Taking Gods Nature

Abundance of Christ likeness

Developing The Right Attitude

Making The Right Choice

Striving To Be Good

Christlike love    

Growing In  Faith    


 The Goodness Of God

Constantly Learning  

 Exercising The Love Of Christ

Recognition of Christ

 The Starting Line

Controlling How You React

Imitating Christ

Searching For God


 Lets make it absolutely clear partaking in his nature takes an determine effort on your part to take steps toward becoming Christlike. The bible tells us to make every effort to add to your faith, to make every effort to enter through the narrow door and to make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

In this information age many know the plan that God has for the people who live in the world. While the information written about God is growing by the minute, the interest for that information appears to be on the decline. Still there are some that want to know what they need to do to go to heaven.

Within the links above are a few of the precious promises of God that help you to know what to do. These promises help you to escape the corruption of the world caused by its evil desires. God gave us his promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature.

The first promise will make your election a sure thing, which allows you to risk everything for the prize. Secondly, God says you will never stumble. It’s good to know that people will respect you and admire your effort to be god like. Thirdly, something that needs not be explained because it is a rich welcome into eternal life.

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Abundance of Christ likeness

Ignorance towards God leads to a horrible death so knowing God and what he expects is crucial.  Its not because there is a shortage of information about God, but man has been kept busy obtaining the things of the world and enjoying life to its fullest. Life is such that the world is able to believe there is no need for God? Man has the knowledge and the technologies of the world to keep him busy thinking about how he can make his own life comfortable. The ironic part of life is that man knows that God exists and what he is capable of doing, but they are not interested in finding out more about God.

Unfortunately men make plans without any consideration that God has plans of his own, plans that contradict those made by man. Man doesn’t see that life exists from God’s perspective, but from the day of conception to the time that his life is spent, God is involved with the life of all men. Because men tend to disregard God, they are not overly concerned with information to make an informed decision about eternity. Instead, their ears are open to the rumors and assumptions made by other men who don’t know anymore than they do about God.  

  God has a plan for your life that begins with hearing God’s plan and his commitment to save you from the sin that will eventually bring your life to ruin. When you listen to God you will learn that God’s goals are within your grasp and by working with God you will receive eternal life. God is closer to reaching his goal than most people think, because not everyone is ready for the reward that is based on what you have done with your life. God has openly proclaimed his plans to man for the future and revealed his requirements for man so he may obtain the best that God has to offer.

Plans that work always start out with sound information designed to achieve the desired result. If man desires to go to heaven, then he must have accurate map and a sure way to go to heaven.  The second step of any plan is his personal commitment of putting that information into practical use. God will demonstrate his commitment by adopting you, which means you, must take being God’s child to heart. Christians enter the kingdom of God as a newly born child, thus the born again experience.  In addition, the Holy Spirit will be with you constantly to guide you as you grow in the Lord.  

In God’s mind success, prosperity, and productivity is not measured in dollars and cents. God has plans for his Kingdom and he needs people with characteristics like Jesus Christ willing to accomplish the outcome God desires. Because God thinks differently than man, he also has a different concept of what life is and how to achieve a positive outcome from his efforts. In God’s mind, real success in life is to have an abundance of life that you can share life with others.

 We as men forget that God has given us a mind to use and a plan to work. Good plans are hard to come by and one that has proven to work in the past are worth their weight in gold. However, this is one plan that you have to accept by faith, based on the character of its origin. God’s plan is one that you must accept based on your confidence in the truth of his word and that God is capable of doing what he says he will do.  As God’s child, you have been given the opportunity to participate in the many promises of God. God knows what he can do and what he has promised man but he requires evidence of your faith, even if it is only as big as a mustard seed. Faith requires you believe what God said is true and when you ask him to do things for you, know that your request will be done.

Why seek God or obey him if you did not believe he existed? The Bible tells us that man is without excuse because God has made himself clearly understood by the things he created. However, the word of God seems to contradict the ways of the world and obeying God’s word lacks the assurance that his promises will work. Trusting in an unseen God takes faith that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him.

Believe it or not, not everything you do demands that you have God’s permission. However, every promise of God demands that you obey him to develop a Christ like character. When you obey God you take the “I can do all things in Christ attitude” which gives you a positive outlook on life.

On the other hand, can you trust people who lie to you, steal your stuff, or destroy the things you own?    God will teach you to live with dignity and to respect others by loving them, as you want to be loved.  The Godly perspective of morality is concerned with how your deeds affect the lives of other people.  The character God asks you to develop is the same traits Jesus Christ had to build relationships that will last a lifetime.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

The Characteristics listed in Philippians 4:8 are things people admire in others and worthy of being respected. Listed above are a few of the qualities that God wants to develop in each of his children.  Other qualities include moral excellence, virtuousness, genuine love, sincerity, generosity and being loyalty to one another.

In reality kindness is an act of being good to others without considering how others feel about you. Jesus said, do to others what you would have them do to you, as a basic rule to live by. Being kind is motivation people understand and respond to. When you consider what goes around, comes around, it’s not a bad precept to live by. Being good to anyone is sowing the seeds that will reap your well being in return.

Men suffer through times of pain, sorrow, pleasure and times when everything turns sour. Unfortunately, even in the best of times we respond to others by overwhelming them with our feelings. Passions can control our actions, therefore, we must be determined to control our emotions. The child of God must learn to rule their life in a manner God wants his children to develop.  If our disposition is to agree with the commandments of God then must learn God’s perspective and learn to reflect the attitude of love.

The children of God must carry themselves in a manner befitting their father in Heaven. We are the ambassadors of the kingdom of God on earth and represent our Lord to anyone wanting to go to heaven. Though we live in the world, we must avoid worldly passions and put the craving for the things of this world aside. Recruiting Kings and Priests for the Kingdom of God requires a higher priority than owning a palace in a foreign land. We must remember that the Israelites lived in tents until they entered the promise land and God remained in his tent until David secured the promise land. Let us also remember that Christ kept himself busy doing the will of God to the moment of his death.

God has given you a choice that allows you to do anything you want. However, God has warned you ahead time that you are responsible for your choices. Take the time to think things out before you act on them. For example is this the way God would want you to do it?   Then make every effort to do everything you have planned to do.

Normally major goals are a combination of jobs that need to be done and planning helps to make each task count. Every completed job makes the overall goal closer to being done and they accumulate until the goal is reached. Goals can not be achieved unless all the work is done. However, there are times when everything you planned to do becomes a wasted effort and all you want to do is go home and cry. Unfortunately, going home does not get the things you need done. Regardless of how tough things can get you have to keep working for your goals to thrive.  

Those who read the first chapter of 2 Peter have a plan to escape the corruption of this world. Peter encouraged the reader to add the qualities of godliness, faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love to their character. These qualities will take a combination of time and effort to develop and should be worked on simultaneous. You live in a corrupted world and these qualities will be needed every day of your life. Plan to work on these qualities for the rest of your life because the corruption of the world will affect you the rest of your life.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Can you imagine what has transpired in God’s lifetime? What has God experienced that gives God reason to think in the manner he does? Does his manner of thinking come from being immortal? God has refined every quality of his character to perfection and I can’t imagine that it happened overnight. God has learned how to achieve his goals and is willing to help you achieve yours. When you are immortal you soon learn that things come and go and fads also come and go, but relationships can last forever. When you stop and think about life, life would be down right horrible without someone to share it with. Perhaps this was the reason God chose a life of being morally pure where he is concerned over how his deeds affect those in his sphere of influence and why he made love his disposition.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

God gave man the benefit of his power, love, and self-discipline when he gave the Holy Spirit to man. The Holy Spirit lives in man as a mentor, raising God’s children in the admonition of the Lord. Whatever you want to call it, obeying God’s word brings forth the following qualities.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

God gave man his spirit to develop the personal qualities for each of his children so they would be more like Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ did not endure a dull life, but had an exciting life helping others find the true life found in God the Father. One has to ponder the thoughts of God’s plan to nurture his children into the image of his son. Does possessing these qualities keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ?  Are those qualities responsible for being fruitful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ? One thing is certain knowledge does not make things happen, knowledge only gives you a basis to tell you what to do. Peter’s plan is not complete as the precious promises of God are scattered throughout God’s word.

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if any of you do not have them, you are nearsighted and blind, and you have forgotten that you have been cleansed from your past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 2 Peter 1:8-10

  Peter is asking you to take possession of these qualities in increasing measure. What Peter is saying is that by learning and doing what these qualities demand of you, you will develop the Characteristics of Jesus Christ.  You won’t learn these qualities by doing them once and they will not become natural qualities over night. What Peter is saying is that you have to make every effort to adopt these qualities. Repetition is the builder of skills and developing these qualities into a Christ like life takes work. Increasing these qualities in increasing measure will turn you into a professing Christian with the skills of a professional tradesman, an ambassador and workman approved by God.

Unfortunately all too many know God’s plan and are still ineffective and unproductive. Knowing God’s plan does not put his plan into effect. God wants you to adopt his qualities of grace by refining the measure of the qualities that God has given you. To ensure this process God has given his children his promise that he will help you. God does not want anyone to perish, but at the same time he is not going to do everything for you. You have to make the choice to adopt these qualities and use them to God’s glory.

We have the promise of God that if we participate with God and his promises we can escape the corruption of the world. You live in a world that does not concern itself with the well being of other people and ever increasingly make the world a more difficult place to live in. By obeying God we develop the concern for the needs of other people and their rights to a life of happiness. At the same time obeying God is the best way you can affect the world in a positive manner. As Christian we need to leave a mark on the world that says God was here. In reading God’s plan of 2 Peter 1:3-11 you will learn of three other promises associated with adopting the qualities of productive people.

The first promise is that you will make your election a sure thing and a promise that enables you to risk everything you have for the prize. Secondly, God says you will never stumble. It’s a blessing to know that people respect you for your chosen personality. They stand back admiring your life, having a burning desire for your attitude and your ability to face the problems of life. Thirdly, something that needs no explanation.

You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2 Peter 1:11

 You have God’s promise. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Christ like Love 

It is difficult to say that love is life, when the love of Christ demands that you place a higher value on the lives of other people. The least one can say is God desires that you have change of mind regarding the way you treat other people. Among those changes are honoring one another above yourself, being meek, forgiving, patient, kind, and keeping control of your anger.  Yet, life without love would certainly turn you into a hermit with no desire for human relationships. The majority of people want to make a difference in the world or at least leave a mark on those living around them. However, to make the world a better place for your children to live in, you need to develop relationships with other people.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Having a relationship with God is necessary as he works in you to produce fruit in your life so essential to Christian living. Love is a choice to exercise consideration for the needs of God and other people. Therefore, the fruit of the Spirit is produced over time with experience as you follow the footprints of Jesus Christ. Your relationship with God affects the way you think and gives you a desire to obey God which overtime produces the fruit of love.

Loving God and obeying him go hand in hand.

"If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15

Love is also a two way street in that love given and be returned for it to have any value. Look at the third commandment to see the importance of good relationship with God. The children of those who hate God are punished but God demonstrates his love to a thousand generations of those who love and obey him.  

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:5-6

The second commandment shows a different kind of love affect by how you love God.

You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3

What if your spouse loved another person more than you. Wouldn’t you feel betrayed and question their loyalty and wouldn’t your feelings for them change radically in a split second? Any betrayal on the part of your spouse demolishes your love enough to completely reverse the choice to love them altogether. In a split second the choice to love changes radically and like Amnon son of David made a rash, but passionate choice to hate Tamar more than he loved her.

  Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. 2 Samuel 13:15

The same is true when you promise to serve God the rest of your life, but worshipping other gods tells God that you love another god. Loving another god is a demonstration of your affection that will put a wedge between you and God and will lead to separation. Divorce is the dissolving of relationship you have and ultimately destroy your faith in a close friend. Divorce is often treated like treason in which you make war against your spouse betraying the trust and intimacy you once had .

Love turned to hatred changes the attitude for the welfare of another person to a choice demanding justice for your pain and suffering. More often hatred gives you the desire to make others feel your pain several times over.  On the other hand Love bears the pain, suffers the wrong and endures the struggle to survive together. God shows his concern over man’s well being in the plans he has for mankind.

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.  Jeremiah 29:11

Christians that understand God’s plan of Salvation are also acquainted with God’s plan to dwell with men and has prepared a place for them in the next life. Christians hold God’s plan as the hope of Glory and based on faith expect to inherit eternal life and to be able to walk on the streets of Gold. Eternal Life gives us a hope and a future to look forward to rather than having no hope at all.

The plan of salvation was initiated before time began which included Adam and Eve when sin entered the world through them. His plan became evident as he spoke to the serpent saying,

  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15

God was revealing his plan to send his son to reconcile man to God. It is also written;

   "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Again God that he has man’s best interest in mind through the revelation that anyone who believes in his son will not perish. Man has been given a way to be reconciled to God through accepting Jesus Christ as their savior. However, God demands justice against the sins of the world and has devised a plan to resolve the sin issue.

   Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Samuel 14:14

God sent his son to take our place, to pay the price with his blood, to ransom our soul, to proclaim good news and give freedom to prisoners. He was sent, to recovery of sight of the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor. God demonstrated

 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

God chose to forgive your sin and have a change of heart for those wanting to be forgiven. When one seeks forgiveness from God, he or she is also seeking to restore a broken relationship. Everything the sinner did in the past that affects their relationship with God has been put aside and forgotten by choice. Loves chooses to endure the pain of broken relationships for a new and deeper relationship that understand you have no intention to harm them in the future. Keeping your relationships intact demands forgiveness when you know that you will live forever.

 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:13-15

Love is demonstration of your commitment to serve the well being of other people. This is particularly true in a personal relationship that God is seeking with you. Love is a commitment of trust that both parties share in the relationship. However, love is fragile in every relationship that can easily break the relationship apart with mistrust.  Actions speak louder than words. The damage that tears relationships apart seldom brings harm to the flesh.  The pain goes much deeper to strike the heart that controls personal pride, thought and behavior.

Love is built around the characteristics you admire the most, honesty, sincerity and truth. Actions that deprive the love of your life of these qualities affect how they react towards you. Once you lie about your partner, he or she will have a change of heart about you that affects their behavior towards you. Forgiveness is the only way to rectify the relationship but even then it still takes time for the wounds to heal.   

Jesus gave mankind the golden rule to follow as an example of what love is. In its simplicity we are to do to others what we want them to do to us. This rule is similar to sowing and reaping in that what you sow is what you reap. We need to remember that we need forgiveness occasionally due to our sin nature and that we are inherently selfish. We don’t always consider our actions before we implement them and hurt other people.

  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

The characteristics listed above are found in Jesus Christ. God’s love for mankind is a controlled love that has made him a slave to those who love him. Love can not be forced on to anyone because it is as much a choice to receive as it is to give. From this point of view you can understand that even though God loves the person that wants nothing to do with him, granting him his wish is a demonstration of his love.

However, there is another side of love, one that doesn’t reach outward, it seeks it’s own welfare. No one appreciates those who want to be the center attraction. When they associate with you all you hear about are what they want from you. This is an self-centered love.  These people treat you in such a way that you wonder if you are there to serve their needs.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

In a nutshell Paul is giving you a list of things you can do and develop to effectively love one another. Developing the qualities of love listed in the passage above is critical to keep and preserve strong relationships which demonstrate the love you have towards other people.  

   I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:19

Among the keys of the kingdom of heaven you will find the greatest command of God to love.  Love is also the thoughtful attention you give another, an appreciation of affection and the esteem and deep regard you have for one another. Love is a relationship that binds people together and develops respect for another person. Love commands respect and trust due others, but also seeks ways to sustain and nourish a sound reason to love everyone. In conclusion love is a relationship that binds you to God and God to you.

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Constantly Learning

In America, the right to an education is a standard that has been legislated into law by the people for every child in our nation. The law of our land demands that children must attend school after a certain age to be educated in the basic sciences of the world. Being able to read and write does wonders, but the outcome of basic education gives America the highest living standard in the world. Our standard of living is the main reason why so many want to live in America.

Because America leads the world in technology, students from around the globe come to America for an education. Knowledge gives you the power to succeed anywhere in the world. However, the world has it’s eyes glued upon the things of the world that knowledge enables men to obtain. Knowledge gives you the ability to earn because knowledge creates the know how to do things repetitively. America’s knowledge of economics is driven into the mind of the workforce by a number of means. Everything from how to produce more at the workplace to the best stock option to buy at your local bank.

Knowledge is essential in a land where the people have been deceived into believing that wealth brings happiness. However, the knowledge that brought wealth also brought misery and despair to those bled dry with greed. Wealth also increases the amount of goods one can buy, but criminals follow the trail of excess where things can be stolen easier. From this America has learned that both good and evil can come from knowledge, but the world is spending a lot of money to keep what they have gained.

American schools do not teach social skills or how to get along with other people? Employers only teach their staff how to handle problems in the workplace because of the legal battles taken place in our nation’s courtrooms. Training in social skills is left to the functional family unit.

It is written Christians learn that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. The lack of knowledge is a silent destroyer of the human spirit but the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom is the mainstay of the believer. Where would Christians be without the name of God and the knowledge of the Kingdom of God?

When Peter said to add to goodness, knowledge, he wasn’t talking about a variety of worldly things, but spiritual precepts. In the spiritual realms the beginning of Knowledge has always began with the fear of the Lord. Within the spiritual realm there is one God that all men will give an account of his life to.

Sooner or later every human being must come to grips that they are possessions of God. God owns everything under the sun, which includes everything on the planet of earth.  Because of this, God has the right to determine your eternal destiny good or bad. Therefore, applying your knowledge of God to your life will help God make the choice that determines where you will spend your eternal life. With such a right, God deserves the right to be held in awe and reverence.

When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he used the words – hallowed be thy name. Jesus taught his disciples to consider the name of God as sacred item, while Moses taught the Israelites not to blaspheme his name.  Throughout the Bible, the names of God spoke more of the character of God and revealed his grace to his followers. Because of God’s majesty and holiness, his person arouses the respect and reverence in those who worship and serve him. Reverence is giving respect to those respect is due to and is demonstrated to dignitaries, royalty and people in authority such as to the president by the honor paid in addressing his person. Our knowledge of God, his love for man, his titles, his Character, his authority and creative abilities exceed all that the man could ever hope to achieve. He is worthy of man deepest respect, glory, and honor because he gave his only son to save the world from the coming wrath.

When you look at the testimony of recent converts you hear the words “when I found out.” This testimony tells you that that person was ignorant of God’s plan of salvation that is, until the good news was revealed and he heard the way to be saved. The knowledge of the kingdom of God has been entrusted to his children and at the same time his children have become God’s ambassadors to the world.   

 Adding knowledge to goodness has benefits to the Christian that is seen in comparison of the following verses.

my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; Hosea 4:6

Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. Ecclesiastes 7:12

What you don’t know about God will destroy your life, but knowing God preserves the lives of those loves and lives by his wisdom. The majority of people have an education in the United States, but that knowledge is limited to what they need to earn a living. While most Americans know that God exists they do not pursue the knowledge they need to be saved. Some are saved, but do not pursue God further and live with only a portion of God’s truth.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Romans 1:21

 The world knows how the spirit realm is supposed to work, but they know the real world works entirely different. Dismayed with what they see, they reject God and his ways because the wickedness of human beings who are suppressing the truth. The knowledge of God works in the real world, but you have to look for the underlining reasons to see the ways of God at work. The man that knows the person of God, knows that God is life and he sustains the life he created.  

Knowledge is essential to life and the bible has much to say about the knowledge of God

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Psalms 19:1-3

Human beings have no excuse not to know that the world was created and created by a person of intelligence. Every living creature has a mate something science can not explain through evolution so the design of nature speaks of a plan. It is not hard to see God’s signature is on everything he created when you recognize God.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

Through the written history of God as told by Moses we learn that Man does not live on bread alone. Man’s life is enriched and sustained by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. The words coming from the mouth of God provides the knowledge man needs to live with other people and have an acceptable life in the eyes of God.

Because of the way some live, it’s clear that man does not know they are suppressing the truth by clinging to the way of the world. On the other hand Christians know that God is the source of all knowledge and have learned to ask God for the wisdom to survive the problems of life. God is willing to give you the knowledge you need without pointing out your failings.  

Some of the things God has in store for his children are to wonderful to know, but knowledge has the power to puff up one’s ego. God has his reasons for not giving man complete knowledge in everything. However, if you need to know anything, ask God because he is willing to give you the wisdom you need generously without finding fault in you.

The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17

Those who take advantage of the wisdom of God will reap a harvest of righteousness.

Christ is the embodiment of truth and the knowledge of God. Knowing the person of Christ has a purpose, for in him we learn more about our father.

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  Colossians 2:2-3

The more we learn about Christ the more we learn about our creator. Jesus Christ is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3. By knowing God there is a pure form of knowledge of his person that comes no other way, but having a direct personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Being personally involved with God and Jesus Christ will make a difference in your life strengthening your desire to be more like Christ.

  Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

The difference is that by knowing Jesus Christ who is the exact representation of the father, you will know the father, and have eternal life.  Jesus also said:

If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. John 14:7

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. John 14:9

Being able to predict what Jesus would do, is a good first step in a relationship with God, but this relationship with Jesus Christ has another purpose. As you know God has a foe that wants to elevate himself above his throne. This person is a liar that is out to deceive the world. Knowing what Jesus has promised to do and what he said he would do comes in handy when Satan begins to incite you to sin against God.  

 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5

Satan feeds you enough truth that when the lie comes you will believe it. A sound knowledge in the word of God will help you first to spot his lie and then to destroy his lie with the truth.  The knowledge of truth is the only known weapon that can separate fact from fiction and when tempted will demolish Satan’s argument completely. The deception Satan impresses onto the saint is best handled with a godly response. James said,

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Satan knows his limitations, he knows that his lies can only do so much and when you know the truth and submit to it, he has no other choice but to flee from you to return another day.   You have the advantage over Satan as when you know the word of God.

God’s word is a shelter in times of trial and temptation and when properly handled preserves your soul.  God watches over his word to ensure that his word comes to pass when you use his promises. With that knowledge, God’s word is a sure foundation of truth to live by.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matt 7:24

The knowledge of God’s word has a second purpose. The child of God is a king, Priest and Ambassador representing God on earth. Jesus said go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything I commanded you.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Romans 10:14"

For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction — because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. Malachi 2:7

As an ambassador your job is to take the good news to the world. The knowledge of the truth gives you the power to live the Christian life when you allow his word to dwell within your heart.  Paul said,

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Romans 1:16


Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

 God’s power is released when you implement his word to live a godly life. Regardless of the land you live in or where you go on the face of the earth, God’s word stands for what is right and fair to all. The knowledge within God’s word allows you to give everyone you come into contact with, dignity and respect. Godly living and the knowledge that comes from the mouth of God are truly needed for today and for the ages to come.

Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Mark 10:17

Can you answer that question? The knowledge of God gives you the answers when you seek them.

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Controlling How You React

Knowledge gives you the power to live properly, but your spirit governs a prudent life that pleases God. The man, who limits his actions to doing good deeds, should suppress the instincts of the old man. The world is a good example of unrestrained society that lives from one crisis to the next. In its effort to bring about a peaceful society, the leaders of men form treaties and trade agreements to maintain order.  These agreements dictate the rules that both parties agree to live by. For the Christian, a self-control life governed by our covenant with God, which sustains the Christian within the boundaries of godliness.

A person’s inability to govern his own life is due to the lack of self-control.

Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

The person without self-control will never be satisfied with what he or she has. Everyone has a foundation from which he can make decisions. Either their foundation is one of reason based on truth or it is based on basic desires. Without self-control he will see one failure after other and eventually lose his friends because he has no gumption or fortitude. Unlike the city with broken and fallen walls, God’s word will stand forever. Not the least stroke of the pen shall fail to come to pass before the return of Christ. The truth of God’s word solid as a rock a sure foundation.

Every Christian should adopt God’s word as his or her personal body of laws that they govern their life by. Fits of rage are a demonstration of wrath and intimidating to those who bear the blunt of the anger. Raising your voice makes everyone in the room want to hunker down or find another place to hide. God demands that his children put away all malice and control their anger. Asserting your authority is better done through perseverance insisting things are done in a certain fashion. Raising your voice to assert your authority is not honoring one another above yourselves. When you lose control of your self you are allowing the circumstances, your feelings and other things control your actions. God wants you to be in control of your life.

God’s word reflects his character that gave his children promises so they could participate in his divine nature.  Adding self-control to your knowledge is taking God’s word to heart with the outcome of stabilizing your walk with God. Stability in your life is crucial and creates the ability to prosper. At the same time self-control is the characteristic that controls your courage to do anything for the first time. Stability is the characteristic we see in Jesus Christ who is the same today yesterday and tomorrow.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

Shadows shift as the sun crosses the sky, but God does not change because he is firmly committed to live a moral and holy life.  He lives his life with a plan before his eyes and has a goal for a brighter tomorrow. Because he wants to sustain a holy life his plan demands that he exhibit a precise behavior to accomplish his goals. Like the Son God the Father does not change.

God wants his children to display evidence of his or her desire to share in God’s holiness. Our desire to be like God demands that our lives develop the same self-discipline that God used to develop his life. The outcome of holiness is the demand to overcome evil with good deeds.  Sustaining your morals demonstrates that if anyone harms those you associate with, it won’t be anything you have done.  God’s children are limited by rules of conduct known as the Ten Commandments, which take into consideration how you would want to be treated. Lets not forget that the golden rule applies to stabilize the affect we have on other people. God wants his children to live a holy life and obeying the Ten Commandments tells you how to treat other people.

Let’s face the truth, living a holy life is hard to do when those in the world demonstrate that evil deeds accomplish the same things and appears to get done with less effort.  You have to face another truth before you go any further. You are not Satan’s children, who couldn’t care less if you obey God’s laws.  Instead you are the child of God who demands that you obey his standards of conduct. God knows that if you climb a tree you may fall and be injured, but if you sin, you become slaves of sin and the life you have will be taken from you and destroyed.

Learning to obey God in everything develops the characteristics that demand self-control. The limitations the Ten Commandments defines what love is and how to love others in ways demonstrate respect for other people. The whole of God’s law represents the disposition of love and the holiness of God himself. They also represent personal demands of conduct by a father such as wash behind the ears and don’t talk with your mouth full of food.

 The greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as your self. The Ten Commandments and the greatest commandment though they are worded differently agree in nature that you are to love God first and them those you associate with. If you love God and obey him you will find a way to love your fellow man. A healthy respect for God’s laws helps you to consider the feelings of those your decision affects. Loving God and your neighbor sees the need to demonstrate the kind of respect and honor you yourself want from other people.

Obedience to God is an act of your love that restrains what the old man would prefer to do. It also means you would deny your personal desire for vengeance and repress the old man who rules by instinct rather than by reason. When you obey God you add to your knowledge of what pleases God by controlling your actions in accordance with God’s word.

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it." Genesis 4:7

Crouching is the position you see the hundred-yard dasher in just before the shot is fired. When the runner is ready to go into action he drops to that position to give the added initial thrust he needs.  God said to Cain, Sin is always crouching at your door and ready to over turn your life. Therefore, you must also be ready to take control or master the desire to sin to overcome the momentum sin has for you. However, lets  understand that there is no shot fired when Satan attacks.   Paul spoke about this issue in this manner.

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:14-15

Paul saw the nature of sin at work in his mind even when he wanted to serve God wholeheartedly. The life God desires you to live is voluntary whereas Satan loves to lure you into sin by any means necessary. Our minds suddenly become the battlefield where deceit and truth fight for control of your mind. In making decisions you must sort through the truth and other suggested facts represented as truth. Paul wrote about this issue.

   Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:5

The sinful nature is focused on who you in a world where you are the only person of importance. The sinful nature serves the personal luxury and comfort of your life and seldom considers the needs of others. Your old man lives by instinct, by what feels good and as long as you don’t get hurt, its okay. Sin steals, kills, and destroys your personal character and then makes you a slave of your sins because you are frighten that the evil deeds you’ve done will come back to haunt you. Sin will work for you until you have to pay the piper for it is written .

  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

Living in the Spirit depends on what your mind is focused on.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

Those who want earthly things are focused on the things below and are never satisfied. They seek the things they think will make their life easier and more enjoyable. True life comes from God and those who seek the things above find an unspeakable joy and gladness in the spirit.

   The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. John 6:63

Man does not live on what the earth produces, but on the words that comes from God the creator of the heavens and the earth. God gave man a gift of his spirit and a mind capable of making decisions independently from outside influence. In other words you are allowed the right to choose your own course of action by your free will.  However, your course of action has to be exercised with restraint and confined to what is fair to everyone concerned. God wants you to exercise your decisions with self-control because everything that crosses your path is not beneficial to your life.  God’s influence helps you to exercise restraint over your passions, desires and the things that rob you of the time you need to spend with God.  

God will not force you to worship his person, his authority, or his position because he is a Supreme Being. God wants you to love him as a loving father that begins with listening to his plan to reconcile you to him. After hearing his plan you have a choice to enter into a deeper relationship or go about your own business. God is seeking a deeper relationship with his children and desires that you want to work out your salvation with him. From this point onward, you commit your life to build a relationship with God.  All of, which requires a self-governed mind and determination to become, like Christ.

Your heavenly father is willing to adopt you as his child today but you must make and keep a commitment to him.  The moment you give your life to God he will start to discipline you as the child he loves by training you in the way you should go, (Proverbs 22:6). Your desire to be his child should begin by training yourself in God’s ways by spending time in the Holy Scriptures.

 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Just as the athlete trains his body to perform in a precise way, you too have to train your mind to think in a godly manner. Before doing anything you need to consider the outcome of your decisions. Paul instructed Timothy (1 Timothy 4:7-10) to have nothing with traditional stories handed down by wives or concocted beliefs from other fanatics, but to rely on God’s word for training in godliness. Paul went on to say, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture reading to preaching and to teaching the word. Paul instructed Timothy to root and ground his congregation into the word of God, because myths and fables creates controversies, but to developed a disciplined life in the Lord through his word. There is no better way to know what your father wants of you than to find out directly from him.

Therefore, it becomes important to control ones emotions such as anger, getting rid of evil thoughts and having malice towards others.  Self-control strengthens the character of the child of God and allows him to make sound decisions that are both practical and productive to his or her life. The outcome of reading and taking God’s word to heart leads to the knowledge you need for prudent behavior. Prudent behavior comes from using sound knowledge that strengthens your actions with good deeds, which in turn allows you to thrive in God’s sight.

   The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.

I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:19-26

Paul gave us a picture to compare of the uncontrolled person and the person who is self-controlled in the passage above. Laws were enacted to prevent people from corrupting the relationships of people within the society they live. Those who break the law eventually come into conflict with those who enforce the laws of the land. Those who live by the law live in peace with the understanding that there is a punishment for breaking the law. Paul writes that there is no law against living according to the law. The law has purpose and by living within the law of God we can keep in step with God and enjoy the life to come.

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Developing The Right Attitude

 For most of the world, the plan to get into heaven is based on hope, but those who know and trust God, use the word of God as their plan.  The knowledge of going to heaven is based on the promises of God and taking advantage of those promises. Even though Christians live in the world, they have died to the world and the fear of spiritual death is no longer something they are concerned with. Even though they may not want to experience death of their body they know that to die is gain because they will be with the Lord.

 Christ suffered the death we should have experienced because of our sin. Every Christian suffers from the same dilemma after being born again. Our old man is still alive and fights for control of his mind and spirit.  God wants you to renew your mind, but the memories of the past and the former way you lived is still obstructing your desire to obey God. Paul said, I have the desire to do the will of God, but my old man keeps me from doing it.

   I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. Romans 7:23

Even though you delight yourself in God’s word, being called a Christian and acting like one are two different things. Because you sin when you don’t want to sin you may feel like a hypocrite. Though you have the desire to obey God it seems as if you sin more than you obey.  This kind of disappointment takes the young Christian to the point of despair and those who made commitments to serve Christ often fall to the wayside. When this happens a number of times the desire to give up trying to be a Christian becomes another choice in a spiritual war. Old habits and what you are comfortable with have to change. Living like Christ doesn’t happen overnight and the child of God will stumble, but learns to stand again in the knowledge of God’s love for them. If those who failed only knew what God has planned for them they would listen to God’s word and know this,

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

No one on the face of the earth does anything without a plan. Once you have a goal based on a need, you devise a way to obtain it with a method called a plan. From experience you have learned how different things work and what it takes to complete a job. In this case no one has been able to show you the way in heaven except for Jesus Christ. God has drawn up a plan in advance for anyone who believes in his Son to receive eternal life. His plan tells you everything you need to know to arrive in heaven safely.

   You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"  Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.   John 14:4-6

Jesus Christ is the only name by which man can be saved and the only way to everlasting life. The Holy Scriptures has revealed the way to life is through repentance of your sin and accepting Jesus as your Savior. The moment you promise to make Jesus Christ your Lord you go through the born again experience and your Father in heaven adopts you as his child. At that time you become the child of God, and a member of God’s household. Something important happens the moment you are born again because you have an unshakable knowledge you are going to heaven.

The decision to make Jesus Christ lord must be a sincere choice based on faith. Your confidence in God’s word is the only viable plan acceptable to God,

for without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6.

Faith and plans have similar characteristics in that both have goals not yet seen and feasible ways to obtain them.  The proper course of action requires consideration before doing anything for the first time. Without knowing what to do, how can you expect to achieve the desired outcome? Asking the question, what do you have to do to become more like Christ may seem like a proper course of action. In drawing up a plan the first thing you do is to gather information about what is involved in obtaining the goal. The goal of becoming more Christ like has two feasible answers. Read and study all you can about his life and spend time with him to know him.

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 true 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. Romans 12:1-2

Its obvious that God thinks differently than men think. God thinks in terms of ages because of his immortal life and man thinks in terms of his life span. God considers all life to be sacred but man first considers his life to be sacred and then other people lives when it is convenient.

Renewing your mind doesn’t remove the wicked thoughts of the old man, rather it rebuilds the thinking pattern of men into the way God thinks. The mind absorbs what ever is placed before it and does not define its good or evil intent.  As God’s children we belong to the royal family of God’s kingdom and are subject to higher standards. Throughout God’s word, God defines the difference between good and evil in his eyes, but the choice to decide between good and evil is in our control. Paul reminds us to think on good things.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Before you met Christ at the cross your mind was conformed to the pattern of the world. You lived by the world’s standards and thought you were right in your own eyes. When you meet Christ at the cross you become a new creation and God wants you to renew your mind after the pattern God gave man. Jesus Christ is the perfect example of what God desires from men because Christ became the pattern of truth and sound thinking that God desired. Anyone who studies Christ’s life discovers it was Christ’s earnest desire to do the will of his father in heaven. Making God’s will our desire is a step towards becoming like Christ.

God expects more from his children than he does from the children of the world. His goal is to teach his child to make sound decisions that are reflected by his actions. Actions speak louder than words because actions tell the truth of the inner man. All children that adhere to the discipline given to them by their parents are normally given rewards for good behavior and discipline when they are not.  Over time with perseverance of discipline, the child develops limitations that produce acceptable behavior in their adulthood. Well-behaved children mature and gain respect for those who discipline them after they receive the benefits of their training.

The concern over how his children think is important for their well being to God. You never consider anything without giving the matter some consideration because your thoughts control what you do. Between the desire and the action your thoughts conceives a plan to obtain them. After you conceived a plan you take steps to obtain the things desired. Doing the deeds you considered complete the cycle of sin and death results.  See James 1:14-15. Renewing your mind helps you to avoid evil.

The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives. Proverbs 16:17

Everyone has desires, but it is the way we plan to obtain them that we must control. Not every desire is beneficial to you and some will harm you more than help you. Some desires will detract you from obtaining other desires while other desires will assist you in achieving the more important ones.  It’s not wrong to have desires but it is wrong to lust after them. God says that sin can be mastered, but our thoughts and desires must be subject to the desires of Christ.

Setting a goal is the easiest part of any plan because the most desirable things are worth pursuing.  As a Christian you can do anything you set your mind on doing. However, there are some things that are not beneficial to your walk with God. Goals can be beneficial to you, but may drive God away in achieving them. Goals need to be both beneficial and practical with our lifetime goals. You must evaluate the worth your time and effort against the affect the goal will have on your life.

"I have the right to do anything," you say—but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"—but not everything is constructive. 1 Corinthians 10:23

We may be have the right to do anything, but the cravings the things of world through immoral means is not beneficial to inheriting the kingdom of God.

Do you not know that wrongdoers, the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers, the impure, debauchery, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy; orgies, flesh and blood, cowardly, unbelieving, vile, murderers, and those who practice magic arts, and all liars will not inherit the kingdom of God. see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Corinthians 15:50, Revelation 21:8

A life acceptable to God is a life of holiness that you must master as you develop the skills needed to rule your life. God has given you the responsibility to rule your life in a appropriate manner acceptable to Christ.  Within his word God teaches his children to live by the laws he lives by, just as you teach your children the things you believe in.  If you are to gain respect for your father and grow to maturity under his tutelage then you need to live the way he tells you to. His plan won’t necessarily tell you how to become successful or wealthy, but it will tell you how to make and sustain relationships over your lifetime.

God has been open about his life revealing how he thinks and feels about sin. God does not want you to be ignorant about the laws he uses to govern his life and is willing to give you additional wisdom without questioning why. God asks that his children forsake the ways of the world and transform their minds to the mindset of Jesus Christ. Having the mindset of Jesus Christ helps you to survive the trials you face every day and gives you reasons to believe that you will be seated beside him during his thousand-year reign. Regardless of your time constraints, you must spend time in God’s word, to learn the wisdom of God and to know what pleases God.

   My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. Hosea 4:6

God is life and a healthy respect for God is the beginning of knowledge. Knowledge has the power of increasing what you earn in this world, but knowledge also increases your ability to be productive. The knowledge God gives helps you to live by the truth with practical reasoning.

Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

 Solomon said.

   The advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. Ecclesiastes 7:12

Knowledge gives you an advantage of knowing what to do, why you need to do, where to do it, how to do it and when to do it. Ultimately, the more you know about Christ increases your chances of being known by Christ. The knowledge of God’s word is readily available to the world and it incorporates everything we need to know to become like Christ and go to heaven.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

You may not be aware that God has plans to prosper you and to give you hope and a future. No one can fathom everything God has in store for man in heaven. However, God’s plan is that you diligently seek him while he may be found with all your heart. While seeking the Lord you will learn to please God and know that he rewards those whom earnestly seek him.  Christ said, eternal life is to know God the father and the Son. The question that needs to be asked is what are you doing to know God and to be like Christ?

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Everything you do has a cause and effect that is either beneficial or hinders the life you desire. Sin is the stumbling block that destroys your progress towards going to heaven. The study of God’s word helps you to learn the good works God has planned for his children to do before man was created.  The only thing left for you to do is to renew your mind to think like Christ and then do the things Christ did.

On earth you represent God as his ambassador and reflect what he looks like to the world.  God wants you to use his methods while you represent him and his kingdom. By obeying his word, and putting the best effort you can forward, you produce the picture of Christ that God wants the world to see. Christ obeyed his Father and doing so made the message of the cross appealing to everyone through his life.

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Growing in Faith

In this sentence, Peter urges everyone not to make an ordinary effort but to excel by making every effort to add to your faith. Your faith is not in question because you already know who to rely upon and who will help you the most in trials. To you, God is not a fable invented by men because you have a personal relationship with the creator of everything you can perceive with your human senses.

The reality is that God has given everyone a measure of faith. Whether you are on good terms with God or not, there is a reason why everyone seeks God’s help in times of desperation. Beyond a shadow of a doubt in times of desperation people will do things that they would not do otherwise. Without hope, they turn to God because the existence and foreknowledge of God is embedded deep within the soul of every man to seek help from the God of heaven who is able to meet their need.

Faith comes from hearing the good news of the gospel and through faith God draws you to Jesus and to a saving grace of God. Then after you have declared Jesus, as Lord your faith in God must grow with use. By using your faith to seek God you will begin to connect with him, being built up in truth and becoming more convinced to trust him at his word.

 Faith has something in common with lumber, lumber is nothing more than building materials while it is in the stack. The lumber itself doesn’t do anything, but if you were to arrange the lumber in an organized manned you could build a structure to live in. True faith transfers your beliefs and knowledge into deeds. In relation to God knowing what God has promised to do won’t do anything more than the stack of lumber will do. Faith is what you do with God’s promises. James said it this way, faith without works is dead. In other words, you can believe the promises of God, but where is your trust in him unless you put his principles to use in your daily life. The truth is that you have put your hands to work and apply what you believe in to have a favorable outcome in faith. A carpenter has faith in the plans of the house, but he has to arrange the lumber and drive nails to receive the benefit of his knowledge.

In the same way, the outward signs of your faith occur with the exercise of your beliefs. Faith needs to be exercised like those who walk a picket line. Those who observe you know that you are taking a stand for or against something, because of the signs that you are carrying. It is said that actions speak louder than words, therefore, God will see your faith by the signs you carry, gain his approval and response.

Knowing the outcome of the jobs you do makes the job go faster because of your knowledge. At times the things you do for God have an unknown outcome, but your trust in him makes the difference. Life change constantly and experience comes in handy for the jobs you never have done before. However, experience isn’t always possible, even when reading and studying God's word you can develop a plan of action.  From God’s word, you gain the knowledge to move mountains of this world when God strengthens you with his truth. God is always available to give you the wisdom you need.

You need a benefit to exercise faith.  Paul wrote that without love he was only making noise and even if he could move mountains by faith he was nothing. Faith is almost always combined with love and the gospel message. God instructed Joshua to do everything written in the book of law. Therefore, adding the qualities Peter talks about in the verses that follows is a participation in the divine qualities of God.  James advised us to practice God’s word because by doing God’s will, you will develop your trust in God because you used his principles of truth.

Peter is saying that God wants you to do something more with your faith than being saved. Being saved is only the first step in accepting God as your father and cleans the slate that once separated you from God.

   But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. Colossians 1:22-23

Paul spoke of continuing in your faith, as you need to grow in your faith. You made a commitment of faith at the moment of salvation in words similar to; “save me and I will serve you the rest of my life.” That decision changed your relationship with God and every decision you make changes the options you have for the next decision. At this point, your relationship changed from a stranger to the son or daughter of the almighty. Continuing in the faith is now a matter of keeping your word by obeying the person (God the father) who adopted you as his child. God is raising you as his child with the hope that you will adopt his character and the basic truth that he lives by. God disciplines those he loves by training his children in the way they should live knowing that in the days and years that follow they will not depart from God’s teaching.

  Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6:1-2

The issue of salvation should be placed in your past, in other words, it’s a done deal. Once you were born again you become a child of God and enter his kingdom as a child.

  Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

Lets consider how you enter the Kingdom of God as an adult of the world. Being 41 years old when you were born again does not make you an expert on the kingdom of God. When you were born into the spiritual realm you have the same knowledge as when you were born into the physical world. Because everything is completely new you, you know nothing of the realm you were born into, but you began to learn as you began to grow. Continuing in the faith is similar to advancing from milk to eating solid food. There is a growth process expected with time and sooner or later you should expect the child to become less dependent on the parents for training.  

The writer of Hebrews is saying to put the basic knowledge of God to work, you have graduated from school and its time to reap the benefits from that knowledge. He is also saying, it is time to become mature by putting the milk bottle behind you, grow up and begin to eat solid food.  As Jesus said, my meat is to do the will of God.

  Anyone, who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:13-14

Becoming mature in Christ is more than sitting in the pews for twenty years and doing what other Christians do. Mature Christian’s take a personal interest in knowing God and doing things to please him. He makes himself accountable to his Father for his actions and seeks the place of being right in the eyes of everyone else.  The Christian who truly loves God is not out to harm anyone, but seeks the well being of those he or she encounters everyday. Their goal is to demonstrate the love of God to the world.

The faith of a Christian is always growing because his or her faith is at the center of their life.  When the conditions are right, Christian’s take a step of faith into a ministry they feel called to do. They feel being led or are moved by an impression that God has appointed them to full time of ministry in one area of life.  It is a step of faith to leave the security of a good paying job to do work for the Lord not knowing where or when their livelihood will come from. That step of faith will make you place your trust in the Lord for your livelihood complete.

Adding to your faith is a lifetime of experiences that grows into total dependence on God. During your lifetime you will experience the person that your faith is based in and learn that Jesus Christ will never fail you even when you fail him. Jesus Christ knows what you are going through because he has been there and been in situations similar to yours. You keep going because your faith tells you the best is yet to come.

The first sight of the job God has given you to do may seem impossible to you. Start doing that job with the knowledge that God’s area of expertise is the impossible and that you can do all things through Jesus Christ, who strengthens you. God enables you to do the work he has appointed to you to do and he will be at your side to do the jobs you can’t do. God stretches your abilities to increase your potential but he also gives you the reasons with the courage to do more for him. Remember this, you will never attempt to do anything you don’t think is possible, it is God who does the impossible.

God will lead the way for you to wear many hats that will diversify and adding new skills to your ministry. God thinks on a larger scale than men do and the jobs God gives will also reflect that thinking. The need to add to your faith, because as you grow in Christ you are given more responsibilities and causing your ministry to grow.  

  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20

You have to release the power of God that lives in you when you have jobs that are too big for you, because nothing is to big for God to handle. God knows what you can not do, but who gets the credit when the impossible happens and who is praised on high?  Isn’t that one of the goals you are working for?  You see, ultimately your faith a means of giving honor and praise to God.  

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Exercising The Love Of Christ.

 What would this world be like if you had no one to share it with? Fortunately, God thought of that situation when he created Adam saying,

   It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Genesis 2:18

Today the earth is populated with 8 to 10 billion people most of who are attempting to rule their part of the world without God. Perhaps this may be the reason for the proverb, too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Usually, when you hear this phrase, everyone has the same job to do, but no one can agree on the way the work is done.  Then someone realizes that the work has to be done and does the job while the rest of the group argues over who does the job. The majority was not concerned about their fellow worker, but in whose responsible and when they will do the job.

Today people are interested in appearances and their standing with their fellow man. However that is not what brotherly kindness is all about. Some say Peter’s argument for brotherly kindness is a progressive method to develop the kind of love that comes from the heart.  Kindness is an act done for the well being of another person especially when they are in need. Still, brotherly kindness is a form of love developed with those that you associate with on a regular basis.

After the hurricane Katrina, people saw the kindness of American individuals who went to the area of devastation with food, water and the desire to help anyone in anyway they could. The victims of Katrina lost their life’s work, were hungry, or needed rescued were grateful for those who cared about their well being. This was a form of brotherly kindness even though extended to complete strangers, they were still fellow Americans.

David thought, "I will show kindness to Hanun son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me." So David sent a delegation to express his sympathy to Hanun concerning his father. 1 Chronicles 19:2

Brotherly kindness can be as simple as showing your concern over the death of a family member of your brethren. Your sympathy shows a common bond you had with the deceased and you share in that loss with them. When you console the immediate family you’re attempting to ease the sorrow involved with death? It’s time like this that you hear these words, “Call me anytime day or night if you need help.” Being kind brings out the humanity of mankind and the importance of relationships. The outcome of your kindness demonstrates your concern over the well being of another person, which is very much appreciated by those in need.

Brotherly kindness can be as simple as taking time to listen to a friend talk about the troubles they are facing. You may not say a thing, but do nothing more than listen to them talk out his or her problem. You may visit them on their sick bed or see them behind bars to let them know that you are concerned about them. You may take flowers or cookies to lift up their spirits while letting them know they are important to you. Being there tells them you’re a friend, you are important to me and I am here to help you in your time of need.

 Most Greek scholars define brotherly love as love for the brethren because of its fraternal nature. A fraternity is a body of people who have a common purpose or interest whether it is groups of people found in college dorms, police departments, or those who have chosen to serve God. In the assembly of these organizations the members become brothers and sisters of a common cause and share in activities that benefit common goals.

In the church, we share an common affiliation within the kingdom of God and belong to the body of Christ. Jesus Christ is the leader of this body comprised of believers who have been commanded to make disciples and teach the laws of God’s kingdom. The fellowship of believer’s shares similar interests, ideals, or experiences because of our beliefs. Within the church our associates are brothers and sisters who share common interests and ideals that benefit the kingdom of God.

Brotherly kindness is the practice of demonstrating God’s love among the believers and enables the church to bond into a family unit. You and your fellow believers throughout the world are enduring the same kind of sufferings because of their relationship to Christ. It is the practice of encouraging one another that enables the church as a whole to stand under the trial.

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Romans 12:15-16.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

God has commanded the church to be of one accord. Brotherly kindness enables the church to form alliances based on love for one another. Being devoted to one another in love and honoring one another above your self, bonds the church into a house that will not fall in the storm.   The words of the contemporary song “bind us together with cords that cannot be broken, bind us together with cords of love” illustrate the purpose of brotherly love.

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. Matthew 12:25

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. 1 Timothy 5:1-2

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters Hebrews 13:1

We are enjoined to share in the blood of Christ, to bear the cross of Christ, and endure the common temptations all men have.  Through brotherly love, God enables all of us to endure hardships beyond the normal scope of human endurance and come out stronger because of the trial. The kindness the brothers and sisters makes it possible to go through the ordeal in the power of God knowing that God and your brothers in Christ love you.   

Recently in our church a member had a brain tumor that nearly took the members life. During the trial the spouse took time off from work to be close to their mate. The medical bills were close to being exhausting their insurance and the debts of maintaining a home began to mount. The Church gave generously to this couple in their time of need that helped them to pay their bills and keep their home.  Brotherly kindness met their needs because of the brotherly love of a body of believers that loved them in the power of God’s love.

Consider the role of brotherly kindness to a body of believers. God wants you to make everyone a person of importance while you reduce yourself into a servant.

Christ did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28.

The kindness of God that leads to repentance. Romans 2:4.

Brotherly kindness is serving one another in the love of God because before anyone can serve the world, one must learn to serve one another.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

It is a kindness to forbear and forgive the grudges that are held against others. Most Christians would not knowingly offend his or her brother or sister. Forgiving your brother has a remarkable outcome in that forgiveness forms a closer relationship to each other. Love does unify the church into a body of believers that clings together in peace.     

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35

In the New Testament, and among Christians, brotherly love came to mean affection between fellow-believers, including sympathetic concern for others and the care of those in need. Christians also use the term brotherly love to speak of the love and affection for fellow Christians similar to the love brothers and sisters share with each other.

So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less? 2 Corinthians 12:15

 Its not too often one would have to give the shirt off his back to a stranger, but for a brother you would.  How can the love of God be in you if you can not love someone you know, especially if you are related to them? Brotherly love is the concern over the well being of those in your sphere of influence and more so within the family of God.  

If we say we love God yet hate a brother or sister, we are liars. For if we do not love a fellow believer, whom we have seen, we cannot love God, whom we have not seen. And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love one another. 1 John 4:20-21

Love is a chosen way to display your concern over the well being of other people. People with the inborn nature of love show their concern for others in many ways. A small percentage of people never depart from this life without needing sympathy at one time in their life. Everyone suffers the loss of a loved one, sees poverty, becomes sick and falls into the pit of despair. Brotherly kindness is the lifter of the spirit and the knowledge that you will not go through the trial alone. It is the attitude that I can help my brother when he is in need while being thankful to God that made it possible to love from the abundance God has given me.

If we say we love God yet hate a brother or sister, we are liars. For if we do not love a fellow believer, whom we have seen, we cannot love God, whom we have not seen. And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love one another. 1 John 4:20-21

I have been told that brotherly kindness is the kind of love given to those you know and who return your love. To the scholar who would argue that there is a difference between brotherly Love (philadelphia) and agape love I will say they are right. Is there a reason for arguing. However, I would contest that the kind of love you have for a brother has to be different kind of love before God.  In the example above, John uses the word agapao to explain the kind of love God expects given to him but it is also the same kind of love we should give our brothers in Christ.

As far as I am concerned I am a brother to the rest of humanity. In addition God has commanded each of us to love one another with out respect of nationality, sex, race, color or belief. Having to give my brothers a different kind of love than I give to God would show partiality.  Jesus was asked, "And who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:29. Right about now, you may be asking me who is my brother? Jesus did not say that your neighbor had to be someone you know, a blood relative, or a respected member of society. Jesus used the racial bigotry the priests had for all Samaritans to solidify his point. The man left for dead along the road may have told the good Samaritan to go fly a kite if he wasn’t in danger of losing his life. There was no love lost between the Samaritans and the Jews even when the law demanded you to love your enemies. Jesus was of the opinion that the victim left for dead was your neighbor.

Brotherly kindness is the love of God shared among your brothers in your sphere of influence. Love is a mater of choice in every kind of relationship that shows a concern for the well being of others like you. While we can go to great lengths to explain the difference between love and brotherly love we have a universal law from God to love (agape) one another. The same Agape love applies to your brothers and sisters in Christ.

It is not often that you see or even hear of people in dire straits who are willing to hand over their children to complete strangers so they may live. During the rescue effort of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans the news media reported an event of this kind. It seems that a full rescue boat came across parents standing in five feet of water with a strong possibility of losing their lives. Before the boat left to come back  the parents placed their child in the boat to insure its survival.

The bible tells a story of two prostitutes went to King Solomon asking him to settle a dispute over a surviving infant. Both prostitutes said the living one is my son; the dead one is hers."  The king responded, "Cut the boy in two giving each half." The real mother was deeply moved by love for her son and said give her the baby! But the other said, Cut him in two!" Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the baby to its mother who only wanted the child to live. In this story about motherly love, the mother preferred to give her son to another in order that her son may live.  (read the story 1 Kings 3)

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. John 15:12-13

The disciples at this time did not fully understand what it meant to lay their life down for another. The very nature of man is selfish, but his desire to survive outweighs all of his possessions and the lives of other people. Being truthful, there are times when accidents happen that you were grateful you were not the one who died. Most men consider life as the most precious thing that God has ever given to man and next to life where we will spend eternity.  However, laying down one's life for anyone is not on man’s list of favorite things to do.  

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it Matthew 16:24-25

Being the Disciples of Christ require you to give the most precious gift back to God, your own life. What on earth did Christ mean by denying and losing your life for Christ’s sake? Your life is a gift that God wants to use to love the people in the world and to show them that he desires to reconcile them to God. God demands that you,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Mark 12:30-31

These laws demand that your hopes, desires and life’s outcome can only be accomplished when you have fulfilled the law. This also means that the needs of others have to come first, but it means you have to deny and lose your own life to help others live.

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Imitating Christ 

Your Christ like attitude towards the world may be the only source of influence on the world that encourages the ungodly to try to be godly. For all intensive purposes, you are the very person God has chosen to indwell, you are his holy one, a saint, whom by his indwelling presence and title given to you signifies that you are holy to God. You also represent God in a world that has chosen to live without acknowledging or serving him. God wants your disposition, your attitude or the manner of handling your life to reveal his greatness to the world. Imitating Christ is a visual aid that not only identifies you with God, but reveals God to the world.

   To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

Godliness and holiness go hand in hand because God is a holy God. God demands that you and I strive to be Holy because he is holy. Just as Jesus Christ led a sinless life we must strive to lead a holy life. We also learn that God can not be tempted nor will he tempt others to sin. However, sin is an ever present evil that we as humans face on a daily basis, but God wants you to train yourself to avoid sin and live a sinless life like Jesus Christ did.

Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Leviticus 20:8

Peter is calling for you to add the quality of godliness to the man created in Christ Jesus. In essence Peter is saying that you need to train yourself to be godly. Those who God has declared as holy should make every effort to live a godly life of holiness. This life of holy living tells the world that there is something different about you. A holy life lived among the unholy is a life where you associate with those in the world yet do not participate in its debauchery. Instead you let the world know that you are reverent of God and desire that they would seek the truth about God.  

Holiness is a difficult task to achieve when you allow the old man control of your thought life and pursue sin for purely selfish reasons. The very things you do not want to do are the things the old man will urge you to do. Because of this, there is a constant battle going on for control of your mind. Those who live by the spirit will please God and those minds, which are set on the things of the world, are hostile to God. The natural desire to rebel against God and the desire to allow the spirit control your mind is in direct opposition.  

Holiness therefore depends on who and what controls your mind. When the world has control, you love and pursue the things of the world, thus having a desire for the things that God hates. When your mind is set on the things of God desires, you will give attention to the things that please God. When you allow the Spirit of God the freedom to work in you, you give him control over your cravings to sin.

If the Spirit of God does not live in you, you do not belong to Christ. You must consider yourself as dead to sin because godliness promotes life to the fullness. However, the life you live will continue to exist because your life belongs to Jesus Christ. When you were born again, Christ came into your heart to restore your body into the temple of the living God. Once you were born again, everything became new, you became a new creature with senses suited to the spirit realm. Jesus Christ is in you doing a new work to rebuild your body into a temple for God to live. Since your life belongs to Christ your life should glorify him.

Jesus Christ is the cornerstone between the human nature and the Living God. In him you and I are being strengthened by the power of God to live according to the spirit. Just as Jesus Christ overcame the world, living by the spirit is the only way you can overcome the evil of this world. Bind yourself to the cornerstone, which is Jesus Christ so you may know the love of God, and be filled to the fullness of God. Then, will you be able to live a life of godliness and overcome the fiery darts of the evil one.

 Holiness is a disposition you need to develop by dedicating your life to serve your father in heaven with a morally pure life. Life is precious but sin disrupts in every facet of life. Therefore it is to our benefit to adopt the means to live in a sin free life such as our father in heaven wants you to adopt. To God, life is precious and anything that hinders or destroys life is sin. Life is sacred to God, so God has dedicated himself to the purpose of promoting life in abundance. Therefore, life demands your respect and doing anything to harm another person should be avoided.

Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy. Leviticus 19:2

 Be holy because I, the LORD your God, am holy is a command of your God to guard the life God respects and considers sacred. God has an abundance of life to give and sin has a horrible record of corrupting the life given to Adam and Eve. Once Adam and Eve sinned they were separated from God, their spirit died, but their flesh continued to live.  

  He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. Genesis 3:22.

Adam’s sin had run its course, sin’s desire had conceived, gave birth to sin and after becoming full- grown, Adam and Eve died. Adam and Eve was immediately driven out of the Garden and away from the tree of life. However, before they died, God instituted a plan to restore Adam and Eve to life again. While God was passing sentence for Adam and Eve’s sin he said this to the serpent,

He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Genesis 3:15

God announced the coming messiah who would save the world and reconcile man to God by atoning for the sins of the world. Satan had his chance to destroy the prince of peace, but God took advantage of the situation fatally wounding Satan plan. Three days after Calvary, Satan’s plan to dominate and rule the world was completely destroyed. The following passage may describe the outcome of that battle?

  One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. Revelation 13:3

Peter urges the saints to become a partaker in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. Through our knowledge of God, he has given us a way through his promises to live a life of godliness. When you participate with the divine nature by taking advantage of God’s promises, the sin caused by evil desires become easier to control. God’s promises give you an avenue of escape and the help you to avoid sin altogether.

Consecration is the act of setting something apart as instruments of worship and of sanctifying things for God's use. In the Old Testament everything in the temple was consecrated for the sacred use for the worship of God. In addition, the sprinkling of blood consecrated the instruments used to worship God. Under the new covenant Christians believe that the blood of Christ has been sprinkled over your body and his blood has washed our sins away.  The sprinkled blood on our lives sets us apart for the worship of God and sanctifies our life.

  Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22

The blood of Christ has set you apart for God’s use. Our outlook on life is opened to a different perspective from this point on and we must develop a new imperative to live a holy life.  The gift of life is so precious that we have to be determined to work out our salvation with God.

If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; Isaiah 54:15

You are God’s children and God has commanded you to be holy. Your behavior towards others must be according to a strict moral conduct that your father has taught you. When God commands you to be holy he is commanding you to live in such a manner that you harm no one. The above verse summarizes God’s holiness. His other commands are consistent with God’s ideas of holiness.

  So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

God has taught his children to do unto others as you would have them do to you regardless of their affiliation with God.

   Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. People reap what they sow.  Those who sow to please their sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; those who sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8

One of the most important things God is attempting to teach man to do is to govern his life, to teach man to make better decisions.  Anger robs man of the ability to rule with reason because anger is governed by pain of selfishness and it allows man to rule in a avenging fashion. Anger allows you to make other people feel the pain you have in greater measure. In addition, your anger always end with regrets that will last a lifetime with never enough time to repair the damage.

Living a Godly life has merits that only hindsight and reflection can reveal. A holy person is concerned about how his actions affect the lives of others, but a godly life leaves things in better shape than received. A holy life also means that you don’t have to ask the following question.

My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me. Micah 6:3

God was asking what have I done wrong and why have you turned your back on me? God was not confused about why his people had ignored his commands. God’s case was that he had delivered them out of their suffering and had given them a life of peace. His purpose was to show ways to act justly and to demonstrate compassion to those in need.

Living a righteous life before your father life means you have to live by what is right in God’s eye. Understanding good and evil and the consequences of your actions ultimately forces you to agree with the principles God has commanded his children to obey. Like parents, God doesn’t want his children to be hurt over the sin they can avoid. He wants them to succeed in life and he wants them to succeed without harming anyone else.

Almost everyone has heard the cliché “cleanliness is next to godliness.”  Its not the cleanliness of the body God is concerned with but the purity of the heart. Your thoughts concern God because of what you are capable of doing.  All because, your thoughts give birth to deeds and the words of your mouth.

  What comes out of you is what defiles you. For from within, out of your hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile you." Mark 7:20-23

Your effort to keep a godly lifestyle can keep your spirit from being contaminated by the evil that is presently corrupting the world.  Being godly is a full time job because the corruption of the world is alert to your weaknesses and is ready to attack your life when you least expect it. You must make every effort to live a blameless life that will please God.

Consider the sons of Samuel who were appointed as judges over Israel.

   His sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. 1 Samuel 8:3

 Because of their actions the elders of Israel rebelled against God demanding a king. Samuel’s sons reflected the attitude they had towards God. Just as the sons of Samuel represented God, one rotten apple can corrupt the entire bushel. So remember this; when the rotten apple is in plain sight it will keep you from buying the bushel of apples. Be careful, consider that your Christ like attitude and influence on the world may encourage the ungodly to want and try to be godly.

Christ like, influence on the world, encourage the ungodly, try to be godly

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Making The Right Choice

Our own personal desires are the hardest thing to say no to.  This is especially true when you have both the desire and the means to obtain them. Making good decisions is made complicated by an ever-changing environment considering that the decisions you made today changes the available option for tomorrow’s decision. How decisions are made is easier said then done but when every decision is boiled down to a mere sentence, you make your decisions based on the way you see things successfully happening. Everything you want has a price or a consequence, but not being able to afford things can be a blessing in disguise.

You may think you are in charge of your life, but consider the decisions that affect your life made by other people.  Did you decide when to be born, what your name is, the street number of your home, your social security number, and who your parents were?  While you may think you are in charge of your life, you will allow just about anyone to tell you what to do. For example, what happens when the blanks are left empty on government forms that benefit you life? Why does everyone rise when the judge enters the courtroom and who pays less than the going rate for a postage stamp?  Even God demands that you to repent when it comes to being saved. You may think that you are the cock of the walk, but everyone has a degree of authority to tell you what to do or go without.

Making decisions involves a goal to fulfill and the cost of time, effort, or possessions. Every decision becomes a transaction that requires something in return for your goals. Life is something God is willing to give anyone who is willing to accept Jesus Christ as Lord. Because of this demand, the doom of hell waits for those who refuse to accept eternal life of God’s terms.  Because your position with God must be established before you receive the gift of life, you must decide if accepting God’s terms is worth eternal life.

Goals have procedures that need to be completed within a specific period of time.  God is offering the gift of life, which is similar to sale items that must be bought before the sale expires.  God’s offer of life expires on judgment day. Between now and judgment day, God wants you to search for him, ask about terms, come to an agreement with him, and make changes to fulfill his needs. The management of department stores determines the sales price and you agree to pay them before you can take the items home.  As the owner and operator of heaven, God has his reasons for his decision demanding that you accept Jesus Christ as Lord.  God’s offer for the gift of life is good until the day he returns, which could be at any time. On that day, God will summon you to his throne and you will not be given a choice to refuse his final decision concerning your life.

America is a land of laws that supports the individual freedom of the citizens who observe the law.  The laws of the land define what is acceptable social behavior and those who violate American law can expect to be sent to jail. God expects his children to obey the laws of his kingdom in the same way you obey the laws of the nation you live in. Police bears arms to enforce the law but if you obey the law of the land you have nothing to fear.

Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. Jeremiah 7:23

As God’s son, Christ came to fulfill the law. Laws place boundaries on what a group can and cannot do.  When you think about God’s laws they are similar to the demand you place on your own children. Most parents want their children to do everything they tell their child to do as their demands benefit the life of their child. God has laws he lives by and expects his children to observe his ways through personal discipline developed the training of his word. The outcome from obeying God demonstrates your love and respect for him as your father.

If you were to consider the sheer number of decisions you made in a lifetime you shouldn’t be surprised if the final number was in the millions. The average person makes thousands of decisions everyday, most of which are made from experience to achieve a particular outcome. You get up, dress, eat, go to work, and go home routinely. Known conditions that occur frequently don’t require much thought because you have consistent routine and do the same things daily.  It’s refreshing to have a change of pace every now and then to break up the routine of life. However, making decisions are as much a part of your life as waking up in the morning.

Just when you think you have one problem solved the tire on the car goes flat. Everyone of your kids have different functions to go to at the same time and your mind gets twisted into knots trying to figure out how to shuffle things around to keep all of them happy. Now your brain is worn out and you want to take a nap your spouse hands you the leash for your dog that drags you to the nearest fire hydrant. Right about now your frustrated, but even though you are tired and irritated, kicking the dog for some relief isn’t a good choice.

It may seem strange that God refers to you as a king of the earth until you realize that kings make thousands of decisions that affect other people. Everyday life changes your environment and the new situation that you find yourself in demands another decision. The choices are endless and the outcome changes your environment and options with every decision. Everyone wants to know what his or her future is going to be like, but to maintain control of your future the need for additional decisions must be governed by reason. Good decisions can insure well being in the future, but the best decision concerning your future is to make Jesus Christ your Lord.

Can you name the reason you passed three service stations to buy gas for your car across town?  Of all the places available to you with gasoline, why did you go out of your way to go to a specific service station? What was your reason for that decision? The reason varies from person to person, but each person makes a decision depending on how he or she benefits from the decision. Is it so strange that to obtain the goal you want the goal forces you to learn to agree with other people?

However, some people live in community with one gas station and have the option of paying the going rate or drive ten miles down the road for gas with different terms. For any transaction to take place both parties have to come to a mutual agreement over the cost of services and what you acquired in return.  If you can’t agree then you must be willing to seek them elsewhere.

You are not alone in this world and everyone wants to control their own life to protect what they have. Some people already have earned positions of authority, but trying to change the system is more trouble than its worth because those who are in authority are quick to let you know who is in charge. You soon learn that you must learn to agree with those in authority for the benefits you want, need, and desire.

Eventually everyone will cross the path of God and come to terms with him. During your lifetime God has offered you the opportunity to accept the gift of life so you may continue to live. Experience from life demonstrates human life cannot be bought at any price because its evident human beings go bankrupt to remain alive and still die. Even though everyone wants eternal life, only a few are willing to recognize that Jesus Christ is the only way to life.  

When you go to a foreign land you must live by the laws of the land or be incarcerated in the most unpleasant places. The same is true of going to heaven. Heaven is the Kingdom of God and those who live there have made the choice to obey the laws of God’s kingdom. In becoming more Christ like you will learn that Christ was eager to do the will of God and always sought to please his father who sent him. (See John 5:30)

God expects those who enter his kingdom to agree to conduct themselves by his laws. Knowing the demands of God’s allows you live in such a manner that on the day your body is spent you will receive a rich welcome into the kingdom of God. Otherwise, in the kingdom of God, God has the final word concerning your life and life is far better if you learn to agree and abide by his laws.

You may work at a place that offers food in vending machines or a cafeteria where the selection may not be appealing to the eye or what you are hungry for. Then you went home to turn the TV on only to find that your choices appealed to you as much as your choices for lunch. Being desperate for something to eat or to watch will make your selection a matter of picking the best of what available.  

From God’s perspective, you will make thousands of decisions in your lifetime to make your life better. Some of those decisions will be made for you while others will be made after considering the options available.  In making any decision, you look for the option that you benefit the most from to obtain the best outcome. Still the best option in the short run may not be the best choice as your choice affects other people. God offers you a choice between life and death and your selection amounts to a matter of picking the best option available.

On the most part, the majority of decisions you make are relatively short term such as buying a newspaper. Other decisions involve long term goals that affect the rest of your life such as going to college.  God has given you the options of life and death to choose between.  This choice is one of those decisions you have to make during your lifetime or God will do it for you when the choice is too late for you to choose.  God has given you the right to consider both options and make the choice of the two, which appeals to you, the most. Even if you should say no to his plan, God will respect your decision.

Death is one of things you plan to avoid, but death will be at your door sooner than you think. Man has a strong sense for survival, but more often man refuses to ponder his death and would give all he owns to stay alive. Life is a precious commodity that no one but God can replace. However, the death of your body is a doorway into another realm that is ruled by God. God’s word says, "Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. Hebrews 9:27. Once you pass through the door called death there is no turning back and no changing of your mind to serve God, after the fact when you realize the consequences of your life choices. Remember this, in God’s eye the accomplishments of your life will not be considered as much as way you treated your fellow man to achieve them.

Suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won't he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Luke 14:31

Can you afford to overlook God plan? Is there a reason to ask what do you have to do to receive the gift of life? Most people hope to go to heaven even though the way they live make you wonder if they know God at all. However, it is pure arrogance to think you are worthy of going to heaven with consulting with God to seek his approval.  

I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. Isaiah 13:11

Is God willing to give the gift of life to you when you have never spoken a kind word about him? God wants to give you the gift of life, but there are reasons for God to give the gift of life. Do you know the prerequisites God has before he gives the gift of life? Knowing what God expects and living up to those expectations will certainly tip the scales in your favor.

God has provided man with an abundance of information regarding the gift of life. While man may see the gift of life from his or her perspective, God will have his right to give the gift of life to those he chooses.

I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy Romans 9:15-16.

While we may want to go to heaven that choice are you aware of how God selects those found worthy of the gift of life. When God returns he will reward every man according to his or her deeds. Those who have done evil will receive the wages of sin and those who do good deeds, the gift of life. While God does not want any man to perish, God has an imperative that all men turn from wickedness to Jesus Christ.

The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." 2 Timothy 2:19

When you consider the gift of life you must also understand the giver has reasons for giving the gift. The gift of life can be seen from two different sides, those who will receive the gift and from the person who gives the gift. For example, each of the finalist in a beauty paginate are called to center stage to wait for the judges decision. The contestant crowned had to meet the criteria of the judges. You too, have to meet the criteria of God to be eligible for the prize.

The bible tells us that the world has a corrupting influence on our lives and that the world unknowingly suppresses the truth by the way they live. On the other hand, God has given his children his precious promises, so you may take part in his nature by avoiding the evil that is corrupting the world. For those in the world, Christian life does not reflect the way the world operates and has become corrupted by the world. You on the other hand, must consider your cost of choosing to work with God and learn his ways. Lets consider the words of Christ.  

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.    For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  Matthew 11:28-30

In Christ you will find rest but sinners have to yet to taste what God has planned for the wicked.

   The LORD works out everything for his own ends-- even the wicked for a day of disaster. Proverbs 16:4

No one likes being burnt by the sun or scalded by hot water to the point they can’t stand their clothes touching their body. After being burnt, any source of heat reminds you of the painful experience. You can’t sleep and the latest remedies only last a few seconds if it relieves the pain at all. God said that he would give the sun power to sear those who reject his plan.

Sulfur is the odor you recognize when lighting a match.  In the gaseous state, sulfur is a heavier than air gas that will cover the floor of hell. Anyone who receives the wages of sin will dwell within the fumes of sulfur, but sulfur gas will prevent you from breathing the oxygen you need to sustain your life. Breathing sulfur gas has the same effect as taking water into your lungs.

When God’s final word has said about your life, his angels will secure your body in chains and toss you into the lake of fire where you will lay helplessly on the floor in the midst of sulfur gas. Avoiding the sulfur gas will be impossible, because on the floor of hell you will not have sufficient oxygen to breathe. Therefore, you will suffer same effects as drowning.  Studies show that just before drowning, the mind goes into a state of panic. Your natural survival instincts will cause uncontrollable thrashing that increases your pain from the searing of your skin.

In addition, your lungs and body will ache from your constant coughing and the sulfuric acid within the gas will burn your lungs. Now lets consider that any movement of your body will add to your pain so much that you will grind and gnash your teeth. God said, “the wicked will have no rest.” In hell you will realize the truth of his word because you have no rest from the pain, being alone and without a means of escaping.

Hell is a place that promotes death and heaven promotes life to its fullest. Going to heaven is a logical decision to make provided that you can agree to serve Jesus Christ for the rest of your life. That life would last forever.

Accidental deaths and injury in the work place caused educated men to join hands in finding the causes of accidents. The outcome of these studies are the reason lawnmowers have guards, automobiles have seat belts, why handrails are standard in new homes and the reasons why the race driver can walk away from a car that has been demolished. Safety rules at the work place have saved injuries and many lives caused by careless acts. Taking the chance that the worker can outwit the system causes most accidents that happen in the work place.  While man has the knowledge to be safe, he finds a way to get around the rules and is hurt in the process. What are the reasons for developing those safety rules so important? The people who came up with the rules know when you comply with a system that is known to work you will arrive home in one piece.

God gave man a plan explaining his demands so man may be found worthy of the gift of life.  There is only one option available and it demands your compliance.

I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy Romans 9:15-16.

Ultimately, everyone on the face of the earth will pass before Christ because he knows who belongs to him and his Father. The choice will be based on whom God will have compassion on not on what we think or hope God will do.

  Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

The choice to be like Christ demands that you make the effort to know Christ and by knowing Christ you will know the way, the truth, and the life. Christ ran the same race that all men have to run and is seated at the right hand of God. Asking Jesus Christ to come into your life is the first step towards eternal life. When you love Jesus Christ his Father will love you and they will make their home with you. (See John 14:23)

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Peter continues to build a plan to participate in God’s nature with methods to strengthen our resolve to be more like Christ.  To faith add goodness, to goodness add knowledge, to knowledge add self-control and to self-control add perseverance. Combining all of these qualities will make you a more effective person not only for this life, but also for God’s glory.

Those who become Christians at 5 or 6 years of age do not grasp the understanding that they have made a commitment to serve God. Others hear the preached word and believing the word seek God. Unfortunately, he greatest cause that Christians die from is spiritual malnutrition.  Lacking spiritual food keeps Christians in a childlike state for years and they neither grow nor act as a child of God outside the church.  

Commitments speak of reliability of the person and the agreements you made based on trust.  With agreements there is a dependability factor that the agreement will be fully kept.  Your agreement with God is not totally one sided as some people think, God is the other half keeping his part.  There within lies the problem between the mature Christian and the believer who does not act as a Christian outside the church. There appears to be no connection with God and you see no difference between the Christian and the rest of the world.

 "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD." Joshua 24:22

 You chose to serve the Lord with a vow that said you would serve the Lord the rest of your life. Whoever commits his or her life to God should be quick to keep the vow. Due to the reason that God keeps his promises he expects you to keep the promises you make to him. God is determined to accomplish his word when you remind him of his promise. God will save you when you ask believing in Christ, but it is still your responsibility to prove that you have become his child through obedience.

Peter is building his case about being a partaker in the divine nature by adding perseverance to knowledge and self-control. Perseverance can be described in spiritual terms as clinging to a belief, and working a plan of action to its completion. Christians say hang in there, keep going and don’t give up as their way to tell you to persevere. Basically after the plan is drawn up, perseverance is working the plan at a steady pace until you reach your goal even when it takes your lifetime.

Being born again is the first step towards maturity in Christ Jesus, it is the first step of a lifetime plan of action that will last well after Christ’s coming.  At the time you are born again you are reconciled to God, the sins of the past are forgiven as if you had never sinned before. Your spirit has been regenerated and in God’s sight you have become holy so the fullness of God may dwell in your heart.  

    But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. Colossians 1:22-23

In the above passage Paul writes, if you continue in your faith, not turning from the hope of the gospel, takes a determined effort to persevere.  The good news is that Jesus Christ promise you would not be alone.

  I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20

On the onset of your salvation you asked Jesus to come into your heart. God wants to dwell in you and develop a personal relationship with to grow closer to God. This relationship with God will fade with time if nothing is done to serve the needs of God.  Your Relationship with God and his son will grow when you continue by faith to believe, seek, and trust in Jesus Christ to get you through the trials and tribulations of life.

Continuing in your faith is a required condition to persevere in a world corrupted by immoral behavior. The pressure of the world will entice you back into a life of sin. For this reason you must endure trials and the temptation not to revert to the way of the world. When you continue in your faith God will respond to his promises to strengthen you and not allow you to be tempted more than you can bear. Peter said that God gave you his promises so that you may partake in his divine nature. God wants you to taste his goodness and sample his ways to know and understand that his way is superior to that of the world.  

   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

Through these promises, God is sharing his thoughts and ways so you may taste of his goodness. Just as the taste of good food will convince you to eat more, you need to taste God’s word from your perspective. When you taste God’s promises for your self you will know whether or not God’s ways are better then your own. Trying God’s word develops your loyalty to God and by continuing in your faith you will become rooted and grounded in God’s word. The proof of God’s good and perfect will for your life can be firmly establish in you to where you are convinced by the hope of the gospel.

No one has ever been hurt by God’s purpose to live in a prescribed manner. As earlier stated, in spiritual terms perseverance is described as clinging to a belief and working by a plan of action to its completion.

  The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, "'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.' Luke 8:10

God’s word teaches the prescribed manner that he expects each of his children to learn and apply.

  Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32  

God’s word gives you the power of the truth that sets you free from the slavery of sin. God’s word also gives the prudent person a course of action, where you and Jesus Christ can work the plan of salvation and overcome the world. With Jesus Christ’s help you learn to persevere, overcoming the trials of life.

Some of the trials you must conquer will come from the kingdom of darkness. You never know when they will come or what they specifically attack until they occur. On any given moment you must know God’s promise and be able to access the promise through Jesus Christ. Through the precious promises of God you can stand being fully equipped to struggle in battle to maintain your faith.

  But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." Hebrews 10:38

Satan is out to break your confidence in God and to utterly destroy your loyalty to the truth of God’s word. God has given man the responsibility of resisting the evil in the world and submitting to God.  God will not allow Satan to tempt you more than you can bear.

  No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

God has made a way to overcome the temptation through his promises. Through his promises, God provides a way to trust in him and avoid sin in this present life.

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Possessing these qualities in increasing measure speaks of the effort required to make these qualities lifetime skills. Everyone is a creature of habit that has problems to solve with a similar way to resolve them. However, to persevere before God you need to develop spiritual habits that improve the quality of your life to be acceptable to God. Then it is a matter of repeating the new habits as needed. Practice makes perfect, if you don’t succeed try, try again, and do it until you get it right and after learning them use them for the glory of God.

  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we may understand what God has freely given us. 1 Corinthians 2:12

To help you to persevere, God has given you his spirit to teach you his spiritual precepts by guiding you into the truth of God’s word. God wants you to persevere and looks forward to the day he can say he is pleased with your life.

Persevering is a course of action that works for your benefit but it also requires you to watch every thing you do and say. It is a minute by minute, second by second vigilance of controlling your life to please God in every way.  It is better to live by a plan God has given you because life is like working around machinery. A second of carelessness can cost you an arm or a leg and maybe your life.

Those who persevere need to acquire wisdom and discipline. Through the scriptures you will understand God’s insight, and learn to live a prudent life.  Christians learn to listen to the wise and are constantly learning new ways to be productive. In addition they pass their knowledge on to those who will listen. Finally, they develop personal morals to interact with others that will not intentionally harm anyone. Persevering also takes into consideration that God does all of these things and has persevered over the ages in the past. A prudent person would consider God as a role model and adopt his disposition to run his or her own life.

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Recognition of Christ

Meeting Christians who talk about God or those who think they know God is not too unusual in today’s world. In comparison, speaking to people who say God answered their prayer is becoming more and more rare. There is a difference in knowing God and knowing about God, the person who knows God is responsive to God’s needs. In real life, the experience of knowing God is demonstrated through those who have been affected with the personality of God and express Jesus Christ through their lives.

Everyone on Earth looks forward to the rising of the sun, enjoys the beauty of a rainbow and yet seeks protection from the falling rain. Rather than acknowledge God, the people of the world have chosen to reject its creator and use his name as a means to curse everything Christ created at the command of God. Even when there is no doubt, the beauty and order of creation makes you wonder how the Earth came into being. The overall design of life forces you to consider that something or someone with intelligence created the world that you can see, hear, smell, and touch. You may be surprise to be asked whether or not you know God, but knowing God demands that you introduce yourself to Jesus Christ at the foot of Calvary. No one has an excuse, because God has made every effort to show his love through the many wonders of the world, demonstrating he’s alive and well.

The majority of men and women know that God created the world and in one way or another worship a God they believe created the world. They see him as the ruler of the universe, but most never desire to submit to his authority. Although God is the source of life his authority is largely ignored.

In the overall scope of God’s creation, man appears to be a tiny part of the universe when in fact he has become the largest group of living creatures on the face of the Earth. What makes man different from the other living creatures on earth is his right to think independently and control his own destiny. God gave man the right to dominate and rule the Earth and the right to say no.  

In the days following the creation God spent time with Adam and Eve advising to avoid sin by not eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. During the course of time the serpent came to Eve in a deceptive manner advising her why they should eat the forbidden fruit. Obviously, the serpent gave Eve a reason to disobey God and it is clear that Eve could have said no to the serpent.

Would we in the same situation say no to Satan? Satan aims his reasoning at the things that you want even though those desires are sinful in God’s eyes. Satan’s reasoning presents you with a choice guaranteed to make you think you are doing the right thing. Ultimately God is concerned over the decisions that his creation makes to rule his or her life. Decisions made by Christians can be beneficial or they can be harmful to your life.  The deeds of men tell the creator about the decisions they have made and reveal the moral character of the individual. To God actions speak louder than words. God is concerned about your decisions because eventually your choices affect other people. Your decisions can create peaceful relations or a arena of warfare. Consider this, if you were God, would you allow anyone in your home who creates dissension and doesn’t show respect for you, your family or the things you own?

Everyone in the world wants to be recognized for being a person of worth and have respect for the position they hold in life. For the same reasons God is worthy of praise and wants to be recognized for the position he holds. However, the majority of men have turned their back on God refusing to allow God into their lives. God sent his son to reestablish the relationship God desired but within conditions that sustained God’s worthiness under a plan acceptable to man. Within the grace of God, he revealed that he wants to develop a personal relationship with you as your Father. In a cooperative effort with his Son, God pours his Spirit into our lives to guide us into all truth.

The world has not conceived the idea that neglecting God anytime is a threat to his authority. Instead the world is focused on obtaining the creature comforts the world offers. Therefore, the world busies themselves in the attempt to care for their own needs not knowing that everything they desire is orchestrated as a diversion by God’s enemy.  The world doesn’t know that they are serving the purposes of Satan, which is to assume the throne of God, destroy the earth and make everyone’s life miserable.

The world is faced with two plans for life. Satan offers a plan that is temporal, one that is only good for the life that is on the earth. It is also deceptive in the fact you may be able to obtain the riches of creature comfort, but fails to consider that God created man to live forever. Everything we do has a consequence and that importance will not become known until we meet the ruler of the universe face to face. God is presenting a plan for eternal life up front. In his plan eternal life does not start when you die but right now.  In his plan God warns man of the consequences of sin and how to avoid the things that leads to total separation from God and an environment designed to eradicate sin.

God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Samuel 14:14

However, God’s word tells us that man rebelled against God authority through disobedience, which separated man from God. Sin is an overwhelming force ready to pounce, constantly groveling at your door and always ready to take you prisoner as a slave for Satan’s purposes. Once in sin, sin compels you to sin again. Because of the nature of sin, sin desires to enslave you, but you must learn to rule over sin. God has devises a plan so you will not remain separated from him.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

Why did God send his only son and what made his son so special to be able to free man from the bonds of sin? Was it his virgin birth or the fact he was divine? Was it turning water into wine, healing the sick, or feeding of the five thousand that made him stand out in history? These things were only a display that God was with Jesus Christ during his ministry. Only one thing made Jesus Christ stand out in history from all other men was his sinless life.  This made him the lamb with out defect that could be offered as payment for the sins of the world.

Human history points to one person who changed calendars, personal beliefs, and started a Christian movement with a purpose to carry out the great commission.   As a result of his life we no longer have to slaughter sheep, burn, cook or eat of a sacrifice made to God for sin. Instead we commemorate his life with the taking of communion remembering a new covenant made through the blood of Christ that atones for the sin of mankind once and for all.

God honored Jesus Christ in many ways besides seating him at his right side of his throne. He became the cornerstone of the Christian faith.  Every benefit derived from God comes through Jesus Christ. There is no other name by which man can be saved or enter the kingdom of God. We will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ, some will receive eternal life while others will be condemned, but each and every person will stand before God to be rewarded according to how he lived.

For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'"   So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:10-12

Being on our knees to confess that Jesus Christ is our Lord while we are on Earth is a blessing in disguise. Those who repent of their sin, make an effort to please God, but those under the influence of Satan want nothing to do with God and scoff at the idea of repenting. In other words, do you live as servants of the king? Knowing that Jesus Christ is lord demands that we obey his commands.  

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. John 1:10-11

Although Christ came with a large company of angels God sent other messengers ahead of him announcing the time of his arrival. The magi followed the star to his location, the shepherds were in the field attending their sheep, and the Priest’s of Israel were told of his coming within the scriptures that they held sacred. The prophets prophesied of his coming yet the world did not recognize Jesus Christ as God because they lacked interest in seeking God.

The Priests at Jerusalem were amazed at the depth of understanding Jesus had at the age of twelve. When he grew to an adult they saw Jesus Christ as the son of Mary and Joseph the carpenter. They also saw that the people were following him and listened to his words. Large numbers of people recognized Jesus as the messiah, but the priest a carpenter’s son. Priest’s like Nicodemus believed that Jesus was the messiah and sought his teaching, but a large number of people were ready to make Jesus King by force. Perhaps for that reason, the Pharisees thought it was better for one man to die than the whole nation.    

While a few recognized Jesus as the messiah, the world scorned him and put him to death. They saw him as another religious fanatic who was sent before him to lead the people back to God. They rejected him because he did not keep the law or conform to their expectations.  Still, the deeds of men to rid the world of this troublemaker he completed the plan to reconcile man to God. Christ forgave them from the cross and became the Lamb of God for anyone who would accept him as Lord and Savior.   

Though God attested Jesus Christ as the messiah with signs and wonders but the only sign they read was nailed to the cross announcing him as the king of the Jews. After his resurrection he was seen by more than 500 people who initiated the greatest campaign to recruit believers for the kingdom of God the world has ever seen.  

As Jesus Christ ascended to heaven the disciples were told that he would return in the same fashion. Christ taught his disciples in the upper room that he was going away to prepare a place for them and then return.  His coming was foretold, he came as a servant of God with a promised to return for the elect. In every sense of the word Jesus Christ is what he claims to be.

  "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Revelation 1:8

Jesus Christ became as a servant that ransomed the elect and served the needs of God by reconciling man to God. The ideal way every Christian can serve God is to become a servant that serves the needs of others. When one study God’s word, each of his commands has one thing in common. In obeying God commands, you make God more appealing to other people.  Isn’t that what you want for your own life?

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Searching For God

Children go through patterns of growth after being born into the world. Children begin to form words beginning with the basic “gah” “gah” and eventually say daddy.  Again children are left on the floor where they begin to crawl. Then mom and dad stand their child on its feet during the time the child develops his or her strength to stand. Not too long after that the child will place his hand on furniture to steady themselves and take short steps. Not long after that the child will wonder off into the middle of the room only to fall. After falling down a number of times the child learns how to walk. Parents with newly born children should expect that their child will learn to walk and develop his or her skills from the knowledge he or she has put to use.

   I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Mark 10:15

To enter the kingdom of God you must become like the newly born child that is totally dependent on Jesus Christ to live. Right after the born again experience most Christians will have an insatiable thirst for the word of God and spend hours reading the bible. Without realizing it they are craving the spiritual milk of God’s word and beginning their spiritual growth.

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 Peter 2:2

Newborn Christians are prone to fall because they lack strength and maturity. Most Christians fall back into sin several times before they are able to stand on their own. Still every time they fall they gain experience and the strength to stand for longer periods of time. You need preservence and the determination to walk with God because it will seem as if everything in life is against you. You have been adopted into the family of God and you must learn new habits, but the habits of your former life reoccur. God understands that it takes time to readjust to the demands of your new father.

 Before anyone can be successful as a Christian he or she must understand the principles of what they are doing. Knowing the conditions that cause the desired effect is required to plan the work necessary to reproduce those conditions over again. In other words, you have to know the individual steps needed to be done to repeat the process on demand any time you want to.

Knowledge has a power of own, but knowledge does nothing to achieve a favorable outcome unless you create the conditions that nurture success. That means you have to apply the knowledge you have learned just as the child learns to walk. The information you need to learn for a productive life is not in the bible for literary purposes. It’s a plan to develop the characteristics of Jesus Christ and to teach effective methods of leadership under the umbrella of love. Peter offers the following plan for every believer to participate in the divine nature, in today’s language you could call this plan on the job training for victorious Christian living.  

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.  Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-11

Goals are easier to make than to obtain. Those who have accomplished great feats over a lifetime have also been involved with the background work associated with the deed. Those who accomplish great feats have more knowledge on the subject and are constantly searching for ways to improve.  Success has always begun by evaluating what you want out of life and then doing what you have planned to do, step by step. The first step to take has always been to devise a method to obtain your objective.  

If your objective is to know Jesus Christ you must find a reliable source of information about him that you can trust. Going to a bookstore could be a solution for good information until you find the section on religion. There are more books on religion than Carter has liver pills. Gods are associated with a many belief systems and you are about to find out that only one of these belief systems has a God that created man and the world he lives on.  The bible is a collection of 66 books and everyone is about the God of Creation. Its first sentence makes this declaration.   

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

That sentence should grab your attention. The author of Genesis quickly pointed to a creation of the earth and directed your mind to the only mastermind who could have accomplished such a feat. The creation is an event that no scientific theories can explain. However, the most knowledgeable people about the formation of the earth have not been able to disprove Genesis 1:1. Giving credit to God for creating the heavens and the earth is not an opinion but factual information you can rely on. In the beginning God, is a statement that you can readily believe without a long drawn out report to prove this truth.

Knowing God and going to heaven is an important goal that you should take to heart, more so when you consider the consequences of ignoring God.  You will want information about God that is both verifiable in content and can be experienced in normal life. You need information that will lead you to the favorable outcome of knowing God personally.  That goal comes through a personal relationship with God and results in a sense of belonging.   

The Holy Bible has always been considered sacred and the authoritative writing inspired by God. The Holy Bible is also an instrument considered being the spoken word of God. A brief look shows that the bible is composed of two sections comprised of the Old and New Testaments. Testaments provide proof or evidence the normal person can perceive, the known will of a person and disposition of a person's property after death. The later is important when you consider that Christians inherit eternal life.

The evidence provided in statements made by God can be distinguished and understood by your mind as truth. Factual information is an essential requirement for reliable plan of action needed to achieve a favorable outcome of any goal. In addition, by knowing God from experience you learn that truth is the principle that God established his life upon. God has given you promises that you can count on every time you use God’s promise to meet your needs.

Wouldn’t you like to know beforehand what you could expect from God or how you benefit from knowing God?  God has responded in this fashion, frankly saying,

'Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God. Jeremiah 11:4

Jesus said,

You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:14

In affect, God is offering you a relationship that is based both on love and obedience, but is also an agreement that gives you a responsibility in a relationship with Christ. In effect, when you make Jesus Lord of your life, God’s word becomes a binding contract between you and God, sealed with the blood of Jesus Christ.

God is also a person of absolutes and has expressed the rules of conduct that he expects his children to adhere to. God wants his children to conform to his standards of his moral code included in the Ten Commandments to shape your behavior.  These commandments limit you to what God expects in a loving relationship with Christ that makes you aware of the things you need to avoid. The outcome of obeying these ten laws demonstrates a love for God and displays the respect you want from others.

The Holy Bible is God’s word and you can know both the father and Jesus Christ when you spend time in his word. Selecting the right Study Bible will not be an easy task. Your Study bible should be well bound, has room for personal notes, include a number of study aids, and most importantly one you can understand. You don’t need a Bible to display at Church, the Bible you use at home for study should be taken to Church for the reason you won’t be able to navigate as well with a Bible you seldom use.

An Exhaustive concordance is similar to a manual search engine made specifically for the Bible. Every word found within the Bible becomes a word hidden by a thousand other words when you don’t know where it is. Because words in the bible are so important they are dissected and cross referenced in a number of ways. The Author of the Exhaustive Concordance has taken every word found in the text of the Bible and arranged those words under alphabetical headings.  Then under each heading is the location of an exact phrase, and a number corresponding to the numbering system of the Hebrew or Greek language. This number provides additional information about the verse you are looking for. By knowing the general sense how the word was used, the specific location can be found by scanning through the entries until you find one that matches.

Two index-lexicons are found in the back of most Exhaustive concordance. For the proper use of these indexes you must understand that the original language of the Old Testament was a mixture of Hebrew Aramaic and Chaldese and the New Testament was written primarily in Greek. The original words were assigned a number and then indexed numerically. Each numerical entry shows the word in the original form and the words or word that the original words was rendered into.

The Bible has a vocabulary of its own with words that are difficult to understand without a dictionary. What are words worth when they go in one ear and out the other without ringing the bells in your loft? How can you expect to please God in every area of your life if you don’t know what a specific word means? Knowing the meaning is beneficial in order to live the holy life while becoming like Christ. How you interpret God’s word depends on the picture you see and the words you hear. Each word paints a picture on the canvas of your mind that is translated into ideas you can perceive. Just one word has the power to change the entire meaning of a paragraph. Therefore, a dictionary is needed to keep you on the same page with God.

Most Bible dictionary has a wealth of information for anyone who studies the person of Jesus Christ. Among the word pictures are biblical customs, locations, and tools of days gone by. The knowledge of the world’s greatest scholars makes bible come alive with insights that will expand your mind with accurate information.  You can literally feast your eyes upon any topic within the Bible and most Bible dictionaries include a number of study aids not found in a typical study Bible.   Among the visual aids are outlines, tables, diagrams, time lines and maps to illustrate life in Biblical times. The typical dictionary should include a book summary for each book of the Bible, simplified versions of main doctrines, studies on biblical characters and interesting pictures of the Holy Land.  With a bible dictionary, you have a lifetime of study material available at your fingertips to enjoy and a ton of information to absorb.

In Addition there is a large number of other study helps for the study enthusiast available on the open market. Just as this book is an opinion, the vast majority of reference books are the opinions written by well-known persons in the religious community.  Commentaries are just one of the available resources that add to your knowledge. Encyclopedias, Commentaries, chain reference bibles, Word expositors, the notes of Scolfield and Dake, topical Bibles, workbooks, Hebrew and Greek syntax books, and hymnals are good reference materials depending on the method you prefer to use to know God.

Other Study Helps should include a number of Bibles formatted to promote further study.   The Open Bible, The Inductive Bible study, The Application Bible, The NIV Study Bible, Nelson’s Chain reference Bible, the Scoldfield Bible, and the Ryrie Study Bible are a few of the more reliable and readily available Bibles. Each use a particular system that promotes a type of study and incorporate ideas that make them special so their user in the years that follow.

God has inspired a number of books designed to help you glean more from his word. No book has enough room to discuss all the reference books available to the person delighted by bible study. However man is fallible and the opinions they write should be scrutinized before adopting their opinions as your own. Even the experts disagree, but the foundation of these experts has always been the written word of God. God’s word is beyond a shadow of a doubt is the absolute truth you can safely mold your life around to please God. There is a advantage of having godly knowledge.

Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor. Ecclesiastes 7:12

Man has been affected by the onslaught of the Computer. Go into any business office in the United States and you will find a computer within reach of the person you need to talk with. Program engineers have integrated their expertise into every career field you can imagine. Secretaries, Doctors, lawyers, and engineers all have a specific program tailored to their needs.  You live in the information age from which man has evolved from walking to orbiting the earth. You no longer have to go here and there to increase knowledge because of the computer and access the Internet to obtain information on any subject of interest.

Programmers have engineered several Bible study programs for the Christian who delights in God’s word. Those who design computer programs have produced the basic bible program to a more elaborate study system to fit the needs of those who love God’s word. These programs do nothing more than find and display the desired information faster and more accurately.   

These programs can be found at your local Christian bookstore, the larger stores that carry computer products, and directly over the Internet. Some of the Internet sites selling Bible programs (keyword - Bible software) offer a downloadable program for a sixty-day trial period for you to test for desirability.  Among the four most popular Study Bibles available are Logos, Quickverse, Parsons, and Biblesoft/PC Study Bible.

The down side of having your study Bible on the computer is that the computer can destroy the devotion you have for God. You can have too much knowledge when used in the wrong fashion, you can become puffed up, conceited, and overly proud of your possession.  You can waste time on the computer and start arguments within your family over who can be on the computer. The use of the computer must be governed for content, the specific use for each user and the time for your study.

A quiet place is an absolutely essential to make your study time productive. Because of the family life within your home the distractions come in a number of ways. Even the phone can interrupt time alone with God. Then bible says,

   Be still, and know that I am God Psalms 46:10  

   Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near, Isaiah 55:6.

You need a quiet place is anywhere where you can find refuge from the world and open your spiritual ears to listen for the Lord’ s voice. God is not in the stress and noise of the world so seeking God to your heart's content begins with entering the spirit realm where he lives.  To hear God you need a place of refuge where you leave the world behind and put aside the troubles of this world to consecrate on what God has to say.

It’s ironic to not have enough time for things you need done, but have extra time for the things you don’t need to do. When you take time to think about how you are using your time everyone would agree that they could use their time more wisely. Those with planners schedule their days and months ahead to meet the needs of their life. At the same time, has anyone formally written a specific time in his or her planner for being alone with God?

Time becomes an asset of significance when your life is spent or the Lord comes for his elect. Then the time you need to know God will cease. When you look back over your life to see where it all went too, you learn that time has flown by. You learn that time doesn’t stop because you didn’t get everything done as you planned. Instead ask what have you accomplished in the time you had? Today was as long as yesterday, but what have you done in that time to become personally involved with God.

You will never find the time for the things you don’t want to do and everything has to be prioritized to ensure it gets done. Have you ever noticed how fast going to Hawaii is elevated on your priority list when its still months away. There is so much to do and a limited time to do it in, but when that day comes to get on the plane, you have your luggage stuffed and you are in your Sunday best. Don’t you think that going to heaven should have the same effort and priorities so you are ready when the Lord comes?

No one likes to miss the ship setting sail especially when the passage was free and available to everyone. Heaven is God’s home and passage has been given to those with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. God does not want anyone to perish and has given everyone time and the opportunities to become like Christ. Are you using your time to know the only true God and the one he sent?

Not being able to find time to read the Bible sounds like a good reason but serious thought about your deeds show God the priority you have for him. In the illustration above, the person going to Hawaii put other things aside and made time and effort to do everything for the trip. If knowing Jesus Christ and going to heaven had the same priority, making time to prepare for Christ’s return would automatically go to first place.  Being a Christian is not a display of religion, but having a personal relationship with God. Govern your time by making time out of your busy routine to know God on a daily basis, not because you have to, but because you want to be like Christ.

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Striving To Be Good

A part of the divine nature is goodness or the things you do to benefit another person. God wants you to commit your life to doing good works for the sole purpose of benefiting the well being of other people. Doing good works are compatible with the other commandments God has given us. Jesus said,

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Jesus Christ told the story about the Samaritan who helped the robbery victim found on the side of the highway back after being left for dead. In this story the Samaritan paid the innkeeper out of his pocket for the recovery of the injured person with the promise of more if needed. I am sure if being left for dead along the highways of today’s world were to happen to you that you would appreciate being cared for and stayed with until the ambulance arrives.

What would life be like if everyone devoted their life doing good things for you? Wouldn’t you be living in heavenly glory? The golden rule to do to others as you would have them do to you would have to be exercised to achieve such glory.  If you are benefit others and seek their well being you must consider yourself a servant sent to serve the needs of your neighbor. Goodness calls for a special attitude that you need to assume.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3

 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

When you consider other people more important than yourself, it becomes easier to love others in the way you want to be loved. Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Jesus Christ stepped down from his throne and became a man to became the servant of God for the purpose of reconciling man to God. He devoted his life in being good, to healing and releasing men and women from the power of the devil. Ultimately, he died for evil men and with his blood bought those who would be saved. When you study the life of Christ, one has to ask whose needs did Christ consider more important? How did his own life benefit his personal needs?  

In the picture above can you see the extent that Jesus lowered himself to love mankind? Jesus Christ sat on right side of his Father’s throne, but became a servant to man and a slave to those God loved. Christ resolutely faced death on the cross for the benefit of all mankind. Though he had the power to call down a thousand legions of angels to save him, by an act of his will Christ allowed man to debase and brutally execute him on the cross.  Christ gave his all to please God and because of his effort you and I can stand before God as if we had never sinned.

You also have to humble your self to become God’s servant. Sounds easy enough, but can you name three things you have done for God or one instant where you have helped someone in need in the last week?  Are you about doing our Fathers business?  Most Christians are busy with the affairs of the world just to make ends meet and survive till the next paycheck. Being concerned about being a good person is something seldom considered as a priority.  The world may push you against the wall, but you don’t have to retaliate.

Goodness is not an outcome of our natural life, but a desire to rule our life to please God. Your sinful nature and selfish desires will prevent you from using any form of sound reasoning concerning being good. Being good is the outcome of training and discipline. Everyone has to be taught how to overcome his or her natural instincts, which does not look after the needs of others. Even then you have to rely upon God to change your attitude towards other people.  Everyone has his or her own idea of what being good is and lives accordingly. There are too many people who think of them selves as being good, but being good is always determined by the opinions of other people. In other words, what may be good in your eyes may not be considered good in another person eyes.  Did Jesus Christ consider himself as a good person? Being good is not quality you can brag about when man is an expert at pointing the fingers of blame.

Why did God recognize man’s condition as being stubborn and stiff-necked? Being stubborn and stiff-necked is not hard to recognize when you see people refuse to yield to wisdom or a higher authority? We live in a world where even the lowliest of people think they rule the world.  Your personal authority is the toughest thing that a Christian must learn to manage. Your own desires, your environment, and the goals of other people control how you rule your life. In your home you may have authority to say how things are done, but your still a servant of your family.  Still, without exception everyone by nature is an expert of looking after his or her own needs.

The condition of being good exists when you have denied your personal needs, and are doing something to help those in need.  Although, you can do good things for charity and still be doing good things with selfish motives. Being good is foreign to your sinful nature, but being good in your father’s eyes is an act of your will. Your sinful nature expects something in return, but the Christ like nature God wants you to be busy doing good without expecting anything in return.

Before you can be good to one another you must step down from the throne you rule from and become a servant as Christ did.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Mark 10:45

Christians have placed themselves on a pedestal and have become better than sinners who have no hope. God does not want anyone to perish and that statement places the Christian along side with the sinner because God wants everyone to be saved. We are God’s ambassadors, and as God’s ambassadors we serve the kingdom of God and those who want to go to heaven. Our job is to show the world the way, the truth, and the life.    

Christ gave an example of this concept when he washed the feet of his disciples. In washing the feet of his disciples he demonstrated that the teacher was not above the student. In the same way the Christian is not above the sinner, for all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Every man and women is in the same boat because we all have to give account to God for our actions.

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:12

  What does it mean when you ask your children to be good? As a parent you want your children’s behavior to be acceptable among those they encounter every day. What does it mean when God asks his children to be good? God is the father of Christians everywhere. Does it mean that God has an acceptable standard of behavior that he expects from each of his children? Does it mean that God wants better behavior than what you have previously displayed?

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Within the Ten Commandments are the specific conditions of behavior God demands of each of his children. Call them moral laws or a way to express love, but within these commandments God has revealed the way he wants you to treat him and your neighbor. Obeying these commands means that your behavior will be restricted to doing the very things you want from others. These laws serve as a guide for your life that will demonstrate respect for others by giving them dignity. These laws also require a commitment and effort on your part to be good because it is natural to look after one’s own needs first.

Moral excellence is hard to achieve but well worth the commitment of a better life. Morals demonstrate your concern over how other people feel about themselves and how your deeds affect them. Being good demands your respect for the rights of others and their right to happiness even if it means that they go their way and you go yours. This allows freedom of choice, freedom of action, and the freedom to choose your own destiny.

Being good promotes the well being of other people. Meeting the needs of others means being there to help others, and giving back to a society what you have given describes what being good is all about. Having scruples, being decent and showing honor to those who may not deserve respect is the kind of work God has prepared for all Christians to do. Loving your enemies enough to pray for them and blessing those who use you for their benefit is not easy to do. Regardless of how we feel, God does not want you to return evil with evil but to overcome evil by doing good.

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9

Being good is more than a display of good behavior and can be shown in the work you do for others. Excelling at your trade for employers is a trait that everyone appreciates. One reason for getting rid of employees is poor workmanship and the failure to get along with other employees.  Employers want people with excellent working skills, because good skills show the effort to do things right and the desire to give the customer his money's worth. Being good at a trade keeps people coming back and standing in line for more of the same.  

In the overall picture of being good demonstrates the way you want other people to act towards you. It is also sowing seed or planting good deeds, which return a crop of good things for you. It is nice to be told not to worry about the cost because you have been good to them in the past. Being good helps to develop the trust other people have in you because they know that you are not going to harm them in any way. Being good makes life more tolerable in many ways, but one thing is certain, you benefit more from being good.

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 1 Peter 3:13

The goodness of God comes in many forms and is as diverse as God’s character. Gaining the knowledge of God’s character gives you a set of basic precepts for you to imitate in your walk with Christ. You can make a distinction between the Christian and the sinner, but God wants you to love everyone regardless of their affiliation to Christ.  The effort of the Christian is to take the good news to the world, not to put those in the world down for their beliefs. By taking the good news to the unbelievers don’t you show the goodness of God. Though many refuse the life God wants to give, like God you must accept people the way they are and the choices they make.  

Developing the goodness of God takes time, but is well worth your effort. Over your lifetime the efforts you do for your father will reap benefits beyond measure. Being effective for your father requires that you overlook the faults of others while you deal with your own. Being good builds and edifies the importance of other persons in relation to your own life. By making yourself a servant as Christ did you make the lives of other people more important than your own. God is good all the time and is willing to work with you to develop his will in your character.

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The Goodness Of God. 

When you think of the glory of God, one can see with his or her own eyes the scope and wonder of God. One can stand at the Ocean shoreline and see nothing but water as far as one can see. From a mountaintop one can see miles of hills and valleys standing in awe of the sheer size of the world. At night gaze at the stars and think how insignificant you are to God’s creation and wonder why would God want a personal relationship with you when his creation is so huge?

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalms 19:1

 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20

The designer of the creation can not be denied because the earth declares the glory of its architect and builder. The signature of God is on everything God has created, but from what was created God gave man the authority to rule over everything on the surface of earth.  Since the beginning of time the whole creation has been groaning as they wait for the sons of God to be revealed. The vastness and order of creation has spoken to every man on the face of the earth giving glory to God. However, God maintains control of our environment.  What will men do if the sun were to stop producing light and if the clouds would not produce rain? Ironically, when God’s plan to build his kingdom of kings and priests is complete, that is what God has planning to do.

God has foretold what would come to pass in the future.

Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

God has described the end of time before it comes to pass. One day Jesus Christ will return to be glorified among all those who have believed. 2 Thessalonians 1:10 Because of God’s unsurpassing power every Christian expects to be raised from the dead and live in heaven with God. That will be the day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.

On that day he will be coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. Revelation 1:7.

Colossians 1:27 speaks of another glory, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Just as Christ had the fullness of God dwell within him, you have the fullness of God dwelling in you. Out of the goodness of his heart God will give you his spirit to help you overcome the world with its evil desires.

If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23

From the moment Jesus Christ enters your heart the fullness of God dwells with in your heart. Through Christ you become members of God’s household and have direct access to the father. Jesus Christ becomes the cornerstone and in him all the promises of God are fulfilled so that the father is glorified. God reveals his glory to you by making you holy and in him, your body becomes a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. 

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Jesus promised I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. John 10:27-29

I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Matthew 5:18

 Nothing can snatch you from his hand and nothing can separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Every promise, every word, and every prophecy will come to pass as God said. God is faithful to his word and everything he said will be accomplished. God receives glory when each one of his promises comes true in your life. The icing on the cake is when God’s children benefit by taking advantage of his promises. Each of those promises was given from the goodness of his heart with the strong desire that you would partake of his divine nature.

God’s children are subject to corruption because they live in a world that has been strongly seduced by evil desires. His divine nature and his promises will help you to overcome the evil state the world has fallen into. Jesus said,

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

The goodness of God continues to bless the saint by dwelling within you and the same spirit that Christ was baptized into will come with him. John said,

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

  Because Jesus Christ overcame the world you can too.

The goodness of God is an outcome of a disposition of holiness. Goodness is a praiseworthy attribute that comes from moral excellence. The goodness of God is an act of being good to mankind through grace. The golden rule, do to others what you would have them do to you, is a basic rule to live by. When you consider what goes around, comes around, it’s not a bad precept to live by. Being good to others is telling them that this is the way I want you to treat me.

God disposition of love and his moral ethics go hand in hand with goodness. God wants you to become aware that your love and morality must consider how your deeds effect other people. When you consider the Ten Commandments they tell you how to love one another with respect? Respect is an important ingredient in relationships and when you obey the Ten Commandments you display your love and respect for them. In the same regard, showing respect to everyone has to come from the goodness of your heart.

Out of his goodness God has spoken about the things that he detests and that he rewards those who seek his face by faith. He also forewarned man that he would reward man according to his deeds. However, it is man’s responsibility to seek, find, and adopt the precepts that leads to the works God appreciates. When you live according to God’s will, God’s good and perfect will, you will receive God’s blessing.

You will again obey the Lord and follow all his commands I am giving you today. Then the Lord your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The Lord will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers.  Deuteronomy 30:8-9

  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. Jeremiah 29:11

The goodness of God is such that God wants you to become prosperous so you may be a blessing to those in need. God is not pleased in someone who gives grudgingly but delights in those who give from the heart expecting nothing in return. God expects his children to act in like manner and respond to life according to his instruction. Like father, like son, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2:9-10

Having the fullness of Christ dwell in you gives you a responsibility to live by God’s standards to become the shining light that ushers the sinner into the love of Christ. The goodness of God has instructed you to walk according to God’s will and by obeying God you have a better life. God wants you to share your experience with people that don’t know him. Your experience may give you a lump in your throat every time you tell it, but your story can give hope to the lost and the joy you have in Christ.

The goodness of God comes in many forms and is as diverse as God’s character. Gaining the knowledge of God’s character gives you a foundation to imitate in your walk with Christ. God could make a distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous, but has chosen to love his entire creation. Out of the goodness of his heart God sought a way to reconcile the unrighteous man to him and through Jesus Christ canceled the debt of sin once and for all. Yet, God would not force his way of life on others and offered man a choice to accept life through his Son.  

You may not think that life treats you unfairly, but as God’s child you are taught to overcome evil with good. Inside, you may be churning with the desire to get even, but peace is your priority because vengeance belongs to your father in Heaven.

"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." Romans 12:20

Developing the goodness of God takes time but is well worth your time and effort. In the long run your productivity for your father will reap benefits beyond measure. Being effective for your father requires that you overlook the faults of other while you improve the areas of your character that God is working on. Everyone wants to be treated as someone who is important, respected and loved for who they are. Developing the goodness of God means that you must treat other people, as you want to be treated by them.

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The Starting Line 


Faith in God is the starting point that all Christians who go through the born again experience begin their walk with God. From this point each Christian has the choice to grow as a Christian, to stagnate and to return to his or her old way of life. Becoming a Christian was a voluntary decision that included a commitment to serve God for the rest of your life.  However, no one grows or sustains life without spiritual food to strengthen the flesh or the spirit. Moses explained that man did not live by bread alone, he needed the words of God’s to sustain his spirit.

Christians know that God causes food to grow by the life giving rain he sends upon the earth. The reverence of God is the beginning of knowledge and the Christian seeks God and Jesus Christ to sustain their walk and to know the giver of life. Christian’s know that if it were not for the grace of God no man could have been saved from the coming wrath of God.

God also needed to explain that knowledge of him has importance to the life of man and speaking through the prophet Hosea, God said this;

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. Hosea 4:6

As a parent, the child who refuses to listen to your instructions is the child that gives you the most problems. When they laugh at your frustration and they are balking your God given authority. When your children reject your instructions they also reject you and the experiences you had during your lifetime. As the child’s rebellion increases the parent loses their patience and withdraws their favor from the child. Finally the rejection of parental authority leads to the rejection of the child by the parents, saying he’s no longer a son of mine. The parent then denies his blood lines to the child, and takes an oath, having nothing more to do with his own flesh and blood.  A horrible end where the child can no longer rely on his father and is told to go his own way.

This is the condition Hosea found God’s chosen people in when he explained his reasons for confronting Israel with the warnings that God would ultimately turn his back on Israel. You too can reject the knowledge of God to a point where God is fed up with your life especially when you continually deny the authority you gave to him.  God had the book of Hosea written for a reason and the troubles reflected in the Major and Minor Prophets occurred to his chosen people because they continued to sin against God. They refused to listen and continued to serve the god’s of the nations surrounding them. God was using the curses of Deuteronomy 28 to get Israel’s attention, but to no avail. Finally God sent a nation against them who also worshipped gods made of wood and stone that humbled Israel throughout the Babylonian and Persian empires. During this time of trouble God turned his back on Israel and reminded them they had foreign gods of their own to save them.  

 Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! Jeremiah 2:28

 In other words, God rejected his chosen people because they refused to turn away from gods of stone, wood, and gold that could neither speak, hear or deliver then from their troubles.  Because man was stubborn, rebellion against God, sin is a ongoing struggle throughout biblical history. Adam and Eve ate from the tree, Lot’s wife looked back, once delivered out of bondage Israel wanted to go back to Egypt, Aachan took things dedicated to God, and the people during the time of the judges did evil in the eyes of the Lord by serving other gods.  Human History with God has followed a pattern, which has always ended with doing what is right in our own eyes.

The people God so loved have all gone astray, like the dog who has returned to his vomit and the pig that returns to the mud after being washed. People return to their old way of life after they have met God because they do not know the grace of God. God said this of his chosen people:

Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth! For the Lord has spoken: "I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand."  Ah, sinful nation, a people whose guilt is great, a brood of evildoers, children given to corruption! They have forsaken the Lord; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him. Isaiah 1:2-4

The Bible is the recorded history of the relationship between God and mankind and the struggle man has had within that relationship. The world system with the help of Satan has become an enemy of God and has interfered with the relationship man has with God. The world uses a number of principles to live by that are consistent with the truth but truth was suppressed by the wicked deeds of men. The peer pressure arising from the world system has led man astray from the principles of absolutes God wants his people to use. The problem is greater than what man can see with his eyes because this world is persuaded by outside influences from the Spirit Realm. The specific influence is Satan who rebelled against God and lost his place trying to topple God’s throne.

God is also dealing with another problem of man’s growth cycle from childhood to adulthood. It takes a lifetime to understand that the decisions made in our teens were in fact rather immature to those made after our hair is whitened with age. There is not too many who could not say, “Oh if I had done it differently back then life would be better today.” The mistakes made in our past become the mother of maturity for mankind. Human beings learn from their mistakes most of the time and are reminded of the former mistakes the second time around.  Most of life’s problems could be avoided if only if man would listen to God’s principles and incorporate them within their choices.

In one story God selected Solomon the Son of David to rule Israel. Solomon was a son who followed the advice of his father and sought the wisdom of God on becoming king and assuming the throne. His prayer for wisdom touch the heart of God and God granted him wisdom in such abundance that he became a man noted for wisdom. People of the surroundings nations came to him bearing gifts and seeking an audience with him.  

God is pleased with those who seek his wisdom and from those who want to learn from him.

  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

God has an abundance of knowledge gained through the ages of time before the creation of the world and with that knowledge created what you can see, hear, touch, and feel with your God given senses. Knowledge gives you the ability of making an informed decision of what works while having an experience of the things that will hinder you from achieving the desired outcome. For most people, knowledge is the foundation to a successful life and the reason for their college education.  

The knowledge that God imparts is not found in the schoolbooks the world provides. The knowledge provided by schools of higher learning is only concerned with how the things of the world works. The knowledge God imparts deals with the relationships built on loving one another.  God is a being whose disposition is governed by love, which is totally different from the selfish disposition of man. The world has been driven into a system of stress caused by the greed, pride, arrogance and selfish desires of its inhabitants urged on by the demonic powers of the spirit world.  On the other hand God’s system of loving one another creates the harmony needed among your peers and doing the best job you can in your career field.  God is love and all about building relationships with others.

The knowledge that God imparts is centered on your relationship with those in your arena of influence. Consider the kind of cooperation you would receive from those who oppose your goals or personally hold a grudge against you.  Isn’t it true that a good relationship increases a favorable response to your needs much faster? Over a lifetime, loving one another is planting seeds of love that will return a crop that you want from other people in later life.

Solomon wrote the book of Proverbs in which he made known the following statement;

   The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Was it a coincidence that his father said the following:

The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Psalms 14:1, 53:1

While there are a large number of people who know that God does exist, no one can say from experience that there is no God. Men are without excuse for the creation speaks volumes about God because God has made his existence plain to man.  To the world the word of God is foolishness, but the Christian sees God’s word as the truth and by working with God find a personal holiness, which allows you to escape his coming wrath.

Wisdom is also the foundation which plans are made from.  The Christian knows the outcome from the life they live on earth because he or she is working the plan of salvation.  They have the expressed a knowledge of the reward they expect by applying the word of God to their lives and have the experience that God responds to his promises. Christians no longer hope for the things they have been assured of and are presently enjoying. However, the world can only hope and assumes that they will be among those who walk the streets of gold.

 The way God thinks and reacts to a specific condition goes beyond man’s understanding. Nothing is too hard for God to do and he is able to do more that man is capable of imagining. God is able to do anything, but he has self-imposed laws he will not violate and will not do to others the very things he doesn’t want done to him. Therefore, the golden rule, do unto others as you would have done to you is a good rule to live by because God knows that anyone you harm will retaliate in greater measure.  

However, try not to think of God’s commands as from a Supreme Being out to dictate how you live, but from a father who doesn’t want his children to be hurt because of their decisions.  People do things because they know what they are doing will get the job done, but they also can be so engrossed in what they are doing that they are not aware of how it affects your life. The outcome of not being aware of the needs other people have turned relationships into collateral damage and without forgiveness becomes a permanent scar.

God desires to train his children to make sound decisions in a realm that does not end. Sound decisions can prevent a number of mistakes and the injuries that result from them. Can you imagine the ruckus that could be raised in heaven if it were not for self-imposed laws to maintain the peace among the citizens? Have you considered that any wrongdoing could corrupt the perfect environment of Heaven? God’s ultimate goal is that his children would be self disciplined, so that they can govern their lives in heaven with integrity.

Knowledge of God’s word instructs you about the boundaries God has placed on his children. Most Christians have been taught to equate evil to sin and wrongdoing as sin. Sin is hostility towards God, the wicked cannot submit to God's law because they are bent on having their own way. Instead, they infringe on other people’s rights leaving them in ruin. Evil is the cause for ruin, pain, suffering, and emotional distress brought on the people it affects. For these reasons, God’s holiness demands that you to avoid evil at all cost.

The knowledge of God tells you how things work in the spirit realm and gives vivid pictures of what you can expect from wrongdoing. By understanding the foundation God stands on and what his principles will produce you can become a willing participant of his plan. By participating in his plan you can adopt a disposition that everyone will admire and want for their very own, because it glorifies God. The benefits derived from adopting a godly disposition will lead to the lifestyle God approves of and eventually when the body is spent or God comes for his children, you will be among those who walk on streets of Heaven.    

Above all, the most important thing derived from the knowledge of God and of his son is a personal relationship with God. Your relationship with God will grow each day when you diligently seek him and your knowledge of God opens doors into deeper service for God.  You are his ambassador to the world and in that function you take his message to the world so they may know the love of God hoping that they do not perish.

Finally you need to compare your lives as parents to God your Father. Don’t you guide your children by giving them instructions that keeps them safe and teach your children social skills? Do you teach them how to care for them selves and provide them with the things they need? Do you protect them from the neighborhood bully and teach them how to defend them selves? Do you open doors for their future and advise them how to improve their lives?

God may us different terms to explain what he does for his children, but they are essentially the same things as described in the paragraph above. He doesn’t want anyone to perish and takes appropriate measures to insure a rich and glorious welcome for his children into his home.


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