Posted by: missionventureministries | October 27, 2014

CHRISTIANS ARE TO WALK IN THE LIGHT – 1 John 1:5-10

1 John 1 vs 5-10

1 John 1:5 – This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. 

Light represents what is good, pure, true, holy and reliable. Darkness represents what is sinful and evil. God is light means that God is perfectly holy and true and that He alone can guide us out of the darkness of sin. Light relates to truth in that light exposes whatever exists, whether it is good or bad. In the dark, good and evil look alike; in the light they can be clearly distinguished.  

Just as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light, sin cannot exist in the presence of our Holy God. If we want to have a relationship with God, we must put aside our sinful ways of living. To claim that we belong to Him but then to go out and live for ourselves is hypocrisy. Christ will expose and judge such deceit. 

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

1 John 1:6 – If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

Here John is saying that no one can claim to be a Christian and still live an evil and immoral life. We cannot love God and live and desire sin at the same time.

Many declare they have fellowship with the Lord, that they love Him, that they are serving Him, yet are living in sin! John says they are lying. They are deceiving themselves by continuing to live the old life and walking after the desires of the flesh, while professing to have new life in Christ.

1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

New life in Christ brings us out of darkness and into the light and true fellowship with each other in Jesus. Therefore, fellowship with God is possible because of the everlasting worth of the blood of Christ.

A genuine Christian walks habitually in the light which equates to truth and holiness, and not in darkness, which is falsehood and sin. Their walk also results in cleansing from sin because the Lord continually forgives His children. Since those walking in the light share in the character of God, they will be habitual characterized by His holiness (3 John 11), indicating their true fellowship with Him (James 1:27). A genuine Christian does not walk in darkness but only in the light. Jesus is the light. If we walk in the reflection of His light, we will fulfill the Scripture that states you are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14)

1 John 1:8 – If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  

Here we see John addressing the falsehood of the belief that we have no sin. Denial of the existence of sin in our lives is self-deception and blunts our ability to repent of sin.  

Sin always breaks fellowship with God.  Rebellion against God’s truth always leads us into self-deception and error.  We fool no one but ourselves.  We need to be honest about the sin that is in our lives so that we can deal with it effectively. “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” (Galatians 6:3) 

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  

When we walk in the light, abiding in Jesus, the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness. Confessing our sins before God opens the door for His forgiving and cleansing light to purify our hearts and restores our fellowship with Him.  

1 John 1:10 – If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.

To deny one’s sinfulness is not just a matter of deceiving ourselves, it is to make God a liar by denying His Word. Both the Old and New Testaments stress the universality of man’s sin.

“There is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:3)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

When we have true fellowship with the Lord, we will walk in the light. When we become a Christian, we must not live in sin because we realize that: “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Posted by: missionventureministries | October 20, 2014

OUR FATHER AND DEFENDER IS GOD – BLESSED ARE HIS CHILDREN – Psalm 68:5

Psalm 68 vs 5

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” (Psalm 68:5) 

Instinctively human beings have a need of a father, who will feed us when we are hungry, love us when we are lonely, and care for us when we are crying. We long for a dad, who will listen to us when we have questions, encourage us when we are discouraged, and discipline us when we do wrong. A father who cares and also takes time with the little things; who extends wisdom when we are concerned, and who most of all prays and seeks to understand God’s will and direction before acting on his own.  

God placed within us a desire to be loved by our father. Some fathers do well and others do not. Some are extremely successful, and others fail miserably.  

Fortunately, God is the perfect model of a faithful father and He fills the gaps left by our earthly father as we seek Him each day. Therefore we should listen to Him and honor Him in everything that we think, say and do. Fathers need to learn to have a relationship with God, even if they did not or do not have a relationship with their earthly father. This is realized through the reading and understanding of the Scriptures, where a father will gain and grow in wisdom, grace and the ability to raise kids to the glory of God.

Fathers, that have made Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior are God’s children and learn from Him and in turn teach their children the truths and treasures of the Bible.

Our heavenly Father deserves our respect and commands our love because He is always there for us and is totally trustworthy. What God says, He does. God our heavenly Father, will not let us down, He knows what we need and when we need it. At times it may feel as if He is not with us, but He is. He is probably speaking but we are not listening. Or it may be He is silent because He wants to grow our faith and trust in Him.

Earthly fathers need to be lifetime learners of how to be faithful fathers; and need to remember that each season of fathering is different. What worked in the last phase of your child’s life needs to be modified through God’s word for the next one. By faith, a father needs to be flexible. Infants need their gentle touch. Children, need their father’s patient and careful instruction. Teenagers need their example of love, obedience and forgiveness. In every phase of life children need a father’s godly wisdom, friendship, time and trust.  

Fathers need to look to the Father for guidance and reassurance. Being a faithful father does not mean perfection, but it does mean you depend on the Perfect One. Father’s need to lean on the Lord for His loving care, so they can extend the same.  

So what exactly does it take to be truly worthy of such honor? Biblically speaking, it starts when a man chooses a Christian wife wisely, then when he has a child, he is urged to “train up” their children “in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6). Therefore, godly instruction is primarily the responsibility of the Christian father, applied with a gentle and firm hand to raise his children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).  

The key to being a good father is his commitment to the Father, which produces, wisdom, discernment, obedience, godly living and godly leadership. 

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)

Posted by: missionventureministries | October 13, 2014

SEATED IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST JESUS – Ephesians 2:6

Ephesians 2 vs 6 (E)

And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6) 

How does this verse affect us?  

Paul is not speaking here literally and physically, he is speaking spiritually. He tells us that through God’s saving power demonstrated in Christ’s resurrection we already enjoy participation through the Holy Spirit in the heavenly realms where God and Christ reside. This is one of the benefits of life “in Christ” and His resurrection and ascension. Being “in Christ” makes all this possible. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are totally and eternally united with Christ. Therefore, being “in Christ” means that when God looks at us He does not see our sins, He sees Christ. “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3) 

Our seating and reigning with Christ is a position of authority, honor, and triumph—not failure, depression, and defeat. God made the believer in Jesus Christ to be triumphant, because we are partakers of Christ’s victory over Satan.  

For the believer, our seating with Christ is part of our inheritance now. The words “raised us up” in our verse is past tense, therefore, our position in Christ is already an accomplished fact. That means we are to live as ambassadors for Christ and share the good news with all that we come in contact with, and to exhibit the Christ-like life to the people we meet.  

When we realize our position in Christ, it makes a tremendous difference in our lives and we will no longer feel defeated.  

We need to remember however, that none of these things are possible on our own. It is only through our union with Christ that any of this is attainable. Our victory in the Christian life is dependent on our dependency on Christ and not on ourselves, so that we no longer walk “according to the course of this world,” but according to the life of Christ; so that we “walk in newness of life.”

God never plays word games with us; He will do exactly what He promises. When we focus on Paul’s prayed for the Ephesians, we encounter the inspired and transformative words that will change our life, as they show us once more the immense love Christ has for us; so that we may be filled with all the fullness of God.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Posted by: missionventureministries | October 6, 2014

LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY – Luke 10:38-42

Luke 10 vs 38-42

As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)

Jesus and His disciples had been ministering as they travelled south in the direction of Jerusalem. Jesus stopped at the house of Martha in Bethany, about two miles from Jerusalem. Her sister Mary lived there, along with their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus” (John 11:5).

Martha, Mary and Lazarus always had their home open to Jesus and are remembered for their hospitality.

“As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him.”

Martha was showing typical hospitality of that culture, when she opened her home to Jesus, who was their long time friend.

“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.”

Sitting at someone’s feet was the usual posture of a disciple who was being taught. The key point of this passage is that Mary made Jesus and His word her first priority.

“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.”

Martha being the oldest had the tendency to take charge. She worried about details and she wished to please Jesus, but in doing so, she found it hard to relax and enjoy her guest’s visit. It was even harder for her to accept Mary’s lack of cooperation in all the preparations.

She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

Martha’s frustration was so intense that she finally asked Jesus to settle the matter. She commands Jesus, “Tell her to help me!” Martha is telling Almighty God what He should do. Her anger and frustration have taken over. Martha is angry and she is rude to her honored guest.

Mary probably had been helping in the preparations of the meal at some point. But as soon as Jesus arrived, she made a choice to go and listen to Him. She knew that every word He said was precious and time was short, since He had spoken of His imminent death.

Feeling compassion for Martha, Jesus reassuringly gets her attention:

“Martha, Martha … you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”

He commended Mary for choosing the good part, the Holy Word, truth and faith in Jesus Christ, which will never be taken from her.

Because, there are so few things in life that really matter, it is vital that we concentrate on those things that will last for time and eternity.

We should follow Mary’s example and desire God’s truth above everything else. The important thing to note is that Martha like Mary could have also chosen to sit at Jesus’ feet instead of being worried about impressing her guest. When Jesus is the focus of our attention everything will be resolved at the right time.

Martha and Mary were both devoted disciples of Jesus (John 11:24, 27). Too often, however, we are like Martha and are too busy with the world to focus on what is really important in life. We need to take the opportunities that the Lord offers us while there is still time, otherwise we are saddened when we realize the opportunities that we have missed.

We need to understand that we have a big and awesome God. When we run around worried and upset like Martha did, trying to make everything just right, we miss out on opportunities. We need to stop, think and “trust in the Lord with all our heart; and lean not unto our own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct our paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Remember, Jesus told us to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33) That’s what Mary did, she sought Jesus first and that is what we should do also.

So, the question is? Do we have our priorities in order? Are we worried or anxious about many things, or are we focused on Jesus? Have we put our devotion to Christ and His word first, or are we more concerned about doing good deeds to impress others?

For and in depth Bible study please click on the following link:

LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY

Posted by: missionventureministries | October 1, 2014

NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST YOU WILL PROSPER – Isaiah 54:17

Isaiah 54 vs 17 (E)

“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.

In this glorious text, the Lord God promises to every believer complete and perfect protection, vindication, and justification. As we walk in God’s righteousness, no weapon that comes against us will prosper, and nothing that is said against us will have any value, and will be shown to be false in the end.

From the beginning of time God’s saints have been the objects of hatred in this world. Since the days of Cain, believers like Abel have been persecuted and killed by their envious and wicked brethren. “Satan goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But we have no reason to be afraid because God declares that, “no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.”

  • Psalm 37 tells us “do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.” And Psalm 91 comforts us that the Lord is the refuge and fortress, of those who trust in Him.
  • Proverbs 12:21 tells us that no harm overtakes the righteous, but the wicked have their fill of trouble.
  • Jesus said: I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10:28-30)
  • Paul tells us: That we are more than conquerors through Jesus who loved us. And he was convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

We can be sure that no evil we experience, no foes we face, no troubles we endure, no weapons formed against us can do us any harm because we have:

  • The Providence of God!
  • The Blood of Christ!
  • The Indwelling Holy Spirit – The Seal.
  • The Intercession of Christ – “Father, keep them…” (John 17:11)
  • The Angels of God – “He shall give his angels charge over thee.” (Psalm 91:11)
  • The Presence of God!

God’s true people will face false charges like they did to our Lord. Jesus was called a drunkard, a blasphemer, and a devil. If we follow Him, we need not expect better treatment from men. Jesus told us: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (Matthew 5:11)

As believers we have God’s promises of complete vindication from all our accusers, because, “every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn.

In Christ every believer is made righteous and God promises complete justification from all our sins and this is the message God is giving Isaiah: “This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me,” declares the Lord.” 

Truth will always prevail. People gossip and say things that aren’t true to ruin our reputation and they do many other evil things. But the truth will be revealed, the error of their speech and the motives behind it will be exposed. We can try not to listen to these lies, for we know the truth, we know our own motives and we know that we are walking uprightly before God and have clear consciences. We can be at peace knowing God will bring to light the truth and will vindicate us. A hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor: but through knowledge the just shall be delivered.” (Proverbs 11:9)

Dear God, we pray especially today for Your servants who are sharing the Gospel in difficult places. Some of these precious saints are imprisoned. Some are facing torture. Others are facing ostracism. Some face being fired from their workplace. Please give them strength and deliver them from the enemy’s evil intent. Protect them by Your mighty hand and deliver them, like Daniel, from the lion’s mouth to Your glory. In the name of Jesus we make these requests. Amen

Posted by: missionventureministries | September 22, 2014

THE IMPORTANCE OF SCRIPTURE IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE – 2 Timothy 3:16

2 Timothy 3 vs 16

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)  

The Bible is called God’s Word because that’s exactly what it is! It was faithfully recorded by inspired men from all walks of life, who lived across three continents, and compiled the texts over a period of fifteen hundred years without ever contradicting one another. God spoke then through Scripture and is still speaking through it now. 

Most Christians spend little time in the Word of the Lord, and this is a great tragedy. Reading the Scriptures is the necessary food for health and joy in our spiritual lives. “The sincere milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2) is for “newborn babes” and the “strong meat” is for those who are not “unskillful in the word of righteousness” (Hebrews 5:12-13). “Thy words” are also “honey to my mouth” (Psalm 119:103), and “every word that proceeded out of the mouth of the LORD” is the very bread by which “man lives” (Deuteronomy 8:3). 

It is the Word of God which brings conviction of one’s need of salvation, and this is the indispensable first step leading to salvation: “For by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). 

It is also through the Scriptures that one comes to an understanding of salvation: “The holy scriptures . . . are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Furthermore, it is the Word which generates saving faith: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). 

The Scriptures also provide daily guidance for those who will use their directions: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105).  

Every Christian must be a seed-sowing witness for Christ, because “the seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).  

In the Christian’s armor, the sole offensive weapon is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17), and this means a victorious life and testimony for the Christian who uses it. 

The wonderful testimony of Paul in our text is the New Testament equivalent of the great assertion by David in Psalm 19:7-9: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” 

When we neglect to meet God in the words He preserved for us we lose our bearing in life, and He seems distant. But the wonderful truth is that God is eternal and He is still speaking through the Bible to those who want to take the time to read it and get close to Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you (James 4:8) 

Remember, the Bible is not just a book, rather, it’s a treasure house of truth that’s living and active, and it’s a fountain of living water and our source of strength. However, Scripture can only be profitable to us when correctly interpreted. We need instruction from the Holy Spirit (who leads us into all truth). And for Scripture to really be effective in conviction of sin, correction of error and training in righteousness, it needs to be applied to our lives. We need to align our lives to what God’s word says. Then we shall be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Posted by: missionventureministries | September 15, 2014

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit – Point of No Return – Matthew 12:31

Matthew 12 vs 31

The most fateful words ever spoken by Jesus had to do with the fearful possibility of committing the unpardonable sin. He said, “And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:31) 

No one can misconstrue the clear message of these verses. There is a sin unto death. A man or woman may pass over a point which separates God’s mercy and His wrath. These chilling words of our Lord stand in stark contrast to His usually benevolent utterances. For this reason, if for no other, they should be examined with great care. 

What is this sin which heaven regards with such abhorrence? Why will God deal so severely with those who are guilty of this sin? To the human mind a great number of depraved and cruel acts might fall into such a category but which one of them would God count so heinous and horrible that it could never be forgiven? It is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.

 The concept of “blasphemy against the Spirit” is also mentioned in Mark 3:22-30, where the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem were accusing Jesus to be possessed by Beelzebul and telling people that by the prince of demons He was driving out demons. They were basically saying that Jesus Christ, God incarnated had an impure spirit. 

So we see that the term blasphemy may be generally defined as “defiant irreverence.” The term can be applied to such sins as cursing God or willfully degrading things relating to God. It is also attributing some evil to God, or denying Him the good that we should attribute to Him.  

This case of blasphemy, however, is a specific one, called “the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” which Jesus talks about in Matthew 12:31. As we continue reading in Matthew 12:32 Jesus says: “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”  

The Pharisees, having witnessed irrefutable proof that Jesus was working miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit, claimed instead that the Lord was possessed by the demon “Beelzebub” and they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons that this fellow drives out demons.” (Matthew 12:24) The blasphemy of the Spirit today, which is the same as the unpardonable sin, is the state of continued unbelief. There is no pardon for a person who dies in unbelief. Continual rejection of the Holy Spirit’s promptings to trust in Jesus Christ is the unpardonable blasphemy against Him. Remember what is stated in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Further on in the same chapter is the verse that says: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”  (John 3:36) 

The only condition wherein someone would have no forgiveness is if he hears the truth of the gospel and even so rejects the Son as Hebrews 10:26-29 states: “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 

Remember what Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6); and not what many false religions and false teachers are teaching that there are many paths to salvation. Be careful and always seek the truth of God’s word in the Bible.

Posted by: missionventureministries | September 9, 2014

JESUS CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY – John 14:6

The way, the truth and the life

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

This is surely one of the most important, clearest, yet most profound verses in the Bible. There is no other way to come to God except through Christ, no other truth than that which is founded and centered on Christ, and no other eternal life except the life of Christ imparted to the believer, through faith in Christ. All other ways are false and deceptive.

  • “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)

The two destinies are clear. Either we believe in Jesus as the Son of God and receive life, or we refuse to believe and obey the Son and continue under the wrath of God because of our sin.

  • “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Salvation is not found in Buddha, Mary, Muhammad, Confucius, Joseph Smith, Zoroaster, or any other human being. It is found only in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

  • “There is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

Notice that there is only one mediator that can “bridge the gulf” between sinful man and a holy God – He is Jesus Christ!

  • “I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

If one dies in his sins, he can only expect to receive eternal separation from God in the horrible lake of fire. Only by believing in Jesus Christ and making Him the Lord of our life can we escape this dreadful destiny!

  • “…the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9)

God’s retribution and eternal destruction will come on those who do not have a living relationship with the true God and on those who do not respond to the saving message of Jesus Christ.

  • “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. . . . He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:16, 18)

The alternatives are clear. Only those who believe in Jesus Christ receive eternal life; those who do not believe in Him are under the judgment of God.

  • “God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” (1 John 5:11-12)

The truth is simple: those who are in Jesus the Son of God receive eternal life, while those who do not have a saving relationship with Christ do not have eternal life. Regardless of how “good” and “religious” one may be, our eternal destiny is in Christ!

  • “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Everyone who is in sin will die spiritually and suffer the eternal death of hell; only those who are in a saving relationship with Christ Jesus will receive eternal life with God.

  • “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)

Jesus tells us that He is the single door of safety and salvation; He is not one door among many.

  • “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” (Romans 5:8-9)

All of us, because of our sin, deserve the righteous wrath of God expressed in judgment, but Christ Jesus died to save us from that punishment. Christ is the only means of salvation.

  • “…remember you were at that time separate from Christ . . . having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:12-13)

When one does not have Christ, he has no hope since he is separate from God. We may only have a relationship with God through Christ Jesus and His redemptive death for our sins.

  • “Everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33)

Regardless of how religious a person may be, if he refuses to acknowledge Jesus Christ, he will be denied on the Day of Judgment.

  • “Jesus Christ became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.” (Hebrews 5:9)

Jesus Christ offers eternal salvation only to those who come to Him in true and believing obedience.

When God created Adam and Eve they were without sin – they were normal people, when they sinned and rebelled against God they became sinful and abnormal; because they no longer had unbroken fellowship and relationship with God.

2 Corinthians 5:21 beautifully and eternally defines our position as believers in the Savior: “God made Jesus Christ who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Jesus Christ restored our fellowship and family relationship to God when He became our sacrifice for the sins that we have committed. 

Posted by: missionventureministries | September 2, 2014

THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT LOVING GOD – Deuteronomy 6:1-7

Deuteronomio 6 vs 1-7 (E)

“Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 6:1-7)

These verses in Deuteronomy are a call to obedience for God’s glory. They are evidence of our love for God through the perpetuation of faith in the Lord from generation to generation.  

The Lord commanded Moses to teach the people to fear (respect) the Lord their God by the commands that He was giving them, so that they may enjoy long life. They were to be careful and obey, so that things would go well with them. 

These Old Testament principles, warnings, and exhortations are given for us today as examples and for our instruction “for everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) 

 In Verses 3 and 4 we see that the foundation for obedience begins with listening and even though these verses are addressed to the nation of Israel, they are particularly addressed to parents—especially to fathers and grandfathers because of their leadership role according to Scripture, and because of the responsibility of parents in the perpetuation of faith in their children. 

The most important thing fathers can do for themselves and their family is to make hearing the Word of God the greatest priorities of their life and the lives of their children. Children must learn the importance of hearing and knowing the Word of God because it is critical to their spiritual growth and walk with God as it is for us.  

The purpose of hearing the Word is to know the Lord intimately and personally, to understand the truths of Scripture, so that they become the means and guide to a personal relationship with the Lord. We need to understand “that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Deuteronomy 8:3).  We need to live by God’s Word that we might personally know God and put our trust in Him. 

We must learn to measure ourselves, not by our knowledge about God, or by how many verses we can recite by memory, not by our gifts or talents or ministry, but by how we pray, by how we commune with the Lord in His Word, by what goes on in our hearts, and by our level of obedience to what we know. 

“Hear” in verse 4 includes the idea of “to hear and obey.” The point is that we really have not heard unless we are following through with obedience and acting on the precepts of Scripture. We must act in accord with Scripture from the heart, from an intimate understanding and relationship with God or we have not truly heard.  

Knowledge that is without obedience is only partial knowledge, because it is knowledge without understanding. It constitutes information without spiritual understanding and discernment. 

To truly know the Lord is to desire to obey and to change, otherwise, we have merely had an encounter with ourselves religiously and emotionally. 

Parents who refuse to obey God are teaching their children disobedience. The clearest and loudest words our children ever hear are those of our own example. If we are critical, they will learn to be critical. Children whose parents find all kinds of excuses to skip Bible class and church will find it easy to do the same. Kids of parents that are not involved and concerned for others will most likely also be indifferent to the needs around them.

As we continue on to verse 5 and 6 we read that we are to love God. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” We are to love the Lord totally, “with all our heart,” and to give ourselves to Him wholeheartedly.

The secret to loving the Lord is to know Him. And the secret to knowing Him is Bible study and prayer. If we do not love the Lord and make Him the supreme priority of our lives, the chances are very high that neither will our children. And, only our love for the Lord will cause us to make the training of our children a priority in our lives. Otherwise, we will tend to neglect them for our own pleasures, or business, or other personal pursuits.

We need to teach and model the Word as we read in verses 7:You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. This is so important that Moses also mentions this in Deuteronomy 4:9.

Diligently means to obey God’s command by teaching the Scriptures consistently. It must be clear and precise, not in vague generalities and it must be taught all the time. The secret to learning is repetition and it is to be done when we sit, walk, lie down, and rise up. In other words, we are to look for teaching opportunities by word and by example through the everyday activities of life.  

What our children learn in Sunday school and church is important, but we can’t rely on this alone. This passage is speaking to parents, not the church. Training is first and foremost the responsibility of the parents as the Bible teaches: “And you, fathers . . . bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” – (Ephesians 6:4). Again, this stresses modeling. What one says is rarely as influential as what one does. 

When parents listen, obey and love the Lord, they provide a model for children which reinforce what is being said in the home. Therefore, the key to teaching our children to love God is stated simply and clearly in these verses. If we want our children to follow God, we must make God a part of our everyday experiences. We must teach our children diligently to see God in all aspects of life, not just those that are church related. 

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | August 25, 2014

FREEDOM IN CHRIST – Galatians 5:1

Freedom in Christ ws

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1

Christ died to set us free from sin and from a long list of laws and regulations. Christ came to set us free, not free to do whatever we want because that would lead us back into slavery and our selfish desires. Rather, thanks to Christ, we are now free and able to do what was impossible before – to live unselfishly. Those who demand their freedom so that they can have their own way or indulge their own desire are regressing into sin. But it is also wrong to put a burden of law keeping on Christian as the Galatians were doing in Paul’s time. We must stand firm against those who would enslave us with rules, methods, or special conditions for being saved or growing in Christ.

We are saved by faith, not by deeds. Love for God and for others is the response of those whom God has forgiven. God’s forgiveness is complete, and Jesus said that those who are forgiven a lot, love much (Luke 7:42-43). Because faith expresses itself through love, we can check our love for others as a way to monitor our faith.

The Bible tells us that we will be persecuted for our faith. Many people do not want to hear the truth they only want to hear what they want to hear. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions. (2 Timothy 4:3)

Paul was persecuted because he was preaching the true gospel. If he had taught what the false teachers were teaching, no one would be offended. But because he was teaching the truth, he was persecuted by both Jews and Judaizers (those who adopted Jewish religious practices or sought to influence others to do so).

Have friends or loved ones rejected you because you have taken a stand for Christ? Jesus said not to be surprised if the world hates you, because it hated Him first (John 15:18-19).

Just as Paul continues to faithfully proclaim the message about Christ, we should continue doing the ministry God has given each one of us; in spite of the obstacles others may put in our way.

We should have freedom in Christ and should not be slaves to sin, because believers are free to do right and to glorify God through serving others in love.

When a believer loses the motivation of love, they become critical of others, they stop looking for good in people and only see their faults. Soon unity is lost. Have any of us focused on other’s shortcomings instead of their strengths?

We need to remind ourselves of Jesus’ command to love others as you love yourself (Mathew 22:39). When we begin to feel critical of someone, we need to make a list of that person’s positive qualities. When problems need to be addressed, we need to confront in love rather than gossip.

However; there will be times when we will need to confront hypocrites and people living in sin so that the honor of God in not blasphemed and the Christian church can be purified and strengthened.

That is what Jesus did: “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” (Matthew 23:25-26)

If we desire to have the qualities defined and expressed in Galatians 5:22-23, which are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”, then we will know that the Holy Spirit is leading us.

We also need to be careful not to confuse our subjective feelings with the Spirit’s leading. Being led by the Holy Spirit involves the desire to hear, the readiness to obey God’s Word, and the sensitivity to discern between our feeling and His promptings.

We are to live each day controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit. Then the words of Christ will be in our mind, the love of Christ will be behind our actions and the power of Christ will help us control our selfish desires.

Remember a born again person has freedom in Christ, because the Scriptures tell us: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:1-2)

 

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