I AM the God of Holiness and Grace 2 Cor 13:1-14

News flash Pope – Perfection only possible in Jesus Christ

The point of Paul’s authority or any church authority is for the perfection and equipping of the saints, for restoration of those who struggle and not just for punishment or a fear tactic. Too many times religions hold excommunication and other tactics over their flock to force them to not step out of line. By threatening being kicked out of their version of the church and with eternal hell these tactics do not foster real growth, love, or service for the true God they just reinforce conformity to rules. Success yields pride, and failure produces despondency. Jesus had all authority yet he lived to serve not be served even to the point that he died for us. Paul emulates him in this attitude. He used his authority of discipline in the church but with the goal of restoration to fellowship with God and other believers. Living under grace and faith in CHRIST ALONE is the only way to attain whatever level of “perfection” (sic) that can be attained here in our fallen states. Remember that religion forces human effort by conformity to rules from the outside in, where as Christianity encourages transformation by grace and the power of the Holy Spirit from the inside out. Paul was looking for the latter.  Whose side is the Pope on?  Continue reading

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I AM the God who draws you to myself 2 Cor 12:11-21

Discipleship is training others in Godliness

The problem with discipling another person is that no matter how good you live your life for the Lord before them, they still have to choose to live theirs as unto the Lord for themselves. There is only so much that you can infuse into them whereby they can catch your vision for themselves. The rest is between them and their God. We have no control over that except by prayer. Scripture says that a student is not greater than his teacher, and that we must mind our lives and doctrine so that our students can be saved, but they still have to take the steps for themselves. All we can do is to encourage them to respond to God in faith as we continue to do ourselves- Rom 1:11 and 1 Cor 11:1. As disciplers we are commended to train faithful men who can train other faithful men as well, but we may be humbled by those whom we thought were faithful men, when we stand before the Lord. Those we thought were successes may not be. Even our estimation of ourselves must always be evaluated. It requires us to faithfully teach, but keep our eyes on God and let Him worry about the results. After all, God is the one who gives the increase, and God is the one who promises to perfect every believer’s faith in his time, not ours. Continue reading

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How do I get to heaven?

Pascal’s Wager applied

There are so many religions out there around the globe with differing views of heaven  and differing ways to get there, but which ones are right?  Each one claims to be either the only way, or conversely that they accept all the ways.  Why does it have to be so confusing?  In my posts I strive to proclaim the message of the Bible as taken at face value in its claims and promises.  I have studied it for 40 years and have total confidence in what God promises us through it.  I am banking my eternal soul on it (as are you on your method).  I love Pascal’s wager in this regard.  If the Bible is wrong and you are right, then I lose nothing by being Christian in this life but you might win (as not many have confidence).  However, if the Bible is right and you are wrong, then I am guaranteed to gain everything for eternity and you positively will lose everything in hell forever.  These are the stakes of the game of life.  Continue reading

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I AM the God who chooses my servants 2 Cor 11:30-12:10

To get a glimpse of heaven, you usually have to die first

Sharing God's glory may cost you your life. Is there a problem?

Sharing God’s glory may cost you your life. Is there a problem?

Think of what it takes to be a member of the US military’s elite “Seals, Rangers or Black Ops”. The missions that they have performed for their country over the years are amazing; they inspire our young men to greatness. However, most service men won’t do it because the price they have to pay is too difficult. When we hear of God using Christians to do his work around the globe for his glory, we are inspired as well to be that kind of person. When the Auca Indians killed the five missionaries back in the 50’s there were many people who were inspired to take their places. However, when you think of the actual long term sacrifices that missionaries have to make, it makes most Christians turn back. ‎

Pick up any Christian biography and what makes their testimony special is because God brought them through great trials to show his power and glory through them. People like Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Joni Eareckson Tada, Gracia Burnham, Nick Vujicic, Ann Frank, and Corrie Ten Boone, just to name a few are such encouragements to the body of Christ because of their faith through their great sacrifices. Do we want God to do great things through us? The problem is that few of us are willing for him to take us through his special boot camp training of hardships.

‎As in today’s passage, I think that everyone would like a glimpse of heaven like Paul had (and you can read of other individual’s trips to, and visions of heaven in books), but the problem is that in these cases, it involves pain and DEATH to get there and often long rehab when you come back. Is that a problem for you? Continue reading

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I AM the God who gives you my Divine nature 2 Cor 11:16-30

Put your money where your mouth is

Comparatively speaking, it is easy to sit in our “ivory towers” soaking in the mysteries of

Are you willing to sacrifice your life so others can receive life?

Are you willing to sacrifice your life so others can receive new life?

God in the comfort of our western churches while allowing the more remote churches around the world to suffer through the trials of everyday life without proper instruction. Paul chose to even the score with the “super-apostles” by proving that his credentials were just as impressive but that he chose to live and work among them as a commoner rather than the academics of his day. His badge of honor was the suffering he endured personally while getting the truth into people’s hands. Was Paul credentialed? Of course he was, and more so, but where it really mattered; in the application of it. Was Paul learned? Of course, but he chose to get out there and give what he knew to those who did not have the opportunity. Was Paul an author? Of course, however his ivory tower was a jail cell in many cases. But where God allowed, he also followed up on those churches to see that it was applied. Paul could say to us all, follow me, as I follow Christ. Can we say that? Can our pastors say that? Do we need continual Bible teaching? Yes. Do we need continual discipleship? Yes. But what we need more of is to obey what we already have and teach to others what we have already learned. Continue reading

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I AM the hope that lies within you 2 Cor 10:7-18

We will answer to Christ

When people stand up for the Lord and his work, cults and counterfeiters will try to capitalize on it, Satan will try to destroy it, and even well meaning church people will try to discredit it as being too controversial and not “seeker friendly”. All of this happened to Paul in his ministry around the known world. What are we to do? If we strive for academic credibility, those of the higher criticism genre beat us down. If we appeal to the common roots of the working class with a message of power, we are discredited by those who know us; “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things? And they took offense at him.” But Jesus said to them,

“Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”

Even Jesus’ miracles were ascribed by the spiritual leaders of the nation to be from the power of demons. So, you cannot please everyone. Bottom line is to know that you have the authority of God as you speak his word and to work in the power of the Lord in your circle of witness to those whom God has placed you with and let the Lord determine the extent of your effectiveness. Continue reading

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I AM the God of victory in your mind over the world 2 Cor 10:1-5

Having the mind of Christ

One of my most viewed posts is related to today’s topic

https://whoareyoulord.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/think-godly-act-godly-the-opposite-is-true-too-eph-417-24/ so I am including it here. When you consider what our battle is against in this world, you will note that it is all in the mind. Yes, there are physical hardships and temptations of every sort that you may be going through today. Like I always say, “Anyone can be a Christian when things are going well.” How do everyday hardships influence your thoughts and what do you allow your mind to dwell on because of them? What you dwell on will incite you to react in fear, rage, grief, revenge, or empower you to respond in peace, love, joy, mercy and grace. If people are to see what you are truly made of internally, it will be by your reactions to hardships and those reactions come from your emotions which are controlled by what you allow your mind to dwell on. So how do you have victory in the mind so as not to react to the world’s pressures? Vs 4, 5 are the key. When we give way to certain tendencies and weaknesses in our flesh, we give Satan a stronghold in our lives. We provide him with the tools to destroy our spirit, resolve, and victory in those areas. Thus they become our habits, our character, and eventually our destiny of failure. Only when we refuse the thought, deny access to our brain, and yield our mind to the Holy Spirit do we have victory. The million dollar question is: Which thought do you want more? The choice is yours. Deny selfish thoughts to gain victory and peace and health – improving your testimony, or wallow in the temporary pleasure of anger, personal rights, temptations, and sin which all lead to a lifestyle of death. We will talk of the “How to” below. Continue reading

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