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Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 11:15 AM
1st John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
2: 1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.
Jesus said that we were to be perfect, as He is perfect. John said that he wrote these things so that we may not sin. Are you perfectly without sin? I’m not. But John goes on to say that if anyone (that is among the people who he was writing to, who are the Christians, the saved, the elect, or however you wish to term them), “But if anyone does sin …” Jesus said to be perfect, and John said he wrote that we may not sin, so why the “But …” Of course Jesus said to be perfect; what would you expect, that He would say it is okay to go ahead and sin? He wouldn’t say anything but to be perfect. Still Jesus knew as He told His disciples that the spirit would be willing but the flesh weak. Paul spoke of the war between the law in our flesh (our earthly, material body) and the law of the mind (our spirits, our desire to serve our Creator). The “But …” was that if we sin, we have that propitiation (the cleansing agent) for our sin in the blood of Christ. That is why John included the “But if anyone does sin …” Now we see why Paul would say at the end of Romans chapter 7, “Oh, wretched man that I am. Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank the Lord through Jesus Christ my Savior.” (Quote may not be verbatim.) Though in our earthly flesh, we may not yet be perfect, but we have been what is called “perfected”. We have been declared, “Not Guilty” of our sins because of our believing faith in Jesus that motivates us to come to Him to guide us as we strive to please Him, even though we may recognize that we so often fall so far short.
John said (verse 3 above) that we who have come to know Him (Jesus) will be known if we keep His commandments. First, the word keep in this verse is from the Hebraic perspective from the word ‘shamar’ which means to guard, preserve, and protect. We may not be “perfect” in obeying His commandments, but we know all too well that those commandments are inside of us, and that we do preserve them within us, and we are reminded of them as we fall short in our obedience. We have no excuse for disobedience, but we still fall short of fully living up to the ideals of those commandments and this guardianship of those commandments is what leads us to confess and seek His propitiation. What must we do to fulfill the works of the commandments that God has for us? Jesus told us, and it is recorded in John’s Gospel.
John 6:28 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
John 13:34 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.
This ‘work’ of believing means believing in all He is and said. This believing puts God’s law inside of us and brings us to repentance (a turning from the ways of this world to the ways of Yahweh). All of God’s (our Creator’s, Yahweh’s) laws are based on LOVE and that LOVE seeks to serve Him and one another.
1st John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 3:54 PM
I have not yet decided that I will officially run for the 2016 presidential elections for the USA, but I have been considering some preliminary plans which I will delineate below:
1- I will spend the first two years of my term assessing the situation!
2- I will spend the next two years formulating a plan!
3- By the end of four years I (almost) promise that I will have A PLAN!
As I would anticipate being reelected for the following four years then I can assure you that part of my plan will include appointing a cabinet that will have the authority to implement my plan prepared in the first four years. So my second term in office should have no reason to interfere with my four year vacation during my second term.
I reiterate- I have not formally decided to announce that I will run- only that I am considering what prospects there may be.
(Please- everyone share this so that people may be on notice (I trust my Facebook friends more than the news in announcing this), and will be prepared to vote for me in the event I do decide to run.)
Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 10:22 AM
Beware of people who it sometimes may seem that, “Everyone loves ‘so-and-so’.” Jesus said that there were few in this world that would find the path to eternal life, but that many were on the road to destruction. So the majority of people are not saved, and only the minority find the true eternal life. So if it seems that someone is loved by the majority, then maybe that one is part of the majority. Jesus said that we could expect this world to treat us as it treated Him.
John 15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
18 "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.
Some people think that they chose Christ, and that may well be true, but it would do us no good to choose Christ if He had not first chosen to give Himself for those who do choose Him. We must never forget to be thankful for His love for us that caused Him to choose to give Himself for our sakes. In His love for us, we must never forget that His love is for all, and He chooses all who come to Him with believing hearts accepting Him. In His love for us, we must never forget to share that love with others. We love those others who have accepted Him by serving them in His name to build them up. We love others who have not accepted Him, because He loves them and want them to come to Him. We love those who have not accepted Him by showing His love for them and praying that they also come to know Him.
We are never to forget that the majority of this world that God loves did not accept Him, and treated His Son shamefully. Just as they treated Jesus shamefully, then those of us who follow Him should expect that this world will treat us that way also.
1st Peter 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And "If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
When Jesus told us in John 15 above that we could expect this world to treat us as it treated Him, then we could expect the fiery trial that Peter speaks of here. It is a sign that this world is not loving us as this world didn’t love Jesus. But what is meant by the judgment beginning at the household of God? Remember, a father who loves his children will punish them (because absolutely no child is perfect, and we ourselves aren’t either). This punishment isn’t to be motivated by bitterness, but from a love that teaches the child that wrong actions will have consequences. Remember from the book to the Hebrews the Scriptures teach that whom the Father (earthly fathers and likewise our Heavenly Father) loves is chastened and scourged (as necessary) to bring that child to live a better life. We are to expect trials and tribulations in this world, one, because we are not yet perfect, and two, because this world is at enmity with our Heavenly Father and at enmity with us, because we are His children.
The greater judgment will be on those who refuse to accept Him and become His children, and it is fast approaching.
Sunday, June 14, 2015, 2:18 PM
Hebrew 4:1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
The “promise” of entering that rest is clear. Jesus said (John 14) that He was going to prepare a place for His followers. The fear that some may fail to reach it (that place prepared) is that there are some who are ‘with’ them (united in their fellowship and believing they are ‘in on it’), but not ‘of’ them (not united in their hearts- as perhaps what is often called a ‘head knowledge’ but not ‘whole-heartedly engaged). To say that Satan ‘knows’ Jesus is to say that Satan knows Jesus for Who Jesus is, but Satan’s heart is not with Jesus. Some people say that Jesus is the Savior, but in their heart they haven’t come to Him and allowed Him to take their heart and transform it by the indwelling Holy Spirit. They did not ‘fail to reach’ that Heavenly hope because they had salvation and lost it, but because they never truly obtained it by that believing faith that turns one’s self over to Christ. Maybe they gave their ten percent, but Jesus never asked for ten percent, Jesus asked for your all. This is part of any preacher’s exhortation for people to examine themselves and, I believe, why Paul said that our salvation was to be worked out with fear and trembling (Philippians 2).
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
It is my firm conviction that ‘those who have fallen away’ would refer to those who were ‘with them’ but not ‘of them’ as discussed above. Perhaps some of those who were ‘with them’ but not ‘of them’ completely left the church and renounced it, though they were not really saved but only appeared to some to be saved. So to those seeing this, it may appear that they had ‘lost their salvation’ though in reality, they never really had it to begin with.
There have been some who have left the church and later came back requesting to “be saved again”. The truth is, one cannot “be saved again”, because Jesus died once for all who receive Him. If one lost that salvation, then Jesus would have to be crucified again for that person to be “saved again”. That leaves at least two alternatives- either that person may never have been truly saved to begin with (he hadn’t worked out his own salvation as mentioned above); or, that person was saved but fell into his old life and lost the joy of the Lord’s salvation (as David had mentioned in Psalm 51: 12). Remember from 1st Corinthians chapter 5 that a saved person may fall so deep into sin that the Lord may allow his body to be turned over to Satan, to destroy his earthly body, so that his eternal soul may be saved. There is definitely that separation between the earthly body and the spiritual soul that Paul discussed in Romans 7.
One other thing I want to touch on from Paul’s statement about working out your own salvation. One did not work to earn or gain salvation, but because of his salvation. People say they “worship” the Lord. What does it mean to “worship” the Lord? The Hebrew word roughly transliterated into English ‘a-va-da’ can be translated as ‘work’ or ‘worship’. To worship is to work. If you ‘worship’ the Lord, it should mean you are ‘working’ for the Lord.
Saturday, June 13, 2015, 7:41 AM
John 6:5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" 6 He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
7 Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little." 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 9 "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?"
10 Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. 11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost." 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.
Here is a lesson that shows that Jesus has power to work miracles and to provide for people’s needs. There is another important lesson here that sometimes is overlooked. After they had finished eating, Jesus told the disciples to gather up the left-overs. We live in a wasteful world. We carelessly get more than we need or can use, and afterwards often end up discarding and throwing away food and things that may still be used. Just because the Lord can supply all our needs does not give us the right to get more than we need or to throw away something we don’t want, but may be used, either later by ourselves or used by someone else.
I was blessed when I was younger because I never went hungry. We could usually eat as much as we wanted. But we were always given healthy foods and told not to put more on our plates than we could eat. We were told to eat everything on our plates, but “don’t get more than you can eat.” Leftovers could be used for another meal. If we had thrown away what we didn’t eat, we probably would have been short of food often. We were always reminded to be thankful for what we had, because there are many in this world who do not have. Next time you see food unfinished on your plate, before you scrape it into the garbage remember, are you truly grateful for what you have, and are there others in this world who would beg for the scraps that you are ready to throw away. Do not get more than you can use, and always share what you have with others.