Posted by: missionventureministries | August 17, 2017

HONORING THE LORD’S SUPPER IN COMMUNION – 1 Corinthians 11:27-29

“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29) 

When we study the depth of the meaning of the Lord’s Supper we start understanding the spiritual intensity of its meaning.  

During His last celebration of the Passover on this earth, on the eve of His death Jesus instituted a significant sharing of unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine that we observe to this day. It is an integral part of Christian worship which causes us to reflect on our Lord’s death and resurrection. 

The Passover was the most sacred feast of the Jewish religious year. It commemorated the final plague on Egypt when the firstborn of the Egyptians died and the Israelites were spared because of the blood of a lamb that was sprinkled on their doorposts. The lamb was then roasted and eaten with unleavened bread. God’s command was that throughout the generations to come the feast would be celebrated. The story is recorded in Exodus 12. 

During the Last Supper, while celebrating the Passover, Jesus took a piece of unleavened bread and gave thanks to God. When He broke it and gave it to His disciples, He said, “‘this is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’ In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you’” (Luke 22:19-20). He concluded the feast by singing a hymn (Matthew 26:30), and they went out into the night to the Mount of Olives. It was there that Jesus was betrayed, by Judas and was crucified the following morning becoming “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) 

The accounts of the Lord’s Supper are found in the Gospels (Matthew 26:26-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:7-22; and John 13:21-30).  

The apostle Paul also wrote about the Lord’s Supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29; and incorporates a statement not found in the Gospels: “Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Corinthians 11:27-29).  

Every Christian should ask what it means to partake of the bread and the cup “in an unworthy manner,” meaning that if you treat this holy ordnance in a common way, you become literally liable or guilty, for the body and blood of the Lord. 

In many religions, communion has become a dead and formal ritual where people come to the Lord’s Supper with unconfessed sin. Many treat the Lord’s Supper unworthily by making it a performance rather than something meaningful, by just participating in the ceremony rather than understanding it.  

Preachers need to instruct their flock about the Holy Communion because those who are not truly born again and are not pursuing holiness have no right to partake of the Lord’s Table. 

Born again are people are those who have repented of their sins and turned to Christ for their salvation, and as a result have become part of God’s family forever. Once that happens the born again Christian pursues holiness, which means that they reflect each day how they behave towards the Lord by ways of their attitude, what they say, how they dress, what they participate in, what they watch, listen to and read. In summary it is to intentional stop sinning and to have a forgiving heart.  

We need to be constantly probing our heart as we walk in the sight of our Lord each day. We need to remember that the Lord said: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16), and that “… without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). 

People who are not truly born again and pursuing holiness have no right to partake of communion. To understand who is unworthy to partake of the Lord’s Supper, we have added a few examples:

  • You treat it just as a ceremony and do not really understand the meaning of what Jesus did for you on the cross.
  • You do not understand that the Lord’s Supper is a holy and sacred communion and a restoring relationship experience with your Creator.
  • You treat the ceremony just as a ritual rather than treating it seriously.
  • You come to this table with bitterness toward another person and
  • You continue living in sin that you will not repent of or turn from.

If you come to the table without the highest respect for God, Christ and the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, if you come without total love for the brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, you come to this table unworthily and should not participate until you repent, change your attitude and make peace with your Lord and Savior. 

In keeping with Paul’s instruction, it is imperative that we examine ourselves before we participate of the Holy Communion. If you participate with sin in your life, or have never been saved from sin you’re guilty of violating the blood and sacrifice of Christ.  

The Corinthians were being disciplined by God because they wouldn’t examine themselves and clean up their life. They were literally treating Jesus Christ in an unworthy manner and had become guilty of that kind of disrespect.  

Someone who tramples the blood of Christ with indifference and a sinful lifestyle in the elements of communion is guilty of dishonoring Him, and is mocking Jesus Christ.  

It is therefore extremely important that we examine ourselves first before partaking of the Lord’s Table as stated in verses 28-29; because he that eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks chastisement. If you eat and drink unworthily, you will eat and drink judgment to yourself because you are not honoring the Lord’s body. In other words, you’re not treating the sacrifice of Christ with seriousness, dignity, purity and holiness. 

If you don’t see the seriousness and the sacredness of the Lord’s Supper, and you treat it with sinfulness, then you are literally guilty of dishonoring Him; you come under God’s judgment and you will be chastened because you have dishonored the great sacrifice that Jesus suffered to save you from your sins and from an eternity in the Lake of Fire. 

Therefore: “Do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)

Posted by: missionventureministries | August 10, 2017

GOD COMMANDS HIS CHILDREN TO BE HOLY – 1 Peter 1:15-16

The Hebrew word for holy is “kadosh” and means “set-apart, separate, sacred” The believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is set apart for God by the Holy Spirit, enjoying a holy standing before God in Christ Jesus, with the obligation of living a holy life. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16).

God has only one intended destiny for mankind – holiness. His only goal is to produce saints. Unfortunately that sacred trust was broken in the Garden of Eden; Jesus came to save us and restore us to a new relationship with God, because from the beginning He created us to be holy.

Once we make Him the Lord and Savior of our life and become His children, we must continually remind ourselves that our purpose in life is holy living. Strict obedience to the Word of God is the only proof that we are living a holy life and trusting in Him.

Jesus Christ died to make us holy. The purpose of God in the atoning death of His Son was to save us from the penalty of sin, and to set us apart to God to become like His Son (Romans 8:29). Our eternal destiny is to be conformed to the image of God in Christ Jesus (1 John 3:3).

When Jesus refused to condemn the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), and forgave her, He was offering her the same kind of forgiveness He offers every one of us: “Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts 3:19). This woman could not live in victory over her sins and sinful past until she accepted Jesus Christ as the absolute Lord of her life.

In saying, “Go and sin no more,” Jesus was not speaking of sinless perfection. He was warning her against a return to sinful lifestyle choices. His words offered mercy and demanded holiness.  

With forgiveness comes the expectation that we will not continue in the same path of rebelliousness. Those who know God’s love will naturally want to obey Him (John 14:15). 

A step toward God is a change toward righteousness, purity, and holy living (1 Peter 1:16; Romans 8:29). We cannot experience the transforming power of holiness without being forever changed. 

After the woman had met Jesus, she would not be perfect. No one is. But she was forever changed. Her eyes had been opened to the depravity of what she was doing. Sin no longer held the appeal it once did. When we meet Jesus, sin no longer holds its fatal attraction. God’s grace changes things. “Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:1–2).When we are born again (John 3:3), the power of the Holy Spirit breaks the power that sin once had over us (Romans 6:6). Once we lived only to please ourselves, but when we have been forgiven, our motivation changes. We now live to honor God (Galatians 2:20). 

It should be the goal of every Christian to “sin no more,” although we recognize that, while we are in the flesh, we will still stumble (1 John 1:8). God’s desire for each of us is to be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). We still sin, but sin is no longer a lifestyle choice (1 John 3:9–10). When we fail, we can come to God and ask forgiveness (1 John 1:9; 1 Peter 4:1–2). God will correct us, disciplining us when we need it (Hebrews 12:6–11) – because, His work is to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

Once again, the only solid evidence that we are true children of God is a holy lifestyle. “Everyone who lives in union with Christ does not continue to sin; but whoever continues to sin has never seen Him or known Him” (1 John 3:6). As true born again believers, we cannot go on continuing to sin because we now have God’s very nature in us, and the Spirit of God leads to holy living because He will not lead us into sin and disobedience. If the Spirit is leading us, we will live a holy life because: “None of those who are children of God continue to sin, for God’s very nature is in them; and because God is their Father, they cannot continue to sin” (1 John 3:9). Therefore, the new birth involves a complete purification from sin.

We need to remember that we cannot walk with the Lord and the world at the same time. “Because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child” (Hebrews 12:6), and He disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness (Hebrews 12:9-10).

He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time (2 Timothy 1:9). It is our responsibility to strive to be holy: Just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do (1 Peter 1:15). If we are going to enjoy an intimate relationship with Him, we must keep our lives free from all sin. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Scripture tell us that: “Without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). And the apostle John writes: “And now, little children, abide in Him, so that when He appear, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming” (1 John 2:28). The physical changes of our redemption will take place when Christ returns and our bodies are glorified because “we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him” (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:52-54). We will have new glorified bodies made for living in heaven because Jesus Christ shall return. Therefore, we should keep our lives pure and live a holy life.

The only proof of true dedication to our Lord and Savior is a deep desire to live a disciplined and a holy life that honors God. If a person is not living a holy life they have no right to claim God’s promises that He has given to His true and redeemed children.

“Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

Posted by: missionventureministries | August 3, 2017

MODESTY THE TIMELESS REVERENCE FOR GOD – 1 Peter 3:3-4

In describing the mode of dress appropriate for women in church, the apostle Paul exhorts them to dress “modestly” with “decency and propriety.” Christian women should be noticed for being kind and good, not for the way they fix their hair or because of their jewels or worldly extravagant clothes – (1 Timothy 2:9–10). While the Bible only specifically addresses the need for women to dress modestly, the same teaching would apply to men, because both men and women should bring glory to God in their manner of dress. 

Modesty in the way we dress is not just for going to church; it is to be the standard for all Christians at all occasions. The key to understanding what constitutes modesty in dress is to examine the attitudes and intents of the heart. Those whose hearts are directed toward God will make every effort to dress modestly, decently, and appropriately. Those whose hearts are inclined toward self and sinful desires will dress in a manner designed to draw attention to themselves with little or no regard for the consequences to themselves or others. Their thoughts are only on the latest craze and not on God. 

A godly woman endeavors to do everything with a “God-ward” perspective. She knows that God wants her to be concerned for His glory and the spiritual state of others. If a woman professes to be a Christian yet she dresses in a way that will unduly draw attention to her body, she is a terrible witness of the One who bought her soul by dying for her on the cross. She is disregarding that her body has been redeemed by Christ and should now be the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). She is telling the world that she determines her own worth on a purely physical basis and that her attractiveness depends on how much of her body she reveals to them. Further, by dressing in an immodest fashion, displaying her body for men to lust after, she causes them to sin, which is something condemned by God (Matthew 5:27–29). Proverbs 7:10 mentions a woman “dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.” Here, the woman’s heart condition is displayed by her manner of dress. 

The Scripture says that a woman should dress modestly, but what exactly does that mean in our modern society? Does a woman have to be covered from head to toe? There are cults and religions in the world that demand this of women. But is that the biblical meaning of modesty? Again, we have to go back to the matter of the attitude of the heart. If a woman’s heart is inclined toward godliness, she will wear clothing that is neither provocative nor revealing in public, clothing that does not reflect negatively upon her personal testimony as a child of God. Everyone else in her circle may be dressing immodestly, but she resists the temptation to go along with the crowd. She avoids clothing designed to draw attention to her body and cause men or women to lust, for she is wise enough to know that type of attention only cheapens her. The idea of causing men to sin against God because of her dress is abhorrent to her because she seeks to love and honor God and wants others to do the same. 

Modesty in dress reveals a humility and godliness of the heart, and is and attitude that should be the desire of all women (and men) who live to please and honor God. 

Here is an example of what actually happened in a church:  

A friend after returning home on a weekend from a trip asked her husband what had happened in church that Sunday, probably expecting to hear about the day’s lesson or sermon. What she got instead was surprising. Her husband confessed that a woman had come to visit the congregation, and her outfit had left the men feeling … agitated. 

He told her, that the interesting thing is that after the woman left, none of the men could remember her face, but they all remembered her skin-tight leather pants, her protruding cleavage revealing a great part of her breast through her transparent blouse that revealed her sexy underwear.  

As you can see, Satan uses sexual exposure to destroy the atmosphere of true and holy worship to God. 

Women need to be more conscious about how they dress in church. After all, when we go to church it is supposed to be a time when Christians should feel safe from temptation, not worrying whether it will sit next to them, in front of them or is going to be flaunted before them in the “worship team”.  

We need to realize that there is tremendous damage done to the body of Christ by immodest clothing. Yes, it will cause others to struggle with lust, but worst of all it steal the glory away from God.      

As Christian women, our greatest desire should be to please God in everything we do. First Peter 3:3-4 reminds us, ‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment. … Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight’. But women are getting ready to go to church and dressing in ways that are far from pleasing God.  

Please think about it: Are the outfits we choose intended to cause all eyes—especially men’s eyes—to be on us?  

If you are a true Christian please take time to look at yourself in the mirror before walking out of your house each day; and see if you are truly honoring the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ by the way you are dressed. If you are not dressed modestly you will be disrespecting God, others and yourself if you go outside this way.  

You should be asking yourself: Am I representing God whom I should honor, in the right manner? 

Here are a few things to help you check your level of modesty.

Is your chest area covered? Be cautious about cleavage. If needed, add a small swatch of fabric to under your blouse or dress to cover your breasts. Bend over and see what the mirror reveals before you leave the house.

Are you showing midriff because it is the craze? Are your shorts too short? Is your skirt lingering far above the knee? If so, choose something different and appropriate for a Christian woman to wear.

Cover your shoulders if you wear sleeveless and spaghetti strap type tops and dresses as a means of showing respect for God at church services. Carry a scarf or a light sweater with you for this purpose—besides, even on hot days overly air-conditioned buildings can be very cold.

Do your clothes fit well in general? If you have gained weight, don’t try to squeeze into too small a size. First, you look ridiculous and secondly people will stare at you.

Even if you wear a long sleeve shirt with no cleavage being revealed – as such – but it is made of a see through material that does not leave anything to the imagination you have failed the test of modesty.

Men need to watch the fit of their clothes also. Pants and shirts that are far too tight are not appropriate!

We need to be mindful how we dress and behave, in our representation of being children of God. If we dress immodestly but talk about purity and biblical principles, we are guilty of a double standard and are in fact hypocrites. 

Remember that without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | July 27, 2017

HOW TO TEACH CHILDREN THE BIBLICAL TRUTHS ABOUT HELL – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9

The Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power. (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9) 

Should a Holy God allow people to continue to sin, mock Him, curse Him and forsake Him? God doesn’t make anyone go to hell – people choose to go to hell. Many religions literally want to take hell out of the Bible, but, just because people don’t like this reality, it doesn’t cease to be the truth. No one thinks they are going to hell until they find themselves there. 

There are many different views and misconceptions about hell. It’s a topic most of us probably try to avoid teaching our children, because we are afraid to cause them fear. We love them too much to upset them, right? But we are missing an important point; which is, that this is exactly what Satan wants. He wants us to keep the thought of hell silent and hidden. 

Think of it this way, if your child is in danger, you would do everything to stop him, right! So why is it that we as parents don’t do everything we can to warn our kids about the danger or going to hell? 

It is important to study and understand this very important reality in the Bible and to be able to explain it to our children and to others. 

The first question your children might ask you is: “If God loves us, why would He want anyone to go to hell?” 

Therefore, it is important to teach your children that God doesn’t want anyone to go to hell. This place is prepared for Satan and his evil angels who rebelled against God in heaven. Hell was never meant for us. But since Adam and Eve disobeyed God by listening to Satan, sin came into the world and now many people choose not to obey God and follow Satan. So hell is the horrific reward that Satan the devil offers to those who sin, rebel, disobey and are his slaves.  

Many people say that there is no hell and that they are just stories or fables. They say that they are saved and are going to heaven, – so we should ask – saved from what? From hell? 

If you believe the Bible, you can’t pick and choose the parts you like or “agree with” to formulate your own version. Yes, God is loving and merciful, but He also talks more in Scripture about hell than He does about heaven. So why aren’t we talking about this subject? And why aren’t we warning not only our children but others as well? 

It might be because we don’t want to scare our children. Hell is frightening because it is a spiritual darkness and separation from God along with everlasting torment.  

Yes, Scripture talks about hell, not because God wants to send us there, but because He’s giving us a warning that it exists! We warn our kids about not touching the hot stove or running out into the busy street, so how much more should we be willing to do whatever it takes to keep them from an eternity in hell? God our heavenly Father warns us of hell. Therefore; as parents we need to tell our children the truth about the existence of hell. 

We can start by telling them the story found in Luke 16:19-31 of the RICH MAN AND LAZARUS.  The rich man lived in luxury while Lazarus lay at the gates of the rich man’s house with sores all over his body. Both men died. Lazarus was taken to heaven while the Rich Man was sent to Hades. As soon as the Rich Man understood his fate, this was his reply: “Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.” 

His FIRST response was to want to share a warning with those he loved. He was experiencing the reality of torment and he did not want his family to end up suffering like he was. 

It would be wonderful if we could protect our kids from knowing about such a terrible place, but it’s a truth they must know. Children need to understand what Jesus did for them on the cross. They need to understand that if they accept Him as their Savior and obey Him, that they can be with Jesus for all eternity when they go to heaven. To explain to them more about heaven please click on the following link: LET’S FIND OUT ABOUT HEAVEN

Clearly many kids who are thinking about hell are worried they will go there. But after explaining the PLAN OF SALVATION to them and letting them know that: If they publicly affirm that Jesus is Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, they will be saved.  Because it is by believing in their heart that they are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring their faith that they are saved. 

Also explain to them that if they do something wrong and they immediately ask for forgiveness that no one can “accidentally” lose their salvation and go to hell because the Bible tells us so: “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand” – John 10:27-28. 

We need to remember that if people tell us that hell is not real they are calling God a liar. The Bible tells us to not be deceived: “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” – Galatians 6:7. 

Please always remember this beautiful promise of hope: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. . .Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” – John 3:16-17, 36.

 

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | July 20, 2017

WHAT IS THE BELIEVER’S RESPONSIBILITY IN THE FACE OF APOSTASY? – 2 John 7-11

Scripture gives us three references on this subject. The apostate the Bible talks about are not simply unbelievers, but are teachers of apostate doctrines, who propagate their destructive rejection such as denials of the Trinity, the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, and the second coming.  

FIRST, we read in 2 John 7-11 that the believer is not to fellowship with such an individual.  

For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. 

So if someone fits the description illustrated here, fellowship is forbidden, even to the point of not allowing the person into one’s home. 

SECOND, this concerns the local church. If a member is found proclaiming a destructive denial, he is to be ousted from the church as Paul stated in Galatians 1:8-9: But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be anathema!  

As we read in verse 9, if anyone in their church is discovered to be an apostate, he or she is to be declared anathema which means “cursed” and they should be expelled from the church. We also find this advice in Proverbs 22:10: “Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife; quarrels and insults are ended.” 

THE THIRD is where the believer is faced with a church where apostates are in control of the leadership of the church and cannot be ousted. In this case the believer’s obligation is to separate himself from apostasy. In 2 Timothy 3:5, after characterizing apostasy as “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof,” Timothy is admonished – from these also turn away. Timothy was urged to separate himself from such apostasy. 

We also see Paul writing to the Corinthians about this: Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership has righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” –  2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1

This is an important passage for it cautions the believer to separate himself from the apostates and not to continue to worship with them in the congregation. As we see there can be NO fellowship between unrighteousness and righteousness. Believers are a part of righteousness, whereas unbelievers are part of iniquity, and there can be no fellowship between the two in the same church.

 

Furthermore, there is no communion between light and darkness. Believers are of the light, but unbelievers are of the darkness. There is no common ground between the two. There can be no agreement between Christ and Satan as they have two separate areas of operation and two distinct programs. The same way, the believer is part of Christ’s program while the unbeliever is part of Satan’s. One is destined for heaven and the other is destined for hell. And there is no agreement between the temple of God and the temple of an idol. The believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but the unbeliever is not. Since there is no fellowship, communion or agreement in the area of worship, with an unbeliever there is an unequal yoke, therefore we are not to place ourselves in a worship situation with unbelievers.

The command of separation involves three phases – 2 Corinthians 6:17:

  • Come out from among them
  • Be separated and
  • Touch not the unclean things

And in 2 Corinthians 6:18 we have three promises that are given to those who comply and separate themselves:

  • I will receive you
  • I will be to you a Father and
  • You shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty

In 2 Corinthians 7:1 Paul concludes urging the believer, on the basis of these promises, to follow through on his separation from apostasy where necessary.

When we study the book of Revelation we read the letters to the seven churches, the last one being written to the Laodicea the apostate church. It can hardly be denied that the majority of churches today have given in to and become a part of the apostasy.  

And finally God warns us: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.” (Revelation 18:4-5)

Remember: Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)

Posted by: missionventureministries | July 13, 2017

ABOUT TITHES AND OFFERINGS – Malachi 3:8-10

Why do we tithe and give offerings? 

Tithing and giving are part of worshiping God. It is more than giving money for things that appear to be material. In the act of bringing part of the fruit of our labor to the church, a Christian says: 

  • My heart is grateful for what I have, I have it because God gave it to me and all things belong to Him.
  • Money and wealth are not an idol in my life. To God belongs the first place in my heart.
  • I acknowledge that my church is my responsibility, as is the need to take care of my neighbor. (Matthew 22:36-40)
  • The gospel is important to me and I want to support the church so others can know the truth. 

For these reasons the Christian should give joyfully. The Bible says that our attitude is very important when we tithe and offer.  

Jesus says in Luke 11:42 that those who tithe but do not practice love and justice are hypocrites. And in 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul says that God loves the cheerful giver. 

Love and joy make tithing and offerings gifts of worship to the Lord. 

The blessings that come to the giver are also incentives that God uses so that the believers take care of each other. We often read the importance of giving to those in need. The best example we find is in the first church in Acts 2. 

What does the church do with tithes and offerings? 

The church is supported by the tithes and the offerings of the brothers. We need to understand that the Church is not a business where one pays for the services that we receive. 

Rather, it is a community where members take care of themselves; contribute to their community, and work to bring the gospel to others. 

The church has expenses to meet like: maintaining a building, paying utilities, buying office supplies, Bibles, food, etc., and rewarding those who care and work full time in favor of the congregation like the pastor. 

God expects His people to take responsibility for looking after His House and the work that needs to be performed. 

With strong words, God said through the prophet Malachi, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it” (3:8-10). 

According to this passage, God warns and blesses generously those who are committed to take care of the work of His church. 

What is the difference between tithes and offerings? 

Tithes: As the name says, tithe refers to setting aside 10 percent of the total proceeds to regularly give to God. 10 percent is the traditional sum and is traced back to the Old Testament, but the Bible speaks of blessings for those who give generously (or more than required), even if they are poor. Normally a person puts aside 10 percent of his salary weekly or monthly to give to the church. 

Offerings: Is a special gift. It is regularly made in addition to tithing and with special motives. For example, if the church wants to give Christmas gifts to needy families, it may ask for an offering to cover these expenses. Offering from time to time does not replace the commitment to tithe. 

Are there rules for tithes and offerings? 

Absolutely! We read in the passage of Malachi that integrity is required. The example of this we have in Acts 5 with the unfortunate story of Ananias and Safire, a couple who was not sincere in giving. They sold a property, but knowing that they should take the entire offering for the disposal of the work, they kept some of the money. When the Apostle Peter, led by the Holy Spirit, asked them to account, they lied and died on the spot. 

God does not care about the quantity itself, because not everyone has the ability to give the same amount. Each one will bring offerings, as the Lord has blessed, says Deuteronomy 16:17. What God seeks is the act of love and reverence behind the offering. This was the difference between the offerings of Cain and Abel. Cain gave because he considered it an obligation, in the negative sense. Abel, not only gave his offering to God with joy, but made sure to choose the best. Abel gave with the intent to please his Creator. 

In the New Testament Jesus used a poor widow, who only had coins of little value, as an example of a just offering before God. It is found in Mark 12:41-43, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury, for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” A person can not give in this way without having the conviction that God is faithful to those who truly love Him. 

What are the blessings to those who tithe? 

The mathematics of God is incredible. Practically God says give me so that I can give you more: 

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38 

Proverbs 19:17 also says: “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed.” 

To understand more about tithes and offerings click on the following link: WHAT IS TITHING?

Posted by: missionventureministries | July 6, 2017

PRIDE COMES BEFORE THE FALL – Proverbs 16:18

As part of the sanctification process that God would like to start with each one of us – one of the first things that God will be doing, through the power of the Holy Spirit, is to either take out or prevent certain types of negative qualities from entering into our personalities. And without question, one of the major negative qualities that God detests is pride. 

This cancerous, lethal, and destructive quality, probably more than any other negative quality, has brought down more kingdoms, toppled more empires, caused more wars, destroyed more marriages, ruined more friendships, and led more criminals into our jail systems than all of the other negative qualities combined. 

The spirit of pride has to be the absolute king of all the negative and destructive qualities that can enter into our personality – and no one is safe and immune from it. Therefore, all Christians, young and old, need to keep a sharp eye on this negative quality, and do everything not to let this spirit get a foothold and grip into their personality and mindset. 

God does not condemn us being joyful that we have accomplished something that pleases Him. However, as with anything else that may start out good, there is always the danger of possible excess. What starts out as a simple joy can start to grow into something much more deadly, if a person does not properly keep on top of it. 

One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is the fruit of self-control. Not only will a person need to use self-control to help keep a proper grip on this quality from getting out of control in their personality – but they will also need the help of the Holy Spirit to help them keep proper control. This is especially important for those who are called by God to work in any position of leadership within His church. 

Proverbs 16:18 states that: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” 

Here you see two key words “pride” and “haughty.” 

Webster’s Dictionary and several of the different Bible Dictionaries describe “pride” as: 

  • An unduly high opinion of oneself
  • A domineering spirit
  • Exaggerated self-esteem, conceit
  • A puffed up and inflated ego
  • Boasting – A conceited sense of one’s superiority

What gets some Christians into major trouble with the Lord is to fall into these categories.

Therefore, what can start out as a humble, justified, and reasonable kind of self-respect for one’s self and one’s own efforts and accomplishments in the Lord can quickly deteriorate and turn into pride where one starts to lose all sense of who they really are in the Lord. 

The other key word is the word “haughty.” Here is what Webster’s and some of the other Bible Dictionaries have to say about this negative quality: 

  • A prideful attitude and disregard for others
  • Lack of respect for others
  • Conceited, arrogant, superior attitude
  • An egotistical spirit
  • Haughty behavior resulting from arrogance

As we see in Scripture, the Lord uses some very intense and strong language when describing this negative quality. Not only does God call pride an actual sin in His sight, but He goes one step further and calls it an actual abomination! Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 16:5). 

Whenever the Father is uses the word “abomination”– He is using the most extreme and intense word that He possibly can to let all of us know, without any other possible interpretation, that we are to have no part of the activity He is describing as an abomination. We are to avoid it like the plague. 

When God puts the qualities of pride and haughtiness in this abomination category – we know that He is giving all of us a very serious warning on this issue. 

Once pride starts to seep into someone’s personality – it has to be dealt with and neutralized with the help of the Holy Spirit. If it is not, then it will continue to grow and spread through that person’s personality and mindset. From there, it will start to seep into their emotions, actions, and behaviors. And once this negative quality starts to manifest into their actions and behaviors, then their judgment will start to cloud, and they will no longer be able to separate truth from error. 

Eventually they end up becoming their own little god, thinking they have answers to everything and that the entire world revolves around them and what they are trying to achieve and accomplish. They are no longer willing to be accountable to anyone else in their life, including God Himself. 

Their inflated sense of pride and ego; their pompous, arrogant, conceited, bossy, know-it-all attitudes convince them that they are smart enough to be in control of others.  

The Word says: Let no one boast in men (1 Corinthians 3:21). This is what happens to someone once the spirit of pride starts to enter into their personality, they will start to seek after their own glory; and everything revolves around them and only them. 

Christians who fall into this type of pride trap will not only start to try and steal the glory from anyone else who may be attempting to compete against them – but they will also try and steal the glory that would only be due to God Himself! 

This is why the Bible tells us that we have to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We have to learn how to develop right thinking in our thought process. 

When God says that pride will come before a “fall” – He is giving all of us a major warning that some of these falls could end up being be very severe. We need to stay humble and accountable in our walk with the Lord; if we do not we will have to pay with severe consequences. 

We are not to glory in ourselves or to any other men and women in this life – and we are not to glory in our own accomplishments, in our own strength, or in any of the riches and wealth that we may have acquired in this life. The only Person that we are to glory to in this life is to the Lord Himself. 

Remember that with any type of position of leadership comes power and authority, and with power and authority comes the possibility of pride and corruption. THEREFORE, BEWARE!

Posted by: missionventureministries | June 29, 2017

THE IMPORTANCE OF TEACHING THE WORD OF GOD – Romans 10:17

As Bible studies diminish, and triviality replaces it, the inevitable happens and the congregation stops coming. 

True faith originates from the study of God’s Word. “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). A healthy congregation is made up of healthy growing Christians, the ones thoroughly taught the Word of God. 

Are you listening to the world as your basis for living? Or, are you listening to God? Faith comes by hearing and if you are only hearing the negativity of the news then that’s the faith you will have. If you’re only taking in the evil and chaos on the television, then you will have disorder in your life. The seed and the soil determine the crop. If you don’t like what’s growing in your garden, then learn how to plant something different, because: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). These kinds of fruits come only by planting the word of God in your heart and nurturing them to grow in good soil. 

Planting the word of God into your heart is so important. Peter said, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4). 

Through Christ we have great and precious promises. If we don’t know what these promises are then we will never escape the corruption in the world. Paul told Timothy, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). 

The word of God equips us for life. It is the breath of God and it is everything we need to live. Jesus said, the words I speak to you are life (John 6:63). 

We need the word of God planted in our hearts otherwise we will not grow in faith, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). 

It is the responsibility of the family to teach God’s Word. This we find in God’s commandments to Israel since the early days: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). 

However, if parents are to teach their children, they need to first be taught and secondly, they also need to have a desire to: 

  • Love God with all their heart, mind and soul (Matthew 22:27).
  • Put His Word into their heart. Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).
  • And to put it into practice. “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).

Both children and adults can see through hypocrisy. They need to be taught by sincere parents and Bible teachers that love the Lord and teach only God’s truths. 

Remember to ask God for guidance and to humble yourself before Him because: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). 

You are only able to teach after you have heard, studied and understand the Word of God. Therefore: “Study to do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

 

Posted by: missionventureministries | June 22, 2017

GOD WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS WORKS – Romans 2:6-8

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. (Romans 2:6-8) 

As careful Bible students we need to read this passage in its context since it describes that eternal life will be “according to works.” But this does not mean that it will be earned by works and there is a great difference as we read about ‘works’ in other bible passages. In Romans 6:23 Paul says, “The free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Eternal life is not earned, it is free. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). We need to clearly understand that faith receives eternal life freely as a gift and not through works. 

This is made clear not only in Romans 2:6-8 but also in James 2:14-26 and many other places that teach the necessity of obedience in the life of faith and in the inheritance of eternal life. 

The Bible teaches about receiving eternal life according to works, but not earning eternal life through works.

“According to works” means that God will take the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and the “good deeds” by which we let the light of our faith shine (Matthew 5:16), and He will accept them as evidence of our faith. His sentence of acquittal will not be because we are not guilty; it will be because Christ paid the price for our guilt. The place of our works at the judgment will serve as sustaining evidence that we did indeed put our trust in Christ. Therefore when we are acquitted and welcomed into the kingdom it will not be because of works but it will be according to works. There will be “harmony” between our salvation and our deeds. 

The main point is that God will judge each person impartially according to his works/deeds and every person will stand before God in judgment; either the Judgment Seat of Christ or the Great White Throne Judgment. 

To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. Eternal life begins the moment that we come to know God through faith in Jesus Christ. It grows sweeter as we grow to know Him better in this life. But it will be unfathomable the moment we step into God’s presence in eternity, free from all sin. 

Paul describes this eternal life by these words – glory, honor, and immortality (2:7). Glory refers to the hope of all believers, that we will be transformed into the image of God’s Son, so that God’s glory will be reflected in us (Romans 5:2; Romans 8:18, 21; Romans 8:29-30; Romans 9:23; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians15:43; 2 Corinthians 3:12-18; 2 Corinthians 4:17; Colossians 3:4). 

To receive honor will be to hear from the Lord Jesus, “Well done, good and faithful slave…. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21). All glory and honor that we receive in heaven we will immediately give back in praise to the resurrected Lamb as we sing (Revelation 4:11),“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created.”

Immortality refers to the hope of the resurrection, when we will receive new bodies that are not subject to disease, aging, and death (1 Corinthians 15:42, 1 Corinthians 15:50-54). Paul says that those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality receive eternal life (2:7).  

But, Paul also mentions the other eternal destiny: “but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.” 

Paul says that the wicked receive “wrath and fury” from God (2:8).  

There are many verses in both the OT and the NT that refer to God’s judgment, hear are just a few: 

“I, the Lord, search the heart; I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

The Lord says, “O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.” (Ezekiel 33:20) 

In Matthew 16:27 , Jesus says, “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.” 

Galatians 6:7-8 tells us to, “Not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” 

In Revelation 2:23, after telling how He will judge those who join in the immorality and idolatry of “the woman Jezebel,” the Lord warns the church in Thyatira, “I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” 

At the great white throne judgment, “the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” (Revelation 20:12) 

And finally in Revelation 22:12, Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” 

So the consistent teaching of Scripture is that God will judge each of us according to our deeds. 

Warning: Jesus said in (Matthew 7:21-23), “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’”  

Genuine conversion means that you must repent of your sins and trust in Jesus for salvation. Once a repentant mind has turned from its own way, it wants to follow God. It yields to God and His authority. Such a mind strives to be like Jesus Christ and produce the “fruits of the Spirit.” Christ talked about “bearing much fruit.” He later inspired Paul to list the “fruits of the Spirit” – love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (self-control) – in Galatians 5:22-23. These become evident in the conduct of the Spirit-led converted person. 

The repentant mind turns from the selfish “get my way”, to the “giving way of life.” A Christian’s thinking becomes transformed, changed completely, to a whole new way of looking at life. 

Remember: Faith without works is dead: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:14-17).

Posted by: missionventureministries | June 15, 2017

HOW TO PRAY USING SCRIPTURE – Psalm 145:18

The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. (Psalm 145:18) 

When we look at the life of Christ, we see that His relationship with the Father determined everything He did (John 5:19-20). Jesus’ prayer life was dynamic and creative. He prayed early; He prayed late. He prayed when He was busy, when He had big decisions to make, after performing miracles, and when He was full of sorrow.  

He found strength and a comfort through communion with the Father. He didn’t spend every moment alone with the Father, but He invested every second of His life in God’s presence.  

God loves it when we pray using His Word! God knows that His Word is our best weapon against the things of this world. Therfore, find a quiet time and place and begin with a brief prayer like: O Lord, I need you, I come seeking you and needing help. “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your word” (Psalm 119:18). 

Praying Scripture gives us strenght, as it creates an intimate relationship with the Creator. When we are at a loss for words on how to pray in any situation we face, praying Scripture helps us to do it in a way that is pleasing to God. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  

Here are a few examples that will help you with your prayer life. If you are new at praying, speak to the Father as if you were speaking to your best friend, because He is your best Friend. 

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7). 

Dear God, I acknowledge my need for you today. I claim your peace that transcends all understanding. Please guard my hearts and show me how to protect my mind. I know that at times I am weak, therefore I fall back on Your strength today. Thank you for being near to me, guiding me and equipping me in my daily walk. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

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

Dear Lord, I choose to put my trust in you today. When anxious thoughts take over my mind, it’s easy to take my eyes off of you and feel afraid. But I choose to put my trust in You Lord. Because in You, whose word I praise, I have put my trust; I will not be afraid because what can mere man do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4). Thank you for giving me this awesome assurance. Amen. 

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). 

Dear Jesus, thank you for always being with me. Your name, Immanuel, means God with us. I’m so grateful today that You are near to me no matter what anxious thoughts might try to creep into my mind. Thank you for being my strength when I feel weak. Thank you for upholding me and never letting me fall. You are faithful, always. I love you, Lord, and I will rely on Your strength today and every day of my life. Amen. 

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). 

Thank you Lord for these assuring words. I am grateful that You have given me a sound mind to understand the truth of your Holy Scripture. Also thank you for a loving heart, may I always love others as You love me (John 15:12). Thank you Lord for Your inexpressible gifts! (2 Corinthians 9:15). Amen. 

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). 

Dear Father, I know that in You I am a conqueror. Sometimes, it can feel so hard to believe that. Thank you for this encouragement and for being by my side. Amen.  

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18) 

Lord, my heart feels broken, my mind is restless and my spirit is uneasy. When I feel broken down or defeated, I run to you, knowing you are always present and always near. Please help me and guide me through this difficult situation, please give me wisdom and heal my spirit. Thank you for comforting me, Jesus. In Your mighty and holy name, amen. 

“The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11). 

Lord, thank you for giving me strength. When I am having a hard time, help me to remember that You are never far away. I need to remember to be still, and know that you are my God (Psalm 46:10) and that you will never leave me or forsake me as I obey your precepts. Thank you for all Your many blessing. Amen. 

“The Lord bless you and keep you;

25 The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you;

26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

 

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