Archive for the ‘Scripture’ Category

Joe Casey: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


 

Galatians 5:23 This week Joe Casey continues his series on the fruit of the Holy Spirit by helping us understand what gentleness is for the believer.

Notes:                                                              

Faithfulness…

 

Gentleness…

 

Please click on the link below to listen to this helpful sermon.

Fruit of the Spirit is GENTLENESS – Joe Casey

 

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I have to admit I sometimes get my mind too much on the temporary things of this world. I wonder what might happen if our economy gets worse.  We are retired so I don’t have to worry if we’d get laid off, but I am concerned about our income. We’re on a fixed income and the future isn’t very bright right now.  I’m looking forward to reading the rest of these posts by John MacArthur as he helps us see what is really important and why worry is not part of who we are as Christians.  I hope you read them and learn along with me.


You probably remember the “What Would Jesus Do?” trend from the late ’90s. It seemed everywhere you looked, plastered across T-shirts, hats, jewelry, and all kinds of other merchandise, the WWJD slogan was a blithe, shallow reminder to live up to Christ’s moral code..

Click on the link below to read the rest of this article.

What Did Jesus Say About Worry?.

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1 Corinthians 6:19 NASB  (19)  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

I suppose I’ve read the above scripture many times and kind of skimmed over it and the meaning didn’t really set in.  Maybe you have also.  Let’s take a few minutes and meditate on these verses.

Just think, the Word says our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Now, what does that mean?  When we became Christians the Holy Spirit came and now dwells in us.

2 Timothy 1:14 NASB (emphasis mine) Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.

The Holy Spirit of God now actually lives in us!  Wow!  That seems impossible doesn’t it?  But, it is true!  The third head of the godhead now lives in me!  And also in you! We have been changed! We are different now that we have Him in us!  What an awesome privilege it is that God in His infinite wisdom chose to allow the Holy Spirit to live in us.  That simply boggles my mind!

We are not the same as when we walked in the world before we were saved.  In fact, the Bible says we “are a new creation.”

2 Corinthians 5:17a NASB  (17)  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature;…

What does it mean that our bodies are a “temple” of the Holy Spirit?  The word temple means a sacred place.  We are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit and our bodies are to be holy, acceptable to God.   How can my body be holy?  I know that when something in the Bible is holy it means that it is set apart for a special use, such as the vessels used in the temple in Old Testament days.  So, that must mean we are set apart by God for a special use and part of that is for us to be a temple for the Holy Spirit.

This is serious business!  As we live out our Christian lives we must remember who we are in Christ.  We must remember that the Holy Spirit lives in us and that we are His holy home.  We need to think about the things we do and the places we go.  Remember, who is with you at all times.

As I ponder these things, I realize it is vitally important how I act, where I go, and who I spend my time with.  I need to evaluate my actions with the fact that the Holy Spirit lives in me.  I need to remind myself throughout the day of this fact.

Do you remember from the scriptures how Jesus went into the temple area and found the money changers there and because there was corruption and greed going on He threw over the tables and cleansed the area?  He said, “…My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:13 KJV) Likewise the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in prayer according to God’s will.  We are the means the Holy Spirit uses to offer up His prayers.

But, what if we don’t live holy lives?  We are a temple and when we sin we are as the money changers.  We corrupt the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and that is shameful. Do you think God just might discipline us for that?

Do you realize that Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price to purchase our salvation?  He gave His life so that we might not have to pay the penalty for our sins.  The Bible tells us “the wages of sin is death.”

Romans 6:23 KJV(emphasis mine)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 Corinthians 6:20 NASB (emphasis mine)   (20)  For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

We must keep our bodies undefiled because they are a shrine of the Holy Spirit. When we live holy lives we glorify God.  We show Him respect and honor by living the right way.

After meditating on these things I think we need to take an inventory of our lives and see if we live a holy life, or if we follow the things of the world.  There is  much coming at us all day long that can trip us up.  We need to be mindful of who we are in Christ and who lives with us.

  • Can we take the Holy Spirit to the bar?
  • Can we take Him to the casino?
  • Can we take Him out on that date with an unbeliever?
  • What about the kind of people we hang out with?  Is there coarse language and dirty jokes?
  • Do we watch the right kind of movies and television programs?
  • Can we go out partying like we did before we were saved?

I believe that when we are faced with a decision about whether we should do something or not we need to ask ourselves: “Would Jesus do this?  Does this thing honor Him and will it bring Him glory?”

A few weeks back I wrote an article about doing Tai Chi.  As a Christian I determined that I could not do that because I should not participate in a false religion.  I could not take Jesus with me to Tai Chi.  It would not glorify God.  This is just one example of how we need to evaluate what we do and who we spend our time with knowing that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit.

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How has the Holy Spirit affected your life personally? Sometimes I don’t think we realize how much the Holy Spirit has done for us. In fact, most of the time I don’t think people are counseled after they are saved to know what has just happened to them. We just seem to go on with our lives and we don’t realize that He is in us to help and guide us. Every morning we need to remind ourselves that we have the living God inside us ready to give us just what we need for that day.

Here are some of the things He does for us.

Do you know that when we are saved it is the Holy Spirit’s power that makes it possible? The Holy Spirit washes us clean and makes us a new creation inside. And, He does this because we believed by faith the gospel message and not because we did anything ourselves It’s not by works that we are saved.

Titus 3:5 NASB He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

Then, He also baptizes us into the body of Christ, the church. We have a new relationship with other believers now. We all become one in Christ. We are truly changed. It is important for us to get into a church with other like-minded believers. When we don’t go to church and have fellowship with other Christians there is a drought in our souls. We NEED each other, and no one will understand us like another believer. We are on the same wave length, so to speak.

1 Corinthians 12:13 NASB (13) For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit that gives us our new life in Christ. It’s truly amazing! We cannot be born-again Christians without the Holy Spirit’s work in our life.

John 6:63 NASB “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

He not only gives us new life, but He also seals us for the future when we meet Christ face to face. In Biblical times the King had a signet ring. Whenever he made an important rule the impression of the ring was pressed onto the paper making it the law. It was official and could not be changed.

The Holy Spirit has sealed us for that great day in the future when we will again be joined with our glorified bodies and stand before the Lord complete and holy.

Ephesians 4:30 NASB Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a pledge or down payment of all the wonderful inheritance that we have with Christ in the future. No one can take that away from us as are sealed. The Holy Spirit assures us that we are Gods own children, and shall be approved of when we stand before Him.

2 Corinthians 1:22 NASB (22) who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

As you can see the Holy Spirit has done a lot in our lives already and we shall see how He continues to help us throughout our Christian walk.

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What is your heart’s desire?  Is it to be healed from anxiety and fear? 
 
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
 
Do you delight yourself in the Lord?  What does that mean?  Well, you need to meditate on God, (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.)  You need to think about how wonderful He is and how glorious His creation all around us is.  You need to hunger for greater understanding of His love and grace.  You need to long for Him to come back again.
You need to meditate on everything about our precious Lord and Savior.  You need to be grateful for everything He has done regarding the gospel and how He made a way for your eternal salvation.
 
Out of your heart of thanksgiving you need to serve the Lord.  After all, He saved us and adopted us into His family.  He is Lord over us. He is Sovereign and He is in control.  We need to bow our knee to Christ no matter what our circumstances are.  From the above verse we can see that the first thing we need to do is fix our minds on Him, not ourselves, as we delight ourselves in the Lord.
 
If we are ill; if we are in financial trouble; if we battle fear and anxiety; if we are in bad relationships; if we are in an uncomfortable work situation; if our spouse is not saved and doesn’t like us to live as a Christian; if our children give us terrible problems; if our parents give us problems; if we are challenged in our school work; if we have too much to do; if we are lonely; if we hurt; if we are angry; if we are sad; if we feel inferior; no matter what, we need to put the Lord first in our lives and live to please Him.  Are you willing to die to yourself and put God in first place? 
 
Many people think they need to get things straightened out first then they will get serious with God. “If only God would heal me than I could serve Him.” I used to think that myself. That approach is entirely backwards.  What we need to do, no matter what our problems are, is turn to God, pour out our hearts to Him, and humbly ask Him what we can do for Him.  Not what can He do for us.  Our healing is secondary, and is entirely up to Him.  Please learn to accept that.  Accept that God is in charge of you and your body. 
 
I’ve heard many people say they made a “deal” with God.  I’ll bet you’ve heard that too.  Someone who is  ill may say, “God if you will only heal me of this I will promise to go to church every week.”  You can’t make deals with God.  It won’t work.  We can’t manipulate a God who is Sovereign. Remember that.
 
The truth is God can and will do whatever He wants.  It’s not up to us.  He is our Master, and we are His slaves.  We need to realize this. 
 
Do you love God?  Do you love the Word?  If so, then your first priority is to be in the Word, read it, study it, meditate on verses.  Go to church, get involved in some way.  Serve Christ through the local church.  Take your mind off your own health and how you feel.  Give them all to God to care for.  He is your Father.  Set your mind on others.  Do what you can.  At first it might be that you pray for others.  Do that!  Perhaps the pastor could give you a list of people who are shut-ins or who have missed church for awhile and you could call them to ask how they are doing, and encourage them.  There is much work to be done and there are never enough workers. 
 
If you can’t go to church at this time, still get right with God and keep short accounts with Him.  If you know of a sin in your life, confess it, repent of it, and ask God to forgive you.  Then, get on with your life.  You can even serve God at home as you pray for others.  Pray for this group, and each member.  Pray for me as I need to write and answer emails, not in my own strength, but in the Lords.  Pray for our country, our leaders, and the local leaders where you live.  Pray for family members who are not saved.  Pray for those who seem to be against you.  Oh, there is no end to the things we can do for the Lord.
 
Make the Lord your first priority and you will see your other problems begin to take care of themselves.  As you draw closer to God and delight in Him, your desires will line up with His desires for you.  He will give you the desires of your heart.  He says so!
 
 
 

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MR900020735    

It seems like she is really in a bad mood lately, doesn’t it? Our nation has  had extra bad weather over the past month or so.  And, who gets the blame?  Mother Nature is the one who makes the headlines.

New York State Thruway Shuts Down, Leaving Hundreds Stranded – December 2, 2010

“A New York State Thruway was shutdown Thursday after a storm dumped up to 2 feet of snow on the area, leaving hundreds of motorists stranded and spending the night in their vehicles.”

Some of my own family members were stranded in this shutdown for several hours.  It was like a blizzard as the snow came down in buckets.  The road closed down and traffic came to a stop.  To top it off they were on their way home from the hospital with their special needs child who had just had his tonsils out.  But, thank the Lord, someone came along and got them unstuck and they were able to finally get back home.  Some people were stranded there overnight in the same location.  According to the news reports, Mother Nature had hit the city hard. 

Then came the terrible rain storms in California: 

STORM DAMAGE:  MOTHER NATURE OWES OC $23 MILLION, 12/19/2010  —   OC Weekly

“Original Post, December 27, 11:16 a.m. : ​​If you’ve been living in OC the past two weeks, you know it’s been a wet existence. Downpour, after downpour, slanted rain, water rising from the ground, flooded gutters. It wasn’t the most pleasant time to be singing the praises of living in Southern California.

Mudslides left families stranded (Silverado Canyon) and major roadways blocked off to traffic… Car accident reports spiked, as motorists were spinning out of control or were blinded on the wet roadways. Four hikers were stranded in the San Gabriel Mountains, requiring a helicopter rescue by Los Angeles fire fighters…

It go so bad that Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado declared a state of emergency in nine Southern California counties.”

Blizzards in the Midwest closed down roads and left motorists stranded in their cars. In North Dakota there was a 100 car pile up.  Airports were closed and many holiday plans were ruined.  At one point up to 17 feet of new snow was dumped in the mountains. 

MOTHER NATURE STRIKES AGAIN 12/30/2010  abc news

There was an unusual tornado outbreak for December in 7 states right around New Years.  These caused 6 or 7 deaths, and terrible destruction.  Missouri was one state hit pretty hard on New Year’s Eve.

What is wrong with Mother Nature anyway?  Can’t she cut us break? All his devastation and heartache.  

It’s the gift that Mother Nature just keeps giving this season—snow. More is coming to southeast Michigan.  Freep.com  Detroit Free Press, 1/06/2011

……

Mother Nature delivers Heavy snow, frigid temps descend on southwest Montana. Bozeman Daily Chronicles  11/24/2010

……

MOTHER NATURE IS GOING TO BE COMPLETELY OBNOXIOUS!  The Weather Channel 1/7/2011

I’ve been thinking about all of these storms being blamed on Mother Nature.  Does she have PMS?  Well, no, not really. She does not actually exist, therefore, she could not have PMS.   If you believe in Santa Clause then maybe you believe in Mother Nature.  She is simply a myth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Nature

So, who or what is responsible for natural disasters and horrible weather outbreaks?  God is! That’s right, but you won’t hear that on the news.

Now if you think my point is groundless and that a loving God would not do such a thing as allow terrible storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, blizzards, freezing rain, damaging winds, and other natural disasters, to come upon us, then let me take you to the Word of God and show you what God Himself says.

God is the God of the universe.

Isa 44:24 NASB  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, “I, the LORD, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone,

God created all things through Jesus Christ, and He continues to this day to hold it all together.

Col 1:16-17 NASB  For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.  (17)  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

God is in control.  He is Sovereign and can do whatever He pleases.  Nothing happens by chance.  Nothing!  He is in total control of the weather.  He causes the weather.

Psalm 135:5-7 NASB  For I know that the LORD is great And that our Lord is above all gods.  (6)  Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.  (7)  He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.

Psa 148:8 NASB  Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;

Why does God cause bad weather?  I do not know His reasons because we cannot comprehend it.  He has His reasons and they have to do with His divine providence.

Job 37:5-7 NASB  “God thunders with His voice wondrously, Doing great things which we cannot comprehend.  (6)  “For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’  (7)  “He seals the hand of every man, That all men may know His work.

God directs the weather and storms.  He is orchestrating it. Verse 13 may help us understand as it says it might be for correction, or for His world, or for his lovingkindness.  That again is hard to understand, except, not all storms are bad.  He brings rain to water the crops so we have food.

Job 37:9-13 NASB  “Out of the south comes the storm, And out of the north the cold.  (10)  “From the breath of God ice is made, And the expanse of the waters is frozen.  (11)  “Also with moisture He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning.  (12)  “It changes direction, turning around by His guidance, That it may do whatever He commands it On the face of the inhabited earth.  (13)  “Whether for correction, or for His world, Or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen.

Notice in verse 7 below He says He is the one “causing well-being, and creating calamity.” This is eye opening to me! I’ve never noticed that verse before.  God Himself creates troubles.

Isa 45:5-7 NASB  “I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me;  (6)  That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other,  (7)  The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.

Amo 3:6 NASB  If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble? If a calamity occurs in a city has not the LORD done it?

……

What if, just for conversation, what if, we would insert the word “God” in these headlines in place of “Mother Nature?”  How would that sound on the nightly news.  Let’s try some on for size.

STORM DAMAGE:  MOTHER NATURE GOD OWES OC $23 MILLION

MOTHER NATURE GOD STRIKES AGAIN 

MOTHER NATURE GOD DELIVERS HEAVY SNOW, FRIGID TEMPS DESCEND ON SOUTHWEST MONTANA.

IT’S THE GIFT THAT MOTHER NATURE GOD JUST KEEPS GIVING THIS SEASON–SNOW.

How would that sound?  Kind of odd wouldn’t you say?  But, do you know what?  There’s a lot of truth in that!

Listen and watch for the term, “Mother Nature,” and when you come across it simply change it to God and see how it sounds.  It puts a whole new perspective on things don’t you think?

What is our reaction when we hear that Mother Nature wreaks havoc?   We feel bad for the people who were involved.  We simply say to ourselves, “That’s  Mother Nature for ya,” and more or less except it and continue with the cleanup. 

On the other hand, what if we acknowledged it was God’s doing? What would our reaction be then?  I think we might realize how fragile life is and that we have no control over nature.  We might throw ourselves onto the mercy of God, and pray He would spare us.  We need to take stock of ourselves and gain an added reverence and respect for God.  Most importantly, we need to get right with God.  We need to be ready in the event that it would be our time to move on from this life.  This perspective would have a positive impact on us and our country.  I truly believe that.

Quote by Gil Rugh “Nothing happens by an act of Mother Nature; everything happens by an act of Father God!”

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Thanks for What we Have in Christ

This Sunday Joel Spencer was our speaker for our special Thanksgiving message.  He brought us to Colossians 1:1-23 to highlight some things that we have to be thankful for as Christians.

Have you ever thought about how many times in a week you say, “thank you?”  We say it all the time, and it is polite to say “thank you.”  We thank the cashier in the check out line when they hand us our change or bags.  We thank strangers when they hold open a door for us.  We thank our spouses when they do something nice.  Thanksgiving is a part of our lives.  But, how many times do we thank God?  And, if we do what do we thank Him for?

In this message we will see several things that we can thank God for if we are Christians.  I hope you will be encouraged to think about all that God has done for us and be forever grateful.

Click below to listen to this uplifting message.

Thanks for What we Have in Christ – Joel Spencer

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