Believers are Receivers

Believers are Receivers

Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness… COL 2:6-7

Relevant Scriptures Selected:

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” John 13:20

“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. Matthew 10:40

From Gill we gather: As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord,…. Receiving Christ is believing in him: faith is the eye of the soul, that sees the beauty, glory, fulness, and suitableness of Christ; the foot that goes to him, and the hand that takes hold on him, and the arm that receives and embraces him; so that this is not a receiving him into the head by notion, but into the heart by faith; and not in part only, but in whole: faith receives a whole Christ, his person as God and man; him in all his offices, as prophet, priest, and King; particularly as a Saviour and Redeemer,

Henry writes: All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God.

My pondering: It is football season again. One analogy I see is playing catch; being a receiver. When the Gospel ball is passed our way, the receiver’s primary job is to catch it. By keeping his eye on the ball and squeezing it at the proper time a reception is complete.

Once the reception is complete, the next step is to run to glory, God’s glory, without fumbling. That’s a great feat.

The next step is to become a quarterback back and make the next critical pass. Be assured coach Jesus is pulling for us, the Owner wants us to score and we have all star Spirit on the field doing the impossible. Yes, our opponent is formidable but greater is He that is own our side than the other. Thanks be to our great leader, we win because of His greatness.

The question is what team are you on and are you even out on the field?

My prayer: Jesus, thanks for all You have, are and shall do to ensure we receivers are winners. Without You impossible, with…all possible!

Pondering

“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Luke 2:19

Mary recognized the great things happening in and around her. Certainly having an angel speak and carrying God in your womb is amazing but she could have chosen not to BUT she didn’t. She pondered with a sense of wonderment.

We each have amazing things around us too. Do we ignore and squander them or do wMary recognized the great things happening in and around her. Certainly having an angel speak and carrying God in your womb is amazing but she could have chosen not to BUT she didn’t. She pondered with a sense of wonderment.

We each have amazing things around us too. Too many to count. Do we ignore and squander them or do we act like Mary did?

Electrical

Why do I believe that Heaven is real, that Hell is also a real place, and that I have everlasting life? Is it because the Bible says so? Yes and No.

Let’s say I’ve been waiting for weeks to move into a newly-built house. Time after time there were problems with the electrical work, to a point where I almost lost hope it would ever be done.

Finally I see a sight I can hardly believe. It is a signed note pinned to the door of the house, saying, “The electrical is done. You now have power. Flick the switch.” I flick the switch and the power comes on! So I then conclude that the note was certainly authentic. That conclusion didn’t come because I welled up some sort of belief in the note, but because the note proved itself to be true when the power came on.

God’s note is the Bible. It says, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…I will give you a new heart…Old thing pass away, all things become new.”

I believe the Bible, not because I welled up some sort of faith in its words, but because it said that God would make me a completely new person if I would repent and trust alone in Jesus.

It authenticated itself as the Word of God by supernaturally doing what it said it would do. The power came on and transformed me overnight into a brand new person.

This didn’t come about because of anything I did. It was a completely independent source of power that took me out of darkness and brought me into light. Therefore every other promise in it about Heaven, Hell, and everlasting life is utterly true altogether. – Ray Comfort

Though an imperfect analogy: we are the bulbs, Christ is the electricity, the Holy Spirit is the conductor / hardware, the Father is the power plant. Our faith is the switch and the light that illuminates is His glory.

Luke 2:32
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

Dual citizenship

To every American Christian:

We are on the same team. Let’s not let anything divide us. Red, White and Blue are our nations colors here and beyond.

Let’s not forget the United States of America is just our temporary home. We hold dual citizenship.

We each bleed RED and covered by the precious blood of Christ. Whatever our flesh color is it is marred as its infected by the sin virus.

Our sins have been made WHITE as snow by Jesus’s work on the cross. Our God is off the cross and dwells in the bright WHITE of life.

Let’s keep looking up into the BLUE sky which is where our help comes from and Heaven awaits.

God has named every STAR and loves you more than all of them. By His STRIPES, we are healed.

Rise and fall

I am fully persuaded our country, and most of modern world, is feeling the pains of its stready seperation with the God of the Bible.

He hasn’t moved, we have.

This past Saturday there were two horrific shootings in the cities El Paso and Dayton. Unfortunately, these have become all too common.

No doubt the lack of quality parenting coupled with 24/7 access to violent TV, movies, music and video games many people are lacking self control and are desensitized to violence and prone to snap.

Compounding the problem are the huge increase with people on mind altering drugs, much of which is prescribed.

The US of America needs to repent and get back to the basics. We need to rediscover our roots and relationship with Jesus Christ.

Thankfully, there still is significant percentage of born-again believers and a culture of Christianity, however we are a now a minority, a sub culture.

Our problem is not gun control rather its self control. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit. The bottom line is love. Love doesn’t kill the innocent indiscriminately.

God whispers in our success and comfort, He speaks routinely, often through nature, in everyday life and He screams in pain

God is calling. He just screamed this past weekend. Is anyone listening?

“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts,”

Mar 7:1 — Mar 7:23

Defilement Comes from Within
(Matt. 15:1–20)

Then the Pharisees and some of the scribes came together to Him, having come from Jerusalem. Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, “Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?”
He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”
He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother’; and, He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say, ‘If a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban”—’ (that is, a gift to God), then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother, making the word of God of no effect through your tradition which you have handed down. And many such things you do.”

When He had called all the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

It is sad as it may be you are your own worst enemy and I am mine. At the same time, we can partner with God and allow Him to be our best friend. By His help, our new inner man has the power to control the old fleshly inner man. Perhaps not control him 100% of the time but enough to keep him in the shadows. We can’t kill him but we strengthen the new so the old becomes weaker and becomes mostly atrophied. No one on this side of heaven is sinless but we can sin less. Often time as we grow closer to God we sense our sin more, at least we should, so it seems bigger but we need to hold it in perspective.

The most effective means of winning the battle is to ‘think on these things’ which are pure and good while practicing the spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible reading, meditation on Godly stuff, and fasting. We decrease and allow God’s influence to increase, this is abiding.

Exhalting self through our innate pride is an addiction. The first step to overcome any addiction is the realization of the problem. The second is to extract it while back filling it with a greater good. Then, we need to maintain by focusing on the true and great benefits of the new good habit. After a few weeks or months, it become our 2nd nature.

Success includes enduring the betrayal of false friends

Most everyone who has led a group for a decent period of time has been betrayed.

You expect an enemy or even a stranger to do you wrong but when someone whom who have trusted double crosses, steals or is dishonest, it hurts all the more.

Betrayal bites!

I love this poem by Emerson entitled, ‘Success’.

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden, a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Scripture, certainly David in the Psalms, knew a thing or two about betrayal.

Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God. He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has broken his covenant.

The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, But war was in his heart; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.

Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Psalms 55:19-22

David himself was a king of betrayal himself as you may well recall. He repented with the help of his mentor, the true prophet Samuel and God received him back after much lament.

When we are betrayed, we need to release it to God, trusting that:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romana 12:14-21

Those are crazy words from a humanistic personal point of view but they are one’s of faith and contain supernatural power!

Let God handle it!

Nonetheless, it still hurts.

Be assured, God knows plenty about betrayal and forgiveness. He is just and righteous. He will reward the faithful and obedient, one this and the other side of Heaven.

Yes, ‘Let go and let God’ is a tried and true saying.

We must learn from mistakes and learn from false betrayers but we are wise to trust some regardless of the future uncertainty because ‘nothing ventured is nothing gained’.