Posted by: missionventureministries | December 7, 2022

BELIEVING IN THE ACCURACY AND TRUTH OF THE BIBLE – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Accuracy of the Bible - 2 Timothy 3 vs 16-17

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) 

Scripture is the principal way by which God grows His children to spiritual maturity. We cannot expect to succeed in our walk of faith without immersing ourselves in it, because, God’s Word sets the believer’s course. It is our source of life (Matthew 4:4) and truth (John 17:17). The Bible is God’s inspired gift to us. The believer who pursues the instruction in righteousness found in God’s Word and applies what he learns will grow in holiness and avoid many pitfalls in life. 

Paul’s mention of “all Scripture” emphasizes the composite totality of God’s Word to His people. The believer who delights in God’s Word and meditates on it day and night is blessed. “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:3). 

Let us take a look at what the book of Revelation reveals for the end times: 

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.” (Revelation 20:1-3). 

Satan will be seized and bound with “a great chain” by an angel, and then he will be hurled into the center of the earth and locked up in the pit. We are to take a literal interpretation of the Bible unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. That’s how God intended His Word to be understood and interpreted. When the Bible is not taken literally, our understanding of the Word is left to the opinions and imaginations of fallible mankind…. 

One reason we should take the Bible literally is because the Lord Jesus Christ took it literally. In the book of Revelation we read literally that it is “the Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, everything that he saw” (Revelation 1:1-2). 

After the Savior’s death on the cross, a seal was placed on the stone at the entrance of Christ’s tomb. “So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard” (Matthew 27:66). On resurrection morning though, the seal was broken and the stone was rolled away, because Christ had conquered death. That seal could never have kept Him in that tomb because He is “the Resurrection, and the Life” (John 11:25); He is the “Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). 

A “seal” will also be set upon the devil (Revelation 20:3) when he is locked up in the bottomless pit. But he is powerless to break that seal, demonstrating that he is a created being. If Satan could break this seal, he absolutely would and he will have 1000 years to try to break it, but he will fail. 

This contrast shows that we who believe and are on the Lord’s side are on the side of power, victory, and hope. Those who are outside of Christ are on the side of weakness, defeat, and hopelessness. By faith in Christ alone, the unbelieving can be rescued “from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Colossians 1:13). 

The seal placed upon Satan ensures that he will no longer deceive the nations during the 1000 years of Christ’s earthly kingdom. As we read in Revelation 20:3, “and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.” Satan will be locked and sealed in his prison, giving relief to the earth and its inhabitants by his absence. With Satan locked up, the whole world will be set free from his deceits for 1000 years. 

After the 1000-year period of Christ’s earthly kingdom is fulfilled “he must be released for a little while.” God reveals to us that Satan’s nature will not change even after 1000 years of confinement. He will remain proud, defiant and at enmity against God, and his hatred of God will only burn more intensely after the 1000 years have passed. 

Once Satan is released, God also reveals that mankind doesn’t change either. After 1000 years, we see how susceptible mankind will still be to Satan’s deceptions and methods, as the number who are deceived and follow him will be “as the sand of the sea” (Revelation 20:8). 

The releasing of Satan for a short time is part of God’s sovereign plan – “he must be released” (Revelation 20:3). Everything God does is good and righteous and has a purpose. Mankind has a free will and, at the close of the Millennium, just prior to the eternal state, God gives the inhabitants of Christ’s earthly kingdom one last opportunity to believe in Christ or reject Him. 

Many think that the world can be fixed through politics and human government; rationalizing that if we just get this governor or that political ruler in office, then everything will be all right. Sadly this is not true since even when the perfect Ruler reigns over the world for 1000 years, in the end many will choose to be on Satan’s side (Revelation 20:8). Even if the world were all that it could be, people would still reject Christ validating what Scripture says that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). 

Only Christ can change the heart of those that trust in Him, when they believe that He died for their sins, was buried, and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17). 

The Bible is God’s Word to us and He meant it to be believed literally and completely as our verse states: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). 

Remember, the Bible is not just a book, rather, it’s a treasure house of truth that’s living and active, and it’s a fountain of living water and our source of strength. However, Scripture can only be profitable to us when correctly interpreted. We need instruction from the Holy Spirit (who leads us into all truth). And for Scripture to really be effective in conviction of sin, correction of error and training in righteousness, it needs to be applied to our lives. We need to align our lives to what God’s word says. Then we shall be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | November 30, 2022

CAST ALL YOUR ANXIETY ON HIM – 1 Peter 5:6-7

1 Peter 5 vs 7

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7) 

In the midst of a list of instructions to the church, Peter warns his readers to humble themselves, be sober-minded, and resist the devil. In the same list, he commands them to cast their anxiety on God. It is clear from his letter that the church was being tested by persecution and various trials. Christians were experiencing anxiety and Peter was no stranger to this, because having followed Jesus in his earthly ministry, he was arrested and flogged several times for preaching about Christ. 

Peter stresses the fact that God cares for us and knows us perfectly since “whoever loves God is known by God” (1 Corinthians 8:3). God loves his children and is perfectly attentive; He waits to answer when we pray, to forgive when we repent and to comfort when we are in need. 

Peter’s exhortation to humble ourselves and to cast all our anxieties on the Lord is a command, not a suggestion. We are commanded to trust in the Lord and not in ourselves (Proverbs 3:5) and to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6). God does not want us to be burdened by the difficulties and worries of this life. Instead, He cares for us and promises rest for all who come to Him. If you trust that God is in control and able to handle your concerns, cast all your troubles on Him, regularly giving Him your worries in prayer and living in the rest He gives in turn. 

Jesus also invited people to cast their cares on Him: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30). Jesus calls us to come to Him and cast our burdens on Him, and when we do, the promise is that we will find rest for our souls. The assurance is based on who He is. We can come to Him with any of our concerns in prayer, and, while the burden may still exist, our souls will find rest as we trust in Him to help us carry it and to sustain us through the trial. 

Everything that worries us or weighs us down is to be given to God who cares so deeply for us. These verses do not promise that God will fix or remove our concerns. Instead, the assurance is in knowing that He cares for us, which is why we can cast our cares on Him. God is trustworthy to handle our concerns in the best way. Romans 8:28 tells us that God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, therefore, we trust that God is able and willing to deal with our concerns. 

To “cast” literally means to “throw.” It comes from the same Greek word used to describe how the people threw their coats on the colt before Jesus rode it into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Luke 19:35). We should not hold onto our cares, instead, we should give them to our Father who cares for us and can handle our burdens. 

Remember that God cares about our well-being and wants us to be humble and strong. When we worry and do not acknowledge our profound neediness before God, we are not being humble. Thus, biblical humility is recognizing that our worth is to be found in our Maker. The command is positive; we have a loving Father who desires us to come to him with all our anxieties, disillusionment and fears. 

It may be that if we are going through some deep waters right now that God is seeking to reveal areas where we have been leaning on our own resources or trying to run our own life. It may be that we are trying to find our primary satisfaction in something other than in the Lord. The fact is real satisfaction apart from the Lord as the source of that satisfaction is an illusion that is experienced one moment, and gone the next. We are therefore to cast our whole dependence on Him, not just some areas while we seek to run the others ourselves. 

The fundamental issue is the need for us to humble ourselves, or to allow ourselves to be humbled and thus also transformed by His sovereign work into the character of His Son. God seeks to move us into greater and greater levels of dependence on Him and out of self-dependent living wherein we seek our joy and happiness and satisfaction from the details of life rather than from Him. Psalm 37:5-6 tells us: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | November 23, 2022

GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD – Psalm 107:1

Thanksgiving 2022 - Psalm 107 vs 1

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 107:1)

On Thanksgiving Day we are presented with an opportunity to express our gratitude to God but we should not wait to give thanks only on this day, since thanksgiving should be the attitude of every believer each and every day of our life. 

Therefore: 

  • I will give to the Lordthe thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. (Psalm 7:17)
  • Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. (Psalm 30:4)
  • Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, (Psalm 50:14)
  • I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psalm 69:30)
  • Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1-3)
  • Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (Psalm 100:4)
  • Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 106:1)
  • And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. (1 Chronicles 29:13)

Thank you Lord for your grand plan for us at creation, for you made us in your likeness, you formed us to reflect your glory and live a life that pleases and honors you. Therefore, “Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” (Revelation 7:12)

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Posted by: missionventureministries | November 16, 2022

LEARNING TO BE CONTENT AND NOT ANXIOUS – Philippians 4:6-11

Philippians 4 vs 6-11

The apostle Paul while confined in a Roman prison wrote: “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:11). 

What was his secret? How could he be at peace in such a difficult situation? The answer is found in the previous verses where Paul begins by saying, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). 

As we think about this verse, we see that the solution that the Lord reveled to Paul for any stressful situation was to bringing every concern to Him, no matter how big or small; starting with prayer and pleading, followed by thanksgiving. 

The word prayer simply means talking to the Father. However, it doesn’t mean merely informing Him of our needs since in His omniscience He already knows everything. It includes adoration, devotion, and worship. God wants to answer our petitions, but His greater desire is to have an intimate relationship with each of us. So we need to remember instead of immediately citing our requests, we should spend time praising God, acknowledging our need of Him, rejoicing in His unconditional love, and loving Him in return. 

Then Paul uses the word pleading or supplication. This means that we should not only tell God about our circumstances but also pour out our hearts before Him in an intimate relationship of Father and child. Sharing our feelings with the Lord is essential if we are to develop a loving, intimate relationship that includes our heart, mind and soul (Matthew 22:27, Mark 12:30). God is a tender Father who sympathizes with our pain, uncertainties, fear and frustrations. He wants to give us more than a solution to our problem; His desire is to provide comfort and assurance in the midst of our dilemma. 

Then, Paul counsels us to pray with thanksgiving. Gratitude has a way of redirecting our mind instead of concentrating on our circumstances and difficulties. We should never doubt but always remember God’s faithfulness and care, and trust in Him knowing that He is going to answer our prayers in His time. Then, we need to start thanking Him even before we get our answer because “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). 

As we see, prayer should be our immediate response to anxiety, but maintaining a peaceful spirit also requires the correct focus as Paul tells us: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). 

What occupies your mind most of the time – fear or trust? Can you honestly say your thoughts harmonize with those on Paul’s list? Since it is God who personifies all the qualities stated in (v. 8), one way to reshape our thinking is to see our everyday activities through the lens of our relationship with Christ. For instance, when you look at your daily schedule, consider what God wants you to accomplish in light of His will for your life. If you foresee a difficult situation, ask the Lord instantly to show you how to respond. If your behavior is getting ready to do what it shouldn’t, pray immediately, asking God to help you conduct yourself in a way that honors Him. 

Having a God-centered perspective is the key to maintaining a calm spirit both in the midst of daily stress and in times of crisis. When we keep our focus on Him, the promise of Isaiah 26:3 becomes ours: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” 

Paul concludes his instructions for maintaining inner peace by telling believers the way to put it into practice: “As for the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9). 

So how do we do this? We simply live in obedience to God, and “the God of peace will be with you” (v. 9). 

Gratitude for being His child has a way of redirecting our minds. Instead of dwelling on our difficulties, we should focus on His past faithfulness and care. 

Every Christian should choose to live in peace rather than under a burden of anxiety. If we let apprehension rule our hearts, it will interfere with our health, sleep, productivity, joy, and so much more. However, when Christ, the Prince of Peace, has full authority over our lives, He guards our hearts and minds by building a wall of protection against worry because the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). 

Stress may pull us apart emotionally, physically, and spiritually, but God’s peace will always bring us back so we can be well again. 

Isaiah said: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). And Jesus comforted His disciples by telling them: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). 

Remember that while we cannot control many of the stressful situations in our lives, we can decide which master we will serve, therefore, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | November 9, 2022

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A FAITHFUL SERVANT OF CHRIST – 1 Corinthians 4:1-2

1 Corinthians 4 vs 1-2

“This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2) 

God has revealed His complete Word to His saints (Colossians 1:26) who have “heard and learned” the gospel (John 6:45; Romans 10:17 and John 3:16–18), and it is they alone who comprehend “the glorious riches of this mystery” (Colossians 1:27). In its fullest sense, the “mystery of God” is God’s plan of salvation through Jesus. We would never have been able to comprehend the way to eternal life without the coming of Jesus, His death and resurrection. 

A servant of Christ is one who realizes that all he is and has is of and from the Lord. As Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof,” and understands that his very life comes from the Lord. 

He understands that all of his earthly possessions, money, time, and talents are for the Lord and that with them he must serve the Lord, in gratitude for the great salvation he has received. 

God has given us Himself in the gift of Jesus Christ, therefore, He wants us to be faithful, dependable and always return to Him as He has given to us, beginning with a thankful attitude in our heart. 

In Paul’s time, a servant was in charge of the administration of his master’s property. He devoted his time, talents, and energy to looking after his master’s interests rather than his own. A servant supervised the master’s property, fields, vineyards, clothing, finances, food and the other servants. He dispensed things to the household as they were needed and he would also protect the assets and possessions of his master. All this shows that much responsibility was placed on a servant. 

Likewise, we are given much spiritual responsibility. As servants of the mysteries of God, we are to dispense the revelation of the mystery to those of the “family of God” (Ephesians 2:19). As administrators, we promote the truth to others and faithfully spread the wisdom of God’s mystery. As Paul challenged Timothy, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us” (2 Timothy 1:13-14). 

The most important quality of a good servant is faithfulness and trustworthiness. We are called to be faithful to the Lord and His revelation of the mystery, refusing to compromise the message, teaching it without fail without apology and to be ready to defend and protect it. 

As we look at the qualities of a good servant we should see someone that is selfless and doesn’t see their own life, money, and possessions as their own but manages it all accordingly. They don’t order their life so they can spend whatever they want. They order their life so God can use them however He wants for furthering His Kingdom. 

Jesus Christ who is the very Son of God owned the world, which He had made, but He came into this sinful world in the form of a servant and all He ever owned was the clothing on His back. He gave Himself for His people in His atonement on the cross and we are saved by His grace. 

Like Jesus who came to serve and not to be served, a faithful servant does not put his needs above the needs of others and does not act in a way that is superior over others. He is humble and not proud. 

A faithful servant knows the meaning of meekness and serves in a way that displays Christ-like characteristic. He gets his wisdom through his relationship with his Master and applies godly wisdom acknowledging God in all he does. 

He shows genuine and sacrificial love as he serves his Master diligently. He is not harsh or mean but is patient and joyful as he goes about God’s work. 

He also gives willingly, saves consistently, invests wisely, and avoids debt. He is contented with what he has and doesn’t cheat or act dishonestly in his business because of profit and gain. 

A servant of Christ knows who his King is and has voluntarily set aside his or her personal rights in order to love, serve, and obey the will of God in Christ Jesus. Servants of Christ die daily to sin and fleshly desires, allowing Christ’s life to flow through them (Galatians 2:20). 

They do their work humbly and selflessly, desiring only to please their Master. There is no pretense, self-importance, compensation seeking in the true servant of God, he considers his life on earth as a brief moment of preparation for eternity and lives for the moment when Jesus will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Master!” (Matthew 25:23). 

In summary a faithful servant displays “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). He knows that freely he has received therefore; freely he gives (Matthew 10:8). 

Therefore, “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.” (Matthew 24:46-47). 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | November 2, 2022

CONTRASTING SAYINGS IN GOD’S WORD – Romans 6:23

Romans 6 vs 23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) 

One of the most powerful and significant use of an exact opposite is found in the verse above; where “wages” or consequences is contrasted with “death” and “gift” or reward with “eternal life.” These are powerful contrasting words that are direct opposites. 

God’s free gift of grace is not something anyone can earn as a wage for our works. Instead, Paul presents man as executing his own death by the wage of sin. God however, offers man eternal life by His grace, which is totally free of man’s merit. The law of opposites is used by the Holy Spirit to show the helpless state of sinners and the incomprehensible grace of God. Paul repeats the contrasting statement that God’s saving grace has nothing to do with man’s works in Romans 11:6. “And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” 

Two verses that have set many free from the bondage of religious deception are Ephesians 2:8-9. “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.” In these verses Paul nullifies the false teaching of a works-based salvation by declaring salvation is totally from God and not of man. Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in what God has done, not by works man must do, so that no one may boast. In Titus 3:4-5, Paul uses another contrasting passage to eliminate the works by righteousness by the things we have done. “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” 

There are many opposites revealed in God’s Word, including Christ and Antichrist, advocate opposed to adversary, believers in contrast to unbelievers, eternal life vs. eternal death, light opposite from darkness, justification vs. condemnation, truth in contrast to error, righteousness vs. lawlessness, the church instead of the world, the regenerate man vs. the unregenerate man, heaven in contrast to hell and children of God vs. children of Satan. 

The Apostle Paul warned that some would come preaching a Jesus who is not the one the apostles preached (2 Corinthians 11:4). Have you ever considered how different the Jesus of some churches is with the true Jesus who is gloriously revealed in Scripture? 

The truth of God’s word teaches that: 

  • Jesus gives believers eternal life and promises they will never perish (John 10:28). 
  • Jesus purifies all sins (Hebrews 1:3, 1 John 1:7). 
  • Jesus finished the work of redemption on the cross (Hebrews 9:12, 10:12). 
  • Jesus redeemed believers from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us (Galatians 3:10). 
  • Jesus is the only sinless mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5). 
  • Jesus is the only Way to the Father in heaven (John 14:6). 

If we read the account of Hebrews 9:24-28 we see that: “For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But He has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.” 

What does your church teach? 

Please remember that at the end of the tribulation period when Jesus comes back to earth at His second coming, the Good Shepherd will divide the sheep from the goats and the human race will be divided in two groups. Some will enter into the joy of eternal life with their Savior; others will depart into eternal punishment (Matthew 25:31-46). This should motivate us all, with a sense of urgency, to lovingly point people to the truth of the Gospel. People will never know that they are being deceived until they are presented with the truth of God’s word. 

Remember what Jesus said: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | October 26, 2022

WALKING AS JESUS WALKED – 1 John 2:6

1 John 2 vs 6

“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” (1 John 2:6) 

John is basically saying that the only way in which we can show that we know God is thru obedience to Him, and the only way we can show that we have union with Christ is by imitating Him. 

The person that professes that he lives in fellowship with the Lord does their utmost to live as Jesus lived. To walk, meaning to carry out our behavior as Christ left us as example, that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). 

It is an accepted fact that friendship shapes a person’s life and we tend to become like our friends. Therefore, the more we walk with Christ in daily fellowship and friendship the more we become like Him. 

When we choose to walk as Christ did, we must obey His teachings and follow His example of complete obedience to God – that way we abide in Him and He in us. “The one who keeps God’s commands lives in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us (1 John 3:24). 

The point here is that the one who knows God will increasingly lead a righteous life, for God is righteous. It does not mean that the person will be sinless; John has already shown that anyone who claims this is lying (1 John 1:8). It simply means that the person is moving in a direction marked out by the righteousness of God. Nonetheless, while we recognize that we will never fully achieve Christ likeness on this side of glory, we “have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6). 

Let us take a look at several specific commands in the New Testament that describe such a walk. 

  • First, we are to “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16, 25; Romans 8:1-4). The empowering of the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to “walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:12). 
  • Second, we must “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us” (Ephesians 5:2). 
  • Third, we must “walk in truth” (3 John 1:4) and “properly” (Romans 13:13). 

To walk as Jesus walked means that our lives should be characterized by daily dependence on God, submission to Him, and obedience to His will. Our overall aim in life is to seek first His kingdom and righteousness, as we seek to please Him by our thoughts, words, and deeds.

If we want to be like Jesus we need to deal with our pride and any boastfulness. Therefore, “let this humble mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

To be more like Jesus is to be a person willing to put others before ourselves, to seek wisdom from God, and to care about how we interact with the people we come across in life. We need to be considerate in all that we do. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says that love is always patient and kind. And Hebrews 12:14 states: Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”

We need to care for other people and treat others as we would like to be treated (Matthew 7:12); we need to think beyond our self.

Scripture teaches us to be like our Lord and Savior in “all manner of conversation,” therefore we need to watch our tone of voice and the words that come out of our mouths. As born again believers we are Christ’s earthly witnesses, and we must act as a reflection of Him. 

While we will never perfectly walk as Jesus walked, it should be our constant aim and effort to do so as Paul told the Corinthians “be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | October 19, 2022

WHAT WILL IT BE – LIFE AND BLESSINGS OR DEATH AND CURSING? – Deuteronomy 30:19

Life and Death Deuteronomy 30 vs 19

I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19) 

This passage represents the most fundamental theme of the whole Bible; that is, the Lord seeks to enter into a covenantal relationship with people. He sets before them the terms of the covenant, spells out the consequences of keeping and breaking the covenant, and then lets them choose whether to enter into a covenantal relationship with Him or not. He desires Israel, and ultimately all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth, (1 Timothy 2:4) meaning that He wants us to “choose life.” God gives us the choice to love and obey Him or to reject His love. 

Although this was directed to Israel, the choice is still very much the same. God still sets life and death before us. Romans 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Those who accept Christ by faith will experience eternal life and blessings, while those who reject Him will experience eternal death and destruction (John 3:18). As we see, we have a clear choice which involves eternal consequences. 

As Moses nears the end of his ministry, he counsels God’s people to choose life. He outlines the way to do this: “Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life” (Deuteronomy 30:20). 

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25). When we choose life we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and dedicate ourselves to following Him and He becomes our life (Colossians 3:4). But disobedience results in the greatest curse of all—death and destruction now and forever as 2 Thessalonians 1:8–9 reveals “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might.” 

The call to choose life was not only about obeying rules. It was a call to the heart: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). And Jesus issued this same call as the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37–38). 

Loving the Lord is the first step in choosing life. When we love the Lord, we desire to know Him intimately. We hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:3, 27). One feature of the relationship between a shepherd and his flock is that sheep always recognize their shepherd’s voice. As we get to know the Lord intimately, we become aware that He is our Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20). Whenever we might be tempted to turn away to the right or the left, our Shepherd is there, telling us the right way to go (Isaiah 30:21), we should obey and follow the voice of the Lord. 

When we choose life we choose God, who is the giver and sustainer of life (Acts 17:25). The Bible says God breathed the breath of life into the first human (Genesis 2:7) and gave the breath of live to each one of us when we were born. Since our lives are a gift from God (Psalm 139:13; Acts 17:28), our highest aim ought to be to live for Him. Jesus said, if you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give your life up for Me, you will find it (Matthew 10:39). When we choose life by letting go of selfish desires and live for His sake; then we can say like the apostle Paul, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). 

Therefore, to “choose life” we must have a change of heart! And that change can only come through faith in Jesus, who graciously teaches us: “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). 

Humans today, like in the Old Covenant, are confronted with choices. But the choice focuses first not on “Will I obey God or not?” But on “Will I trust in Jesus?” Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters” (Luke 11:23). Jesus is still asking the question, who do you say that I am (Matthew 16:15), and our choice in answering that question determines our eternal destiny. 

God is urging us to make serious and deliberate choices for our eternal destiny. He requires us to commit and make decisions. In matters of morality, remaining neutral is not an option. The issues are sharply defined; obedience opposed to disobedience; life versus death; good vs. evil. 

Jesus said: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:9-10), therefore choose life. 

There are many invitations from the Lord with gracious promises to those who come, but note especially the final invitation of the Bible: “The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life” (Revelation 22:17). 

If you have not already made your decision, will you accept Gods invitation to come and walk with Him and gain the eternal blessings He has in store for those who receive Him? 

Remember, the choice is yours! 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | October 12, 2022

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO – Proverbs 3:5-6

WHAT TO DO - Proverbs 3 vs 5-6

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) 

It’s difficult in a culture like we are living in today to know who we can truly trust. But we have One who promises to guide and direct us toward the right path in life. Not only does God offer wisdom, but He also offers direction on how to maneuver thru a difficult and rebelliousness culture. 

At times life presents trying and difficult moments to all of us. It is during these times that a person can find themselves in a situation that they don’t know what to do so they end up doing everything except what they should do! Therefore, when we are confronted with a situation and don’t know what to do, we need take the matter to God in prayer and ask for His help. Like Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20, who when confronted with nations that were coming against Judah went straight to God and asked the Lord for His help instead of relying on himself or anyone else. 

The best advice in any situation is to calm down and to talk to God about your situation. If you think that you must get advice from a friend or “trusted person,” proceed with caution. The reason for this advice is because of what God’s word says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:5). In contrast verse 7 says, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” 

When you don’t know what to do, you need to place your trust in God and call upon Him for help. Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” 

Because of the way the world is progressing every day it is difficult to know what to do, yet the Bible teaches 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). 

Like with King Solomon, our Father is always willing to grant wisdom to those who earnestly seek it. 

If we are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, the Bible can lift our spirits and give us a fresh start! No matter what we face – job loss, relationship conflict, death of a loved one, or anything else, there is always an opportunity to re-focus on God’s promises. 

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). 

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3). 

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

God wants to encourage us to find joy and peace every single day. That’s why Scripture is packed with encouraging verses! God’s Word has been kept alive for thousands of years so that it could speak directly to our hearts right now. Its purpose is so that we find hope through Jesus Christ. 

Consequently, the best way to fight discouragement is by meditating on words of encouragement! Every day challenges can test our trust in God. Fear and anxiety can rob us from joy, faith and hope, but we need to remember that God knows our destiny, and He has a plan for us if we trust and obey Him. 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). 

God never asks us to figure it all out on our own, instead He asks us to trust Him, to recognize His leadership and Sovereignty in our lives. “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). As we see, our security and peace needs to rest on God alone – not on our own circumstances, other people, or our own ability. And we should always believe His Word when He says that He “will not leave us nor forsake us. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8). 

Lord, thank you that you are the God of the impossible. Teach me to be like Joshua and Caleb who believed in a good report and focused on you even in hard circumstances (Numbers 14:7-9). Today I bring before You this difficulty in my life (Name the situation you are facing right now). Help me not to fear but to trust You in this situation. Thank you Lord, I trust You and will not be afraid because You Almighty God are my strength and my defense. Amen!  

Your present condition may be such that you feel powerless but remember that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13), when you come to Him and ask for help. 

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Posted by: missionventureministries | October 5, 2022

WHERE DOES MY HELP COME FROM? – Psalm 121:2

Psalm 121 vs 2

“My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:2) 

Where does our help come from? To whom do we turn to in time of distress? Today, many look for help from friends, family, finance, etc., but lifting your eyes to anyone but Jesus removes our focus from the only One who is our help. 

When the psalmist presents the question, “Where does my help come from?” he trusted that God the Creator was tirelessly watching over him and protecting him. He knew the help he longed for would come from the Lord because He: “He will not let your foot slip—He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:3–4). 

Sadly, the human tendency is to look for help in all the wrong places. Generally we try to solve our problems in our own strength or according to the wisdom of the world. Many phone their parents when they need someone to bail them out. Others look to unbelieving friends to satisfy the longing in their soul. Others become addicted to their careers to seek success and self-esteem and some turn to drugs and alcohol to fill the emptiness inside. 

As we see many attempt to find happiness by experimenting with everything this world offers. But all these solutions do not work, because, what we need most is to reach out to the Lord and ask Him for help, “Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love” (Psalm 109:26). 

Like the prophet Isaiah, we can stand firm knowing where our help comes from, or better from Whom it comes from: “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced” (Isaiah 50:7). 

The psalmist affirms, “The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand” (Psalm 121:5). No matter what we face, day or night, the Lord stands over us as a protective shield. Through every trial and storm, God is our constant shelter and refuge (Psalm 46:1; Psalm 91; Proverbs 18:10). 

Directing our eyes toward God symbolizes our complete trust and reliance on Him: “But my eyes are toward you, O God, my Lord; in you I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!” (Psalm 141:8). And King David acknowledged “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare” (Psalm 25:15). The writer of Hebrews taught us to keep on the course and finish the race of the Christian life by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2). 

Jerusalem was the center of ancient Jewish worship and is located high upon a mountain. As a worshiper traveled there approaching Jerusalem, the pilgrim most likely declared, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains,” the place where God dwells since the Ark of the Covenant was located in the most holy place of the temple where the Shekhinah glory dwelt. 

Scripture frequently refers to the heights of Jerusalem as the holy “Mountain of the Lord” where God dwells (Zechariah 8:3; Isaiah 27:13). One psalmist describes Jerusalem as “the city of our God, which sits on His holy mountain! It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King!” (Psalm 48:1–2). 

I lift my eyes to the hills” was the worshiper’s declaration of trust and dependence upon God for help. He was going to meet with the Lord and offer sacrifices of praise because the Lord his God, Creator of the universe, was his singular source of help. From the elevated place of His holy presence, God would grant assistance and deliverance: “I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain” (Psalm 3:4). From His sacred dwelling place, the Lord would offer everlasting security: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forevermore” (Psalm 125:2). 

Godly friends and family members should always point the distressed back to what the Bible teaches and instructs. Lifting our eyes toward God is a biblical image of prayer as we see when a great multitude of enemies came against Jehoshaphat and he prayed to the Lord, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12). 

Once we are born again, the Holy Spirit lives in us and He is there to lead us and to give us discernment on how to proceed on what we should do. 

Therefore, if anyone asks you, “Where does my help come from?” You can offer them this remarkable assurance; since at all times, no matter where you go, and for as long as you live, the Bible declares, “Your help comes from the Lord!” (Psalm 121:2). 

So always remember that “Blessed are all who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 2:12) because “the Lord will rescue His servants” (Psalm 34:22).

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