Posted by: missionventureministries | April 19, 2018

WARNING TO NOT CAUSE SOMEONE TO SIN – Matthew 18:6

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6) 

This is such an important message that Mark and Luke also refer to it. 

Being a stumbling block to “one of these little ones that believe in me” is a serious offense. The reference here is to a person that has been converted and becomes humble like a child. Jesus portrays the seriousness of causing a believer or an innocent child to fall into sin in a very graphic manner by saying that it would be better to have been killed by drowning in the deepest sea with a heavy millstone around ones neck. 

The millstone described here is a heavy and large rock that was hewn into a wheel shape and pulled around by a donkey.

This form of execution was used on occasion by the Romans to kill a criminal. This type of pagan execution would have been unimaginably horrible to Jews, yet Jesus said that suffering such a terrible death would be better than to cause one of these little ones to sin. 

As we read on, Jesus pronounces “woe” upon those that are such stumbling blocks and states that stumbling blocks are inevitable. It is certain that they are going to occur for two primary reasons. The first is that the world is sinful and hates God. Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” Because the world hates God, it also hates those that belong to Christ, and those who are worldly will use multiple means to try and cause people to stray from God. Methods used will include false doctrine to entice people’s desires, and some of those efforts will be demonically inspired and empowered (Ephesians 6:12). Sadly many of these methods will be by people who are friendly and appear to want to do something good for you, and the common element will be lies that depart from the truths of God’s word. 

We need to be aware that stumbling blocks are also cause by immature Christians that are still battling sin and will tear one another down instead of helping each other. That should not to be, but that is reality as seen both in the Bible and in the experience of your own life.

 Let’s take a look in the Bible since it is dangerous to think that only those who are not Christians will be stumbling blocks; since we need to be fully aware that Christians can also become stumbling blocks if we are not careful. 

Here are several warnings concerning this. Romans 14:13 tells believers to determine “not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” And 1 Corinthians 10:32 warns believers not to be an “offense” or a point of “stumbling” to Jews, or to Greeks, or to the church of God. Christians should not cause believing brethren to fall into sin, nor prevent non-Christians from coming to Christ because of their conduct in promoting sin. 

What are some of the ways that believers may entice or be enticed into sin? Direct enticement to sin may come about through counsel that proves to be ungodly. Giving unbiblical advice promotes sin, and the one giving such advice is causing God’s children to stumble. These people are in grave danger of being addressed one day with the same words the Lord warned in Matthew 7:23, “I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” 

Direct inducement to sin also comes when you try to get someone to agree to your own sinful practice. For instance: A husband or wife that takes their spouse out to some immoral form of entertainment, when Ephesians 5:25-27 tells husbands to lead their wives into purity, not impurity. Another way is watching violent demonic and pornographic movies in your home in the presence of your children and disregarding their pleas to turn it off because they are scared. 

People can also stumble through our actions, since the example we set may lure another person into sin as they imitate us. This is especially important in the home because children are so easily impressionable and emulate what their parents are doing. We need to also understand that new Christians and immature Christians are also very impressionable; and because they are not yet well acquainted with God’s word, they often end up believing that godliness is whatever the “more mature Christian,” is doing. 

Here are some questions to ask yourself: How faithful are you to the Lord, your wife and to your family? What is your attitude towards tithing? What do you watch on TV or what movies do you go to see? What kind of employee are you, do you steal from your boss? What kind of clothes do you wear…do you reveal too much? 

There is a story is told of a man that loved drinking more that his family. On night he snuck out to go to his favorite bar. On his way home he heard soft footsteps in the snow behind him. There was his five year old boy who said when he caught up to his father, “I’m trying to follow in your footsteps, daddy.” 

What kind of example are you setting for those who are following you? Each of us needs to heed the admonition that Paul gave Timothy, “. . . in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Timothy 4:12).

You can also be a stumbling block by the manner in which you deal with others. When you speak, is it the truth in love? Or do you speak with the condemning judgment that Jesus warned about in Matthew 7:1-4? Do you respond to other believers in ways that will build them up or tear them down? Parents are specifically told in Ephesians 6:4 “Do not provoke your children to anger.” And Colossians 3:21 adds, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart.” The principles in these verses have a wider application than just for parents. 

Frustration and anger can easily result when you show favoritism or demand unrealistic expectations. If you are critical more than encouraging you can cause another person to lose heart. When you are insensitive, unloving and unkind, you can cause fellow members of the body of Christ to fall into sin. 

1 John 2:10 speaks to the primary issue of how to prevent from being a stumbling block telling us that, “anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.” The more you abide in the light, that is, walk in the Spirit obeying the directives God has given in the Scriptures, and the more you love your brother, the less you will be a cause of someone else falling into sin. 

The pursuit of holiness is the cure for both problems of either being led astray or leading someone else astray. Anything that morally or spiritually traps you, causes you to fall into sin or to stay in sin, should be eliminated quickly and totally. 

Every Christian is to consider himself to be crucified with Christ, dead to sin, and alive to righteousness. Therefore, examine yourself and make sure you are in the faith and that the Holy Spirit lives in you. This  will end the selfishness that prods pettiness, discontentment, being controlled by emotions and a host of other sins. 

Each of us needs to abide in the light, strive after holiness, and love one another so that there will be no cause of stumbling.

And remember that: “To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen” (Jude 1:24-25).

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Posted by: missionventureministries | April 12, 2018

HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST – Philippians 2:5

“Let this mind or attitude be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) 

Jesus Christ’s example of humility helps us to see the apex of virtue from which the apostles drew illustrations and admonitions for us. Jesus gave up inexpressible glory to take upon Himself the humble form of humanity and perform the lowliest of services for us. He consented to be without distinction or honor and was willing to be despised and rejected by mankind. When He laid aside his former rank and dignity, He became a lowly servant, yet now He is exalted above everything and everyone. He set this example for us that we might overcome self-exaltation and develop true humility. 

His humility was the highest example that could be provided for us. Jesus left heaven and all His majesty, and took upon Himself the most inferior form of humanity, so that He might benefit us with a renewed relationship with the Father. 

We need to understand that although salvation is free, it is not cheap since it required the Creator Himself to become man and submit to an agonizing death on the cross. And, by the same token, although our salvation is not conditioned on any meritorious acts of our own, the standard by which we must measure our lives is nothing less than the perfect life of Jesus Christ. In the first place, our words and deeds are to be compared to His: “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). Our standard of holiness is to be the same as His life of holiness as Peter stated: “But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior” (1 Peter 1:15). 

If we truly follow His steps, they may well lead to suffering and persecution, but “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked” (1 John 2:6), and this involves a willingness to be “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). 

One of the things that we need to keep in mind is that God the Father did not withhold suffering from His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ. He shared suffering with us despite His high status as God in the flesh and lived a totally sinless life. He did this to be our Savior. He did it in order to be our example. 

Jesus maintained a perfect attitude in every situation. He prayed about everything and worried about nothing. We, too, should seek God’s guidance about every aspect of our lives and allow Him to work out His perfect will. Jesus’ attitude was never to become defensive or discouraged. His goal was to please the Father rather than to achieve His own agenda (John 6:38). In the midst of trials, He was patient. In the midst of suffering, He was hopeful. In the midst of blessing, He was humble. Even in the midst of ridicule, abuse, and hostility, He “made no threats . . . and did not retaliate. Instead He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). 

When Paul writes that our “mind or attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus,” he had summarized in the previous two verses what such an attitude was: selflessness, humility, and service. “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4). 

In other words, the attitude a Christian should reflect is one that focuses on the needs and interests of others. Without question, that does not come naturally to us. When Christ came into the world, He established a whole new attitude to relationships with others. One day when His disciples were arguing among themselves regarding who was to be greatest in His kingdom, Jesus said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28). 

Jesus is teaching us that, when we become preoccupied with our own things, it can cause conflicts and other problems with people we know. Instead, God wants us to have an attitude of serious, caring involvement in the concerns of others, meaning “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” 

Paul speaks more about this Christ like attitude in his letter to the church in Ephesus: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Many religions of today, including the New Age philosophies, promote the old lie that we are divine or that we can become gods. But the truth of the matter is that we will never become God, or even a god. Satan’s oldest lie was promising Adam and Eve that, if they followed his advice, “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). 

Each time we try to control our circumstances, our future, and the people around us, we’re only demonstrating that we want to be a god. But we must understand that, as creatures, that is an impossibility. God doesn’t want us to try to become gods; instead, He wants us to become like Him, taking on His values, His attitudes, and His character. We are created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24). 

Finally, we must always keep in mind that God’s ultimate goal for His children is the transformation of our minds into the attitude of godliness. He wants us to grow spiritually, to become like Christ. This doesn’t mean losing our personalities but transforming our minds to be Christ like. Again, Paul tells us, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). 

It is God’s will that we develop the kind of mindset described in the Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5:1-12), that we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), that we emulate the principles in Paul’s great chapter on love (1 Corinthians 13), and that we strive to pattern our lives according to the characteristics that Peter describes in (2 Peter 1:5-8). 

So being, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

Posted by: missionventureministries | April 5, 2018

MARKS OF A TRUE CHRISTIAN – 1 Peter 2:9

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

What are distinguishing marks of the people of God which separate them from the world? 

Believers are blessed, being chosen to be royal priests represent the fact that we have been united with Christ. We are His body, and whatever glory Christ receives we receive as well. Romans 8:17 calls us coheirs with Christ. It means we will reign with Him eternally, and here on earth, our responsibility is to draw men unto Himself and to lead people in the worship of Him as priests. 

Peter wants us to realize that Christians are different from the world because they know Christ. 

Believers have been saved from the darkness of sin and out of this world, in order to be a unique people who worship God. 

Like Peter, Paul urged the Ephesians from prison that they would live a life worthy of the calling they had received (Ephesians 4:1). 

We are “called to be saints” (Romans 1:7). Therefore, the purpose for which we have been called by God to become one of His chosen is to be holy! Everything in our lifestyle should center on the fact that “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Ephesians 2:10). 

We are to be teachers of God’s commandments to the nations. We are to be the light to the world revealing the way to God. We are to be those who draw people to God, and not to be a hindrance to their acceptance of Jesus. We are set apart as priesthood, so we are not acting like the world, but imitating Jesus. But this separation does not mean that we are not interacting with the world. Often Christians get the idea that we need to stay away from the world because of its sinfulness. But we are called to access the world, while maintaining our holiness. We interact with the world and show them the way to God, teaching God’s truths.

While it is true that believers are different, it is the believers’ standing as the adopted children of God, joint heirs with Christ Jesus, and God’s own unique people that make us “God’s special possession.” 

Since we are God’s special possession we must proclaim the goodness of being God’s people. In being different and being set apart, we need to tell people what a blessing it is to live this way. It is not tiresome to be God’s special people, on the contrary, we want to tell people and show people that this is the good life. In fact, not acting as the people of God will cause people to stumble and fall in life. But those who are God’s will not be put to shame. 

Christians are God’s special possession who has obtained mercy. They are a royal priesthood, and living stones. Believers are part of God’s spiritual house and a holy nation; and as such, we must abstain from the passions of the flesh. 

Our calling is identified as “the heavenly calling” (Hebrews 3:1), and we are told that the called (Romans 1:6) are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). But we also are told to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (2 Peter 1:10). There is much in Scripture about our calling, and although the calling is God’s work and prerogative, we are expected to add to our faith “goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

Those who are born again are different from the world around them because they are being transformed by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. They are also different because, having been born again by the Spirit of God and believing in Christ for salvation, they have received “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

Posted by: missionventureministries | March 29, 2018

THE DANGER OF REFUSING GOD’S MESSAGE – Hosea 4:17

“Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” (Hosea 4:17) 

Ephraim, meaning the whole people of Israel, the 10 tribes, had been warned again, and again, and because they did not pay attention to the warning, but refused the message of God, and continued in their sin, at last God was provoked by them, and said to His servant Hosea, “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” He basically said, no longer waste your energy on these backslid-den minds, their case has become utterly hopeless; cease your labor, go somewhere else where hearts will be touched, and ears will be opened to the Word – leave them alone. 

God’s grievance against Israel charged her with an apostate spirit and many lawless and wicked deeds. Truth and loyalty had been replaced by lying and immorality. Rebuke was pointless because it was ignored. Israel had forgotten the law of their God and, therefore, was “destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Not only the people, but also the priests who encouraged sin for their own advantage would be eliminated. “The spirit of prostitution” had caused Israel to go astray (Hosea 4:12). 

Our God is long-suffering and full of mercy, but there is a line which must not be crossed. It is dangerous to presume that God will always continue to forgive; for those who refuse to obey and believe, He will one day become a “consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29). 

Every time you refuse to listen to the message of mercy, you strengthen yourself in unbelief. Every time you fail to open the door of your heart to Christ, you become more and more unwilling to listen to His voice and you diminish your chance of responding to the last appeal of mercy. Let it not be written of you, as of ancient Israel, “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.” Let not Christ weep over you as He wept over Jerusalem, saying, “how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate” (Luke 13:34-35).  

For those who refuse to turn back from their evil ways the Scriptures contain many similar warnings.

  • “My spirit shall not always strive with man” (Genesis 6:3).
  • “Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit” (Matthew 15:14).
  • “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6).
  •  “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done” (Romans 1:28). 

The danger for those who refuse to walk in the light is when God brings upon them the terrible crisis of being left to follow their own ways. They start making their own unwise decision, and the conscience becomes more seared and the voice of God seems to become more and more distant, and the person is left to their own passion, lies and hypocrisy. When this happens, the person resists every appeal, despises all counsel and advice, and turns from every provision made for their salvation. . . . The Spirit of God no longer exerts a restraining power over them, and the sentence is passed, “their deeds do not permit them to return to their God. A spirit of prostitution is in their heart; they do not acknowledge the Lord” (Hosea 5:4). This is the process through which the soul passes that rejects the working of the Holy Spirit and refuses to hear God’s warnings, they are too far gone. 

These should be sobering words to anyone who is becoming rebellious, and is being enchanted with, witchcraft, idolatry, occultism, perversion, harlotry or any form of humanism. As we see, the enemy promises pleasure, comfort, escape, and excitement. But what he actually gives is a life of bondage to lust, pornography, immorality, and adultery and eternity in the Lake of Fire, a bondage that ruins relationship with God and people.

For those that are unaware or have not given it much thought, to commit adultery or to participate in committing adultery which refers to the manner society dresses provocatively to allure the opposite sex by leaving nothing to the imagination but by flaunting and reveling all they have. All that the spirit of harlotry can really deliver is death. Jesus said: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28); and in this generation that goes as much for men as for women. 

Unfortunately, people are so oblivious to their behavior, disobedience, lack of knowledge, and their actions that they can not realize that they will not be part of an eternity in heaven but will spend eternity in hell apart from God (1 Corinthians 6:9). 

On a positive and hopeful note, as long as a person has any uneasiness of conscience there is hope that they might yet turn to the true God of creation; however, to continue in their present course, is presumptuous and deadly. The time will come, perhaps sooner than they think, when God will say: “Let him alone.” 

As we read though the book of Hosea we see that God will not allow sin to go unpunished, however, it also tells of God’s mercy (Hosea 1:10-11; 2:14-17, 2:21-23). God’s earnest desire was that His people would repent of their sins (Hosea 14:1). God wants us all to serve Him because that is what our hearts truly should desire to do. He wants our “words” to reveal a heart of humility and subjection to His will (Hosea 14:2). God desires His people to “earnestly seek Him” (Hosea 5:15) and confess their sins (Hosea 14:2). 

Nothing has changed through the years. God still demands our interest, humility and subjection (Matthew 12:33). The Christian today must be careful not to allow an interest in this world to interfere with their eternal interest in God. Therefore, “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, and the righteous will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them.” (Hosea 14:9). 

Remember God is full of mercies but if we continue in rebellion against Him, there will come a time when He will say: “Let him alone.”

Posted by: missionventureministries | March 22, 2018

SUBMIT YOURSELVES TO GOD – James 4:1-3

What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? …You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. (James 4:1-3) 

Our prayer life or lack thereof reveals the focus of our heart. James is intensely practical and approaches the topic of answered prayer with realistic clarity and insight. When you do not receive what you pray for, do not be surprised look at your bad motives and why your request remains unheard. When you do this, the reason becomes painfully obvious, that you are egocentric and greedy, and this behavior obviously does not guarantee the fulfillment of such selfish requests. 

So often when we’re in a relationship conflict, we scheme, we tell our friends our side of the story, we go for counseling, we read self-help books on how to deal with difficult people, instead of taking the problem to God in faithful prayer. Maybe one reason that we fail to pray is that it’s hard to pray for someone and be upset with them at the same time. As sinners we want to justify our resentment by making the other person pay; and don’t want to let it go. But Jesus clearly taught that prayer is not to get our will done, but to get God’s will done, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). Prayer is not so that we can use God; it is so that God can change us and use us for His kingdom. 

Jesus also taught, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7), He did not say, “Ask and it will be given to you instantly.” God may have good reasons to delay the answer. Often the delays strengthen and test our faith. He knows the right timing to answer. Our responsibility is to ask, and with correct motives. 

Our main reason for asking God to bring peace into our home or into some difficult relationship is so that God be glorified. Christ is not exalted by constant conflict but He is glorified when people crucify self and allow His love to flow through them, even toward those who treat them wrongly. Ask God for Him to be glorified in your relationships, and you will get the most amazing answers to your prayers. 

We need to come to the realization that the first step to resolve conflicts with others is to judge our own selfish motives. Wherever is happens, at home, work or church if we do not put to death our sinful, selfish desires, we will have war. People that behave in an inappropriate way are living in the flesh and not by the Spirit. So who do we want to please, ourselves or God? 

The decision to judge our own selfish tendencies is not optional for believers because Jesus said “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). 

It is a daily requirement to take up our cross because, “whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Luke 9:24). So to the true believer, there is really no choice between pleasing oneself or pleasing God. When we live to please God by denying self, we will not only gain our life but also joy, peace and freedom. 

So, “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?” (James 4:1). The way to resolve conflict with others is not to win the war. Rather, it is to wage war against those powerful forces that are waging war in our soul! We need to judge our selfish motives, daily put self on the cross, and we will move in the direction of peace in our relationships. 

The psalmist wrote: “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear” (Psalm 66:18); therefore, we need to learn to abide in Christ and to submit our will and our desires to His Lordship in order to be able to know how and what to pray for. If we long to know the will of God, and to pray according to the purposes of God and in submission to His will then we will see our prayers answered. “But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer or His mercy from me!” (Psalm 66:19-20)

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate to themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). 

The time has arrived where people do longer tolerate sound doctrine and ‘so called ministers’ do not preach the true gospel. Their false preaching results in false churches, which Jesus Himself called “synagogue of Satan” (Revelation 2:9; 3:9). Paul spoke much about such false ministers, especially in 2 Corinthians 2:14-17; 4:1-6. 

The majority of today’s ministers are not called, chosen and anointed by God to preach the gospel. Rather, they are called and sent by themselves. They send their resumes out to get a job, just like any applicant would do. They preach, not the true gospel, but a false one. Paul saw such ministers in his day: “For if someone comes to you and preaches a different Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel, you put up with it” (2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-9). They came, uninvited, through the back door to contradict the gospel Paul preached (Galatians 2:4). They used the word of God for their own benefit, as Paul implies: “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God” (2 Corinthians 2:17).

False preachers have “a form of godliness but deny its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). They are empty vessels. Their gospel has no power to save anyone from sin. Paul warns, “Have nothing to do with them.” They “oppose the truth” and are “men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected” (2 Timothy 3:8). God hands them over to depraved minds to think and do what they should not think and do. These self-called, self-sent false ministers are rejected by God. 

False ministers preach a false gospel of their own invention, usually based in psychology; refusing to believe in the true gospel, they preach an imitation gospel that sends people to hell. 

A true Christian’s authority is only the Scripture and nothing additional is needed, whether that “adding on” is tradition, or psychology, or claiming, “the Lord told me,” or a dream, or a vision, or a false miracle. Scripture alone is what needs to be taught and it is the true preaching of the gospel that liberates us, as Paul declares: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1). 

Any preacher who refuses to believe in the absolute authority of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) is a false minister; and nullifies their teaching, because if they do not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible; what other erroneous subjects are they teaching? 

A false minister preaches what people want to hear, not what God wants them to know. Most television and radio preachers preach a false gospel. They do not preach regeneration, even though nothing else matters unless we are new creations. They do not preach repentance, the law of God, the holiness of God, and God’s demand for holiness. For God is holy; he is the one “who made you holy” (Leviticus 22:32). If we are not living holy lives, we are not Christians. This sounds very harsh but God himself said that He makes us holy and Jesus said that “only the one who does the will of my Father” will enter heaven (Matthew 7:21). 

False ministers do not preach a saving faith that leads to obedience to God. They also do not speak about judgment and hell. Instead, they preach self-sufficiency, self-esteem, psychology, emotionalism, and pure pragmatism, which says that if something makes me feel good, then it is good – what a crazy thought this is, but this is what is happening!

False teachers preach a gospel that promotes health, wealth, power, and fame. They preach false ecumenism and Marxist liberation theology. They never preach suffering for Jesus’ sake, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26, Luke 9:23) 

False ministers preach only to make money. In fact, they have no other motive. They distort the gospel to make it palatable so that gullible people will give them money. They remove all truths people do not want to hear, like repentance, regeneration, holy living, hell, and judgment. They are like Judas, who was, in the end, possessed by the devil. He stole money and sold Jesus for thirty shekels of silver. They are like Simon Magus, who desired to buy the Holy Spirit and trade it for a profit (Acts 8). False ministers are charlatans, and we see them all over the world. They are filled with greed. 

A true pastor should not be a lover of money. Peter writes, “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve” (1 Peter 5:2). 

Many pastors find out what the Congregation wants and does not want to hear instead of teaching about salvation and the lordship of Jesus Christ. Remember, the wolf in sheep’s clothing speaks nice words, never makes you anxious, and chooses only those topics that please the crowd. 

In his final warning to the church, specifically to young Pastor Timothy, Paul implies that sound doctrine may be unpleasant to hear. This is why only true pastors and courageous leaders should be chosen by churches to teach their flock. They understand these things and are willing to pay the price, while others are not. 

We hope that God will rise up churches that will be courageously faithful in teaching and preaching the Word of God and do not dilute doctrine and adapt to the changes occurred in the society in the last years.  Society changes but God’s Word never does, it is the same today and forever. There is nothing that gives anyone permission to distort what they want to teach out of the Bible. Society should not change what the Word says; on the contrary, the Word should change society!  

Today there is a great apostasy in the church and many want to be politically correct in order to not offend anyone but Jesus said: “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” (Matthew 18:7).  

Controversy is nothing new to the church but today some of the greatest controversies are those where the leaders and people compromise the Word of God to fit an ever-changing world.  May it never be so in your church. 

We need to pray for those who are chosen and appointed to be pastors and teachers to stand firm as Jesus did even in the midst of criticism. We need more faithful pastors that will preach, teach and stand for the truth of the Holy Scriptures. 

Remember, the Bible is the only tool you need. All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live. By using the Scriptures, those who serve God will be prepared and will have everything they need to do every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Posted by: missionventureministries | March 8, 2018

WHY THE WORLD HATES CHRISTIANS – John 15:18-25

Jesus told His disciples that the world would hate them but to keep in mind that it hated Him first. He was warning them that after His departure, that they would face some severe persecution, not just from the pagan world, but also from the religious groups and leaders. The Lord wanted them to know what to anticipate and how to respond to the hostility that they would experience. 

Here are some reasons why sinners and hypocrites hate true Christians, i.e. children of God:

  • The sinner’s father is the devil – Satan hates God and Jesus – a true Christian’s Father is God – therefore; Satan hates God’s children.
  • Sinners have the spirit of Satan living in their bodies, controlling their minds and spirits.
  • Born again believers have the most powerful Force in the universe living in their bodies; therefore, the Holy Spirit is in control of what a Christian should say, think and do. 
  • Jesus warned us that every sinner and hypocrite in the world in lying in the arms of the “evil one,” and some theologians have interpreted this statement to be that every sinful person is committing spiritual fornication while lying in the embrace of Satan and the world’s evil system as 1 John 5:19 states: “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” In this verse the Holy Spirit has just defined why true Christians are hated by hypocrites and sinners. 

We need to understand that Jesus Christ is the One that either unites or divides people. Christians are known for their love, but the world is known for its hatred (vs. 17 and 18). Jesus starts by saying if the world hates you, meaning the organized system under Satan’s domain that is opposed to God and His Son, to keep in mind that it hated Me first. The Lord wants us to know that behind the world’s hatred for us is its hatred for Him. And that hatred is not only for Him but for the Father also: “He who hates Me hates My Father also” (John 15:23). 

There are reasons why the world hates Christians. First, we are no longer identified with the world. In John 15:19 Jesus says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” Jesus was hated by the Pharisees, Sadducees and Teachers of the Law and that by being identified with Christ they would be also hated. This scenario was not only occurring during their time, but it has been happening to Christians since our Lord departed from this world. 

And He continues, “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20). Jesus tells His disciples to “remember” that they will follow in His foot steps; therefore, as followers of Christ, we can not expect things to be easier for us than they were for Him. When our lives truly reflect His character and calling, we will experience either rejection or acceptance from people around us. The reality is that as true born again Christians we have a different Master, while the world serves Satan.

 In John 15:21 Jesus says, “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” Here He tells them, that the world will persecute Christians because they don’t know God. 

The fundamental problem of people in the world is that they do not know the living and true God. Instead, they make up their own gods. Even atheists worship their own intellect as supreme, refusing to acknowledge that all that they have comes from God (1 Corinthians 4:7) and that they will give an account to Him when they die (Hebrews 9:27). However, we need to understand that knowing God is the essence of the eternal life that Christ gives to all who believe in Him. 

We need to be aware that many unbelievers may not have a Bible or maybe they never wanted to read the Bible. It is also possible that they have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel, and therefore the reason they do not know God is because they do not know who He is. 

Having mentioned the world’s ignorance about God, Jesus explains in the next four verses why the world doesn’t know God. “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also” (John 15:22-23). Christ’s coming highlighted sin in human hearts; He pointed sin out so people had less grounds to claim ignorance. Paul explains this point in Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace.” He continues in Romans 6:15-23, by using the analogy of slavery to show that we will not sin under grace because having been set free from sin, we became slaves of righteousness. 

Jesus continues, “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father” (John 15:24). Jesus performed all kinds of miracles. He healed the sick, He cast out demons, He fed thousands, He calmed the sea, and He raised the dead. Yet, the world rejected His works. In some cases, the world even attributed Jesus’ works to Satan (Matthew 12:24). No matter what Jesus said or did, the world chose to ignore Him and rebel against Him. Sadly, even the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have not persuaded most people that Jesus is God. Consequently, the world stands condemned for rejecting Him (John 3:18, 36). 

Then He says, “But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause’” (John 15:25). The ultimate reason for the world’s rejection of Jesus and His revelation of the Father is found in the Old Testament Scriptures. The same words who hate me without a cause are quoted in Psalms 35:19, 69:4 and 109:3, where it is usually understood, that the quotation our Savior here refers to be where David says, speaking of himself and of the Savior prophetically, “Let not them who are mine enemies rejoice over me, neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.” Our Savior refers to that as being applicable to Himself. Jesus is saying: The world has rejected the Old Testament and My very words and works and this has resulted in their rejection of God. 

In spite of the world’s hatred, we should testify to the world of the truth about Jesus Christ (John 15:26-27). Jesus has us in this world to proclaim His glory as 1 Peter 2:9 states: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 

So how can we bear witness in the face of such a hostile world? Jesus shows that we can do so only through the Spirit of truth and the Holy Spirit uses believers to testify to others about the truth of Christ. 

The apostle Paul who knew all about being persecuted said, “Pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19-20). As ambassadors for Christ that is what every Christian should pray for also. 

Jesus said to those who believed and would believe in Him, “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)

Posted by: missionventureministries | March 1, 2018

THE VITAL MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT – Galatians 3:1-5

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? (Galatians 3:1-5) 

Paul begins addressing the Galatians as fools, because of the lack of understanding and the absence of the Holy Spirit in them. Many today, fall in this same category having no concept of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and therefore, make a mockery of Him. But true Christians that have the leadership of the Holy Spirit know that: “God is not a God of disorder, but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). 

It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin and righteousness and judgment. It is the Holy Spirit who produces in us repentance. It is the Holy Spirit who regenerates us and gives us new life. We are born of the Spirit once we have a full knowledge of who He is, and why Jesus promised that He would send an Advocate once He departed from this earth to be our Intercessor in heaven before the Father (John 14:16, Hebrews 10:10-14). 

It is the Holy Spirit who produces in us faith and submission to Christ. It is the Spirit then who gives us life eternal. We are then indwelt by the Spirit, baptized by means of the Spirit into the body of Christ, gifted by the Spirit to have spiritual gifts that are used to minister for the edification of the body of believers. We are secured unto eternal life by the Spirit. We are separated from sin by the Spirit. All of this occurs at the time of our salvation when we accept His free gift of grace. 

In verse 3 Paul is asking the Galatians, “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” Basically he is asking them is, ‘now that you are saved, is it time to set the Holy Spirit aside and rely on your own wisdom, on your own strength, on your own ability to achieve perfection?’ 

Today, this is also a huge problem in contemporary Christianity. There is very little discussion, very little talk, very little dialogue, very little emphasis on the ministry of the Holy Spirit in sanctification; and many religions teach the erroneous doctrine that you can only get to heaven by doing good works when the Bible teaches us that: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). 

We need to understand that the only way to be perfected in the Christian life is by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is not something you can attain on your own, since it is only the Spirit who brings us into intimacy with God. The Spirit illuminates the Scripture. The Spirit glorifies Christ in us and to us. The Spirit personally guides us into God’s will. The Spirit ministers through us, as Acts 1:8 tells us, that when the Holy Spirit has come to live in us we will be witnesses to Him. The Spirit intercedes with us constantly before God, always in His perfect will. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27). 

When we walk in the Spirit, He produces humility (Ephesians 4:2-3), purity (Romans 13:13), contentment (1 Timothy 6:6), faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), good works (Ephesians 2:10), separation (2 Thessalonians 3:6), love (Ephesians 5:2-3), light (Ephesians 5:8-9), wisdom (Ephesians 5:15-16) and truth (3 John 3:4).  

God has spoke through the Holy Spirit to His people for hundreds of years, and He revealed to Jeremiah the wonderful prophecy of the New Covenant, indicating that one day He would bring to them salvation, and that all New Covenant believers would also benefit from. “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, (this is the Mosaic Covenant, the Covenant of Law given on Mount Sinai) – My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jeremiah 31:31-35). In this New Covenant God writes His law in the heart; and instead of being an external pressure to which man obeys and conforms to, it becomes an internal motivation of the soul. 

Ezekiel was also inspired to write about the New Covenant: “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). And in the following chapter he reiterates the message: “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life…Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken and done it,” declares the Lord” (Ezekiel 37:14). 

The New Covenant life then is life in the Spirit. The Spirit becomes for us that living fountain of divine waters flowing endlessly, providing all the spiritual resources we could ever need and far more. How foolish is it then when we live out our Christian lives to turn from this fountain of living waters, the indwelling Holy Spirit, to broken cisterns that can hold no water, as stated by Jeremiah 2:11-15. If we want to live on the spiritual level, if we want to live in the power of God, we must live in the Spirit. 

Keep in mind that until we are in heaven, sin is still present and all around us. Only when we obey the Holy Spirit will we not carry out the desires of our sinful nature, meaning the desires are still there even though we are in Christ and have been justified. Sin will conquer us if we don’t listen to the Holy Spirit. 

To help us, Galatians 5:16 sums it all up on how to live the Christian life. “Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh”. That’s triumph, that’s victory, that’s conquering sin, the flesh that is in us. It’s that simple; as our life as a Christian unfolds each step that that we take needs to be in the power and under the control of the Spirit. 

When you are tempted remember that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). And that “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). 

Here are Jesus’ last comforting words to His disciples, and should likewise be to us: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify Me because it is from Me that He will receive what He will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from Me what He will make known to you(John 16:13-15).

Posted by: missionventureministries | February 22, 2018

THE IMPORTANCE OF WATCHING AND PRAYING – Luke 21:34-36

“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36) 

Jesus is talking about watchfulness, about alertness, about being ready. The word “watch” speaks of the need to be attentive against sudden calamity. Therefore, people who profess to be Christians need to live in the light of the fact that the Lord could come at any moment and therefore we need to always be on guard, always be alert because His return is imminent – meaning likely to occur at any moment. 

Jesus lists three things that can weigh down our hearts; (1) carousing; (2) drunkenness; and (3) the cares of this life. The expression “that Day” refers to the end time and the day of the Lord’s return. “Watch therefore” means I am warning you. 

In Matthew 24:36-39 Jesus tells that: “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 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.” 

So here we see again an urgent understanding of the need to be ready. And in these verses Jesus warns that it will be like in the days of Noah. Just like Noah preached for 120 years and no one listened to him, in the same manner, people today are disinterested in hearing, preparing or watching for His second coming. 

We expect unbelievers to live indifferently and irresponsibly, and with no regard for the Lord; but certainly we don’t expect believers to take advantage of the absence of the Lord and behave in an irresponsible way. 

A true believer wants to live in such anticipation of the coming of Christ that their heart is not burdened down with sin. The Apostle John put it this way in 1 John 2:28; “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” 

Are you prepared to meet Jesus? Have you made the necessary spiritual preparation? The Bible tells us: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:15-16). 

Jesus tells us to: “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man” (v. 36). 

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus asked His disciples to “stay here and watch with Me”, but when He returned, He found them asleep and caution them “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). 

We need to watch and pray so that God causes those who are faithful to be counted worthy. Our faith, our watching and praying, our confidence in Christ’s return is counted as righteousness. Just like when Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness. 

Watching and praying cause the believer to escape the things coming to the earth and to stand justified before the Son of Man when He comes; ready to stand before the Lord; justified, ready to be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Philippians 3:21); ready to be conformed to His image (Romans 8:29); and ready to “serve God day and night in His temple” (Revelation 7:15). 

So how can we do this? The weapon that Jesus used to overcome was prayer and God’s Word. Jesus’ disciples today must also watch and pray. We are easily distracted by this world, our fleshly needs and desires, and the schemes of the enemy (2 Corinthians 2:11). When we take our eyes from Jesus and His soon return, our values begin to shift, our attention wanders, and soon we are living like the world and bearing little fruit for God’s kingdom (1 Timothy 6:18–19). He warned us that we must be ready at any moment to stand before Him and give an account of our lives (Romans 14:12; 1 Peter 4:5; Matthew 12:36). 

“Watch and pray.” We can only remain faithful when we are devoted to prayer. In order to keep watch, we must pray for endurance and freedom from distractions (John 14:14). When we live with the eager expectation of the Lord’s return, we are more likely to keep our lives pure and our hearts ready to meet Him. 

Vigilance leads to holiness and we want to live with a clear conscious so that when the Lord comes we can meet Him with a clear and pure mind. It means that we need to have a constant connection with God and seek Him to have power to overcome all sin. 

Our need as Christians is to obey the command of Jesus to His disciples:  “Watch and pray…”  Be alert of any and all lurking temptations which can bring calamity, and find strength through prayer to stand before the Son of Man. 

Please remember that when we fail, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | February 15, 2018

CALLING ON GOD AND FOCUSING ON HIS WORD – Jeremiah 29:12-14

“Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity…” (Jeremiah 29:12-14) 

God sees our tomorrows before they become our ‘todays.’ “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11. 

He sees the beginning of our life and He sees the end, and He sees everything in between. Psalm 139:16 says “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” 

The Lord knows the plans He has for us and He is patiently waiting for us to come to Him (vs. 12-14), and when we obey, He bring us back from the captivity of our sins and makes us whole again. 

As believers we need to understand that God is not only our Creator but that He also needs to be the Lord of our life. Therefore, when we take our eyes away from our Savior, we start losing sight of Him and start steering our life in the direction of sin, trials, missed opportunities and blessings. 

Throughout history, Satan has always planned schemes and diversions for us to take our eyes from the Lord. Therefore, it is very important to be very aware and alert of the diversions the devil plans for each one of us every day. 

Many times we are consumed with work, worldly things and technology all day long and we only acknowledge God right before we go to sleep with a quick 20 second prayer. What a terrible lack of respect and gratitude for everything our Lord does for us! 

When we allow worldly things to consume our lives we drift away from God and that is when Satan claims victory in alienating us from our heavenly Father. We need to remember that Scripture tells us to “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). 

God did not create us to live a distracted life, He created us to live a Jesus filled life. Even though we live in an imperfect world the Bible tells us that “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13); so that our focus always be redirected towards Him. 

It is extremely important to stay focused on Christ “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2); because, if we do not we will be like Peter who got distracted by the wind and roaring sea, lost faith and started to sink (Matthew 14:28-31). 

We should follow the example of Mary, who faithfully sat at the Master’s feet and listen to what He was teaching, instead of Martha who was too distracted by all the demands that she had put on herself instead of enjoying Jesus’ visit, her Creator and Savior, who was there only for a short time longer before being crucified (Luke 10:38-42). 

As we see, Satan seeks to distract us in any way possible, that is why it is written, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). But we have the perfect antidote because, when we, “submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). 

We must prioritize our time. There must be a time for daily prayer. When things get hectic the wisest thing to do is to take time and go to a quiet place to hear God, just as Jesus did so many times. Scripture tells us that if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you (James 4:8). 

We need to focus on the Lord for daily guidance by meditating on Scripture because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And as Joshua said: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (1:8).   

When we walk with the Lord and draw closer to the Him with all our heart, He becomes our focus. Our heart longs for Him and seeks His presence. Our desire to have fellowship with Christ and be like Him will grow while our worldly desires will decrease. 

When we walk with the Lord we grow in our awareness of sin and our need for a Savior. We will be convicted of wrongdoing immediately by the Holy Spirit; and the Lord with His infinite love will forgive our sins if we confess them and will purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). 

We were created by God, for God and our lives will never realize their true potential until we fully belong to Him in unconditional surrender to His Lordship.

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