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)

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | August 18, 2014

WHY DID CHRIST DIE FOR US? – Titus 2:11-14

Titus 2 vs 11-14

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:11-14) 

If one were to ask why Jesus died, a great percentage of church members would usually say that He died to save us from our sins. It is true that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:3), but this is not the whole answer, by any means. Too many Christians think of the death of Christ only in terms of what it means for them—not what it meant to Jesus.  

Verse 14 tells us that Christ died for us to redeem us from iniquity, not just to keep us from going to hell, but “to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.” He wants a people who will make Him the Lord of their lives that are eager to do good and be holy. The death of Christ was not just to save us, but also to create a group of people peculiarly and particularly dedicated to Himself.  

“Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,… that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25, 27). It was the work of Christ upon the cross, as He gave Himself for the church, that made her washed, cleansed, and glorious, without spot or wrinkle, and set apart to Him. 

 “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Corinthians 5:15). The very reason that Christ died as our representative, was so that our old rebellious life might die on the cross with Him, and we would be liberated and raised up with Him to live a new life—no longer rebellious, no longer obsessed with self, but now living for Him, the rightful Lord and ruler of all.

If we are going to join ourselves to Christ and thus receive the benefit of dying with Christ on the cross, then our old life is over. We are a completely new person; and have a new Spirit inside us. We desire to live a completely new life—no longer for our own rebellious self, which is now dead, but for Christ who for our sake died and was raised. “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)

This is why it is unthinkable that we should come to Christ in repentance for the forgiveness of our sins… and then go straight back and wallow in them as if nothing has happened. The very reason God has rescued us out of the domain of darkness, slavery and sin, and transferred us to the kingdom of his Son, is so that we may live a new life of godliness and holiness ‘in Him’.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)

Posted by: missionventureministries | August 11, 2014

TRUSTING GOD – Genesis 15:5

Genesis 15 vs 5

The Lord made a promise to Abram to give him a son and He took him outside and said: “Look up at the heavens and count the stars . . . so shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5) 

When God first called Abram he was seventy five years old and at that time the Lord promised that He would make him into a great nation, and would bless him. (Genesis 12:2)

Abram is now 85; ten years have passed since God promised him that he would make him to “become a great nation”, and he is concerned that he has no children, so the Lord came to Abram in a vision and promised him descendants too numerous to imagine.  

When God makes a promise we can count on it. Now Sarai, Abram’s wife was also getting older and she did not have any children, which in that culture was a dishonor and very shameful, so she gave Hagar, her Egyptian maid to Abram as a substitute wife, which was common practice at that time. A child born of the servant was considered the child of the wife. So, although Abram was acting in line with the custom of the day, his action showed a lack of faith that God would fulfill His promise.  

God demands us to be true to Him and His Holy Word regardless of what sinful customs existed at that time or is acceptable in today’s society as “normal.” God’s perfect plan was and is that a husband and wife must be physically intimate with only each other for their entire life. Anytime a married person is physically intimate with another person; the Bible defines those acts as – adultery. 

God has commanded in His Word “be Holy, because I am Holy.” Therefore, obedience to God’s Holy Word is the only normal lifestyle – violations of His Holy Word are sin and they are abnormal for TRUE believers and children of God.    

Sarai like Abram had trouble believing in God’s promises and took matters into her own hands by giving Hagar to Abram, when marriage is a sacred commitment and contract between God; one husband and one wife. 

Out of disobedience and the lack of faith on Sarai and Abram’s part, came a series of problems. This invariably happens when we take over for God, trying to make His promise come true through efforts that are not in line with His specific directions. In this case, time was the greatest test of Abram and Sarai’s willingness to let God work in their lives. 

Sometime we too must simply wait. When we ask God for something and have to wait, it is tempting to take matters into our own hands and interfere with God’s plans. 

Although Sarai arranged for Hagar to have a child by Abram, she later blamed Abram for the results. It is often easier to strike out in frustration and accuse someone else than to admit our guilt and sin and ask for forgiveness. Sounds familiar? Adam and Eve did the same thing. (Genesis 3:12-13) 

Sarai took out her anger against Abram and Hagar and her treatment was harsh, enough to cause Hagar to run away. Anger, especially when it arises from our own unbelief; sins and rebellion against God and His Word is always dangerous and destructive. 

Hagar was running away from her mistress and her problem. The angel of the Lord gave her the advice to return and face Sarai, the cause of her problem, and to submit to her. Hagar needed to work on her attitude toward Sarai, no matter how justified her thinking may have been. Running away from our problems rarely solves them, it is wise to return to our problems, face them, accept God’s promise of help, correct our attitudes, and act as we should. 

We have seen three people make serious mistakes. 

  • Sarai, who took matters into her own hands. She told Abram to go and sleep with her slave; thereby violating the sacredness of marriage and had Abram commit adultery with Hagar.
  • Abram who went willingly along with the plan by committing adultery; however, when circumstances began to go wrong, refused to help solve the problem.
  • And, Hagar, who ran away from the problem.

In spite of this messy situation, God demonstrated His ability to work in all things for good (Romans 8:28). Sarai and Abram still received the son they so desperately wanted, and God solved Hagar’s problem despite Abram’s refusal to get involved. No problem is too complicated for God if we are willing to let Him help us and to be in control. 

The Lord told Abram. “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless,” (Genesis 17:1). God has the same message for us today. We are to obey the Lord in every respect because He is God; that is reason enough. If we don’t think that benefits of obedience are worth it, consider who God is – the only one with the power and ability to meet our every need. 

God did not forget Hagar’s son Ishmael; even though he was not to be Abraham’s heir, he would also be the father of a great nation. So regardless of our circumstances, God has not forgotten us. We need to obey Him and trust in His plan, and remember that God’s blessings are too numerous for us to imagine, and that His timing is always the right timing. Therefore: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | August 5, 2014

ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR GUILT – Jeremiah 3:13

Jeremiah 3 vs 13

Only acknowledge your guilt—you have rebelled against the Lord your God. . . (Jeremiah 3:13)

Unless a person acknowledges their sin, they will never repent of it, or turn from it. However, once they become aware of it, and are sorry for it, they should admit and confess it before God, against whom they have sinned. This is what Jeremiah is insisting on. Asking God to forgive us is the most liberating thing that we can do, and is what every sensible sinner will do. And when that is accomplished God’s pardoning grace and mercy is revealed. “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)

When we are committed to walking in unbroken fellowship with the Lord we need to always keep in mind that the enemy is continuously ready to make us stumble and fall; because he is walking around us like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour (1 Peter 5:8). Therefore we need to ask God to “create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). Always “seeking first His kingdom and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33)

The most uplifting experience in our daily life is when we focus our mind on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, and think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Therefore, our daily focus should be on living a holy life before God and men. But in the event that we stumble, and most of us will, let us remember that: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Posted by: missionventureministries | July 28, 2014

FREEDOM COMES FROM AN OBEDIENT HEART – Psalm 119:44-45

FREEDOM

I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. Psalms 119:44-45 

Obedience creates freedom while disobedience leads to bondage. When we seek the council of God’s Word we are on our way to a liberating path. On the contrary, when we get off track and go against God’s ways we become ensnared by the ways of the world and loose sight of what is right.

True born again Christians have a desire to obey in order to become like their Master! Christ has not only called us to know the truth, to love, trust and serve Him; He has also called us to obey Him. The biblical theme of salvation can’t be separated from God’s call and command for obedience. While good works do not save us, we are saved for good works. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The reason for our obedience is our response to God’s gracious action in Christ. The root of our obedience is to please God out of love from the heart in order that God might be glorified in all things. Only a person regener­ated by the Spirit is capable of such obedience. The one who obeys Christ’s commands is the one who truly loves Christ (John 14:21) and in so doing proves to be His disciple.

As we learn to obey God more and more, we are increasingly set free from the power of sin in our lives. God’s love for us is what enables our love for God: We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19); and our love for God enables our obedience to Him. Being controlled by the Spirit “be filled by the Spirit” (Ephesians. 5:18) is essential, if we are going to develop the self-control which enabled us to obey God. Moral freedom — the power to do what we ought — is directly related to obedience: Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32).

The process of learning to obey God is a life long process and the result of this process is that we become conformed to the character and conduct of Jesus Christ. Living an obedient Christian life means being in touch with reality at all times and experiencing the entire blessing associated with it (John 13:17).

When we commit ourselves to obey God, we are allowing Him to make of our lives what He desires us to become.  In so doing we are living up to the potential that God has for us. Therefore, when we have a loving relationship with our Lord, His commandments are never burdensome (1 John 5:3).

Obedience is the starting point and the goal of our Christian life and is what restores us to our original destiny.

  • Obedience is one of the traits of Christian character – 1 John 2:4
  • It is the true test of our love for Christ – John 14:21
  • Obedience is the pathway to blessing – John 13:17
  • Obedience is what it means to love God – 1 John 5:3
  • Obedience is the gateway to Christian freedom – John 8:32-36
  • And the mark of a true Christian disciple – John 8:32
  • Obedience is a great source of Christian joy – John 15:11
  • Obedience is to study God’s Word – James 1:22
  • And is a prerequisite for knowing God’s will – John 7:17

Obedience is more than a specific action; it is commitment to a way of living and is only possible when we submit to the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | July 21, 2014

CHOOSING THE PATHWAY OF TRUTH – John 8:32

John 8 vs 32 extra

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 

Each time the enemy bombards us with lies, we must learn to counsel our hearts according to the Truth of God’s Word and to act on His Truth, regardless of what our human reason or our feelings tell us. 

When we find ourselves giving in to weariness, frustration, or our flesh; when our mind and emotions are swirling with things we know are not true, we should try to stop and identify the Truth that contradicts those lies. 

We should speak the Truth to ourselves; sometimes aloud, and, if necessary over and over again, until the Truth displaces and replaces the lies we have been believing. We should cry out to God for grace to act on what we know to be true and when we do, we are amazed at the power of the Truth to calm our turbulent emotions and to restore sanity to our confusing thoughts. 

At times the enemy begins to wreak havoc with our minds and emotions and all we can think about is how wrong the other person has been, and how deeply hurt we are. We begin to let resentful and vindictive thoughts take root in our mind and we revive other past offenses that we thought were long gone. We tend to become obsessed with trying to figure out how to vindicate ourselves and prove our innocence. When that happens, our emotions start to spin out of control and we go into a downward spiral of anger and self-pity believing a number of lies from the enemy. This only leads of hours or days of inner turmoil and struggle. 

When we stop this downward spiraling and start focusing on God we generally have a head-on collision with the Truth: 

Blessed are the meek . . .

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. . .

Blessed are the peacemakers. . .

Matthew 5:5, 7, 9 

I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. . . love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you . . .

Matthew 5:39, 44 

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Matthew 6:14-15 

Now we have a choice. Should we continue to believe the lies, or are we going to embrace the Truth? That is when the battle really starts. Our emotions want to hold on to the offense and we want to nurse the grudge and stay angry. We want to get even, but in our heart we know that this kind of choice will only lead to bondage. 

As we kneel before the Lord, with the Bible open we grapple with the Truth, we know that we have to forgive and that we must release the offender and the offense.  We realize that the issue is not that we cannot forgive; it is that we don’t want to forgive. As we let the Holy Spirit lead us we know that we have to relinquish any right to get even or to withhold love from those that have hurt us. 

As our mind continue to be opened by the Holy Spirit, we are reminded of the consequences of refusing to forgive; of the mercy that we forfeit if we refuse to extend mercy to others, and of the blessings we would receive it we are willing to obey His commands. In our pride and stubbornness it is hard to let go, but we must – to be in fellowship with the Lord. 

We need to continue to seek and to speak the Truth to our heart and to make the choice to act on the Truth. As we do this our emotions gradually follow and our spirit is set free.  

In time, God gives us further insight into the original situation; He sheds light on why we reacted the way we have and shows us some deeper heart issues that we have not realized needed to be addressed. 

We need to be grateful that the Lord loves us enough to orchestrate circumstances to bring those issues to the surface and we should thank Him for using these experiences to make us more like Jesus.

 

SOURCE 

Excerpts from “Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them Free” by – Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Posted by: missionventureministries | July 14, 2014

THANKING GOD FOR HIS GOODNESS – 1 Chronicles 29:11–13

thank you Lord English

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:11–13 

When we have gratitude in our heart towards God it eliminates all kinds of negative feelings. Discontentment, self-pity, jealousy, and pride are no match for divine thankfulness. Gratitude to God is rooted in the realization of who God is and what He has done for us. Everything is God’s, and everything comes from God. His majestic creation bows down and worships Him as a reflection of His glory. Nations and rulers, consciously or unconsciously are under His authority and we have to realize that God is the owner of all things.

Because He owns everything, He is ultimately responsible and therefore in Him do we place our trust. As we place our trust in Him we enjoy His presence, His creation, His resources, His freedom, and each other. There is a glorious gratitude that erupts from our being when we reflect on God’s glorious riches. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

Gratitude to God is one of the greatest secrets to living the Christian life. Gratitude means we never forget what He has done for us, what He is doing for us, and what He will do for us. It is remembering His past, present, and future faithfulness. Gratitude is transformational because it is God-focused and the concerns of this world dissipated when we focus our minds in gratitude to the Lord. Our appreciation for our heavenly Father will be expressed in humble worship and praise for Him, plus our determination to live in un-broken fellowship and obedience with Him.  Jesus promised us: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8) 

No matter where we are in life. No matter what our situation or circumstances may be, we have something that we can thank God for each and every day of our life and we should always have an attitude of thanksgiving towards our Creator.

As we see and recognize the fact that He is always with us; always providing for us and protecting us, the intimacy that we share with Him will increase and our fears will decrease. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Gratitude understands what could have happened to us were it not for the grace of God. But, by the Lord’s intervention, He delivered us and gave us eternal life through Jesus Christ. God is always there for us and He is longing to fellowship with each one of us, if we just acknowledge Him and let Him.  

The Lord is worthy of praise, gratitude, and adoration. What a great and mighty God we serve! 

“We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 75:1)

 

 

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