Present Your Body Unto God

Romans 12:1 “Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Present your body unto God: God does not persuade us through threats and penalties. He lures us through divine goodness and compassion. He desires our service for Him to be joyful and delightful. There must be willingness on our part. We must will this to be true and decide that we will do it.
1.  The body is the portal to the world and is enticed to sin through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. If we, through the Spirit put the death the deeds of the body we shall live our lives in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
2.  A living sacrifice: This means that our bodies are set apart and devoted to God and well pleasing to Him. He is allowed to bless us and use us to carry out His will and we will become a delight to Him. We will thereby live a holy life and one that is acceptable unto God. We will also be blessed as we live this way.
3.  Our reasonable service: This is nothing extreme but should be worth accepting considering what we know about and have experienced of God. Considering what God has done and is going to do for us this should be more than acceptable for us.

Continued Tomorrow

Jesus Our Shepherd

Psalms 23:1-6 “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures: He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for You are with me; Your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

Jesus, our Shepherd, watches over us with loving concern.
(1) We shall not want for anything physical, mental, or spiritual under His watchful eye. He is concerned about our needs. He will see that we are well fed by His word which is milk and meat.
(2) He will lead us to places where we might find spiritual rest, peace, and refreshment. Thus, He will meet the needs of our soul, restoring us to spiritual health. By His word, His life, and His Spirit He leads us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He leads us in the way we live our lives and in how we minister. He leads us that we might fulfill the Father’s will as He did when He was here.
(3) He will protect us and guide us through the valley of the shadow of death. We will pass through it not stay in it. We will be touched by only the shadow of death and not death itself (John 11:25-26). His presence, protection, and guidance will comfort us.
(4) He will prepare a place of peace, comfort, joy, fellowship, and nourishment amid our enemies.
(5) He anoints us with His Holy Spirit, filling us to overflowing with rivers of living water flowing from our innermost being (John 7:38-39).
(6) His goodness and mercy shall follow us as a companion all the days of our lives.
(7) We will dwell in the house of the Lord forever for He has gone to prepare a place for us and will come again to receive us to Himself that where He is there we shall be also (John 14:1-3).

As I said in yesterday’s post, (1) listen to Him and follow Him (2) get better acquainted with your Shepherd (3) spend time with Him and in His word (4) make Him a part of your day.

The Good Shepherd

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

The greatest expression of love: Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He said, “I lay down My life for the sheep…No man takes it from me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John 15:17-18).

He knows His sheep: Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine” (John 10:14). “He calls His own sheep by name, and leads them out” (John 10:3). “When He puts forth His own sheep, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice” (John 10:4).

He gives them eternal life: I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). He not only gives us eternal life but as our Shepherd, He protects us and preserves us.

Our responsibility: We are to be ever listening for His voice and following Him. Herein shall we be blessed.

I leave you with Paul’s closing in 2 Corinthians 13:14:”The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen”.

God’s Salvation and Purpose

Ephesians 1:7-14.

My child, because of your believing on Jesus, you now have in Christ Jesus, redemption (the wages of your sins having been paid in full) through His blood and the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of My grace. Where sin did abound My grace did much more abound and it abounded toward you in all wisdom and prudence. Child, It was according to My good pleasure that I made know unto you the mystery of My will: that being as I ordered the events of the fullness of times I might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. In Him you also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to My purpose even as I work all things after the counsel of My own will: that you should be to the praise of My glory because you trusted in Christ.

My child, you trusted in Christ after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom after that you believed you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the down payment of your inheritance until the completion of your redemption, which shall result in the praise of My glory.

Ambassadors For Christ

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “All things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ.”

What is an ambassador: An ambassador is the highest ranking representative of one country to another. As Christians we are Christ’s highest ranking representatives to this world. An ambassador is also an official messenger on a special mission.

God has commissioned us as His messengers: Jesus said, “As my Father has sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). (1) God “has given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). (2) He has also “committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). As God’s ambassadors we are to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this world. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19). Now God is in us (the Holy Spirit) reconciling the world unto Himself. We have a responsibility to tell the world of God’s ministry of reconciliation in Christ. We are to beseech people to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are to tell them to come to God through Jesus Christ. Let us carry out our mission that one day we might hear God say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

The Holy Spirit–Our Teacher

John 14:26 “The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
John 16:13 “When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.”

God wants us to understand His word, but we have a problem.

Our problem: “The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). We cannot know the things of the Spirit of God within our natural ability. The things of the Spirit of God are foolishness to the natural man. They are only known by those who have been born of the Spirit and and as the Spirit reveals them.

The reason: This is understandable when we consider Isaiah 55:8-9 “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts”. God’s thoughts and His ways are so much higher than ours that we cannot receive them without His help.

The Helper: God has given us His Spirit to help us understand His word. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to help us. As we see in John 14:26 above Jesus said that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to teach us all things and to bring to our remembrance, whatsoever He had said unto us. The Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us of God’s word when we need it and as it applies to the moment. In John 16:13 above we see that the Spirit of truth will come and guide us into all truth. He will help us to grow in our knowledge of the word of God and in the skill of using it.

The Sphere of the Spirits operation: The sphere in which the Holy Spirit teaches us is not confined to the church building or within a Worship Service or a Bible Study. He can teach us anywhere and anytime if we are sensitive and receptive to His teaching. He can teach us through our experiences. He can teach us as we observe the lives of others. He can teach us through the circumstances we face from day to day. He can teach us through the use of many methods, very much like a school teacher can use various methods to teach the same lesson to their students. The Holy Spirit looks for the teachable moments in our lives and will use these moments to increase our wisdom and knowledge of God and His word.

Holy Spirit teach us the things of God and
guide us into all truth, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Living By Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7 “Walk by faith, not by sight.”

We are to live our lives in faith. To walk by sight is to live with a focus on physical things. It is to base our thoughts and emotions and actions on appearances. To live by faith is to approach life in the Spirit and not in the flesh as those who are without God do. It is to live life with a focus on God and spiritual things. It is to trust God with every moment of every day with whatever happens. When things happen we should seek God’s guidance and help. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). “He that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him(Hebrews 11:6). He rewards us with an awareness of His presence, an uplifting of our spirit, a renewing of our mind, and a confidence to face and deal with whatever comes alone.

All Things Working Together For Good

Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

All things work together: This is one of my favorite scriptures, especially when things are going wrong. We all have both good and bad things that happen in our lives. However, God oversees our lives and intervenes to work all things for our good, both the good and the bad if we are aligned with His purpose (to be conformed to image of His Son) and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength we will find Him to be there for us.

His purpose for us: This is found in Romans 8:29. It says that He foreknew us and predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. How does this happen? 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. The Spirit of God changes us into the image of the Lord from glory to glory. In other words step by step; little by little. Romans 12:2 tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Philippians 1:6 tells us that, “He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. In other words He will not give up on us. He is the potter and we are the clay. So when things are going bad we can depend on God, in the fullness of time, to work it together for our good.

God we thank you for your promises you have given us in your word, for we know that you are faithful to perform it. We praise your Holy Name.

Spiritual Nourishment

1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby.”

Newborn babes: As Christians we have been born of the Spirit and have become spiritual beings with a spiritual life. We have become newborn babes in Christ. Just as we are physical beings and need physical nourishment, as spiritual beings we need spiritual nourishment also. We must feed on the word of God to receive the spiritual nourishment that we need to be spiritually strong and healthy.

As we grow: “Every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14). As we see here the word of God is referred to as milk and meat. Milk is a reference to the basics or A, B, C’s. Meat is a reference to the deep things of God. We move from the milk of the word to the meat of the word by using it in our life. Let us not neglect getting into the word of God and using it in our life.

God, open the eyes of our understanding to your word and help us to use it in our lives that we might grow and become mature spiritually, and not be carnal and walk as men of the world. Amen.

The Abundant Life

John 10:10 “The thief comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

The thief is the devil and he comes to steal our happiness, peace and everything else. He is the author of envy, strife, and division. He is come to kill our relationships and bring separation from our friends and families. He is come to destroy our lives and opportunities. He works through those who know not God, who follow the course of the world under the influence of the devil who is the spirit that works in the children of disobedience. Where you see people stealing, killing, and destroying you know they are operating under the influence of the devil.

Jesus is come that we might have eternal, everlasting life. Jesus is come that we might experience this eternal, everlasting life to its fullest. I am sorry to say this, but I am afraid that most Christians don’t experience this life in its abundance. It has been made available for all but it is up to each Christian to receive it for himself / herself. Many don’t have the joy of their salvation or the peace of God that passes all understanding. The abundant life is found in the fullness of the Spirit. If we seek, ask, and knock we will find it, receive it, and it will be opened to us (Matthew 5:7-8).

God bless you in your spiritual journey is my prayer in Jesus’ name.