Sunday, May 29, 2016

Something You Need to Know

    This is something that everyone needs to know. A way to have freedom, a way to have control. You do not have to be a slave to your desires. You have been given the right to chose in how you want to live your life and because we have the right to chose, we sometimes make the wrong choices. Why do we sometimes make more wrong decisions rather than the right ones? It is because we have one thing in common with everyone else, a thing that was handed down to us by our first parents, Adam and Eve. It is a great imperfection that is within our flesh that we cannot get rid of, it is called sin.
     When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God told them not to, something happen to them. Genesis 3:5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." After eating of the fruit, their mind knew evil where they never knew it before. Before Adam and Eve ate of the fruit their body and mind were perfect, there was no evil within them, their thoughts were pure. But after both of them ate of the fruit, their mind became corrupted by sin and they saw themselves as naked before the LORD. Adam said to God in Genesis 3:10 "And he said, "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." Before that happen, Genesis 2:25 "And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." But after they both ate of the fruit, they became ashamed, meaning they both had something to hide. What was it? It was their wrong doing, they knew that they sinned against God.
     After Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of good and evil they did not become like God but more like the devil, a rebellious sinner, not doing what was right but what was evil. What does all this mean to us? Sadly to say we have all inherited this evil sin. Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned." Not only was the way we think changed, our bodies also became mortal because of it. Yes, sin has corrupted both our mind and body.
     This is important to understand that you are inclined to think in an evil way because of the evil condition that you inherited at birth. You inherited sin. Sin has change your from thinking pure thoughts to thinking bad thoughts. Genesis 8:21 "And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done." God saw our sinful nature and took pity upon us.
     Psalm 51:5 "Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Iniquity definition is the quality of being unfair or evil. So this means we were born in an unfair evil condition. I think this is why we kept on doing the wrong things when we were growing up and our parents had to punish us because of them. In way our parents had to act like God in our life showing us what was right and wrong. Why? Because if left to our own sinful desires we would choose to do wrong most of the time.
     The apostle Paul explained how sin work within his body in Romans 7:15,17,18,20 "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh. For I have to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." The apostle Paul told us he was having a conflict within his flesh. The flesh being influenced by sin was telling him to do wrong, while his spirit wanted to do what is right. He said nothing good dwells in my flesh. Why? Because that is where the evil of sin dwells.
     The apostle Paul also said in Romans 7:25 "....So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin." He said he follows the commandments of God with his mind while his flesh is inclined to break them, due to the sin that is within it.
     So when bad thoughts come into your head, you now know where they come from, from the evil of the sin that is within you. Like for example you feel a need to steal, to hurt others, to get drunk or to do immoral things, this is the sin that is within you telling you to do it. You do not have to give in to it because we all have a choice. You can say this to yourself. You can said yes I do have a feeling to steal but I will not act upon it. You can yes, I do have a desire to hurt others, to get drunk and to do immoral acts but this is only my sin's desires, it is not my real desire. I am not my sin. My sin does not define me. My sin does not have control over me. I am more than this and I do have a choice.
     We do not have to live by our basic nature in doing evil, just because our first parents sinned against God. We can actually choose a different path, the path that Jesus Christ set for us to follow. Yes, we are all sinners but we do not have to act in a sinful way. Jesus showed us how to live our lives. He gave us a choice to follow him and have eternal life rather than live our life by our sin's desires and have death (Romans 6:23). God gave Adam and Eve the freedom of choice, and he gave us one to.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Taking Back of What Was Lost

     In the beginning man had dominion over the Earth (Genesis 1:25) and then Satan took that control away from man (Luke 4:5,6). Then Jesus Christ was sent into the world to reclaim what man had lost. He succeeded in defeating Satan for Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 "And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." Daniel 7:14 "And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed." Just as man lost his earthly dominion to Satan, Satan lost his dominion over the Earth to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ took back what man had lost.
     It is interesting that Satan tried to give Jesus control over all the kingdoms of the Earth. Matthew 4:8,9 "Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9And he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." These verses showed me that Satan has complete control over all the governments of the world and that is why we are told to not to fight against the physical governments but against the power that is behind them. Ephesians 6:12 "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the comic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."
     Jesus through his death and resurrection broke our captivity to Satan. Jesus opened our eyes and gave us a way out of the sin and death that we were living under. 1 Corinthians 15:21,22 "For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." Romans 5:19 "For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one's obedience the many will be made righteous." 
     Satan does not want to lose control over us so he tries to prevent us from finding our salvation through Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:4 "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." Matthew 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart..." Matthew 13:21 tells us that some people will abandon the word of God if it brings them trouble or persecution, something the devil is happy to do. Next in Matthew 13:22 tells us some people will place their everyday activities over the importance of studying the Bible. It is so curious to me why we ignore something that so important to our lives and make it so trivial. It seems that Satan has many ways to keep us distracted and in the dark, from the truth of God's word.
    If our fight is not against the physical but the spiritual, should we not be preparing ourselves for the battle, not with guns but with God's word. God's word is what Jesus Christ used to defeat Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness. It is what he relied on throughout his ministry. God's word is a powerful weapon against evil so powerful that it created all things in the beginning. No one should underestimate the spiritual power of God's word. God's word is the light we should be using against the evil darkness that is within our world.
     Jesus told us how he wants us to take back our world from Satan. Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have command you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Matthew 9:36-38 "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
     Jesus Christ wants us to spread the good news to everyone so to bring light to where there was only darkness. He wants every eye and heart to be open, not by fear but by love. Jesus Christ took back what was lost and he wants us to continue the work by rescuing the captives of Satan, by freeing them with the salvation of his words.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

When the World Became Evil

      In the beginning man had dominion over the Earth. Genesis 1:25 "Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." Then Satan came along and tricked Adam and Eve into believing in his lies rather than in God's truth thereby delivering the dominion of the world into his hands.  
     Satan was given dominion over the world. The devil told this to Jesus in Luke 4:5,6 "And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time,6and said to him, "To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will." And Satan carefully watches over his territory for in Job 1:7 "The LORD said to Satan, "From where have you come?" Satan answered the LORD and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." This is why the apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."
     We are born into this dark devil controlled world to live out our lives. 1 John 5:19 "We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." Not only are we born into this realm of darkness, we have the misfortune of having a sinful nature too. Genesis 8:21 "And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man's heart is evil from his youth..." This showed me that the only hope that we have is through God's forgiveness and his love.
     The sin within us is inclined to do evil and the devil tempts us into doing sin. The devil uses our weaknesses against us and tries to belittle us before God. He does not want to lose any of us to God so he accuses us of being disloyal before God, trying to convince God that he still in control instead of Jesus Christ. Revelation 12:10 "And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before God." The devil is hoping to make us feel to unworthy to be loved by God, so that we do not seek him out.
     Our only way out of this darkness is God's love and forgiveness through his son Jesus Christ. Nothing that man is doing on his own is bring our world closer to being a loving family. Man alone has no power over the devil, he cannot bring a lasting change to our world without God's help and protection. Whatever good he is doing will be met with resistance for the devil is evil and not good. Satan does not want his world to reflect the goodness of God but the darkness of his own desires.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

How Do You Act?

     If you treated someone as though they were dead, How would you act towards them? You would not include them in your life. You would rarely think about them. You would not be interested in what they had to say. You would act as though they did not exist. This is what you would do to someone if you were mad at them and wanted to cut them out of your life but it is also something you would do if you unintentionally ignore your family and friends. We can get so wrap up in our everyday lives and start treating those around us like they are dead and do not even exist. It is can also be the same with our relationship with God.
     I asked myself, how would I act as though God was dead, even though I still believe he is alive and I still wanted to serve him. By my actions I would not be doing what God wants me to do. I would not be taking to heart any of his words. I would be doing as I please as if the Bible did not exist. I would be more reliant on myself and on others for my answers, than on prayer and God's guidance through his word. Yes, in my mind I would believe him to be alive and still wanted to serve him but by my actions I would be sending out a different signal to God as though he did not exist.
     Our actions can be misread by our family and friends if we do not make time for them. They may think we are mad at them whereas we were only neglectful in including them in our lives. God knows our hearts but people only know us by what we say and do. Our heavenly Father also wants to be included in our lives, by us making time to talk to him in prayer and by showing him respect by living by his word.
     Jesus said in Mark 12:30,31 "And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." If we really love God and our neighbors we will make time for them and not ignore them like they do not exist. We would not want to be treated like that and neither does our God, our family nor our friends.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Let There Be Light

     In the beginning God brought light into our world. Genesis 1:3,4 "And God said, "Let there be light," 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness." Again God said, "Let there be light" and sent his only begotten son Jesus Christ into our world. This time the world was not in a literal darkness but a spiritual one. Through Jesus Christ, God again separated the light from the darkness and he saw it was good.
     I saw a similarity between the light at the beginning of creation and when Jesus Christ brought light into our world, both times the world was in darkness. There was a separation between light and darkness in a literal sense at the beginning and also in a spiritual way, when Jesus Christ was upon the Earth. God never wanted us to live in complete darkness. Genesis 1:16 "And God made the two great lights--the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night-- and the stars." As you can see God made the light to rule over the darkness and not the darkness ruling over the light.
     John 8:12 "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." God's light came into our world through Jesus Christ and the light of Jesus conquered over the darkness. From him God's light expanded and spread throughout our world. It would have been a beautiful thing if all the people upon our world would have embraced the light of our Lord but they did not. Many people became to accustomed to living within the dark to let it go. Some may even partially agreed with Jesus and partially agreed with world but they did not let go of the darkness that God was trying to get rid of. God is telling us through Jesus Christ, now is the time for change. We can keep the darkness and perish with it or embrace the light and live.
     Genesis 19:14 "so Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, "Up! Get out of this place, for the LORD is about to destroy the city." But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting." Many people are not grasping the importance of Jesus Christ message of salvation. They are not seeing the change that God is bring upon this world. They are like Lot's son-in-laws and thinking it is all just a joke, something that should not be taken seriously.
     God has a plan for us. Colossians 1:13 "He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son," God is bring his people out of the darkness to be his chosen people. 1 Peter 2:9 "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." This is no joke, the spiritual darkness within our world is coming to an end by being replaced by the spiritual light of God. We have to make a decision whether or not to hold on to the spiritual darkness within the world or to stand completely in the spiritual light of God.
     So God said, "Let there be light." and so shall it be.