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OUR DUTY!

※ It’s our duty to take and put on the Whole armour of God and then to stand our ground and withstand our enemies (Eph 6:12-18).

※ There are lots of doctrines out there that make it sound like Christians should live as they please and God will do all the working.

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Are you a joyful Christian?

The Word is very clear that joy is the fruit of the Spirit who lives in us and others will see this fruit in our lives.
Romans 15:13’Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.’

God’s will is for you to be filled with joy and overflowing with hope. We serve a God of Hope and we have every reason to be filled with divine joy. Joyful people are not hopeless.
Romans 14:17 ‘The kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.’
Christian joy is never selfish. Its not the self-centered pursuit of worldly happiness. It is God-centered joy.

Paul exhorted us from prison saying in Phil.4:4′ Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.’
We are born again into the kingdom of God and a vital part of being a citizen of the kingdom is practicing righteousness and enjoying peace with God and living a joyful life in Christ .
I meet many joyless, gloomy, sour-faced Christians who have lost their focus and their joy in Jesus.

Read 1st Peter 1:8’Whom having not seen, ye love, in whom though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.’
Our joy flows out of our love for our Lord Jesus. We can rejoice despite the trials and suffering we go through because of the grace and power of Jesus in our lives. We need a sure, steady, and satisfying focus on Christ who is the Source of our daily joy.
Joy is not a feeling or a positive circumstance. Joy is found in a vital relationship and fellowship with Jesus the Source of true joy.

BEING A SERIOUS, SOBER-MINDED CHRISTIAN MEANS ALSO BEING FULL OF GLADNESS. THEY GO TOGETHER !
Hebrew 1:9’Thou has loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore God,even Thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.’

This is speaking of Jesus. WE NEED TO LOVE RIGHTEOUSNESS, HATE SIN AND BE ANOINTED WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS.
Psalm 5:11’But let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice:let them ever shout with joy, because Thou defendest them:let them also that love Thy name be joyful in Thee.’
Psalm 100:2′ Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing.’

Do you serve Him with gladness? Have you lost your joyful song?
I will admit the pressures of life, being too busy and the trials we encounter can drain of our joy.
The absence of real joy can mean the presence of a real bad attitude. Sinful attitudes are real joy killers and break your fellowship with Jesus.There are reasons why we lose our joy and we need to examine our hearts and attitudes and find out why?
Psalm 16:11’Thou will shew me the path of life:in Thy presence is fullness of joy, at Thy right hand there are pleasure forevermore.’

WE CAN GET FULL OF JOY BY GETTING IN HIS HOLY PRESENCE!
A lack of a consistent prayer life means also a lack of joy.
Dear friends we need to refuel and spend time in fellowship with God.
(We need to be God’s singing people who sing His praise because of His greatness and unfailing grace.)
Psalm 89:1’I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever, with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.’
Psalm 81:1’Sing aloud unto God our strength:make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.’
YOU DO THIS DAILY AND YOU WILL BE JOYFUL AND PEOPLE WILL KNOW IT. HAVE YOU LOST YOUR SONG OF THANKSGIVING?
Brother David Cooke

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What the church needs!

Originally posted at A disciple’s study.

Not a new insight.

What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer.

~ E.M. Bounds (August 15, 1835 – August 24, 1913, American Pastor, author, and attorney)

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A Culture of Truth

Originally posted at Derek Spain:

As God’s people, we are called to be salt and light, to make a difference in the community, city and nation in which we live. We are called to be the conscience of the culture.

The next series of posts will explore the type of culture that most glorifies God, the kind of culture that we as Christ-followers should pray for and work toward in our spheres of influence. And, these posts may help to guide you as you pray about the people to vote for in local, state and national elections.

In this post, we will discuss “A Culture of Truth.”

Key Verse — Proverbs 23:23

Proverbs 23:23
23  Buy—and do not sell—truth,wisdom, instruction, and understanding. 

There is such a thing as the truth

In our culture today, people embrace the idea of relative truth, which says that truth is dependent on the situation and therefore can change from situation to situation. According to this way of reasoning, no truth is absolute. But the Bible affirms that there is absolute truth. Absolute truths emanate from the very nature of God.

Psalm 89:14
14  Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne;faithful love and truth go before You. 

John 8:32
32  You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Because there is such a thing as the truth, we should always seek truth in our actions. We should live by the truth. Things are either right or wrong. We should do the right thing. And so should those we elect to office.

Psalm 15:2,5
 The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges the truth in his heart—  …the one who does these things will never be moved. 

We should have truth in our speech. Do you always speak the truth? Do you say what you mean and mean what you say? Or, is your speech mixed with lies, so that people can never really know whether they can believe you or not? Again, think about this for yourself and for those who will be representing you in government positions.

Zechariah 8:16 
16  These are the things you must do: Speak truth to one another; make true and sound decisions within yourgates.

We should have truth in our laws. The context of Zechariah 8:16 (above) is of a city gate, where the elders would gather to decide guilt or innocence regarding legal matters of the city. Zechariah implores the people to have truth as the foundation of their decision-making. In our land today, we need laws that are written truthfully and that uphold absolute truths, laws that clearly declare things to be right or wrong, in line with the Word of God.

The amazing thing is that truth is not just a concept or idea, but rather Truth is a Person — Jesus is the Truth. Through His personal example of truthfulness in speech and actions, Jesus showed us all the way to live. When a person becomes a follower of Jesus with with their life surrendered to Him, their eyes are opened to see the beauty of living life by the truth.

John 14:6
 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

There is a cost to live by the truth 

In Proverbs 23:23 (above), the Bible says to “buy” the truth. The language indicates the costly nature of living by the truth. Living by the truth will cost you something. To live by the truth, you will give up falsehood and deceit. So, if you were thinking about hanging on to those things, you must give them up to live by the truth.

Proverbs 12:17  
17  Whoever speaks the truth declares what is right, but a false witness, deceit. 

It will cost you time to learn the truth. In Proverbs 23:23, we are instructed to buy truth, wisdom, instruction and understanding. These things are not learned overnight. They are learned through consistent study, reflection and application of God’s Word. The experiences of life help us to learn the truth.

It may cost you relationally and financially to live by the truth. Some family and friends may abandon you if you live by the truth. And in the world system in which we live, there are some businesses that reward dishonesty, so an employee who lives by the truth may lose sales or get overlooked for promotions. Such a person should trust in the Lord to be their defender as they live by the truth. Isaiah described how this was occurring in his day, where those who were living by the truth (those who turned from evil) were plundered by dishonest people.

Isaiah 59:15
15  Truth is missing, and whoever turns from evil is plundered. The LORD saw that there was no justice,and He was offended. 

There is a cost to forsaking the truth

Just as there is a cost to living by the truth, there is also a cost to forsaking the truth. If we do not live by the truth, there are severe consequences.

If we do not live by the truth, the result will be lies, deceit and destruction. Satan, our enemy, is a liar and the father of all lies. An atmosphere of lying and deceit is what he wants to bring to communities, cities and nations. He wants to bring destruction and he uses lying and dishonesty to accomplish his purposes. Jesus called out some people who were forsaking the truth:

John 8:44
44  You are of your father the Devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and has not stood in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature,because he is a liar and the father of liars. 

When a culture forsakes the truth, people do not know right from wrong. They ask the question made famous by Pilate when he was questioning Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38).

Ultimately, a culture that forsakes the truth is in danger of experiencingjudgment. Oh, how we pray for our nation and the nations of the world to turn to Jesus, to embrace the truth, and to avoid the judgment that our sin deserves.

Hosea 4:1
 Hear the word of the LORD, people of Israel, for the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land: There is no truth, no faithful love, and no knowledge of God in the land! 

Romans 1:18
18  For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.

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We thank you Lord!

Originally posted at Learning from God’s Word.

‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness through all generations’(Psalm 89:1). Lord, we read these words from so long ago. Many generations have come and gone since these words were written. The years come and go. The centuries run their course. One generation gives way to another generation. Time moves on relentlessly. None of us can halt the march of time. Many changes have taken place over the course of time. We thank You, Lord, that there is something that has never changed – Your great love for us. As we think of Your great love, may we say, in our hearts – The Lord is to be praised ‘for ever.’ He is to be praised ‘through all generations.’ Help us to look back and remember that Jesus Christ was crucified for us, that  He has risen for us. We thank You, Lord, for the Good News which inspires our praise: ‘I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever…’