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Friday, November 28, 2008

Be like the Lord

Leviticus 19:2

What does it mean to be like the Lord? First, this scripture setting took place during the leadership of Moses and God called the nation of Israel to separate themselves from their surrounding nations. God reminds Israel who they were and who He is and that He was their God who is holy. Second, the entire chapter of Leviticus 19 deals with the personal conduct of believers, which is to manifest the character of a holy God, who is holy by His divine nature and if we as believers are to manifest His likeness, then we are to be like Him. Why? Because mankind was created in the image and likeness of God, therefore, believers are called to separate themselves from the world just as Israel was called to separation from their surrounding nations.

This brings a question to mind, which is why do God call believers and the nation of Israel to separation? First, God is a holy God and all humanity has a part of God within each of us “love” and with this love believers are to love Him first, then “our neighbor as thyself”. Second, believers are set aside (sanctified) unto His righteousness for a purpose, which is to show the world His goodness, love, mercy and have a fellowship with Him. In order to accomplish sanctification, it requires the work of both God and the believer. One, the believer must have faith in God and His Son’s atoning work at Calvary. Two, the believer must humble himself and participate in the Spirit’s sanctifying work by ceasing to do evil. Three, sanctification can be looked upon as a purifying process which keeps believers from becoming polluted by this world’s evils.

Third, believers and the nation of Israel are to be sanctified (set aside) to show the world the attributes of a holy God.

Finally, to be like the Lord requires a spiritual separation from worldliness for the following reasons:
1. Draw near to God, and turn away from everything that is contrary to Him and His Son. This is accomplished through prayer, worship, and His Word and loving service to Him.
2. To prevent an unholy comprise for believers.
3. To show our attitudes toward sin and all unrighteousness of a corrupt world and its systems.
4. Separation enables the believer to persevere in faith, purity, and godly love for one another.
5. Be light in a sin darkened world.
As the Lord is light so are believers manifesting His light.

Author’s contact Email: white3285@sbcglobal.net, blog http:/willie-writing.blogspot.com, website www.goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com. comment welcome.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Psalm 92:1-2, 1Thessalonians 5:16-18

This is a message of Thanksgiving, as we celebrate this day with friends, family and food, let us reflect on our goodness from the Lord as our scripture verse encourages us to “give thanks unto the Lord, and sing praises unto thy name.”

In spite of the difficult times we are witnessing and many are experiencing, still remain God’s many blessings that surround us, His love engulfs us, and His goodness and mercy walks with us daily. Therefore, let us show forth our gratitude with our loving-kindness to Him and our fellowman with praises and heart-felt thanks because our blessings out number our troubles. Another point of view is that with God we have everything and without God we have nothing.
Finally, “in everything give thanks” (v18) for He is worthy.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The necessity of Biblical Training for Believers

II Timothy 2:2

Please note the following discussion/outline on biblical training for believers are quoted in part and some paraphrasing from KJV of Life in the Spirit Study Bible.

Let’s begin this study by looking at the church’s responsibility as it relates to believers and their knowledge of God and their ability to separate fact from fiction. It is vital for all Christians to know biblical trues because scripture warns of false teachers and their purpose is to hinder the building of God’s kingdom. Also, it is important for believers to know sound doctrine is that the believer can “commit these trues to others without compromise or corruption” (KJV).
1. The Bible outlines the following reasons for Biblical and or theological training for Christians in the home, school or church (Partial paraphrase). Following are important points on biblical training:
(a) Biblical training is to entrust the gospel of Christ to faithful believers in order that they may know (II Timothy 3:15) guard the truth (II Timothy 1:14 note), teach the true biblical faith (I Timothy 4:6; II Timothy 2:2) and righteous standards (Romans 6:17 note; I Timothy 6:3).
(b) Biblical training is to show students the necessity of contending for the faith which was once delivered to the saints (Jude 6, note). This will give the believer the weapons necessary to defend against false doctrines and theologies (Acts 20:31 note, Galatians 1:9 note, I Timothy 4:1 note, 6:3-4; Titus 1; 9 note on false teachers).
(c) Bible training also lead students into continual growth in character through godliness (I Timothy 6:3; cf Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3; 119: 97-100; Matthew 28:20; John 17:14-18; I Thessalonians 4:1; I Timothy 1:5, note; 4:7,16; 2 Timothy 3:16).
(d) Bible training equips students to become strengthen and bring maturity to other believers, so that together they may reflect Christ’s image in the home, church, school, and the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16).
(e) Bible training give students a deeper understanding of God and experience His kingdom while here on earth and the conflicts waged against Satan’s powers (Ephesians 6:10-18).
(f) Bible training motivates students to wholeheartedly commit to evangelizing to the lost and preaching the gospel to all nations as commanded in Matthew 28:20; Mark 16:15-20).
(g) Bible training deepen the students experience of Christ love, personal fellowship and the gift of the Spirit (John 17, 21, 26; Ephesains 3:18-19). This will encourage the student to follow the Holy Spirit which will bring then into the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).

2. It is vitally important that Biblical training be done by those who are fervently loyal to God, the scriptures as they are God’s inspired Word (2 Timothy 1”13-14, Ezra 7:10 note), the Holy Spirit and His ministry of truth, righteousness and power ( 2 timothy 1:14). Why so, because only those truly committed to God’s Word will seek to know and teach the truth as teaching is a calling by God. More importantly, teaching God’s Word lacks self aggrandizement.

3. Finally, true Biblical training emphasizes true righteousness, which is (knowing, being and doing) as oppose to being apprehensive of Bible truths. Scripture have revealed that these doctrinal teaching are redemptive truths, not academic, meaning; the heart plays a vital role in Biblical training.
True Biblical training is vital to Christian growth.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obeying God’s Command

Deuteronomy 6:5
Let us begin this topical discussion with a question, what is God’s command? His command (s) is considered the Ten Commandments which give specific instructions to mankind. The first commandment tells mankind where we are to place God in our lives; He specifically states that we are not to have any other gods before Him. This brings us to our scripture verse which tells humanity how we are to love God and why we are to love Him in such fashion. First, God seeks a fellowship with His people and with this command if obeyed will attach God and us together forever. Second, we are to love God because He is our creator and sustainer of all life from beginning to end. Furthermore, He cares for all mans needs great or small. Third, God loved man so much until He sent His only Son to die for our sins after mankind had disobeyed Him. What love? Fourth, if mankind responds to God’s command in love, gratitude and loyalty to Him for His loving us first, we then will get to know, love and enjoy a covenant relationship with God, which is what He wants. If the question is raised, is it possible for man to obey God’s commands? The answer is yes, because it is possible when man step out in faith that God’s love will be returned. How do we know this? First, humanity is God’s prized creation where He breathed the breath of live into man; second, He gave humanity a mind, body, and a soul as well as the ability to choose. Third, if God put some of Himself into man would He fail to love us especially when mankind is asked “to love thy neighbor as thyself.” Fourth, the Holy Spirit is in us to aid us in our efforts to obey God’s commands. Finally, throughout history God have proven without any doubt to be (a) faithful to man, (b) love mankind, (c) dependable, and (d) worthy of our love.

In closing, Deuteronomy 10:12 we find God’s great requirement, which is “to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” Reverential of God is the “fear” stated, and then God want our outer service to Him to be genuine from the heart.

Finally, I have often heard the phrase, “obedience is better than sacrifice.” Which one will you choose?

Comments are welcome; press envelope on blog, or email: white3285@sbcglobal.net, and please visit website www.goodshepherdwritingandpublishing.com.