Jesus’ Invitation

John 7:37-39–In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spoke he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
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Drinking and Believing: Here Jesus associates drinking and believing. We come to him and drink by believing on Him. However it is important that we believe on Him as the scripture has said. This means believing everything that the scripture has to say about Him. It means believing on Him in the way, and to the extent that the scriptures say we are to believe on Him. Scriptural believing is faith that expresses itself in action. James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble”. The difference is that a true believer has a faith that creates a relationship with Jesus and results in the receiving of the Holy Spirit. It also results in a changed lifestyle.

Rivers of living water: Jesus says that out of our inner being, shall flow rivers of living water. What He was talking about was the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit within the believer will flow through him/her in rivers. Scripture says rivers not a river. The Holy Spirit will flow through the believer in many ways. There are two basic ways the Holy Spirit flows through the believer; spiritual gifts and the fruit of the Spirit.

Spiritual gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:7 refers to spiritual gifts as the manifestation of the Spirit. The word manifestation means an outward appearance of an energy or power within. Therefore spiritual gifts are the Holy Spirit flowing through the believer and manifesting Himself. There are several spiritual gifts. “But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will”. All true spiritual gifts are the Holy Spirit at work in and through the Christian as the Holy Spirit wills to do. These are rivers of living water.

The Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5: 22-23–“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”. The fruit of the Spirit is the character of God. These things mentioned are characteristics of God’s person. They exceed the natural character of mankind. As the Spirit manifests Himself through the Christian this way the flesh has been put to death along with the affections and lusts of the flesh. At that time the flesh is not operative in the Christian. At that time the Christian is walking in the Spirit. These are rivers of living water.

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit”.

The People Of God

1 Peter 2:9-10–But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light; which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
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God has chosen us to serve as priests in this world. As a royal priesthood we have a ministry to perform. We are to stand before mankind on behalf of God. We have a message to proclaim to mankind. We have the word of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation. We are to encourage others to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. We are also to stand before God on behalf of our fellow man. That is we are to pray for them. We are to live a holy life. It is written, “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). We are a peculiar people, meaning different and separated. It means that we are not conformed to the world but have and are being transformed by the renewing of our mind. We are to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14). We are to show forth the praises of Him by word and by our life.

This is a great responsibility and seems like an impossible task. God has told us, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6). That is why Jesus told the disciples, “Ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:48-49). Our life and ministry is to be done in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

Letters From God–Book of Hebrews 1:4-14

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My child, Jesus was made so much better than the angels in rank and authority.  By inheritance he obtained a more excellent name than they, seeing that he is My Son, “The Son of God”.  Never did I say to any angel “you are My Son, this day have I begotten you.  Again, I never said to any angel, “I will be to you a Father, and you shall be to Me a Son.  When I brought Jesus, My first begotten into the world, I said let all My angels worship him.  I made My angels spirits, and My ministers a flame of fire.  Unto My Son I said, “Your throne of authority O God, is forever and ever, without end: and you shall rule in righteousness over your kingdom.  You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore I even your God, have anointed you with the oil of gladness above everyone.  You are Lord and in the beginning you laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They shall perish but you remain: and they all shall wax old as doth a garment.  As a vesture you shall fold them up, and they shall be changed: but you are the same, and your years shall not fail.  Never to any angel did I say, Sit on My right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.  The angels are ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. Hebrews 1:4-14

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The Anchor Of Our Soul

Hebrews 6:11-20–And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.  Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

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As Christians we are to show diligence.  That is we are to be constant, putting forth careful effort and persevering in hard work.  “We are laborers together with God”.  We have been ordained unto good works that we should walk in them.  We are to “be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).  This results in us having a full assurance of hope unto the end. We are not to be “slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises”–v. 12.

Abraham, our example: God made a promise to Abraham, “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply the”–v. 14.  After Abraham had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

We have a strong consolation because of God’s promise and oath.  This consolation comforts us and cheers us up. We have this consolation because we chose to flee (run away or escape from danger or pursuit) for refuge (shelter or protection) that we might lay hold upon the hope.  This hope is that which God Himself has set before us.

The hope we have as an anchor of our soul.  This hope is both steadfast and sure.  It keeps us from drifting away from God. It gives us stability and security.  It protects us from the storms we have to face in this life.  This anchor of our soul is held fast within the veil of the Holy of Holies in heaven where Jesus has entered for us as our high priest forever.  The hope that serves as an anchor of our soul is Jesus Christ, our Prophet, Priest, and King.

Listen to the words of an old hymn: My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.  When darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace; in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.

 Thank you Lord.

The Choice Is Yours

Deuteronomy 30:15-20–See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; in that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.  But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.  I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

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God has given us a free will.  However, for us to exercise our free will there must be choices.  So God has set before us choices.  But choices are inherent with consequences; things that result from the choices we make.  We have to live with the choices we make and sometimes the results of our choices are hard to live with.  Among all the choices we face, God has set before us the choice of good, life, and blessing or evil, curses, and death.

The Path To Life: This path is a path of love.  We travel this path when we make the choice to love the Lord our God and walk in His ways.  We travel this path when we keep His commandments and His statures and His judgments.  We must choose to obey his voice and cleave unto Him in order to walk this path.  The Results: We shall be blessed by the Lord our God wherever we go–v. 16.  We shall live and multiply.  This path leads to a promised land.  For Israel it was a physical, temporal land here on this earth.  For the Christians it is a spiritual, eternal kingdom in heaven.

The Path To Death: We walk this path when we choose to turn away from God and when we refuse to hear Him. Choosing this path, we are drawn away and worship other things and serve them.  This path is a path of evil in varying degrees.  The Results: Those traveling this path will shorten their days and perish.  This path results in death. There is a physical death, but the worst is the spiritual, eternal death.  The Bible refers to this as the second death.

God’s Plea: “Choose life, that you and your seed may live”–v. 19.

Counsel For Living

Psalm 37:1-10: Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.  Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.  For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.  For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

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Concerning Evil-doers:

  1. Evil-doers’ day shall come. They “shall be cut off”–v. 9.
  2. God will give them up to uncleanness, to vile affections, and to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:24, 26, 28).
  3. “They shall be cut down like grass and wither away”–v. 2. “They shall be cast into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:41-42).

Concerning Us:

  1. Fret not nor be envious of the evil-doers–v. 1. The worry will wear away your joy.  The envy will take away your contentment with your own advantages and possessions.  The treasures of the evil-doers are temporal while yours are laid up in heaven and are eternal.
  2. “We are told to cease from anger, and forsake wrath“–v. 8. Don’t allow anger and wrath to direct your actions, words nor paths.
  3. “We are to trust in the Lord and do good“-v. 3. You must trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).  For God knows your needs and shall supply them (Matt. 6:25-33).
  4. Delight your self (find our pleasure) in the Lord–v. 4. Focus on Him; who He is, His greatness, love, grace, and mercy.  Focus on what He has done for you–a new birth, a new relationship, and a new home. Draw near to Him and He will draw near unto you (James 4:8).
  5. Commit (give) your way unto the Lord–v. 5. If, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6).  “He shall bring it to pass”–v. 5.  “He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday”–v. 6.
  6. “Rest in the Lord”–v. 7. Let Him do the work, and wait patiently upon the Lord for He will do it–v. 7, 9.

God’s Remedy For Anxiety

Philippians 4:4-7: Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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We all have times when anxiety creeps into our lives.  God has given us instruction in the scriptures above about what we need to do at these times.  Let us look at God’s remedy for Anxiety.

Rejoice: The first thing we are instructed to do is to rejoice.  No, we don’t rejoice about what is causing our anxiety. We are to rejoice in the Lord.  This means to rejoice in who God is, rejoice in what He knows, and rejoice in what He can do.  We are to rejoice about the fact that the Lord is at hand.  He is with us as we deal with the source of our anxiety.  We are not alone.  He has promised that he will never leave us nor forsake us to the things that we have to face in this life.  “Rejoice…and again I say, rejoice.  Rejoice means to be joyful and glad.  We express this joy and gladness in songs, hymns, singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord.

Share: Let your moderation (calmness, trust) be known unto all men.  The source of our calmness and trust is the nearness of the Lord–”the Lord is at hand”.  Let others see and experience your calmness and testify to them of your calmness and the reason for it.  Speak to them about the Lord’s presence with you.  Talking about the promise of the Lord’s nearness also increases our faith and trust and helps us to be calm.

Resist the anxiety:  Be careful (anxious) for nothing.  Choose to resist it.

Pray: In everything by praying humbly with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Tell God about what is causing you to worry and be anxious.  Tell him what you want and thank Him for what He is going to do.  Ask Him to give you His peace which passes all understanding.

God’s Answer: You will receive My perfect peace which passes all understanding.  Even you will not understand the peace that shall come upon you.  This peace cannot be understood or explained.  It must be experienced.  Only through the experience of My peace can you begin to understand it.  When you receive My peace it is My way of saying, “you don’t have to worry about it any more”.  I am saying, “I have it”.  My peace shall keep you heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

Two Kinds of Prayer / Worship

Luke 18:9-14: And he spoke this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.

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The scene here is the temple and the activity is prayer.  However, this deals with all of our life; our prayer, worship and how we live our lives and treat others.  These two people represent everyone who has the spirit of the Pharisee or that of the publican.

The Pharisee: He uses the personal pronoun “I” five times.  He speaks of and trusts in his works.  He is proud and puffed up with his works of righteousness.  But God says, “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”.  The Pharisee has made himself the standard by which all others should be measured.  He does not acknowledge God’s word as it applies to him.  There is no confession of sin or plea for forgiveness and cleansing.  He exalts himself.  It says he, “Prayed thus with himself“.

The publican: He stands afar off, not feeling worthy to go any further into the temple.  He feels sorrowful, and is crushed by the awareness of his sin.  He is ashamed, humble, bowing before God and not able to lift up his eyes toward heaven.  He confesses his sin and asks God to be merciful to him.

The Declaration:  The publican went away justified and the Pharisee did not.  God honored the prayer of the publican. Those that exalt themselves shall be abased (brought down).  Those that humble themselves shall be exalted (raised up).

We can see the spirit of these two men in the world around us today.  The spirit of the Pharisee can creep into us from time to time if we are not careful.  Every time I read these verses I have to reexamine myself and say, “God be merciful to me a sinner”.

The Wheat and the Tares

Matthew 13:24-30; 36-43–The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.  But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.  So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?  He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?  But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.  Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.  His disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.  He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.  As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.  Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

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Many people say they don’t believe in a future judgment.  They only want to see God as a God of love.  No one who has read the Bible can come to this conclusion.

The Old Testament–The Bible speaks of judgment from the first book, Genesis, to the last book, Revelation.  In Genesis, Adam and Eve were judged because of their disobedience.  The world experienced the judgment of God in the Flood.  Sodom and Gomorrah experienced the judgment of God with fire from heaven.  Over and over Israel experienced God’s judgment after their deliverance from Egypt.

The New Testament speaks of a future judgment over and over.  Jesus spoke many times of the future judgment.  The book of Revelation speaks of “The Great White Throne” judgment.  To say that God’s judgment is not true is to call Jesus and God liars.  “The wages of sin is death”.  Jesus died to pay the wages of our sin.  Our judgment rested on Him.  We must believe this truth and accept Jesus sacrifice on our behalf and receive Him as our Lord and Savior or pay the wages of sin our self.  Jesus spoke of a future judgment in many parables.  The parable of “The Wheat and the Tares” is one example.  Click here to go to a Bible Study on this parable.

Letters From God–Book of Hebrews 1:1-3

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My child, I spoke in various times and in many ways in the past unto the fathers by the prophets. However in these last days I spoke unto you by My Son, whom I appointed heir of all things, and by whom I made the worlds. He was the Word which was in the beginning with Me and was Me. As I spoke and sent forth My Word all things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. Through My Spirit he was made flesh. He was the brightness of My glory and the express image of My person.   He upholds all things by the power of his word. When he had by himself purged your sins through his death on the cross, he sat down on My right hand on high. Hebrews 1:1-3

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