Monday, August 31, 2009

Companionship

Last night as I was adding some pictures to Facebook, I noticed that someone was on ‘Chat’, so I clicked and was happy to enjoy a pleasant and timely conversation. Sometimes the click of a computer key can engender a conversation that just ‘clicks’!

So then, as we have the chance, let us do good to all men, and specially to those who are of the family of the faith.BBE Version Galatians 6:10

Whatever the conversation is about, it is so nice to have a conversation with someone who truly loves God and manifests His heart in their everyday life. The love of God is so evident in the way people really care for each other. That is real companionship.

Jesus Christ exhibited his care about his friends:

That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. John 17:21

In I John God’s heart is plainly visible when John says:

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. I John 1:3

In the redemptive substitution of Jesus Christ, God has given us the great privilege of having the spirit within our hearts so that we can live an exceedingly abundant life. He’s given us freewill to accept or reject this ability. If we accept we can be at the right place at the right time to say the right thing to the right person.

Religion (man-made God love) loves to act in an advisory capacity, but in the grace administration we have a fellowship relationship. We speak the truth in love.

advisory capacity definition
Status of a person or group which does not have the authority or the responsibility to take definitive actions or issue executive orders, but which may only advise or suggest what needs to be done under the circumstances. BusinessDictionary.com

We have authority and the power to act in any situation because it has been freely given to us, therefore we are people who bless and
are blessed back in a wide range of ways from simple to complex.
God designed it this way.

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. I John 1:4.


So in my conversations everywhere, be it on Facebook, email, twitter, or just plain face to face, I am thankful for our friends and family who speak the truth in love.




Most people wish to serve God - but only in an advisory capacity. ~Author Unknown

Monday, August 24, 2009

Galatians is so good!

In working Thessalonians lately, I got to thinking about it being the first epistle written by Paul. The second book written was Galatians in approximately 57 AD. Galatians is a correctional epistle for the doctrine of Romans. Romans was written later but since the authorship of all the epistles is divine and from God who is omnipotent, Galatians corrects some errors developing with the judaizers conflicting with the doctrine of Romans. We know that Paul had problems with the judaizers in Thessalonica also.

E.W. Bullinger says on page 1748 in the COMPANION BIBLE: “Galatians has been happily likened to a sketch for the finished picture, Romans. In both is maintained the fundamental truth that there is no difference between Judean and Gentile before God, There would be many Judeans among the churches of Galatia, for Paul ever went to the Judean first; yet the majority would be Gentiles, apparently too ready to yield to the persuasions of judaizers who taught the necessity of circumcision.”


The Doctrine of Romans makes it clear that we are saved by believing and it is by grace, not works. Circumcision or any other outward work doesn’t save anyone. One is made whole by believing in Jesus Christ and that God got him up from the dead. It is God’s justice that provided a way to His companionship and deliverance from any obstacle thrown in our face. Jesus Christ was the perfect substitution. It was perfect justice. By believing in the work of finished Jesus Christ we are a part of God’s eternal Facebook, we can contact him any time of the day or night.

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

We are really free because of this and we no longer have to fall in the suffocating traps of man-made religion. We have the Word and the spirit of God. “The eyes of our understanding” can be totally enlightened. What that means is we don’t have to walk around stumbling in the dark bumping into this or that, groping through life in confusion.

I love to read Galatians and see the walk in the spirit and how important it is. Then compare it to Romans 8, the ‘Magna Carta’ of Christianity! It is the confidence and assurance that the whole world is trying to find! Life is not always nice but we NEVER have to be overwhelmed because God has a Biblical solution ALWAYS. So life may not always be nice but it is exceedingly abundant. Ephesians 3:20!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Paul's Principle-centered Leadership

Steven Covey made a list of the principles of effective leadership in his book, PRINCIPLE-CENTERED LEADERSHIP. These principles are very simple and easily recognized in all walks of life and in many areas within an individual life. We have the opportunity to be leaders at any moment or occasion and there are certain attributes that bring this out in our lives. As I worked the first and second chapter of I Thessalonians, I was amazed how great the apostle Paul was and how he truly exuded those admirable qualities of effective leadership.

Leaders are constantly learning. The more they learn, the more they realize how much more there is to learn, This is usually self-initiated and self-fueling. Leaders are also service-orientated. They are mission-orientated. This can be readily seen in some teachers. Successful teachers are often mission-orientated rather than career-focused. I’ve seen the same things in housewives, sales people, paramedics, doctors, in great ministers and actually any walk of life. Successful people are motivated by something greater than themselves.

13For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Leaders radiate purposeful positive energy and they attract other people. They believe in others’ abilities. Poor leaders think that they are the linchpin for everything to happen and then miss the beauty of the synergy in working with another heart. Leaders love others’ strengths and they strive and love to complement others weaknesses. They focus in on others longsuits, interests and concerns rather than magnifying a position. This is so evident in I Thessalonians 1: 3,4 7-8, II Thessalonians 2:7-8:

3Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
4Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
7So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
8For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.

7But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.


Good leaders lead balanced lives. They are not extremists. They do not over schedule, they are flexible, they can handle both praise and blame well. They were not manipulative.
In I Thessalonians 2:10 and II Thessalonians 2:3-6

10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:

3For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

Leaders are adventuresome. New people are exciting to them and people to learn from. They ask questions and love to listen and recognize what others are doing.
I Thessalonians1:9,10:

9For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Finally, leaders are aware of their own need for self-renewal, in their physical, mental and spiritual life. They take time to exercise each of these areas. All of the above is not available unless it dwells richly in the leader. We never arrive and we dare not think that we can skimp or cut corners on our own growth.

I Thessalonians 2:2
2But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.

Paul was under a great deal of mental, spiritual and physical pressure because of the unbelieving Judeans that followed him around. He was able to stand and be bold because of what he lived and practiced. The love of God that was shed abroad in his heart was kinetic because of how he continued to go to God.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Jeremiah 9:23-24
23Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:24But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

God delights in lovingkindness, judgement ( true justice) and righteousness! He delights in those things because that is His very nature and He wants companionship in a truly just, righteous and loving relationship.
There's nothing wrong with wisdom, might, and riches especially when they come from God.
Our real excitement is in knowing Him who is the source and author of goodness. Thank God for the Word! That's how we get to know Him and build peaceful confidence in our own lives.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

True Wisdom


In Acts 2, there were Judeans from all over in Jerusalem for Pentecost. As the day of Pentecost unfolded and the gift of holy spirit was given there were 3000 who believed. Some returned home and some stayed. The new church grew and as a result persecution set in to stop church growth. In Acts 8:1 we can read that the Judeans were scattered abroad. Some who believed the words of God moved out of Jerusalem purposefully and systematically. These believers had a somewhat limited knowledge of this new administration God had instituted due to the fact that the seven church epistles (Romans through Thessalonians) had not been written yet. Paul had not come in to his own calling as yet. So it was during this time that scholars believe that James was written. There are some beautiful statements in James. James had a heart to help people. Among those great verses lies this gem:

James 3:1-18
17
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

God's word is uncontaminated by the systems of this world, it is peaceful because of it's loving standards. It is reasonable and truly kind. It easy on the mind, full of God's loving desire to defeat the misery in this world. God does not distinguish between persons or titles and his heart is a true heart as he acts with integrity on His very own promises. Who would want anything else? Why would we substitute something else in its place? He gives to us freely when we ask.

James 1:5
5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.


R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Recently, I was having a conversation with a friend and we got to talking about respect and the current culture. He made a statement to me t...