Saturday, May 27, 2023

What Does the Lord Require? – Part 3

Rapeseed grow on April 29, 2023 in Châlons-en-Champagne, Marne, France. The price of rapeseed fell very low, falling from 750 to 440 euros. While...

Michael continues:

In a fallen world where people call evil good and good evil, the devil will take the truth of the Word of God and twist it to his purpose. The Bible says, For the thief (the devil) comes not but for to steal, to kill and to destroy. However, Jesus Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  

What does the Lord require of thee? What are God’s requirements? Men and women think that success is tied to performance. God has the authority to claim that which He requires. For it is He that has made us, created procreation, and not we ourselves. Before we can approach a holy God, the requirement is that we come to Him with a broken and a repentant heart. The Bible says that because of sin in our lives, “For in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.” We have to repent and accept Christ as Savior and Lord. To approach the throne of God, we must forsake our pride. If God has to break our hearts in order to approach him, then thank him for breaking our hearts knowing that forgiveness, salvation and restoration of relationship is there.

There are three things that God requires of us in order to approach Him. The first is to do justly. To justify is to “make right”. Apart from Jesus Christ there is no justification, because only He died for our sins. The Bible says, “For he who was without sin was made the perfect sacrifice for sin on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.” To do justly is to live in the righteousness of Christ.  

God’s second requirement is to love mercy. The nature of God himself is loving kindness and tender mercy. The love of God is the motive behind the actions to activate the Spirit of God in Christ in us. For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but believing faith that worketh in love.

The third and final requirement is to walk humbly with thy God. Humility means to forsake my own pride. My prayer is not to conform God’s will with my will, but to conform my will with His will and my heart with His heart. When we deliberately keep our hearts in proximity with our Lord Jesus Christ, walking in the light as He is in the light, the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The abundant life is to walk humbly with thy God.

To return to the Lord, we as individuals, and as nations, must forsake our pride, humble ourselves, pray, and turn from our wicked ways. Look to the ways of God. Then when we approach our Lord with a broken heart of humility and meekness, we will hear from heaven and God will hear our prayer and heal our land, that we might walk in fellowship with our Father and with our Lord Jesus Christ in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. For what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? That we may live our lives to the praise of the glory of His grace!

Your brother in Christ, Michael

Friday, May 26, 2023

What Does the Lord Require? – Part 2

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Michael continues: God will not allow sin to hinder His divine purpose. When nations and governments turn their hearts away from God and the truth of His holy Word, God will allow the consequences of sin to bring a nation to its knees, to find Him. In Micah the northern kingdom of Israel had turned their backs on God and His righteous laws. God allowed them to be taken captive into Babylon.  

Likewise in our current times, 2 Timothy 3:2-5 describes people in the last days who have forsaken God and the righteous standard of his holy Word. The Bible says, For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

The prophet Micah wrote to the southern kingdom of Judah to warn them about the consequences of forsaking the Lord their God. The choice for those who have been called by God is truth or consequences. According to Micah 6:6-8, “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?” The question is, how shall I approach a holy God. What can I do to appease Him in order to stand in His presence? What sacrifice can I bring that is worthy as an approach offering? “Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”

The answer is in Micah 6:8: “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” God doesn’t want your outward sacrifice. He wants your heart. He doesn’t want your vain ritualistic offerings of the blood of lambs, goats, and bullocks. He wants the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving from a pure heart of love and gratitude. He has shown us what is good. Good means “fit for the purpose for which the designer designed us.” God wants us to delight in the Law of the Lord ... for blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor sits in the seat of the scornful nor stands in the way of sinners. But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law doth he meditate day and night.

In the midst of trials and tribulations of this world, it’s easy to become disheartened and discouraged. The little obstacles of life are frustrating and steal our focus from the things of life that really matter. Therefore, guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Unless we guard our hearts, the devil will use the distractions of this world to separate our hearts from God’s good purpose. The world’s secular definition of success is diametrically opposed to God’s purpose. The challenge of this life is to be careful when climbing the ladder of success. The greatest failure is that after a lifetime of climbing, we realize that our ladder was leaning against the wrong wall.

Let's finish Michael's message on the next post.

InChrist, Brian

Thursday, May 25, 2023

What Does the Lord Require? – Part 1

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There is a saying: everything was going good … until it wasn’t. It’s been a bit rough for my family for the last week and much to do, with a short time to get it done. We are still in the middle of the situation and racing to prepare for the emotional climax next week. I’m sorry for my lagging on these posts. Any prayers are appreciated. 


Here is Michael’s message for this week, where he reminds us that in the midst of interesting times, we have the privilege of tasting and seeing that the Lord is good. The Bible tells us: For all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Trials, tribulations and tests are to prove His character in us. The world thinks that reproof is a bad word. However, reproof means to re-prove God’s power in us over and over. For tribulation works patience and patience experience, and experience hope, and hope makes not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us. We learn something.

Many Old Testament verses are applicable as we confront the trials of our present hour. Jeremiah 29:11-13says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall you call upon me, and you shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah was called the “weeping prophet.” He had a heart of love to serve God’s people. His heart was broken because Israel had forsaken the word of the Lord. The name Jeremiah means “God’s elect.” God chose, called, and elected His prophet Jeremiah to declare that whom the Lord loves, he chastises. Because they had turned their hearts from God, Israel would be taken captive into Babylon.

In Jeremiah 24, God gave Jeremiah a vision about Israel and Judah. In the vision he saw a basket of rotten figs and a basket of good figs. According to Jeremiah 24:2-3 says, “One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad. God showed Jeremiah that the good figs represented the faithful believers who had been taken captive to Babylon. Despite their captivity for Israel’s forsaking Him, God promised those faithful to His word that God would eventually return them back into the Promised Land. This promise is in verse 6: For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.”

God in His mercy and grace always allows room for repentance when His people return their hearts back to Him. The Old Testament book of Micah shows us how faith fits into a broken and corrupt society. When God seems distant, Micah reminds us that there is hope for those who approach the Lord with a broken and a contrite heart of repentance. When we stray from His Word, God loves us enough to discipline us for whom the Lord loves, He chastises. The word of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof and correction. To correct means to restore to an upright position. When are verticals are aligned according to His will, then our horizontals are much more enjoyable.  

Let's continue Michael's message in the next post. In Christ, Brian

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

For the Profit of All

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1 Corinthians 12:4-7 “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”


Our Wednesday evening Small Group Bible Study is going through  series on the Holy Spirit. Natural we come to the gifts of the Spirit and the manifestation of the Spirit, but less known is the reason for the gifts and their manifestation. The purpose to these gifts to born-again Believers is for the profit of all. This reminds me of what is written in Matthew 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” 


In 1 Corinthians 12:7, the Greek word for “profit” is “sympherō”, meaning that which is profitable. In Matthew 16:26 it is the Greek word “Ōpheleō”, meaning to assist, to be useful or advantageous, to profit. The point is that the purpose of the gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit to the born-again Believer is not about their profit, as much as it is about equipping them for the profit of others. Each individual saint (meaning those who have been sanctified in Christ) has the same Lord and has been given different spiritual gifts for ministry by the same Spirit for the advancement of the kingdom of God. 


1 Corinthians 12:12-14 goes on to say, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” The children of God are the body of Christ, each uniquely gifts as the Spirit willed for a specific ministry use that works in unison with the other uniquely gifts brothers and sisters in Christ for the common good of the entire body and the profit of all. 


1 Corinthians 12:24-27 goes on to explain that “God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” The is honor, purpose and value in every part of the body of Believers, and each gifted individual respected for their valuable contribution to the entire body as a whole. 


God cares about each individual that He created, but we cannot become conceited about the spiritual gifts that we are given. They have a godly purpose and it’s not about “me”, but about “us” and “them”, helping and encourage others for the glory of God and the spread of the Gospel. They are ultimately for the profit of all.


In Christ, Brian

Monday, May 22, 2023

The Fullness of Time

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Galatians 4:4-7 “But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out,  “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”


Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. The Lord is outside of time, but sees and controls all of time, which He created. We live in a finite physical world and do not easily grasp that our infinite Almighty working out his over-arching plan on earth and bringing forth His will when He determined the fullness of time. 


With original sin in the Garden of Eden causing the fall of man (which He saw coming), our heavenly Father immediately implemented His plan of Salvation for the forgiveness and restoration of man through the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, sent by God as a free gift to redeem those under condemnation by His blood, giving eternal life and adoption into the family of God. The gift of God is the Savior of the world (God with us), given by God’s grace and received by saving faith. Born-again Believers are then given the Holy Spirit (God in us), as our Helper, our Comforter, our Counselor and our teacher to dwell inside our heart through life.  


As reconciled children of God, we rejoice with the Spirit gratefully proclaiming “Abba (Daddy), Father”! And Christ, Our Savior and Lord is our brother as we all inherit the kingdom of Heaven in the fullness of time. All praise, and honor and glory be to God, our Father, and to His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord in life. 


In Christ, Brian

Saturday, May 20, 2023


 George Washington, Prayer at Valley Forge 16 x 20 | eBay

Isaiah 45:22-23 “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath.”

 To bow the nee in prayer and worship to God was such a common occurrence. I wonder if it still is? I remember bowing at my bed a prayer heartfelt petitions to the Almighty: "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take." Then thank God for each member of my family before hopping into bed. Did you do that too?


Ephesians 3:14-16 “ For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man.”


To bow the knee is to show one's deference [reverence]. This phrase can literally refer to the physical act of kneeling in submission; to yield, to submit in respect. Matthew  Henry stats that when we draw nigh to God, we should reverence him in our hearts, and express our reverence in the most suitable and becoming behavior and gesture. Have we became too casual in our praying and worship? Have we taken who God is and what He has done for us lightly? I guess that this is a self-check for me. I read these verses and see if I measure up. Do I bow the knee,  confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and live 


Philippians 2:8-11 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”


 BRIAN TODD BLOG: A Snow White Prayer

In Christ, Brian

Friday, May 19, 2023

God in Us

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1 John 4:12-15 “No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”


In daily devotions, breaking down a passage and deliberately deliberate on the words of Scripture, their meaning and their application in life is uplifting, affirming, faith-building and path-directing with purpose. This apostle tells us in John 4:24 that “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” This infinite sovereign Creator who created time, space and matter is Spirit (outside of time, space and matter) and cannot be seen visually, but spiritually and His Almighty works are evident in creation. 


1 John 4:7-11 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” This human, person to person “love one another” is the Greek word “agapaō” meaning to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly. But this love of others stems from God’s love, which is the Greek word “agape” meaning the supernatural affection, good will, love, and benevolence of God which He extends to us. 


1 John 4:19-20 “We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” To abide means to be, or exist, to continue; to remain, to dwell, rest, continue, stand firm, or be stationary, not to depart, to continue to be present, not to perish, to last, endure. To love one another is evidence that God is abiding in us, living in us, perfecting us in His love. We abide in God and we experience the unity of the abiding presence of God through the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit.  


We see sin for what it is, against God, our Maker, The godly guilt identified leads to repentance and acceptance of the forgiveness, redemption and salvation found only in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ as our blessed Savior unto new life from above with them in God and God in them daily, adoption into the family of God and eternal life in Heaven. Proclaim the Good News that lives inside of you. And as God proclaims in. Ezekiel 37:27, “My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”


In Christ, Brian