Posted by: missionventureministries | June 22, 2022

A MESSAGE FOR TODAY – Psalm 1:1–2

Psalm 1 vs 1-2

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,  and who meditates on His law day and night” (Psalm 1:1–2) 

The blessed person “does not walk in step with the wicked.” The “wicked” are ungodly people, sinners, and those characterized by not following or obeying God. 

To not walk in the counsel of the ungodly means to reject any advice from these people. It includes avoiding any influence that might direct one’s way of life toward doing ungodly things. Walking involves progress; as a result the verse instructs us to, “not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.” 

The apostle Paul warned, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). And Proverbs 22:24-25 cautions us to “not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared.” 

A Christian cannot expect to make godly progress if they seek counsel from sinners or make plans with unbelievers: Therefore, “do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14). 

The reason is that the person who chooses the righteous way of life avoids thinking like the ungodly, behaving like the wicked, associating with the godless and doing things that will damn them to an eternity apart from God. Instead, they will “walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (Proverbs 13:20). 

A believer who chooses not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly will apply biblical truth to their daily life, letting God’s Word be a lamp to guide their feet and a light for their path (Psalm 119:105). Their “delight is in the law of the Lord,” and they “meditates on His law day and night,” (Psalm 1:2). Such a person will grow in faith and spiritual maturity since “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ” (Romans 10:17). 

God blesses the steps of the righteous because they “fear the Lord and delight in obeying His commands” (Psalm 112:1). Rather than taking pleasure in sin and the things of the world, they live clean lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people (Philippians 2:15). 

The Bible tells us that loving God and obeying His Word will result in abundant blessings because “blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28). And as we read the Scriptures daily, study them, memorize them, and meditate on them many times during the night and day, our thinking changes, and we no longer love the world or the things in it and no longer walk in the counsel of the ungodly. We no longer imitate the behavior of this world; instead, God transforms us by changing how we think. Then we can experience God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will for us (Romans 12:2). 

People who walk in the counsel of the ungodly listen to worldly advice, make plans with the wicked, and willfully participate in a sinful way of life. Romans 8:5–7 describes these people as “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” 

God however calls His children to choose the way of righteousness – to be set apart and to be holy. He calls us out of darkness to walk in His light (1 Peter 1:15–16; 2:9). That is the path to the blessings of life and peace. 

God helps us in our weakness by giving us His Holy Spirit who reveals the mind of Christ to us and enables us to carry out His will (1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Philippians 2:13). On the other hand, when we suppress the work of the Holy Spirit by rebelling against His will for us, we stifle the design of God, sabotage our own spiritual growth, and grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).

If God was gracious enough to redeem us from sin and death and give us new life in Christ, the very least we can do is offer our lives back to Him in complete surrender and holiness, which is for our benefit (Deuteronomy 10:13). Because of God’s mercies, we should be living sacrifices, “holy and pleasing to God” (Romans 12:1). 

For the Christian, the choice is clear. To avoid worldliness, we must mature in the faith, growing up in all things in Christ so that we are no longer spiritual infants, tossed about by the lies of the world (Ephesians 4:14-15). We must come to know the difference between the wisdom of God and the foolishness of worldly wisdom, and that is only achieved by careful and diligent study of the Word, seeking God’s wisdom in prayer (James 1:5), and enjoying the fellowship of other mature believers who can encourage us to reject worldliness and embrace godliness. 

Remember that “God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life” (1 Thessalonians 4:7). He wants us to live a decent life and follow the path of good, which is the one He determined for us. But He gives us free will so that we can do what we want; therefore, impurity is still a possible way. However, it is a path that we should avoid. We should honor the life that God has given us and always seek to live according to His will because, one day, in heaven, we will be free from sin and all its effects. Until then, we “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2) and keep running our race by listening and being obedient to our Lord. 

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DISCLAIMER MVM

1 John 4 vs 1-3

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3) 

Believers must be discerning in spiritual matters, so how will they accomplish this? 

First we need to understand the meaning of discernment since biblically it means having the ability to properly make determinations of what we are presented with, applying God’ wisdom given to us thru His word.  

From the day that Satan deceived Eve in the garden, until the last days, when the final antichrist will deceive the world (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12), evil spirits have promoted false teaching to lead people away from being true to God. When John says, “Many false prophets have gone out into the world,” we need to realize that these were outwardly normal looking people who didn’t appear evil or satanic. 

Many false prophets use Christian lingo and even profess to believe in Jesus. They have a charismatic personality and make convincing arguments. Jesus called them ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15). Paul warned that such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:13-14). 

We need spiritual discernment because Satan and his forces are alive and working, promoting falsehood at every opportunity. So, how do we test the spirits? 

John clarifies this for us by telling us that there are two spirits: 

  • God’s Spirit, which is called the Spirit of Truth because it inspires truth (vv. 4:2, 6); and
  • The spirit of antichrist, which promulgates falsehood, and does not acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ (vv. 3, 6). 

And he warns us how important it is to understand that we cannot believe everyone we hear and that we cannot believe everything that is alleged to come from God, but like the Bereans we need to check the Scriptures (Acts 17:11). We are to test the spirits, to discern whether a message is the truth that comes from God. Therefore, we are not to just accept what some teacher or preacher is saying; we are to examine what is being taught by the word of God.

We know that God speaks and reveals truth, and the enemy speaks lies and is a deceiver, therefore it is very critical that we be able to discern the difference. If information comes from the Holy Spirit it is life-giving, life-sustaining, life-producing and God-glorifying. If it is not sent and energized by the Holy Spirit, it comes from seducing spirits or false prophets, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This was and continues being a huge problem and those without discernment have been and are continually being victimized. 

It is very sad when we discover that many so called “religious leaders” are false teachers and people are having a hard time finding a church where the Word of God is being taught accurately and faithfully. 

Unfortunately there are many churches that claim and appear to be “Christian churches” but are not teaching the word of God. Meaning, they are downplaying or removing altogether the doctrines of sin, repentance, the Trinity, salvation by grace alone through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and the deity of Jesus Christ, and replacing them by more “seeker sensitive ideas.” 

The Bible teaches that, “The time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear – (2 Timothy 4:3). These false teachers are teaching their followers doctrines and practices that are not in harmony with God’s word, like the “contemplative prayer” and the “labyrinth prayers” which are actually taken from “New Age and Hindu practices” which are being introduced and accepted by many churches that are moving towards the Emergent Church movement today.

These teachers are hypocritical liars and are teaching doctrines of demons motivated by seducing spirits. This is an enourmous problem for those that are uninformed and the world is literally drowning in a sea of demonic lies. We live in a time when we must be so close to the Fahter and ask Him to fill us daily with His Spirit of discernment.

John continues giving instructions on how to know the Spirit of God: “By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” When someone comes and affirms that Jesus Christ is God in flesh that is the divine truth taught by the Holy Spirit. But every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” False teachers deny the deity of Jesus Christ and therefore as believers and students of the Bible we recognize them as being controlled by the devil and his lies. So: “Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).

The false teacher does not believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. He may accept Jesus Christ as a great teacher and a great religious leader, perhaps the greatest, but he does not believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the only way to God, when Jesus says that: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). The false teacher believes there are other ways to God. Therefore, beware!

The spirit of the antichrist was very much alive in John’s days and today our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). When we think of the antichrist, we think of some future person, the beast of Revelation. However, all teaching that presents untruth about Christ have the spirit of antichrist which has been in the world for nearly 2000 years and is yet to come in its final terrifying satanic form.

Before we accept any teaching, we need to be sure of the person’s view of Christ, their view of salvation, and their view of Scripture. Do they acknowledge that: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”? (2 Timothy 3:16). Do they manifest a regenerate life? Do they submit to the Word of God? Since “by this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).

Paul and John gave significant attention to protecting believers from false teaching, as they knew of the existence of influential false teachers. Paul warns Timothy to be on guard against falsehood (1 Timothy 6:20; 2 Timothy 4:15). John warns his readers to be on guard against idols (1 John 5:21). Peter adds that believers should be on guard so they are not carried away by error (2 Peter 3:17). 

Testing everything and holding fast to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21) remains an important discipline for every believer, in all eras of their life. And in order to do this, a Christian must “be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

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DISCLAIMER MVM

Posted by: missionventureministries | June 8, 2022

I AM HAPPY THAT GOD CREATED ME TO BE A GIRL

I AM GLAD GOD MAKE ME TO BE A GIRL

I AM HAPPY THAT GOD CREATED ME TO BE A GIRL

 

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DISCLAIMER MVM

Posted by: missionventureministries | June 8, 2022

I AM HAPPY THAT GOD CREATED ME TO BE A BOY

I AM GLAD THAT GOD MADE ME A BOY

I AM HAPPY THAT GOD CREATED ME TO BE A BOY

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DISCLAIMER MVM

Posted by: missionventureministries | June 8, 2022

HIDDEN FAULTS VS PRESUMPTUOUS SINS – Psalm 19:12-13

Psalm 19 vs 12-13

“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” (Psalm 19:12-13) 

David, the author of this psalm voices his frustration at his inability to apply his life totally in accordance with God’s revealed plan. He recognizes and asks for God’s forgiveness for his failure and asks for strength to avoid habitual sin patterns and willful rejection of God’s commandments. 

“Hidden faults” are sins committed in ignorance or without knowledge. It is therefore important to be as specific as we possibly can when we seek God’s forgiveness; since sin creates a barrier between us and God. 

When Jesus began His ministry, His first words were, “The time has come. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). And what is the good news? “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). 

We know that the consequence of sin is death, as Scripture teaches us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). 

Leviticus 5:17-19 speaks of individuals committing unintentional hidden sins of “ignorance”. Unintentional hidden sins are spoken of by David in Psalm 19:12: “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults.” Our hidden sins may be obvious to people who know us, but they are hidden from our awareness, so if we have someone that loves us and we can trust, we should ask them if they see any hidden sins in us so that we can make it right with God and those who we probably are offending. 

The consequence of habitually suppressing the truth results in God giving the sinner over to “the sinful desires of their hearts” , “shameful lusts” and “a depraved mind” (Romans 1:24, 26, 28). This means that God may allow the sinner to serve as his own god and to reap the destruction of his body and soul. It is a fearful thing to be “given over” to our own destructive ways as Hebrews 10:31 tells us: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” 

God has made it clear that “the soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4). Those who habitually live their lives outside of Christ, yet have been convicted by the gospel of Christ, should follow the example of the first converts of the church: “They were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’” The answer was simple yet profound: “Repent!” (Acts 2:37-38). 

David committed a presumptuous sin when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and she became pregnant. Then he had her husband killed to cover up his sin (2 Samuel 11). 

In Numbers 15, the law outlined the actions to be taken for sins knowingly committed. “But the person who does anything presumptuously . . . brings reproach on the Lord, and he shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him” (Numbers 15:30–31). 

Presumptuous sins are deliberate. They are committed with the full knowledge that they are sins and in full awareness of what God has said we are not to do. Presumptuous sins are premeditated, and the intent to sin is intensely deliberated before the act. Presumptuous sins can only be committed when the conscience is suppressed and a person willfully does it and nothing is going to stop them, they just go and do it. 

In other words, presumptuous sin is committed in direct contradiction to what a person knows is true. That is why David prays, “Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me!” (Psalm 19:13). 

Unless we ask God to restrain us our heart it might fill with a proud and insolent contempt against God. Therefore, like David we should humbly ask God for protection from both kinds of sins. May our Lord grant us wisdom to recognize defiance within us and give us strength to resist our human tendency to sin. 

Consequently if we are prone to sin we should learn to pray as David did in Psalm 139:23- 24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” 

And Hebrews 5:12-14 shows us that the more we know God’s written Word, the easier we will be able to distinguish good and evil in our lives. Therefore, “as obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16). 

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DISCLAIMER MVM

Hebrews 12 vs 14

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am Holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16) 

The apostle Peter instructed believers to live as God’s obedient children, because Scriptures says, you must be holy because I am holy (1 Peter 1:14–16). Once we are saved, we strive not to slip back into our old ways of living but pursue a lifelong endeavor toward personal holiness. 

God’s holiness is a critical aspect of His character. He not only desires, He commands that His people seek after His holiness “I am the Lord your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy” (Leviticus 11:44). Seeking after a lifestyle that reflects God’s holiness is so very important that we see the writer of Hebrews urge Christians to “make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). 

The affirmation ‘without holiness no one will see the Lord’ reflects a sense of seeing Christ at His return, like 1 John 3:2 states: “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” If our ultimate goal is to be like Christ and see Him when He returns, our daily pursuit must be toward complete purity of speech, thought and lifestyle. 

Another reminder of not being able to see the Lord unless we are holy is where Paul writes to the church Ephesus: “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5). 

John wrote that in the future, glorious New Jerusalem, “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27). 

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). People who desire to live in close fellowship with the Lord and see Him face to face must turn away from self-seeking desires and unholy attitudes. They must “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). 

Those who are truly born again, are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16-18). In light of this revelation, and, “since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). 

And Paul told Timothy, “Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be an implement for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). 

It’s vital to understand that, Christ has perfected for all time those who are sanctified (Hebrews 10:14) and made us holy through Christ’s finished work, the offering of His body on the cross (Hebrews 10:10). We are saved by Jesus “to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began” (2 Timothy 1:9). 

And “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we did in righteousness, but in accordance with His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). 

Therefore, motivated by the knowledge that “without holiness no one will see the Lord,” we should desire and continuously strive “to put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:24). 

So, how can we become holy? Holiness only results from a right relationship with God by believing in Jesus Christ as Savior, repenting of our sin and accepting His free gift of eternal life. If we have not placed our faith in God’s Son alone to save us from our sins, then our pursuit of holiness is in vain. So, we must first make sure that we are born-again believers (please read John 3:1-21). 

Then, if we truly are believers, we recognize that our position in Christ automatically sets us apart from the world (1 Peter 2:9); and once we are God’s children, we have a relationship with the living God! Therefore, we must live a set-apart life, not trying to “blend in” with the world, but instead living according to God’s Word as we study Scripture and grow in it. 

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DISCLAIMER MVM

Posted by: missionventureministries | May 25, 2022

BIBLICAL INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO THINK CORRECTLY – Philippians 4:8

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) 

The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Christian community he established in Philippi to exhort them to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel and to imitate the humility of Jesus in everything they do. He was writing to them from prison in Rome. The purpose for writing them was to show them through his personal example and testimony that it was possible to make it through any situation with the right outlook and attitude. He was a true disciple of Jesus; and was a tremendously disciplined Christian, since an un-disciplined life is not worth living. The foundational word for disciple is discipline and it takes tremendous discipline to live the Christian life. 

Paul faced many hardships as a Christian but was always allowing the Spirit of God to give him strength in his continual walk with the Lord. His instructions were from personal choices that he had already been practicing himself and loved to share with others, since he knew the effectiveness and success of such living. 

The main message of Philippians 4:8 is to transform one’s thinking in order to have peace of mind since our thoughts become our habits and our habits become our reality and way of life. 

This verse is a guideline for continual growth and transformation in the life of a Christian since refusing to dwell on negativity and purposely focusing on positive thoughts are elements God uses to allow peace to grow and turmoil to diminish. 

Our lives are surrounded with demands that often take our focus away from God; therefore we should keep Philippians 4:8 in mind as a guideline of how to think and ultimately live according to God’s purposes for our life. 

Let’s take a look in more detail at this amazingly list of empowering thinking. 

  • Whatever things are true: Refers to sincerity, honesty and truthfulness. Jesus said: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Truth was exemplified in Jesus Christ through His earthly ministry and His words teach us that: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Truth is whatever conforms to the gospel and the revelation of God’s will in his Word. 
  • Whatever things are noble: Refers to what is honorable, esteemed and revered in a person’s character. “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Timothy 1:17) and “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown…” (Proverbs 12:4). Paul has in view things that lift the mind rather than dragging it through the mud. 
  • Whatever things are just: Meaning things that are honest and righteous. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33). It refers to man’s relationship with others, dealing fairly with them in business and in day to day living. 
  • Whatever things are pure: Refers to things that are unblemished and incorrupt. Christian should strive for purity of the mind and body, since, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). 
  • Whatever things are lovely: Denotes to what is pleasing and precious to life, as Colossians 1:10 tells us, “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”
  • Whatever things are of good report: Meaning actions that are commendable. This includes respect, kindness, and graciousness. It speaks of an outward expression that others can see emanating from a Christian’s heart. Things that are reputable and worthy of respect. “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake…” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). 
  • If there is any virtue: Refers to conforming one’s life and actions to pure and righteous life practices produced through obedience to God’s Word. The fruit of the Spirit produces virtue in the lives of believers. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23). 
  • If there is anything praiseworthy: Points to things that are done correctly but not for gaining personal glory for doing something well. Paul is talking about deeds and thoughts that by their very nature move people to admiration and praise. 
  • Meditate on these things: Means to give careful consideration to the topics you are focusing on. Transformation is essential in the life of every true Christian, since salvation is meant to change Christians and save them from the things that want to hold them in bondage. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). What Paul describes here is a practical way to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 

Philippians 4:8 is a great tool for decision-making, since, when we are confronted with a difficult choice, we must ask, “Is it true? Is it consistent with the moral and theological principles of God’s Word? Is it an honorable thing? Is it right and just? Does it make think lovely and pure? Is it the sort of thing we could recommend to others? Does it encourage us to pursue excellence? Do we hear Christ-loving people praising our decision?” 

Remember that when we put good things into our mind, they stay there and then are communicated in a positive way. That is why Paul reminds us that we must constantly reject those things that do not draw us closer to God and to consciously focus on the things that bring us closer to Him, since we have the ability to choose what we think about. 

As we see, these excellent and praiseworthy principles should be the ones to dominate our thinking and if we do, God promises His peace in our life. Paul is reinforcing what Jesus taught that if He is the Lord of our life, out of our hearts will flow streams of living water and everyone that you meet will be refreshed because the love and holiness of Jesus is flowing through your life. 

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DISCLAIMER MVM

Posted by: missionventureministries | May 18, 2022

ARE YOU WATCHING FOR THE RETURN OF CHRIST? – Matthew 24:42, 44

Return of Christ - Matthew 24 vs 42

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. . . So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Matthew 24:42, 44) 

When Jesus said, “Keep watch,” He used a very significant word that deserves a deeper examination. The Greek word for “watch,” means, “To give strict attention, to be cautious, active, to pay attention, so that the calamity does not suddenly overtake us.” The word appears 23 times in the New Testament and in every case we get the sense of the urgency and importance of paying attention. 

Jesus repeatedly made it plain that no one can determine the date of His coming; and that even He, while in His human limitations, did not know when the Father would send Him again in the future. Therefore, He advised us to be watchful: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come” (Mark 13:32-33). 

Many times throughout His ministry Jesus counseled to watch and be ready for His return. He did not tell us to watch for the Antichrist or the Roman Empire’s revival or a great apostasy or anything else, but just for Him! Therefore, we need to “abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). 

Of course, it is very difficult to keep our eyes on the sky while doing our daily work. Watching however is to be prepared, to know God’s Word and therefore, not be deceived! 

Today as throughout history, if we believe the lies that are part of the great brainwashing campaign behind the philosophy of the world, we will become blinded and tragically self-deceived. The only defense is a continuous, reliance on the truth of God, revealed to us by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). That is why we desperately need the Word of God, and the Spirit of God to apply what the Word says to our daily life. 

Consequently, the only defense against deceit is a willing mind that follows the promptings of the Holy Spirit to hear God’s truth.   

A true born again Christian looks to Him while enjoying His presence and experiencing His power. Yes, He is coming again, and yet He is with us now. 

The longing we may feel to see His face and to be with our Savior is directly proportionate to the joy we have of His presence on a daily basis, and our yearning for His coming comes from wanting to be with Him one day for all eternity. 

Now, if the idea of Jesus’ return is a frightening thing to you, then unfortunately you know very little or nothing of His presence and need to give the matter great consideration. 

We are living in a time that is described in the Bible as the “days of evil” or perilous times. These are times in which man is living according to what is right in his own eyes like they did whey Israel had no king (Judges 17:6, Judges 21:25). It is a time when God has been forgotten and the world and all of its ungodly pleasures have taken front row seat in the lives of many, including some of those who once confessed Christ. 

The day will come when the world and all its pleasures will be no more (Revelation 18:22-23). What will you have then, if your soul is lost and you die apart from God?

Understanding the brevity of life is very important, since we should live each day of our life to it’s fullest for God, as we do not know when the Lord will return. 

Sadly, many throughout history live their life as if they planed to be on earth forever like the rich fool in the parable in Luke 12:13-21. These think only of themselves and make no preparation for the day they leave earth and stand before Christ to be judged. 

Since our days on earth are numbered and none of us know when we will take our last breath, it is imperative that we prepare daily for the day when we face Christ. 

When we stand before Christ all that will matter is what we did for Him while we lived. Did we have a personal relationship with the Father through Him? Did we do our best in obeying what He commanded of us in loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind and our neighbor as ourselves? (Matthew 22:37-39). 

At the end of our journey called life, what will we hear Christ say concerning us? Good and faithful servant? (Matthew 25:23). We hope so! 

Are you living for today only, with no regard for the Master’s return and the accounting that He will demand? Are you foolishly putting it out of your mind by thinking, “I’ve got time”? Jesus says that we should be “like men who are waiting for their master when he returns” (Luke 12:36-40). We should live each day with an eye on that future day when “the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16), and we will be blessed if the Master finds us ready when He comes. 

So, to be ready for Christ’s return, make sure that He is your Master; be involved in serving Him every day and live as if you expect Him to come back at any moment! 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | May 11, 2022

HOW CAN WE HEAR THE VOICE OF GOD – John 10:27

Hearing God's voice

The first thing we must understand is that to hear God’s voice we must belong to God. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). 

Those who hear God’s voice are those who belong to Him, those who have been saved by His grace through faith in the Lord Jesus. His sheep are the ones that hear and recognize His voice, because they know Him as their Shepherd. 

So how can we hear the voice of God? We hear His voice when we spend time reading the Bible and studying His Word. The more time we dedicate to God and His Word, the easier it is to recognize His voice and His leading in our lives. We should be so familiar with God’s Word that when someone speaks error to us, we immediately know that it is not from God. 

Unlike in the Old Testament when God spoke audibly more often, today He speaks primarily through His written Word. God’s leading comes through the Holy Spirit; it can also come through our conscience, through circumstances, and through the wisdom of other Christians. Therefore, it is only by comparing what we hear to the truth of Scripture that we can learn to recognize God’s voice accurately. 

Samuel heard the voice of God, but did not recognize it until he was instructed by Eli (1 Samuel 3:1–10). Gideon had a physical revelation from God, and he still doubted what he had heard to the point of asking for a sign, not once, but three times (Judges 6:17–22, 36–40). 

So, when we are listening for God’s voice, how can we know that He is the one speaking? Today we have the complete Bible, the inspired Word of God, to read, study, and meditate on. And since the Bible tells us that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17), we have and instruction Book that we can always access when we have doubts or questions that need answers. It is the best source for any decision or questions that we might have since God will never lead us contrary to what He has taught in His Word (Titus 1:2). 

The more time believers spend in the Word, listening to God, and dialoguing with Him thru prayer, the easier it will be to recognize His voice and His leading in our lives. 

We should know God so well through the Scriptures that it will be obvious to us when He guides our conscience by the Holy Spirit to do something that we will know that it is He who is speaking to us. 

We should not hesitate to ask God to speak to us because, He cares about every detail of our life, so we need to pray about everything and expect Him to respond. We need to approach God through prayer with confidence, knowing that He wants to hear from us and will answer at the right time. 

We need to ask God to help us discern the difference between His voice, our own voice, other people’s voices, and the enemy’s voice speaking to us. Therefore we need to stay in touch with Him on a day to day basis to keep our relationship with Him alive and strong.

Listening to God and rightly identifying His voice is based on the solid basis of familiarity, established through constant and sustained interaction. Just as we are able to recognize a loved one’s voice from a distance the Lord provides the necessary tools to recognize His voice so that we can listen to and discern His will. And once we do, we must also be willing to obey Him when He speaks because Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28). 

If we find that God has stopped speaking to us regarding a certain issue, one of the possible reasons could be that He’s waiting for us to first obey Him on what He has already told us on the matter, before He tells us what the next step is to take. If we do not desire to obey God when He does speak, why would He keep speaking to us when we keep ignoring Him? 

However, when we experience the delight of recognizing His voice, our joy will be complete when we obey and follow Him in the way He calls us to walk. Therefore, 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). 

The prophet Jeremiah wrote: “Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3). 

Therefore, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). 

Remember that, if we expect God to hear us and guide us we must be completely humble as God has promised that He will listen to and guide those who are humble as they walk in holy and unbroken fellowship with Him. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6). 

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Proverbs 3 vs 5-6

As Christians, our overall direction in life is determined by our commitment to God, and we must remember to ask Him to direct our life in everything we do. 

When we are unsure of God’s will for our life we should pray and meditate on His word because His Word reveals and teaches us how to ask: 

“Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8). 

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” (Psalm 25:5). 

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). 

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7). 

If I obey you Lord “The Spirit of truth will guide me into all truth” (John 16:13). 

If I am making a wrong decision Lord please let your Holy Spirit agitate my conscience and if I am leaning towards the right decision give me peace and encourage me to proceed according to Your will because “You my Lord will guide me always” (Isaiah 58:11). 

Lord, if You are calling me to take a leap of faith, encourage me with Your presence for Your word says that: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). 

And please help me to remember to, “cast all my anxiety on You because You care for me” (1 Peter 5:7). 

I need to “Trust in you dear Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding, and in all my ways acknowledge You, and You will direct my paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). 

If (state your request) is what You have in mind for me to do, than please give me the peace that transcends all understanding and open up the way; and if not, show me another direction that You already have in mind for me because, I will trust in the Lord everything I do, so that my plans will be successful (Proverbs 16:3). 

So while you might be unsure of what you are supposed to do in certain areas of your life, you must remember that as a Christian you are called to glorify God, to love God, to love people, and to advance his Kingdom by spreading the gospel in both word and deed. 

So when you don’t know what to do, remember to always glorify God, because that is our ultimate purpose as Christians. 

And finally thank Him for guiding you and for showing you the way you should go.   

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