Posted by: missionventureministries | November 25, 2014

GOD DOES NOT WANT ANYONE TO PERISH – 2 Peter 3:9

2 Peter 3 vs 9

The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 

Our gracious God desires all to know Christ through repentance, forgiveness, faith, and a lifetime of loving intimacy. Jesus came the first time to earth as our Savior. Before He was crucified, He promised that He would prepare a place for us in His Father’s house and that He will come back and take us to be with Him that we also may be where He is. (John 14:2-3)

Christ will come again as our judge. However, our heavenly Father’s who is patient and merciful delays His son’s return. Jesus waits, so the unredeemed have time to believe and become sons and daughters of the Almighty. God’s will is salvation in Jesus and not an eternity in hell apart from Him. Like the door to Noah’s Ark eventually closed, so the opportunity to trust Christ is slowly slipping away for many. The flood waters, meaning death will one day drown us. Will we be ready? Salvation and safety can only be found in our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. “The LORD is compassionate and gracious; slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8). Yes, the Lord’s patient love invites us to repent, trust and not perish but He also says that even though He abounds in love and forgives sin and rebellion; yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished. (Numbers 14:18) 

Yes, we still have time to warn others of the judgment to come. Some will mock, others will act indifferent, but a few will find refuge in Jesus. Most will “show contempt for the riches of His kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.” (Romans 2:4)   

Billions of people who have done religious things, “prayed the sinners prayer”, given money, served in churches will be eternally lost; because, they have never made Jesus Christ the Lord of their life. 

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12) 

There are true and false Disciples as we here Jesus say: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Mathew 7:21-23)

The patience of our heavenly Father is the model for us to follow. We are surrounded by a sea of those who need salvation. They are drowning in their sin. By offering them the life preserver of faith, hope and love for Jesus we can rescue the perishing. A life preserver however is useless unless it is thrown into the waters and reached for by those who are drowning.  

It should be our fervent daily prayer to ask the Father to convict the lost through the Holy Spirit. And that He would give us His wisdom to lead those He places in our paths, so we can teach them from Scripture how to receive salvation through the saving blood of Christ. Once saved, we help them to grow in their faith and in the knowledge of what the Bible teaches, so they can live a fruitful life for the Lord. God loves us and does not want anyone to perish. Jesus showed love throughout His ministry but He also knew those who would and would not follow Him.  

One day as He was speaking of the Pharisees He said: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.” (Matthew 15:8-9) 

And He continued: “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14) 

Even though God wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus said: “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.” (Matthew 15:13) 

It is the hope of our Father that none should perish so we thank Him for His patience and continue obeying our Lords command which He left with us before ascending into heaven. 

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Posted by: missionventureministries | November 17, 2014

MARY, JESUS’ MOTHER HERE ON EARTH

Mary, Joseph and Jesus

At the beginning of the New Testament Mary is revealed to us as a young virgin, through whom Jesus Christ was born (Luke 1:27). She is declared to have found favored with God (Luke 1:27, 30) and as a result was chosen to bear “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” (Luke 1:31-33).

Mary was a young Jewish woman of outstanding moral and spiritual character. Just like Daniel who was a man greatly beloved by God (Daniel 9:23, 10:11). The Bible shows that God highly valued their humble and obedient reverence to Him.

The Bible talks about God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that they are eternal. God was never “born” and never had a “mother.” However, Jesus had a beginning to His earthly ministry when He was conceived in Mary’s womb and was born; but from eternity past He has always been the Son of God. (Juan 1:1-5)

Philippians 2:6–7 gives us a bit more insight on what transpired when Jesus left heaven to become man. “Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.”

The desire to be the mother of the promised Messiah was common to young women in Israel. So the election of Mary really showed that God was blessing her. But we must not read into that more than the fact that it was a great privilege for her.

It is biblical to say that Mary was the mother of the Lord Jesus Christ during His incarnation on the earth. The human side of Jesus came from Mary, the divine side from the Holy Spirit. Thus while the One whom she bore was God, His Godhead did not come into being through the human process of birth. She was not the mother of His divinity which has always existed.

When studying history we learn that the early church, when discussing the matter at the council of Ephesus (431 AD), came to the decision that Mary should NOT be called ‘the mother of God’, but rather the ‘God-bearer’  (theotokos).  But even this carries with it the danger of seeing Mary as somehow bringing God into the world, whereas it was the Holy Spirit who brought God into the world, in union with the human being that was conceived by Mary. Mary could not in any way conceive Jesus who was eternal, only by an act of God through the Holy Spirit was this possible.

We never find in Scripture where Jesus addressed Mary as mother and at times Jesus reminded Mary of the distinction between their human relationship and His divine origin and mission.

Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem when He was 12 to celebrate the Passover. After the festival was over on beginning their journey back home they discovered that Jesus was not with them, they returned to Jerusalem and sought Him. They found Him in the temple listening to the great teachers, and asking them questions. When his parents saw Him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”  “Why were you searching for me?” He asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what He was saying to them.  (Luke 2:41-51). It is clear that Mary was very puzzled.  However, as a mother, she kept it all in and very likely remembered what He had said and finally understood after His resurrection.

At the wedding in Cana (John 2) Jesus called her “Woman.” This was not in disrespect, but was like addressing her as “Lady.” Mary said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2:5). That was Mary’s only commandment.

Even though Mary knew the true identity of her firstborn, we read about an occasion where she allowed herself to be influenced by Jesus’ unbelieving half-brothers (Mark 3:20-21).

Yes, Mary did have other children as the Bible points out. She did not remain a “perpetual virgin.” Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named or numbered (Matthew 13:56). In John 7:1-10, His brothers go on to the festival while Jesus stays behind. In Acts 1:14, His brothers and mother are described as praying with the disciples. And in Galatians 1:19 it mentions that James was Jesus’ brother.

Yes, Jesus had half-brothers and half-sisters, who were the children of Joseph and Mary. That is the clear and unambiguous teaching of God’s Word.

There is no biblical reason to believe that these siblings are anything other than the actual children of Joseph and Mary. Those who oppose the idea that Jesus had half-brothers and half-sisters do so, not from a reading of Scripture, but from a preconceived concept of the perpetual virginity of Mary, which is itself clearly unbiblical: “But he (Joseph) had no union with her (Mary) until she gave birth to a son. And he gave Him the name Jesus” (Matthew 1:25).

On the cross we see Jesus once more addressing His mother as “Woman.” “Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to John, “Behold, your mother!” (John 19:26-27). At this point Jesus severed all filial ties with Mary and transferred them to John.

The last time we read of Mary in the Bible, she obeyed the command of Jesus and was in the upper room, waiting for the promise of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:14).

When we study about Mary we realize how humble and devoted to God she was, to have been chosen to be the vessel that would bear her Savior. Here we read her words, “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). Yes, Mary knew from prophecy that the Messiah was coming and also knew that she needed the Savior; just like we also need Him.

Like all of us Mary was saved through the blood of Christ and found forgiveness in His name. She shares with all ‘saints’, (true believers and followers of Jesus Christ) the benefits from the merits of His death, resurrection and intercession in heaven for us.

It is important to remember Jesus last words recorded in the Bible, which are: I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen. (Revelation 22:18-21)

Posted by: missionventureministries | November 9, 2014

LIVING IN HARMONY – Ephesians 4:32

Ephesians

The Bible tells us to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) 

A POWERFUL MESSAGE TO CONSIDER  

This story, by an unknown author was posted in the “Kids Corner – Bible Studies” section, and it teaches a powerful lesson that everyone can learn from, no matter how old we are.  

May this message of love touch your heart, as it touched ours.

* * * * * * *

Once upon a time, there were two brothers. Their father had a large farm and when he became too old to work, he called his two sons and told them.

 Two farmers and their father

 “I am too old to continue working, I will divide my farm in half and give each one of you half. I know that you will always work together and will always be good friends.”

 Farm 1

When the brothers first started farming on their piece of the farm, they were the best of friends and would share everything together.

Brotherly friendship

Then, one day there was a disagreement between the two brothers and they stopped speaking to one another.

 boys fiting

For many years, not a word was spoken between them.

 cartoons_sunrise_02_vector_156421

One day, early in the morning, one of the brothers was at his house when a carpenter came to his door and said, “I would like to do some work. Do you have any work that I can do?”

 august1231

The brother thought for a moment and then replied, “I would like for you to build a fence on my property. Build it down there near the stream that separates my farm from my brother’s property.

 Farm 2 ws

I don’t want to see my brother any more and I would like for you to build a high fence there please. I’m going into town and I’ll be back later this afternoon.

returning home ws 

When he came back that afternoon, he was shocked to see that the carpenter had not followed his instructions. Instead of building a high fence, he had built a bridge over the stream.

 Bridge over creek

The man walked down to take a look at the bridge, and as he did, his brother who was wondering what was being built walked down to the bridge to see what was happening. When he saw his brother, he walked toward him from the other side and said: “After all the terrible things I’ve done to you over the years, I can’t believe that you would build a bridge and welcome me back.”

 2 brothers making peace

 He reached out to his brother and gave him a big hug. 

The brother then walked back up to his farmhouse to talk to the carpenter.

 bob_04

“Can you stay?” he asked. “I have more work for you to do.” The carpenter answered, “I’m sorry but I can’t stay. I have to go, for I have many other bridges to build.” 

Sometimes we have a disagreement with our brothers and sisters. When that happens, we often build a fence between ourselves and them.

 Fence

We stop talking to them. We don’t want to see them. We don’t want to be around them. But that isn’t what Jesus wants us to do. He said that “we should love one another, as He loves us,” (John 15:12). Instead of fences, Jesus wants us to build a bridge of love between us.

 http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-image32487655

Dear Father, we know it is Your desire for us to learn to live together in peace and harmony. Help us to love one another. Amen. 

* * * * * * *

This Story was Adapted from an Unknown Author  

Posted by: missionventureministries | November 3, 2014

BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO HEAR THE WORD OF GOD AND OBEY IT – Luke 11:27-28

Luke 11 vs 27-28

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”  He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11:27-28)

Jesus had just finished exposing His “religious” critics in front of a crowd (Luke 11:14-26), and as He came to the end of this teaching, a woman who had been moved by all she had heard and the blessing she had received she burst out quite spontaneously, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”  

Jesus did not question the truth of the woman’s statement, but pointed her to an even greater truth. “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  

The true blessing is reserved for those who pay attention to God’s Word and obey it; and we demonstrate the truth of our praise and worship through our actions and obedience. 

In the Old Testament we read Samuel telling his people: “Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22) 

Jesus is focusing on the importance of obeying the word of God. On another occasion Jesus made nearly the same point: “Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near Him because of the crowd. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.’ He replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.'” (Luke 8:19-21) 

Here again we read that those who follow His commands are truly blessed because they know Almighty God personally and they find joy in hearing and obeying His word.

Our goal in life, the very reason we were created, is for union and fellowship with God. We were created for God, and until we trust and rest in Him we are considered incomplete and abnormal.

Our adoption as sons and daughters of God through the shed blood of Jesus on the cross transforms our worldly relationships and requires a new order of loyalty to God and His kingdom.

Therefore, if you say you love God, show it to Him by honoring and obeying His word. Let His light shine through you, so that those who do not know Him may also have a desire to follow Him and glorify Almighty God.

Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6)

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?

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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.

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