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Just sharing.

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Be Ye Thankful
Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

Matthew 14:19,20 NIV

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For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

Romans 1:20-22 KJV

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Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

Romans 6:16-18 NASB

__________________

Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”

Proverbs 24:33, 34

The worst of sluggards only ask for a little slumber; they would be indignant if they were accused of thorough idleness. A little folding of the hands to sleep is all they crave, and they have a crowd of reasons to show that this indulgence is a very proper one. Yet by these littles the day ebbs out, and the time for labour is all gone, and the field is grown over with thorns. It is by little procrastinations that men ruin their souls. They have no intention to delay for years — a few months will bring the more convenient season—to-morrow if you will, they will attend to serious things; but the present hour is so occupied and altogether so unsuitable, that they beg to be excused.

Like sands from an hour-glass, time passes, life is wasted by driblets, and seasons of grace lost by little slumbers. Oh, to be wise, to catch the flying hour, to use the moments on the wing! May the Lord teach us this sacred wisdom, for otherwise a poverty of the worst sort awaits us, eternal poverty which shall want even a drop of water, and beg for it in vain. Like a traveller steadily pursuing his journey, poverty overtakes the slothful, and ruin overthrows the undecided: each hour brings the dreaded pursuer nearer; he pauses not by the way, for he is on his master's business and must not tarry. As an armed man enters with authority and power, so shall want come to the idle, and death to the impenitent, and there will be no escape.

O that men were wise be-times, and would seek diligently unto the Lord Jesus, or ere the solemn day shall dawn when it will be too late to plough and to sow, too late to repent and believe. In harvest, it is vain to lament that the seed time was neglected. As yet, faith and holy decision are timely. May we obtain them this night.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Romans 12 Bible Study – A Transformed And Renewed Mind
is how Christians ought to live; with a renewed and transformed mind.

The Church
The church is not a building but a body of believers called the Body of Christ, so what does God ask of His church? For one thing, it’s a great place to learn how to serve one another. That’s hard to do at home. If Romans 13 is the model of how Christians ought to relate to the world, then Romans 12 is how Christians ought to relate to one another in the Body of Christ, the church.

A Living Sacrifice: Romans 12:1-2
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Put another way, our life is to be an ongoing, living sacrifice like those of the old sacrifices given to God in the Old Testament except they are to live out their lives for God’s glory and learn how to die to self. Our lives can be a sacrifice to God. We can offer our time, energy, love, money, and prayers to God. The word for “transformed” in verse 2 is the same word that is used for the “transfigured” in the transfiguration that is recorded in Mark 9:2-9.

Who is Paul talking about in verses 1 and 2?
What are the ways in which this can be lived out?
In what specific areas have you sacrificed something for God?
Where are some of the opportunities to live this out?

Finding Your Function: Romans 12:3-8
“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Paul is saying that we are to esteem others better than ourselves and if we do, we’ll be serving within the Body and for the Body. We do this by serving others by the God-given gifts that He has given to each and every believer. There is not a believer who does not have at least one gift of the Holy Spirit or who doesn’t have a function in the church.
Who was Paul’s audience?
Are these also written to us, or at least, for us (2 Tim 3:16)?
What gift have you identified in your life?

Submitting to One Another: Romans 12:9-16
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”
Love is expressed in service. It is patient, longsuffering, not accusing, honoring others, doesn’t brag, isn’t revengeful, is harmonious, and let’s God be God and allowing Him to be judge. God is no respecter of persons and so neither should we be. God rejoices with us in our triumphs, hurts with us in our losses, mourns with us in our mourning, and celebrates with us in our victories.


Where does conceit show up?

What are the ways in which these commands can be lived out?
What is your natural response to non-believers persecution?
How does pride interfere with our fellowship?

God Will Judge: Romans 12:17-21
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
When we pay back others for persecuting us or hurting us, we sometimes take the place of God as judge and jury and executioner, but only the sovereign judge of the universe has the right and the authority to be judge over humanity.

When we take matters into our own hands, we are nothing less than a one-man vigilante crew, and nothing good ever comes from the wrath of man (James 1:20). In fact, God loved us, called us, and saved us even while we were still His enemies (Rom 5:10), so when someone hurts us, we should love them, pray for them, and forgive them because this is exactly what the grace of God is all about. We don’t give them what they deserve…we give them what they need, and that is our unmerited, and undeserved love because that’s what we received from God.
Does it help to know you’re blessed when persecuted (Matt 5:10-12)?

What is your response to those who hate you because of your belief?
What happens when we try to respond in like manner to our persecutors?

Conclusion
Jesus said it will be by our love for one another, and the same kind of love Christ had for the disciples (and us), that “all men” will know we are His disciples (John 13:34-35), so how does this love work in proving we are His disciples (Rom 5:6-10)? By loving one another in and out of the church, by loving those who hate us, and by sacrificing our lives to God to serve others, and even by praying for those who hate us, and forgiving them who don’t deserve it. These things make us more like God than at any other time in our lives. By this love that we have for one another, and for those who decidedly don’t love us, they will know that we are the children of God. And that is a powerful magnet to draw others to Christ.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
My Grace Is Sufficient For You
Proclaim the power of God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
whose power is in the skies.

You are awesome, O God,
in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and
strength to his people.
Praise be to God!

Psalm 68:34,35 NIV

__________________

In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.

Zechariah 12:8 KJV

__________________

For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4:15 NASB

__________________

They will see the glory of the LORD, The majesty of our God. Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, "Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you."

Isaiah 35:3,4 NASB

__________________

Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
“The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.”

Ephesians 1:7

Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner's ear, like the silver notes of jubilee to the captive Israelite? Blessed, for ever blessed be that dear star of pardon which shines into the condemned cell, and gives the perishing a gleam of hope amid the midnight of despair! Can it be possible that sin, such sin as mine, can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and for ever?

Hell is my portion as a sinner — there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me — can the load of guilt be uplifted, the crimson stain removed? Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed from their mortices, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? Jesus tells me that I may yet be clear. For ever blessed be the revelation of atoning love which not only tells me that pardon is possible, but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed propitiation, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and for ever, forgiven by virtue of his substitutionary pains and death.

What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to him who of his own unpurchased love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through his blood. What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! To forgive at all, to forgive fully, to forgive freely, to forgive for ever! Here is a constellation of wonders; and when I think of how great my sins were, how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me, I am in a maze of wondering worshipping affection. I bow before the throne which absolves me, I clasp the cross which delivers me, I serve henceforth all my days the Incarnate God, through whom I am this night a pardoned soul.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Salty Lightness

Every now and then, the Bible will use some word-pictures or sayings to help us get a clearer picture of the truth God wants us to understand. They really do make a lot of sense, but sometimes at first glance, it's tough to figure out what they mean.

Here's one example: "You are the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13). Huh? What does that mean? Well, let's think about it: What do we know about salt? It's a mineral that adds flavor to things. Something bland like mashed potatoes suddenly becomes a bonanza of flavor for your taste buds when you add salt. Chances are, you like salted peanuts better than unsalted. How tasty would potato chips be without salt? Let's face it: Without salt the experience of eating would be a lot less exciting.

God wants his followers to be like salt. He wants us to be his seasoning to add flavor and excitement to the world around us. When we're added to the scene, things should be tastier (that's kinda weird, but you get the point). As Christ-followers, we should add some flavor to the world. The idea that church and Christianity are boring really doesn't make sense. God wants people to get a taste of the life he offers...a salty taste that leaves them wanting a little more.

The Bible also calls us "the light of the world" (verse 14). In a real way, people who don't know God are lost...kind of like when you're in the dark and can't find your way around. God wants us to shine brightly to our friends and family who don't know him.

When God's kids are salty, they add flavor to the world. When they let their light shine, they let others see God more clearly through them.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
He is watching over us!
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.

1 Peter 3:12-14 KJV

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On the day the LORD gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended! The LORD has broken the rod of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, which in anger struck down peoples with unceasing blows, and in fury subdued nations with relentless aggression.

Isaiah 14:3-6 NIV

__________________

Then you will walk in your way securely
And your foot will not stumble.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Proverbs 3:23,24 NASB

__________________

Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
“Seeking the wealth of his people.”

Esther 10:3

Mordecai was a true patriot, and therefore, being exalted to the highest position under Ahasuerus, he used his eminence to promote the prosperity of Israel. In this he was a type of Jesus, who, upon his throne of glory, seeks not his own, but spends his power for his people. It were well if every Christian would be a Mordecai to the church, striving according to his ability for its prosperity. Some are placed in stations of affluence and influence, let them honour their Lord in the high places of the earth, and testify for Jesus before great men. Others have what is far better, namely, close fellowship with the King of kings, let them be sure to plead daily for the weak of the Lord's people, the doubting, the tempted, and the comfortless. It will redound to their honour if they make much intercession for those who are in darkness and dare not draw nigh unto the mercy seat.

Instructed believers may serve their Master greatly if they lay out their talents for the general good, and impart their wealth of heavenly learning to others, by teaching them the things of God. The very least in our Israel may at least seek the welfare of his people; and his desire, if he can give no more, shall be acceptable. It is at once the most Christlike and the most happy course for a believer to cease from living to himself. He who blesses others cannot fail to be blessed himself. On the other hand, to seek our own personal greatness is a wicked and unhappy plan of life, its way will be grievous and its end will be fatal.

Here is the place to ask thee, my friend, whether thou art to the best of thy power seeking the wealth of the church in thy neighbourhood? I trust thou art not doing it mischief by bitterness and scandal, nor weakening it by thy neglect. Friend, unite with the Lord's poor, bear their cross, do them all the good thou canst, and thou shalt not miss thy reward.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
All through the Bible we read about people who missed out on things that could have been the most amazing experiences of their lives:

* The disciples who sat in the boat watching while Peter jumped out and walked on the water toward Jesus.

* The Hebrew fighting men who wouldn't battle Goliath and instead watched as a little kid named David killed him.

* Demas, Paul's disciple, who left Paul because his priorities were all jacked.

And so many more!

Here's the question you need to ask yourself: What kind of life do I want to have? And if your choices are A) an amazing life full of excitement, adventure, meaning, and satisfaction, or B) a wimpy, boring, super-dull life that's pretty much a waste of oxygen, uh, we're confident you'd pick the first one. Please...you did, right? Okay, good.

Here's how it works: The only way to really experience the best life (that doesn't mean the easiest life, by the way), is to live completely for Jesus. Remember--Jesus invented us! Since he knows us better than anyone else--even better than we know ourselves--he's the only one who really knows what "the best life" really looks like for us.

So if you play it safe and only look out for yourself, or if you don't trust God and live the way he tells us to live, you're robbing yourself of the best life possible. And that's pretty stupid, isn't it?

Here's a faith survival tip: Don't just play around at being a Jesus-follower. Choose to be courageous in living the life Jesus wants for you!
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
How's your Conscience?
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

John 8:7,9 KJV

__________________

Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Titus 1:15-16 KJV

__________________

Be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

1 Timothy 3:8,9 NIV

__________________

Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
“O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.”

Psalm 107:8

If we complained less, and praised more, we should be happier, and God would be more glorified. Let us daily praise God for common mercies — common as we frequently call them, and yet so priceless, that when deprived of them we are ready to perish. Let us bless God for the eyes with which we behold the sun, for the health and strength to walk abroad, for the bread we eat, for the raiment we wear. Let us praise him that we are not cast out among the hopeless, or confined amongst the guilty; let us thank him for liberty, for friends, for family associations and comforts; let us praise him, in fact, for everything which we receive from his bounteous hand, for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed.

But, beloved, the sweetest and the loudest note in our songs of praise should be of redeeming love. God's redeeming acts towards his chosen are for ever the favourite themes of their praise. If we know what redemption means, let us not withhold our sonnets of thanksgiving. We have been redeemed from the power of our corruptions, uplifted from the depth of sin in which we were naturally plunged. We have been led to the cross of Christ — our shackles of guilt have been broken off; we are no longer slaves, but children of the living God, and can antedate the period when we shall be presented before the throne without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.

Even now by faith we wave the palm-branch and wrap ourselves about with the fair linen which is to be our everlasting array, and shall we not unceasingly give thanks to the Lord our Redeemer? Child of God, canst thou be silent? Awake, awake, ye inheritors of glory, and lead your captivity captive, as ye cry with David, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.” Let the new month begin with new songs.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
SURPRISE YOUR FAMILY


When was the last time you surprised your family in a positive way? I'm sure you have examples of unpleasant surprises, but when was the last time you went out of your way to serve your family? I challenge you to look for ways to serve your family. Yep...your family! Leadership isn't just about serving people you're not related to. Serving with a ministry motive should include your family, too.

When you do your chores without being asked or place the needs of other family members before your own, you serve your family. When your parents have an exceptionally busy week and come home to a clean house, you've chosen an excellent way to serve them and relieve their stress. (Unless, of course--just in case my daughter reads this book--you threw away something your dad left out that he really needed!) When the lawn gets mowed, when the driveway gets swept, when you put away the laundry, when you do anything that takes a project off your parents' to-do list, you are serving them.

You may read this and say, "I do all of these things, and my parents still complain." Let me suggest that you help out before they ask you to. Then ask occasionally if there's anything you can do to help around the house. Now, you'd better know CPR just in case their hearts stop.

Earlier in this chapter I wrote about the power of upward influence. Serving your family is upward influence in action. If you do what you need to do before you're asked and do it with a positive attitude, eventually, you'll begin to have a positive influence on your family.

Family wounds are not easily or quickly healed. It takes persistent care and consistent, positive attitudes to develop a pattern of trust and changed character. If you want a healthy family, develop a servant's heart toward yours. Having a healthy family is worth the work and patience needed to take these steps. It's not easy, but it's important.


 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Fear Not!
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

Psalm 91:4-6 NIV

__________________

I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

Isaiah 51:12 KJV

__________________

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:37-39 NASB

__________________

From six calamities he will rescue you;
in seven no harm will befall you.

In famine he will ransom you from death,
and in battle from the stroke of the sword.

You will be protected from the lash of the tongue,
and need not fear when destruction comes.

You will laugh at destruction and famine,
and need not fear the beasts of the earth.

For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field,
and the wild animals will be at peace with you.

Job 5:19-23

__________________

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,

My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.

Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;

Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

Psalm 27:1-3 NKJV

__________________

Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
“Even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.”

Romans 8:23

This groaning is universal among the saints: to a greater or less extent we all feel it. It is not the groan of murmuring or complaint: it is rather the note of desire than of distress. Having received an earnest, we desire the whole of our portion; we are sighing that our entire manhood, in its trinity of spirit, soul, and body, may be set free from the last vestige of the fall; we long to put off corruption, weakness, and dishonour, and to wrap ourselves in incorruption, in immortality, in glory, in the spiritual body which the Lord Jesus will bestow upon his people. We long for the manifestation of our adoption as the children of God.

“We groan,” but it is “within ourselves.” It is not the hypocrite's groan, by which he would make men believe that he is a saint because he is wretched. Our sighs are sacred things, too hallowed for us to tell abroad. We keep our longings to our Lord alone. Then the apostle says we are “waiting,” by which we learn that we are not to be petulant, like Jonah or Elijah, when they said, “Let me die”; nor are we to whimper and sigh for the end of life because we are tired of work, nor wish to escape from our present sufferings till the will of the Lord is done.

We are to groan for glorification, but we are to wait patiently for it, knowing that what the Lord appoints is best. Waiting implies being ready. We are to stand at the door expecting the Beloved to open it and take us away to himself. This “groaning” is a test. You may judge of a man by what he groans after. Some men groan after wealth—they worship Mammon; some groan continually under the troubles of life—they are merely impatient; but the man who sighs after God, who is uneasy till he is made like Christ, that is the blessed man. May God help us to groan for the coming of the Lord, and the resurrection which he will bring to us.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Six Major Attributes Of God


What are six of the greatest attributes of God? Is it love, mercy, longsuffering, or something else?
God is Holy
God is love (1 John 4:8), is longsuffering (2 Peter 3:9), is patient (2 Pet 3:15), is full of grace (Eph 2:8), and is merciful (Luke 6:36), but perhaps the greatest attribute of God, above all other attributes, is that God is holy. In fact, the only time an attribute of God is mentioned three times is about His holiness. It is never said that God is love, love, love or God is merciful, merciful, merciful, or God is faithful, faithful, faithful, although He is all of these. When something of significance is mentioned, or when there is a sign of intimacy, something is often mentioned twice. For example, Jesus said, “Verily, verily,” but also said, “Simon, Simon,” and “Saul, Saul,” so in the Hebrew, if something or someone is mentioned twice, it was intended to get their full attention.

It is also a sign of an intimate relationship, like with Moses, Moses, and Abraham, Abraham. The point is, mentioning something twice was intended to give the reader or listener the sense that this a very important point…somewhat like an exclamation point would be, so when Jesus would say, “Verily, verily,” what followed had great significance. With that in mind, Isaiah saw a vision in which God was on His throne, and it must have been a vision because no human can actually see God and live (Ex 33:20), but Isaiah “saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him [God] were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory“ (Isaiah 6:1-3).

Perhaps these angles have their feet covered because they were on holy ground, as with Moses’ case when he met God in the burning bush. With the other two wings they covered their faces, possibly because even the holy angels cannot look at God close up and live, and with the other two wings, they flew or hovered over the throne of God. The number three does denote divine perfection, and God’s holiness is displayed in His righteous judgments in the Old Testament, but even today, God has not changed (Heb 3:8), and since God does not change, Peter quotes the Old Testament command (Lev 11:44) that “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet 1:16).

The Self-Existent One
In Exodus 3:14, God revealed His name to Moses as “I AM,” or the Self-Existent One. It could be thought of as, “I AM that I AM.” The Hebrew word is Hayah is and means “I AM What I AM,” or “I Will Be What I Will Be.” In the medieval Jewish tradition, “I will be what I will be” is one of the Seven Names of God. The verb Hayah can also mean, “to be, to become, come to pass, to abide (forever), remain, and be in existence.” [2] God’s name is perfectly fitting since there is no outside cause for His existence as He has always existed and has no need of anything to continue to exist. Many Bible Scholars believe “I AM Who I AM” is the best translation of all [3], because like God, He never changes, and has been, is, and always will be (Ex 3:15). [4] This is what so angered the religious leaders when Jesus kept referring to Himself as “I AM,” particularly in the Seven I AM’s found in the Gospel of John (John 6:35).

Omnipotent God
God is also omnipotent. He told Moses “I stretch forth mine hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them” (Ex 7:5a). This omnipotence was mightily displayed in the fire, thunder and hail, the locusts, the boils, the utter darkness, and all of the plagues whereby “the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt”(7:5b). Even those “among the servants of Pharaoh [who] hurried his slaves and his livestock into the houses,” understood that God has power to bring about whatever He speaks (Ex 9:20). Jesus too displayed His omnipotence in calming the storm (Mark 4:35-41), in withering the unproductive fig tree (Mark 11:20-26), and in resurrecting Lazarus from the dead (John 11). In fact, if Jesus had not specifically mentioned Lazarus by name, I believe that all who were in their graves would have come out of their graves because Jesus Word has effectual power

A Consuming Fire
Another of God’s attributes is found in Exodus, chapters 1-19. For much of the time, God is a burning or consuming fire. Certainly wherever He abides is holy ground, but He frequently appears as a burning pillar of fire or consuming fire which He did before Moses in the burning bush (Ex 3:2-5). He was later seen as that pillar of fire witnessed by Israel in the Wilderness (Ex 13:21), and fire is seen as an active manifestation of His presence, and where He was known to the other nations. When God made a covenant (“a cutting”) with Abraham, (Gen 15:17), He appeared as a consuming. Jesus also describes fire as part of God’s righteous judgment (Mark 9:43-48), and in the final consummation of His holy wrath in the Revelation of Jesus Christ (20:14; 21:8). The fiery judgment is significant because it displays His anger against sin and that He is uncompromising in His attribute of holy perfection (Jude 1:7), but also intended be a warning to “flee from the wrath to come” (Luke 3:7c; Matt 3:7c).

Merciful God
Mercy is one of God’s attributes that stands out more to those who have trusted in Christ than matters to the world in general. Even though many see Him as a harsh and judgmental God in the Old Testament, and radically different from the God of the New Testament where God is seen as a loving and caring God, should read the Book of Revelation and see if they still think that way. The fact is that when the people grumbled against Moses in (Ex 16:2-4), God had every right to extinguish them on the spot; instead He sent them “bread from heaven” (Ex 16:4) in His great mercy.

As a merciful God, He heard Israel’s cry during their oppressive treatment under the heavy yoke of their Egyptian bondage. This cry moved Him to free them (Ex 2:23-24), and God gave Pharaoh ample opportunity to release Israel before God sending His plagues (or “strikes,” as the Hebrew says). [5] On the cross, Jesus epitomized the mercy of God, saying “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:24). No human can fathom such mercy, and we might not even think about the suffering the Father had to endure in watching His One and only Son go through this. Imagine a parent seeing their child go through that. Truly the Father suffered too, but the cross was motivated out of love, and in this love, shows up as mercy.

Omniscient God
Another of God’s attributes is that of His omniscience which is displayed throughout the Bible. In one case, He is named for His attribute, like as El Roi, as the “God Who Sees Me.” [6] That’s because God knows the beginning from the end, and what will come to pass before it does. How else could He say to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for with a strong hand he will send them out, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land” (Ex 6:1), but also declare that “Pharaoh will not listen to you” (Ex 7:4a) which did end up happening. Jesus as God is also omniscient as “he knew all people” (John 2:24), knew the exact time of His crucifixion (John 17:1), who would betray Him (John 13:11), and even how He would be betrayed, as we see when Jesus tells Judas to do what he has to do quickly (John 13:27). Jesus knew well in advance that one of His own disciples would deny Him, (Mark 14:30), even though that disciple (Peter) said he was willing to die for the Lord.

Conclusion
Of course, God is also love, but that shows up in His mercy, so it’s comforting to know that God does not change. He never has a bad day. His attributes remain the same forever, and humans have an attribute that doesn’t change either…it’s called the sinful nature (Rom 3:10-12, 23), but even that God can change by His Spirit, but we can be thankful that God does not change, like He saved us through Christ, but He changed His mind. No, God never changes, and neither does the Word of God. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

That is still true. God cannot lie (Heb 6:18; Num 23:19). Jesus is the one and only way (Acts 4:12), today, and forever. Whatever attribute you think is the greatest, they cannot be separated from one another and rated, and they are all equally important in the sense that God is perfectly holy, is self-sufficient and self-existent, and He is also omnipotent, a consuming fire, merciful, and omniscient, but thankfully, God is still drawing men and women to Himself through Christ (John 6:44), so today may be the best day for your salvation (2 Cor 6:2), particularly since there is no guarantee about tomorrow.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
What of our Enemies?
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:10-12 NIV

__________________

When a man's ways are pleasing to the LORD, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him. Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice.

Proverbs 16:7,8 NIV

__________________

But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

Psalm 37:39,40 KJV

__________________

Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
“And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.”

Zechariah 1:20

In the vision described in this chapter, the prophet saw four terrible horns. They were pushing this way and that way, dashing down the strongest and the mightiest; and the prophet asked, “What are these?” The answer was, “These are the horns which have scattered Israel.” He saw before him a representation of those powers which had oppressed the church of God. There were four horns; for the church is attacked from all quarters. Well might the prophet have felt dismayed; but on a sudden there appeared before him four carpenters. He asked, “What shall these do?”

These are the men whom God hath found to break those horns in pieces. God will always find men for his work, and he will find them at the right time. The prophet did not see the carpenters first, when there was nothing to do, but first the “horns,” and then the “carpenters.” Moreover, the Lord finds enough men. He did not find three carpenters, but four; there were four horns, and there must be four workmen. God finds the right men; not four men with pens to write; not four architects to draw plans; but four carpenters to do rough work.

Rest assured, you who tremble for the ark of God, that when the “horns” grow troublesome, the “carpenters” will be found. You need not fret concerning the weakness of the church of God at any moment; there may be growing up in obscurity the valiant reformer who will shake the nations: Chrysostoms may come forth from our Ragged Schools, and Augustines from the thickest darkness of London's poverty. The Lord knows where to find his servants. He hath in ambush a multitude of mighty men, and at his word they shall start up to the battle; “for the battle is the Lord's,” and he shall get to himself the victory. Let us abide faithful to Christ, and he, in the right time, will raise up for us a defence, whether it be in the day of our personal need, or in the season of peril to his Church.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
Finding God’s Will To Do God’s Will


God’s will is not all hidden from us. God reveals His will in His Word so we can both find the will of God and act on the will of God.

God’s Will and Ours – Matthew 6
When we pray, we must pray for God’s will above our own since His will is perfect and our will is less than perfect. He sees the future; we see only now and what is past. If left to ourselves, we’d do what we think is right, but our ways are not God’s ways, and what we think is not exactly what God thinks (Isaiah 55:8-9). It might seem right to us, but it can end up being wrong (Prov 14:12; 21:2), so the disciples, seeing Jesus’ intense prayer life, ask Him how they ought to pray, and Jesus taught them to give God the glory, first and foremost (Matt 6:9), and for the kingdom to come, so those are the first things we see that are the Father’s will. That’s not hard to find at all! Pray for God’s will to be done (Matt 6:10), particularly in our life, so it’s not about changing God’s will, but about finding God’s will, and then doing it.

Discerning God’s Will – Romans 12
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:1-2). A believer is better equipped to discern the will of God when they’re not conformed to this world, but rather transformed by a renewed mind. The word used for “transformed” is essentially the same as was used in the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus was transfigured (Greek, “metamorphoo”), meaning “to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure,” so discerning the will of God involves a metamorphosis of sorts…and changed or transformed minds, and that comes when we become new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17).

Knowing God’s Will – 1st Peter 2
You cannot know the will of God without reading the Word of God, so knowing God’s Word helps us to find His will for our lives. Looking to Jesus and His teachings also helps us to find God’s will since Jesus always did the will of the Father (John 5:19, 6:38, 8:29), so we already know that living a life that pleases God, like not living in the flesh, is the will of God. God’s will is not something He hides from us or some mystery we must figure out. It is found in the Word, and found in Christ. For example, we see the heart of God in the Apostle Peter’s writing that it “is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:15-16). It’s very easy to see God’s will in this.

Living God’s Will – 2 Peter 3
It’s good to know God’s will, but that’s only a starting point. You can know how to assemble something after you’ve read the directions, but reading the directions doesn’t mean anything until you’ve put it all together, and so it is with the will of God. The Bible reveals that God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4), and that “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). The question then becomes, since this is the desire of the Father, is this our desire too? Do we desire that none of our neighbors, family, friends, or co-workers perish apart from Christ? Of course we do, but do we remain silent, underground Christians who are afraid to confess Christ before others? That’s not God’s will.

Accepting God’s Will – Romans 8
If Jesus had not accepted God’s will, we would still be in our sins today, and we’d die in our sins, and that means the wrath of God would be abiding on us for all time, but the good news is so good because Jesus came to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). Jesus prayed three times to have the cup of Calvary removed, but still went to the cross because He knew it was the will of the Father. When we know God’s will, even though it is painful at times, we still must do it, but we also know that always brings about the best good for us. All things will work to the good (Rom 8:28), but that doesn’t mean it will always feel good or look good. In fact, it may look just the opposite, but accepting God’s will show God that we trust Him.

Doing God’s Will – 1 Thessalonians 5
If we could interview the Apostle Paul and ask him for a quote from his letter to the Thessalonians about what God’s will is, he would clearly say, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:16-18). Christians give thanks to God for all of the good things He’s done, and that’s a lot, but it’s actually God’s will for us to be thankful at all times, no matter what the circumstances are. Giving thanks in all circumstances, both good and bad, is the will of God.

Conclusion
Finding the will of God is not enough. We must act on the will of God. It is those who are doers of the Word that are doing God’s will (Matt 25:34-40). We must find God’s will, which is found in Scripture, then we must act on God’s will, which we’re commanded in Scripture, and give the glory to God, which is stated in Scripture, for God says, “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols” (Isaiah 42:8), so fellow believer, I hope it is your will too “that they may know that [God] alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth” (Psalm 83:18). Is that your will too?
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
ee!)
Looking to the Word
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

1 Peter 2:2-3 KJV

__________________

How sweet are Your words to my taste!
Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
From Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
I have sworn and I will confirm it,
That I will keep Your righteous ordinances.

Psalm 119:103-106 NASB

__________________

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.

Psalm 119:9-11 NASB

__________________

Thanks be unto God for His wonderful gift:
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God
is the object of our faith; the only faith
that saves is faith in Him.
 

beensetfree

Alfrescian (InfP)
Generous Asset
“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

Romans 9:15

In these words the Lord in the plainest manner claims the right to give or to withhold his mercy according to his own sovereign will. As the prerogative of life and death is vested in the monarch, so the Judge of all the earth has a right to spare or condemn the guilty, as may seem best in his sight. Men by their sins have forfeited all claim upon God; they deserve to perish for their sins — and if they all do so, they have no ground for complaint. If the Lord steps in to save any, he may do so if the ends of justice are not thwarted; but if he judges it best to leave the condemned to suffer the righteous sentence, none may arraign him at their bar.

Foolish and impudent are all those discourses about the rights of men to be all placed on the same footing; ignorant, if not worse, are those contentions against discriminating grace, which are but the rebellions of proud human nature against the crown and sceptre of Jehovah. When we are brought to see our own utter ruin and ill desert, and the justice of the divine verdict against sin, we no longer cavil at the truth that the Lord is not bound to save us; we do not murmur if he chooses to save others, as though he were doing us an injury, but feel that if he deigns to look upon us, it will be his own free act of undeserved goodness, for which we shall for ever bless his name.

How shall those who are the subjects of divine election sufficiently adore the grace of God? They have no room for boasting, for sovereignty most effectually excludes it. The Lord's will alone is glorified, and the very notion of human merit is cast out to everlasting contempt. There is no more humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election, none more promotive of gratitude, and, consequently, none more sanctifying. Believers should not be afraid of it, but adoringly rejoice in it.
 
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