Count It All Joy

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diver’s temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
Count it all joy. Don’t be sad, downcast, or pity yourself when varieties of temptations and trials come your way. Face them and deal with them in the spirit and not in the flesh. Look upon them with the renewed mind. It is only in the spirit and with the renewed mind that we can count it all joy and with understanding no matter when, where, how or what kind they may be.
Knowing this.
(1) Know this, that our temptations and trials are a test of our faith. They try our faith to determine its strength. Faith is associated with our spirit and not the flesh. When we walk in the spirit we walk by faith. When we walk in the flesh we walk by sight.
(2) We must know and understand that the trying of our faith exercises and produces patience. Patience is at work and grows when facing and dealing with trials and temptations.
(3) We must know and understand that those things that try and tempt us, strike us at our weakest points or they would not require patience and would not try or test our faith. Therefore, it reveals something to us about ourselves; things we need to work on.
Let patience have her perfect work. Through the trials and temptations let patience grow strong and come to completion in perfectly contending with and overcoming the trials and temptations and thus become complete and entire, lacking in nothing.
It is only when we face and deal with our temptations and trials with this knowledge and understanding that we can count it all joy. To God be the glory.

God Works In Us

Philippians 2:13 “It is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
God works in us. He that has begun a good work in us will continue to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). We have this treasure (Holy Spirit) in earthen vessels (our bodies) that the excellence of the power may be of God, and not of us (2 Corinthians 4:7).
God works in us to will. He renews our minds and thereby transforms us that we may prove what is the good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). He works in us that our life and ministry may be an expression of His will which others might observe. Through His word and His Spirit he brings our will in line with His will.
God works in us to do. Without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). What God wants to do through us must be done by Him working through us with His life and power.
Of His good pleasure. God wants to perform his will through us and it brings Him great pleasure.

We must present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1). We must be yielded to Him and His will, walking in obedience to His word, & following the leadership of His Holy Spirit. If we do this we will be surprised what God will do.

The most important thing in your life

Matthew 22:37-38 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
Remember, the first and greatest commandment is to love God with everything we have. All other things hang on this commandment including the second, which is to love our neighbor as yourself. This is to be our priority above all other things.
We must work on our relationship with Him every day. This means spending time with Him (speaking to Him and listening to Him) and time in His word. We are to abide in Him and Him in us. In this relationship we are to remain in submission and yielding to Him and His will.
He is the head and we are His spiritual body. He will work in us to bring our will in line with His will and then He will work in us and through us to perform it.
Be blessed in the Lord.

Walk Worthily

Ephesians 4:1-3 “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
We have been called to a vocation. Our vocation is the Christian life, the new life in Christ Jesus. We are expected to move forward and onward in this life and to develop in character and ministry.
With all lowliness. We are to live our Christian life and conduct our ministry as members of the body of Christ in lowliness and humbleness of mind. This is a characteristic resulting from awareness of our own weaknesses and shortcomings. We are not to be puffed up with pride.
With all meekness. In our life and ministry, we are to be patient, mild and not inclined to anger, resentment or returning evil for evil. It is to be meekness toward God as well as mankind.
With all longsuffering. We are to bear injuries, trouble, etc. patiently and over a long period of time.
Forbearing one another in love. Love is the motivating force causing us to bear with, put up with, and tolerate what others might do to us or say about us, and to overcome evil with good.
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. This is unity in the body of Christ and is the result of the Holy Spirit. We must yield to the Spirit and not the flesh. Being filled with the Spirit produces greater unity. Walking in the light, as he is in the light, produces this unity; and we have fellowship one with another (1 John 1:7). Walking in the light of God’s word is being obedient. In this process the Spirit brings peace which binds us together in unity.

Equipped For Good Works

2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God can make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
God is able. He is omnipotent, all powerful.
God is able to make all grace abound toward us. God is able to make His grace plentiful and above what is necessary. All grace indicates great diversity to provide whatever we need and in all the potential we need. We need to believe it and expect it.
That we, having all sufficiency. That we will have everything, every resource we need. His grace will be sufficient for what we need.
That we may abound to every good work. God wants us to abound to every good work. According to Ephesians 2:8, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them”. We have been created and ordained by God to do good works. In our spiritual life He has made us in such a way that we are capable of and expected to do good works. These good works include our thoughts, words, and deeds. Jesus said that we are the light of the world. Our light shines through our good works; men see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven.

If Our Gospel Be Hid

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “If our gospel be hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
If our gospel is hidden. The gospel is the same; it is the power of God and the wisdom of God. God sends His gospel because He is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). However, this gospel is hidden to those that believe not and are lost. Their minds have been blinded by the god of this world. The light of the glorious gospel of Christ shines forth in all its brightness. They cannot wrap their thoughts around the gospel and come to an understanding of it. They abide in the darkness and blindness of unbelief.
They cannot grasp the meaning and the reality of the truth of God’s love for them. Nor can they see the reality of who Jesus really is and what He has done for them. They are blind to the glory of Christ in the gospel and of His divinity.
This is why we must intercede for them in prayer and continue to share the gospel with them. We must fight a spiritual battle for them for they are weak in unbelief and defenseless. Pray that God will “open the eyes of their understanding” (Ephesians 1:18) and “shine in their hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Jesus came to seek and to save them that are lost and as we follow Him, He will make us to be fishers of men.

God give us a burden for the lost. Amen.

Restoring A Brother

Galatians 6:1-2. “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
We have a responsibility to each other as Christians. This is the commandment of love Jesus spoke of in John 13:34. He said that we are to love one another as He has loved us. We are to love each other in the same way and to the same degree that he has loved us.
If a man be overtaken in a fault. When a sin overtakes a brother or sister unexpectedly or suddenly because he is off his guard we need to be there for them.
Ye which are spiritual. This refers to Christians who live their life in a way that is pleasing to God. These are those who walk in and are led by the Spirit of God. Carnal Christians should not attempt this restoration for the flesh will get in the way and possibly make the situation even worse.
Restore such a one in the spirit of meekness. Spiritual Christians are to bring the brother or sister back to a former state. This means to bring them back into spiritual fellowship with the body of Christ and with God through repentance of, and confession of their sin. This restoration is to be done in a spirit of meekness; the opposite of arrogance and harshness. It is to be done in love with patience, compassion and gentleness.
Considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. In restoration of a brother or sister, we must keep in mind that we also are tempted at times, are off our guard and fall into temptation. Considering our self will make us humble in the process of restoring another. This humbleness results from our realizing that we have defects or shortcomings also.
Bear ye one another’s burdens. We are to be supportive of another in every way. We are to help carry the load our fellow Christians are burdened with. These burdens could be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual in nature.
So, fulfill the law of Christ. The law of Christ is the law of love. Love demands that we reach out to one another.

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but ‘in deed’ and in truth”–1 John 3:18.

Facing Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Temptation is to be attracted by something that we feel would bring reward or pleasure. We are not to think that our temptation is more than others face in their own lives. Every temptation we face in our life is common to man. Everyone faces the same temptations.
God is faithful. We can depend on Him as He oversees us and our lives to make sure we don’t face a temptation that is more than we are able to endure. We don’t walk alone. He has promised to always be with us and not to forsake us. He will be there to see us through it. He will make a way to escape from the temptation and to have victory over it.
Our responsibility is to call upon Him and to draw near to Him. It is also our responsibility to walk in obedience to His word and the leadership of His Holy Spirit. He will lead us in the way of escape. He said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27).

Our Citizenship

Philippians 3:20-21 “For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.”
Our citizenship is in heaven. Heaven is our home. We are strangers and pilgrims here on the earth. We are in the world but no longer of the world. We are a part of the spiritual kingdom of God, born into it as we were born of the Spirit of God.
We look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is in heaven but is coming back for us. He said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3).
He will change our vile body. He will give us a body like His glorious body. He will change our natural, physical body into a spiritual body. This body is in corruption and dishonor but will be changed into a body of in-corruption and glory. This body is weak but will be changed into a body of power. This mortal body will be changed into an immortal body. As we have born the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. See 1 Corinthians 15:42-53.
According to His unlimited power. The same power whereby He can subdue all things unto Himself.

We are looking for a city whose builder and maker is God.

Compelled by Christ’s Love

2 Corinthians 5:14 “Christ’s love compels us.”
Committing our life to Jesus is more than simple obedience to a set of rules and regulations. It is a commitment to a relationship with Jesus that is so close that we are influenced by His love. This is Divine love which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. This is the love that we are to live by and serve by every day. We are to be motivated to no longer live for ourselves, but for the one who died for us and was raised. It is linked with grace which causes this love to reach out even to those who don’t deserve it nor merit it.

Until our experience matches our belief we fall far short of the glory God expects us to have—we live in the flesh and not in the Spirit, we fail to live a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit and the power of the Spirit.

What motivates you in the life you live? Is your motivation attached to this world or to God?