October 9. 2019

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:33-34 ESV

Warrior;

How do we know? How do we know anything? God calls us to discernment. We are called to KNOW. He tells us that the Devil masquerades as an angel of light, and He tells us that ‘sheep know the shepherd’s voice. (2 Corinthians 11:14, John 10:27) Discernment is the ability to judge well. In Christian contexts it is perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining spiritual guidance and understanding. ‘Birdwatchers’ know that there are about 9-10,000 species of birds, although some claim the number is actually twice as much, closer to 18,000 and what watchers of birds use to distinguish birds are their characteristics. By knowing the colors, shapes, markings, spots, stripes, size…they know what bird they are seeing. A good Birdwatcher has knowledge and discernment to spot a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.

Leader, Jesus tells us that the distinguishing marker of a true follower of His is LOVE for one-another. Love is a nominalization, in other words- you can’t put it in a wheelbarrow. It is a generalization and we can love our spouses, and we can love chocolate cake, however our first LOVE is to be JESUS. One word, love, that has so many different meanings, to so many different people. Love is a VERB; it is NOT a feeling. For God so loved the world He did something about it. For you so love God…DO YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? What are the distinguishing characters of a Blood-bought saint of the Risen King? How do you know if you are in the presence of, or looking at a TRUE FOLLOWER OF JESUS CHRIST? If being a follower of Jesus Christ is illegal, would there be enough evidence to convict you? How would people know if they are looking at a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, or a follower of our LORD? What are those characteristics?

Conduit, God gives us this litmus test in the BE-ATTITUDES. These are attitudes, choices, things that a follower of Jesus are seeking, are moving toward, are wanting to become. These are ATTITUDES that God wants us to BE. The Gospel of Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount- chapters 5-7- gives us, in the beginning- those attitudes that we are to seek, to desire, to work toward so that others can discern; “That person is a Christian”; A follower of Lord Jesus. Those who are poor in Spirit and realize their need for him, those who mourn, those who are humble, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who are merciful, those whose hearts are pure, those who work for peace, those who are persecuted for doing right by honoring the WORD OF GOD! Do you seek after these things? Do you hunger and thirst to be like this? Is there enough evidence that someone with wisdom and discernment can spot you and say, “There is a follower of JESUS?” The Time is NOW to become that BIRD!

October 8. 2019

Who has ascended to heaven and come down? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name? Surely you know! – Prov 30:4 ESV

Warrior;

This is the ONE QUESTION YOU NEED TO HAVE AN ANSWER FOR! WHO is the ONE you have HOPE in for your ETERNAL DESTINY? YOUR answer to this question will dictate every other answer to every other question, including the ultimate one: Why am I here? When we know WHO’s we are, and the name of HIS SON, then everything changes; the way we handle adversity and the way we wage WAR in this SPIRITUAL battle we call life!

Leader, Psalm 2 was written by King David in troubling times. David’s son, Absalom, rebelled against his father. He gathered an army and a following and led an attempt to overthrow David and to make himself the king. When the civil war began, David refused to fight against his son. He fled the city to a place called Mahanaim and there watched the dust of battle rise, realizing that his own son had marshaled an army against the king. He was unwilling to retaliate- He left revenge to the Lord, and the Lord adequately took care of this duty.

Conduit, Psalm 2 was used by David, and then the Jewish people, when seeing the wicked prosper. They turned to it when good seemed to turn out bad and bad seemed to turn out good. In this turmoil David wrote: ‘He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”’ Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. (Ps 2:1-3,10-12) Do you know DAVID’s GOD and HIS SON, JESUS? With Him, comes a PEACE in TURMOIL!

October 7. 2019

Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” – John 21:22-23 ESV

Warrior;

We need to quit comparing ourselves to others and LIVE OUR LIVES, like they matter to God! Jesus was reconciling Peter and in the process shared how he would die; Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” (v 18-19)

Leader, this confusion about the WORD OF GOD sounds similar to the Garden of Eden and the original confusion, which led to man’s ORIGINAL SIN- NOT knowing the WILL, WAY and WORDS of our LORD, JESUS! The Message paraphrase Genesis3:1-5; The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” The Woman said to the serpent, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’” The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”

Conduit, our PURPOSE is to KNOW GOD and to MAKE HIM KNOWN- His Glory! In John 14:9 Jesus tells us; Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Jesus is the WORD OF GOD! John tells us in his epistle; In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. If you want to know what GOD wills and desires, then you must KNOW HIS WORD! To know JESUS is to know GOD and HIS WORD. We must KNOW HIS WORD- for it will REMIND us WHO WE ARE and WHAT TO DO!

October 6. 2019

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? – Isaiah 40:12 ESV

Warrior;

John MacArthur in his book, ‘Why I Believe the Bible’, gives 4 arguments for proof that that the BIBLE IS TRUE. He says the Bible is true because it give us the experience it claims to give. He says Archeology, and Bible prophecy also support its accuracy. He also makes the claim that SCIENCE is one of the strongest arguments, after fulfillment of biblical prophecy. He specifically talks about this verse and the science of Geology and a state called ISOSTASY; the balance of the EARTH as it orbits through space. The idea is that equal weights are necessary to support equal weights. Land mass must be balanced equally by water mass. In order for the earth to remain stable as it spins in orbit, it must be in perfect balance. Just like they Hydrological cycle that is illuminated in scripture; Job 36:27, Ps 135:7, Is 55:10. If you don’t believe GOD’s WORD, the BIBLE is true, then how will you ever truly BE A CHILD OF GOD? IF you don’t believe His word, how can you CALL HIM, LORD, LORD? “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? (Luke 6:46) See also the book of LOVE, John 14:15-24, Jesus makes this statement THREE times, emphatically connecting LOVE= Believing HIS WORD, the BIBLE and acting upon that BELIEF! LOVE is a VERB, not a feeling. For God so LOVED the WORLD, HE DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Leader, He (JESUS) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col 1:15-17) Physicist Lambert Dolphin in his Website commentary on the aforementioned scripture says; “The Holy Spirit, in giving us this inspired passage of Scripture, explains that all things (both visible and invisible) in the entire universe were created through this same Jesus, the eternal Word. We may think of the universe and its intricate design as being conceived in the mind of the Father, then spoken into existence by the Son (who makes the invisible, visible). The Holy Spirit is the One who energizes and supplies life to the creation, not only at the time of creation but also moment by moment after that.”

Conduit; I was reading an article on khouse.org and found this, A. W. Tozer, some 50 years ago, once wrote of this as follows: The teaching of the New Testament is that now, at this very moment, there is a Man in heaven appearing in the presence of God for us. He is as certainly a man as was Adam or Moses or Paul; he is a man glorified, but his glorification did not de-humanize him. Today he is a real man, of the race of mankind, bearing our lineaments and dimensions, a visible and audible man, whom any other man would recognize instantly as one of us. But more than this, he is the heir of all things, Lord of all lords, head of the church, firstborn of the new creation. He is the way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel, and the high priest of every true worshiper. He holds the keys of death and hell, and stands as advocate and surety for everyone who believes on him in truth. Salvation comes not by accepting the finished work, or deciding for Christ; it comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as his own and paid it, took our sins and died under them, and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ; nothing less will do. Do you know this JESUS? He is the KING of KING and the LORD of LORDS- He is worthy or our PRAISE, our FOCUS and our LIVES! He holds the whole world in HIS HANDS! Today, be sufficed that you too are IN HIS HANDS! Peace, Amen!

October 5. 2019

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. -Luke 9:23 ESV

Warrior;

Notice the three-point strategy that Jesus Himself gives us. Deny Self. Take up your cross. Follow Him. Keep it Simple Soldier; K I S S ! The enemy’s NUMBER 1 weapon formed against us is CONFUSION! When people are confused they are NOT bold, they DON’T speak up, they WILL NOT walk into problems or turmoil, they DO NOT speak up, STAND UP or PUT UP with wrongs- for the RIGHT REASON!

Leader, In Luke’s remembrance of Jesus words, He removes all EQUIVOCATION; “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27) However, Ephesians 6:2 reminds us “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise). Even the Torah compares the honor you owe your father and mother to the honor you have to give to the Almighty. It also says, ‘Every person must respect his mother and his father’ (Leviticus 19:3), and it says, ‘God your Lord you shall respect, Him you shall serve’ (Deuteronomy 10:20).

Conduit, God is NOT contradicting Himself. He is saying that NO RELATIONSHIP, or person, is more important than your relationship to God! If anything is between you and God- REMOVE IT! Matthew 18:8-9 states this clearly: So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. Jesus came to show us THE WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE, nobody comes TO the Father except THROUGH Jesus! Deny yourself, Take up your Cross and Follow HIS LEAD- He is THE example!

October 4. 2019

He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. – Luke 16:1-3 ESV

Warrior;

Are you using your CURRENT situation to better the ONE TO COME? We have CHOICE and we have OPPORTUNITY on this side of ETERNITY that AFFECTS what happens to us, on the OTHER SIDE of eternity! This is such an interesting parable, it is hard to process because Jesus actually commends the SHREWDNESS of this servant in verse 8. He is NOT commending the ACT- which was deceptive, BUT HE IS acknowledging the wisdom of preparing for what is about to happen!

Leader, what we do with our TIME, NOW, decides what happens after we take our last breath. Once we have taken our last breath, our ACCOUNT gets zeroed out and we come to the ETERNAL CASHIER and our account is reconciled! In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus talks about WHAT and HOW to PAY IT FORWARD: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.

Conduit, the only thing MAN-MADE that we will see in heaven is the SCARS ON JESUS! And we will be rewarded for ONLY that which we did in the NAME of JESUS, for the GLORY of GOD, and those things that GOD commanded us to do! At the conclusion of the 25th chapter of Matthew, 31-46, we read about the FINAL JUDGMENT! “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked, and you clothed me, I was sick, and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me’… And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry, and you gave me no food, I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’” The TIME IS NOW, live- LIKE IT MATTERS!

October 3. 2019

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have.- Phil 1:27, 29-30 ESV

Warrior;

The Bible- Old Testament, was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The NEW TESTAMENT was written in Greek. This is all based on who ‘Ruled the World” at the time of events and the language of that power. The very first translation of the Hebrew Bible was into Greek. Many words in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek DO NOT have an equivalent single word-so SIMILAR words, or concepts called TRANSLITERATIONS are used. This is the reason for so many different translations. The writers over the centuries wanted to get a “closer” understanding of the original text. In order to get the TRUE meaning of what was originally being conveyed, we must go to the original text. This is how we DIG DEEPER into the WORD OF GOD!

Leader, John MacArthur takes us back to the original text with 2 key words here; WORTHY and CONDUCT. MacArthur said this about the Greek word for “worthy”: Axios (worthy) has the root meaning of balancing the scales—what is on one side of the scale should be equal in weight to what is on the other side. Is your LIFE demonstrative of a child of the RISEN KING? If it was illegal to to be a PART of the GOSPEL- would there be enough demonstrable data to prove you GUILTY? In order to walk worthy of the gospel, we must remember our citizenship is in heaven. MacArthur’s comments about the original meaning of “conduct” are helpful, as well.

Conduit, Politeuomai (conduct) is the main verb in verses 27–30, which in the Greek is a single sentence. It comes from the root word polis (city), which referred to the city-states to which inhabitants gave their primary allegiance. The verb carries the basic meaning of being a citizen. By implication, it means being a good citizen, one whose conduct brings honor to the political body to whom one belongs. One of the ways that we walk worthy of the gospel is by making our aim and focus to reflect our citizenship in heaven. This would have resonated with the Philippian church. Philippi had earned the distinction of a Roman colony. It was considered a “little Rome.” These colonies took great pride in their citizenship. They spoke the Latin language, wore Roman clothes, and their magistrates bore Roman titles. It didn’t matter how far the colony was from Rome; they lived as Romans. HOW ABOUT YOU? Are you a ‘LITTLE CHRIST’, a Christian? “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.” Be like ABRAHAM and LOOK and ACT forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. (Hebrews 11:10) Amen!