When reading the Word of God we should always remember that the ultimate purpose of it is to reveal God Himself to us. He desires for us to know Him and in doing so, to love Him. So much could be written to reveal that truth, but so as not to write a large piece, please let’s just take a different look at some very well-known scripture. Please forbear as we do some substitution to show how the Word of God reveals the nature of God, and in fact, God Himself. Substituting the name of Jesus in the place of “love”, we see a lovely revealing of God, and how good deeds, in fact all deeds, mean nothing without Jesus as Savior of our souls. Indeed, the holy Gospel is revealed. Take off your shoes, as you walk on holy ground.
1 Corinthians 13 (with substitutions of Jesus for “love”) – If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have Jesus, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have Jesus, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have Jesus, I gain nothing. 4 Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. Jesus does not envy, Jesus does not boast, Jesus is not proud. 5 Jesus does not dishonor others, Jesus is not self-seeking, Jesus is not easily angered, Jesus keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Jesus never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when Jesus comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see Jesus face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and Jesus. But the greatest of these is Jesus.
Beautiful is our Lord and Savior Jesus! As He has revealed Himself in the above scripture, what logical and sane reason on earth can there be not to run to Him and love Him as Savior and Lord?
IHS 12/29/13by Bob with
Once, when working for a large aircraft manufacturing company, a supervisor came to the plane I was working on and told me I had a phone call from my wife. Now this was way before the onslaught of cell phones, so if someone was to be called at work, they would receive the call through the boss’s offices. The bosses didn’t like these calls and so the calls were strongly discouraged, except for emergencies. So now I had a phone call from my wife and I immediately became concerned. Was it my Dad, who had earlier suffered a heart attack? Was my dear wife okay? Could it be that something was wrong with my son? My heart raced as I calmly (posture for public view, a façade to my racing brain and heart) walked to the office to receive the phone call. I noticed several bosses staring at me as I approached the phone but their glare could not distract me from my worries. Knowing that I had asked my wife to never call me at work, unless there was an emergency, I was bracing myself for some unwelcome news.
It turned out that the message was urgent, but not devastating. After speaking with my wife, I hung up the phone, avoided the eyes of my bosses, and walked to a nearby water fountain to soothe my now dry mouth. It would have been easy to be upset with my wife as it was not a true emergency, however it was something that was very urgent and she did need to speak to me. At that moment the Lord taught me a lesson I will always remember, to thank God not only for the good we receive, but also for the bad we don’t receive. I was overcome with gratitude and began to repeatedly sing “I want to thank you Jesus! I want to thank you Jesus yes I do, because I know that I can’t make it by myself!” Remembering that it is He who provides for us and protects us and without His protection we would be the victims of the enemy who prowls the earth. Without the protection of God, we would be continuously tortured victims of the enemy of our souls. Yet, though we are all so undeserving, God does provide for us and protect us. Not that everything is a “slice of pie”, but even then His loving hand is with us.
So I learned to thank God not only for the blessings I receive such as a good job, health and a place to live, but also to thank Him for all the bad things that didn’t happen. Really, that is the flip side of the positive things we thank Him for. When, at the end of the day, my loved ones are safe and provided for, I thank God for His provision and protection. The flip side of that is endless bad things that could have happened and didn’t. Sometimes it is good to think of those bad things, it helps to keep me grateful and not take for granted the blessings of God. Even those who don’t claim an allegiance to God are thankful that the bad things of life have avoided them. Though they don’t know who to be thankful to, the praise and glory for their good “fate” belongs to God. God should always receive the praise. In all things, praise God!
Psalm 13:5 – But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
Psalm 68:3-4 – 3 But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. 4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
IHS 12/27/13by Bob with
In order for the Savior to be born on this earth, He had to miraculously be placed by God within a virgin, who willingly accepted her role. In order for His salvation work to be done, He had to walk this earth amongst us. In order for the salvation work to be complete, He had to die for our sins and thereby make the path to heaven for all of us. It was a template of what would need to happen in the lives of all who love God and want to be with Him forevermore. Jesus has to be miraculously placed by God within us. When Jesus became alive in us, being our Savior and Lord, we too became like pure virgins with our sins washed away. Once we gained this new life of living with Jesus within, we died to self and now walk this earth, bearing our trials, and trusting in God that He loves us and will complete our salvation walk of dying to self and living for Him. Beautiful even today is this story of the love of God being expressed time and time again as He births Himself within us, bringing the salvation story of God’s love to mankind today. Yes Jesus is the reason for the season, and even more so, not only is He is the reason and fulfillment of life on Christmas Day, but he is also the reason and fulfillment every day.
IHS 12/25/13by Bob with
A list is not always comparison.
Merriam Webster – List – 1 a : a simple series of words or numerals (as the names of persons or objects) <a guest list> b : an official roster : roll 2 : catalog, checklist
3 : the total number to be considered or included
Merriam Webster –Comparison – : the act of looking at things to see how they are similar or different.
The bible supplies many lists, and the lists are not necessarily a comparison, other than that they have something in common. It is not however stating that one is necessarily the cause of, or related to the other, other than the fact that they are in same category. For instance 1 Timothy 1:9-11 states “9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me. The only similarity between all of these is that they are a list of sins. It is not stating that if one does one of these that one does all of them. The purpose is to give a sampling (small) of the many sins that WE ALL do. Name your own sin, we all are guilty!
The bible is clear that we are all sinners, whether your sin is sexual (of any nature) or if you tell little white lies. The bible says that because we are all sinners, unless we have the grace of God applied to our lives, then we all share the same fate. That fate is to be forever separated from God (after our death on the earth). That “fate” is decided every moment of our lives by whether we decide to accept God’s grace that is offered through Jesus, or whether we reject His grace.
I confess that I am an imperfect man. In fact, knowing myself and all of my past and present sins, many, if not all of you, are a much better person than I am. My sole solace and sure hope is that it is what Jesus has done that applies to my life. If not that, knowing who I am, I have no hope. But I do have hope and that hope, and how wonderful it is, comes from God through Jesus. I earnestly hope and desire that all who read this likewise have the hope that comes only through the love of God offered only through Jesus Christ.
Let’s keep it simple and love God with all that we are and love each other at least as much as we love ourselves. If we do that, we have done well!
Jesus is the reason for the season!by Bob with
If you’re a Christian, remember the below and let’s do our duty. If you’re not, well have a great day and we’ll be praying for you!
2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Oh my God and my Lord
Almighty God, I cling to you
I am weak Lord
Not strong like you
For the world wears me down
Unseen powers plot against me
Their prize, the object of their lust
Is my soul
They live for my destruction
Squealing with glee at my distractions
And celebrating my downcast soul
As hungry hyenas rip apart the wounded beast
So my enemies pounce at the smallest opportunity
Yet Lord I belong to you
Appearing defenseless and weak
I am mightily protected and strong
If it were my defenses I was relying upon
What a wretched morsel I would be
Ripped apart and devoured alive
Witnessing my destruction and powerless to stop it
Yet I am within an impregnable fortress with no means of entry
Deep within the city of the Lord I am safe
While the enemy ravishes a dead carcass
My soul and spirit rest safely
My belly is full and my thirst is satisfied
I remain safe, warm and at peace
Where I reside with you oh Lord
Here the enemy cannot come near
Who shall batter the walls of the King
To snatch me from this house
I cannot hear the threats being yelled at me
My rest is full and complete
While a carcass is torn apart
I live with He who created life
He who has vanquished my enemy
Mocking him before all in the universe
He who cannot lose has hidden me in His house
No harm may come near me as I rest
I will open no windows to hear the enemy’s threats
Jesus, Mighty King and Prince of Peace
Has hidden me safely and I hear the song of His voice
As a mother’s voice soothes her child
He calms my soul and gives my head
A soft place to rest
In a comfortable bed provided by He who loves me
Laughing is outside the open door of my room
I hear my Father’s voice and the voice of
He who saves me
They stand guard while I soundly sleep
He has me deeply hidden
Outside the ravaging continues
Though I cannot hear it
IHS 12-16-13by Bob with
The cross, after all, is a very personal and one with One relationship. The Body encourages and builds up each other, yet ultimately, it comes to a personal relationship with the Lord. We visit The Cross daily and remember that we were bought at a very personal price. Jesus who paid the price lives today, and meets us at the cross, where He accepts our repentance, promises His devotion and leadership, gives us looks of love and hugs that run deep within our souls and makes our spirits sing. Jesus, born a babe in a manger, grew as a human child and as a man taught, healed, suffered, died and rose from the dead, all while remaining Savior and God to all. Alive today, Jesus is the reason for the season!
2 Corinthians 5:15 – And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him whodied for them and was raised again.
by Bob with
Maybe some may wonder why I quote so much scripture. It is because what possible good can anything I say produce? Ah, but to release God’s word, now power is released. Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
I pray that, as regards my will, I diminish and Christ is glorified! John 3:30 – 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”by Bob with
The below was obviously written when I was feeling the stress of my situation. I called out to the Lord and He was kind enough to answer to me. I then quickly wrote the following. What I wrote is not as important as what was behind what I wrote. I wrote what I wrote because of what God has put into my life. These verses, and ones like them, God has put in my life that He might make them part of me. Praise God who loves and cares for us eternally beyond the greatest of our ability to understand! Praise God!
“Being told by God that I am in the situation I am in for a reason, and that reason is for my good. I know that He understands that it is not easy for me, in my own strength, to endure. More than that for me to rejoice while in the trial. Yet that is what I am called to do. Praise God! I will sing unto the Lord for He has triumphed gloriously, the horse and rider thrown into the sea! But with God, all things are possible. With men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible. We bring the sacrifice of praise, unto the house of the Lord. God has His reasons for me being exactly where I am. He has been kind enough, though He certainly had no obligation to, to confirm to me that I am where I am for His purposes. To grow me and prepare me for His further purposes. Will I resent His will? Will I, through this trial, be downcast? How then will I bring praise to God? How then will I glorify His name? Is He not the same God to me as during the mountain top times? His plans to prosper me have not changed. There is no shadow of turning with Him. What a wonderful opportunity to praise God from the valley! How lovely to praise His name in spite of circumstances. Praise God who has put me here to praise Him and illustrate that all His saints are blessed, whatever situation they are in! It is easy to sing songs of joy and praise at the mountain tops, and, in the Lord, it is just as easy to praise Him from the loneliness of the desert. With my eyes on the Lord, and not on the circumstance, with my eyes on the Lord and trusting Him in spite of any thought to the contrary, how wonderful it is to praise God! What a blessing to praise God at this time, when I my heart and brain accuse me, I will not trust them. My trust is in God and there it will rest, and my soul will find rest and my spirit will sing, as the Holy Spirit keeps me and guides me, I will praise God. I will rejoice in God. In all things He makes me a conqueror and I trust His word beyond all things. I trust God beyond all things. Thank you God for this circumstance. I relish it because you are doing a work to benefit me. In you I trust. It is you I praise. In the midst of the hopeless battle I sing songs of joy and triumph to you. Surrounded by an enemy, I drop my weapons to raise my hands to you. My eyes focused on you, I praise you! Praise God and I thank you, not only through the circumstances, but for the circumstances, that you are using to bless me. Thank you Lord! Praise and glory to you Almighty God! Praise and glory to you precious and dear God! Praise and glory to you!”
Following are some of the verses the Lord, in this trial, brought forth from what He has put within me. His Word, living within me and changing me to be less like the horrible creature I am and more like Him. On me, there is a lot of work still to be done! A lot of verses follow, I pray that they also bless you.
1 Peter 1:6-7 – 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Romans 8:28 – 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Matthew 19:25-26 – 25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Psalm 103:13-14 – As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
Romans 8:26 – 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans
Exodus 15:1-6 – Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. 2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. 3 The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. 5 The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. 6 Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy.
Matthew 5:11-13 – 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
1 Peter 4:12-14 – 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
Luke 18:27 – Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
Hebrews 13:15 – Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Job 38:1-3 – Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: 2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? 3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me.
Malachi 3:2-4 – 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years
James 1:2-4 – 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:12 – 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Deuteronomy 7:18 – But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.
Psalm 106:7 – When our ancestors were in Egypt, they gave no thought to your miracles; they did not remember your many kindnesses, and they rebelled by the sea, the Red Sea.
Revelation 3:3a – Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent.
1 Samuel 15:29 – He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a human being, that he should change his mind.”
James 1:17 – Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Psalm 27:2-3 – 2 When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
Psalm 30:3-5 – You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit. 4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. 5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 13:6 – I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Romans 8:37 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Psalm 23:1-4 – The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 3:5-6 – 5 I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
1 Peter 4:11b – … so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
HIS 12-14-13by Bob with