Tag: faith and love

Christ’s mission: saving sinners!

Scripture reading for June 27th: 1st Kings 6, 2nd Chronicles 3, 1st Timothy 1

1st Timothy 1:12-16 “I thank Him Who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.”

Paul was ever thankful for the opportunity and strength to serve. He had been a blasphemer of Christ and lived in unbelief. God granted him mercy and called him into His service of ministry to Jew and Gentile. As one of the ‘foremost’ sinners, Paul understood Christ’s amazing mercy and salvation by grace through faith. He could effectively use his own testimony of God’s mercy and patience to share with others living in sin. God used him to reach many lost sinners, which was the goal and purpose of Jesus Christ coming into this world and offering His body and blood for our salvation and justification.

1st Timothy 1:17 “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Prayer: Thank You Lord for having patience with me and showing me Your mercy through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I acknowledge Your mission of saving lost sinners and offer myself to be used to reach those who still need salvation. Overflow Your grace in my life along with Christ’s love and faith to reach many lost souls and produce a harvest to Your glory that will build Your House.

1st Kings 6:12-13 “Now the Word of the Lord came to Solomon, “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in My statutes and obey My rules and keep all My commandments and walk in them, then I will establish My Word with you, which I spoke to David your father. And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake My people Israel.”

Tags : , , , , ,

Considered worthy of the Kingdom of God

Scripture reading for June 22nd: Song of Songs 4-6, 2nd Thessalonians 1

2nd Thessalonians 1: 3-8 “We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering, since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.”

The Thessalonian believers were undergoing trials and persecution because of their faith and love of Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to encourage them that their testimony of love and faithfulness under trial had reached him and God was pleased. Their patient endurance under persecution was ‘evidence’ that their faith was genuine and that they were ‘worthy’ of God’s gift of salvation. They must continue in faith and love until Christ’s promised return. Christ would punish those afflicting the believers at that time. In the meantime, they must keep preaching the Gospel in hope that even those who persecuted them would experience salvation and eternal life instead of God’s vengeance and ‘eternal destruction’.

2nd Thessalonians 1:9-10 “They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His might, when He comes on that day to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.”

Prayer: Father God, I know that the only way I am considered ‘worthy’ of Your kingdom is by faith in Jesus Christ. Thank You for the gift of salvation and the promise of Jesus’ return for His Bride, the church! Empower me to increase in love and faith as I share the Good News of a loving Savior Who died for sinners and rose again to live eternally. Let none I share with suffer eternal destruction under Your wrath!

Song of Songs 5:9-10 “What is your Beloved more that another beloved/ O most beautiful among women? What is your Beloved more that another beloved, that you thus adjure us?” “My Beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand.”

Tags : , , , , ,

The blessing of sharing our faith!

Scripture reading for October 11th:  Philemon, Psalm 54, Proverbs 19

Key Scriptures:  Philemon 4-7 “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.  For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”  

Paul wrote to Philemon, a friend and fellow church member, from prison.  This letter accompanied Onesimus, Philemon’s run-away slave who had been miraculously saved under Paul’s ministry in Rome.  Paul wrote to ask Philemon to receive Onesimus as a brother.  As he began the letter,  he thanked God for Philemon’s faith and love for Jesus and for his ministry of refreshing the other believers in the church.  He prayed that Philemon would possess a full knowledge of every good thing in him through the sharing of his faith.

Faith Confession:  Through the sharing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have come to a more complete knowledge of everything I have in Jesus Christ my Lord.   Lord, fill me with faith and love to refresh the saints!

Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rest satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”  

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Destined for Salvation!

Scripture reading for September 18th:  1st Thessalonians 5, Psalm 37, Proverbs 2

Key Scriptures:  1st Thessalonians 5:8-11 “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.  For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him.  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”  

Christians belong to the day and are creatures living in the Light of Jesus Christ.  We don’t need alcohol to help us cope with this world because we have faith in Jesus Christ and His love and are filled with hope through the Holy Spirit.  We know God’s Word has promised us salvation and escape from wrath.  Whether we are awake and ready or asleep or even sleeping in death, God’s promises are true.  We must remind each other of this day by day.

Faith Confession:  I am a believer in Jesus Christ and hold fast to the hope of salvation and deliverance from God’s wrath.  Thank You Lord for Your promises and the light of Your Word to guide my path.

Psalm 37:39-40 “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble.  The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him.”  

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Faith moved by compassion!

Scripture reading for March 12:  Luke 7, Psalm 51, Proverbs 20

Key Scriptures: Luke 7:12-15  “As He drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was  being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her.  And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”  Then He came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still.  And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.”  And the dead man sat up and began to speak and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

Jesus encountered a funeral procession with the body of a young man who had recently died and followed by the mother and a crowd of mourners.  Luke says Jesus was moved by compassion to speak to the mother, telling her not to weep.  He then came and touched the bier where the body lay and spoke to the young man, telling him to arise.  The young man immediately sat up and began to speak!  The love of Jesus moved Him to speak comfort and life in the face of hopeless grief and death.

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, thank You for filling me with Your great love and compassion through the Holy Spirit.  Help me to allow You to use me to speak life into places of fear and death.  Action step:  As God directs, speak life to someone you know who is in fear or despair.

Proverbs 20:28 “Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king, and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.”

Tags : , , , ,

Revelation through sharing!

Scripture reading for October 11th:  Isaiah 43-45, Philemon

Key Scriptures: Philemon 4-7  “I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.  For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints are refreshed through you.”  

Paul wrote to Philemon concerning his run-away slave, Onesimus.   As he opened his short letter, he encouraged him with the report he had heard concerning  Philemon’s testimony and the fruit of sharing faith.  Paul had received joy and comfort from his love.  The sharing of our faith brings revelation to us and others of all the good things we have in Christ!

Isaiah 45:8  “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the Lord have created it.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for revealing your great love and salvation to me.  Direct me today in sharing my faith that increased glory may come to Your Name!  Amen.

Tags : , , , , ,

Actively share your faith!

Scripture reading for October 12th:  Philemon

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Philemon 3-7  “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.”

Paul wrote this short letter to a friend, Philemon, who had a run-away slave that was now a believer and a helper of Paul as he was imprisoned.  Paul wrote to appeal to Philemon to do what was right by this new convert whom Paul considered a “son”.  Paul commended Philemon and his friends for their faith and love for all the saints.  It gave Paul joy to know that his friend was refreshing the hearts of fellow-believers.  Paul especially encouraged Philemon and prayed that he would be active in sharing his faith.  This would bring a fuller understanding to his own life of God’s great gift and His heart of love for all men.

Observations for over-comers:  Faith and love are key ingredients in the lives of over-comers.  Faith and love energize evangelism and evangelism grows our faith and love!  “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”  (Proverbs 11:25)

 

 

Tags : , , , , ,

Sunday rest and reflection!

Sunday October 19th, 2014

Dear Friends,

Jesus honors faith!  He spoke the Word of God to birth faith in His followers and empower them to move mountains to His glory!  Without faith we cannot please Him!  Faith works by love.

God’s people gather on the first day of the week to celebrate the love of God in Jesus Christ.  We gather to pray, worship and hear the Word proclaimed.  We demonstrate our love for God by obedience.  We gather to speak to mountains of sickness, bondage, and unforgiveness and watch them be thrown into the sea of God’s grace!  Don’t miss out on what God is doing!  Your gathering today with God’s people is an act of faith that pleases God!

In His Love,  Pastor John and Mary

Tags : , , ,

Sharing Your Faith and Forgiveness

Scripture reading for December 10th: Philemon

This short personal letter from Paul to Philemon concerns a run-away slave who got saved under Paul’s ministry in Rome.  This slave could easily have been sentenced to death if he had been caught, but God was working something else out in his life.  He heard the Gospel message from Paul and gave his life to Jesus Christ.  Paul was writing his master, Philemon, to appeal to him to take him back and receive him as a brother in the Lord.  Philemon was a believer in a church that Paul had planted and Paul had evidently been his spiritual father as well.  This simple letter reveals the heart of forgiveness we must have toward others as they repent and come into the kingdom.

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.” (Philemon 6-7)

Paul’s prayer for Philemon is an encouragement for us to share our faith.  As we learn to give away what we have received from the Lord, we get back a more complete understanding of all that is ours in Christ.  Giving  by sharing brings blessings of deeper understanding and causes joy in pastoral leadership!

Paul next, gently appeals to Philemon to take Onesimus, this converted slave, back and restore him. (Philemon 8-10)  Paul states that Onesimus was formerly useless to him.  Before salvation, he was in bondage to self and sin and could not be loyal and serve him properly.  Now, as a brother in the Lord, Onesimus was useful to the kingdom and to Philemon!  This is an added blessing of sharing your faith!  Others come into their full purpose and become brothers and sisters in the family of God!

Love isn’t love unless it is freely given.  Forgiveness isn’t real if it is not also freely given.  We can’t order forgiveness.  We can’t command that another love us or love God.  When we appeal to another person to do what is right, then they can more easily choose to freely give.  Paul’s letter is a great example of a godly appeal to someone in authority to do what is right.  May the Lord grant us grace today to love and forgive freely according to the example of Jesus Christ!

Tags : , , , , ,