Saturday, April 30, 2011

Pursue your dreams and goals!


I have been so blessed to have come into contact with people who have been willing to help me better myself with no strings attached. For quite a while it's been my vision to be able to someday give back what was so freely given to me. That time has finally come in the form of a new website God blessed me with called "God's Glory". It's not professional or anything like that but I just wanted to at least make a start. I began this site on April 28th and I must say that it has been very exciting and difficult at the same time. My mind's been going 100 miles per hour with new ideas that I believe would be an asset to Christians, musicians, singers, churches, businesses, etc. I realize that maintaining a website is a very tedious thing but I also believe that God will give me the strength, wisdom, and determination I need in order to maintain this site. The only real failure in life is the failure to try.

There are so many people out there who have dreams, goals, and visions but they've been told all their lives that they could never dream. They've been told that they just have to go with the flow and not think outside the box. I can't speak for any other race but as a black woman, I know that I have found more discouragement from my own race than anywhere else. For some reason, we grew up being told to never dream. Thank God that I have come into the knowledge of the truth. What is this truth I learned you ask? The truth is God has planted dreams and visions inside of each and ever person regardless of the sex, race, limitations, and creed. God wants us to dream! He wants us to see ourselves doing the impossible. Why? Because this gives him the opportunity to show himself strong. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says: For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

One of the best examples I've read in the Bible about pursuing the impossible is found in 1 Samuel the 30th chapter. If you get a chance read the entire chapter but for the sake of this post I will focus on verse 8 which says: 8 And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all. God told him to PURSUE! Why? Because this gave God the opportunity to reveal his power in an impossible situation. Don't be afraid be afraid to pursue your dreams! Don't allow anything or anyone to hinder or abort the dream God has placed inside of you. Will it be easy? NO! Will you face opposition? YES! But God wouldn't have given you a dream that he couldn't make come true. Luke 1:37 says: For with God nothing shall be impossible. All we have to do is believe and PURSUE!!

As a new site owner I welcome people's input, especially other site owners. So far people have really encouraged me but I have also been given the doomsday scenario of running and maintaining a site. I don't let it bother me because many times people tell me things like this because they have tried it and failed and they just don't want me to go through the same thing. I just can't allow myself to think negatively right now. I have to continue to pursue my dream because I want my dreams to become reality. They already are to tell the truth.

I can't close this post without sharing some of the features of my site and without inviting anyone who reads this post to check it out. You can click on this link to visit http://www.chevonnereynolds.webs.com . If you like it please feel free to join it's free! Please pray that God helps me see this thing through. There's a lot of work involved but I have confidence in God. Below is a clip of me demonstrating the features of "God's Glory"


video

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Would you like to improve your singing?


Dear Singer,

If you're interested in improving your singing,
I've found the perfect resource for you.

The Vocal Mastery System will help you extend
your vocal range, eliminate straining, perfect
your pitch, and start singing in any key like
a pro within weeks.

In fact, most students report feeling and
hearing the difference in their singing within
days of taking just the first course in the
system.

Visit:

By the way, there are 10 different courses
wrapped up into one system. There's something
for the total beginner, the intermediate
singer, and even the advanced, experienced
performer (like the "Runs & Stylization" cd).

I recommend visiting their website, reading
what it has to offer, and listening to some
of the free lesson clips. You'll learn a lot
just on the website.

Visit:

If you have any questions, please do not
hesitate to let me know.

All the best,


Matthew 28:1-17

1 After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary
Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.
After the Sabbath, on Sunday morning, Jesus rose from the dead. This fact led to
the disciples and early Christians meeting together weekly on “the first day of the
week” (see Mark 16:9; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). They broke bread (perhaps
meaning they celebrated the Lord’s Supper) and perhaps received a collection
and probably heard the scriptures read (probably including the Old Testament,
gospel portions, and letters from the apostles) and taught or discussed the
scriptures. The women went to care for the entombed body of Jesus, not because
they expected to see Him raised from the dead.

2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the
Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and
sat on it.
The earthquake was explained by the coming of the angel to roll away the stone
door in front of the tomb. The angel then sat on the stone, remaining at the tomb
entrance. The angel did not come to let Jesus out of the tomb (as Jesus had the
stone rolled away for Lazarus to come out of the tomb alive when He called
Lazarus to come out). Jesus passed through the stone walls, for the women found
the tomb empty and they did not see Jesus walk out of the tomb when the angel
rolled away the stone. Jesus later passed through walls or a closed door to appear
to His disciples who were fearfully hiding in a locked room (see John 20:19).

3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.
The angel appeared to both the guards and the women. The women were not
confused about where Jesus was buried or the location of His tomb (see Matthew
27:61). The guards reacted with fear, similar to the guards’ terrified response
when Jesus died on the cross and there was an earthquake (see Matthew 27:54).
The Bible says we can entertain angels unawares (see Hebrews 13:2). In the case
of Jesus’ resurrection, both guards and women were aware of the angel coming to
the tomb and they were overwhelmed at his appearing.

4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men.
The Roman guards had both a physical and mental reaction to the angel. Rather than bravely stand their ground as they had been taught and challenge the angel
over his actions, they shook with fear and fell to the ground. Perhaps they had
also learned from the guards at the crucifixion (or were the same guards) that
Jesus was the Son of God, so they expected immediate execution from an angry
God at the hands of the angel. The guards fell unconscious and the women
witnessed their response.

5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you
are looking for Jesus who was crucified.
The angel disregarded the guards, and sought to comfort the women who had
come to honor Jesus by caring for his dead body according to their burial
practices. The angel reinforced the fact that Jesus had indeed been crucified; that
in fact He had died and had been buried at that exact location where he appeared.
The women were right to come there looking for Jesus, but they were not
accurate in their thinking because they expected to find Jesus still dead.

6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the
place where he lay.
The angel corrected their thinking and invited them to become witnesses
regarding the empty tomb. He declared they would not find Jesus’ body because
Jesus had been raised (though at one time Jesus had been laid in the empty
tomb, in which no other body had ever been laid). Jesus’ resurrection had
occurred sometime prior that day, prior to the opening of the tomb by the angel
and the earthquake. The angel’s perfect timing made it possible for the women to
see the guards guarding the tomb, experience the earthquake, and see the stone
rolled away before they entered the tomb. There could be no confusion or doubt
about someone having come to the tomb earlier to remove Jesus’ body.

7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the
dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see
him.’ This is my message for you.”
After the women saw where Jesus had been laid and the angel once again
emphasized that Jesus had been dead and had been raised from the dead, the
angel told them that Jesus also had the ability to travel to Galilee (He had not just
been resuscitated, which would have required months of rehabilitation). Jesus
would later need to demonstrate His fully human resurrected powers by
appearing to them in a locked room to convince them that He was alive and well
and that they should travel to Galilee to see Him again.

8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell
his disciples.
The women believed the angel because he was no ordinary man and miracles
accompanied his appearing. They saw the guards fall in fear. They saw the empty tomb. They felt the earthquake and the earthquake’s perfect timing. They saw the
angel roll the stone away without the help of other angels or people. Presumably,
the disciples felt the great earthquake where they were in hiding, and the women
could explain the cause of the earthquake. The two women could give good and
sufficient reasons for the disciples to believe that Jesus had been raised from the
dead, but the disciples were foolish and slow to believe (see Luke 24:25-26).

9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to
him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.
The Bible teaches the need for two witnesses in case of a trial. Two witnesses to
an event should be believed in they are know to be trustworthy. The Hebrews
knew that witnesses would be held accountable by God for bearing false witness
or lying. In addition to the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection, both the angel
and the living, resurrected Lord Jesus bore witness to the fact that Jesus had
been raised from the dead. At this point in time, the women worshiped Jesus as
would all those in the early Christian church. Jesus received their worship as was
He right as the Son of God. Angels and the apostles (no matter what miracles they
worked) always refused the worship of others, saying only God deserved to be
worshiped. Jesus did not refuse to be worshiped. He willingly received the
worship of others as God.

10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers
to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
This was the second time that the women were told not to be afraid. Though
Jesus is the Son of God, He called His disciples “brothers” (see also Hebrews
2:11). He reaffirmed what the angel told the women, again we have two witnesses
to the command because the command was given to them twice by two different
persons. Obedience to this command would become a test for the disciples, and
they failed the test by remaining in the locked room until Jesus appeared to them
to convince them He was raised from the dead—which also gives us more good
reasons to believe that the facts presented regarding Jesus’ resurrection are true.

11 While they were going, some of the guard went into the city and
told the chief priests everything that had happened.
The women went to reveal the good news of Jesus’ resurrection to His disciples as
He commanded. The guards went to reveal the “bad news” (from their
perspective) to the people responsible for Jesus’ crucifixion and death. They felt
the earthquake, and presumably so did the chief priests and the Roman
authorities, for the earthquake was great. The guards saw the angel and the
empty tomb, and they reported all of this to the religious authorities.

12 After the priests had assembled with the elders, they devised a plan
to give a large sum of money to the soldiers,
The elders of the people were convinced by the facts the soldiers presented to
them, but just as they had lied and borne false witness to crucify Jesus, one who
was innocent, so they implicated the guards in bearing false witness again
regarding His resurrection. To avoid being held responsible for the death of the
Son of God, and for other reasons, they bribed the soldiers (another crime by
religious leaders) to join in their lying schemes.

13 telling them, “You must say, ‘His disciples came by night and stole
him away while we were asleep.’
The lie that the religious leaders devised is highly implausible. The disciples’
hopes were crushed. They went into hiding. They would not venture out of
hiding, but the women did go to Jesus’ grave. They were hiding in fear that they
would be found and crucified too, as rebels, to satisfy the blood lust of the
religious leaders. The women went to embalm Jesus’ body. None of Jesus’
followers had any reason to steal His body or try to concoct a fraud that would
lead to their deaths. All of this is plausible and consistent with the facts of
Scripture. They certainly would not have had the courage to steal Jesus’ body or
fight armed Roman guards, or take the chance of awakening the Roman guards
while they slept as they rolled away a heavy stone. How could the Roman guards
have stayed asleep while a stone was rolled away, especially since they would be
killed for failure to do their duty in securing Jesus’ body (see Acts 16:27)?

14 If this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep
you out of trouble.”
Everyone knew the guards would be punished for failure to do their duty, and the
story would have resulted in their execution, so the religious leaders determined
to achieve their fraud by plotting with the governor or lying to him. The guards
needed the leaders to protect them and explain the disappearance of Jesus’ body
for them. If they had not been bribed, to escape punishment for dereliction of
duty, the guards would have told the truth.

15 So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this
story is still told among the Jews to this day.
Even today, various atheists and other religious teachers promote the story
concocted by these religious leaders (or some variation of the story) in their
efforts to deny the fact of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This is another
prophecy that has been fulfilled. For almost 2,000 years since the gospel of
Matthew was written “this story is still told among the Jews to this day.” (I will
not promote any of these books here, but if you want to know an example you can
send an e-mail to me.)

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which
Jesus had directed them.
Matthew wrote a shortened version of Jesus’ resurrection appearances and added
some facts some of the other gospel writers omitted (this is to be expected of any
biographer). From the other gospels we learn that the disciples did not
immediately believe the women and do what Jesus commanded them to do
through the women; however, the eleven did eventually go to Galilee as Jesus had
commanded them and as Matthew reported. They should have immediately
believed and obeyed what Jesus said through the women, but they did not (Jesus
called them foolish).

17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Just as the women worshiped Jesus, some of the disciples also worshiped Jesus
when He appeared to them on the mountain. Rather than doubting His
resurrection (which they had become convinced of by Jesus himself), I believe
that some doubted whether they should worship Jesus as God. Jesus’ response
when He gave them the Great Commission answers the doubt about whether they
should worship Him as God, for Matthew wrote (beginning with verse 18) “And
Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been
given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching
them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with
you always, to the end of the age’” (Matthew 28:18-20). Notice: Jesus used
“name” in the singular when speaking of “the Father and of the Son and of the
Holy Spirit.” He declared clearly that worshiping Him as God was right and
permissible.





Remain blessed

Thursday, April 21, 2011

God's mercy is new every morning!


For some reason or another, I have found myself waking up earlier and earlier in the morning. I finally figured out that God wanted to share some things with me concerning his mercy and grace. Many people don't understand that God gives us a do-over every day. Every day that I wake up is a chance for me to correct what I got wrong yesterday. Every day that I wake up is a chance for me to experience his undying love.

Lamentations 3:21-23 KJV says: This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness!!

Before I go any further let me just say: I get tired of this entitlement mentality that has crept into Christians and prevails in American society today. This attitude that "I have a right to it" or "I am entitled to it" or "You owe it to me." This idea that we have no responsibilities, no obligations, no price to pay; that we don't have to work or put any effort into succeeding in life. Getting saved is the easy part but excelling in the faith will cost you something. It is a heretical notion that somehow the Lord owes us something. The Lord does not owe us anything: we owe Him everything!

Jeremiah tells us, it is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, then it follows that our salvation, our not being consumed, is entirely on God's terms. Again, taking the Bible as a whole, we see that the Lord does set the conditions on which we will be saved. Now, mind you, our meeting these conditions still doesn't entitle us to salvation. We still have not earned it. And we can never earn it (Matthew 19:26). We'll never be entitled or have a right to it -- at least not by anything we can ever say or do in and of ourselves. Paul tells us in Titus 3:5-7 (one of those anti-works proof-texts) "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration" (water baptism in Jesus' name) "and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (receiving the Holy Ghost); "which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; that being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

Verse 23 tells us, "They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness," like we sing in the old hymn. What are new every morning? God's compassion. They are fresh in our lives every day. They are in full strength. They do not deteriorate, spoil or go stale. We've heard throughout our Christian journey about how much the Lord loves us and cares for us. Here is yet another confirmation of this. And that's the whole point: it is HIS love, HIS care, HIS mercy, His compassion. It is of the Lord's mercies! It is of the Lord's mercies! It is of the Lord's mercies! Revelation 4:11 tells us, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created." God isn't here for us, we're here for Him. We're here to honor Him, glorify Him, bring pleasure to Him; not the other way around. Any blessing or pleasure or honor we receive as a result of our serving Him, is entirely out of the goodness of His heart.

I believe that Christians can get a bit self-righteous and think they are more than what they are. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Everyday we must understand just how much of a mess we would be in without God's mercy. We may not speak wrong but we all have had wrong thoughts. Look at the many scriptures about thoughts and how powerful they are. I have thought of committing suicide in the past and even attempted it but THANK GOD FOR HIS MERCY!! We will never deserve the unfailing, undying, unmerited favor that God bestows upon us. So let us always remember this before we decide to bad mouth someone for the wrong they've done. If it wasn't for mercy you wouldn't be where you are.



Remain blessed

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Praise your way out!


Did you know that your praise is one of your greatest weapons? Praise is a weapon that can be used to deliver us from any problem or situation. It takes absolutely nothing to praise God when things are going alright but something happens when you praise God in the face of adversity. You can praise your way out of any situation. Let's look at an example of this.

Acts 16:23-32 (KJV)

23And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

24Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

25And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

26And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

27And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

29Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

32And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

As you can see, Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail for doing absolutely nothing wrong. Can you imagine doing your job and getting beaten and thrown in prison for it? Instead of Paul and Silas mumbling and complaining they begin to use their main weapon...praise. Even though, they had been beaten and humiliated they chose to praise the Lord. As we have said before, something happens when you praise God in the midst of your trials and tribulations.

We must realize that getting saved doesn't cost us anything but in order to go anywhere in Christ it comes with a great price. Paul and Silas had to pay for doing what thus says the Lord. If you notice something begin to happen when they praised God. There was an earthquake that took place. An earthquake that was so powerful that it loosed their shackles and set them free. Not only did their praise deliver them, but it delivered everyone else that was in jail that night. Notice that Paul and Silas could easily have escaped but they didn't. They stayed there in order to do the work of the Lord. And because of their obedience to God, the guard/keeper got saved that night. Why? Because praise is a powerful weapon. That guard knew that there was something different about these guys. He saw the impossible happen and wanted what Paul and Silas had. Christians should radiate the power of God so strongly that people know there's something different about us. People will marvel at you when you refuse to allow your situation to dictate your happiness.

No matter what you're facing today in your life, just like Paul and Silas praised their way out...you can praise your way out. We just have to make up our minds that we're not going to take our focus off of what really matters and that's living to please God. Has God ever failed you? No, so why would he fail you now. Understand that God is with us wherever we go, just waiting to show himself strong. All we have to do is trust him. When you praise God in the midst of your storm you are telling him, "God I trust you"..."God I know you're going to make a way out of no way"...."God I know that somehow, someway you're going to work this out in my favor". Things can not remain the same when you begin to praise God anyhow. So chose today not to mumble your way out, not to grumble your way out, not to worry your way out, but to Praise your way out!!!



Remain blessed

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

To live, we must die!


SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES:

Genesis 45:1-15
1 Corinthians 15:35-50

When I say, "To live, we must die," it cannot be in the physical world, for we know that in the physical world, we live until we die.

Thus, "To live, we must die," is an expression to describe what must take place spiritually for us to enter our everlasting life with the Lord.

But then, we may ask, "How must we die, that we may live forever?"

The answer is that we must die to our pride and to our other sins.

So, this morning we are going to look at two examples of this dying to self.

The first example is from Genesis 45:1-15, when Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers, the very brothers who sold him into slavery in Egypt.

1. Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried, "Have everyone go out from me." So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.

2. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it.

Joseph had known who his brothers were for a long time, and he had been playing a game with them, to bring fear to their hearts, because of what they had done to him.

But now, Joseph can no longer do that, for his previous actions are troubling him, and he is really glad to see them.

Joseph was dying to self, to his office of prime minister of Egypt, and to his thoughts of revenge.

Joseph was just their brother.

3. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

4. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come closer to me." And they came closer. And he said, "I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.

5. "And now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.

Sometimes we question how much we are to forgive others.

But here, we see that there should be no limit, no matter what was done against us.

Joseph was looking at the bigger picture, and not just at the sinful act done against him.

Joseph saw the hand of God in the whole matter.

Joseph saw how God turned their evil into good, because of the way he lived before the Lord.

So he explains further to his brothers what is still to take place.

6. "For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting.

7. "And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.

8. "Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

9. "Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph, "God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.

10. "And you shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have.

11. "There I will also provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, lest you and your household and all that you have be impoverished." ’

12. "And behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which is speaking to you.

13. "Now you must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and all that you have seen; and you must hurry and bring my father down here."

14. Then he fell on his brother Benjamin's neck and wept; and Benjamin wept on his neck.

15. And he kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.

Joseph was acting as a type of Noah, who was there to save his family from the disaster to come.

He was not forcing them to come and be saved, but he was encouraging them.

But the ultimate decision was theirs to make.

They, likewise, had to die to self; for they would now have to tell their father what they had done, and stand before him confessing that they knowingly brought all the past grief upon him, who mourned for his son.

We can also see in the life of Joseph an example of God's saving grace given to us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus is also telling us He has paid the price of our sins, and is willing to forgive us, and to bring us to a land of everlasting life; but we, on our own, must die to self, confessing our sins to our Father in heaven, and then willingly come to Him.

In other words, we too must die, if we are to live.

Let's now take a look at our second example for this morning,

1 Corinthians 15:35-50, where Paul is trying to explain this concept of dying to self to the Corinthians.

35. But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?"

36. You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;

37. and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.

Paul is trying to explain to them, and to us, that a spiritual being is no longer the same as the physical being it was before rebirth, or when we are planted in the Lord.

And as we go on, picture our life before we came to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, as a seed, and our life with Him as the growing plant that produces additional seed of its own.

38. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.

39. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.

40. There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.

41. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

Remember that this was written before microscopes or telescopes, or any of the technical advancements we have today; yet, what Paul is saying we know to be true.

Thus, it should be the reminder to us of what he is saying of the spiritual realm.

42. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;

43. it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

44. it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

We cannot see the spiritual body now, but one day hopefully we will all see it, and rejoice.

Now Paul gives us another example of how we got to where we are today: that we will look to what we shall be, if we take advantage of what is being offered to us.

45. So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

“The last Adam” refers to Jesus.

46. However, the spiritual is not first [speaking of God's created beings], but the natural; then the spiritual.

47. The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.

48. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.

Here is where the choice must be made, for we are earthy until we choose to be heavenly.

49. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

We must remember that Paul is speaking to believers, for until we are born again, we do not bear the image of the heavenly.

50. Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

We must die to that part of us that is perishable, and we must be spiritually born into that which is imperishable.

And what is imperishable will not die or decay, for it is no longer physical, but spiritual.

Thus, to live, we must die.

Seek Christ, that we may live.

And encourage others to do the same; that we may live together in everlasting love and peace forever and ever.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jude 17-25


Jude 17-25

17 But you, beloved, must remember the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Jude calls us to think about the predictions and prophecies in the Bible, especially the predictions of the apostles as they travelled with Jesus and learned from Him the prophecies He would fulfill in His first coming and those He would fulfill in His second coming. We need to be watching what is happening in our world today and consider the predictions in the Bible as we make ready for the Lord’s return.

18 for they said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.”
What we know as selfish, self-centered, self-indulgent, sinful worldly pleasures Jude labels “ungodly lusts.” Those who are motivated to indulge these ungodly lusts scoff at God, at the Bible, at Bible-believing Christians, whether Christians try to encourage them and offer to help them change their behavior or not. As the second coming of Jesus Christ draws near, such ridicule and scoffing by unbelievers will increase in volume and intensity, often leading to persecution. Moreover, such scoffers will develop their own belief system or theology or adopt an established one or find a church that will enable them to live an ungodly life, harden their conscience, and disregard the truth of God.

19 It is these worldly people, devoid of the Spirit, who are causing divisions.
Unfortunately, Jude needed to recognize and warn people about situations we also know of by experience today. In the church, we find worldly people who do not follow Jesus Christ and His teachings, people who do not believe the Bible is the infallible word of God (without error in all that the Bible affirms). These people are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit; indeed, they actually call God a liar when they reject the Bible’s clear and consistent teachings on the most basic moral and theological truths that Jesus and the apostles especially upheld as of first importance for all believers and the church in all times and places. They reject the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit as He tries to teach them the meaning of the Bible and help them apply the Bible’s teachings to their behaviors and beliefs. Such people cause divisions in the church, divisions that we experience or hear about almost everyday, divisions we try to overcome in Christ. 2

20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit;
Our response as Bible-believing Christians to such self-centered people and sinful situations must begin with increasing our own faith in the face of such disappointments within the church. We need to increase our most “holy faith,” a “holy faith” that loves, trusts, and obeys the Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. We do this with constant prayer as we study the word of God written, the Bible, to hear from God with a purpose to obey God and go wherever God leads. We pray with the Holy Spirit and in the Holy Spirit, Who indwells us as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit prays (or intercedes) for us even in our grief and groaning.

21 keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Furthermore, we want to knowingly remain within the circle of God's live by obeying His commands in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus declared: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Though believers sin from time to time, rather than live in the practice of known sin (of which they are ashamed) as they did in the past, we look to the merciful forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ to save us and lead us into eternal life – now and forever. In these troubled days, to “look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life” gives us a heartwarming blessedness.

22 And have mercy on some who are wavering;
The pressures from those who are worldly in the church and the temptations the world puts before us to lead us astray can become so great that some may waver in their faith and temporarily walk into sin. Believers need to have mercy on these weak Christians or these times of weakness in strong Christians (knowing that the same could happen to any of us) as we try to build everyone up in their faith in Jesus Christ, Who alone can save us and show us the way of escape.

23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; and have mercy on still others with fear, hating even the tunic defiled by their bodies.
There may be some believers that we can physically and mentally lead away from the false teaching and sinful temptations toward which they are committing themselves. We need to have mercy on many, with the fear and certain knowledge that if it were not for the Lord’s sustaining grace and power we would be headed in the wrong direction too. Unhappily, some can have so defiled themselves through sinful practices that we can even hate the clothing they wear, especially when their clothing and appearance sometimes advertises their sinful preferences and desires to entrap others in their lifestyle.

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing,
The pressures of sin and temptation in this world are so great that we cannot save ourselves from falling or walking into sin. We have all sinned in the past, and only Jesus Christ can free us from our slavery to sin or preference for sin. Only one Person can save us and bestow eternal life upon us – God in Jesus Christ – so we must turn to Jesus Christ moment-by-moment when the world tries to shape un into its mold. Only Jesus can cleanse us and help us so live that we will be able to stand before Him with a rejoicing heart when we meet Him face to face.

25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Pray only to God our Savior. Pray to God our Father in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Pray as Jesus taught us to pray: Jesus taught us to pray to the Father in His Name and make our requests known to God in His Name. Pray to God in the power and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In prayer and by the way we live, we also want to offer God our recognition that all glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to God alone, and not to any other being. We look forward to the time when the glory, majesty, power, and authority of God are obvious to all beings in heaven and on earth and wherever God has placed them. We look forward to the time when all will bow before God and acknowledge He is King of the universe.

Five Questions for Discussion
1. Why is it important for us as believers to remember some of the predictions
that Jesus Christ fulfilled in the past? In what ways does knowing the “yet to be fulfilled predictions” help you in your daily life?
2. In what specific ways do some scoff at Christians and Christian beliefs today? Pray for any who scoff at Christ and Christian teachings today.
3. What does “most holy faith” mean to you? Is there any distinction between “faith” and “most holy faith”?
4. In what ways can you keep yourself in the love of God? How can the church help people keep themselves in the love of God?
5. In what ways can believers and the church show mercy toward others today? Why must the mercy we show be “the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ” instead of simply our own mercy? What is the difference between the two types?

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