Tag: truth!

The mystery of godliness!

Scripture reading for September 26th:  1 Timothy 3, Psalm 43, Proverbs 8

Key Scriptures:  1st Timothy 3:14-16 “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.  Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:  He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.”

Paul hoped to see his son in the faith, Timothy, soon.  But in case that didn’t happen, he wrote down some instructions for his conduct and those of other elders in the church.  The church was God’s family (household), and a “pillar and buttress” of truth.  Jesus Christ is the “truth” and the ultimate revelation of the mystery of true godliness.  His birth, death and resurrection from the dead, appearance on earth and in heaven is proclaimed among the nations prompting faith and salvation.  He alone is worthy of worship and eternal praise!

Faith Confession:  I want to live a godly life.  The mystery of godliness is great and is found in the greatest Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God.  Through faith in Him, God has granted me the desires of my heart.

Psalm 43:3-4 “Send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your dwelling!  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise You with the lyre, O God, my God.”  

 

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Saved by the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Scripture reading for September 20th:  2nd Thessalonians 2, Psalm 39, Proverbs 4

Key Scriptures:  2nd Thessalonians 2:13-15  “But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.  To this He called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”  

Paul was thankful for the believers in Thessalonica who had come to Christ as a result of his ministry there.  He noted that they had been sanctified, set apart, by the Holy Spirit and had believed the true Gospel.  They had heard God’s call to salvation through that Gospel and now needed to stand firm in the truth they had believed.  Glory awaits those who are truly saved and living in truth.

Faith Confession:  I thank God for the Gospel of grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  That Gospel called me into relationship and through the Holy Spirit I am standing firm in the truth.

Psalm 39:7-8  “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?  My hope is in You!  Deliver me from all my transgressions.  Do not make me the scorn of the fool.!”

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The Holy Spirit Reveals!

Scripture reading for July 8th:  1st Corinthians 2, Psalm 135, Proverbs 11

Key Scriptures:  1st Corinthians 2:9-12 “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him”–these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.  For the Spirit of God searches everything, even the depths of God.  For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?  So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.”

Paul explained that as the spirit of a person knows the inner thoughts of that person, so God’s Holy Spirit knows all about God and His thoughts that are hidden from the natural man.  But God gives His people the gift of the Holy Spirit that they might know and receive the hidden things freely given to those who repent and believe on His Son.

Faith Confession:  Thank You Lord for the precious gift of the Holy Spirit living in me and revealing Whose I am and what You have freely given me by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Help me to freely share this amazing treasure!

Proverbs 11:24-25 “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withhold what he should give, and only suffers want.  Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”  

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Persecution spreads the Word

Scripture reading for May 15th:  Acts 8, Psalm 97, Proverbs 4

Key Scriptures:  Acts 8:4-8  “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the Word.  Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.  And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.  For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.  So there was great joy in that city.”  

Jesus had promised that His followers would suffer persecution.  This happened after Stephen was martyred.  The persecution caused the disciples to scatter out of Jerusalem into many other towns and regions.  Philip, one of the first deacons, was scattered to Samaria.  There he proclaimed Christ and preached the Word and God stretched out His hand in signs and healings and demonic evictions.  Great joy was spread as the Word of God spread by those persecuted believers!

Faith Confession:  Lord Jesus, help me to boldly proclaim Your truth wherever the Spirit takes me.  I want the joy and light of Your truth and healing presence to flow among all people in my path.

Proverbs 4:18 “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”

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Jesus is the Truth!

Scripture reading for April 30th:  John 18, Psalm 86, Proverbs 24

Key Scriptures:  John 18:36-38  “Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews.  But My kingdom is not from the world.”  Then Pilate said to Him, “So Your are a king?”  Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king.  For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.”  Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?”” 

One of the charges against Jesus was the charge that He was proclaiming Himself king over the Jews.  The Jews sent Him to Pilate accusing Jesus of sedition.  As Pilate questioned Jesus, he asked him directly if He was indeed ‘King of the Jews?’  Jesus answered in a wise manner, stating that Pilate and others had said so.  But then He stated that He had come into the world to bear witness to the truth.  He stated that all who listened to His voice is of the truth.  This brought Pilate to the pivotal question:  “What is truth?”

Faith Confession:  I believe that Jesus Christ is the Truth and is not only King of the Jews, but King of all Kings.  Jesus is the Truth!

Psalm 86:10-11 “For You are great and do wondrous things; You alone are God.  Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth.”  

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Knowing God!

Scripture reading for November 20th:  Ezekiel 20-23, 1st John 2

Key Scriptures:  1st John 2:3-6 “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.  Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His Word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.  By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”  

What does it mean to truly “know God?”  John, the beloved disciple, says that obedience to His holy Word is the best indication of our knowledge of God and our love for Him.  If we say we ‘know’ God, but live in rebellion to His Word, we are a liar and do not have the truth.  If we truly ‘know’ God through Jesus Christ, we should walk as Christ walked on this earth:  in complete obedience to the Father by depending on the Holy Spirit and God’s grace.

Ezekiel 20:44 “And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for My Name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.” 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me the revelation of Jesus Christ to know You and Your great love and mercy.  Thank You for that mercy instead of dealing with me according to my evil ways.  Help me to live fully for You. Amen.

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The Spirit Speaks!

Scripture reading for April 24th:  2nd Samuel 21-23, John 14

Key Scriptures:  2nd Samuel 23:1-4 “Now these are the last words of David:  . . . . The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; His word is on my tongue.  The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me:  When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, He dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.”  

King David’s last words are in the form of a song.  In this introduction, God is called the “God of Israel” and the “Rock of Israel.”  David declared that he ruled in the “fear of God” and allowed the “Spirit of the Lord” to speak His word through him.  God was like a bright light, like the sun shining forth. and like rain causing the earth to bring forth vegetation.

John 14:6  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.  If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also.”  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You that You revealed Your Father to us.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and let Your word and life shine in me.  Water my life with the rain from Heaven!  Amen.

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Putting on Christ!

Scripture reading for August 29th:  Ephesians 4

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Ephesians 4:22-27  “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires to be made new in the attitudes of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Disciples are teachable and must be instructed by mature believers how to walk in step with the Holy Spirit.  Those who are born again of the Spirit no longer live like they did before.  Changes must be made by decisive and willing actions.  We repent of lying and deceit and choose to speak the truth in love.   Even in situations where we may be angry, we deal honestly with our feelings in accordance with the truth of Scriptures.  In doing so, we over-come our enemy who is a liar and murderer and preserve the unity of Christ’s body, the Church.

Observations for over-comers:  True over-comers learn the discipline of choosing to put off our old self and put on the new self.  Truthfulness and honest dealing with others are character traits that overcome our enemy, the devil. “Surely You desire truth in the inner parts; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place.”  (Psalm 51:6)

 

 

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Watch out for the serpent’s cunning!

Scripture reading for August 11th:  2nd Corinthians 11

Key scriptures for over-comers:  2nd Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-14  “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.  I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him.  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. . . . .For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”

The apostle Paul was concerned for the church at Corinth.  Some fast-talking ‘super-apostles’ had come into the church and were preaching a ‘different gospel’ about a ‘different Jesus’ and ‘different spirit’ than the authentic Gospel of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior.  They were out to deceive the believers and lead them astray and some of the church members were falling for it.  Paul was jealous for their souls and sought to expose Satan’s masquerade in these false ‘apostles’!  According to Jesus Christ, these ‘false’ apostles will mark the last days! (Matthew 24:4)

Observations for over-comers:  Believers must know the true Gospel of salvation by grace through faith and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and be filled with the Holy Spirit to avoid deception.  “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”  (Proverbs 23:23)

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Show no partiality!

Scripture reading for March 30th:  Luke 20

Key scriptures for over-comers:  Luke 20: 21-25  “So the spies questioned Him:  “Teacher, we know that You speak and teach what is right, and that You do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.  Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”  He saw through their duplicity and said to them, “Show Me a denarius.  Whose portrait and inscription is on it?”  “Caesar’s,” they replied.  He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”  

Towards the end of Jesus’ ministry, the religious rulers were looking for a way to trap Jesus in order to eliminate Him from interfering with their little kingdom.  Jesus was asked about paying taxes to Caesar.  He masterfully took a coin and asked them whose inscription was on it.  His answer showed no partiality nor played up to those who were looking for grounds to convict Him of wrong.  Jesus taught submission to authority because all authority is in place because of God’s decree.  (Romans 13:1) However, God is the ultimate authority and His people must honor Him as just that by giving the tithe and offerings.  Both taxes and tithes are required of God’s people.

Observations for over-comers:  Believers must guard their hearts against duplicity and partiality.  We must rightly give honor to where honor is due.  “Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.”  (Leviticus 19:15)

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