name of Jesus.

Romans 12:2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Do not partake of the sinful and forsake the Lord; be holy, happy and fruitful, living and walking in the Spirit.”

In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Sinful Nature - Part Two

Galatians 5:16-21So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

We continue now with the Apostle Paul’s list of attributes of sinful nature, so that we can recognize and reject the desires of the flesh that are contrary to God’s perfect will. Here is the remainder of the “works of the flesh” list, defined and associated with a Bible verse or two for meaning, that we may identify and truly understand what we, as Child of God, do not gratify when we, by the grace of God, live and walk in the Spirit daily.

Selfish ambition - Prideful care of ones own needs and desires for advancement in wealth, honor and power, which include worry and strife towards others. Psalm 119:35-37Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” Philippians 2:3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Selfish ambition, not of God

Dissensions & seditions- Fostering the offensive spirit and maliciously stirring up hate, discontentment and rebellious feelings among the people. It is non-conformity and disagreement for the sake of making trouble, disturbing the peace, and messing with the mind; to hurt. Colossians 3:7-9You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices.” Dissensions & seditions, not of God

Factions - heresies - A belief contrary to Christ for the sake of sin with a Party spirit. Not only not of God, but against God and the people of God. 1 Corinthians 12:24-26God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body (of Believers in Christ), but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 2 Corinthians 12:20-21I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.” Factions, not of God

Envy - to covet. A feeling of discontent with resentful dislike or ill will because of another’s advantages, qualities, possessions, position, wealth, et cetera, that one desires. Proverbs 23:17Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the LORD.” Ecclesiastes 4:4And I saw that all labor and all achievement spring from man's envy of his neighbor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Mark 7:21-23 “For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.James 3:16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” Envy, not of God

Murders – Homicide, mentally or physically with malice aforethought. Matthew 5:21-22 "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." Romans 1:28-31Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.” Murders, not of God

– Inebriation; consumption of alcoholic beverages with the purpose of intoxication; drinking to get drunk. 1Corinthians 5:11I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people.” 55% of all accidents are alcohol-related and Liver disease is the most prevalent cause of alcohol-related deaths, followed by car accidents and cancer. Ephesians 5:15-18Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” Drunkenness, not of God

Orgies & revelries – Any excess of indulgence & self-gratification or boisterous carnal partying. Romans 13:12-14The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” 1Peter 4:1-3Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” Orgies & revelries, not of God

And the like, meaning any thought word or deed contrary to the word, will or way of God. This list of obvious acts of the sinful nature ends with a promise: “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” There are only two roads at the judgment seat of Christ – eternal life in Heaven & eternal punishment in the lake of fire (aka Hell). It’s our choice where we put our heart and which road we choose to follow. This gives a more clear meaning to Psalm 118:8It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” But the Passage doesn’t not end here – Galatians 5:16-21 tells us what the Holy spirit produces in the regenerated heart of the Believer and disciple of Jesus Christ; that lives in the Spirit and walks in the Spirit of God. This is what every heart desires in life and truly seeks for contentment.

I shall pick up there on the next blog post. May you & I live in the light and truth of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, to be a light in this dark and sinful world. May we glorify God, our Maker and Father in Heaven, and live a life worthy of our salvation.

John 8:31-32Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

In Christ, Brian

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Sinful Nature - Part One

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So many people are seeking happiness in all the wrong places, with a godless world system that encourages a life that walks on the “wrong” paths, lacking virtures & values, when all the time it was faith in the one true God of the Bible and the finished work on the Cross by His Son, our Lord and Savior, that fulfills our heart's desire, that produces the good “fruit of the Spirit”, that brings true happiness. The Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:16-26 explains the spiritual life and death battle that takes place within us between the sinful nature (the works of the flesh) and the Holy Spirit. We hear and are so familiar and blessed by the fruit of the Spirit, but the Apostle names the attributes of sinful nature also, that we recognize and reject the desires of the flesh that are contrary to God’s perfect Will and grieve our soul unto death ... for the Christian, death on a Cross by Jesus. So I took some time to write the “works of the flesh out, defined them and associated a Bible verse or two for meaning, that we may identify and truly understand what we, as Child of God, to flee from (sin) as we, by the grace of God, walk in the Spirit daily.

Adultery – Sexual relations between two persons either of whom is married to another person; violation of the wedding vows of faithfulness and violation of the commandment of God. Exodus 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery." Matthew 5:27-29 "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery. 'But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. Matthew 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. Not of God

Sexual immorality - Fornication (sex outside the context of marriage created by God between one man and one woman – husband & wife) and including lust before the sexual act – thinking is doing to God. 1 Corinthians 6:13 The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Not of God

Impurity - uncleanneessThe state of not being clean in moral character, in thought, word or deed. Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Not of God

Debauchery - lewdness - lack of self-resistance in the lustful & lewd indulgence of any appetite and sensual pleasure, and corruption of another's virtues. Pornography. Unchaste wanton. Romans 13:13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 1 Peter 4:3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. Not of God

Idolatry - The worship of idols or excessive devotion. Anything that you love more than God and His Holy Word, and anyone that you love more than Jesus. This is spiritual adultery; the forsaking of God. 1 Corinthians 10:13-14 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 John 5:20-21 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. Not of God

Recreational drug use – This associates with sorcery & witchcraft in dark arts associated with altered states of mind and evil spirits. Deuteronomy 18:13-15 You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. Not of God

Hatred - Bitter dislike and a desire for evil towards others. Animosity. Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. John 15:17-19 These things I command you, that you love one another. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Not of God

Discord - A nature lacking harmony and active conflict, disagreement or dispute with people and life. Proverbs 6:16-19 These six things the LORD hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren. Not of God

Jealousy - The demand for exclusive affection or attention. It involves envy and suspicion in a selfish competitive rivalry. Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is cruel and anger a torrent, But who is able to stand before jealousy? Romans 12:2-3 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Not of God

Rage & wrath - Anger with fury and indignation. Scorn in a dishonorable and unjust nature. Ephesians 4:30-32 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Not of God

I shall stop at this point, and shall continue from here in my next Blog post.
Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.

In Christ, Brian

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Psalm 37: 5-11 “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.”

Is the Lord Jesus enough? Is His strength more than enough when we need it? The unregenerate heart, turning from the living & true God, thinks that religion is esoteric and for those who are weak. But religion is man’s attempt to reach God through his own efforts, while Christianity is God, by His mercy & grace, reaching down to man to save and give understanding without any effort of our own, except to accept the free gift of God. Having not surrendered to God’s plan, the natural man, obsessed with sin is an offense to the Cross. They lack a personal relationship with God through Christ the Savior. But the Christian church exists to know God and make Him known; to reach out and evangelize this lost world - so those outside of the faith (those who do not know the gospel of salvation through Jesus) may be brought inside. To realize that we have sinned against the just & holy God, our Maker, and sincerely ask, “What must I do to be saved?” that the forgiveness & redemption in the gospel of Christ might be offered and accepted in the born again heart. We don't change the message, the message changes us. In doing so, we convert a meaningless life of vanity and immorality into a meaningful life of worship and enterprise, walking in the Spirit – from death to life. God created a “good” world, in which He gave us all a choice to make, using our free will. We are free to choose and devotedly follow Jesus or free to choose sin and self. In Christ, God changes our heart, not our mind. In Christ there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1); we may rest and rely on God, our Father in heaven. A heart towards Jesus changes our life.

Psalm 31:1-6In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth. I hate those who cling to worthless idols; I trust in the LORD.”

Who is keeping us from following Jesus Christ? Break away and flee from sin, because though we are in this egocentric world, we are not of this sinful world. Our citizenship is in heaven. We’ve been sent to influence this lost world as a light for Christ, the Redeemer; not being influenced by the world, the flesh and Satan. We are created to know God and His will for our lives through His Son, the Savior of the world. Do it the Lord’s way and live the abundant life. We need to be thinking and living biblically, because we live in a materialistic community that is starving for the Word of God and for a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Our devotion is a witness for the Lord to our culture. Isaiah 38:3 "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes."

In Christ, Brian