Category: General epistles-BibleTrekToday

Pray in the Holy Spirit!

Scripture reading for November 29th:  Jude

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Jude 20-23  “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.  Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  Be merciful to those who doubt; snatching others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.”

Jude, a half-brother of Jesus Christ, wrote to encourage believers to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints.  (Jude vs. 3)  He warned them of deceivers and false teachers that would come to move them away from a stand of faith.  They must stay strong in the faith by standing on God’s word and praying in the Holy Spirit.  Through this kind of prayer, they would build themselves up in faith and continue showing God’s love to the lost and those going astray.

Observations for over-comers:  Praying in the Holy Spirit  enables over-coming faith and loving acts of mercy for those headed for eternal destruction.  “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.  If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not He who weighs the heart perceive it, . .?””  (Proverbs 24:11-12)

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Walk in Truth!

Scripture reading for November 28th:  3rd John

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  3rd John 2-4  “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.  It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.  I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

 John’s final letter is written to a believing friend, Gaius.  This personal letter contains a short prayer for his friend’s health and prosperity.  John prays that he may enjoy good health and prosperity as his soul is prospering.  John encourages his friend to continue in faithfulness and applied truth.  These things bring health, wealth, and joy to a pastor’s heart as well as God’s heart!

Observations for over-comers:  Our walk and talk must always line up with the Truth of God’s word and Spirit.  This brings well-being and health!  “My son, pay attention to what I say, listen closely to my words.  Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”  (Proverbs 4:20-22)

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Receive your full reward!

Scripture reading for November 25th:  2nd John

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  2nd John 7-9  “Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world.  Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.  Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.  Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.”  

John the elder’s second letter warns the church to watch out for deceivers that are teaching a different gospel; denying that Jesus came in the flesh as God’s Son and Messiah.  They appeal to human reason that no one could be raised from the dead.  We must continue in sound doctrine and believe truth or we may lose our reward when Christ appears!  Trusting that Christ Jesus came as a man and died and rose again is the foundation of our salvation and alone can save us.

Observations for over-comers:  Deception will mark the last days before Christ returns.  Hold on to truth!  “Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell.”  (Psalm 43:3)

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We Overcome by Faith!

Scripture reading for November 24th:  1st John 5

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  1st John 5:2-5  “This is how we know that we love the children of God:  by loving God and carrying out His commands.  This is love for God:  to obey His commands.  And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God, over-comes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”  

John’s desire was that the churches he served would be over-comers.  Love is the only pathway to overcoming the world, flesh, and the devil.  We do this by faith in God’s Word and commands.  Our faith brings loving obedience and perseverance in trials.  We obtain the victory here through faith and ultimately the victory of eternal life in God’s presence!  Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith!

Observations for over-comers:  Faith motivated by God’s conquering love brings over-coming victory to those who believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son.  “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; love and faithfulness go before You.  Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your Presence, O Lord.”  (Psalm 89:14-15)

 

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Dear Friends!

Scripture reading for November 23rd:  1st John 4

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  1st John 4:7-11  “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed His love among us:  He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but the He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

“Dear friends” is the term of endearment used by the elder John to address members of Christ’s Church that he was writing to.  His emphasis was on love as a fruit of the Spirit and a conscious choice of believers to develop.  God, Himself, is Love therefore His children must reflect His basic nature.  He sent His Son into the world to show us what real love looked like–laying our life down for others!  Anyone not showing love and growing in expression does not know God.

Observations for over-comers:  Members of Christ’s body are to show love as a conscious decision and fruit of His Spirit.  “Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard.  A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared and honored His Name.”  (Malachi 3:16)

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God’s Seed keeps us from willful sin!

Scripture reading for November 22nd:  1st John 3

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  1st John 3:7-10  “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray.  He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous.  He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.  No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning because he has been born of God.”

False teachers were telling believers that it did not matter what sins they did in their body, their soul was saved by trusting in Jesus.  John wrote to counter these teachers.  He carefully explained that salvation involved a “new birth” with God’s “seed” changing a believers heart to be like the heart of God.  Anyone that was born of God would not continue to willfully sin.  The devil is the original “sinner” and was our “father” before our adoption through faith into God’s family.

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers enjoy and embrace their adoption in God’s family and through the Holy Spirit put to death the sinful deeds of their past life.  “Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.  I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.”  (Proverbs 4:1-2)

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Check your heart for hatred!

Scripture reading for November 21st:  1st John 2

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  1st John 2:9-11  “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.  Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.  But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”  

The devil is always stirring up emotions in the hearts of mankind.  Because of the selfishness of the human heart because of sin, hatred towards one another abounds.  Every person is made in the likeness of God and hatred towards another brother or sister is part of the world of darkness.  This darkness blinds people and causes them to stumble and fall.  Christ’s love alone can cleanse the heart from hatred.  Hatred is the precursor of murder!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers guard their hearts against a return of the old nature and its evil desires and emotions of hatred.  The live in the Light of Christ’s glory and mercy.  “Therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will treat you in accordance with the anger and jealousy you showed in your hatred of them and I will make myself known among them when I judge you.”  (Ezekiel 35:11)

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Walk in the Light!

Scripture reading for November 18th:  1st John 1

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  1st John 1:5-7  “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you:  God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”  

Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space!   Light always drives out darkness and over-powers it.  Darkness can only exist in the absence of light!  This is a truth that applies to believers and their relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  If we have fellowship with Jesus Christ, darkness must leave our lives and souls.  If we say we have fellowship, but continue to live in darkness, we are living in deception and under a lie!  Those in true fellowship with Jesus Christ allow His blood to cleanse them from sin and darkness.

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers live and walk in the intense light of Christ’s glory and are being transformed by this glory.  “I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north–an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light.  The center of the fire looked like glowing metal,”  (Ezekiel 1:4)

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Make every effort!

Scripture reading for November 17th:  2nd Peter 3

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  2nd Peter 3:11-14  “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.”  

God is the only one who knows the future and He has revealed the final judgment of this present heavens and earth through the prophets and apostles and His own Son, Jesus Christ.  These prophetic truths should motivate God’s people to live in a state of readiness and anticipation.  No one knows the day or hour of Christ’s return, but the fate of the earth, the wicked, and His people is clearly foretold!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers make every preparation and effort to be ready for Christ’s return and the final judgment!   “But at that time Your people–everyone whose name is found written in the book–will be delivered.  Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake:  some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”  (Daniel 12:1-3)

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Don’t go back to the world!

Scripture reading for November 16th:  2nd Peter 2

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  2nd Peter 2:20-22  “If the have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.  It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  Of them the proverbs are true:  “A dog returns to its vomit,” and “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.””

Peter warned believers against entanglement in the world that was being promoted by some false teachers working in the church to deceive.  By going back to the world, those who had been saved and knew Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior could place themselves in a worse situation than they were before salvation.  Willful sin after knowing truth is a dangerous thing.  The deception of assuming salvation and living in known sin leaves no room for repentance!  Their state is worse than when they were ignorant.

Observations for over-comers:  If we return to our old way of life before salvation we place our eternal souls in grave danger!  “(There are) . .those who are pure in their own eyes and yet are not cleansed of their filth”.  (Proverbs 30:12)

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