My Own For You

My Own Goodies Shared with You!


Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done on Earth…

The Lord's Prayer, Thy Kingdom Come

How many times have you prayed this prayer? I’ll bet you’ve prayed this prayer so often that it’s embedded in your brain. You can recite it instantly. The truths held within the words of this prayer are astounding and life-changing.

Now I want to ask you if you understand and believe what you’re saying when you “recite” the Lord’s Prayer. You may say you do, but let’s get a bit more inquisitive and see whether these things are so.

How often have you been told that the Christian’s destination is heaven? That we will live in heaven forever? This teaching is often accompanied by visions of golden streets and singing cherubs surrounding us as we praise the Lord all the day.

Thy Kingdom Come

Now, how often did Jesus talk about the Kingdom of God when he waled the earth? Often. So often that it boggles the mind to think Christians today know little of what the Kingdom of God is and means.

The Kingdom of God is when God reigns supreme over the affairs of men. He’s not doing that now, though He is the one that removes and establishes kings. He’s letting man have his way, proving to man that man is incapable of charting his own destiny, and that man is incapable of truly looking after those he’s entrusted with.

The Lord’s Prayer says, “Thy Kingdom come… they will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

God’s will is that His Kingdom prevail in the earth. It’s not here yet or the prayer wouldn’t be, “They Kingdom come” but rather “Thy Kingdom is here.” See the difference?

Oh some claim that Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” New agers and occultists love this verse, but they didn’t look into the Greek from which it was translated.

Luke 17:21 (King James Version)  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

This isn’t the correct translation. The word “within” should be translated, “in the midst of.” Here’s a better translation.

Luke 17:21 (King James 2000 Version)  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.

The Kingdom of God was ‘in the midst of” them because Jesus was there representing God Himself. The Kingdom of God requires an accurate, full representation of God in the earth.

The Kingdom of God is coming. You can read about it in the book of Revelation, when Jesus sets up His Kingdom in Jerusalem. We refer to it as the Millennial rule of Christ. During that time the devil and his host will be chained up and prevented from influencing anyone or anything, evil will be subdued, and Christ will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords over the entire earth.

This prayer wasn’t given by our Lord to be recited. He was asked, “how do we pray” and he gave them guidelines to answer their question. He even says not to use vain “repetitions” like the heathen do, indicating we should talk to God like we would our Father. How would your earthly father like it if you kept repeating the same thing over and over to him and never entered into a true and vital relationship with him? Just speak your heart and follow the guidelines Jesus gave us.

We pray for God’s kingdom to come onto earth. We, the church, are representative of the Kingdom of God on the earth but the Kingdom is still future. People can get a glimpse of it through us as we live and do God’s will in truth, but the fullness of that Kingdom is yet to come.

Come, Lord Jesus! Come establish your kingdom on earth. Let the earth declare your glory and let all creatures praise your holy name for you are indeed King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Savior of the world.

The original article is published here.

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Who are God’s Chosen People?

God's Chosen People

Imagine being one of God’s chosen people! Is it really possible? Is it really available?

Special privileges go with those connected to ‘the Top.’ Those highly favored of God Almighty have an indescribable future prepared for them — for eternity. I say ‘indescribable’ because that’s what God’s Word says.

I Corinthians 2:9  However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–

If you were the son of a King, don’t you think that your Father would favor you over others simply because of your relationship with him? Of course he would. It’s always family first in God’s thinking and planning.

Is Israel God’s Chosen People?

Isn’t the nation of  Israel God’s chosen people? I’m not Jewish, and it appears God may have forsaken His people — has He, or are they still His chosen people?

Way back near the beginning, God chose the nation of Israel to be His people. He wanted them to walk with Him, keeping His commandments and in return He’s bless them and keep them safe from all enemies. He said that He would give them the land where Israel now is, and a much larger parcel of land than that.

But Israel continually walked away from God and did not keep his commandments. They worshiped the gods of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Babylonians. The rejected God’s Word and in turn rejected God’s protection. By the time Jesus was born, the upper hierarchy of Israel’s rulers had become so corrupt that Jesus rebuked them publicly more than once.

The heart of God’s chosen people was so disconnected from His heart that He gave them a ‘spirit of slumber’ that they would not believe until the Messiah returned a second time after his crucifixion, resurrection and ascension into heaven. You can read all about it in Romans chapters 9-11.  Here’s a portion of that section.

Romans 11:1-9  I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. 

God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 

“Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”? 

And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” 

So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 

as it is written:

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,

eyes that could not see

and ears that could not hear,

to this very day.”

And David says:

“May their table become a snare and a trap,

a stumbling block and a retribution for them.

May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,

and their backs be bent forever.”

God is so gracious and merciful that He will never cast away his people forever. No, He’s got plans for them and that for good. But for now, God has given Israel a ‘spirit of slumber’ to prevent them from believing, except for the few (remnant) elect He’s chosen now.

God has done this to open the door of salvation to the rest of the world, called “the Gentiles” in the Bible. Let’s continue in Romans 11.

Romans 11: 11-28  Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 

But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 

in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 

For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 

If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 

do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 

You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 

Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 

For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 

And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 

After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

All Israel Will Be Saved

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;

he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.

And this is my covenant with them

when I take away their sins.”

As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 

for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 

Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 

so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 

For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

Isn’t that amazing? Were you able to follow it through? God has concluded all of Israel in unbelief that He might have mercy on all, and so “all Israel shall be saved.”

Who Are God’s Chosen People in the Interim?

So if God has temporarily suspended Israel’s calling and election, except for a small remnant, who are God’s chosen people today? Does He have any? The answer, straight from God’s heart, the Bible, is YES!  Let’s see what God says.

Ephesians 1:1-11  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

To the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he has made us accepted in the beloved.

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Which he has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself:

That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will:

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

In whom you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,

Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Wow! If you believe in Jesus, God says that He “chose” you from before the foundation of the earth! That was a long, long time ago — way before any person was made! God’s foreknowledge if unrestricted. He’s not time-locked as we are. He doesn’t predict, he foresees and foreknows. This is beyond our human comprehension but nevertheless it’s true.

Here’s another verse telling us what God thinks about those He’s chosen.

Romans 8:33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

Nobody — spirit or human — has the right to bring any charge against God’s chosen.

When you belong to God, you are privileged indeed. This relationship with the Creator of the heavens and the earth is available through His Son Jesus Christ whom God sent to save the world.

How to Accept God’s Invitation

Romans 10:9  If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.

Answer God’s call today. What are you waiting for? You can be ‘blessed with every spiritual blessing” if you just but act. It’s not your fault you were born into this mess called life in a fallen world, and God has provided a way out. There’s a new world coming my friend; one where only good and no evil exists. Do you want to be part of it — forever? You can. Just answer God’s call; accept His invitation.

Are you one of the truly chosen of God?

The original article is published here.


Is the Criminalization of Christianity Here?

Freedom of religion and freedom of speech are fundamental to our nation’s security and are guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. When any government official or office does anything to intrude upon or to infringe those rights, their criminal offense should be prosecuted. Demanding any limitation of such rights is a serious breech of duty that public officials need to be held accountable for.


Kahnh Huynh knows something about living in a society devoid of freedom of religion, speech and association.

He was one of millions in Communist Vietnam who fled the police state in rickety boats, got sent to re-education prison camps for the Christian faith or political views or was killed for opposing totalitarianism.

In Kahnh’s case, he risked his life for a chance he and his children could live free in America.

“We could not express our freedom of religion and belief,” he told WND. “We paid … to come to our country (the U.S.), that recognizes human rights of speech and religion.”

Today, Kahnh is a U.S. citizen and Christian pastor whose sermons and communications about homosexuality are being subpoenaed by the lesbian mayor of Houston under the city’s “non-discrimination” law Mayor Annise Parker says was all about her.

As WND first reported, the measure, among other things, creates a special class of citizens for “gender-confused” people to use public restrooms designated for the opposite sex.

Parker is using the ordinance to intimidate those who oppose the law and specifically pastors who gathered signatures to repeal it.

They said it couldn’t happen here.

But it is clearly happening today.

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In the only nation founded upon a Christian creed, a country established “to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind,” governments are openly, unabashedly and unashamedly harassing citizens teaching and espousing their Christian faith.

In a land founded on the principle of these “self-evident” truths – “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” that being the very purpose of the institution of government, elected and appointed officials are intimidating and, yes, persecuting those simply practicing their spiritual beliefs and convictions in the course of their lives.

It’s not just happening in Houston.

A week earlier, WND exposed the nationwide pattern of dozens of government attacks on Christian bakers, photographers, caterers and others who, as a matter of religious conviction, declined to participate in same-sex wedding ceremonies and celebrations.

The criminalization of Christianity in “the land of the free” is here.


Read more at http://www.wnd.com/the-criminalization-of-christianity-is-here

It’s a shame what’s happening in the United States today. Our constitution’s first amendment guarantees our freedom of religion and when our government institutions threaten that freedom, those who threaten it must be called to account.

It would be untrue to say ‘the time has come’ for Christians to stand up and work together to ensure our God-given right to speak and teach what the Bible says to others is not abrogated. That time came many, many years ago but was only answered by a handful of what other Christians considered ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘trouble makers.’

It’s now past time for Christians to unite and protest this flagrant abuse of power. I urge you to support freedom of expression, including quoting and teaching the Bible in any and every way you can. Talk about it with your family and friends. Discuss it with church leaders and determine what can be done both locally and nationally to stem this tide of our eroding civil rights.

The original article is published here.


Islamic State Enrollees — Do You Really Want to Die for Nothing?

Think Twice Before Joining Islam

My heart is troubled over the recent news about U.S. teenagers who succumbed to the Islamic State’s invitation to join to kill innocent people in the name of a god who is nothing but blood thirsty. How can people who are growing up in a land of the free even be enticed by the overtures of those who want nothing but to control everyone in every aspect of their lives? How can children who know little of life choose to join a terrorist organization that seeks to kill anyone and destroy anything that stands in their way?

Hosea 4:6  My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.

God has revealed the knowledge of His Will in His Word of Truth. We call this compilation of writings the Bible and most homes in America have at least one complete copy. It’s usually sitting on a bookshelf collecting dust, it’s life-saving and captivity-freeing message remaining a mystery to its owners due to neglect. By rejecting the knowledge of God’s Will, we are instantly opened to doctrines of devils because we can’t tell the difference between truth and error.

The doctrine presented by the Koran is completely against the truth of God’s Word. The Koran is a terrorist publication calling for all its adherents to wage jihad, holy war, against every ‘infidel’ who rejects its message. Whether there be ‘moderate’ Muslims or terrorist Muslims, the book they adhere to is the same one. Those who truly believe the Koran is a holy book are obligated to follow its teachings or they are not Muslim at all; their own book says this and prescribes death for anyone who refused to accept it and death for anyone who chooses to renounce it. There is no other alternative except for a non-voluntary tax placed on those who refuse to convert to Islam — IF and only if the Muslims want to extend that option. If not, it’s ‘off with the head.’

If you’re considering joining the ranks of Muslim terrorists, I have one Word for you and here it is, direct from God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Psalm 105:15 “Don’t touch my anointed or hurt my prophets!”

That’s a warning direct from the most powerful being in the universe. Do you want to wage war with the Creator Himself? Know you not you are but dust oh man who stands against his Maker? Can’t you see that you are a wisp in the wind? And who do you think you are to go against all that was written before the time of Mohammed? See you not that what he wrote is in direct opposition to that revealed by the one true God?

Before you join the Islamic State ask yourself if you are willing to die for something you know little or nothing about. Are you truly convinced that what God revealed about mankind, the fall, the requirement for man’s redemption, the blood sacrifices in the entire Old Testament that point to the Redeemer — God’s own testimony about his Son Jesus (“This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” — in both Matthew 3:7, and Mark 9:7) is in error? Are you wise to reject the solid testimony of thousands of years of Scripture as Mohammed did?

God does not change (I the LORD do not change… Malachi 3:6) and He does not lie (God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?… Numbers 23:19). God filled the Old Testament with his plan of redemption through His only Son and someone comes along some 600 years after the fact, receives information from an impostor spirit that totally contradicts what God has already revealed — and done in Christ — and that seems right to you?

God’s revealed His Plan in the sacred Scriptures. The Koran rejects it and claims superiority. If  you choose to side with the Koran, you also choose to reject the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you truly want to die for something you know nothing about?

I implore those thinking of joining the Islamic State or any Islamic terrorist organization — and Islam itself — to first get to know what the Bible teaches in full — accurately — before you make that decision. Don’t go by what ‘they’ say ‘about’ it — study it for yourself before you make your decision. There is so much misinformation out there that you owe it to yourself to find out what the truth is before you make your choice.

Think before you act. Do you know the Scriptures well enough to say they are not true but the Koran is? Are you willing to risk your life for it? Are you willing to kill and die for anything as obviously devilish as Islam? If so then the Bible itself says you are foolish.

Proverbs 18:2 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.

Proverbs 1:7  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 28:26  Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

Proverbs 14:7  Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge. The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving. Fools mock at the guilt offering, but the upright enjoy acceptance.

Do you ‘mock the guilt offering’ by rejecting Jesus, the Savior of the world?

Ecclesiastes 7:9  Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.

Proverbs 15:14  The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.

I’ll leave you with this verse straight from the heart of God. Heed it before it’s too late. Don’t die for what you know so little about. Learn God’s Word, the holy Scriptures and don’t entertain attacks upon it. Set your heart toward God and He’ll be there for you. Seek wisdom and understanding and don’t settle for anything less.

I Peter 5:8  Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

The original article is published here.


Christians — Stand Against the Devil’s Halloween

No to HalloweenThere comes a time when Christians just have to stand up and take the hit. What am I talking about? I’m talking about Christians being different in this world — not to attract attention, not to be subversive and not to be ‘holier than thou.’ I’m talking about standing for the truth of God’s Word which means standing against evil.

For years I imagine, you’ve celebrated Halloween to some extent. Perhaps you have children that want to be part of what their friends are all doing — dressing up in devilish little suits and going trick-or-treating. Or maybe you just joined in on the office parties or local pub or bar parties — harmless involvement of course, but you participated. Am I right?

So why get on a soapbox about Halloween? Perhaps you don’t realize what it’s all about. Halloween is nothing to laugh about, and if you really knew what it was all about perhaps you’d agree that making fun and participating in it to any degree is not a good Christian witness.

What’s the harm you ask? We’re just having fun! We get to dress up in bizarre costumes, eat lots of candy and share candy with others. But wait a minute — what exactly are we celebrating?  Oh we’re celebrating nothing. Perhaps that’s true but is participation a good witness anyway? What about educating people to what that holiday (holy day?) symbolizes.

God’s Holidays

God designed and authorized 7 holy days (we get ‘holidays’ from concatenating those two words) for Israel. Each of these is symbolic of what God would do in Christ to redeem the world. Each holiday  is significant and teaches man about God’s plan.

Pagans invented holidays too. They invented holidays for sun worship, the winter solstice (which we call Christmas now but the gift giving, Santa Clause and the fir tree among other things are all pagan in origin) and the spring equinox (which we call Easter now; Easter is the name of the Greek goddess of fertility and eggs and bunnies are symbols of fertility in Babylonian worship). In Babylon they invented even more holidays. But all of these pagan holidays had and have nothing to do with God and truth. Rather they celebrate pagan rituals and teachings.

Lo and behold in 2014 we look at the calendar and we find these same pagan holidays on schedule and being celebrated by — guess who — Christians!  Oh they changed the names of course, and they incorporated some Christian elements and teaching into them, but they are still include highly pagan elements and God did not authorize them.

So what is all this fuss about Halloween and why do I stand against it and encourage others to as well?

In The Satanic BibleSatanist Anton LaVey writes that the main two Satanic holidays (after one’s birthday), are Walpurgisnacht and Halloween. Other holidays are the two solstices and the two equinoxes.  (source: Wikipedia)

Walpurgisnacht is a celebration of witches; you can read about it here if you want: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walpurgis_Night.  

Halloween is the second highest day on the Satanic calendar. It’s the celebration of the dead and portrays the dead as being alive now, between heaven and hell as ‘ghosts’ or spirits.

Halloween glorifies death, the devil and evil spirits. Make as much fun as you want, but it doesn’t change the intent of the holiday. Even those who side with Halloween’s “Christian origin” should see that it teaches and celebrates things completely false.

Did you know babies are sexually abused and sacrificed throughout the world by devil worshipers on Halloween night? Is that something you can have in the back of your mind as you take your children around for trick-or-treat?

I’m going to stop here because I think this will mostly fall on deaf ears anyway. I’m making the point that Halloween is a man-made, devil adored holiday that Christians should not participate in.

Let me know your thoughts on this matter. Am I going to far? Am I missing something? I’m open to the truth so let me know if my thinking is skewed here or not.

Alternate Halloween Suggestion

I suggest just not answering the door on Halloween. I suppose you could hand out printed up explanations of  why you aren’t participating in Halloween to give out to the kiddies when they arrive at your door, but that would single you out and you have to consider the implications. Remember this…

II Timothy 3:12

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

You may get laughed at, you may get snubbed and you may get a few disappointed looks, but that’s far less than Jesus went through for you! Maybe it’s not such a big deal but I believe standing for truth is always a big deal in God’s eyes.

Christianized pagan holidays are still pagan no matter how they are disguised. Regarding Halloween, the Bible explicitly states the dead are dead until Christ returns and they are raised from the dead so even the ‘Christianized’ version of Halloween is off-base. Let’s stop the devil in his tracks wherever and whenever we have the opportunity to.

I won’t be celebrating Halloween this year — will you?

 

 

 

The original article is published here.


Abide in the Vine to Produce Much Fruit

Vine and the Branches

Jesus revealed something extraordinarily special to his disciples before he was crucified. He told them he was the vine and they were the branches. Have you ever looked at a vine? It’s hard to tell the vine from the branches because they are so similar! The same metaphor using an Oak tree, for example, would fail. He chose to use a vine because of several things, one of which I believe is the closeness between the vine and the branches themselves.

In false religions, God is tremendously distant from mankind. Mankind is forever trying to appease their mostly angry gods and are forever failing to do so. But Christianity is different. Christians are the children of God by spiritual birth and are intimately involved with Him.

Let’s read about the vine and the branches anew.

John 15:1-17

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser.

Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

If a man abides not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you.

In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.

If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you.

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

You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you.

From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

These things I command you, that you love one another.

There is a Greek word hidden in these verses that is used 15 times. Wow.  15 times. Does Jesus want to emphasize something?  It’s the Greek word, “meno” and it means to “dwell within” the bounds of something. It’s translated ‘continue’, ‘abide in’ and ‘remain’ but it always means to dwell within.

When we dwell within Christ, he dwells within us and we do what he wants to do. We have his love, his power and his authority to do so. Without him we can do nothing.

Abiding in Christ is the Christian’s privilege. Imagine being buddies with the number one person in the world — who has all authority, all rights to everything and access to everyone! That’s our privilege as the children of God.

John 17:20-23

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 

that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 

I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

Christianity offers direct access to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. You can come as you are and God will accept you because of what Jesus did for you already. The call God’s and the answer to that call is up to you. Here’s how to get started:

Romans 10:9 ,10

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.

For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Go for it — what on ‘earth’ are you waiting for?

The original article is published here.


Good Isn’t Always Good Enough — What Can You Do?

Life can be frustrating. There are times when you think you’ve done good at something but lo and behold you’re told in so many words that your good isn’t good enough. What do you do? Situations like this make us want to cower under a rock or just give up. But there is hope.

When Good Isn't Good Enough

 

Competition is one of the main reasons that good isn’t often good enough. An Olympic swimmer just barely missed the gold medal… A bowling team lost the championship by one point… Your arch rival at work got the promotion instead of you… The examples are endless, and in every case those who weren’t good enough came behind.

Have you had a recent experience that taught you your good wasn’t good enough? If so, take heart — we all have — we all do an a regular basis — nobody is perfect.

Perfectionism is another reason for frustration. When you believe you or what you do must be perfect, you are likely to live in fear of not living up to the standard you’ve set for yourself. Some people are perfectionists — their good is never good enough because they aim for perfection. Being proud of what you do helps you to do your best, but sometimes that isn’t even good enough.

The Bible tells us to be perfect as God is perfect. Wow! That’s a high calling. That seems to be an impossible goal. But realize it is a goal. The same Bible tells us that we can’t get it right all the time. We will “miss the mark” often. Did you know one of the most common words used for “sin” in the Bible means “miss the mark?” It does! You aim for perfection but you fall short — that’s what missing the mark is. But in those cases we have relief.

I John 1:8,9  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

One of the keys to victorious living is to realize and admit we are not perfect and won’t be until Christ returns and perfects us himself. We have carnality in our being, we are mortals with the spirit of God as well as the spirit of man.

Romans 7:14-21  For we now know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold unto subjection by sin. 

For that which I do, I do not understand, and not even the good that I desire is what I do; but what I hate, that is what I do. 

If then I do that which I do not desire, I approve that the law is good. 

So that it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells in me. 

And I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing; for I have the desire, but I am not able to perform that which is good. 

For I do not do the good that I desire; but the evil which I do not desire, that I do. 

And if I do that which I do not desire, I am not working, but sin that dwells in me. 

So that, desiring to do good, I find this law: evil is natural unto me. 

For I delight with the law of God with the inward man, 

but I see another law in my members which rebels against the law of my mind, bringing captive unto the law of sin which is in my members. 

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 

The grace of God, by Jesus, the Christ, our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

This information from Romans clears things up quite a bit. While we strive to be all God wants us to be, we have a competing nature — the carnal old man nature warring against us. But don’t just stop at the end of Romans 7… the answer to this dilemma is in Romans 8.

Romans 8:1-4  

There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, [ the following phrase is not in the Greek manuscripts: who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.]

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

When your good isn’t good enough, don’t despair. Get back up and start again. Not everyone can be number one — only one can be. Do your best to attain whatever it is you are doing and accept the results wherever they fall. Review your activities or performance and see if you can find out what held you back. If you find something, do your best to correct it. If you don’t find anything, just work harder on what you did that worked correctly and almost got you to that finish line, whatever it was.

Most of the mental anguish we experience is put upon us by ourselves. Sometimes we have unrealistic expectations. Sometimes the expectations are real but we are missing a technique or a piece of information that will help us get beyond our good not being good enough. Try to realize it’s not always your fault. You were born imperfect so don’t expect everything you do to be perfect.

I have a high propensity to perfection. Trying to be perfect has cost me more than I care to share, but I’m getting over that now. If I wait until I’m perfect at something, I’ll never get to the point of finishing what I start. Improvement often comes through diligent practice, practice, practice. In the meantime, be thankful for who you are in Christ — that’s the real perfection — and realize one day you will be perfect as Christ is perfect.

Don’t let your imperfections get you down. Just do your best to love God, love others as much as you love yourself, and let God help you be the person He’s called you to be. God isn’t looking for perfect people, He’s in the business of taking ordinary people like you and I and transforming them into gems of His handiwork. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You are His and He loves you more than you realize.

When your good isn’t good enough, just do your best and let God do the rest.

The Christian Culture Center Blog.