“The Foundation of True Knowledge”

7 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,  but fools despise wisdom and discipline.– Proverbs 1:7 NLT

Proverbs 1:1-7 NLT

We are born in sin into a world of sin. We are inundated hour after hour with violence and sexual innuendos. It seems more and more that billboards and commercials are using worldly, sinful things to get us to turn away from God. Along life’s way, we pick up a lot of bad habits. Not just drugs or violent actions, but gossip, off-color language, outbursts of anger, pride, idol worship and the list goes on and on. Some of our emotional outlets can become as addictive as drugs. How do we “fix” these things? Oh, sure, I can fix some of my problems temporarily, but where can I get a time-released, longer-lasting “fix”? Our flesh is weak, but God, in His omniscience has provided us with a “how to” book for humans. It’s called the Holy Bible. Specifically the book of Proverbs gives us guidance and wisdom for our daily living situations. Read it, meditate on it, and it will be in your heart when you need it. You can get help 24/7, the line is never busy and road service is free. He comes to where we are, no waiting, no charge.

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

Post 09-04-2019

Repent-Turn From-Turn To

31 Jesus answered, “So now you believe?— John 16:31 NCV

John 16:25-33 NCV
If Jesus asked us that question today, could we truthfully answer “Yes, Lord, I truly believe.”?  The disciples had spent the better part of three years with Jesus. They walked with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him and yet, it is only now that they confess that they believe that Jesus came from God. We might think this to be very strange.  Yet, how many times did we hear the story of Jesus from people that we believed and respected, yet we did not accept Him as our Savior?  In my teenage years, I went to the altar and had a very real emotional experience while I was kneeling there.  Yet, when I left that building, my thought patterns and lifestyle were unchanged.   Looking back at that experience years later, I realized that I had not truly accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  It would be years later before I truly repented and turned to Jesus with all my heart.  True repentance will make a change in our thinking and in our lifestyle.  Will it keep us from ever sinning again?  No, the flesh will win some battles, but our response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit  will always be to turn back to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness.  And He will always be there with open arms, waiting to forgive us and restore to our salvation and His peace and joy.  

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

Post 01-29-2019

“Conquer Evil by Doing Good”

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21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. – Romans 12:21 NLT
 
When we feel that we have been wronged by someone, usually the first thing we feel is anger. Where we go from there depends on the habit patterns we have developed. Our flesh rises up and demands retribution. It takes a lot of prayer and practice to learn to respond and not react.  Most of us will never get it completely right and certainly not all the time. Nevertheless, our commitment to Jesus Christ requires us to keep trying. We must learn to make every attempt to bring about a peaceful resolution to the issue.  If the other(s) involved won’t allow this, then we must pray for them.  Never, never, never hold a grudge which will eventually become a root of bitterness in your life. The longer the root is allowed to stay there, the harder it is to remove. Revenge is God’s business, not ours and He never fails to take care of His business. God, alone, is good and He is the only one that can completely overcome evil. Forgive immediately, pray for as long as it takes and trust God with the rest.


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

Post 03-24-2018

Seek Purity of Thought

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12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?    Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

— Psalm 19:12 NLT


As Christians, we are not usually tempted to go out and do what the world normally perceives as sin.  No, satan has to be a little sneaky when he comes after us.  Every decision we make has a consequence, either for good or for bad. Do not be deceived, 
there is no neutral ground in spiritual warfare. How can we know when we have “missed the mark”?  God sent His Spirit to lead us into all truth and convict us when we have erred.  Our sins are usually those of the presumptive type. We presume to know answers to things that are too hard for us to know.  The reason presumption is a sin, is because it is a fruit of being prideful.  We would never be so bold as to say out loud that we can make decisions without the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.  But, have you ever had that thought cross your mind or do you act out of habit without consulting God?  Jesus said if we consider the thought, we are guilty of the sin. Those thoughts lead to ideas which lead to actions and those lead to bad habits.  When this happens, sin is trying to get dominion over us.  We should ask God’s Holy Spirit to correct us and ask for forgiveness, so that we can be blameless and innocent of great transgression. We set alerts so that certain websites send us a notification if we are about to cross a line. Set an alert with God’s Holy Spirit and ask Him to notify You before You cross the line.

16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy. — 1 Peter 1:16

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

All For The Glory of God

even-smaller-bug-light115 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 beome 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

Garbage In, Garbage Out

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12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. — Hebrews 4:12,13 NIV

​Since God​ knows our every thought we need to be very careful of the thought patterns that we allow to develop. Of course, thoughts drift into our mind and that is beyond our control to a point.  But we do have control over whether or not we dwell on those thoughts.  In Corinthians, we are instructed to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”.  We can also take some control of our thought patterns by making better decisions about the things we read, the things we see, the conversations that we have and the people we associate with daily.  We must be careful that our pride doesn’t lead us into believing that we are influencing others more than they are influencing us. The things and the people that we spend the most time with are the ones that influence us the most. Pride says “I would never” but we all have at some time or other done or said those things that we are not proud of later.  Those things that we did and the words that we spoke are results of thought patterns that we have developed over the years.  We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us purify our hearts and minds. We can help by studying God’s Word and making it a bigger part of our daily thought patterns. 
11  I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you. — Psalm 119:11
10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me. — Psalm 51:10 NIV
 

23 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Phil. 4:7 NIV

23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. — Proverbs 4:23 NIV

How Do We Change Our Ways?

God is waiting to show you the way.

God is waiting to show you the way.


6 Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; 7 let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6,7 (NSRV)

​How can we change our ways (actions)? By changing our thoughts and thought patterns. How do we do that? Truth is, we can’t, we have to seek the Lord and allow His Holy Spirit to do that work in us. That means we have to forsake or change our way of thinking about things. ​Changing our thought patterns requires us to change our focus. It requires us to ask ourselves this question: What is really important to me? God or self? We know the right answer, but we often choose the wrong answer. When we fail, we “seek the Lord”, which means we return to God and ask His forgiveness. Because God is love, he has mercy on us. He is waiting to pardon us and restore us to a right relationship with Him. We are all familiar with the Parable of the Prodigal Son related to us by Jesus in the Gospels. God is a much more loving, forgiving Father than any earthly father could ever be. Heaven is waiting to throw a party when we repent and return home.
Post 12/09