The Father of Lights

This term from James chapter one refers to God as the Creator of the lights of the sky … sun moon, stars, galaxies etc. He not only created all things but is generous and gives good gifts to men.

How many wealthy people do you know that are as generous? God owns it all and is very pleased to give us His best, that being His Only Begotten Son, Christ Jesus.

When we have Christ, we have EVERYTHING. Without Him, we have nothing.

It’s time we got our eyes off of material possessions and on the truly good gifts.

READ/HEAR: James 1

 

Wholesome Thinking

Wrong thinking is a plague in our society. Shaped primarily by TV, movies, and social media, the average person doesn’t have a chance at rational, clear thinking. An agenda promoted by these mediums subtly corrals the masses into a conformity that is being groomed to yield to ungodly control. (Is that overstated?)

God wants our minds to be filled with His Ways and His Peace. He has given us His Word to accomplish this. The Psalmist instructed, “How can a young man cleanse his ways? By taking heed to God’s commands.” [Ps. 119:9]

Reading or hearing God’s Word on a daily basis is the greatest factor in maintaining a wholesome and clear thought life.

“Too many open minds need to be closed for repairs.” -Bill Gothard

READ/HEAR: 1 Pet. 5; 2 Pet 1-3

Live for God’s Will

Peter makes the critical distinction of living for God’s will rather than serving our own lusts and desires. The main difference is that the Godly obey God’s Spirit within them rather than the voice of their own body and its desires.

Essentially, what voice are we listening to and obeying? The voice of the flesh will always please itself, but God’s voice pleases His purpose and will always be of most benefit to others also. Christ valued not His own life, but laid it down for us. He is our example. His Spirit within us will always do the same.

READ/HEAR: 1 Pet. 3,4

Credit for Suffering

 

Christ Jesus suffered unjustly. His reason was to fully pay the price for our health, spiritual and physical. His reward is to see us walk in God’s blessing.

Similarly, we have the option of suffering under injustice to receive a reward in the afterlife. Scripture clarifies, no present suffering is enjoyable, but will yield good fruit when God hands out rewards when He judges everything.

Athletes do it all the time … they endure exhausting and often painful training regimens to reap the reward of maximized performance when they compete.

We don’t like to suffer. If we could only realize how beneficial our temporary pain will be when we pass the test and reap our reward.  Peter encouraged us to set our affection on thing above (in the eternal hereafter) rather than things here below.

READ/HEAR: 1 Peter 1,2

New Jerusalem has a Wall

 

With all the controversy over walls lately, it is noteworthy to know that the New Jerusalem coming from God out of heaven has a wall made of jasper.an opaque aggregate of quartz and other minerals. No doubt, it will be beautiful.

Entrance to the New Jerusalem is limited to those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, those who have had the cleansing blood of Christ remove their sins.

God is not trying to keep people out. He sent His Son to pay the price for their admittance. There are no waiting lines. The benefits are “out of this world.” A salvation relationship with Christ is necessary to enter this eternal home of pleasures untold.

“God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” [1 Jn. 5:11]

READ/HEAR: Rev. 21,22

God Keeps Books

Every deed is recorded by God. When the living and the dead all appear before God at the White Throne Judgement, He opens the books and judges all.  Those whose names are in the Lamb’s Book of Life are exempted from this judgement and given eternal life. They will appear before the Judgement Seat of Christ to receive their reward for their deeds of righteousness.

The knowledge of the coming judgements should inspire the believer to take advantage of the opportunities we still have while it is yet day.  The night is coming when no man can work.

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.” [Col. 1:28]

READ/HEAR: Rev. 19,20

City of Shame

New York clearly is guilty of the indictments against Babylon spoken of in Rev. 18. Even 9/11 is a picture of a one-hour burning for all the world to see.

Cities are certainly centers of human activity that can take on a shameful sin-reputation.   We must believe, though, that God has a plan of redemption for cities. Consider Jonah and his mission to preach to Ninevah. We see that God has a special plan and certain people to minister to that city. I think of Pastor Jim Cymbala who pastors the Brooklyn Tabernacle and the great work for God he is doing.

A city may indeed reap a tragic fate, but the inhabitants need a visitation from God prayed for and facilitated by God’s people.

“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” [Jer. 29:7]

READ/HEAR: Rev. 18