Spiritual DNA


From Pastor’s Desk:

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:4-5 KJV

***

As the biological son (ninth child) of both father and mother, I cannot imagine the feeling of one who has been adopted into a loving family. But I do know the feeling of being adopted into God’s family.

When I first gave my heart to the Lord, I did not fully realize what it meant. Now, some (well, a lot) years later, I realize more what it means. Through the years, as the awareness became more acute, there were details that came into focus as I “grew” into the family of God.

Benefits of family relationship(s) are now more endearing to me. My immediate biological family is spread from Texas to California. To find my extended family, one would have to travel to Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, California, Arizona, and possibly places I don’t even know.

No matter where, when, or how we come together, there is always the feeling of belonging. Some cousins, nieces, nephews, and spouses have never met the others, yet when they do, there is still the feeling of “belonging” to each other via the bloodline of my parents, their parents, and especially, the grandparents.

Isn’t it amazing that an individual in the family of God can go any place in the world, at any time, and meet another individual in the family of God, and there is that feeling of belonging to the same family?

It’s because we are all a part of the family of God. We have different beliefs, or various interpretations of Scripture, but those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior have been adopted into this marvelous, wide-spread yet close-knit, diverse yet unified, with different opinions yet like-minded family of God.

We now belong to the family of God because “…when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

Can we say that we all have the same spiritual DNA?

Sunset over Mountain Range

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He Is Here


From Pastor’s Desk:

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 NKJV

***

Immanuel, God with us. That has a precious connotation (in sense of the signification of something), doesn’t it?

Not just in a general sense, but specific as well. He is with us anytime, all the time and anywhere, everywhere. Not just in the good times, but bad as well. He has promised never to leave or forsake us (Heb. 13:5), that He is with us until the end of the world (Mat. 28:20).

To the Corinthian church, Paul wrote, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…” (2 Cor. 4:8-9).

If you are in a time of trouble today, you don’t have to be distressed: He is with you! Maybe you are in a time of perplexity: you don’t have wind up in despair! You will be persecuted for His name’s sake: He won’t forsake you! You may feel cast down due to the attacks of the devil, with all his tactics and stratagem: he can’t destroy you!

How do we have this assurance? Because He is Immanuel, God with us. He is here!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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True Disciples


From Pastor’s Desk:

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:5, 8 NKJV

***

In the middle of this verse is the phrase that should be indelibly etched in the mind of every person who attempts to the serve the Lord, in any capacity, in kingdom occupation: “without me you can do nothing.”

One area of concern, in my opinion, is that we sometimes “feel” like we need to do something, when, in reality, it is of ourselves rather than of God. We start out in pursuit of something of which we have not bathed in prayer, nor waited for the Holy Spirit to give direction.

Big problems come when these pursuits are born out of attitudes and traits of which, at one time or another, we all are prone.

Selfishness can be detrimental to the kingdom due to the fact that we want something that satisfies our notions and whims, rather than considering the overall good of the kingdom.

Being self-centered (independent of outside force or influence), or self-sufficient can be just as detrimental because we think we don’t need, nor do we accept, help from anyone else, including God.

We dare not exclude pride from the list of things detrimental to the kingdom of God. May we not forget that pride is the original sin: not on earth, but in heaven (I will exalt MYSELF to the throne of the Most High… (Isaiah 14:12-14). NOTE: There is a difference of interpretation here between Commentators, but you, the reader, can research it and come to your own understanding of the verses. Keep in mind that verse 12, where the discourse begins, mentions Lucifer, the son of the morning, falling from heaven.

Lest we stray too far from the initial thought, let’s regain focus to the phrase “without me you can do nothing,” which is the gist of the matter. Can we not say that this is the qualifier for the truth of the verse?

Doing kingdom work in and of oneself will simply not work! It takes others in Christendom working jointly together, and most of all, it requires unequivocal abode in Christ Jesus! That’s the only way to bear much fruit, thereby glorifying the Father, and to be true disciples!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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The Way, the Truth, the Life


From Pastor’s Desk:

***

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 NKJV
This principle needs to be resounding throughout the world today, more than ever before. So many things are offered as “The way” that are, in actuality, not. Even within Christendom there are diverse “ways” offered on every hand.

One thing for sure, according to Scripture, is that there is no shortcut to heaven. The Cross is the “crossroad” between heaven and hell. It is there that the decision is made by every human being whether to accept or reject the efficacious work of Jesus, as He died upon the cross, giving His life a ransom for the sins of every person. He is the Way!

This world has always had a problem with the truth. Many have asked, whether in prose or really searching, “What is truth?” It takes only a look at our children, and, as well, memories of our childhood, to realize that lying is just a “norm” of human nature. Probably the first thing we learn in life is how to lie. Remember the cookie jar? Trying to cover up the accident, and even blaming it on a sibling, or maybe an imaginary playmate? A favorite in my family is “Mickey Mouse did it!” (Not going to disclose which of my children said that, for fear they may read this). To this day we really do have a problem with the truth. But He is the Truth!

Borrowing from yesterday’s “From Pastor’s Desk” let me reiterate. According to Scripture, we who are alive in Christ were once dead in sin (Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13). Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior gives new life. Now we are no longer dead IN sin, but dead TO sin (Rom. 6:2, 11). He is Life!

In capsule form, there is no other way but Him. There is no truth except in Him. In Him, and Him alone, is life.Sunset over Mountain Range

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Grace That Brings Salvation


From Pastor’s Desk: 12-10-17

Titus 2:11 …the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.

***

Adam Clarke says of this verse, “As God’s grace signifies God’s favour, any benefit received from him may be termed God’s grace.  In this place, and in Col 1:6, the Gospel, which points out God’s infinite mercy to the world, is termed the grace of God; for it is not only a favour of infinite worth in itself, but it announces that greatest gift of God to man, the incarnation and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”

I challenge you to read further his comments on the verse.

The Greek word for “appeared” is ἐπιφαίνω epiphainō (ep-ee-fah’ee-no); to shine upon, that is, become (literally) visible or (figuratively) known… Christ Jesus came into the world, as the Light of the World, so that all mankind could be reconciled to God.

Now we know, from Scripture, that every person is not going to accept the truth of God. But, no one is going to have an excuse when standing before God on the final Judgment Day, for the simple fact that God’s word is made available to every person.

Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16). Some folks are just not going to tap into that power, even though it

Jesus, in speaking about the end time, referred to “signs of the times” whereby we would know when that time is near. But amidst all that, He declared that even though we see these things come to pass, the end still would not come, but He said “…this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Mat: 24:14).

Allow me to repeat Adam Clarke in part;  “…the Gospel…is not only a favour of infinite worth in itself, but it announces that greatest gift of God to man, the incarnation and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”

So vitally important is the Word of God that the return of Jesus for His people is contingent upon it!

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Good Exchange


From Pastor’s Desk:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. John 11:25 NKJV

***

Albert Barnes’ NT Commentary says, “I am the resurrection. I am the author or the cause of the resurrection.  It so depends on my power and will, that it may be said that I am the resurrection itself. This is a most expressive way of saying that the whole doctrine of the resurrection came from him, and the whole power to effect it was his.  In a similar manner he is said to be made of God unto us “wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption,” 1Co 1:30.

And the life. Joh 1:4. As the resurrection of all depends on him, he intimated that it was not indispensable that it should be deferred to the last day. He had power to do it now as well as then.

Though he were dead. Faith does not save from temporal death; but although the believer, as others, will die a temporal death, yet he will hereafter have life. Even if he dies, he shall hereafter live.

Shall he live. Shall be restored to life in the resurrection.”

According to Scripture, we who are alive in Christ were once dead in sin (Eph. 2:1; Col. 2:13). Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior gives new life. Now we are no longer dead IN sin, but dead TO sin (Rom. 6:2, 11).

I think that’s a pretty good exchange, don’t you?

Sunset over Mountain Range

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Life More Abundantly


From Pastor’s Desk:
 
Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep…I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. – John 10:7, 9-10 NKJV
***
 
That Scripture just sort of stands by itself, doesn’t it? The only thing I would add is that “life … more abundantly” means not only in heaven, but on earth as well.

Sunset over Mountain Range

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