Weekly Devotional – The Holy Spirit Promised

I know we have talked about this before, but I believe this is a subject that can’t be talked about enough. The Holy Spirit is what makes us Christians.

You see I grew up going to a church that was, I believe, scared of the Holy Spirit. They very rarely mentioned the Holy Spirit. I don’t believe they knew how to explain it.

Jesus actually makes two promises in this scripture.
  1.  Jesus promises that He will pray to the Father and the Father will give us an Advocate to help us with our daily lives.
  2. Jesus promises He won’t leave us as orphans.

The first promise is not free. Jesus gave some strict rules for us to follow in order to receive the Holy Spirit. Just because we are Believers, doesn’t mean we get a free ride. Faith is an important part of salvation, but faith alone is not enough (James 2:14-17). Let us look for a moment at these steps we must take.

  1. We must have a pure heart. We must repent of all our sins and give them to Christ for the forgiveness He gave us by His blood shed on the Cross of Calvary.
  2. We must believe in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:16). This is the faith we must have to move those mountains. Until we become Christians and receive the Holy Spirit to help us, we must have that faith of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). Without that faith, we can’t keep our hearts pure for the Holy Spirit to enter.
  3. We must keep our Heart pure through the study of God’s Word. We can’t build a relationship with Christ without getting to know Him. We have the bible for that purpose. To know Christ is to love Him. Notice the first thing Jesus says. “If you Love Me.” Without that love, we will not receive the Holy Spirit.
  4. And finally, keep My commands. The commands Jesus talks of here have nothing to do with the law. The Ten Commandments were given by God. These Commandments are not the law, but the law was “based” on them. There are other commands given in the Old and New Testaments that we must follow. These commands are in addition to the law. Remember all scripture is given by God (2Timothy 3:16-17).

Jesus said He would ask the Father and the Father would send us an Advocate. Notice how Jesus is protecting us by not leaving us alone to fight the darkness without any protection. Since the moment we believed, we have had the blood of Christ to protect us. Now we have something more to ensure we can live in the spirit.

Jesus also promised that He would not leave us orphans. Jesus came to the world to save the world. We only have to read John 1:1-18 to understand what Jesus was talking about when He made that promise.

The word given by the Apostles was inspired by God. This word was Christ incarnate and the word continues to inspire the same belief today as it did in the beginning of the church. Christ is also one of the three members of the Godhead. Without any one part, the Godhead would not be complete.

We need only to look at the divisions of the Godhead to understand it.

  • God created us
  • Jesus saves us
  • The Holy Spirit guides and protects us

What an awesome God we have. Without God, we would still be moving around in darkness with no purpose in our lives. God is more than salvation to us, God is our reason for living, our reason for kindness, our reason for forgiveness.

Without God, we would be nothing “again.”  Put God in your life and I mean the whole God, not just the first part. You need all three to be a Christian, God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit!!

Weekly Word Definition – Communion

Communion

  1. The sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.
  2. The service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.
  3. A relationship of recognition and acceptance between Christian churches or denominations, or between individual Christians or Christian communities and a church (signified by a willingness to give or receive the Eucharist).
What is the meaning of Communion and why do it?

Communion is defined as “the sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” Communion is sometimes referred to as the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, or in some church denominations as Eucharist, or Sacrament.

Essentially, communion is a form of gratitude. While you are asking for guidance through prayer and forgiveness from your sins, communion also serves as a time to remember the blessings. Identifying the blessings, in your life, can serve as a launch pad for a better understanding and outlook for the future.

John 13:12-15 (NKJV)

So, when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

Those who have shown faith and humility know that Christ loves, and He loves them to the end. Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. Those who are true believers; demonstrate their love, faith, and devotion 24 hours a day.

We don’t know when our time will come, therefore what we have to do in constant preparation for it, should never be undone. You can’t be a Christian today and a sinner tomorrow and still be in the good graces of God. Make up your mind. You’re a Saint or a sinner.

There are churches that are advocating sin as an acceptable behavior. What is acceptable for us is totally inappropriate to God.

Jesus gave yet another example for us to follow and most of our churches choose to ignore it because they think mankind is too good to be that humble. Why would a bank president want to wash the feet of a homeless person? Why would a bank president, hotel owner, real-estate mogul or any other person of high status want to wash the feet of anyone other than those of their own status?

Why would the King of Kings want to shed His blood to save a sinner like you?

Weekly Devotional – 21 Aug, 2021

Only Begotten Son

Genesis 22:1-19

Every person who has ever gone to church has heard the story of Abraham and Isaac. It took a lot of faith to be willing, without question, to sacrifice your son as a burnt offering. Abram had the ultimate faith in God.

We see in verse 7 that Isaac questioned his father about the lamb for the offering. In Verse 8 Abraham told his son that God would provide the lamb. By his faith, Abraham knew that God would not allow him to sacrifice his son.

Sacrifices have been around since the beginning of time. Abel gave a sacrifice to God. He gave the firstborn of his flock. Cain also gave a portion of his grain (Genesis 4:3-4). The jealousy connected to this sacrifice was the reason for the first murder in the history of man.

How did these two know to sacrifice to God? At some point they had to have had an interaction with God and perhaps Adam or Eve told them the story of their beginning and the sin they caused. Either way, faith was born in that first sacrifice. Through the years after Cain and Abel, there have been many sacrifices.

Some scholars have questioned the amount of the sacrifice. However, if they had paid attention to the scripture, God told them the answer. The amount didn’t matter. The condition of the heart and the willingness to give to God the firstborn or first fruits of your labor. It was their willingness to take what was left after you give to God.

A strong plea has been made that: Since faith was what made the sacrifice acceptable to God, this faith must have been based upon a positive enactment of God in the past. Without this divine positive enactment to guarantee its truthfulness, faith, in Abel, would have been declared superstition. In other words, faith, in order to be truly based and properly directed, must have a revelation from God, a positive expression of the divine will.

The same is true today. You can go to church a hundred times for your own reasons, but the first time you go to church because you feel you should; that is when you are ready to have enough faith to be saved. God is working in your heart and that is a positive interaction with God.

The ultimate interaction with man was the giving of His son to free us from all the sins we had committed so our hearts could be pure, and our thoughts of God could be good.

There are many churches today that concentrate on the punishment of Israel from God. They tell their parishioners that this is what will happen to them if they are not saved. These same churches tell their people nothing about the love of God, the kindness of God, nor the patience of God. Without these, mankind could not exist.

Well, the things mentioned above are things God feels for Christians only. No! Read (John 3:16). The verse begins (For God so Loved the World). Not just the Christians, sinners, or the Jews, God so loved the world! That includes everyone from the beginning of time to the end. It also includes some names that we can’t seem to forgive such as Judas, Matthew, The Paster, the deacons, Hitler, Paul, Martin Luther King, Geronimo, You and Me. When God said the world, He was talking about everyone. God is willing to save them because He gave His only begotten Son for them.

There are many instances in the New Testament where Jesus talks about the arrogance of the tithe given by the Pharisees. It wasn’t that their gift wasn’t enough, it was their attitude. They gave out of obligation and they wanted everyone to know how rich they were giving (Luke 21:1-4). In this scripture the widow gave all she had, out of her love for God.

God was the one that gave all for the sins of man. God gave His Only Begotten Son for the sins of the world. That includes you and me, God gave the final lamb that had to be sacrificed because of the sins of man (John 1:29).

Sacrifices have been an important part of the worship of God, but today a different type of sacrifice is needed, it’s the same faith Abraham had. The humbleness of the soul, it’s the love we give to God, the devotion God shows to us through the Holy Spirit.

Search your heart. What is the reason you worship God? If you don’t go to church, why? If you don’t believe in God, why? If you love God, why?

Weekly Word Definition – Catholic

Catholic

  • a. Of or involving the Roman Catholic Church.
  • b. Of or relating to the universal Christian church.
  • c. Of or relating to the ancient undivided Christian church.
  • d. Of or relating to those churches that have claimed to be representatives of the ancient undivided church

Catholic: wide, general, liberal, global, varied, comprehensive, universal, world-wide, tolerant, eclectic, all-inclusive, ecumenical, all-embracing, broad-minded, unbigoted, unsectarian He was a man of catholic tastes, enjoying music and fine arts of all kinds.

The word catholic literally means “universal.” Catholic has its origins in Greek from kata meaning “concerning” and holou meaning “whole” thus “concerning the whole” or universal.

  1. What is the difference between Christianity and Catholicism?
    • Christianity is the religion having faith on Jesus Christ and his teachings. Catholicism is a branch of Christianity. The other divisions of Christianity are Protestant and Eastern Orthodox Churches.
    • The major difference is how you deal with sin. Churches that pretend to be Christian churches will tolerate living in sin daily as long as you ask forgiveness each night.
    • The Christian churches believe in living the bible every day and sin is no longer a consideration. Christians have no need to sin.
  2. What does it mean to be catholic?
    • To be Catholic means to be whole, one with community, rich in spiritual tradition. Catholicism is a lens or filter which provides a meaningful pattern to our experiences which otherwise would be lacking in life and interest. It is comprised up of faith, theologies, and many different doctrines, even ethical and spiritual orientations, and behaviors.
    • Christianity has a simpler way. Faith! Theologies and different doctrines do not exist. Christians live God’s Word. Ethical and spiritual orientations and behaviors all become one. Worshiping God. By simply living the bible every day, all the complications of salvation become our means to a new way of live.
  3. Where is the Catholic (universal) Church?

It is in your heart.

If you have been born again, have studied the bible, are living the bible, and you love your neighbor, you are a member of the Universal (Catholic) Church.

Weekly Devotional – Aug 14, 2021

The Misused Psalm.

Psalms 23:1-6

I have been hearing this Psalm since I can remember. The problem comes from where I have been hearing this Psalm used. Most of the time this Psalm is used for funerals. Although I do agree that the message is a good one to convince people to think about the hereafter, it is also a good Psalm to use other places.

If this Psalm is so good at inspiring people to think about their future, why not use it in a place where it will do some good for everyone. Many times, I have heard this scripture used when the person being buried was not a Christian, the scripture will not do that person any good.

I can only remember this scripture being preached one or two times in my lifetime in a church service. Why do preachers avoid this scripture so often? I personally think this scripture should be used at least twice per year. I would like to see Psalms 23 used where it would do the most good, with the live people.

The sheep owner frequently tends the flocks himself, but more often he delegates the work to his children (1 Samuel 16:19; 1 Samuel 17:15) or relatives. We know that Jesus is the head of the church (Eph. 1:22), but Jesus has so many flocks in the one congregation, He allows a family member (Romans 8:15) to lead the individual family unit, the husband (1 Cor. 11:3). In such cases, the sheep have good care because the keepers have a personal interest in the well-being of the family unit.

When I was young I longed for the spring when the pastures turned green and the meadows brought forth their wildflowers. I don’t think there is a more beautiful or relaxing place in the world. At least that was what I thought at the time. In my later years, I have found, not a place, but a book that gives me the same secure feeling and the same beauty I experienced in those green pastures. That book is the bible, God’s Word. After I became a Christian, I found that the bible should be used daily to comfort and encourage the family.

God created both the man and woman in His image (Gen. 1:27) and when they sinned, God set into motion a plan to return them to His image. Without hesitation, God gave His Only Son to die on the cross for our sins. The death of Jesus on the cross gave us the opportunity to “keep silence” in the world (Psalms 4:4) and not sin. The bible teaches us to “be still” (Psalms 46:10) so we can hear His word and learn to live for Him. What family household doesn’t need that in their lives these days?

This valley of the shadow of death we call live is the one thing that no one should have to fear. We fear our first years of school, we fear our graduation from college or high school, we fear marriage. Yes, there are many things in this life the world has taught us to fear. But God, tells us in His word not to fear any of these things (Matthew 6:25-34) for He will be our provider. God has never said anything about making us rich, but he will never let us need for anything essential.

I believe that Psalms 23 has more to do with the family than the dead. If we used it in the correct context, I believe it should be used to inspire the perfect “wedding vows.” These vows would be read by the husband and wife simultaneously. If I were to use it for the vows, they would read something like this.

  • God is the Shepherd of our household
  • He will lead us when we go to work and when we are together at home
  • We will have no need in our marriage, for God is our provider
  • We will study God’s Word and allow God to comfort us in the green pastures of life
  • We will still our hearts to allow God to guide us every step of the way
  • He has restored our souls to His image through the death Of Jesus on the cross
  • We will live the righteousness expected of someone in the Divine Nature of God
  • We will abstain from sin for His name sake
  • As we walk through this valley called life, we will fear no evil For God is with us
  • His word and His church they comfort us
  • You send me out before the lost of the world to spread your word
  • You anoint us with the oil of your faith and our hearts overflow with Your love
  •  With your help, our family will live in the goodness and mercy of Your love
  •  And we will live in the church with our brothers and sister in Christ forever. AMEN

Who is guiding your marriage?

Weekly Word Definition – Church

Church:

a building used for public Christian worship.

Synonyms:

house of God · the Lord’s house · house of prayer 

church

A building for public Christian worship. public worship of God or a religious service in such a building: to attend church regularly.

The whole body of Christian believers; Christendom.

What is the Church and its function?

The basic function of the church is to be involved in every facet of the life of the believer. Holding true to this mission, Christ looked at the needs of the people, provided it, and then begun to preach about the good deeds.

Today, humans have acquired more knowledge than any other time in history.   Science and medicine are going places never before imagined.  We have bigger jets and cruise liners, faster computers, and helpful drugs for certain diseases are being discovered every day.  Daniel envisioned a time when knowledge would increase (Daniel 12:4).  We have much evidence today of our successes in these and many other areas.  We have improved on just about every area of life.

 Every year Forbes magazine publishes a list of the richest people in the world.  This list continues to grow longer and longer.  More people can afford vacations, purchase houses, and buy brand new cars.  Some car dealership will have cars for sale that can be purchased with zero percent down.  Life, overall, seems comfortable for most Americans.  When life is good, most people tend to forget about church… well, until something happens that turns their lives upside down.

Personal or national tragedy (such as 9/11) seems to cause a major shift in people’s assessment of church.  It is a time when people flock to churches in droves. There is just something about churches that society finds in times of tragedy and hardship. This always fascinates me because the media and public, embrace church or (the idea of church) during a time of crisis, but in times of peace and prosperity, the church seems to become irrelevant again. Regardless of this double standard, the church keeps people grounded, flushing out the burden of life by providing a bedrock of faith and answers to humanity’s deepest needs.

The Bible says that the Lord only has one body, which is His one church. Ephesians 4:4-6 says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

The role of the modern church in the life of the 21st-century believer is critical because it fills a void only the church can.

It seems that every week, there is some type of national incident that is responsible for taking the lives of many people at one time. There are large accidents involving many cars on the freeways. There are mass shootings in churches, workplaces, supermarkets, picnics, and many other types of large gatherings. This is satan’s attempt at keeping people from loving one another. This is just another attempt at keeping people from spreading God’s word. Another attempt at breaking up the concept of church.

If a car needs fixing, it is brought to the mechanic shop.  If someone is sick, the health center or hospital is the best place to seek medical attention.  Church is where people should go if they are in need of a “spiritual fix.”  The church is really a hospital for sinners and not an exclusive club for saints.

So why would someone want to attend church?  Regardless of what is said about churches, people expect that their life problems can be addressed in some fashion or form.  With all the weight and pressures of their world weighing down on their minds, people expect the church to provide Bible-based answers that no other institution can provide.

God doesn’t have a magic wand; God has a large number of disciples. God inspires these disciples to help those that need them. God uses His word to heal, change lives, comfort, and yes to bring salvation to those who desire it.

Don’t look for a preacher that will bring a message every Sunday if you pay them. Look for a preacher that will inspire you to use your money to help those who need help. Not to make themselves look good, but because God tells us through His Son to “Love one another.” (THE CHURCH)

Weekly Devotional – August 7, 2021

The First Redeemer

Genesis 1:27

The name of the Divine Being. It is the rendering of the Hebrew ʾEl, from a word meaning to be strong; also of Eloah and its plural Elohim. The singular form, Eloah, is used only in poetry. The plural form is more commonly used in all parts of the Bible, The Hebrew word Jehovah, the only other word generally employed to denote the Supreme Being, is uniformly rendered as “Lord,” printed in small capitals. The existence of God is taken for granted in the Bible. The only argument to prove the existence of God is in the heart. He who disbelieves this truth is spoken of as one devoid of understanding (Psalms 14:1).

Man was made last of all the creatures: this was both an honour and a favour to him. Yet man was made the same day that the beasts were; his body was made of the same earth as theirs. While he is in the body, he inhabits the same earth with them. God forbid that by indulging the body, and the desires of it, we should make ourselves like the beasts that perish!

Man was to be a creature different from all that had been made. Flesh and spirit, heaven and earth, must be put together in him. God said, “Let us make man.” Man, when he was made, was to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Into that great name we are baptized, for to that great name we owe our being. It is the soul of man that especially bears God’s image. Man was made upright, Eccl 7:29. His understanding saw Divine things clearly and truly; there were no errors or mistakes in his knowledge; his will consented at once, and in all things, to the will of God.

His affections were all regular, and he had no bad appetites or passions. His thoughts were easily brought and fixed to the best subjects. Therefore man was holy, man was happy, Man was one with God. But how was this image of God defaced by man?

Here we find the “woman,” rather the female (gunē) in Greek, shares with the male the image of God, reflects God’s power and majesty on earth and is commanded to multiply and bring dominion to the earth. From Genesis 1:26-28 there is no suggestion of inferiority of the female to the male, nor is there any suggestion of her submission to his dominance. Rather, they are pictured together, the male and the female, as the representation of their Maker. A woman is a person in every respect as a man; she shares in the image of God and has the potential of varied ranges of response to culture, community, and life about her.

Another thing both man and woman shared in was “the fall.” We find the details of the fall in Genesis 3:1-13. Although both of them made excuses and tried to get out of punishment, they were both guilty. The first sin was not the eating of the fruit, it was the willful disobedience of God. Truthfully, that was true then and is also true now. We put many labels on sin, as God did in the Ten Commandments. Truthfully sin is the same. God said, “You shall not kill.” If we kill, it is not the act of killing that is the sin. The sin is the willful disobedience of God.

When God found that the man and woman had sinned, He could have just killed them and started over. Instead, God chose to redeem them, but with restrictions. Because the woman was easily deceived, God mad the man head of the household (1 Cor. 11:3). God changed childbearing from a pleasure to a burden. But man didn’t get off scot-free either. The man was to forever till the soil by the sweat of his brow.

In every situation of sin, there is a price that must be paid. God loved His creation of man so much, He foreordained that at a set time in the future, God would come and live among man so He could die on the cross for the sins of those who would believe in Him and turn back to Him forever (John 3:16). This makes God the first “Redeemer.”

Weekly Word Definition – Civilized

1. cultured, educated, sophisticated, enlightened, humane All truly civilized countries must deplore torture.

2. polite, mannerly, tolerant, gracious, courteous, affable, well-behaved, well-mannered Our divorce was conducted in a very civilized manner. www.thefreedictionary.com

What makes a person civilized?

To my mind, civilized people ought to satisfy the following conditions:

(a)They respect the individual and are therefore always indulgent, gentle, polite, and compliant.

(b)They do not throw a tantrum over a hammer or a lost eraser.

(c)Their compassion extends beyond beggars and cats.

(d) They are hurt even by things the naked eye can’t see.

(e)They respect the property of others and therefore pay their debts.

What is the opposite of civilized?

The Opposite of Civilization is Human Nature.

Occasionally, regrettably, human nature finds a way to break through the behavioral, cultural, social, and even religious boundaries constructed around it.

Romans 6:11-14 (NKJV)

Likewise, you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.

And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin but present ourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

2 Peter 1:2-4 (NKJV)

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

What makes up a civilization?

A civilization is a complex society with many elements present such are government, religion, art, architecture, educational and writing systems, different occupations, advanced agriculture, and large settlements. A civilized person follows all the laws of society.

What are the 6 basic characteristics of civilization?

  1. cities
  2. organized governments
  3. art
  4. religion
  5. class divisions
  6. and a writing system.

Also.

  1. Stable food supply
  2. government
  3. highly developed culture
  4. Jobs
  5. Social Classes
Look at your heart. Are you civilized?
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