Posted by: missionventureministries | January 11, 2017

THE PATHWAY OF FAITH – Isaiah 41:8-13

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Introduction: Even in troubling times, followers of Jesus Christ can choose to walk in faith rather than in fear. Our relationship with the Lord gives us the ability to face hardship with confidence in His provision and care. As God’s children, we can rest in the Father’s promise that He will supply all of our needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) 

I.  Fear does not fit who we are as children of God. 

  • The Lord says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).  
  • A fearful spirit is not from God as 2 Timothy 1:7 states: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” If anxiety prevents you from resting at night or hinders your obedience, you are not demonstrating trust in the Lord. Genuine faith and overwhelming fear are incompatible.              

II. Fear affects a person in many different ways. It:

  • Causes confusion. A fearful person will have a difficult time thinking clearly. “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) 
  • Contributes to indecision. When someone is afraid of making a mistake, he or she often delays making any choice at all.  
  • Hinders us from accomplishing God’s will. A fearful person misses opportunities because they expect failure.  
  • Damages confidence. Frightened people can seem insecure and incompetent because they doubt their ability to succeed.  
  • Affects our relationships. Causes us to make very bad, costly and even disastrous mistakes. 
  • Can lead to intense panic 
  • Sometimes drives people to drug or alcohol abuse 

III. God does not want us to walk in fear. 

  • Jesus reassured His followers that they didn’t have to worry about food, drink, and clothing – “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33)  
  • Fearing God does not mean cowering in terror. Instead, it means that we are to respect, obey, revere God and stand in awe of Him. Only those who have not received Christ or walk in deliberate rebellion against Him have a legitimate reason to be afraid of God.  

IV. What is the pathway of faith? 

  • Focus on the Lord, not the source of your fears. Instead of dwelling on your problems, choose to think about God’s absolute sovereignty over everything (Psalm 103:19). 

 If you and I are living godly lives, the Lord will cause everything to work out for our ultimate good – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) 

Disappointments may come, but they don’t have to discourage or defeat us.  

Face moments of doubt and fear by asking the following questions.  

  1. Where did these doubts originate? Because God says He did not give us a spirit of fear, we know they cannot be from Him.  
  2. Has God ever failed me in the past? You may be facing a difficult situation, but remind yourself of the many times when the Lord provided for you.  
  3. Doesn’t Scripture say that the Father will meet all my needs? The Lord promises to provide for His people – “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) 
  4. Why should I ever imagine I’m on my own when trying to do what God requires? You and I can have the power, provision, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, just as the New Testament Christians did – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) 
  5. Didn’t He promise to be with me at all times? If you have trusted Jesus as your personal Savior, you will never be alone again. Christ promised He would neither leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  
  6. Is anything too hard for God? No. Boldly express your confidence and trust in the Lord.  
  7. Is this a fork in the road where my unbelief could cost me a lifetime of regret? When you face major decisions, be especially careful to act in faith rather than fear.  

Read and memorize God’s Word. Believers are constantly bombarded with worldly lies that distort their perspective and contribute to anxiety. 

That’s why we must constantly renew our minds with the Word of God (Psalms 119:97-105). As Scripture reminds us, we have a relationship with the Lord that can cancel all our fears (Isaiah 41:10); we’ve also been given the promise that the Holy Spirit will be our Helper – “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17) 

God loves you; allow the Bible to guide and comfort you in times of uncertainty.  

  • Forge ahead, no matter what people say. Sometimes others will try to discourage you from stepping out in faith, so be careful and reject ungodly advice. And don’t allow adversity to dampen your enthusiasm for pursuing God. Follow the example of the apostle Paul, who, despite difficulties (2 Corinthians 11:24-25), never stopped serving the Lord.  
  • Faithfully and courageously choose to obey God. A believer who is committed to following Jesus has nothing to fear. Obeying the Lord brings blessing, and He promises to use adversity for our good.  

Conclusion: When you and I focus on our circumstances, we can find many reasons to feel afraid. But that is not God’s will for His people. 

Psalm 103:19 says, “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.” As believers, you and I have the assurance that God is always with us.  

We need not fear, because He strengthens and helps us in every situation.

Posted by: missionventureministries | January 4, 2017

GOD PROTECTS HIS CHILDREN – 1 John 4:4

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You are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4 

This verse gives comfort to the saints, the true children of God. Therefore we do not have to fear of being drawn or persuaded by false prophets and antichrists, since we belong to God. The Holy Spirit that indwells in us is greater than he who is in the world, which is composed of Satan and all of his fallen angels, demons and allies.  

The true believer is born of God and has God’s power unto salvation as their resource for victory. They are enlightened by the Holy Spirit and therefore have discernment of truth from error. They are like the Bereans of Acts 17:11 that search the Scripture and do not let themselves be lead astray. They have victory over the enemy as they rely on the Holy Spirit who abides in them instead of depending on the world system.  

As a result of being saved, believers have the indwelling Holy Spirit of God in them rather than Satan, who is behind the scenes working through his demons and conveying counterfeit messages thru false prophets. 

This verse is one of the most reassuring promises in the Bible for the believer. Because “we are of God” and because He is in us through the Holy Spirit: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Therefore; if you are in Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit is the One who is greater in you. And when we have the greater One living in us we have victory, because He is the One who causes us to triumph in every circumstance of life if we listen and obey Him. 

The word overcome means to conquer, prevail, triumphed, have victory. Just like the Lord had ultimate victory as He assumed the throne in heaven to bring about the end of the age. “See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed” – prevailed or overcome (Revelation 5:5). So He gave us power to triumph and overcome also. 

Paul writes to the Romans affirming: “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17) 

When we are of God, we are “born of God and overcome the world” – and the one who overcomes the world is “only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:4) 

Just like the Lord Jesus has overcome the world we too will overcome and have victory over the world. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) 

With the power that indwells in us, we are victorious over those who sadly are driven to embrace false antichrist doctrines and worldly philosophies, because: Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4). Those are the people who “love the world” (1 John 2:15-17) and seek to take captive the people of God. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

The believers, on the other hand, are not to be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good, (Romans 12:21) and free them with the mighty “weapons of our warfare,” which are the Word of God and prayer. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

We are also to: Take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:13-18)

For those walking in this truth, victory is assured, they do overcome the evil one. This means the Christian has no place for fear. We have many spiritual enemies, but not one of them is greater than God’s Holy Spirit who lives in us; because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Posted by: missionventureministries | December 29, 2016

THE WISE AND THE FOOLISH BUILDER – Matthew 7:24-27

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During His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told a story about two men; one who built his house upon a rock and another who built his house upon sand. The house built upon a rock weathered the storm, and the builder is called wise; but the house built on the sand collapsed during the storm, and the builder is called foolish. 

The meaning of this parable is quite obvious; a proper foundation is necessary. With a literal house, it is unwise to build on sand, because the foundation will be unsteady and the house will eventually suffer great damage. Building this kind of house is a waste of time and resources because it will eventually collapse. In contrast, it is wise to build one’s house on a sure foundation, because anchoring it to bedrock makes a house withstand the test of the storm. 

Both builders experienced the same storm and the same flood, very likely these houses were built within sight of each other. Possibly the man who built on the sand ridiculed the man who planned, invested in the extra hard work, expense and time that the solid foundation required.   

The foolish man lost his finances, respect and house. Pride and rebellion come with an awful price tag. The foolish man failed to plan for himself and his family; therefore he suffered great loss. It could have been different if he had humbly sought and obeyed God’s council and guidance. 

The builder who built on sand failed to plan for the storm and flood; therefore he planned to fail – because whoever does not plan according to the word of God ends up failing. Refusing to worship God in Spirit and in truth and life becomes a waste and a failure; it is insanity to worship any god but the Living, Creator God.  

As we see in this parable, building a house is simply an analogy for building a life. The point is this: You are building your life, and the foundation you choose is the most important feature of it. In the verses that follow, Jesus provides two options for building it. 

Jesus begins by stating that you must “hear” His words, but He doesn’t stop there. He goes on to say that you must act upon His words. If you are going to build on a solid foundation you must do what Jesus teaches you in His Word. The proper foundation for life is Jesus’ words, and you should not just hear them, but truly listen to them and then put them into action. James writes: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) 

But if we only hear the wonderful words of Jesus and yet still go our own way and don’t do what He says, then we are like a foolish person, who builds his house on the sand. Just think about that, who would want to build a house on sand?  

Perhaps the foolish man thought he was safe? His house was standing in the beginning and everything was going just fine. But when the floods came he had no hope, his house collapsed and great was the fall of it. 

What about our lives? When Satan brings temptations and trials to us it may feel like we are being overcome by a flood! As Isaiah 59:19 states: “… When the enemy comes in like a flood…”  

So when the flood of temptation or trial comes, do you fall like that foolish man who built his house on the sand? Or do you want to be like the wise man that obeyed and listen to what Jesus had to say. “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians 3:11) 

The wise builder says: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalms 18:2)   

Jesus is our Rock! He is the firm foundation that we can build our lives upon. And if we obey Jesus, and follow what He teaches us, we have the assurance that no matter what flood beats upon us, no matter how fierce the storms of life may get He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5; Deuteronomy 31:8) 

God wants us to build securely upon the eternal Rock, the word of God. If you have been only a hearer please put this important lesson of Christ into practice. He who is a hearer and not a doer of the word, Christ compares to the man who built his house upon the sand. It needs only the storm of temptation to break upon such life, and the foundation they supposed was so secure is destroyed. How great is the loss of this soul. They could have had eternal life with God, had they only heeded to His word and built upon the firm foundation which is Jesus Christ.  

Unfortunately, very few people build on the foundation of Christ’s words. But if you do construct your life according to Christ’s building codes you will not be disappointed.

Both the wise and foolish hear Jesus’ words. But putting them into practice, like the one who builds a house on a solid foundation, is the only way to demonstrate a secure relationship with Jesus. 

“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)

Posted by: missionventureministries | December 21, 2016

THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST – Philippians 2:9-11

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God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11) 

Jesus came from heaven to earth, was born in Bethlehem, lived a perfect life and died on a cross, which was an atoning sacrificial death, was buried in a tomb, resurrected victoriously, and ascended into heaven to occupy His throne in glory where God has highly exalted Him and given Him the Name which is above every name.  

Lordship was at the very heart of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. Paul makes this clear in Romans 14:8-9 “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died, and rose and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” 

There is coming a day when every person who has ever lived will bow and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords. But for the Christian that great confession should be an everyday reality. A Christian should live moment by moment in faithful submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ remembering that we do not make Jesus Lord – He is Lord!  

The fundamental message of the Bible is that “Jesus Christ is Lord,” and the most important truth in relation to the Christian experience is the lordship of Jesus Christ.  

When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, it involves recognition of His lordship. We receive Him as Lord and Savior. We must never fail to communicate the “whole council of God,” because He is both Savior and Lord. 

What does it mean to say that Jesus Christ is Lord? 

For Jesus to be Lord of our life means that He is the owner of our whole life. He cannot be Lord of a part; He must be given control of our entire life. 

The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).  Jesus desires to be Lord of the visible and the invisible, the private aspects of our life and the public aspects of our life. He wants to be Lord of our spiritual life and of our physical life. 

What must a person do in order for Jesus Christ to be Lord of his life? The easy answer is, yield your life to Him. This involves taking your hands off the controls of your life and allowing Him to be in control. 

For Jesus to become Lord of a person’s life involves absolute and total surrender to His lordship. And in addition to absolute surrender, there must also be an acknowledgment of His ownership: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) 

A true born again believer belongs to Jesus. We are His purchased possession. When a person yields to the lordship of Jesus Christ, they acknowledge His ownership and gives up their personal rights. The word ‘doulos’ in Greek means slave, therefore when Jesus is our Lord we are His slave we are not our own we were bought with a price. A servant gives service to someone, but a slave belongs to someone. And as true born again believers we belong to our Lord and we gladly want to obey and please our Lord in everything that we think, say and do. 

Yielding to the lordship of Jesus Christ also involves total and unreserved obedience. If He is the Lord of our life, we are going to do what He tells us to do. Lordship involves obedience. 

Jesus raised an important question: “But why do you call Me `Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say” (Luke 6:46)? Are you doing what the Lord has instructed you to do? Are you obeying Him? 

The lordship of Jesus Christ also involves willing service. There must be a time in your life when you, like the prophet Isaiah, are willing to say, “Here am I Lord, send me.” 

The lordship of Jesus Christ involves our willingness to go where He sends us, when He sends us, regardless of the cost. Is Jesus the Lord of this area in your life? Can you honestly say, “Anytime, Anything, Anywhere for Jesus because He is so worthy?” 

The Christian life is a wonderful life. Christ has made every provision for His children to live a full and abundant life, but there is a cost involved, it requires that we die to ourselves. 

Do you believe that Jesus can save you, if you in no way submit to Him as Lord? Perfect obedience is not possible in this life, but if your life in no way reflects the Lordship of Christ then the Bible says you do not have true faith. Confess your trust in Christ alone as your Savior, and submit to Him as Lord of your life.  

Here is a warning, referring to those who are not interested in making Christ Lord of their life. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:25-26)  

Does Jesus know you personally? Or have you been living in such a way that you are denying the Lord? 

It is not enough to have head knowledge of who Jesus is or to just say you believe. If you have claimed that Jesus is important in your life, start showing it by your actions. Being a Christian means becoming transformed into Christ’s image, not molding Him into the image you think is right. 

So what are you going to hear when you finally come face to face with God when you die? Will it be, “Well done my good and faithful servant,” or will Jesus say to you: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:21-23) 

IS JESUS TRULY THE LORD OF YOUR LIFE?

Posted by: missionventureministries | December 14, 2016

WHY WAS JESUS BORN? – John 3:16

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Have you ever stopped to think about the profound meaning of the birth of Jesus Christ? Although many people have heard the story of Jesus’ birth, its real significance is misunderstood by many.  

Let’s start from the beginning.

 God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the beautiful Garden of Eden that supplied their every need. There, God Himself walked with them and taught them everything they needed to know. (Genesis 2:8-25) 

They had everything, so what went wrong?  

God gave humans the gift of free choice. He gave them the ability to decide whether they would obey Him or not. Tragically, Adam and Eve followed the father of lies, Satan, and both ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This wrong choice, this rebellion against their Creator, severed their close relationship with Him and God had to cast them out of the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3) 

Right from the beginning we learn that sin means – a direct disobedience to God’s commandments. 

Christ had to be born because after Adam and Eve sinned by failing to carry out God’s mandate to glorify Him in their lives; mankind would have been eternally lost, cut off from God. But, because the Father loves us so much Jesus came to earth to be sacrificed to save mankind from hell which is eternal separation from God. 

So why did Jesus have to be scarified for our sin?  

In the Old Testament Abraham, Isaac and Jacob offered sacrifices to God. Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, God revealed through His faithful servant Moses a religious system that included animal sacrifices and offerings. God instructed His people to participate in the physical rituals of animal sacrifices not because they removed people’s sins, but because sacrifices were necessary because of mankind’s sins. However, Hebrews 10:4 tells us it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Jesus had to be born because, without the True Sacrifice, humanity was doomed. All would die, with no hope. 

Under the New Covenant, God replaced the sacrifices of the Levitical priesthood with the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Himself. Jesus’ death, His ultimate sacrifice, made possible the forgiveness of sins, which in turn enables us to look forward to living and reigning with Christ in the Kingdom of God. Without Jesus’ birth, none of this would be possible.

 

Through Christ, God has restored that which was lost in the Garden of Eden. God has made it possible for all mankind, every person, to come voluntarily into an intimate relationship with Him. This could not have been possible, in God’s great plan, without the birth and subsequent sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

The salvation of mankind was dependent on Jesus coming to earth and living a perfect life, then dying on the cross as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. 

The Bible tells us that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23), and that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)  

The birth of Christ was not the ordinary birth of an ordinary man. The birth of Jesus Christ was the incarnation of God Himself. In other words, our Creator became a man. The significance of this is profound and will take all eternity for us to appreciate. 

So why was Jesus born? He came because we are lost in our sins and trespasses against God. We cannot save ourselves, because our sins have condemned us and we need a Savior. Jesus was born that we might be able to have life after death. He conquered death and sin for us so we could have eternal life with Him in heaven. 

John1:14 says that the Word, the eternal God Himself, became flesh, meaning the man Jesus. When this happened, the eternal God stepped out of eternity into time to become a man of flesh and blood. Jesus Christ was indeed a man, but at the same time, He was God. He is both fully God and fully man. 

Here are several other reasons why Jesus was born: 

  • Jesus Christ came into the world to seek and save the lost. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) 
  • He came to be a Light in the world. “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46) 
  • Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” (John 6:35) 
  • “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) 

And most importantly Jesus Christ came into the world to do the will of His Father. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.” (John 6:38) 

He came into the world as a demonstration of God’s love. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) 

The Father sent Jesus because of His love for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:16-17) 

But please remember that: 18 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 3:18) 

We pray that during this Christmas season you will reflect on what Jesus did for each one of us and either re-dedicate your life to Him or accept Him as your Lord and Savior.  

Please realize that the Bible says that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9). But that you also have to make Him the Lord of your life because Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Matthew 7:21) 

May your Christmas be filled with God’s blessings!

holly

Posted by: missionventureministries | December 8, 2016

GOD’S GLORIOUS CREATION – 1 Chronicles 29:11-12

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“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.” (1 Chronicles 29:11-12) 

In this passage, David praises the incomparable glory of God. He says that everything in heaven and earth belongs to God. Our living God, our Creator is above everyone and everything. He rules over every part of creation and everyone and everything belongs to Him. And David also says that everything that really has greatness, power, splendor, glory and majesty is His possession alone. In verse 12 God is described as the only real source of wealth, of honor, of strength and of power. He gives these things to whomever He wants. He alone acts completely according to His will. 

The most important, glorious and perfect attributes of God are His spiritual, intellectual, moral and sovereign attributes. Paul summarizes God’s attributes in 1 Timothy 1:17 – “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” And in 1 Timothy 6:15-16 he states: He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.” 

God knows the universe as it existed in His eternal plan before it existed, and as it now exists as a finite reality in time and space. He knows everything that existed in the past and the present and will exist in the future. The Creator sees everything in its totality, while we can only see what is in our finite mind. God knows everything in the heart of every person and knows all our ways. The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are a mere breath.” (Psalm 94:11) 

God’s glory is expressed in His faithfulness – If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Timothy 2:13) 

The goodness of God is expressed in His love and His grace“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And in Ephesians 1:6-7 we read about His grace – “…to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”  

God’s goodness is also shown in His mercy: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations3:22-23) 

And God’s glory is expressed in His holiness: 

  • Who is like Thee among the gods, O LORD? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders? (Exodus 15:11)
  • There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides Thee, nor is there any rock like our God. (1 Samuel 2:2)
  • The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble! He dwells between the cherubim; let the earth be moved! The Lord is great in Zion, and He is high above all the peoples. Let them praise Your great and awesome name—He is holy. (Psalm 99:1-3)
  • For thus says the High and Lofty One, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. (Isaiah 57:15)
  • The holiness of God is a matter of great importance to every living soul; and every Christian should be especially concerned with the holiness of God. As born again children He wants us to also be holy: “For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:16) 

When we take time to look at the night sky as the psalmist and David did, we should be astounded by our great and holy God, and by His amazing and astonishing masterpiece:

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!…

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands… (Psalm 8:1; 3-6) 

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) 

Let praise and adoration arise from our spirit to God as we behold the glorious splendor of His majesty and His wonderful works. Hallelujah! 

For a beautiful experience of the greatness of God our Creator, please click on the video below entitled – Answers in genesis – The universe, Galaxies, Planets, and Stars. The heavens declare the glory of God. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGd7G92Gv00

Here are some pictures for you to reflect on the greatness of our God.

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COMPARISON OF A BRAIN CELL VS THE UNIVERSE

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COMPARISON OF A CELL VS A NEBULA

eye-vs-nebula

COMPARISON OF THE EYE VS A NEBULA

Posted by: missionventureministries | December 1, 2016

GOD INSTRUCTS AND COUNSEL US IN THE WAY WE SHOULD GO – Psalm 32:8

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I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8) 

God teaches and instructs us similar to a father who lovingly watches over his children teaching and guiding them. This verse is a great reflection of the perfect model of what parenting should be. 

It should be natural that we would long to be close to God, our Heavenly Father, because every child wants to have the security of being close to their parents, but many because of what happened during their upbringing wonder if they can really get close to God the Father because they never had a real father that loved them and gave them the teaching and attention they needed. 

The Bible declares that God loves us and longs to listen to our hearts, comfort us, and counsel us like a father. As the Psalmist declared, “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18) 

Just as every parent knows the importance of getting a child’s attention, so God relate to us also. 

We need to make time to be with the Lord as Psalm 46:10 states “Be still and know that I am God.” God is always available for us, but we cannot really know Him until we specifically concentrate on Him and His Holy attributes.

The promise in Psalm 32:8 encompasses everything we need to know to make the right choice.

  • First of all, He promises to instruct us with truth. The world and even religious people offer us advice and ideas that are full of error, but the Lord’s guidance always leads us the right way. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)
  • When we open His Word, the Lord teaches us and helps us understand what it means. However, having information is just the beginning. To benefit from it, we must apply what we learn to the situation we’re facing. Since some of our decisions are not a matter of right and wrong but of what’s best for our lives, we also need wisdom and discernment to make the right choices. The Holy Spirit within us has promised to guide us into all truth (John 16:13). His goal is to direct us to do the will of God by showing us the difference between truth and error and helping us distinguish between what’s good and what’s best. Because He knows the future and sees what will result from taking a wrong turn, He guides us into paths that lead to the blessings that come from obedience to God. When we follow His promptings, we won’t suffer from the inevitable regrets that follow wrong choices.
  • I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” This promise shows us the closeness of God because counseling involves a relationship. It also reveals that we walk under the loving eye of the Lord’s encompassing watch. As a loving Father, He watches over us, giving wise counsel for life. Since we know that He loves us, has full knowledge of the future, and always wants the best for us, it’s foolish to ignore His wisdom and make decisions based on our own knowledge and understanding. There are so many aspects of the situation we cannot see, but God knows them all, therefore, we should seek His loving instructions of the way we should go.
  • God’s eye upon us also demonstrates His protection and watchful care over us, wherever we are and whatever we do. He sees what awaits us each day and shows us the right way, even when another path seems like the one we should take. Our responsibility is to keep looking up and setting our minds on God. Every decision should prompt us to ask Him what He’d have us do.
  • And if others come to us for guidance, we need to immediately seek wisdom from the Lord. Anytime we offer counsel, we should rely on this promise because we are accountable to God for the advice we give.

Remember, God desires to be close to His children and when we draw nigh to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8).

He looks forward to our prayers, and He also looks forward to our listening to what He has to say to us. Keep in mind that God will disseminate things plainly to us; He will enable us to reach His purpose for us. He’s given us a wonderful promise in this verse to encourage us when we’re in need of His guidance.

If we come to Him seeking and believing Him, He will give us instruction and teaching for whatever situation we’re facing. Stay close to God and He will be close to you and will guide you throughout your life.

Posted by: missionventureministries | November 24, 2016

THE BIBLICAL MEANING OF THANKSGIVING – Psalm 100:4-5

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Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:4-5) 

We should be thankful because God is worthy of our thanksgiving. It is only right to credit Him for “every good and perfect gift” He gives (James 1:17). When we are thankful, our focus moves off selfish desires and off the pain of current circumstances. Expressing thankfulness helps us to remember that God is in control. Thankfulness, then, is not only appropriate; it is actually healthy and beneficial to us. It reminds us that we belong to God and that we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3). Truly, we have an abundant life (John 10:10), and thankfulness is our expression of love for our Creator. 

Let us look at a couple of biblical points on why we should be thankful to our heavenly Father. 

Because it honors God. When we are thankful, we recognize that God exists, and true thankfulness recognizes our total dependence on God and stems from realizing that everything going on in our lives and all we have is the product of God’s sovereign control, infinite wisdom, purposes and grace. “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15) 

A humble person is a thankful person and a thankful person will be a humble person, therefore, they know that everything that they have comes from our loving Heavenly Father. 

Because it is commanded in Scripture. God commands us to overflow with thanksgiving. Both the Old and New Testament are filled with verses about thanksgiving as our verse tells us; and the apostle Paul teaches us to “pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18) 

We also find these beautiful words in Colossians 3:15-17 – Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and]be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. 

We should give thanks for God Himself and for His sovereign activity and control over the universe. What a hopeless world this would be if all things had no purpose and were merely the product of time plus chance. As we again see in Colossians 1:12-14, we should give joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins”.  

We should give thanks for our salvation through Christ and for the unfathomable riches that are ours in Him (Ephesians 3:8). After all, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, and we are complete in Him (Ephesians 1:3; Colossians 2:10). As illustrated so often by Paul in the salutation of his epistles, we should give thanks for others who know the Savior and are growing and serving the Lord. And we should continue sharing the good news with those who are lost and in such great need of our Savior. 

So, are we responding with a heart of gratitude that is focused on the Lord? Are we actively giving thanks for what God has done, is doing, and will, and are we seeking to serve the Savior? Such a response can only come as we begin to truly comprehend the grace of God in Christ, are seeking to know Him intimately in all the situations of life as we face them, and are resting in His sovereign grace.

We should rejoice as David did – Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100)

Let us encourage one another and come joyfully before the Lord, worshiping Him with gladness and in song. As we do this the enemy flees from us and our hearts are filled with hope and joy.

We need to remember that thanksgiving needs to be the attitude of the believer at all times because: Praise, thanksgiving and worship is our expression of love for the Lord.

MAY YOUR THANKSGIVING BE BLESSED

Posted by: missionventureministries | November 16, 2016

BE HUMBLE, GENTLE AND PATIENT – KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT – Ephesians 4:2-3

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Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3) 

How do we live a life worthy of the Christian calling? This verse tells us how – by being completely humble, gentle, patient and bearing with one another in love. These are powerful words; just think how many of those around us would want to change to become more Christ-like if we chose to react in a completely humble and gentle way?

Be completely humble.” Biblical humility is grounded in the character of God, therefore the Christian ought to emulate Christ’s example of meekness and humility: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29).

And gentle.” A gentle person has a sensitive disposition and a kind behavior prompted by love. Being gentle focuses on the way that we respond to people that we differ with or that are having a bad day.

Be patience.” Patience is a virtue and talked about throughout the Bible in the Old and New Testaments. According to 1 Samuel “lack of patience can cause you to miss blessings”. When we are patient, we will not so easily blow up or react against others. Instead, it allows us to exude a kind spirit in a difficult situation.

Bearing with one another in love.” We need to show forbearance to all through the power of Christ’s love. We are to be forgiving as He has forgiven us. It is basically a Christian grace in likeness to God. It means that we can be happy and content when we are not in control or steering things our way. We need this so that the inevitable wrongs that occur between people in God’s family will not work against God’s purpose of bringing all things together in Christ. 

We need a commitment to love Jesus Christ above all things and to sacrifice all of our mini-agendas for His sake: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). Anything else must take second place to the priority of living a life that reflects the love of Christ and models His humility and gentleness towards all who have put their trust in Him.  

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. The apostle Paul was a constant proponent of Christian unity, he knew that it will take effort and work to walk in unity.  

Paul makes a similar appeal in his first letter to the Corinthians. In verse 10 of chapter 1, he writes, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.” Similar words can be found in Philippians 2:2, and Colossians 2:2-3. Paul was constantly urging Christians to pursue unity! 

It is essential to realize that people do not create unity—God does. However; when God’s people are led by and filled with The Holy Spirit peace, humility, Christian love and unity becomes a reality. In Ephesians 4:3, Paul does not call us to ‘create unity,’ or ‘make unity.’ Instead he says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace”. True Christian unity originates in the unity of the Holy Trinity. This unity is given to the believer by the Father through the Spirit because of what Christ did for us at the cross. As Ephesians 2:22 promises, “And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”  

We must note that Christian unity is radically different from anything the world has to offer. Non-Christians can rally passionately and effectively around any number of causes, including political agendas, moral issues such as poverty or racism, or many other reasons. In contrast, Christian unity is not formed around a cause; it is centered on a Person – the Lord Jesus Christ. As we contemplate the immensity of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us, as well as the glory of his deity, we should be inspired to pursue a unity that far outshines anything the world could possibly plan. “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” (Philippians 2:1-2)  Christians must never accept the evil practices of this world’s Anti-Christ system for the purpose of a false “unity.”  

God has commanded His true children to expose evil in ever place – even in our churches. “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11) 

Unity requires a commitment to develop Christ-like character, especially humility and submission. Pride is the great enemy of unity. This is why so many passages in Scripture call for unity in the body of believers and also urge us to cultivate humility and mutual submission. Just before Paul calls us to unity in Ephesians 4:3, he urges us to “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (v. 2).  He warns us in Romans 12:3 – “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you”. And in Philippians 2:3-4, Paul exhorts us to “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  

To maintain unity is a commitment to strive earnestly and prayerfully to pursue peace, resolve conflict, and preserve relationships despite personal differences. Having planted numerous Christian churches, the apostle Paul knew that conflict frequently threatened the unity and witness of local congregations. Therefore, most of his letters contain an exhortation such as that found in Ephesians 4:2-3: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” We must always be patient with true Christians who are still trying to develop their faith and understanding of God’s plan for joy, peace and victory in living the Christian life. 

Paul and other New Testament writers knew that Satan is always seeking to sow seeds of conflict, offense, and division in the body of believers, hoping to destroy our witness for Christ. As Paul teaches, the best way to stop these seeds of conflict from growing is to be humble and gentle toward those who irritate us, to patiently overlook minor offenses, to bear with those who disappoint us, and to lovingly correct those whose sins are too serious to overlook. There are some people that say that they are “brutally honest.” Satan uses these also, therefore when confronted with these types of people we should ask them – which aspect do you enjoy administering the most – the honesty or the brutality? Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3) 

One of the most beautiful descriptions of Christian unity is found in Acts 2:42-47: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” 

As this passage shows, true Christian unity can provide a powerful and appealing witness to the world. It reveals the redeeming and reconciling power of the Savior. It shows that relationships can withstand the disappointments and pains of daily life. Unity also enables the body of believers to resist the pressures of the world, to care for those in need, and to take the gospel to the whole world, (Matthew 28:19-20).

Posted by: missionventureministries | November 9, 2016

WHAT DOES THE WORD OF GOD TELL US ABOUT GOSSIP? – Proverbs 11:13

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A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. (Proverbs 11:13) 

A gossiper is a person who has privileged information about someone and proceeds to reveal that information to those who have no business knowing it. Gossip can also be defined as a slanderer who makes a false spoken statement about the behavior or personal life of other people, often without knowing the truth and therefore damaging this person’s reputation. 

If we were honest, most of us would admit we ourselves at times have a problem with our verbal communication. How many can honestly say they have never said something about someone else and then later realized they should not have said it? If we studied the Bible better, we might regret even more what comes out of our mouth, because: A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much. (Proverbs 20:19) 

Anyone can be guilty of gossiping simply by repeating something heard in confidence. The book of Proverbs has a long list of verses that reveal the dangers of gossip and the potential hurt that results from it. “A person who lacks judgment puts down his neighbor, but a person of understanding holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.” (Proverbs 11:12-13) 

The Bible tells us that “a perverse person stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28). Many a friendship has been ruined over a misunderstanding that started with gossip. Those who engage in this behavior do nothing but stir up trouble, cause anger, bitterness, and pain among friends. Sadly, some people thrive on this and look for opportunities to destroy others. And when such people are confronted, they deny the allegations and answer with excuses and rationalizations. Rather than admit wrongdoing, they blame someone else or attempt to minimize the seriousness of the sin. “A fool’s mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.” (Proverbs 18:7-8) 

The antidote to gossip is to think before you speak, because, whoever guards his mouth and tongue, keeps his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 21:23) 

If no one would ever listen to gossip, then it would likely die, out from a lack of ears to hear. But the reality is there is always someone who is eager to listen and that only feeds the gossiper and enables them to keep the gossiping going. 

When you are telling a story about someone ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How certain am I that the facts are correct? 
  • Was the information given in confidence? 
  • Have I checked the facts with the person involved? I may not even have the facts straight about the situation or the person being gossiped about!!! 
  • Am I telling this story for the edifying of the body of Christ?  
  • Have I asked God if I should share this information with other people? 
  • Do I really love and care about the person that I am gossiping about? Have I gone to the victim of my gossip and asked if I can pray for them and how I can help them if they are struggling in some area of their lives?  

The message throughout the Bible is very clear – don’t gossip! All it does is cause hurt and damage. God rewards the just and the righteous, so do as God commands and avoid gossip – be trustworthy. So, do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (Ephesians 4:29) 

How should we respond when someone begins to gossip? 

  • Don’t participateIf a person refuses to stop trying to convey gossip/slander to you, it will be necessary to distance yourself from them.
  • Avoid themA gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much. (Proverbs 20:19)
  • Change the subject“Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. (Proverbs 26:20)
  • ConfrontBe on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3)

Remember that: Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. (James 1:26)

God hates gossip because it hurts people, it damages reputations, it causes friendships to break up, it can destroy marriages, family and even someone’s job. Remember, next time someone gossips to you, don’t participate, change the subject, walk away, or confront them because, “Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down. (Proverbs 26:20) 

When in doubt keep silence, because, whoever guards his mouth and tongue, keeps his soul from troubles (Proverbs 21:23). And in case you did not know there seven things that are an ABOMINATION to the Lord and one of them basically refers to gossip: A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:19) 

Therefore, refrain from gossip and remember what Jesus said: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

 

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