Tag: good works

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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