If One Member Suffers

If One Member Suffers

And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it.  I Corinthians 12:26

When a person injures a part of his body, the entire body suffers from the pain.  Even so, when one member of Christ’s body suffers, that ache affects all other members.  When a Christian hurts, others should rally around them to bring comfort and healing.  We should weep with those who weep, just as we should rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15).  What happens to one believer affects us all.

It is easy to focus on ourselves and not notice other around us who are going through difficult times.  Our lives become busy and cluttered with day-to-day activities that cause us to lose sight of the needs of others.  We must ask the Lord to give us His eyes of compassion and His heart of mercy to see the hurts and feel the pain of those around us.  When we encourage each other, our heavenly Father is delighted.  Just like any earthly parent, He loves to see His children minister to one another in authentic love.  When we help others, we emulate Jesus.  We become His extended hands of mercy.

Pray for someone in need today.  Make a phone call or visit.  Send a kind note.  There are people who need the love that only you can give.  Do not let them suffer alone.

Steve Gaines

A Partner for Accountability

A Partner for Accountability

Today’s Scripture:  “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.  For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.  But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For every man shall bear his own burden.  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”  Galatians 6:1-10

An accountability partner is able to perceive what we can’t see when blind spots and weaknesses block our vision. Such a person serves as a tool in God’s hand to promote spiritual growth, and he or she watches out for our best interest. When choosing this type of confidant, look for these characteristics:

1. Godly. A person who walks in the Spirit will offer genuine wisdom based on biblical principles rather than personal opinion.

2. Trustworthy. No matter what you share with this individual, you must be certain that he or she will keep everything in the strictest confidence.

3. Accepting. He or she must allow you to be yourself–frailties and all–and not try to remake you into someone “perfect.”

4. Courageous. A good accountability partner will lovingly confront you with the truth, even when it hurts (Eph. 4:15).

5. Forgiving. When you make mistakes, trust is built through mutual forgiveness.

6. Edifying. Don’t choose someone with an overly critical attitude that will make you feel worthless. Love edifies and builds up (Eph. 4:29). It never destroys.

7. Encouraging. You don’t want someone with a checklist, who judges or acts like a prophet. Instead, choose someone who takes great joy in encouraging you.

We all can benefit from someone who is able to say what we need to hear without making us feel threatened. Answerability provides checks and balances that promote spiritual growth and protect us from pitfalls. If you don’t already have an accountability partner, pray for that person today.

Today’s Your Jesus Daily for September 1, 2016

http://jesus-daily.com

Faith, The Five Letter Word

Faith.  A five letter word.  Faith. A word that has 2 definitions.  The world defines faith as complete trust or confidence in someone or something.   A simple definition.  We can accept this definition and apply it to all aspects of our life, including our spiritual life and walk with Christ.   But I can’t, nor will I accept that simple definition of faith and it’s application to my walk with Christ.  In the King James version, Faith is actually mentioned only twice, while faithful is mentioned over 75 times.   This tells me that, in order to learn faith in Christ, we have to study His Word to find and understand true faith,  the level of faith we strive to have in God.

 

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

Genesis 22:1-2

 

God gives Abraham the ultimate test of faith, telling him to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering.  Abraham shows his total faith in God,

 

And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

Genesis 22:11-12

 

Abraham is rewarded for his total faith and obedience to God.  We can see that God wants a broken heart of self-will, which is what Abraham shows, by not questioning God, no showing any kind of hesitation.  We can see that, when we have faith –  faith that God will be there for us, when we obey – obey what God tells us to do in our Walk with Him,  sacrifice – sacrifice our selfishness and our self-thought to do for others without expectation, God will pour out His love and grace on us.

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:1-6, NIV

We need not brag or bring attention to our faithfulness,  or our prayer for others.  When we do that, we take the glory away from God,  and puts it on us.  We need not brag, nor bring attention with words to our walk with Christ.  Our actions from our heart will define our walk, our faith, our obedience in God.  When you serve God, and expect worldly acknowledgement of any sort, you are serving the world.  You then are saying your faith is not in God, but in what the world will reward you with, for your deed.  Notice I did not say GOOD deed.  I can only define GOOD deed as deeds done for the glory of God.

Faith.  A five letter word.  There are many examples of faith in God’s Word.  Joseph.  Moses.  Joshua.  Esther.  Ruth.  Job.  Gideon.  All were faithful to God, and were blessed for their faithfulness and obedience.   You won’t find their names in the dictionary under faith.  I challenge you to pick up your Bible, and study each example I have listed here.  Nine examples of faith, all before Jesus came and gave us the ultimate sacrifice and taught us the ultimate faith in God, His life for our sins.

Do we have that same faith in God?  Can we walk up the mountain, and unconditionally have the same faith that Abraham had? Do we have that faith that is easy to have when things are going our way, but when things are not so well, we look to the world for answers? Questions only you can answer,  an answer that can only come from your heart.

Faith.  Just a five letter word.

 

He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20, NIV

 

 

Blessed Are The Merciful

Blessed Are The Merciful

 F. B. Meyer

Today’s Scripture:  “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”  Matthew 5:7

 

“The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful’ (James 5:11).  How tragic it is that God is known as being merciful, forgiving, compassionate, and gracious, but His people are often known as the opposite — hard hearted, unforgiving, and mean-spirited.  Jesus tells us in the final four Beatitudes how a person ought to act after he becomes a Christian.  These reveal several of “The Results of Salvation.”

 

The fifth Beatitude insists that Christians should be “merciful.”  We should be willing to extend the same forgiveness and compassion to our fellow man that Jesus gave to us at salvation.  We should not hold grudges or foster bitterness toward others.  We must see ourselves as sinners saved by God’s grace.  Were it not for God’s mercy, we would live miserable lives on earth and spend eternity in a Christless hell.  When we see someone living in sin, we should humbly say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I!”

 

The Bible says, “The merciful man does himself good, but the cruel man does himself harm” (Proverbs 11:17).  Note in that verse that the antithesis of being “merciful” is being “cruel.”  We are nothing short of being “cruel” and malicious toward others when we demand that they receive justice from God for their transgressions.  We must forgive those who have wronged us and pray for God to bless them with His mercy.  It is then, and only then, that His forgiveness and kindness will continue to flow toward us.

 

One sign that you are saved is that you readily extend God’s mercy to those who have failed God and fallen into sin.  Rather than casting stones, you desire to lift them up.  If we sow the seed of God’s mercy, we will reap the harvest of His unmerited grace.

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst

Blessed Are Those Who Hunger and Thirst

F. B. Meyer

 

Today’s Scripture:  “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”  Matthew 5:6

 

The Beatitudes reveal a precious pattern that results in a person’s conversion to Jesus Christ.  The first three share the conditions someone should experience prior to salvation.  He must be “poor in spirit”, “mourn” over his sin, and must be “gentle,” approaching God in humility and contrition.  Those Beatitudes deal with “The Road to Salvation.”  The fourth Beatitude speaks of what it is like when someone calls on Jesus’ name and becomes a Christian.  Here we see “The Reception of Salvation.

 

Jesus used two of the strongest human appetites known to man, “hunger and thirst,” to describe how one should seek God’s salvation.  When a person hungers and thirsts for Jesus, he is desperate for Him.  Even as the deer pants for water brooks, so our soul must pant, yearn, and long for God’s Son (Psalm 42:1).  We must seek God’s “righteousness.”  Why?  Because our so-called “righteousness” is like the filthy bandages of a leper compared to the perfect, holy righteousness of God (Isaiah 64:6).  We need the righteousness that come from “Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 1:21).  God the Father made Jesus, who know no sin, to become sin for us on the cross, so that we might become “the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).  When He saves us, God imputes the righteousness of Jesus to us.  God no longer sees our sin and rebellion.  Rather, when He looks at us, He beholds the holy perfection of His sinless divine Son.

 

To be saved, we must repent of sin and receive Christ as Lord.  At that moment He cleanses us by His blood and clothes us with righteousness.  Jesus Christ is our “bread of life” (John 6:35).  Take time today to taste and see that He is good (Psalm 34:8).

Blessed Are The Humble

Blessed Are The Humble

 F. B. Meyer

Today’s Scripture:  “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”  Matthew 5:5

 

The first three Beatitudes given by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount deal with what a person should experience prior to becoming a Christian.  We must first become aware of our sin (“poor in spirit”), and then be broken in our sin (‘mourn”).  After that, we must humble ourselves because of our sinful condition.  The third Beatitude applies at that point.  “Gentle” means “meek,” or “humble.”  It paints the picture of a wild animal that has to be broken and tamed.  God must humble us and make us meek toward him.  We cannot stand arrogantly before Him and demand salvation.  Rather, we must kneel in humble, broken contrition and request it in childlike faith.

 

God requires all of us to “walk humbly with (our) God” (Micah 6:8).  Before He will bless and heal us, we must “humble (ourselves) and pray and seek (His) face and turn from (our) wicked ways” (2 Chronicles 7:14).  It is not the one who trusts his own righteousness and views others with contempt that is justified of his sins.  Rather it is the one who bears his breast in self-effacing, earnest repentance and acknowledges his iniquity in God.  Whoever exalts himself will be humbled in divine punishment.  Whoever humbles himself will be exalted and rewarded in heaven (Luke 18:9-14).

 

Not everyone is ready to be saved, because not everyone has become “poor in spirit.”  Some have not “mourned” over their sin, nor have they become “gentle, meek, or humble” in God’s presence.  Whoever remains in his pride will miss the grace and mercy of God in this life and will also experience wrath and punishment in eternity.  But the one who humbles himself and accepts Christ as Savior, will be blessed and kept forevermore.

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

 

Today’s Scripture:  “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.“  Matthew 5:4

 

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) begins with the eight Beatitudes.  These traits should characterize every follower of Jesus Christ.  The first three deal with “The Road to Salvation,” or what a person must experience before he or she is saved.

 

The first Beatitude emphasizes a sinner’s awareness of his or her sin.  The second Beatitude takes a person a step further down the road to salvation.  In our Scripture, the person escalates in the state of conviction to an actual brokenness over sin.  It is possible to be aware of sin without being repentant about it or sorry for it.  Before we can be saved, we must realize the depths of the debt we owe to God because of our iniquity.  We must come to grips with and be broken over the fact that our sin has offended God.

 

King David broke at least two of the Ten Commandments when he committed adultery with a woman named Bathsheba and then had her husband killed.  The Bible records David’s prayer of repentance in Psalm 51.  In that classic prayer, David literally weeps and “mourns” over his transgressions against God.  He pleads with Him and asks Him to forgive, wash, cleanse, and restore him.  Toward the end of the prayer, David says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, Oh God, You will not despise” (Psalm 51:17).  David was crushed because of his rebellion against God.  It was in that state that God poured out His mercy and grace upon the penitent king.

 

Have you ever mourned before God?  Has the fact that your sin has broken His heart ever broken your heart as well?  Without heartfelt conviction, there will be no heaven-sent conversion.  The path to heaven is watered with the warm, holy tears of repentant sinners.

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

H. B. Meyer

 

 Today’s Scripture:  Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.“  Matthew 5:3, NIV

 

The greatest preacher ever to live was Jesus.  The greatest sermon He ever preached was the Sermon on the Mount, which is recorded in Matthew 5-7.  In that message, Jesus covered many subjects.  But at the beginning of the sermon, He gave eight characteristics that should mark a person who desires to be His disciple.  These are often called the Beatitudes.  The first three have to do with what I call “The Road to Salvation,” or what a person should experience spiritually before He becomes a Christian.

 

Our Scripture says that the first step down the road to salvation is being “poor in spirit.”  Before we can be converted, we must have a deep sense that we are helpless sinners in need of a Savior.  We must be convinced that we are lost before we will ever desire to be saved.  There must be a deep awareness and acknowledgement of our sin against the Lord.  Like Isaiah who, in a vision, saw God exalted in splendor and holiness, we must fall to our knees and cry out, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!  Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of uncleaned lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 5:6).  In short, there must be convection before there is genuine conversion.  We must realize our spiritual bankruptcy before we will grasp our need for what God has done through Christ’s death to pay the ransom for our sin debt.

 

Are you “poor in spirit?”  You cannot become a Christian until you reach that spiritual state.  Good deeds will never earn your salvation.  You are a sinner by nature and choice.  You need a Savior.  The only One God has ever provided is Jesus.  In Him alone “the poor in spirit” receive the eternal, abundant riches of God’s glorious grace.

Hebrews 11— A Hall of Faith

Hebrews 11— A Hall of Faith

Written by Patrick Kelley

If you’re dreaming of a highlight-worthy ministry, remember that GOD’s Hall of Fame is really more like Hebrews 11— a Hall of Faith.

I challenge you to read it if you a have never read it, and not just a few lines, all of chapter 11! And let it soak in. GOD is still to this day very capable of many blessings! But the key to being blessed is having “Faith and Believing”.

Ok it’s like when you were little and mom or an aunt or grandma was baking a cake we would stand patiently waiting “some of us” and watching as they would gather all the ingredients to make that cake we so much desired to indulge and as they were mixing all the ingredients together knowing the results of the (preparation=prayers) will lead to next step (baking=faith) which leads to that of the sweet savory aroma of complete dedication, discipline in hoping and having, but some of us would walk by open that oven door and hear that voice “quit opening that oven door”!! They knew just how long it took to bake that cake which if “we” were being “impatient” and kept opening that oven door it would take longer to bake and being told to stop we sometimes would get discouraged then being mad and frustrated losing both “hope and faith” that we wouldn’t get to taste that cake!

Sometimes we get that way with GOD because HE is mixing our prayers and supplications stirring and pouring them in the pan of faith HE starts adding joy, love, peace, forgiveness and patience and it starts to rise and bake and that sweet aroma begins to stir and just at the right moment HE brings it from the oven and HE smiles and knows that what started from a simple (“prayer -ingredients”) with faith, patience and love, peace and joy is now a beautiful masterpiece of blessings ready to be divided and shared among each and everyone of us not only today but everyday!!

Have childlike faith when you are praying for answer or an miracle!! Be blessed and bless someone:)

9 Unbiblical Statements That Bible-Loving Christians Believe

9 Unbiblical Statements That Bible-Loving Christians Believe

By Shane Pruitt,

 http://www.alreadyam.com/

One of the greatest gifts that God gave mankind was the Holy Bible because the Bible is literally God revealing Himself, and communicating Himself to mankind in written word. Anything and everything that we know about God comes from these Holy Scriptures, and they contain the totality of what we need to know about becoming a Christian, and everything that we need to know about living the Christian life.

Orthodox Christianity teaches that the Bible was inspired and authored by the Holy Spirit of God using human instruments. It also believes that in it’s original languages of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic; it is without error and fault.

However, there are many things that Jesus-following, Church-going, Bible-believing Christians believe that are completely unbiblical. How does this happen? Often, we’ll hear someone quote a statement that sounds nice to us, and we’ll begin repeating it as though it’s Biblical truth without ever researching it in the Scriptures. Several of these unbiblical statements have gained enough traction that many people believe they’re actually Bible verses. Not only are the statements unbiblical; most of them teach the opposite of what the Bible teaches.

Here is a list of nine popular unbiblical statements that Bible-loving Christians tend to believe:

  1. God helps those who help themselves.

This statement is actually anti-Gospel. Self-reliance and self-righteousness, or the attitude of trying harder and doing better actually gets in the way of the work of God. Jesus saves those who die to themselves: “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24).”

  1. God wants me to be happy.

It’s a common belief that God exists to be our “personal genie” waiting to give us our every wish. It’s amazing how we will justify our sinful actions by saying, “God just wants me to be happy.” Happiness is tied to feelings and emotions that are often based on circumstances, and those change all the time. God wants us to be obedient to Him, trust Him, and know that everything He does is for our good, even if it doesn’t make me feel “happy” in that moment. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).”

  1. We’re all God’s children

Although, God has created everyone. . .not everyone relationally belongs to Him. Only those who have repented of sin, placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and possess the Holy Spirit of God inside of them can claim Him as their Father: “But you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:15b – 16).”

However, those who don’t have Jesus as their Savior, nor have the Holy Spirit of God inside of them actually belong to Satan: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1 – 2).” “By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother (1 John 3:10).”

  1. Cleanliness is next to Godliness

The people around you may appreciate you staying clean, but this is not Scripture. Parents may us this unbiblical statement to motivate their kids to clean their rooms. However, I’d suggest using an actual biblical statement: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you (Exodus 20:12).”

  1. God won’t give you more than you can handle

Actually, all of life is more than we can handle. The point of living in a fallen world is not for us to try really hard to carry our heavy burden, but rather give-up, quit, and surrender to God, that’s what faith is all about. Every thing is more than I can handle, but not more than Jesus can handle: For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself (2 Corinthians 1:8).” “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).”

  1. We all worship the same God

Yes, there is only one true and living God: “know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other (Deuteronomy 4:39).”However, He only accepts worship that comes through Jesus Christ, not Muhammad, Buddha, Joseph Smith, etc: And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).”

  1. Bad things happen to good people

Often we place ourselves in the judgment seat of what is good and bad, or who is good and bad. The most popular way to make that judgment is by comparison. For example, Bob is a good guy, because he is not as bad as Sam. However, according to the Bible we’re all on equal ground because none of us is inherently good: “as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one (Romans 3:10)’.”

  1. When you die, God gains another angel

Plain and simple. Humans are humans, and angels are angels. This remains so even in eternity. In fact, angels are intrigued by the interaction between God and His “image-bearing” humans: It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look (1 Peter 1:12).”

  1. We’re all going to the same place when we die

There are two possible destinations when we pass: Heaven and Hell. However, only those who are in Christ will be with Him for all eternity when they physically die: “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).”

The fact that many of us Christians believe these unbiblical statements shows our unfortunate overall biblical illiteracy. Instead of swallowing popular statements hook-line-and-sinker; may we be like the Bereans in the Book of Acts. When they heard Paul preach, they wanted to research the Scriptures themselves to authenticate what he was saying: The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:10 – 11).”