2 Tim 4:3-4 (nkjv) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables (lies).
Lies tell you what you WANT to hear: Truth tells you what you NEED to hear. Lies conceal, where as truth reveals; your poor choices, your sinful nature and your spiritual nakedness (Jude 1:18, 1 Tim 4:1, 2 Peter 3:3). Choose carefully.
James 2:18 (isv) But someone may say, “You have faith, and I have actions.” Show me your faith without any actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions.
Essentially, James is telling us to PRACTICE what we PREACH (Luke 11:28, Matt 5:44, 7:24, Rom 12:20, Pro 25:21, Luke 6:27, Mal 2:6, Pro 8:32, 19:16, 1 Jn 2:6). Do our actions reflect Christ or the world? People who call themselves Christians but spend their time with causes, politics, following and supporting those who lie, steal, cheat, and promote hate and violence are not practicing what they preach (Matt 7:19, 7:21-23, 7:26, 23:3, 25:11, James 1:22, Rev 2:4).
James 4:6-7 (isv) Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set while you are still angry. Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you.
Submitting to God means not exercising evil impulses: all of which come from satan (1 Peter 1:13, 5:8-9, Pro 6-16-19). “The duty here enjoined is that of entire acquiescence in the arrangements of God, whether in his providence or grace” (Barnes). When we try to choose what we accept from God we become prideful. That never ends well (James 4:6, Pro 6:16-19, 29:23).
“Selfish ambition fights against the more spiritual motives” (Bridgeway). So, to submit to God means we must let go of our pride and humbly accept everything God has for us with gratitude (Matt 5:5, 18:4, 23:12, 1 Thess 5:18).
Mark 5:36 (net) But Jesus, paying no attention to what was said, told the synagogue ruler, “Do not be afraid; just believe.”
Jesus has already healed the sick, calmed a raging storm and miraculously fed thousands of people: and now He will raise the dead which proves He is the Son of God. So, what is keeping us from trusting Him? Only satan’s lies (1 Peter 5:8)! We need to keep our minds focused on Jesus (Isa 26:3, Psalm 94:19, 2 Cor 1:9, Psalm 2:12, 4:5, 9:10, 18:2, Pro 3:5). Remember these verses when you are tempted to not trust the Lord!
John 10:10 (nkjv) The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
The word “thief”, here in the Greek, is transferred to false teachers, who do not care to instruct men, but abuse their confidence for their own gain. “The thief has no other design in coming but to plunder. So false teachers have no other end in view but to enrich or aggrandize themselves” (Barnes). This means we need to exercise discernment to avoid becoming victim to their ear-tickling words (Heb 5:14, Isa 7:15, Phil 1:10, 1 Thess 5:21, 2 Tim 4:3, Isa 56:11, Eze 34:2-4).
Remember, whatever enters your ears goes into your mind and controls your heart (Matt 12:34, Luke 6:45).
1 Cor 15:58 (niv) Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
We are to depend on God for strength in all situations. “Be not shaken or agitated with the strifes, temptations, and the cares of life (the world)” (Barnes) (Pro 3:5-6, Isa 12:2, 26:4, Jer 17:7, Rom 12:2, Eph 5:17, 1 Cor 1:18, 1 John 2:15). Instead, we are to be constantly focused on God’s will and taking advantage of every opportunity to promote His kingdom (Eph 1:11-12, 6:6, Col 3:17, 3:23, Rom 14:8, 1 Peter 2:15, Heb 13:15, 1 Cor 6:20, Matt 5:16, 2 Tim 4:17).
Mark 4:41 (net) They were overwhelmed by fear and said to one another, “Who then is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!”
Jesus is in complete control of everything: are we? Of course not! So, why not trust Jesus to control those uncontrollable things in your life? (Matt 6:33, Heb 13:5,. Psalm 55:22, 1 Peter 5:7, Phil 4:6).
Luke 6:20 (isv) Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
What does “poor in spirit” mean? “It is the realization of our utter unworthiness, a sense of spiritual need and destitution, that drives us to seek Christ to lift it”. “The Berean”, 1-11-21. Everyone is “poor in spirit” until they realize the need for salvation, that they cannot do it on their own without Jesus and they finally let go of their pride by humbling themselves to admit that they are sinful and in need of a savior (Rom 3:10, 3:23, Acts 2:21, Rom 10:13, Joel 2:32, 1 Sam 2:8, Psalm 113:7-8, Isa 29:19, James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:6, Job 22:29, Rom 3:24). It’s not easy to let go of our pride. So remember, your spiritual poverty can only be cured by Jesus (John 14:6) AFTER you humbly admit to Him that you need Him.
James 4:17 (nlt) Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it”
God gave us gifts, talents and abilities so we could help others (Luke 6:38, 12:47-48, Matt 25:40, 25:45, Pro 17:5, 11:24, 19:17, 2 Cor 9:6). So, give freely of your gifts, and in so doing you will please God.
2 Cor 5:17 (niv) “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
What is the new? A sinless pure and sanctified spirit in God’s eyes (1 Thess 4:7, 5:9, 2 Thess 2:13, Titus 2:11, Heb 5:9, 1 Cor 1:2, 1 John 1:9)! What is the old? A sinful, unholy, impure spirit in God’s eyes (Eph 5:5, Col 3:6, 1 Peter 3:13, 1 John 5:17)! Which would you prefer when you stand before God (Rom 3:10, Psalm 14:3, 14:1, Heb 9:27)? The choice is yours.
Ezekial 9:4 (isv) The LORD told him, “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of everyone who sighs and moans over all of the loathsome things that are happening in it.”
As christians do we sigh and moan because of the evil in this country? Or do we simply turn a blind eye (Jas 4:17, Hab 1:13, Rom 1:18, 1 John 2:4, Eze 3:18)? The duty of every christian is to speak truth in the face of evil (Eph 5:11, Pro 8:7, Psalm 94:16, Titus 1:10-13, 1 Cor 13:6, 2 Cor 4:2, 1 John 3:18).
Matt 6:20 (isv) But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal,
How do we do this? It’s simple, just give of your money, time and talents to glorify God (1 Tim 6:18-19). When all we seek is worldly treasures, that is where our heart will be and that is all we will have to show for our lives when we stand before Jesus (Matt 6:21).
1 Corinthians 15:58 (nkjv) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
As children of God, we are the church: therefore it is our duty to promote His kingdom in whatever way we can: by shining our lights, using our gifts to glorify God and by worshipping Him (Matt 5:14, 5:16, Phil 2:15, 2 Cor 4:6, 9:6, 9:11, Eph 5:8-9, 1 Thess 5:5, 1 Peter 2:9, 4:10, Rom 12:6-8).
Luke 6:8 (kjvlite) But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.
When Jesus called the man forward He used the greek word “ἐγείρω” which has the connotation of “resurrection from the dead”. This was a subtle exhibition of His power to “raise the dead”, something only a Messiah could do, as well as a prophetic implication of His own future resurrection (John 2:19, Mark 8:31, Matt 17:22).
Isaiah 43:18-19 (isv) Don’t remember the former things; don’t dwell on things past. 19 Watch! I’m about to carry out something new! And now it’s springing up— don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the wilderness and paths in the desert.
Those who dwell on the past remain frozen in that time. They cannot grow or mature as God intended us to do: which means we must choose to let go of the past (2 Cor 7:1, Jas 1:4, Rom 13:12, Eph 4:22, 4:31, Col 3:5, Isa 43:18-19, Job 17:9, Phil 3:13-14).
Rom 12:1 (isv) I therefore urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship.
What Paul is saying is we must offer ALL of ourselves (body, mind and soul) and ALL that we have to the service of God (Mark 12:30, John 12:26). Not thinking that we own anything since everything we are and have comes from God (1 Chron 29:13-14, Psalm 24:1, James 1:17, Rom 11:36)! God will not accept a part of us (Matt 6:24, 1 Cor 10:21, 2 Cor 6:15-16). Choose carefully (Joshua 24:15, Deut 11:26-28, Pro 23:17).
John 6:5-6 (niv) “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.”
If you think about it, out of 5000 people, only one child thought to bring a lunch? Still, Jesus used this one child to glorify God since that child was the only person in the crowd to offer up his lunch to Jesus. Jesus wants to use us as well but first we must offer ouselves to Him (Matt 25:15-18, Rom 6:13, 6:16, 12:1, Col 4:5, Eph 5:1-2). It must be our choice: will you serve God or another? (Josh 24:15). Choose carefully!
Mark 1:17 (isv) Jesus told them, “Follow me, and I’ll make you fishers of people!”
Even today, Jesus is calling everyone to join Him in heaven. But, He is the ONLY way to get there (John 14:6, 10:9, 11:25). All we need to do is believe He is the son of God and the Savior then call upon His name (Acts 2:21, Rom 10:13, Joel 2:32). Good luck with your choice today!
Heb 10:38 (isv) but my righteous one will live by faith, and if he turns back, my soul will take no pleasure in him.
Webster’s definition of faith is “complete trust, confidence, or reliance.” if we claim to be Christians, if we claim to worship the only, all powerful God, why is it so difficult to trust Him completely, implicitly and explicitly (Isa 43:22, Jer 2:5, 2:11-13, Micah 6:3, John 6:66-69)? Parents want their children to trust them. God wants the same from His children (1 Peter 4:19, Psalm 37:5, 84:5, 84:12, 146:5, 2 Tim 1:12, Isa 40:31, Pro 3:5-6). So, please God today by trusting Him.
Rev 1:8 (nlt) “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One”.
“God is the divine reality before whom every human being is responsible and accountable. Ultimately, you cannot evade Him or ignore Him. If you try, you do so at your own peril” (Gal 6:7). “Bible League International”, 12-30-20. This is why God gave humans the ability to choose – to make moral choices. However, God made choosing very easy for us, He gave us only TWO things from which to choose: truth or lie, good or evil, God or satan (Deut 11:26-28, Josh 24:15, 1 Kings 18:21). Every day everyone is choosing one or the other. That is why I like to tell people “be careful whom you choose to follow, you may not like where he leads” (Pro 3:31, Micah 7:7, 1 John 3:8-10). So basically, life is all about CHOICE. People have been given life so they can choose with whom they will spend eternity – GOD or Satan (Matt 25:34-40 or Matt 7:21-23).
Mat 4:19 (isv) “Follow me,” he told them, “and I will make you fishers of people
The sole purpose of God’s children is to promote His kingdom (Matt 6:33, 10:7, 21:43, Col 4:11, Psalm 145:10-12). We are to be shining our lights as brightly as possible and at every opportunity (Matt 5:14, 5:16, John 8:12, Eph 5:8, 1 Thess 5:5). The best way to shine our light is to always be prepared (1 Peter 3:15). To do that you must study, learn and memorize God’s word (Psalm 119:11, 129:97, Jer 15:16, Col 3:16). So, keep this in mind as you shine your light today!
John 14:26 (isv) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything that I have told you.
One of the perks that Christians have is the very presence of God within us (Eph 2:22, 1 John 4:13, 3:24, 1 Cor 3:16, 6:19, John 14:16-17). If we are listening then God can give us intel that the heathen don’t have. He also protects us, strenghtens us and comforts us (John 15:26, 14:26, Phil 4:13, Col 1:11, 2:7, 2 Cor 1:4, 2 Thess 2:16). So, take advantage of these benefits by studying Gods word and applying it to your life. Learn to hear the Holy spirit’s voice and start receiving God’s blessings (Matt 11:15, 13:15, Rev 2:11). “The Lord wants to accomplish His will through us. But without His supernatural indwelling presence, we can’t become the people He wants us to be. Through His Spirit, Jesus Christ lives His life in us, empowering His work. If we really believed this, we would live like the victorious children of God that we are”. “In Touch Ministries”, 12-26-20.
Psalm 16:2 (isv) I told the LORD, “You are my master, I have nothing good apart from you.
As David is sayng here, nothing we do apart from God has any value in God’s eyes (Job 22:2, Gal 6:8). Everything we have comes from God (Jas 1:17, 1 Cor 4:7). This is why we should be thanking God always for everything we have (1 Thess 5:18, Eph 5:20, Heb 13:5). In so doing we constantly glorify and worship God.