052414, Considering, “The Simple, Yet Important, Things Of Life”

Consider the man who – loves Jesus – defends his country – is faithful to his wife – works hard to support his family – is respected by those who know him – nuff said

Small Town Southern Man

Ephesians 5:25, New King James Version (NKJV)

“Husbands, love your wives…,”

052214, Apostles’ Doctrine, Fellowship, Breaking Of Bread, Prayers, Acts 2:42

Acts 2:42, New King James Version (NKJV)
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Consider the simplicity of the early church, which is the body of Christ. Notice the four easy elements that define the home church meetings that took place in Jerusalem in 33 A.D. You will find all of those elements of worship in the following outline of our church’s worship times.

Consider the simplicity of the continued worship of the early believers in Christ, in Acts 20:7. In this passage, you will notice that the fellowship meals continued. The remembrance of our Lord’s Death, through “the Lord’s Supper, The Communion,” was probably a part of the meal. It is important to remember that we, the body of Christ, are “The Communion.” We use bread and wine, or grape juice, to focus on the broken body and shed blood of Jesus. Still we, the body of Christ, are “The Communion.” We are “The Communion Of The Saints.” In the Acts 20 passage, you can see that after the fellowship meal, the Apostle Paul preached to the believers who were present, “until midnight.” Now, a little ‘tongue in cheek;’ please don’t have anyone speak “until midnight.” Seriously speaking, when you lead a church group, you need to know about how long a guest speaker is going to preach. You will also need to know something about the speaker before you authorize that person to address your group; that can save you much embarrassment. You will also need to hold to acceptable times of prayer, and of anything else that takes place in your group.

Acts 20:7

New King James Version (NKJV)

Ministering at Troas

7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.

Compassion Church Outline Of Apostles’ Doctrine, Fellowship, Breaking Of Bread, Prayers

Please let me tell you about the breaking of bread during our church’s times of worship. In doing so, let me take you to Matthew’s account of the Passover Seder. We have found that account to be the best description of how Jesus took the opportunity of the Jewish passover meal to look back to the events of the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, and then look forward to His soon to occur death, burial, and resurrection. We will start with our leader reading Mt 26:17-19. Then the food items will be given to everyone. We have paper plates, 9 oz plastic cups, napkins, and hand sanitizer that we all use to clean our hands. It is a hand pump, and is always present on our table. Then, the leader will give thanks for the “meal,” or ask someone else to give thanks. Then we will begin to share our meal, and have a time of fellowship throughout the sharing of our words. The leader will determine when the next reading will take place, and will read Mt 26:20-25. It is good to point out that Judas was present, and that Jesus treated him the same as He did the other disciples, and also washed his feet. No one is left out. (Please read my post 022814, and focus on the Corinthian account.). The leader will read vs 26, and ask someone to take a piece of the bread that is part of the meal, and break that piece and pray, as it relates to the body of Jesus being broken. All of us will break a piece of bread and eat it. The meal continues. The leader will determine when the next verses, 27-28, will be read, and will read those verses. Someone will be asked to hold the cup before them, pray for it, as it relates to the shed blood of Christ, and lead the rest of us in the drinking of the juice. The leader will read vs 29 and mention that we will share in the passover with Jesus in the millennium. We will continue our meal (we love to eat! It’s a joyous time for us). When we all have finished the meal, the leader will read vs 30, and lead a song, or ask someone else to lead a song. “Amazing Grace,” “Let Us Break Bread Together,” or anything else that fits the moment. Then, the leader will ask someone to pray for travel mercies for our people. Then, we will clean up and fellowship some more. Then we will leave.

Consider the preparation that goes before each of our worship services. Each Friday when I wake up, it is usually dark. I think, “God, how great this is. You created this day that is being preceded by darkness.” Then, the darkness turns to dawn. I will say, “God, you did this; You did a great job!” As the dawn turns into day, I think again, “Wow! God! You really did it! What a great job you did of creating this wonderful day.” This time of day, from dawn until Sunset is the Preparation Day (John 19:14). The Jews used it to prepare for the Sabbath, the Lord’s Sabbath, which would would arrive at Sunset, on every Friday, and stay until sunset on Saturday, every Saturday. During the day I am keeping the Lord’s Sabbath on my mind, and thinking that God made it, set it apart from every other day of the week, and made it Holy. (Gen 2:1-3). During the day I am preparing for our Friday Evening Sabbath Service, which will begin at 6:30, which will be close to dusk, sundown, the beginning of the Lord’s Sabbath. During each Friday, I will not do anymore than I absolutely have to do. I will go to Walmart and buy French Bread, cheese chunks, bananas, and grape juice (low cal, low sodium, low sugar). I will return home at about 3:30 and begin praying and listening to worship and praise music as I prepare to lead our people in their worship and praise, and Bible study and communion. I will usually arrive at our church’s meeting place at 5:30 and will begin setting things up. The first thing that I will do is to put up a cross in front of our big window. Then, I will set up chairs and my pulpit. Then I will pray, read my Bible, and sing to God. At 6:30 our people will begin a time of fellowship, sharing, praying, encouraging, and singing praises to God. We may sing a song, and then pray. Or we may sing all of the songs and pray. We may pray for each other, and we may pray for whatever God will lead us to consider. Until 7PM, we will have this time of fellowship. It is very casual, and very worshipful. At 7PM, we will begin a Teaching Sermon. At 8PM, we will begin a preaching sermon. At about 8:30 we will come around our big table and begin the sharing of our fellowship meal of bread (already sliced), bananas, cheese, and grape juice. We always use Matt 26:17-30 as a guide. It shows the transition from the passover to the Lord’s Supper. A prayer is given for the meal. We eat and fellowship. A prayer is made for the bread (the bread that comes from the meal – not a realistic presence of Christ’s Body. We break the bread and continue with our fellowship meal (we are standing). Then, we will take of the cup of juice – not the actual blood of Christ, but juice that came from the meal on the table. Then, we will continue eating (isn’t that good?). When we all have finished the meal, someone will lead in a song (Mt 26:30). Then, and only then, we will clean up, and fellowship more. It is about 8:45 PM when we will leave. We will have seen day turn to dusk, and dusk turn to darkness. Wow! That is great. What is important is that nobody has taken the meal in an unworthy manner. Jesus served Judas, and washed his feet. (Please read my posts on communion). Our people are being trained to minister to others. Each person in our church is being prepared to lead this fellowship meal and communion service. Women will be better able to minister to other women if they are trained to do so. Therefore, we include our ladies in the leading of the fellowship meal and communion.

As you have read this post of communion, you will have notice the aspect of our Friday Evening Sabbath Worship. My blog address that subject; I encourage you to read the posts that teach on the Lord’s Sabbath. In them, you will notice that Sabbath worship is not a requirement for the church. Still, it is a time that lends to Holiness. It is working well for our church. (Please see my posts: 011714, 020314, 021514, 021614, 022114, 030714, 032014, 042514, 042514-3, 041014)

For a time of worship, please consider the two following songs. May they draw you into close communion with our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

In The Presence Of Jehovah

Holy Are You Lord

John 4:24, New King James Version (NKJV)

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

052114, Compassion For The People, Matthew 15:32

Matthew 15:32, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Four Thousand Fed

32 And Jesus called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.”

Compassion Ministries International (CMI)
Mt15:32 “Compassion For The People”
http://cchurchchurch.wordpress.com

The above link will take you to the latest blog that discusses one of our church’s ministries. Please check it out. You might find additional support for benevolent ministries in which you are involved. The blog has just recently been published, but it has been in the spiritual design phase for a few months. It replaces a similar ministry that has been terminated due to its web page being hacked and its information being compromised. You may find some similarities of thought of CMI that relate it to Equipping The Saints, but you will also find many distinct differences. At present time there are no posts on the blog, but there are three pages of information that relate to the ministry of compassion. By virtue of its name it can be seen that the CMI ministry is truly of a benevolent nature and international in outreach. As you read the page on the CMI Mission And Belief Statement, you will come across the term “Heart Member;” it may be of interest to you. That term comes from a thought that was provided by a blog friend who lives in Australia, which is the amazing “land down under.” Please check out the blog and give me some feed back. As usual, I will close this post with a song of worship and Bible verses. May our Lord Jesus bless all of you. If you are reading this post, and do not have an intimate personal and saving relationship with Jesus, I invite you to make a decision now to give up your will to Him and ask Him to be the Lord and Savior of your life. Please consider the following verses that are known as “The Romans Road” to salvation.

Romans 3:23, American Standard Version (ASV)

23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23, American Standard Version (ASV)

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8, American Standard Version (ASV)

8 But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9, American Standard Version (ASV)

9 because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:

Romans 10:13, American Standard Version (ASV)

13 for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Paul Wilbur, Jerusalem Arise

Philippians 3:10, American Standard Version (ASV)

10 that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death;

052014, U.S. Memorial Day, John 15:13

John 15:13, New King James Version (NKJV)

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

As Americans, citizens of the United States Of America, we owe a great debt to the members of our U.S. Military Forces. Some have served and returned home to family and friends. Others served and paid the ultimate cost for freedom. On this Memorial Day, let us not forget the members, past and present, who served during the periods of war of World War I, World War II, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, The War In Iraq, The War In Afghanistan, and other contingencies around the world. Not a lot is being said about the War In Iraq. The war in Iraq was conducted during the 2003-2011 time frame. There were 4486 US war casualties during The Iraq War.

Please take time to look at the following videos. As you consider the videos consider the greatness of our country, The United States Of America. Remember that our country is a great country, because it is a good country, and that as long as we are a good country, we will continue being a great country.

And yes, “I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

Manila American Cemetery

As a young airman, stationed in the Philippines during the Vietnam War, I was able to visit this cemetery. It was an honor for me to have walked among the grave sites of the more than 17,000 war heroes of the Second World War.

Tribute To A Fallen Marine Who Gave His Life In Iraq

Fallen Soldier Returns Home

May God richly bless the air crews who bring back home the remains of our heroes who have given their lives on foreign soil.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

It was very humbling for me to have seen the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, that was traveling throughout our great nation, while it was at Fort Stewart, in Georgia.

Motorcycle Escort – Traveling Vietnam War Memorial – Lancaster, Ohio

May God richly bless our patriotic bikers, and the people who stand along the road sides to honor them and the causes that they honor.

Fallen Soldier Funeral Procession

May God richly bless the Patriotic Guard Riders. They escort our troops who are returning home from overseas, and funeral processions of our fallen soldiers.

USMC Fallen War Hero

May God richly bless the patriotic Americans who stand along side of the roads and give honor to our fallen heroes as they are driven to their final resting places. May God richly bless our law enforcement officers who escort those funeral processions. May God richly bless Americans who pull their cars off of the road, in respect for the fallen war heroes, and for the patriotic Americans who remove their caps and hats, and put their hands over their hearts, and lower their heads in honor of our fallen heroes.

USMC Fallen Hero

May God richly bless our military honor guard details. May God richly bless the mortuary officials who transport the remains of the fallen heroes.

Medal Of Honor For Fallen U.S. Navy Seal Of Iraq War By President Bush
May our nation never forget to honor our military heroes.

U.S. Armed Forces – We Must Fight

Taps, Lyrics

Philippians 3:10, New King James Version (NKJV)
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,

051814, Armed Forces Day, John 15:13

John 15:13
New English Translation (NET)

13 No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.

Not much press is give to Armed Forces Day, but many Americans celebrate Armed Forces Day annually on the third Saturday of May. It is a day to pay tribute to men and women who serve the United States’ armed forces. Armed Forces Day is also part of Armed Forces Week, which begins on the second Saturday of May. It is important for us to remember the sacrifices that have been made by the members of our armed forces, and of their families.

There are two videos that tell a story of the members of our armed forces, their families, and the people of our great nation, the United States of America. In our great country, people on the street will pay honor to our nation’s flag when it passes by in a parade or motorcade, by the removal of our hats from our heads, by placing our hands over hearts, and by saluting the flag as it passes by us. We give thanks to God for the food that we eat, in our homes and in restaurants. In our country we stand still and pay honor to those who pass by us in funeral processions. In our country we line up for many miles to give respect to the bodies of fallen members of our armed forces as they are taken to their home towns for proper burial.

Our military services have a proper and dignified way of returning to their places of burial, the bodies of fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines,and Coast Guardsmen, whether they are active duty, reserve, or national guard. The process is known as, “The Dignified Transfer.” The soldier’s creed of, “Leave No Man Behind,” applies to all members of our Armed Forces. A video that follows is that of a media report of such a dignified transfer. A fallen soldier, who was a citizen soldier – a member of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, a father and husband, was returned from the place of his death in Afghanistan to his hometown in the great state of Oklahoma. You will see many fellow citizens who lined the street and paid respect to the fallen soldier. You will see an interview with his grieving widow, as well as with members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. One of the Guardsmen is a military chaplain, who is also a Christian. It needs to be said that an atheist chaplain, who knows nothing of an eternal afterlife, would be totally inappropriate to be included in a detail, to tell a widow that her husband is now deceased, but is present with God. You will see the love and care that exists within the armed forces, as it extends to caring for its military families who have undergone the suffering that follows death. You will see many American flags behind held by the American citizens who are present when the honor motorcade passes them. You will see that a great majority of American citizens still love “mom, home, apple pie,” our nation, our military, and the men and women who serve our nation through our armed forces.

In our country we are guaranteed the freedom of religion by our Constitution. If you will read the words of the First Amendment to our Constitution, you will find no “great wall of separation,” written in it. The words are very clear, and state that “we the people” are protected from our government, which is not allowed to make a law which concerns religion. There have been leaders of our government who have used the words, “freedom of worship.” There is a great difference in “freedom of religion” and “freedom of worship.” Many in our government would like for us to be free to go into a building and sing, and clap our hands,and hear a sermon; that is freedom of worship. Freedom of religion allows us to practice what we learn inside of those buildings, outside of those buildings.

First Amendment

Main article: First Amendment to the United States Constitution

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

A Dignified Transfer: A Fallen Soldier’s Final Journey Home

The second video shows similar respect for a fallen soldier. You will see a lone Marine who stands holding a very long salute of honor.

For The Saluting Marine

We, as citizens of the United States Of America, live in a great country. We are great country because we are a good country. As long as we are a good country, we will be a great country. And yes, “I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

Matthew 25:40
New King James Version (NKJV)

40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

051714, The War In Afghanistan, John 15:13

John 15:13
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

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

Not a lot of news reporting is done on the war in Afghanistan. This has been a source of concern for our troops in that war-torn country. There is a need for letting our troops know that their country appreciates them. Holidays are times that we can let our troops know of our love and appreciation for them. This ministry has been directly involved during the last three years in sending cards to our troops in Afghanistan, via military chaplains. Planning is essential to sending cards and various care packages to the chaplains. Please let me know if you would like to become involved in this Matthew 25:40 ministry. Churches, civic organizations, schools, businesses, and individuals can take an active role in this greatly needed ministry. There was one Christmas season that this ministry was able to provide a coordinated effort that resulted in more than 2400 Christmas cards being sent to our troops in Afghanistan. We have helped to send Christian study materials, Bibles, blankets, toiletries, and snack items to our troops. Such acts of love and benevolence provide a way for Christian chaplains to extend that same love to members of other religions groups. A year ago, there was a need for blankets. One shipment of blankets arrived at a Chaplain’s office. Immediately, the blankets were given to a US Army helicopter medic who needed them right away. We have provided many bibles, some of which were give to coalition troops, Polish and Czech. Ranger chaplains have taken bibles to their troops who were in areas that were inaccessible during the frigid winter months. Our military forces in Afghanistan are our heroes of this time in the history of the USA, and of supporting coalition services. If you are interested in becoming involved in this ministry of spiritual and physical support, please let me know. In order to protect our troops, protective care must be taken, as we send support items to our military personnel. A reply to this post is the starting point. I will provide an email address where further planning will begin. Please consider the following videos that relate to the realities of the war in Afghanistan. Consider the ages of the troops that you will see in the videos. Consider how you will feel when you get your first “thank you letter” from one of our heroes. And, regardless of what the liberal members of our media and government may be telling us, there are very many members of the armed services who know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and unashamedly serve Him.

The following link will lead you to the total war casualties of the Afghanistan War. The names of our heroes are listed, along with the day that they gave their lives in support of freedom. Please pray for their families.

US War Casualties – Afghanistan (by date) | Citizen Journalist Review
citizenjournalistreview.wordpress.com/ us-war-casualties-afghanistan-by-date/ – View by Ixquick Proxy – Highlight
US War Casualties – Afghanistan (by date). (This page is continually updated as data is released. You are welcome to go to our home page and leave …

And yes, “I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.”

Matthew 25:40
New King James Version (NKJV)

40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

051614, The Vietnam War, John 15:13

The US involvement in Vietnam was from 1950 until the last US combat troops were withdrawn in 1973. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon were the commanders in Chief. There were more than 500,00 US troops stationed there by 1969. 58,220 US troops died in the war. In the US, there were many protests against the war. Troops who returned from their tours of duty often faced great ridicule. Today, in the US, there are questions about the proper treatment of US veterans in VA hospitals. Many of those who have not received proper VA treatment are those whose ages place them in the Vietnam War era. They may have been stationed in Vietnam, or in other adjoining areas of Southeast Asia, such as Thailand. The time was during that of the Cold War with Russia. Other US troops were stationed at bases throughout the world. Many people had loved ones who died in the Vietnam War. In the 1960s the life insurance death benefit for service members was $10,000. Basic pay in 1968 for pay grade E-1 was $96.00 a month. Of course, the barracks was free, as was the food. Wow! Such a deal! Because of the many duty stations that I had during that time frame, it seemed that my job was actually “moving.” I wasn’t stationed in Vietnam, but in Thailand and in The Republic of the Philippines. Please remember to thank a military veteran for their service to our country, regardless of their time of service. Don’t forget about those who are serving now, whether it is active duty, guard, or reserve. The video that follows has music that is played. It is not Christian music, but it may tell a story of the war in Vietnam. Maybe there are some stories that need to be shared. Please consider the following Bible verse.

King James Bible, John 15:13

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him…”

Editor’s note: The original video was removed; I apologize. The replacement video did not carry the spirit of the one tha that was replaced. Robin Williams played a wonderful role of a military disc jockey who attempted to improve morale in the lives of our forces who were stationed in and around Vietnam. May we never forget the great sacrifices of the members of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard who served their nation well in that war that caused so many lives to be taken from us. May we also remember the forces of the allied nations who served their nations in the Southeast Asia Theatre. I trust that the song that I have added to this post will interject reality into the discussions that have taken place about the Vietnam War.

051514, East From The West, Psalm 103:12

The words of a very special sister in Christ prompted me to post this verse, song, and words. Please know that if your life is in a state of shambles, the scarred hands of Jesus are waiting to wrap themselves around you, and give you the comfort that can come only from Him.

For those who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, please consider the words of this passage of scripture. They are quick, and to the point! Please remember them.

Psalm 103:12, New Century Version, (NCV)

He has taken our sins away from us as far as the east is from west.

East To West with lyrics by Casting Crowns

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him … “

051414, What A Wonderful World, Genesis 1:31

New Living Translation, Genesis 1:31

“Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day”

It is 2:20 AM on the east coast of the USA. So, please let me say, to all of my blog friends, in all of the world,

Good morning Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Good afternoon Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, and all of the Pacific Rim.

Good evening to Hawaii, American Samoa, and other island areas in the Pacific.

Good night to the Americas, North, Central, and South.

This post is free. Let’s just enjoy God’s creation. In the video, check out the “Free Hugs” sign.

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him.”

051314, You’re Doing Acts 1:8. How Do You Answer Questions About “The Kiss” and 55 Million US Aborted Babies?

Acts 1:8, World English Bible (WEB)

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”

You have just come upon a group of people on a street corner in a large American city. You do all of the things that you have been taught, as they relate to evangelism and witnessing. You recite John 3:16. Then, you tell the crowd the way of “The Romans Road” (Romans 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9, 10:13). A variety of comments are made by your listeners. Then, someone comes close to you and asks you two questions. 1. What do you think about the football player kissing his boyfriend? 2. What do you think about so many babies being aborted in our country since the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision in 1973? The questioner, who stated that he attends a state university, said that he has found approval, on both social issues by a lot of people. He mentioned that many groups of people, and individuals, have said that, “it’s okay to kill unborn babies,” and it’s okay for men to have sexual relations with other men, and for women to have sexual relations with other women. The man used the term “gay,” to refer to the conduct that we know as “homosexuality.” And, he used the term, “choice,” to relate to the horrible act of killing babies while they are still in the womb, while they are exiting the womb, and after they have exited the womb – by letting the babies lay on a cold metal table, not receiving nourishment until they die. The student then named those who approve of homosexual acts and marriages, and abortion on demand. He mentioned unions, Hollywood actors, university teachers, other university students, news media, owners of large corporations, some “open minded denominations,” and the leader of our country. As the student has become much more bolder with his questions, you notice that other members of the crowd are joining in with shouts of approval for the homosexual agenda and abortion on demand. When you consider all of the people who favor those ungodly life styles and acts, you realize that you are greatly outnumbered. So! What do you do?

As our society increasingly is becoming more in favor of situations that are abominable to God, we must prepare our congregations, ourselves, and our families for greater hostility to the gospel of Christ, and greater retaliation for us if we are bold in our defense of God’s Holy Word. In time, we may find it to be “hate crimes” to openly speak against abortion and homosexuality. As pastors, we need to insure that our congregations are being educated on the truths of scripture that relate to our morally decaying society. As leaders of families, we need to prepare our children for the verbal attacks that they will encounter if they openly speak in favor of the sanctity of life, and of “male-female only marriage.”

Elections occur every two, four, and six years for The House Of Representatives, The Presidency, and The Senate. Christians need to know the moral position of each candidate. We have a responsibility to know those positions, and to vote accordingly. If the Body of Christ were “to vote,” each time there is an election, we would have a different government in place; one which would give us a nation that is led by men and women who respect the teachings of God’s Word, and who would vote on legislative issues, in accordance with Holy Scripture.

We are taught to love the sinner and hate the sin. Let me suggest that you read a post that I wrote on “Reconsidering True Compassion,” December 26, 2013/January 10, 2014. We need to hold fast to the Word of God.

Joshua 24:15, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Romans 1:16, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Christians need to appreciate the seriousness of the sanctify of life.

55,772,015 Abortions in America Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 1/18/13

Consider the sanctity of life as your view the following videos.

We need to consider the sin of the men of Sodom.

Genesis 19:4-5

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

4 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people [a]from every quarter; 5 and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may [b]have relations with them.”
Footnotes:

Genesis 19:4 Or without exception; lit from every end
Genesis 19:5 I.e. have intercourse

Equipping The Saints Blog

http://equippingblog.wordpress.com/

050914, Gotta Problem

During the past three or four days, no blog posts or comments have been going into my email inbox; that includes mine, also. I noticed that all of my “follow emails” had been deleted from my Reader Blogs Follow Edit. I selected blogs that I follow for email updates last night, but I have not received any such post info emails, so far. It is very easy for me to check emails for blog updates. I trust that Word Press will correct the problem very soon. (Word Press is always good for correcting such problems.)

I really miss reading all of your blog posts, etc, so please know that I am not neglecting the relationship that I have with you. So, for now, please enjoy the worship video that I have chosen. I trust that it will bless you.

Shalom Jerusalem

Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.”

050814, “Are You Thinking Of Ministry?” Consider Effectual Prayer! James 5:16b

Whether your ministry is taking off, or just starting, it’s important for you to know if you’re heading in the right direction. You have been given an awesome responsibility and opportunity to lead your ministry. You should be intentional in your prayers, as to your ministry being led in the direction of righteousness. It is up to you to be prayerfully ready for whatever things that might develop. Consider the scripture that addresses intentional prayer.

King James Bible, James 5:16b
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

The wording of the King James Bible translation, “effectual,” as rendered by Barnes’ Notes On The Bible, is very compelling.

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

The effectual fervent prayer – The word effectual is not the most happy translation here, since it seems to do little more than to state a truism – that a prayer which is effectual is availing – that is, that it is effectual. The Greek word (ἐνεργουμένη energoumenē) would be better rendered by the word energetic, which indeed is derived from it. The word properly refers to that which has power; which in its own nature is fitted to produce an effect. It is not so much that it actually does produce an effect, as that it is fitted to do it. This is the kind of prayer referred to here. It is not listless, indifferent, cold, lifeless, as if there were no vitality in it, or power, but that which is adapted to be efficient – earnest, sincere, hearty, persevering. There is but a single word in the original to answer to the translation effectual fervent. Macknight and Doddridge suppose that the reference is to a kind of prayer “inwrought by the Spirit,” or the “inwrought prayer;” but the whole force of the original is expressed by the word energetic, or earnest.

I think that you will find that “effectual and fervent prayer” must be a an indispensable part of any ministry, and must be ingrained in the mind of every ministry leader. Consider the following ideas that relate to disciplines of prayer that should be embraced by ministry leaders.

A few years ago, I went to the home and ministry quarters a of well-known personality whose family was also known for its ministry accomplishments. The property is located in the southeastern part of the United States Of America, and is about sixty miles away from the Atlantic Ocean. As I walked from building to building, and from room to room, I noticed a room that was not used by anybody, except for the ministry leader. That particular room was located on the upper level of a ministry building. It was used only for the personal prayer times of that ministry leader, who went there daily for uninterrupted prayer; no one was allowed to interrupt. The room was a safe place for prayer. It had no tv sets, radios, or any other types of media devices. There were only Bibles and other Christian resource materials in the room, other than furnishings. The purpose of the room was prayer, and nothing else but prayer.

It is my belief that if you are leading a ministry, or if you are considering whether you should, or should not, lead a ministry, you should consider setting aside a time and place for your regular and uninterrupted prayer. You should make it a discipline that can not be, and will not be, interrupted. You may have been reading my discussions that deal with the value and respect for the Lord’s Sabbath. I think that you should take that Sabbath time away from the prayer discipline and allow yourself to be refreshed from your prayer vigils. Prayer can be exhausting, so it should not be something that could take away from your freshness of intimacy with God. I think that you should use Friday’s Day of Preparation (John 19:14, Friday morning until Friday sunset), to prayerfully prepare for the Lord’s Sabbath (Friday sundown until Saturday sundown). I also think that you should use Sunday, the Lord’s Day, as a time of soul rest away from your prayer discipline. The type of prayer that I am suggesting, can be very fatiguing, and may become exhaustive spiritual warfare. But, I think that you will be able to realize a vast harvest of spiritual fruit if you continue in your prayer disciplines. Please consider the following prayer verses, and prayers of Jesus. The result of such prayer disciplines should be for you to become totally sold out to the intimate words of the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:10, “that I may know Him … and the power of His resurrection … and the fellowship of His sufferings … being conformed to His death.” You might consider using my writing of “Knowing God”(050214), as being a refresher for this verse (Philippians 3:10).

As it relates to “effectual and fervent prayer,” let’s consider corresponding prayers of Jesus. As you read the Lord’s prayers, read them as if you have never read them before. Look for pearls of wisdom from our Lord’s words. Don’t use cross references. Ask for God to lead you into an intimate relationship of understanding in each of the prayers. There are fourteen prayer scriptures that I am suggesting; read one of them each day over a two week period. Repeat them until you are fully aware of the spiritual meaning of each passage. The longest of the prayers is that of John 17:1-26. That passage contains many pearls of wisdom, so don’t rush through it. Examine and inspect each verse of the text. Especially in John 17:1-26, assume that you know nothing of the Lord’s teaching. Allow His Spirit to lead you as you prayerfully consider the truths of the passage deeply into your soul. John 17:3 should be a verse for you to commit to memory. It contains a Biblical text book definition of eternal salvation.

John 17:3, New American Standard Bible
“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Luke 6:12

Luke 6:18

Luke 10:21

Luke 22:42

Luke 23:34

Luke 23:46

John 11:41-43

John 12:27-28

John 17:1-26

Mark 14:32-42

Matthew 6:8-13

Matthew 11:25-26

Matthew 26:39

Matthew 27:46

Now, let’s go to our Lord Jesus in worship and praise.

Worthy

Revelation 4:11 – New International Version
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”

050714, Church Plants And Cell Groups. What Do You Think About Forming One? Acts 2:46

Following the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, on the Day of Pentecost, the early believers in Christ (not called Christians until Acts 11:26, nine years later), began to meet in small groups in their own homes for spiritual enrichment. The aspect of home churches/assemblies was not one of design, but rather of necessity. Because the early believers were Jews, and were most likely “respectful, religious Jews,” they still met in the Temple. Of significance, is the fact those early followers of Jesus met in small groups in their homes, also on a daily basis. The following scriptures show that those of the early church/assembly “devoted themselves” to the things that the Apostles were teaching them. While they met as small groups, they also “broke bread.” It is most likely that these disciples remembered the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus during the time that “they broke bread/shared a fellowship meal.” There was great excitement in the small groups, and there was also tremendous growth among the early groups of believers.

The events of the above paragraph took place in the year 33 A.D. But, how does that example relate to the year 2014 A.D? It appears that most readers, who receive my writings, are also involved in the weekly worship services of their own churches. But, there are many people who do not attend church services, at any time, and who are friends, relatives, and associates of church members. Those “absentees” are also important to our Lord Jesus. Please read the page on my blog that addresses, “The Mission And Ministry Of Equipping The Saints.” Also, read the “Mission Objectives” that are located on the blog side bar. In those two writings, you will find some good ideas for your own personal ministries.

It is one of the objectives of this ministry to help in the planting of churches, as well as various types of cell groups. Cell groups can be effective in homes, work places, and in any other setting. Cell groups can develop into, and become church plants and fully functioning assemblies/churches/congregations. Many of my readers are serious about their ministries of instruction and encouragement through their writings. Many of these same people have the ability to lead a small group of believers. What may be lacking is an organized structure of support. Or, maybe only study reference material is needed. That is where our ministry becomes valuable to such followers of Christ.

If you are interested in pursuing a cell group ministry, and would like to have support from this ministry, please let me know of your ideas about your thoughts. We will try to help you in any way that is possible. First of all, reply to this post. You will then be given further information on how we will contact you. Please consider how God can bless you as you try to share the gospel of Christ with people who may need to know Him as their Lord and Savior. Consider the following Words of God.

Philippians 4:13, World English Bible (WEB)

13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Acts 2:42-44, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread andto prayer.
43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47, The Message (MSG)

41-42 That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.
43-45 Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met.
46-47 They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.

Now, let’s praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.

Let God Arise

Days Of Elijah

Baruch Adoni

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him”

050614, Equipping The Saints, Our Church In Sabbath Worship, And In Passover And Communion

A change was made to one my blog pages. Please click onto the page link that matches the title of this post to see the changed page. The page does not have a numerical identifier.

There is also another worship song, that I am including here. It has the same title, as the song that you will see on the page, “Holy Are You Lord,” but it was recorded at another setting and has an added message. May it bless you.

Holy Are You Lord

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him …”

050414, Worship, “Do We Have Barriers To It?” Matthew 26:30-45

Matthew 26:45, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

45 Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

It was late Thursday night. Jesus and his disciples had just shared in the Passover Meal. Friday would soon be arriving, with The Day Of Preparation leading to the time when Jesus would be crucified. This horrible event would take place on Friday evening, before the beginning of the Sabbath (Friday evening at sunset). Jesus and the disciples had left the place of the Passover meal, which was an upper room of a house, which may have been the same place where the remaining eleven Apostles, and 109 other followers of Jesus went, stayed, and prayed, for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:1-15). Jesus and the disciples “sang a song,” (Mt 26:30). They went to the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:1-4), and continued to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus told the disciples to pray. Jesus prayed, and then found the disciples sleeping, and said to them, “So, you men could not keep watch with me one hour?” (Mt 26:40) Jesus continued to pray, but found the disciples sleeping, again (Mt 26:43), and said to them again, “Are you still sleeping and resting?” (Mt 26:45).

Let’s consider our corporate worship. But, first of all, let us consider scriptural examples of worship.

Let’s consider the example of worship that was set by Ezra, the scribe-priest. We will only consider that aspect of worship, as we read the account that is written in the Book of Nehemiah.

Nehemiah 8:1-8, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

8 1 all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. 2 Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3 He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4 The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 5 And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites,[a] helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. 8 So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

vs 1. All of the people gathered. vs 2. Ezra read the law to all who could understand his reading. vs 3. The reading lasted from early morning until midday; all who were there were “attentive.” vs 4. Other priests stood by Ezra, in support of him. vs 5. All of the people stood while Ezra read the law. vs 6. The people responded to Ezra’s reading (not a sermon) with voices of “Amen, Amen.” They lifted up their hands, they bowed their heads; they worshiped God with their faces to the ground. 7. Other priests helped the people to understand the law, “while the people remained in their places.” vs 8. The people understood the word that was read to them.

Let’s consider the example of King Solomon, that is written in the Book of Second Chronicles. Again, we will only consider the aspect of worship that is written in that text.

2 Chronicles 6:12-13, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands. 13 Solomon had made a bronze platform five cubits long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high, and had set it in the court; and he stood on it. Then he knelt on his knees in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven.

vs 12. Solomon stood before his people and spread out his hands. vs 13. He knelt on his knees before his people, spread out his hands to God, and prayed to God.

Let’s consider our barriers to worship.

1. Do we gather, as a body of Christ, to hear the reading of God’s Holy Word? 2. Do we ensure that the teaching is appropriate to the ability of the people, who are present, to understand it? 3. Is the length of worship a problem for us? We must not fail to remember the children in the nursery, or the adults who are with the children. We must also make provisions for people who may have medical conditions. 4. Is the pastor supported by other pastors, deacons, and members of the church? 5. Does the congregation show reverence for the reading of God’s Word? 6. Is the church too prideful to show humility and reverence to God’s Word? 7. Do the pastors ensure that the teaching is appropriate for the ability of the people to understand it. Are the people reverent while God’s Word is being read? 8. Is there the result of the people understanding the Word of God? 9. Pastors, are you too prideful to stand before your congregations and spread out your hands, and kneel on your knees, and pray to God from that posture? 10. Now. Here is the question of the century. It will be a multiple choice. Church members, would you be: “not embarrassed, embarrassed, greatly embarrassed, or terribly embarrassed” if your pastor were to stand before you, and then spread out his hands, and kneel on his knees before you, and spread out his hands to God, and “pray to Almighty God,” for him to soften hardened hearts?

Now. Let’s consider the example of worship at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church.

In the early 1970s Jim Cymbala took over the leadership of the struggling Brooklyn, New York church, which numbered less than twenty. He had no Seminary. Music Director, Carol Cymbala, had no formal music training. The church now has five weekly services, and a choir that numbers 280. Many of the members of the church are former Matthew 25:40 people, “the least of these,” (homeless, drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes – people who are close to my heart). It is easy to see the truth of Philippians 4:13 in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, “I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me.” We can also see the true life song at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, “red and yellow, black and white …. (you know the rest).” Now, for a mini concert of praise, please enjoy the inspired worship of The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

Thou O Lord
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

I Bless Your Name
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Worthy Is The Lamb
Brooklyn Taberacle Choir

Song Of Moses
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

I Say Yes
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him …”

050214, Considering, “Knowing God,” John 17:3

Considering The Intimacy Of Knowing God

Intimacy With God/Knowing God. The New Birth. The Kingdom Of God. These three topics will be addressed as we discuss the aspects of our achieving intimacy with God.

John 17:3, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

The aspect of knowing God is essential to the salvation of all human beings. It is not, merely, an awareness of Jesus, but a relationship that is described as being as close and personal as the physical relationship between a man and his wife. Strong’s reference number 1097 of the New Testament (Know) is directly related to the Old Testament reference number of 3045, in Genesis 4:1, in which Adam’s knowing Eve refers to his direct contact with her, in a sexual relationship. The 1097 reference also applies to Matthew 1:25, where Joseph did not have sexual relations with Mary until after Jesus was born. The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible states, in relation to 1097: By euphemism: to lie with a person of another sex as spoken of a man or men (Mt 1:25, Gen 4:1, 17; 24:16); of a woman or women (Lk 1:34, Gen 19:8, Nu 31:17, 35).

The application of physical intimacy is that of “one in the other.” The following scriptures show that literal application. (NASB)

John 1:4

4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

John 14:9

9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

John 14:10

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.

John 14:11

11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

John 14:16-17

16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

John 14:20

20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Romans 8:1

8 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:27

27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

1 John 1:5

5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

The aspect of intimacy is illustrated very clearly by relating physical intimacy to spiritual intimacy. The closest relationship that a husband and wife can experience is that of sexual union. God has used that example to illustrate the intimacy that is present between His “born again” believers and Him (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.) When we are born again, God’s spirit and our spirit, become one in spiritual union. In John 14, we can see the following aspects of the indwelling of the Spirits of the Father, Son, Spirit, and us. But, it is important to start this conversation with verse 9, where Jesus states that He and the Father are one. That “oneness” of God The Father and God The Son, was important for the Jews to understand, as well as for us today. It was a statement of Jesus being, “God with us,” and not a competitor or impostor (Matt1:23, Isa 7:14, 9:6). We see the literal indwelling of God’s Spirit, as follows :vs 10-11 , Father in Son, Son in Father; vs 16-17, The Holy Spirit indwelling believers; vs 20, the Spiritual union of Father, Son, and believers. The other scriptures that are listed above, also show the literal presence of God’s Holy Spirit within the spirits of believers in Christ.

God’s Spirit indwells our Spirit, immediately, after we have been born again. See John 3:3-8. That is important because of the condition of our depraved spirit, which exists immediately upon our being conceived and become an embryo. The fall of Adam and Eve resulted in a flawed conception of all subsequent births of children, from Cain forward (Romans 5:12). In order for us to understand the significance of the need to be born again, it is important for us to understand the makeup of each man, woman, child, infant, unborn child, and embryo. At the time of conception, a spirit is present in each embryo, a spirit which is in need of a Savior (Rom 3:23). Let’s go to 1 Thes 5:23. There, we see that all of us are made up of a spirit, soul, and body. It is important for us to remember that all three parts of us must be saved. All three parts of us have been affected by the fall of Adam and Eve and must be saved for us to spend eternity with God. The terms “spirit and soul” are often used interchangeably. But, they are actually separate. Our body is easy to describe. Our soul is our emotion, consciousness, and reasoning. Our spirit is our initial point of entry into life. Our spirit is in need of a savior. It is the deepest part of us, and is the part of us that God is seeking to save, per Lk 19:10, so that we will spend eternity with Him. There is a need for all of us, “body, soul, spirit,” to be saved. When we have been born again, our spirit has been saved – it can not sin – it is immediately made perfect, just as perfect as the Spirit of Christ (Justification). Through our life’s walk, we become more mature in Christ (Sanctification), but because our soul can sin, it will not be saved until our death or until we are caught up in the rapture; our soul, “is being saved” – will be made perfect. Our body can sin, just as our soul is also able to do so, even after our spirit has been born again. It will be saved upon its resurrection in the Rapture (Glorification), where it “will be saved” – will be made perfect. So, here is a timeline of our growth in Christ. We have been saved (spirit). We are being saved (soul). We will be saved (body). It is important to remember that if any part of us can sin, it has not been saved. It is only our spirit that can not sin, because it “has been saved.” Immediately, upon our being born again, we take up residence in the Spirit of God, because we are no longer darkness (in God there is no darkness, 1 John 1:5). See the following scriptures: 1 Cor 6:9-11, Rom 8:28-30, 1 Cor 15:50-54, 1 Thes 4:16-18. Additional word studies should also be considered.

John 3:3, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Footnotes:

John 3:3 Or from above

John 3:3, Revised Standard Version (RSV)

3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew,he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Footnotes:

John 3:3 Or from above

John 3:3, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.
Footnotes:

John 3:3 Or born anew

Consider the need for the new birth. It is necessary for us to gain entrance into the Kingdom of God. It is described as being, born again, born from above, and born anew. In John 3:3-8, Nicodemus came to Jesus, “in all of his Jewishness.” Immediately, Jesus spoke truth to a Jew who should have know the truth of the new birth. Nicodemus, because of his position within the Sanhedrin, should have known the truth of such scriptures, as Ezekiel 36:24-29, which describes the new birth:

Ezekiel 36:24-29,New American Standard Bible (NASB)

24 For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. 28 You will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God. 29 Moreover, I will save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the grain and multiply it, and I will not]bring a famine on you…… (The Apostle Paul would also write on the new birth, as follows)

2 Corinthians 5:17, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

(The “new creation,” refers to the regenerated human spirit; “everything old” refers to the depraved, unborn again, spirit which must be regenerated/born again in order for us to be able to spend eternity with God.)

John 3:8, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Consider the method of the new birth. The Holy Spirit creates the new born spirit in believers. His actions here are related to the wind. The wind can not be seen, and can not be controlled, but its presence is known by where it has been. The Holy Spirit can also go to the right, left, front, and rear of us. He can go fast, slow, and can also stand still, and can not be controlled by us. But, when the Holy Spirit has come upon, and has taken up residence in, a formerly unsaved person, it can be clearly known where the Holy Spirit has been.

The Kingdom Of God

The Kingdom Of God is a subject that is addressed in the following three translations. It is described as being, “in the midst of you,” among you,” and “in your midst.” The words of Jesus, to Nicodemus, were such that in order for anyone to be in the Kingdom, they would have to be born again. In the discourse with the Pharisees, in Lk 17:20-21, Jesus stated that the Kingdom was not a place, or rearrangement, of government, but is a place of spiritual residence. He stated to the Pharisees, and to whomever was present, that they were looking at the Kingdom as they were looking at Him, and at anybody else who had been born again. The application for you and me is that, by our new birth, our spirits are sharing in the presence of the Spirit of God. If you have been born again, my spirit is indwelling your spirit and your spirit is indwelling my spirit. And, both of our spirits are present in the Spirit of God.

Luke 17:20-21, Revised Standard Version (RSV)

20 Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Lo, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”

Luke 17:20-21, New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

20 Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”

Luke 17:20-21, New American Standard Bible (NASB)

20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with]signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

The Kingdom Of Heaven

As opposed to the dwelling place of believers in the Spirit of God/the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven refers to the influence that God has over all of His creation. A god example is that of the thousand year reign of God, when it is controlled by God’s influence during most of that time of “peace on earth.” (Rev 20:1-3).
Psalm 103:19, Revised Standard Version (RSV)

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.

Conclusion.

About twenty-six years ago, I was listening to a sermon that was being preached by a long time pastor friend, whom I will lovingly call “Brother Dave.” He read through John 17:3. It made such a strong impact on me that, even while Brother Dave was continuing his sermon, I was beginning a word study of a key word in that scripture, “know.” Brother Dave presented to the congregation a text book definition of attaining eternal life, which was to “have an intimate relationship with God, the Father, through God, the Son.” The word study led me to understand that spiritual intimacy with God was a parallel to physical intimacy that exists between a husband and wife. In order for spiritual intimacy to be attained, we must be born again, whereby our depraved spirit is regenerated to become as pure as the Spirit of Christ. The result of the new birth is that we, through our spirit, take up residence in the Spirit of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). Accordingly, the Spirit of God takes up residence within our regenerated spirit. At that time, we are present within the Kingdom of God. During the time of our entry into life, and throughout our lifetime, we are subject to the Kingdom of Heaven, whereby “all” of God’s creation is under the influence and power of God.

In order for us to “know Christ,” we must be intimate “with Christ.” Such a relationship must be accomplished spiritually, by God. There must also be a continuing emotional relationship by us with Him. Jesus spoke of the result of someone not having an intimate relationship with Him. In Matthew 7:23 we read:”…I never knew you; depart from me…”
Jesus was saying (in my words), “I never knew you; you have never been intimate with me: you have not been born again; you will not enter the Kingdom of God.”

Writing such as study, as this one, is very difficult. There has got to be a starting point, as well as a stopping point. So, a writer has to find start and stop points that will address the issue, but without doing a reprint of the whole Bible. John 21:25 has a wording that correlates to the dilemma of writing this article. John said, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they *were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself *would not contain the books that *would be written.” So, if I have failed to address an issue that is important to you, please accept my request for forgiveness and allow me to provide any, and all, information that you would like for me to provide.

Now, let us consider Jesus.

He Is Here

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him…”

050114, A Conversation About Jeremiah And “The Least Of These,” Jeremiah 18:1-6, Matthew 25:35-40

050114, A Conversation About Jeremiah And “The Least Of These,” Jeremiah 18:1-6, Matthew 25:35-40

It was during a blog conversation that I had with Lisa (Falling Down The Rabbit Hole), that the subject of the prophet Jeremiah led to my comments that follow. (You might want to check out Lisa’s blog; it is very good.) Please consider the needs of people who are poor, and are barely getting by, or may be sleeping on park benches. Consider how you may be able to support Hospice locations with snack items for friends and family members of patients, who are spending their last days of life in those loving and compassionate facilities. Consider the “working poor.” Consider those who are residents of nursing homes, those who are hospitalized, or those who may be confined to a prison, jail, or detention center. Consider those who are grieving the death of a loved one, or of a close friend. Consider the words of our Lord Jesus, in Matthew 25:40. Consider how God may be leading you in the direction of a ministry, or in a change of ministry, like that which happened to me through Jeremiah 18:1-6. Consider the complete discourse of Jesus about the less fortunate, in Matthew 25:35-40. Consider Jesus, in the song that follows the writing of this post.

Matthew 25:40
New King James Version (NKJV)

40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Jeremiah 18:1-6
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Potter and the Clay

18 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

Equipping The Saints on April 30, 2014 at 8:50 pm said:

I was “on the road” working. I had been dabbling with ministry to “the least of these” (Mt 25:40), when I laid my Bible down on my motel room bed; it opened to Jeremiah 18. Then, I read the first six verses and asked God, “are you changing me?” The answer was yes! From the point in time forward, I began a dedicated ministry to homeless people, prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics, homosexuals, “the working poor,” and whomever else may have “slipped through the cracks” of society. God has blessed me beyond measure. I give Him all of the honor and glory. I thank you for allow me to write this short story of God’s leading of my life. Please check out the pages of my blog. May our Lord Jesus richly bless you.

Please read the Benevolence Missions Statement of Equipping The Saints Ministries. It can also be found on the “Page Section Of My Blog.”

“Equipping The Saints” Benevolence Missions Statement.

Matthew 25:40, “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

1. Purpose: Equipping The Saints Ministries (ETS) provides Spiritual and Benevolence Support Services to individuals and groups, in The United States Of America, and in International locations. ETS enlists support from other groups and individual to create an expeditious flow of support to the areas of need. Our purpose is to support churches and other designated and established ministries. ETS members will always be submissive to church leaders, or other ministry leaders, who may have established, assigned, or designated authority in areas where we have been asked to provide such support services. We will provide ministry outreach where no other church or designated ministries are present, and it appears to be prudent for ETS to assume command of the mission.
2. Vision. Ephesians 3:20 shares a view of ministry that has been revealed to ETS. That scripture tells us, “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 …”That vision includes things that we do, to include, but not be limited to, the following:
a. Ministering to prostitutes, homosexuals, alcoholics, drug addicts, and the homeless.
b. Becoming an advocate for anyone who may need our support, including those who are not homeless, but may be classified as the working-poor.
c. Assisting in the staffing of national and international ministries.
d. Using the forces of personal evangelism and Internet media to make thousands of believers around the world aware of the burdens that God has placed on our hearts.
e. Supporting U.S. military forces around the world, based on the type of request.
3. Overview. Matthew 25:40 has challenged us to step outside of our comfort zones, and to respond to the needs of people who seem to have been overlooked. In that scripture, our Lord says to us, “…inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
a. When I stepped outside of the area of comfort, that had previously shielded me from a very dark side of life, I began to share the love of Jesus in a way that had never entered my mind. To take the hand of a prostitute and pray with her – to see her closing her eyes and joining me in praying to our Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth – to see tears flowing from her eyes … these are all special moments of my life, and will never leave my mind. To walk under a bridge and see a homeless city; to see homeless people devising ways to protect their personal belongings, such as putting all that they own in a grocery store shopping cart; to see a makeshift bed, that extended from one steel girder to another, so that a man and his wife would be able to sleep five feet above the dirt; to see women selling their bodies so that they could sleep in a real bed, and have food to eat; to see homeless people walking the streets all day long, with no place to go; to see the vacant houses where those without homes would make their homes, for a night, for a week, or until a police officer would tell them that they would have to “find some other place to sleep” – which might be a park bench, a bridge, or another abandoned house; to know that many homeless people die each winter’s night, because they don’t have clothing that is warm enough to protect them from subfreezing temperatures – to know that the heat of summer takes the lives of those who can not escape its deadly temperatures.
b. When I have become an advocate for one of “the least of these;” when I have tried to “do what Jesus would do;” when I have tried to “be Jesus to the less-fortunate;” it has been very challenging and fatiguing, yet very rewarding.
c. As a ministry seeks to recruit volunteer ministers, it is very rewarding to be asked to assist in the recruiting and logistics effort of the growth of that ministry.
d. As I have been invited to explain the ministry of “Equipping The Saints,” to churches and church groups, it has been more of a blessing than I could ever have imagined.
e. The challenges of the United States armed forces are numerous. Many troops have no relationship with Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Military chaplains need the assistance of churches, individuals, and civic groups, in providing bibles and personal items to the troops. It is a blessing to be a part of that supply process.
f. Displaced persons ministry needs are overwhelming. ETS is attempting to respond to the needs of any people who are living outside of their designated homes. We attempt to support ministry and medical leaders, who oversee displaced persons dwelling places. There are many churches that need to be made aware of the needs of “the least of these.”
g. There are many churches that need to be challenged to seek out that demographic of society that seems to slip through the cracks of our minds. But, there is only so much that can be done by a few people. Other people, of similar sentiment, need to become affiliated with this ministry. That will allow more churches to embrace the message that scripture has so clearly been given to the Church, as it relates to the less fortunate. More sermons need to be preached about meeting the needs of the less fortunate. More hurting and lost souls need to be told about the love of Christ, and need to have more of their daily needs met by the Church. May God help this ministry to be all that it can be to share the message of Matthew 25:40, “in as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
4. Ministry Objectives.
a. Matthew 28:18-20: Evangelism;
b. Matthew 25:35-40: Benevolence;
c. Ephesians 4:11-12: Equipping The Saints.

Turn Your Eyes On Jesus

Matthew 25:35-40
Revised Standard Version (RSV)

35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink? 38 And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee? 39 And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’