Posted by: missionventureministries | September 22, 2021

WHEN I AM AFRAID I WILL PUT MY TRUST IN YOU – Psalm 56:3

Psalm 56 vs 3

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” (Psalm 56:3) 

Fear is an emotion experienced by everyone around the world. Fear arises with the threat of harm, physical, emotional or psychological, real or imagined. While traditionally considered a “negative” emotion, fear actually serves an important role in keeping us safe as it mobilizes us to cope with potential danger. 

Most people at times are afraid of something. We live in a world that offers plenty of chances to fear, and we can be rather creative in thinking of new things to be fearful of. Maybe that’s why one of the most often repeated commands in the Bible is “do not be afraid.” Of course, the Bible does more than issue the command; it gives us good reasons why we do not need to be afraid. 

The Bible mentions two specific types of fear. The first type is beneficial and is to be encouraged. The second type is a detriment and is to be overcome. The first type of fear is fear of the Lord. This type of fear does not necessarily mean to be afraid of something; rather, it is a reverential awe of God, a reverence for His power and glory. However, it is also a proper respect for His wrath and anger. In other words, the fear of the Lord is a total acknowledgement of all that God is which comes through knowing Him and His attributes. 

Fear of the Lord brings with it many blessings and benefits. It is the beginning of wisdom and leads to good understanding (Psalm 111:10). Only fools despise wisdom and discipline (Proverbs 1:7). Furthermore, fear of the Lord leads to life, rest, peace, and contentment (Proverbs 19:23). It is the fountain and life (Proverbs 14:27) and provides a security and a place of safety for us (Proverbs 14:26). 

Thus, one can see how fearing God should be encouraged. However, the second type of fear mentioned in the Bible is not beneficial at all. This is the “spirit of fear” mentioned in 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” As we see, a spirit of fearfulness and timidity does not come from God. 

So how can we live our lives without fear? Here are some biblical key verses: 

  • We need to trust in God. This is the starting point and the psalmist models the proper choice: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Psalm 56:3). 
  • We need to remember that our Good Shepherd is with us, “though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). 
  • We need to understand that God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). 
  • And that He is our salvation and therefore “I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; He has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12:2). 

In trusting God, we pray to Him, we believe His Word, and we obey His commands. Scripture abounds with reasons why we should not be afraid, based on our trust in the Lord. Here are some additional scriptures that refer to not being afraid – Deuteronomy 31:8; Psalm 27:1; 34:4; 118:6; Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 10:28; John 14:27; Romans 8:38-39. 

Trusting in God will counteract the effects of fear. The Bible’s admonition to not be afraid naturally implies faith in God. “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). 

To focus on the source of fear is to engender more fear; to focus on the One who takes fear away is to find comfort. We need to choose to fix our thoughts on whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable and on anything that is excellent or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). 

In choosing to not be afraid, we remember that “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). 

Remember that “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). No one is perfect, and God knows this. That is why He has generously sprinkled encouragement against fear throughout the Bible. Beginning in the book of Genesis and continuing to the book of Revelation, God reminds us to “fear not.” 

For example, Isaiah 41:10 encourages us, “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.” 

And in Psalm 56:11 the psalmist writes, “In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” 

These are but a few of the awesome testimony to the power of trusting in God. Regardless of what happens, we should trust in God because thru Scripture we know and should understand the power of God. The key to overcoming fear, then, is total and complete trust in God. Trusting God is a refusal to give in to fear, it is a turning to God even in the darkest times and trusting Him to make things right. As Job said when he was experiencing some of the most difficult trials recorded in the Bible, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15). 

Once we have learned to put our trust in God, we will no longer be afraid of the things that come against us. We will be like the psalmist who said with confidence “…let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread Your protection over them that those who love Your name may rejoice in You” (Psalm 5:11). 

Be willing to obey and not fear, trusting that God will provide all you need. No matter what happens, your faithfulness will result in deep inner peace, and ask God to teach you to take your eyes off of your circumstances and the fearful things that are happening all around us and instead look to Him. 

And always remember the future God has promised His children. We should not worry about tomorrow as Jesus clearly taught (Matthew 6:34). In this life, we have God’s promise to meet every need His children have (Philippians 4:19) and to accomplish His work in us (Philippians 1:6). 

When the Bible tells us, “do not fear,” it means we are not to allow anxiety or fretfulness to rule our lives or take root in our hearts. We are not to be people of panic, but to be people of faith. 

Remember that God will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3). 

Oswald Chamber encourages us to trust God by stating, “During a crisis true Christians are the ones who should always be calm and confident, because they know that God is always in control.” 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | September 15, 2021

AS IN THE DAYS OF NOAH – Matthew 24:37

Matthew 24 vs 37

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. (Matthew 24:37) 

The Lord Himself told us that the last days will be like those of Noah’s where the earth was filled with violence and the thoughts and intents of man’s heart were continually evil. God carried out the deserved judgment, and only kept a few righteous survivors to inhabit the earth. Today, the parallels between our day and Noah’s are unmistakable as Jesus warned us: “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:37-39).           

Evil has always existed since the fall of man and will be here until the Lord returns; that is why the Lord gives us hope as we endure the tribulations that are taking place today: “Do not fret because of evildoers or be envious of the wicked, for the evildoer has no future hope, and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out” (Proverbs 24:19-20). 

Nothing, according to the Scriptures, will stop the hatred of evil men against that which represents the lifestyle of those who live for the Lord Jesus: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first” (John 15:18). But remember that the vengeance belongs to God alone, “for we know Him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people” (Hebrews 10:30). Vengeance will come one day as we are read in the book of Revelation thru the horrific judgments of the seals, trumpets and bowls. 

The biggest challenge is that we forget that the enemy has always existed in one way or another, and if we are constantly in turmoil over the latest display of evil we are not trusting in the Lord. We need to pay attention to the words of our Lord when He said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I. “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe” (John 14:27-29). 

It is the peace and the “joy of the LORD” that brings us strength (Nehemiah 8:10). It is the delight in doing good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share (1 Timothy 6:18) that allows us to experience the love of the Lord Jesus. Seeking first “the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33) is what brings our heavenly Father’s steadfast supply of all that we may need according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). 

When evil days move stealthily into our lives as they seem to be doing each day in this time of history that we live in, we would do well to focus our “minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). 

The Bible constantly reminds us to look beyond the moment and current circumstances. We need to look to where we are going and to remember that we already know the end. The closer we get to it, the more clearly it can be understood. “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-5). 

We live in dark times for sure, but we are not of the darkness. We live in a time where “sudden destruction” is imminent, and yet we do not have an appointment with it. We are not of the night and thus the day of the Lord will not come upon us as a thief, because as believers we know how things will end. 

If these times are weighing heavily on you, if the spiritual darkness feels like it’s pressing in on you, if it feels like the world has reached the point of no return, then look up, because our redemption is near! (Luke 21:28). How do we know? God told us the end of the story in His book: Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:5-7). 

It is crucial for us to remember that when the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He included in the prayer, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We need to take note of the fact that if Jesus said to pray like this, He is in essence telling us that God’s kingdom is coming and God’s will is going to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Therefore, we should pray for that outcome. 

This is a time when the world is looking more and more like a kingdom of darkness, where the love of many is growing cold, and lawlessness is abounding, where evil characters and their malicious plots are plentiful all around us. Yet we know that God is ultimately in control. He has told us through the prophets that the world’s condition is temporary and that darkness will not prevail over the kingdom of light. 

Even though God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7), it is worrisome to think of those who are going to be left behind when this moment in history comes upon those who do not know Jesus. What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the world wide flood of Noah’s day, will be pale in comparison. We need to live each day prepared to meet with the Lord and to have an urgency to reach the lost, for it is not the Father’s will that any one of them should perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). 

Please remember that “The wicked plots against the righteous, and gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, for He sees that his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow to take down the afflicted and the needy, to kill off those who are upright in conduct. Their sword will enter their own heart, and their bows will be broken” (Psalms 37:12-15). 

Therefore, “observe the blameless person, and look at the upright; for the person of peace will have a future. But wrongdoers will altogether be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be eliminated. But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and rescues them; He rescues them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him” (Psalms 37:37-40). 

“Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:40).       

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Posted by: missionventureministries | September 8, 2021

LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR DEAD – Luke 9:59-60

Luke 9 vs 59-60 (E)

Jesus said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59-60) 

One day Jesus invited a man to follow Him and become His disciple, but the man refused. He said he would follow Jesus later, but first he wanted to go bury his father. Jesus responded, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” As we see, nothing is more important than responding to the gospel. This however requires that the gospel be preached (Romans 10:14) as Jesus is saying to this man. It appears however that this man wanted not only to bury his father but in Jewish tradition also get his inheritance. It seems he was skirting his spiritual calling and wanted Christ to give His blessing to this action. 

Instead, Christ told him to focus on his calling. A better sense of Jesus’ statement would be, “Don’t neglect the high spiritual calling I’ve given you; let the spiritually dead attend to the routine tasks of life.” Certainly, Christ would not forbid the man from attending to the funeral arrangements for his father. Christ Himself went to visit the family of His friend Lazarus after Lazarus’ death—even at great risk of His life (John 11:1-16). 

Regardless of the reason, this man was missing the meaning of the urgency in Jesus’ command. Without Christ, each and every one of us is a walking dead person. We are dead in our sins; we may be alive, strong and healthy physically, and yet be spiritually dead, which is very serious. 

Jesus was forcing this man to face reality and make a decision. He was telling him, “If you’re going to follow me, do it right now, today (read Luke 12:13-21). Don’t waste another second; who knows what could happen in a few hours?” Countless people assumed they could postpone following Jesus until later, but tomorrow never came. Therefore, “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrew 3:15). 

Once we make the decision to follow Jesus and preach His good news, we must deny worldly pursuits and comforts, and do the Lord’s work. Jesus wants spiritually alive followers to be instruments in the Lord’s hands to call others to life in Christ. 

Human beings are composed of a body by which they interact with the world around them; however, we need to understand that everyone since birth is spiritually dead because of their sin nature inherited from Adam. Even though we are physically alive, anyone who is not a true born again Christian believer is spiritually dead in God’s eyes. 

Adam’s sin separated us from God, but Christ’s sacrifice gives eternal life to those who admit they are sinners and put their trust in Him for the forgiveness of their sins. Christ is our Savior and the only way to salvation. 

Jesus was very clear when He talked of salvation. The purpose of His life on earth was to offer us salvation and to be our Redeemer. When Adam chose to sin, fellowship with God was broken. No longer could Adam and Eve live in Paradise. Adam’s sin had condemned mankind to be separated from God and we are still under that curse. 

This is why Jesus came down from heaven to be a Man among mankind, living a perfect and sinless life and to be that perfect sacrifice that God’s law demanded. Once He did that, He rose from the dead on the third day, and currently sits at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for those who place their faith and trust in Him. 

Those who have accepted God’s free gift of salvation will live eternally with Him and will avoid the lake of fire. Don’t ever think that eternity separated from God in the lake of fire is going to be one big party. It is eternal torment as Jesus said: “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life” (Matthew 25:46). This is why anyone that does not believe in God’s plan for Salvation through Christ Jesus is a walking dead person. 

When someone is born again, that person is spiritually revived through the power in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. When a person, comes to the knowledge of this understanding, yet rejects the free offer of salvation, they are in effect walking dead.  

Just as Jesus confronted the Pharisees of His time, who were walking, talking, living and breathing, but who were actually spiritually dead; Jesus didn’t mince words when He called the ‘religious leaders’ of His day “whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean” (Matthew 23:27). Jesus was not harsh to be mean; rather, love guided His actions. Jesus spoke firmly against the deception of Satan out of a desire for people to know truth and find life in Him. 

Jesus’ words were harsh because there was so much at stake. Those who followed the Pharisees and scribes were being kept from following God. So much of the teaching in Jesus’ day was in direct contradiction of God’s Word (Matthew 15:6). The religious leaders made a mockery out of following God. They did not truly understand God’s ways, and they led others away from God. Jesus’ desire was that people would come to know God and be reconciled with Him. 

Anyone who rejects the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, and dies refusing, are actually committing spiritual suicide. By rejecting Jesus, they have condemned their eternal being, their spirit and soul to eternal death in hell, separated from God forever. 

You see, Jesus came down from heaven and sacrificed Himself to give walking dead people life. You and I were dead in our sins before we put our trust in Christ for salvation. Ephesians 2:4-9 tells us that:  Because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. 

The very instant we believe by faith that Christ died and paid for our sins, we are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise: And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13-14). 

The walking dead have been around for the last two thousand years, as they refused to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They also existed before Jesus came to earth because they refused to believe in the promise of the Messiah that was to come. Now, once these died they were sent to Hades (hell), the only place they were fit for, a temporary holding place, until they are cast into the lake of fire at the time of the Great White Throne Judgment, Revelation 20:11-15. 

Are you part of the walking dead? It is our hope that you are not, however, if you are, you still have time to become spiritually alive in Christ. Remember, 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). But you have a choice, whether to become spiritually alive in Christ or to be part of the millions of spiritually dead who are already separated from God by dying without Him. What will your decision be? What is holding you back? 

This Scripture is full of urgency. Be urgent about following Jesus. Be urgent about responding to His calling. Be urgent about doing His will. Don’t assume you will have a chance to do it later. That day may never come. Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2). 

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1 Peter 3 vs 14-16

But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be in dread, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who disparage your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:14-16). 

Christians are called to live differently from the world. We are to lead honorable lives for the sake of Jesus. And even if we have to suffer for the sake of righteousness, we are blessed. 

Therefore we are not to compromise our blessing by fearing man in times of adversity. In other words, do not fear their intimidation, and do not be in dread. Only God is to be feared; and he who fears God has nothing else to fear as quoted from Isaiah 8:12-13. 

But instead we should sanctify Christ as Lord in our heart, as the Lord’s Prayer teaches us in Matthew 6:9, “Hallowed be Your name.” To sanctify means to set apart or make holy. Even when we are persecuted for our faith, we should not refuse to stand up for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   

Therefore, we should always be ready to give a defense to those who ask about the reason for our hope when someone asks. There is no excuse for a Christian to be unable to defend their belief. Every Christian should be able to give an explanation of his or her faith in Christ; they should know what they believe, why they believe, how to share the gospel with others, and how to defend Scripture against lies and attacks. 

Then Peter speaks of a second aspect of the Christian attitude when sharing their beliefs, “but do this with gentleness and respect…” While defending our Christian faith we should never be rude, angry, or disrespectful. We should strive to be strong in our defense and at the same time Christ-like in our presentation. If we win a debate but turn a person away from Christ by our attitude, we have lost the true purpose of our Christian testimony. Believers should reflect Christ’s teaching of gentleness and “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). 

We need not be intimidated by having to give an answer, because our answer does not have to come from our own intelligence or wisdom. The gospel which has been revealed to us is all we need. As Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16). 

The third point Peter employs is to give believers comfort in the knowledge that Jesus himself suffered. He uses Christ as an example that suffering can be a part of the path of a faithful believer. The story of Christ presents two comforts to the believers and helps them understand that being righteous and obedient to God’s will does not provide a protection against pain and suffering. 

In His perfect obedience, Christ suffered and died. While as believers we do not look for suffering, Christians are encouraged to not shy away from their beliefs for fear of possible sufferings. Suffering should be expected, and with the Holy Spirit’s help we are equipped to deal with those who criticize our good behavior. Just as Christ triumphed we can hope to triumph as well. 

Again Peter warns us to have a good conscience. We should live such that, if people accuse us of wrong, we can rest assured in our hearts that we have obeyed the Lord and stood for truth of His word. It should be evident there are no grounds for the accusation that others may make against us. Our conduct should be so obviously righteous that those who accuse us should be the ones who are ashamed, rather than us. 

Nevertheless, Peter warns that righteous people will sometimes suffer at the hands of evildoers. If this happens, we should view it as a blessing and not be afraid of their threats. The blessing comes, not simply because we suffer, but because we know that we are pleasing God, and that He will honor and reward those who are persecuted for righteousness sake. 

We need to be aware that God is with us and that we have an eternal reward in a much better place when this life is over. We should always put our life in God’s hands Who created us and trust Him to protect us, to meet our needs, and to provide our eternal reward. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12). 

Therefore keep in mind that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

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Posted by: missionventureministries | August 25, 2021

DEVELOPING PATIENCE – Colossians 3:12-15

Colossians 3 vs 12-15

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so must you do also. (Colossians 3:12-13) 

Paul understood the nearly impossible challenge of developing a peaceful, harmonious coexistence among human beings—between slaves and masters, between Jews and Gentiles, between rich and poor. For the church to truly be the body of Christ on earth, a genuine spiritual transformation must take place within the hearts and lives of its members. 

Christ-honoring fellowship is only possible when believers bear with one another in a spirit of love. Bearing with one another implies a willingness to put up with differences, abuses whether intentional or not, and offenses caused by other brothers and sisters in Christ. It is an essential virtue in God’s family. Believers are called to take this idea even one step further by forgiving whatever grievances they may have against each other. Just as the Lord forgives us, we are to forgive others (Ephesians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 5:19). Jesus Christ is our example in bearing with one another and demonstrating forgiveness (Colossians 2:13). 

Paul continues by stating that “in addition to all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity” (Colossians 3:14). On any given day, we may encounter frustrating people and situations, such as a mischievous child, uncooperative coworker, a disgruntled customer or anything else. We might feel like lashing out, but God wants us to stay calm and be patient with everyone. We urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone (1 Thessalonians 5:14). Scripture has a number of things to say about believers developing this important attribute. 

First, it is our calling. God exhorts us to be tolerant, gentle, and bear one another’s burdens – “Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3). 

Second, the Lord has set an example for us: He demonstrated patience toward Peter’s actions, the crowd’s demands, and the religious leaders’ false accusations. We should aspire to do the same; therefore, be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer (Romans 12:11-12). 

Third, we should recognize how damaging impatience is, since it can hurt others and close off the exchange of ideas and the sharing of God’s word. Responding calmly gives people room to confess their mistakes, become aware of their wrong attitude, and to make changes. 

Patience is part of the spiritual fruit that increasingly develops as we are conformed to Christ’s image (Galatian 5:22-23). When we rely on the Holy Spirit, He empowers us to have patience through moments of waiting and provocation—without becoming defensive. A calm demeanor in times of adversity can be a powerful witness to the transforming work of God. 

Since God’s nature is to be tolerant, gracious, and patient with us, we must be the same with others. As we cast off the old sinful self and put on the holy attributes of God, we are transformed into His image. We become “kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). 

Only when we “let the peace that comes from Christ” rule in our hearts can we bear with one another and live in unity as we are called to do as members of one body to rule in your hearts; and be thankful. (Colossians 3:15). 

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:5-7). Remember that our readiness to accept one another with patience and to live together in peace and harmony brings praise and glory to God. 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | August 18, 2021

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THOSE LEFT BEHIND AFTER THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

Catching away of the church 

Dear Friend: 

As you are reading this note that has been left in this Bible, please know that God loves you and that He wants you to be with Him for all eternity. The book of John tells us in Chapter 3 verse 16 that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” 

You might have heard the Bible taught and you might have postponed accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and now you are confronted with a situation that is very puzzling and frightening to you. 

With the chaotic state that the world is now, you probably were awakened by the sound of sirens and your phone might have been broadcasting an emergency channel alert. You might have run to turn on the television to see what the news had to say, or you might have gotten the news on your smart phone and heard that the world is in a state of chaos. All kinds of disasters have happened, people are injured and then there are reports of people missing all over the world. 

There are rumors that people just vanished and many say that UFOs have taken them away.  

You might have small children, only to find out that they have disappeared also. Then on the evening news the announcement is made that the Untied Security Counsel, in emergency session, has concluded that the earth had indeed been visited by a craft from another planet and had taken many people. THESE ARE ALL LIES. 

I want you to know the truth of God’s word and why people have vanished. Please take a look at the book of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. If you are not familiar with the Bible, there is an index in the front, look in the listing for the page where you will find 1 Thessalonians and then go to chapter 4 and then verses 13-18. They are all numbered, but I will write it out for you here: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed  about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 

You might have heard the term “rapture” it means catching away. And as the Bible tells us the catching away will be in an instant. Here is more information in 1 Corinthians 15:50-52I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 

Christ has come for His bride and has taken all the people that put their trust in Him to Heaven. In John 14:1-3 Jesus told His disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. 

Another verse that foretold the catching away is found in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man (Adam), the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man (Jesus). For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when He comesthose who belong to Him.” 

Only believers were able to see Christ and hear the calling when He came, and were transformed and taken out of this world to be with Him. The Christian believers knew from the verse in Philippians 3:20-21 that their citizenship is in heaven. And they eagerly waited for the Savior to come, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, transformed our lowly bodies so that it became like His glorious body. 

Believers were prepared because they knew that the rapture or catching away could happen at any moment. And Jesus promised the Christian believers that: “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” (Revelation 3:10).

You might be asking what are these commands, and what is it that they did. The book of Titus in chapter 2 verses 12-14 tells us that: They (the Christians) said “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled,  upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good. 

The tribulation period which will last 7 years will be a time as there never has been before and you might be killed for your faith, but your reward will be to spend eternity with your loving Savior and Redeemer if you accept Him as your Lord and Savior. Jesus said in Matthew 24:21“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.” 

Now that this has all happened you might be asking what can I do? There is hope even in the terrible times ahead for those who realize that Jesus Christ is the only way of escaping an eternity in the Lake of Fire. Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). 

RECEIVING ETERNAL LIFE IS AS SIMPLE AS

A – B – C 

A – ADMIT YOU ARE A SINNER“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). A sinner needs to acknowledge that they have sinned. 

B – BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS, ROSE FROM THE DEAD AND THAT YOU TRUST IN HIM ALONE FOR YOUR SALVATION, COMMITTING YOUR LIFE TO HIS SERVICE – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Believing in Him is the key to salvation as the prophet Isaiah wrote: I, only I, am the Lord, and there is no savior besides Me (Isaiah 43:11).   

C – CONFESS YOUR SINS“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins” (1 John 1:9). We need to tell Jesus that we have sinned and ask for Him for forgiveness. If we are sincere He will forgive us, no matter what sins we have committed. 

WARNING: You are going to hear much false information from many people, so study this Bible that is yours now. And beware that in the middle of the seven year tribulation period there will be a mandate to take a MARK. The mark of the beast is a mark that will be placed on a person’s forehead or right hand as a sign of allegiance to the Antichrist (Revelation 13:15–18). Further, no one will be allowed to engage in buying or selling without the mark (Revelation 13:17). It appears that some form of worship of the Antichrist is associated with receiving the mark as we read in (Revelation 14:9-10 and Revelation 16:2), and those who refuse to worship the image of the beast will be killed (Revelation 13:15). 

The question then arises as to whether a person who has received the mark of the beast can be forgiven. The answer to this question seems to be “no” according to Revelation 14:9–11, which describes the fate of someone who takes the mark of the beast, Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” 

The eternal destiny of those who take the mark of the beast is the Lake of Fire. Why is taking the mark of the beast a damnable sin against God? Why would God condemn a person to hell for taking the mark of the beast? The Bible confirms that taking the mark of the beast will be a blasphemous act of willful defiance against God. Receiving the mark of the beast is essentially worshiping Satan. Those who take the mark have made the choice to serve Satan rather than obey God and receive Christ as Savior. When people make that decision during the tribulation, God will grant their request to be eternally separated from Him. 

Now that you have this Bible, trust in the Lord and become a believer. Study His Word, pray and ask the Father to help you as you navigate thru these upcoming difficult times, and if you are sincere He WILL. Because the Bible tells us that: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). And always remember to “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). 

Here is and example of how you might pray. Use your own words, and remember that it needs to come from a sincere heart because, if you regard wickedness in your heart, the Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18). 

Lord Jesus, You love me even though I have not loved You. I admit that I am a sinner and I know that there is no other way to have my many sins forgiven except through Your blood, that was shed at Calvary for sinners such as me. I believe that You died for me and that You took all the punishment for my sins that I justly deserve. Lord I repent of all my sins and pray that You would forgive me all my trespasses. Please come into my life – I receive You as my Savior for You promised that as many as receive You, You will give the right to become Your children (John 1:12). Lord I believe and want to follow You as My Lord and Savior, from this day forward. Thank You for hearing my prayer, and for saving me from an eternity apart from You. Amen

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Posted by: missionventureministries | August 11, 2021

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WATCHMAN TODAY? – Ezekiel 33:7

Ezekiel 33

“Now as for you, son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; so you will hear a message from My mouth and give them a warning from Me.” (Ezekiel 33:7) 

God appointed prophets in the Old Testament and today He appoints believers as ambassadors to proclaim the gospel and the word of God to give people the opportunity to find out about the good news of salvation, because “faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). 

A Watchman’s job was to watch from the tower all through the night and guard the entry gate from any enemy attack. They had to keep an eye out to see any encroaching danger. Their job was to warn the people when danger was near. In the same way we are to warn everyone of the impending danger of going to hell instead of heaven if people don’t repent, change their bad habits and come to Christ. 

God delegate to Ezekiel this great responsibility, “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me;” this is so important that God starts off by giving this command first here in Chapter 3:17, and then gives it again in chapter 33:7. “When I say to the wicked, ‘You will certainly die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way so that he may live, that wicked person shall die for wrongdoing, but his blood I will require from your hand. However if you have warned the wicked and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his wicked way, he shall die for wrongdoing, but you have saved yourself” (Ezekiel 3:17-19). 

In other words, God is reminding Ezekiel of his duty to warn in the face of danger. He was to warn the Israelites in light of the urgency of God’s wrath. If Ezekiel refused to warn his people of pending danger the blood would be on his hands and the Lord would hold Ezekiel accountable for his failure to warn them.  However, if he executed his duties properly and warned the person and they still chose wickedness Ezekiel would not be held accountable for their action. 

While the concept of a watchman positioned at the city gates tower to warn people of imminent danger pertains to a time past, the idea that God continues to use us as His mouthpiece to declare the good news of salvation is still very much applicable today and will always be. 

2 Corinthians 5:20, is the most equivalent scripture that reinforces our New Testament expression of being watchman – “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Here we are appointed as ambassadors with the same purpose. God intends to use us as He used Ezekiel to call out to, with urgency that the day of the Lord compels to “be reconciled to God.” 

We are called to declare His truth and call people to faith and repentance; especially to a society that like in Isaiah’s time calls good evil and evil good, (Isaiah 5:20). 

We need to inform and alert those that are within our reach of their wrong thinking and that if there is no change that judgment will come. We must openly talk about the lamentable things that are going on, like the breakdown of marriage and family, the murdering of innocent human life, about the loss of Christian values, and to warn of the coming persecution of Christians. Never forget that Christians are seen by secular progressives and left-wing social movements as narrow-minded and intolerant; and that they would like to silence us completely. Because of their hatred for integrity and truth, all dictators will always attack the truth that true Christians present. 

We need to be courageous for the cause of the gospel so that not only in America, but in every country in the world, people will see the errors of their thinking and come to Jesus while there is still time. 

Sadly the major roadblock is the church, pastors, leaders and immature “Christians”. Too often Christians want to play it safe, not take risks, and just get along with the prevailing culture. Unfortunately that does not change biblical prophecy and the coming wrath of the King of kings during the tribulation and then when Jesus returns as a Judge, to judge the faithful and the unfaithful that remain alive at the end of this terrible time that is still to come. 

Christian pastors, leaders, and congregations are the ones that need to speak up for Jesus and give direction and warning to our fallen culture. Jesus said: “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and don’t do what I say” (Luke 6:46). We are called to speak up and give testimony of our blessed Savior’s love and sacrifice for us. We need to warn of what is to come, or face the consequences of our disobedience ourselves. 

Are you speaking up and being heard? Are you being a watchman for Jesus Christ? In the Old Testament the watchman’s job was also to urge God’s people to live faithfully and warn them of the dangers involved in falling away from the Lord and doing evil. If you call yourself a believer in Jesus Christ then your voice needs to be heard in the same way, wherever you go, testifying of His truth, His purpose, and His judgment. 

The time for Jesus’ return is getting closer every second that goes by, therefore, as believers we need to speak up today, calling people to faith, and giving glory to the Lord Jesus when a soul by grace is saved, through faith; and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

God calls all Christians to be watchmen. Jesus told His disciples to “watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38). We should all be ready and waiting for the Lord’s return, “because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Luke 12:40). 

God has established the believers as watchmen, because we can clearly see the coming danger in both the physical and in the spiritual realm. Therefore, we must not be silent. We must warn the people about the difficult times that are coming upon us and inspire them to abandon sin and turn their hearts towards God. 

Many natural disasters have already caught different nations by surprise in the last few years, including tsunamis, hurricanes, frequent earthquakes and disastrous fires, which have devastated entire cities. These are all signs that God’s judgment are intensifying. Jesus told His disciples: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains” (Matthew 24:4-8). This will take place before Jesus returns to this earth at His second coming; and only those who are spiritually prepared will be saved. 

Remember that Noah warned the people of a great disastrous flood while people had never even seen rain before; however, most people were apathetic. This condition in today’s terms is called the “normalcy bias” syndrome, which describes people who believe nothing really dangerous is ever going to happen, no matter what kind of facts you may present. Normalcy bias is a cognitive bias that makes us believe, irrationally, that nothing bad will ever happen to us because it has never happened to us. That is, everything will always be “normal” and nothing will break with that normality. This was a reason why so many Jews refused to leave Germany before being killed. 

Sadly, when you try to warn people, most will be uninterested, some will appreciate your concern, but others may even become irritated and angry. Consequently, to be a watchman today requires overcoming some serious obstacles, such as the mind-numbing effects of mainstream media and the dumbed-down public education system. 

Though we understand the End Times are a time of heightened trials, there are scriptures that emphasize we are to encourage one another with the blessed hope, since “the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | August 4, 2021

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT – Galatians 5:22-23

Fruit of the Spirit (E)

Paul has just finished listing the results of yielding to our flesh. Now he explains the result of yielding to the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

Before we look at the fruit of the Spirit we need to note the closing sentence: “Against such things there is no law” (5:23b). Paul is contrasting the freedom that Christians have as a result of their salvation by faith in Christ, and of God now dwelling within them by the presence of the Holy Spirit, with the futility associated with having to perfectly keep the law of God as given in the Old Testament in order to be saved, since Paul had already mentioned in Galatians 2:16 that “by the works of the law will no one be justified.”

Nevertheless, even though Christians now have the indwelling Spirit of God, and are saved apart from the works of the law, they still also have within themselves their old fleshly natures, which tempt them to take actions and exhibit attitudes that the law prohibited; that is, to misuse their new freedom by turning it into license.

Therefore, as Paul said, they should be led by the Spirit, and draw on the Spirit’s guidance and assistance to refrain from the kinds of actions and attitudes that the law prohibited and punished. Not as a means of being saved, but out of love and gratitude to God for the salvation that they have already received through faith in Christ; and to be witness to others of their new relationship with God, and of the active presence of God in their life.

Now let’s examine the fruit of the Spirit one by one.

LOVE

Is the first fruit of the Spirit mentioned 

In Greek, there are at least four words for love.

  • Eros – Romantic love of the intimate relationship between man and woman.
  • Philia – Brotherly love between people – friendships.
  • Storge – Natural affection – love for family members and close relatives.
  • Agape – Unconditional, selfless and sacrificial love. God’s perfect love.

Agape love is the unconditional and perfect love of God, found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. He is described as selfless, fair, true, patient and is above everyone else. Another characteristic is that the agape love from God is an infinite love and is granted to humanity undeservedly.

God wants people to follow His example, and to express this feeling towards others as a form of gratitude for His love manifested to all mankind.

Through agape love people are able to become kind, expecting nothing in return.

JOY

Is the second fruit of the Spirit

It’s easy to have joy when things are going our way. It’s a different story when they are not so wonderful. However, followers of Jesus are called to have joy all the time, not just when everything is going well.

To have joy means to be “happy” and the Bible tells us to: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). Even is we are sad, if we listen to Jesus’ words and obey them we will be filled with joy because we know that we are obeying our Savior.

The only thing that can steal our joy is sin because, is difficult to experience the joy of our relationship with God when we have done something that damages that relationship.  Joy is a gift of the Holy Spirit; when we grieve the Holy Spirit by our sin, we hinder our fellowship with God.  If we find that we are experiencing less and less joy in our life, we need to re-evaluate our relationship with Jesus Christ to make sure we are living as we should.

Biblical joy is choosing to respond to external circumstances with inner contentment and satisfaction, because we know that God will use these experiences to accomplish His work in and through our lives.

PEACE

Is the third fruit of the Spirit 

Sadly, the world doesn’t offer much peace; and the reason the world does not have peace is because they do not know the Prince of Peace. The Bible tells us: Do not worry about anything. But pray and ask God for everything you need. And when you pray, always give thanks. And God’s peace will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. The peace that God gives is so great that we cannot understand it. (Philippians 4:6-7) 

Peace is directly related to the actions and attitudes of individuals; but it is ultimately a gift from God (Isaiah 45:7; Leviticus 26:6; John 14:27). The presence of peace indicates God’s blessing on man’s obedience (Isaiah 32:17; Malachi 2:5) and faith (Isaiah 26:3). 

Therefore, if we allow the Spirit of God to rule in our lives, we will experience His peace (Galatians 5:22-23). To be spiritually minded brings life and peace, according to Romans 8:6. And once His peace rules in our hearts, we are able to share that peace with others and become messengers of peace (Isaiah 52:7) and ministers of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).

The Holy Spirit brings inner peace, which can exist in the midst of outward conflict. This peace flows from an implicit faith and a trust in God, that He will handle all the problems. And this faith itself is increased by the Holy Spirit, who introduces us to more and more of the depths of God (1 Corinthians 2:9-16).

This inner peace also comes through rejoicing, praying, and focusing our thoughts on the positive rather than the negative. Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).

PATIENCE

Is the fourth fruit of the Spirit

As we live in a very fast-paced world we don’t find many people that have the patience Jesus wants us to have. Those who call themselves Christians and who have the Holy Spirit living in them should be patient with others. We are to be patient with those who are handicapped, those who are old and cannot move so fast anymore, and there are many other reasons that we can think of to practice being patient with.

Just as God is patient with us and waits for the lost to come to Him because He wants everyone to be saved  (2 Peter 3:9), we should show our love by being patient with one another (Ephesians 4:2).

A patient person is slow to anger as he waits for God to provide comfort and punish wrongdoing. A person may have the ability to take revenge or cause trouble, but patience brings self-restraint and careful thinking. We are patient through trying situations out of faith for a coming deliverance. We are patient with a difficult person out of compassion, and we choose to love them and want what’s best for them because we have the fruit of patience residing in us.

KINDNESS

Is the fifth fruit of the Spirit

The Holy Spirit can do some wonderful things in our life when we ask Him to give us a pure heart, because kindness yields marvelous fruit both in our lives and the lives of those around us. Scripture says:  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

Kindness is the characteristic that led God to provide salvation for us (Titus 3:4-5; Romans 2:4; 11:22). Kindness leads God to give us green pastures, quiet waters, and the restoration of our souls when we’re weary (Psalm 23:2-3). It is God’s tender care that makes Him want to gather us under His wings, to protect us and keep us close to Him (Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 61:4).

On multiple occasions, kindness induced Jesus to stop what He was doing and help others in need (Mark 6:34; Mark 7:29; Mark 10:46-52).

We must always remember that a kind word or kind action to a person can do wonders for them. They may be having a bad day, but when you are kind to them, you give them the opportunity to see the love of Jesus in you, and smile. And when we exhibit the kindness of God, being tender, benevolent, and useful to others; our every action, every word will have the essence of grace.

The Golden Rule is to do unto others as you would want then to do unto you (Luke 6:31).

GOODNESS

Is the sixth fruit of the Spirit

Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing.

God is good towards us and He wants you to treat other with goodness. The Bible says that it is the goodness of God that will lead sinners to repentance and salvation.

In letting the Holy Spirit control us, we are blessed with the fruit of goodness. Many people say that what drew them to want to know more about God was the love and goodness they saw shining through a believer, and that believer can be you!

FAITHFULNESS

Is the seventh fruit of the Spirit

Faithfulness is being committed, dependable, loyal; it is being conscious of what we are entrusted with. It is also having the certainty that the Scriptures accurately reflect truth. Biblical faithfulness requires belief in what the Bible says about God; His existence, His works, and His character. Faithfulness is the result of the Spirit working in us.

Being faithful to God means not putting other things above what He tells us to do like being kind to one another, following thru on something you promised someone you would do; it means being faithful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by obeying Him every day.

Do you give others a reason to trust you and have faith in you? Do you keep your promises? Always remember that God is faithful and keeps His promises, just as we must also do if we are to produce good fruit.

GENTLENESS

Is the eighth fruit of the Spirit

Gentleness, also translated “meekness,” does not mean weakness. Rather, it involves humility and thankfulness toward God, and polite, restrained behavior toward others.

When we are filled with the Spirit’s fruit of gentleness, we will correct others gently instead of arguing in resentment and anger, knowing that their salvation is far more important than our pride (2 Timothy 2:24-25). We will forgive readily, because any offense toward us is nothing compared to our offenses against God; offenses He’s already forgiven (Matthew 18:23-35).

The opposites of gentleness are anger, a desire for revenge, and self-aggrandizement. If, however, we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with the fruit of gentleness like Jesus wants us to be filled with.

Jesus teaches us to deal with others in a gentle and compassionate way just like He did throughout His ministry here on earth. He gave us the perfect picture of gentleness: “See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey” (Matthew 21:5), and now He offers us His gentleness as a gift. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will be filled with fruit of gentleness.

SELF-CONTROL

Is the ninth and last fruit of the Spirit

One of the proofs of God’s working in our life is the ability to control our own thoughts, words, and actions. Self-control leads to perseverance and godliness (2 Peter 1:6) instead of the instant gratification the world has to offer.

Self-control is a gift that frees us to enjoy the benefits of a healthy mind and body. It frees us from a guilty conscience. Self-control puts the brakes on our foolish desires, giving us the freedom to love and live as we are destined to in Christ Jesus.

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As true born again Christians, we have the Holy Spirit producing fruit through us and we have the Holy Spirit’s power available to conquer the acts of the sinful nature. God’s Word tells us that, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Jesus said: “By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” (Matthew 7:16). Evidently not! So what kind of tree are you? Are you a good tree with healthy fruit?  If you think you are, have you asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and made things right with Him? Are you obeying Him every day and making Him the Lord of your life? Or do you think that you can have good fruit on your own merits?

Remember that just as a tree is recognized by its fruit; you cannot live life without God and produce good fruit.  You cannot be the “good” person that God desires you to be without becoming His obedient child, meaning you cannot do it on your own.  You need the power of the Holy Spirit to work in you and through you.  Only then, will you produce the kind of fruit of the Spirit that the Bible teaches us about.

If you want to live a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control remember what the Bible teaches: I can do all this through Him (Jesus) who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

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Posted by: missionventureministries | July 28, 2021

ONE DAY AT A TIME – Matthew 6:33-34

Matthew 6 vs 33-34

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34) 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that we need to start by giving God top priority because He commands us not to worry. That is sufficient reason to have hope in His plan for tomorrow. James and Proverbs tell us not to boast about tomorrow either (James 4:13; Proverbs 27:1). Whether it is boasting or worrying, God calls us to live our life one day at a time in Him. God is with us here and now, and if it is destined for us to be here tomorrow He will be there with us also. 

Jesus is saying that born-again believers ought to let tomorrow worry about itself. He’s not saying Christians cannot or should not make wise plans. Nor is He saying believers ought to literally ignore everything. His context here is about the emotions of fear and anxiety; because those who trust in God shouldn’t worry over the future. Trials and tribulations could come to pass when tomorrow comes anyway. Today has sufficient troubles with which we need to trust God. Jesus commands His followers to focus on trusting God in a moment-by-moment basis and letting God provide what is needed a day at a time. 

Many people think that emotions such as worry are unavoidable. But they only become such, when we do NOT take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5), or keep our minds unwavering on Christ and our trust in God because, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You” (Isaiah 26:3). 

We need not fret about basic necessities, or anything else as Paul writes to the Philippian church. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6). That includes any decision we make. 

When we’re not sure what to do in a certain situation, Jesus’ words become our compass. Each day’s circumstances are different, but when we choose to honor Christ by making good decision, we leave room for the Holy Spirit to guide our mind. 

Thinking about tomorrow is wise when it comes to considering how to apply biblical principles so that one day we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23). 

Being a good steward of the time God gives is not really a matter of guarding the minutes so we can spend our time productively. Certainly we need to use our time wisely, but even more importantly we need to trust God in each moment, being stewards of each hour of our lives for the honor and glory of God. 

Does this mean we never save money, never plan a schedule, and never enjoy life? By no means, we will be held accountable tomorrow only for the way we handled what we’ve been entrusted with today (Matthew 25:14-30). 

If one lives on biblical principles and trusts God, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness today, then tomorrow will be a wonderful day. How good it is to live this way, never dwelling on the past, and never worrying about the future. 

We should never forget that we are here as ambassadors of Christ called to a world-wide mission of making disciples of all nations and reaching out to the uttermost part of the earth (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). We are here to represent the Savior, to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever. 

Is there something you need to do to start seeing differently? How might the perspective of living life a day at a time be beneficial in your situation? If you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, your heavenly Father knows that you need and all blessings will be given to you as well. 

Think about this…when we worry, that means we do not trust our heavenly Father and Jesus tells us “who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matthew 6:27) 

Therefore, remember to “cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). 

Click here to hear a beautiful song entitled A DAY AT A TIME

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Posted by: missionventureministries | July 21, 2021

WHO ARE THE SAINTS OF WHICH THE BIBLE SPEAKS? – Ephesians 4:11-12

Ephesians 4 vs 11-12

And He Himself (Jesus) gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-12) 

This means that Jesus established these vocations and that they are appointed and gifted by Jesus, and not by man. The purpose of these gifts of leadership is also clear. It is that saints (God’s people) might be equipped for the work of ministry (service), so that the body of Christ would be built up, expanded and strengthened. 

Leaders in the church have the first responsibility to equip people to serve and to direct their service as God leads. This is to perfect, complete and mature, the saints for the ministry and edification of the body of Christ. 

Paul in his writings addresses the body of believers as those who are called to be saints. We read this in Romans 1:7, “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

And again in 1 Corinthians 1:2-3: “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

The word saints are never used of a special group of believers who serve God better than others. Scripture is clear that all born again believers are saints. 

The word saint originates from the Greek word meaning “holy” or “set apart.” Christians are called saints because they are called to live a life set apart from the corruption of the world. Followers of Christ are called to be holy, “as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). 

When we search for the word saints in the Bible we see that the word is almost exclusively referred to in plural form “saints.” Even when we read Philippians 4:21 which uses the word saint in the singular form – “Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you” – its implication reflects plurality.  

The idea of the word “saints” is a group of people set apart for the Lord and His kingdom. There are three references referring to godly character of saints as Paul writes:

  • To assist: “I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also” (Romans 16:1-2).
  • To equip: the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).
  • To stay pure: “But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, because these are improper among saints (Ephesians 5:3). 

As we see, “saints” are referred to in the Bible as the body of Christ. All born again believers are considered saints and are called to be saints. Christians are saints by virtue of their union with Jesus Christ – “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). 

Christians are called to be saints, to increasingly allow their daily life to more closely resemble their position in Christ. This is the biblical description and calling of the saints. 

If you have put your trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, then He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (Hebrews 10:14) through His own blood (Hebrews 13:12) and you have been washed and justified in His Name (1 Corinthians 6:11). 

Christians are made holy by the atoning work of Christ at Calvary on the cross. Once this takes place, they are set apart for holy use by God and that is to glorify God and share the Good News with those who are not yet saved. 

Some religious groups make wooden and metal images and idols of the people that they call “saints.” This pagan practice is extremely evil and a blatant abomination to our Holy Creator, God and King. People and nations were destroyed because they worshipped and prayed to idols, false gods and the people that they considered “saints.”  

This is and extremely evil and dangerous practice and everyone who practices idol worship and teaches people to worship idols will be cast into the Lake of Fire for all of eternity. 

God said it, God commanded it, that settles it. This is what He spoke. 

Thou shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3) 

Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6) 

If you belong to Him, you are a saint!  When God looks at you, He sees Jesus’ holiness in you. As it is written in Isaiah 61:10, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.” 

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