April 24. 2019

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9 NIV

Warrior;

It is important that we know what the WORD that we are reading means.  Understanding the WORD of GOD, requires that we sometimes go beyond the WORD that has been translated to the ORIGINAL language.  The old and new TESTAMENTS were written in the language of ‘the day’, when it was written.  The old was written in Hebrew and Aramaic and the New was in Greek and Aramaic.  In addition to the different languages, some words have multiple meanings.  The word ‘set’ has almost 400 variations and uses.  So we need to know what WORDS were meant by the WORD that was used. Over time, words can change and thus their meaning.  So we must go back to the original language to get the purest meaning and intent.

Leader, the word used here BELIEVE, is the word ‘pisteuo’, it has the meaning of, “convinced of something” and “to give credence to”, it also has a further inherent meaning. It also means to “trust.” NO OTHER OPTION- a life vest!  If we believe in the biblical meaning of the word, then we are TRUSTING CHRIST to save us—NOT a good life, NOT church attendance, NOT water baptism, NOT taking of the sacraments, or keeping of the commandments. In other words, NOT of our own WORKS, so that NO MAN can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is through FAITH alone, by GRACE alone, in CHRIST ALONE!

Conduit, no better word brings out the meaning of believe to a twenty-first century listener than the word TRUST. We must be sensitive to the fact that some people believe in Christ in the sense that they accept Him as a historical figure who died and arose; however, they are not trusting HIM ALONE to save them, which is what the biblical word believe conveys. As we share the gospel, we must explain that God requires the individual to TRUST IN CHRIST ALONE- plus nothing- for salvation. Only when we trust in Christ alone to save us is God satisfied. To believe in the biblical sense of the word is to trust in Christ alone as the only way to obtain eternal life with God. In the words of AMY GRANT: In Christ alone, my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song. This Cornerstone, this solid ground-firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace? When fears are stilled, when strivings cease- My Comforter, my All in All. Here in the love of Christ I stand! Amen.

April 23. 2019

making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, -Ephesians 1:9-11 ESV

Warrior;

During the thousand years of its composition, almost the entire Old Testament was written in Hebrew. Some of it was also written in Aramaic. this language became very popular in the ancient world and displaced many other languages. Aramaic was most likely the daily spoken language of Jesus’ time. The New Testament, however, was written in Greek. Greek was the language of scholarship during the years of the composition of the New Testament from 50 to 100 AD. Most Jews could not speak, or even read Hebrew anymore- around 300 BC a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek was undertaken, and it was completed around 200 BC- it is called the Septuagint.

Leader, when translating from Aramaic, Hebrew or Greek there is NOT ALWAYS an exact word or phrase that is equivalent, so we have many different translations to get us as close to the original meaning as possible. The King James translation, and others, in v10 use the word DISPENSATION. The Greek word (oikonomia) so translated signifies primarily, a stewardship, the management or disposition of affairs entrusted to one. God has this WHOLE thing mapped out! He is in control, it is HIS timing, it is HIS management, it is HIS Administration of the CREATION! Douay-Rheims Bible translation puts it this way: In the dispensation of the fullness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in him. It’s all coming back to THE BEGINNING- God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth! Jesus was there as the CREATOR of all things, and He is being RESTORED to HIS rightful place!

Conduit, we need to know what TIME IT IS! Many Bible scholars believe there are 7 DISPENSATIONS- Periods of God’s work with Mankind. The first would be the dispensation of innocence, before the fall- Gen 1:28.The second would be the dispensation of conscience, immediately after the fall- Gen 3:7. The third, dispensation of human government, immediately after the flood-Gen 8:15. The fourth, dispensation of promise, God’s call to Abraham- Gen 12:1. The fifth, dispensation of the law, beginning with the ten commandments- Exodus 19:1. The sixth, dispensation of the church, beginning with Jesus’ earthly ministry- Acts 2:1. The seventh, is the dispensation of the kingdom, Jesus’ 2nd coming- Rev 20:4. GOD IS IN CONTROL. GOD is the Master Manipulator, making all things work for HIS GLORY and the GOOD- for those who BELIEVE, for those who LOVE GOD, for THOSE who are called according to HIS PURPOSE! Get on GOD’s TIME CLOCK- because the TIME will be SOON, for the dispensing of JUDGMENT!

April 22. 2019

And He said to them, “Come with Me privately to a solitary place, and let us rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

-Mark 6:31 BSB

Warrior;

Jesus is calling us to some ALONE time, some SLOW DOWN time. We get so busy doing THIS WORLD, that we have very little time for the one to come. We are so busy with work, with school, with our wedding plans, our retirement plans, the playoffs, football season, soccer season, kid’s events, vacations, our plans….

Leader, just like Jesus, Peter, John, Elijah, Moses; we all have 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week and 365 in year. We are called to spend our time where it matters- with HIM. Are you giving God your first fruits, your TITHE of your time? We must remember if we are truly sons and daughters of Jehovah, then we will stand before the WORKS judgment of Christ. All our works will be thrown into the fire and only that which we did FOR Christ, for the GLORY of GOD, or because of our LOVE FOR GOD- will withstand the FIRE!

Conduit, we must remember: If the devil can’t make you BAD, he will make you BUSY! Jesus is calling us to spend time alone with HIM studying HIS WORD and seeking HIS WAY! Your LOVER is calling you for some daily INTIMACY. Lord Jesus-INTO ME SEE- Search me Lord, examine my heart. Remove anything keeping ME from being closer to YOU, oh Lord!

April 21. 2019

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split, and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. – Matthew 27:50-52 NIV

Warrior;

This is why Easter is the most important holiday on the CHRISTIAN’S calendar. BECAUSE, if Christ has not been raised, what we preach doesn’t mean anything. Your faith doesn’t mean anything either. (1 Cor 15:14) You can go visit the tomb of Mohammed, Buddha and Gandhi. You can visit the final resting place of Kings, Presidents, Paupers and Criminals. But you can’t visit the final resting place of Jesus because HE HAS RISEN! When the Marys’ went to the tomb in the morning an angel of the Lord spoke to them: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead. (Matthew 28)

Leader, Our HOPE is; knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. (2 Cor 4:14) In some celebrations of the time leading up to the PASSOVER, for “Lent” people give up “something” to remember what Jesus gave up for us. Not only did Jesus GIVE UP His Spirit, He gave UP-EVERYTHING! We are called to BE just LIKE CHRIST. Philippians 2:5-8 tells us: You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Jesus GAVE UP, ALL so you could GET ALL FREEDOM and Mercy and GRACE!

Conduit, in memory of our LORD, to celebrate this Easter, be willing to GIVE UP and TURN TO the CROSS! Give up COMPLAINING: Philippians 2:14-15 ,1 Thessalonians 5:18. Give up BITTERNESS: Ephesians 4:31-32. Give up WORRY: Matthew 6:25, 33. Give up DISCOURAGEMENT: Deuteronomy 31:8, Isaiah 40:31. Give up HATRED: 1 John 2:9, Luke 6:27. Give up ANGER: Matthew 5:22, Proverbs 15:18. Give up GOSSIP: Psalm 34:13, Proverbs 21:23. WE must be willing to GIVE UP OUR LIFE, so that HE can LIVE THROUGH US! As we celebrate EASTER let us GIVE IT UP for JESUS and be like our Savior and our PAUL: as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20-21) Enjoy what CHRIST has done for those who LOVE HIM and are called according to HIS PURPOSE! DIE DAILY and RISE with HIM- LIVE a new life, with a New HEART and A NEW SPIRIT! Happy Easter! Rise Up in Christ!

April 20. 2019

To this end I labor, striving with all His energy working powerfully within me.

-Col 1:29 BSB

Warrior;

This becomes the GREAT existential question: To what end are you strenuously contending with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in you? Your life is a resource; your time, focus, energy, talents, dollars….For what toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully put in you? Why do you get up each day, do what you do- go home at night and get up the next day and do it again and again and again?

Leader, as we celebrate the suffering, death and resurrection of our Jesus- we need to reflect on our reason for being! What are you spending your life on? Why-for what purpose, do you work and struggle so hard? The TIME IS NOW, DEPEND on Christ’s mighty power that works in you and NOT on your own fleshly gifts and talents. For what and for whom, is your purposeful striving?

Conduit, Let us be thankful that God has made known to us mysteries hidden from ages and generations, and has showed the riches of his glory among us. As Christ is preached among us, let us seriously inquire, whether he dwells and reigns in us; for this alone can warrant our assured hope of his glory. We must be faithful to death, through all trials, that we may receive the crown of life, and obtain the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls.(Matthew Henry com)

April 19. 2019

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” -Matt 3:11

Warrior; Does the WORD cause you to BURN? Are you on fire for the LORD? Are you stirred up? Stirred up because of the WAY THINGS ARE or ‘ON FIRE’ because of how thing can be in CHRIST? Augustine put it like this: “Hope has two daughters, Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to make things other than they are.” The adage is true, you will get some attention if you are on fire; “Set yourself on fire with enthusiasm and people will come from miles to watch you burn!” We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. (2 Cor 4:8-9)

Leader, see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.” (Exodus 3:2-3) Who wants what you have? Who is turning aside to see HIS FIRE in your EYES? When we are ON FIRE for our LORD, others can warm themselves by HIS FIRE, that comes from our HEART and HIS WORD- our TESTIMONY and HIS GRACE! God’s grace is a cleansing stream-God’s grace is a consuming fire! Jesus calls us to a WATER-FIRE discipleship, so burn, baby, BURN! No shared Glory! We are called to BURN without burning up- to burn without being consumed by the fire. Myles Horton said, “I had to turn my anger into a slow – burning fire, instead of a consuming fire. You don’t want the fire to go out – you never let it go out – and if it ever gets weak, you stoke it. But you don’t want it to burn you up. It keeps you going, but you subdue it because you don’t want to be destroyed by it.” People are not going to be emotionally involved with rote, religious, pious acts that lack emotional spark and support. In other words, if you are NOT emotionally involved with your GOD, why would they be? In sales we learn that when people get excited, they BUY STUFF! If you are NOT a soul-winner- If nobody is buying what you are selling- you need some FIRE! See Proverbs 11:30

Conduit, selling is nothing more than gaining agreement from someone to buy your product, your service, your hand in marriage, or your belief in God- whatever you are selling! God used FIRE to get MOSES attention for the BIG PLANS God had for HIS PEOPLE and HIS SERVANT. And the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see why the bush, burns- but does not burn up!” Are you living for God in a way that makes people wonder why you burn without burning out! Are you bringing more people closer to the God you serve, then you are causing to look away?

April 18. 2019

Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. – Ephesians 4:17 ESV

Warrior;

Do you know that there are many qualities that we human beings have that are distinctive to us?  In other words, we are UNIQUE, rare- we are ONE OF A KIND- just like our Savior Jesus.  He was the FIRST, and ONLY- fully man and fully God!  He is the FIRST BORN of the dead! Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. (Revelation 1:4) Just like Jesus, we can be known by our WALK!  Chinese authorities have begun deploying a new surveillance tool: “gait recognition” software that uses people’s body shapes and how they walk to identify them, even when their faces are hidden from cameras.

Leader, in the Bible, the verb “walk” in its literal sense of going along or moving about on foot at a moderate pace is found numerous times in the Gospels. However, this same verb is more often used throughout the Old Testament and the epistles of the New Testament in a metaphorical way. In this sense it means to follow a certain course of life or to conduct oneself in a certain way. Many times, the verb translated “walk” is present tense in the Greek of the New Testament, which means that the writer is referring to a continued mode of conduct or behavior. In fact, the infinitive “to walk” can be translated, in a Hebraic way, “to live.” If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. – 1 John 1:6-7

Conduit, Jesus told us, when He WALKED among us; Emanuel- God with us- that He is the LIFE, He is the TRUTH, HE IS THE WAY- to walk!  In other words, HE IS THE PATTERN- we are to WALK, to LIVE, as HE WALKED, as HE LIVED, incarnate! Be imitators of God, therefore, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God. (Ephesians 5:1-2) Paul is describing how to walk as simply a figure, a SYMBOL, FOR HOW TO LIVE! This passage began in Chapter 4, Verse 17, with the apostle’s admonition to live no longer as the Gentiles do. He then describes how that is and goes on to exhort, rather, that Christians live as they have been taught to live in Christ — that is to put off the old nature and put on the new. That simple process of putting off and putting on is what the apostle means by walking. Everyone knows that a walk consists of two steps- then REPEAT.  You never take more than two steps in walking, one leg forward then the other leg- but do that again and again, and you are walking. This is an apt simile for how to LIVE the Christian life. We are to be continually putting off the old and putting on the new. That is what Christian living is all about.  THE TIME IS NOW: Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. WALK HIS WAY, TALK HIS WAY! Amen.