Servants of the Most High God

21 If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. — 2 Tim. 2:21 NLT

2 Timothy 2:20-25 NLT

In First Corinthians, Paul uses the human body to describe the relationship and the function of each individual member of the Church.  Here in his second letter to Timothy, he uses the analogy of a wealthy home with many utensils.  We can assume that a wealthy home would have all the utensils needed for every task, from the lowest to the highest.  That home would also have a full staff of servants with one of those designated as the chief of all of the servants.  This person would be responsible for making sure that each person was assigned a specific task or tasks and also that that person would be given the exact utensils he needed to complete the task.  Some will tutor the kids, some will do windows and yes, some will do the bathrooms.  All of the utensils and servants are there to care for the home, the master and his family.  In this analogy, God would be the Master, Jesus would be the heir and the Holy Spirit would be the taskmaster assigning the tasks and giving out the utensils necessary to perform the tasks.   The home is the Kingdom of God here on earth.  The Holy Spirit knows who He has gifted to perform each task and no one can do it better than that person.  We are to spend our time, not in foolish discussions about temporary things of little or no consequence, here or later, but in doing the tasks that the Holy Spirit has given us to do.  If we do not, the Kingdom will not function as well as it should and the world around us will grow more evil as satan moves in to take the territory that we give up.  I think we can see the proof of that all around us today.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-18-2019

Cleaned and Filled

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10  Create in me a clean heart, O God,And renew a steadfast spirit within me. — Psalm 51:10 NKJV

What is a clean heart, how do we get it and why is it important to be sure that we have clean hearts?  An unclean heart is a heart that contains bitterness, hatred, deceit, lust, envy, covetousness and the list goes on and on to including anything that would cause us to sin.  The opposite of that would be a heart that contains only love. It is impossible for us to clean our hearts.  We need the Holy Spirit, who is love, to do that for us.  We can make all the resolutions and follow all the self-help programs we can find, but in the end, without the Holy Spirit, we will still have unclean hearts.  Those programs may remove the filth from the heart but they will leave it empty.  An empty heart is what the evil spirits are searching for.


24 “When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ 25 So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. 26 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”– Luke 11:24-26 NLT
 

Our hearts must be filled with love and that only comes from the Holy Spirit. Once we accept Jesus and His Spirit abides within us, He will keep our hearts clean, if we allow Him to do so.  Clean hearts are necessary because it is “out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks”.  It is also where our thoughts come from, so we must be sure that the source is clean or our thoughts, words and actions will be displeasing to God.

 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-29-2018

“Revere Christ as Lord”

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15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. — 1 Peter 3:1​5, 16 NIV

In the Old and New Testament, the word “heart” refers not to the physical organ, but to the center of all of our life processes.  The “heart” is the seat of our minds, emotions, and wills. Therefore, it refers to our thought patterns, our attitudes and our desires. Our thoughts become actions which become habits which become our lifestyle. The things and/or people that we spend the most time thinking about, in reality, are the things that control our lives.  This is characterized by the following verse:

45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. — Luke 6:45 NIV
Revere can be defined as “honor, look up to, or  put on a pedestal”.  A throne is a pedestal and our “hearts” are the center of our lives.  So, if we revere God, we honor Him by putting Him on the throne of our hearts and make Him the center of our lives.  Our decisions and thus, our lifestyles, will be examples of the Person we love and admire the most.  We will want others to follow our Leader.  In light of all this, we need to spend the majority of our time thinking about our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  If we do this, we will “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”  We need to do this with love, gentleness and respect.  Just as our checkbooks show the patterns of our physical lifestyles, so our conversations show the patterns of our thought life and our spiritual lives. It is a law unto itself:
 

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. — Romans 8:5 NIV

So, let us, along with the Psalmist, ask God to create a clean heart in each of us. We need clean hearts if we are going to fulfill the sole purpose for which we were created and that is to glorify God.

 
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. — 1 Cor. 10:31 NKJV
 
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 08-29-2018

“Don’t Touch! Don’t Taste”

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21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? – COL 2:21 NLT
We think we are far advanced from the first century AD. In technology, dress, and the comforts of life, we are.  But human nature itself has not changed much. We still have those who want to regulate everything that each individual does or wants to do.  That is why we have so many laws that we can fill numerous buildings storing all the paperwork. But, as Jesus knew and we should have learned, external laws don’t keep us from sinning.   Jesus pointed out to the religious leaders of His day that they kept adding man-made rules and regulations to the laws God had given them. These had no spiritual value since what goes into us that makes us obedient or disobedient, it is what comes out of us.
 

10 After Jesus called the crowd to him, he said, “Listen and understand what I am saying. 11 It is not what people put into their mouths that makes them unclean. It is what comes out of their mouths that makes them unclean.” — Matt.15:10, 11​

As Christians, we have liberty, but we must use that liberty wisely in choosing what we do and what we don’t do.  We must be sure that we are not adding to what God has said is right and/or wrong.  We must not allow the things that we have chosen to rule our lives to the extent that they become our “god”‘ and we impose those things on others as if they were laws or commandments.

12 “I am allowed to do all things,” but not all things are good for me to do. “I am allowed to do all things,” but I will not let anything make me its slave. — 1 Cor. 6:12

Wrong choices are external symptoms of an internal problem. The problem is that we have not allowed God’s Word to conform our thoughts. If we bring all of our thoughts into captivity to God, we will not need external “dos” and “don’ts”. It will be our hearts desire to do what God wants us to do and not do the things He doesn’t want us to do.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-02-2018

Keep the Body Clean

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20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 

– 1 Cor. 6:20 NLT

1 Cor. 6:14-20 NLT

By the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was physically raised from the grave. Because of that, we can know that one day, He will raise all those who have trusted in Him.  We are members of the body of Christ and have been instructed to keep the Temple holy. Nothing sinful will be allowed to pollute the body of Christ. God the Holy Spirit abides in us now and one day we will be completely one in Spirit with Jesus Christ. We have been purchased and washed by the blood of Jesus Christ. If we want to honor Jesus, we must keep ourselves from the very appearance of sin. Our love for Him should cause us to want to keep our bodies pure,without spot or blemish.

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.—Eph. 5:26,27 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-16-2018

Discipline in the Body of Christ

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13 God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you. – 1 Cor. 5:13 NLT

Paul is not suggesting that we never associate with worldly people whose lives are controlled by their fleshly desires. Just as Jesus said, we “are in the world but not of the world”. We hold ourselves to different standards. We are not to think of ourselves as “better than” nor are we to think of ourselves as “holier than” anyone. What we are to do is to separate ourselves from our Christian brothers and sisters who have chosen to live unholy lifestyles. We are as Paul puts it to “expel the wicked person from among you.” This seems harsh to us. We had rather hide behind verses such as “judge not lest you be judged” and “pull the plank out of your own eye before you point out the toothpick in your brother’s eye”. (my paraphrase) We must keep the Temple of Christ clean and holy.
1​ Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.—2 Cor. 7:1 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-12-2018

Keep the Temple Clean and Holy

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16 Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.1 Cor. 3:16,17 NASB

When Solomon built the first Temple in Jerusalem, it included the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place. That was where the Ark was placed and that is where the Shekinah glory of God came down. There was no sun or artificial light in the place, the glory of God was the only light that lit up the Most Holy Place. If anyone defiled the Most Holy Place in the Temple, they were sentenced to death. The priest that entered the Most Holy Place wore a rope around his ankle, so that if he erred in his duties and God destroyed him, his body could be pulled out. This should let us know how serious God is about the defilement of His Temple. Now, we are that Most Holy Place. It is hard for us to grasp the concept that we are a Temple of the Living God. There is the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, actually living inside us. The Holy Spirit is a person with emotions. He can be grieved and hurt. If we choose a lifestyle that defiles the Temple, our bodies, we will be destroyed as well. Does this mean that we will die and go to hell? No, not if you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. It could very well mean that you depart from this earth at an earlier age than you expected.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 02-02-2018