Tag: good works

Salt and Light

Scripture reading for July 22nd: 2nd Kings 4-6, Matthew 5

Matthew 5: 13-16 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the World. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven.”

Jesus began to teach His disciples and followers about their identity as designed by God. He used familiar examples of salt and light to help those in darkness of sin understand God’s plan for their lives. Jesus had earlier demonstrated God’s plan to salt the earth’s people with miracles of healing and deliverance and to bring light to those in Satan’s darkness of sin. Each human life is to be like salt–adding God’s “flavor” to their surroundings. Each person is to bear the light of God’s life wherever they are in this world. God’s light shines through us in the good works we do in response to God’s goodness and the infilling Holy Spirit. Christ’s disciples were to be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ bringing glory to Father God!

Matthew 5:43-45 “”You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father Who is in heaven.””

Prayer: Father God, I often find it hard to believe that my life can be ‘salt’ and ‘light’ to those around me. Fill me again with Your Holy Spirit and bring out the preserving and flavoring ‘salt’ of Your love and goodness. Flood my inner man with Your Word which is a light to my path and brings light to the World. Help me to love my enemies and pray for those who would persecute me and Your followers. Amen!

2nd Kings 5:13-14 “So he (Naaman the Syrian with leprosy) turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you: will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash and be clean’?” So he went and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the Word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”

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Amazing Grace!

Scripture reading for July 10th:  1st Kings 13-14, 2nd Chronicles 12, Psalm 47, Titus 2

Key Scriptures:  Titus 2:11-14  “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works.”  

Grace from God’s merciful heart appeared to all men in the form of a man, God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  This grace, when received, teaches us to renounce all sins and worldly passion and to live holy lives in expectation of the return of Jesus, our ‘Blessed Hope!’  As we are waiting, we are to be joyfully focused on doing the good works Christ has prepared for us.  This is amazing grace!

Psalm 47:7-8 “For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!  God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.”  

Faith confession and prayer:  Thank You, Lord for Your amazing grace shown to us in Jesus Christ.  I choose to live a holy life, doing the good works  You prepared for me and expecting the ‘Blessed Hope!’

2nd Chronicles 12:6  “Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is righteous.”

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Fully Equipped!

Scripture reading for July 7th:  Ecclesiastes 7-9, Psalm 46, 2nd Timothy 3

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 3:12-17 “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 

Persecution and suffering are part of the package for those who follow Jesus Christ.  Evil and evil people will increase as time goes on to its culmination at the return of Jesus Christ.  God’s workers must continue in the faith and sound preaching of Scripture.  God has “breathed” His Word to equip us for every good work and for correction and training of the next generation of workers.  It is full of God’s Spirit and Life, completely equipping each person for the work God has prepared.

Psalm 46:11  “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Faith confession and prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You that You are with me and have ‘breathed’ out Your holy Word and equipped me for every good work.  May the evil people hear Your Word and be converted in these last days where evil increases.

Ecclesiastes 9:12  “For man does not know his time.  Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.”  


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Don’t grow weary in doing good!

Scripture reading for September 23rd:  2nd Thessalonians 3, Psalm 40, Proverbs 5

Key Scriptures:  2nd Thessalonians 3:13-16 “As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.  If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.  Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.  Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way.  The Lord be with you all.” 

Paul’s final words to the Thessalonians encouraged them to avoid those in the church who said they were believers but did not apply the truths Paul had brought them in this letter.  True faith results in hearing God’s Word and applying it to your life.  We should never grow weary of doing that and living by faith in all God’s Word and reaching out to do the good works He has prepared for us.  When we do, the peace of God will rest on us at all times.

Faith Confession:  I thank You Lord for the peace of God over my life.  I am joyfully doing the good works You show me to do and to apply the Word of God to my life.  I warn others and seek to encourage them to life faithfully because God is watching us.

Proverbs 5:21  “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” 

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God tests the heart!

Scripture reading for January 9th:  Genesis 22-24, Matthew 7

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 7:21-23  “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and cast out demons in Your Name, and do many mighty works in Your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.'”

Jesus warned His disciples that superficial religion and good works were of no value without a personal relationship of faith and obedience.  We may profess His Name, but not know Him.  We may do mighty works, but God will not be fooled about the true condition of our souls.  All faith and works will be tested by God’s seeing eyes!

Genesis 22:1-3  “After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!”  And he said, “Here I am.”  He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”  So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and his son Isaac.” 

Prayer:  Lord, I want to truly know you.  Through Your all-seeing eyes, bring my hidden sins and evil motives to light that I might walk with You in truth.  Amen

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Thankful for the Holy Scriptures!

Scripture reading for December 12th:  1st Timothy 5-6, 2nd Timothy 1-3

Key Scriptures:  2nd Timothy 3:14-16  “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  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.” 

Paul encouraged Timothy, a young preacher, to continue in the truth of God’s word.  He was taught the Word by those who were eye-witnesses of Jesus Christ and wise because they knew the Word.  He had also had the Old Testament Scriptures taught to him in his earliest years by his mother and grandmother.  By doing this, he would be completely equipped for the good work of ministry!

Thankful for the food of God’s Word:  “And He said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the House of Israel.”  So I opened my mouth, and He gave me the scroll to eat.”  (Ezekiel 3:1-2)

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A Word of Knowledge!

Scripture reading for November 11th: Acts 13-15

“In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene,  Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.  While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”  “So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hand on them and sent them off.” Acts 13:1-3

In this account of the early church at worship and prayer, we find that the Holy Spirit used one of the prophets to give a word to Barnabas and Saul.  This was not a directive word, but a confirming word.  Note that the Holy Spirit had already called them to this work personally previous to this time.  This word came during a time of corporate worship and the church obediently responded.  They laid on hands and sent them off on the ministry journey laid out for them by the Holy Spirit.  We find that God has prepared the “good works” and all we need to do is respond in obedience.  (Ephesians 2:10)

When we get a word of knowledge or prophesy spoken over us, we must test it.  Does it line up with what the Lord has been saying to us?  Does it line up with the Word of God and purposes stated in Scripture?   Words must always agree with the written word of God or at least not be in conflict with the revealed will of God.   Is the Spirit in you in agreement with that word?  Do others with the Holy Spirit agree and bear witness with the word?  These tests are important before moving on a word.

Mary and I experienced this when God spoke to us through two different people about having children in our old age!  One of the words was written down and our son reminded us of it years later.  It helped us confirm our direction to adopt our girls!  May the Lord direct your life each day by His Holy Spirit!  May you learn to properly discern the will of God!

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A dwelling for God!

Scripture reading for September 23rd: Ephesians 2:1-22

God does everything with a purpose in mind.  God knew His plans for us before creation. (Ephesians 1:4)  God knew how these plans would be accomplished and is still active in bringing them to completion.  One of His stated desires was to dwell intimately with His people and be their God. (Jeremiah 31:33-34)  He chose to accomplish this through sending His Son, Jesus Christ to provide redemption and forgiveness of sins.  His further plan was to send the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Father, to dwell within each believer.  (Ephesians 1:13-14)  The Holy Spirit is a guarantee of our full redemption when God’s plan is fully completed to bring all things in heaven and earth under Christ.  (Ephesians 1:9-10)

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)  God’s grace is at work through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.  He has made us into a new creation.  He is the Master Craftsman working on us from within to work in us God’s grace.  He leads us into the things of God and reveals Christ to us.  He prepares us for the good works God wants us to do and shows us what they are.  We must chose to walk in them.

God is taking both Jew and Gentile into this plan through the blood of Christ.  The two are no longer separate, but by faith in Christ they are now one!  Both have access to God by the Spirit and both have become children in God’s house.  This house included the apostles and Old Testament prophets with Jesus Christ Himself the chief cornerstone!  (Ephesians 2:20)  “In Him the building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.  And in Him, you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:21-22)

God’s plan included all nations, not just the Jews.  God’s plan was outlined in former times before Christ by the prophets and now is being preached by the apostles.  We who know Christ are joined with those of faith to become a dwelling place for God–the new temple!

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