There is not a man or woman alive without sin. Even when the light of God’s glorious gospel shines on you, within your flesh dwells no good thing. Paul stated “Oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death.” He hated the fact that though he pursued God that evil was always present. Not being dismayed by this; he put his trust in Christ and pressed toward the high mark of God’s call. He worked for his eternal net worth. I say net, because at judgment we will all have things that will be consumed in the fire when God is handing out his rewards.
We all know about worldly success. A recent report came out that said the U.S. added 300,000 new millionaires in 2015, bringing the total to a record 10.4 million people. Of course, a large percentage of these people could be tied to acquiring their wealth by way of sin. Fraud, porn stars, strippers, reality tv stars promoting sinful lifestyles, musicians doing the same thing, along with athletes who cheat by taking drugs, along with straight up stealing it. This wealth will work to harm them when they die and face God’s judgment, because many of these people helped others to fall into sin by their sinful leadership. If you have acquired it the right way, then God has given you ten talents and you used them the right way by increasing them and you are on your way to even greater wealth in heaven. Of course, this is only one way to earn huge amounts for your eternal net worth. The other way is the most painful on earth and that is through martyrdom. God has appointed some for this way of glorifying him. Not as glorious as the millionaire Christian who God has blessed on earth, but they will receive a greater reward then them in heaven.
It is important that you have a mindset that everything you do will either work toward or against your eternal net worth. Similar to planning for retirement on earth and getting your house in order, you must have a specific mindset and plan to increase your eternal net worth. Paul said that one way is through giving your money to a church, that promotes Jesus as the only way and a lifestyle that God honors and giving to the poor. This adds to your heavenly account. When you are doing what your supposed to do at your job, when no one is looking, this adds to your account. Now recently for some this can be tricky, but God knows those who are his and if you are honoring him in what you do. Sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and praying for people and even casting out their demons and fasting for them will add to your eternal net worth. The mindset of adding to your eternal net worth is safe and should be the overarching goal. Why? Because in time you will perish and not have the ability to walk around using any of the earthly money you have earned.
It will be a sad day for you, if you do not go to the ant and consider her ways and be wise by providing your meat in the summer.
You may notice this black Friday the signs around that say clean your hands. They provide wipes at Walmart for the carts. If you enter the hospital they have wipes and foam dispensers all around urging you to clean your hands. The importance of clean hands is so that the diseases that touch your hands, shielded by your skin, may not be used to infect you and others when placed upon other objects that enter the mouth and eyes. Clean your hands, is the message for today as you bump and rub against strangers in the mall and in various stores. Do it now and do it often. There is however another set of hands that need cleansing and it is your life.
Your life is like a vapor of smoke. Imagine squeezing the trigger of a water bottle and counting the seconds that you see the mist in front of you. Speedily the mist is no longer there. It is gone, however not so gone that its non-existent only changed. The brevity of life should make someone really consider the work of ones hands. Who stands after life ceases? Is it the wealthy individual or the one who seeks to be poor as a sign of humility? Is it the one who offers their time and money for the weak who ascends to the hill of the Lord? It is one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false (Psalm 24:4). The individual who has the Lord as his shield and the grace and mercy of God as their defense will stand when all is over. This individual lives his/her life in such a way that is dictated by the Holy word of God. So while you clean your hands with anti-bacterial soap do not forgot your life also needs cleansing by the blood of Jesus Christ and his guidance you should always seek.
I simply put off the flesh by immersing myself in the things of God. I minimize my exposure to the dangers of the computer, ungodly programs on television, phone applications, magazines, video games, and certain friendships and stores. I know that my outside temptations are one dimension and dealing with internal temptations is another. So the first thing I do in the morning is shut myself in the room with my computer and listen to Christian worship music. I listen until I am only thinking about God and the things he has done for me. I listen until all is quiet in my mind and I am able to focus on my word. Then I begin reading scripture. I keep reading until I literally start praying and then after prayer I meditate on the things read and prayed.
I seek to change things that are revealed to me in prayer and scripture reading. It may be gossip has entered my conversation. I am literally speaking too much and the inevitable gossip arises, because I do not have that much to say and sometimes I talk a lot. So I ask the Lord to forgive me and identify this pattern in my life and God convicts me in my conversation if I am going down the path of gossip. Gossip is now put off and now I seek to put off more things. I do this, with all that is revealed, because I love God, I humble myself to his authority and simply stop. It works wonders because more and more people trust me with their words as they will not hear them from someone else. I have put off a conversation that is ungodly and now have put on a conversation which is that of God’s gospel. I move in this manner from one issue to the next in hopes that while I preach unto others I myself will not be a castaway (1 Corinthians 9:27).
He hath shown thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord
require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8
I am amazed by my life as one who requires the greatest of God’s mercy. I was raised in a Christian home, attended a Christian private school, Bible being the first class, and went to Church whether the doors were opened or closed. I have been to Bible camp, Bible conferences, Spiritual Deliverance services, Prayer services, Man of God classes, currently attending seminary, witnessed to those walking in the mall and those on streets in differing states in America and now I come to a point in my life where things have dramatically slowed down. Faithful I am to church attendance and reading the Bible, however fervor is lacking, what am I to do? Walk God says.
For those who have been blessed to own a few things our fervor begins to decline and those in our world serving other gods become attractive, you have horrible things like Christian yoga, Christian porn stars, Christian secular rap artist, Christian homosexual pastors and alike. Many things taking on the name Christian that are in fact not Christian at all. God has shown us how to live.
Be just in your judgment supervisors, parents, friends, and family. Love mercy. We all need mercy, no matter the resume, we need mercy, because we fall and the best and quickest way to get up is through mercy. Finally, submit to God continually by submitting to God’s command to love him and our neighbor. Love is the greatest gift which God is. Love God by spending time in prayer and song in the morning whatever you’re morning is. You may work nights and your morning is 630pm. You must not allow sleep or laziness to stop you from praying in your morning before work and play. God is not pleased with continual sacrifice and desires to reason with us and remind us that he has shown us what to do, we must keep on doing it so that ultimately the world may see, desire our relationship with Christ and we may all safely travel into glory and escape the hell prepared for the devils and demons.
God is looking for the faithful.
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Tagged Bible, Endurance, Faith, God's Will, God’s Word, Jesus, Life, Love, Mercy, Obedience, Perspective, Plan, Plans, Prayer, Redemption, Salvation, Sin, Time, Value System, Walking by Faith, Work, Works, Worldview
The first most important reason for doing good exegesis is the Bible’s command for it. The scriptural reference for the biblical command for good exegesis is found in 2 Timothy 2:15 written in the 21st Century KJV “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” This admonition is a result of the mission given by God for preachers and teachers to subvert hearers to the gospel of Jesus Christ and not things which vainly puff up the minds of the hearers.
Jesus leaving words were “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).” The preaching of the gospel is of most importance and rightly dividing the word for the subverting of hearers is extremely important. I recall one day while my friend and I were witnessing on division street in Biloxi Mississippi, him badgering this one guy about the gospel of Jesus Christ and he went into arguing and the situation escalated and I was angry, because I recalled the scripture in Titus 3:9-11“But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.”
We spent considerable time with someone who was not worthy of our time and took this time away from someone who would have been more profitable to preach to. Notice how Jesus spends quick moments with the Pharisees and considerable time with the people he healed, delivered and set free, like the multitudes at the mount.
The second most important reason for doing good exegesis is the nature of the Bible demands it. Recorded in the instructor notes “Peter tells us himself that Paul’s letter “contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). A verse that I struggled with personally and not something I taught was Romans 13:8 “Own no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” I do not like debt. Many individuals say they do not like debt yet they have no trouble sleeping with $2000 dollars’ worth of credit card debt. The amount mentioned is not a lot but I had this amount and it disrupted my sleep. I used the above verse to mean that I was living in sin with this debt over my shoulders. Did I pay the requested amount every month? Yes I did with a little extra, but it still bothered me. The Holy Spirit convicted me about the verse that my interpretation was in error, so I began looking into what others had gleaned from this verse. I found many hold to the view I held as this appears to be the best interpretation looking at the text out of context and literally.
Good exegesis showed me that the text refers to paying government taxes and that the obligation of a contract is what is required in this passage and that the debt of love is so high that the payoff compared to what Christ did on the cross is not possible while on the earth. This gave me peace at night and the power of condemnation was broken and I was no longer imprisoned by incorrect understanding. As the instructors notes mention “misunderstanding the Bible can be damaging to your own faith, and others whom you teach and or influenced by your ministry.” So because the text is filled with things hard to understand we should take seriously our study of the contents in the original language as well as use other English translations of the Bible, so that while we preach to others we may save ourselves and those who hear us.
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