Saturday, October 13, 2018

October 13

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I know the Bible, and I’m pretty smart! Just kidding! Today, I would like to share with you how easy it is to study God’s Word and be accurate in your understanding.

The Bible in its original form was written in Hebrew and Greek. Unless you fully understand those languages you will not understand the Bible in its original form, and must rely on the intelligence of others and their connection with the Holy Spirit. If you’re that skeptical, you could either learn those languages, or do like I do and use a Lexicon like Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries. It can help you better understand the use of each word in its context. I don’t sit down with a stack of books going over each and every scripture, though I could because I have all these books just in case the internet ceases to exist, I use a bible application called e-sword that has all of those books in it, and they are conveniently laid out on my tablet so I can see them all at one time. I also use the commentary of my favorite Bible scholar to help clarify my understanding and make sure what I heard was from the Holy Spirit and not just my own two cents. This commentary is also a part of this app and laid out on the screen too. I’m not trying to sell you on anything, but there are tools out there to give you a more complete understanding of God’s Word. It makes study easy and fun all at the same time. The e-sword’s library is quite extensive, so you will probably find more than you need, and will have to try a few until you find what works best for you. 

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Galatians 6:3-6

Friday, October 12, 2018

October 12

Being around someone who is harsh or yells at you will wear on you and cause you to second guess your decision to be in that job, relationship, or marriage. For many it is fight or flight. A person can only deal with it for so long before they decide to either quit that job or end that relationship. Proverbs 15:1 says: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. At some point, each of us have had to deal with a bully in our lives, if you haven’t, you are probably the bully. We need to examine ourselves and the way we treat others. If they have done something against us or the Word of God, they should be gently restored. Accusations and cruelty only cause anger and hurt feelings. Be careful with your words and your tone, because you never know what’s going through the other person's mind as you are unloading on them. They may grow tired of fighting and turn and walk away or worse, they could give up. Don’t be that person that sends someone over the edge.

In this verse in Galatians 6:1 it is talking about restoring someone who has sinned. I may have stretched it a little to use this verse in my devotional, but it is Biblical to be kind. It made me think about how we need to be more loving in our words and tone of voice.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Galatians 6:1

Thursday, October 11, 2018

October 11

At some point in your life I’m sure you’ve heard the song by Blake Shelton, Some Beach; if you haven’t, here are a few lines from it.

A man with a big cigar was getting into his car
I stopped and I waited for him to back up
But from out of no where a Mercedes Benz
Came cruisin' up and whipped right in
Some beach
There's no where to go when you got all day to get there

He goes on to tell us what a bad day he has had. My daughter had this same scenario happen to her. I try not to tell other people’s story, but today, I can’t help it; it fits perfectly into the message. She was waiting on a couple of people to get it together and back out of their spaces; they were side by side. When a teeny bopper came barreling around her, too impatient to wait. Just as the girl passed her, one of the spots opened up and the little hussy backed up and swooped right in. Thank goodness for Jesus and another spot or someone might have gotten a whipping right there in the parking lot. She verbally corrected her, but she kept her cool. She attributed her demeanor to walking in the Spirit. If she hadn’t been walking in the Spirit, the outcome could have been quite different. 

An article I read describes walking in the Spirit as “having a longer fuse and being full of thankfulness, singing, and joy.” Read the following verses about the fruits of the Spirit. If you are lacking any, ask God to help you work on them, but be prepared to have situations thrown at you, that’s the way God trains us. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Gala5:22-25

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October 10

When you are in slavery to the flesh, you do not get a day of rest. You must continue to feed that desire. Remember, if you are on the wide path, it’s the path that everyone takes because it’s easier and has less roadblocks. When you are on the narrow path that leads to Jesus, the enemy will taunt you at every turn trying to make you turn back. He will remind you how much easier it is to deny Jesus and to give in to your fleshly desires. The works of the evil one are disguised in beauty and made to be tempting and alluring. Like a hunter luring their prey by covering the ground with corn, Satan devises schemes to draw you in promising you happiness and love, but he is the father of lies and cannot give you what your heart desires the most. God has created us to be drawn to Him, but if we don’t know Him, we will be drawn away from Him by following every wicked scheme devised and disguised as the peace that only God himself can give. You cannot have peace apart from Jesus. Some days, following Jesus doesn’t feel peaceful and can feel downright tormenting, but there is a peace, even during that trying time, that is beyond natural understanding. Hang in there today if you are suffering; being on the narrow path is hard, but the rewards are great and every minute will be worth it.

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October 9

I have worn many hats; grocery bagger, cashier, banker, office worker, and so on, but the one career I’ve held the longest is as a real estate agent. Forgive me if I refer back to that for the explanation of my point. I know you can relate because you have to live somewhere, even if you’re homeless you have to lay your head down on some portion of real estate. 

The main thrust of my business today is property management which includes writing leases for my rentals. My husband and I have been doing this for years and started with a very short lease, maybe two pages. Today, that lease is eight pages long. We began to notice that people didn’t treat our property the way we thought they should treat it, so we added rules to protect our assets. 

My explanation somewhat explains why God put the law in place for Israel. They had gotten so used to captivity that God had to teach them how to break free from their former oppression in Egypt and begin to see how wrong they were living. The Ten Commandments do the same thing for us. It points to our sin and our need for a Savior. When Jesus died on the cross, He did not abolish the law but fulfilled the law. When we do as Jesus says and love God and love others, we end up following the rules. This is true freedom!

Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary... Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. Galatians 3:19 & 23–24

Monday, October 8, 2018

October 8

When building a house, you start with the foundation. The foundation is only the beginning, there are other things you must do to finish the house. Our Christian life is the same. Accepting Jesus as our Savior is just the beginning, Most Christians have the foundation poured and that’s it, period. They get their free gift and that’s the end. They never begin putting up the walls, or roof, and their life in Jesus never becomes a home. I don’t know about you, but my home is my protection. There is a real powerful enemy out there that’s trying to get us, but if we do not start building upon our foundation in Jesus, we will be completely exposed to the enemy. D.L. Moody says it like this in his book THE OVERCOMING LIFE:

It is like this: when a man enters the army, he is a member of the army the moment he enlists; he is just as much a member as a man who has been in the army ten or twenty years. But enlisting is one thing, and participating in a battle another. Young converts are like those just enlisted.

Going to church is not enough, you must do more. You received your free gift, but the rest has to be worked for. I call it work because it’s not easy to crucify your flesh daily to follow Him. You have to lay down your old life and begin building the walls, and putting on the roof of your new home. If you have enough faith to believe that He is your Savior, you have enough faith to build your life in Him.

If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:14

Sunday, October 7, 2018

October 7

There is a term in real estate that describes an outdated, useless building that is no longer desired, and cannot be easily changed; the term is “functional obsolescence.” This is especially true if it is a commercial building that the public will make use of, and it is not up to code. In many cases, these buildings are torn down and a new building is built, but the  new plans are drawn to make it more useful in this day and age, and to meet the current code. If a builder comes along and tears down that building and then decides to rebuild the same exact building, he has accomplished nothing. However, if he changes the plans to accommodate the new building code, it will then function properly and will be more useful and desirable.

This same term could be used to describe the Law of Moses. Even though God is the one who handed down that law, He also made that law obsolete when He sent His son Jesus to die for our sin; it was a sin because of the law and it was impossible to adhere to that law perfectly. Jesus tore down the old law and replaced it with the law of grace. A new believer tears down his old building, but shouldn’t replace it with the same building, but a new and improved building with Jesus as the foundation and the chief cornerstone. 

It’s okay to follow the law of Moses as long as it doesn’t hinder your freedom in Christ, but if it steps on the truth of the gospel, it should be refused.

For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. Galatians 2:18-21