Jul 1, 2022 – Psalm 33:12 – blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD
The world today is struggling badly. We have wars, a pandemic, violence everywhere, and many people look out of their window and do not experience hope. Sadly, there are many people in the Church who live their lives in the same hopelessness, completely unaware of who they really are. If God’s Word doesn’t reign in our hearts and minds, then our lives will never be as awesome as they can be. God doesn’t just want to give us salvation. He wants to give us a reason to hope, a reason to love, a reason to live at our highest levels imaginable. God wants us to know that we are blessed people, not because of the abundance of earthly possessions, but because as believers, we have the kingdom of God in us, and God chose us to receive His inheritance. It doesn’t matter where we come from or what we face, but what does matter is what God says about who we are in Him. I we believe His report, our lives will change incredibly. Today, we will look at Psalm 33:12, chosen for an everlasting inheritance.
”Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.”
The word ”nation” means ”a people, country, Gentiles”. Isn’t it funny how God included Gentiles into the equation long before the word Jew was mentioned? In Genesis 11:31, the Bible says, ”And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.” God took Abram from Ur and brought him in to the promised land. Ur was located near modern day Iraq, which was not and is not the land of the Israelites. Before Abram could receive the blessing of the Lord, he had to leave his home, family, and country, to go where God appointed for Him to be. God can make a nation from any type of people from any type of location.
In Genesis 12:1-2, the Bible says, ”Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing”. We must understand that God made the Jewish nation and made them blessed by the Word of the Lord and by the obedience of Abram, but Gentiles were always factored into the equation as well.
In Colossians 3:11, the Bible says, ”Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” God brought His children through history to make His blessing available to us all through Christ. In John 10:16, Christ says, ”And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.’‘ This is for the person who feels they don’t qualify for the blessing of the Lord, who feel they aren’t qualified for salvation. God considered us long before we were born, and Christ came to ensure that we would be included in the fold.
The word ”blessed” means ”happy, a state of bliss, believer in God, enjoy from a relationship with God”. In Psalm 65:4, the Bible says, ”Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.” God’s perspective about being blessed is about having a relationship with Him, and becoming one with His Word. In Psalm 144:15, the Bible says, ”Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” The word ”Lord” means ”Supreme Controller”, so when we allow God to order our every step, to author our ambition, and facilitate our destiny, we are blessed people. In Psalm 146:5-6, the Bible says, ”Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever”. We are blessed because we serve a God who created the earth and everything in it, and we can always come to our Father for the help and hope we need. Too many people equate material possessions, wealth, and the accumulation of goods as being ”blessed”. But being one with God in Christ is what makes us blessed.
The word ”chosen” means ”appointed or selected”. The word ”inheritance” means ”possession, heritage, or portion”. In Ephesians 1:4-5, the Bible says, ”According as he hath 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”. We were chosen long before we appeared on this earth, and it should give us security about God’s choice because it was made before God created the world.
An inheritance is given to someone as the result of the death of the person in possession of the inheritance. In Ephesians 3:6, the Bible says, ”That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel”. God didn’t exclude us from the body of Christ, nor did He exclude us from the promises of God through the death of Christ. It all belongs to us!
In 2 Corinthians 5:18, the Bible says, ”And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation”. It was all done to invite us into the presence of the Lord, to give us the kingdom of God as children and heirs, and to give us a home and a future in Him. This is what makes us blessed, to be chosen by the Lord God for an everlasting inheritance in Christ!
Marshall & Jessica
Jul 2, 2022 – Psalm 27:4 – I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life
What is our desire? Are we striving to be rich, to work in an amazing career, or to be the envy of our peers? These things are customary desires of people in the world, but as believers, what must our desire be? David was a man who was beyond wealthy, having any and everything that he could possibly desire, but he was identified as a man after God’s own heart. The earthly possessions meant nothing compared to his fellowship with God. His desire was to experience the presence of the Lord, to receive a Word from Him, and be able to communicate with God openly and frequently. Is that our desire, amid the flashiness of material possessions, and the amenities of the world, to abide in the Lord as He abides in us? Have we invited the Lord into our hearts and minds, so He can take up residence? Today, we will look at Psalm 27:4, what we really should desire of the Lord.
”One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.”
The word ”desired” means ”to inquire, request, or ask”. The word ”Lord” means ”Supreme Controller”. So David is making his request before the Lord, going to the only Person who can do anything with his request. Could it be that the reason that things haven’t improved in our lives is because we are asking the wrong people? In Philippians 4:6-7, the Bible says, ”Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Even Paul knew that, no matter the internal battle or anxiety that mounts up, God was the Person that we bring our requests to. David desired fellowship, perspective, and direction from the Lord, and the Lord was his first choice.
The phrase ”seek after” means ”search out in worship or prayer, or to strive after.” God makes himself so clear, yet we still will bypass Him to seek other remedies for the things we face. In Matthew 7:7-8, Christ says, ”Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Our God is willing to give us the requests that we ask for when it is aligned to both the Word of God and the will of God. What type of God would God be if we desired more fellowship with Him and He didn’t respond, especially seeing that we are searching Him out in worship and prayer?
In Jeremiah 29:12-13, the Bible says, ”Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” God wants our hearts undivided when we seek Him out, not being someone who seeks Him out all the while looking for a backup plan, just in case God doesn’t respond. That is not faith, and faith is something God honors with a response.
The word ”dwell” means ”to remain, inhabit, or abide”. The phrase ”house of the Lord” doesn’t necessarily pertain to a church building, but it deals with abiding in the presence of the Lord. Remember, David inquired of the Lord everywhere he went and in all situations. In Psalm 65:4, the Bible says, ”Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.” It is a privilege to be in the presence of the Lord, but how many people take that privilege for granted, never seeking the opportunity to dwell in the presence of the Lord? In Psalm 15:1-2, the Bible says, ”Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” Could it be that people don’t want to forsake their unrighteousness in order to receive the righteousness of God, making them able to dwell in the Lord’s presence? Sometimes, we are in our own way!
The word ”behold” means ”to gaze at, perceive or contemplate”. The word ”beauty” means ”splendor, grace, or agreeableness”. In Psalm 90:17, the Bible says, ”And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.’‘ It is one thing to observe the beauty of the Lord, but it is something totally different to experience it! The phrase ”enquire in his temple” implies that we go where God is and seek Him out. In Psalm 91:1, the Bible says, ”He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” That secret place is prayer and worship, where we are decreasing so the Lord can increase. David mastered this because this was his only desire. Will it be ours?
Marshall & Jessica
Jul 3, 2022 – Psalm 27:13 – see the goodness of the LORD
When adversity comes, the effects can become blinding, and we can become lost in the mires of our circumstances. Even the strongest believers can be so blind to the attacks and hard times, that it is difficult for them to see God in those moments. Almost always, adversity produces a battle, but it is our job to control what we see. In the midst of trial, we can either see the opportunity for destruction, or we can see the opportunity for victory. David, in the midst of adversity, found a reason to praise God for being mightier than anything or anybody approaching him, entrusting the victory to God. David didn’t have to wait for heaven before God’s goodness was made present in his life, and neither do we. God never created us to be without His goodness right where we are, but sadly, many believers are only seeing heaven as the only place we will experience the goodness of God. That is a lie! Today, we will look at Psalm 27:13, experience the goodness of God before heaven.
”I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”
The word ”fainted” means ”to become overwhelmed, to be in despair, to fall”. This term expresses a person nearing their breaking point, a period where they are overtaken by the adversities of life. Even David recognizes his potential for this type of state, and we should recognize it as well. Despite what people think, believers in Christ are going to experience hard times.
In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, the Bible says, ”We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed”. Paul describes the conditions believers will find themselves in, but he also expresses that what we experience will not destroy us. It is very important to know how the story ends, and with promises like these in the Word of God, we can have assurance that the things we face will not be our final verdict. In Psalm 27, David expresses the privileges of security, protection, and victory he has by being a child of God, he brings his cares and troubles before the Lord, and he expresses that he will persevere.
In Jonah 2:7, the Bible says, ”When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple.’‘ No matter what we suffer that may cause us despair, we have to continue to look to the Lord, and meditate on His goodness to give us a better perspective about what we are going through. Jonah was in the belly of the fish when he remembered the Lord, and God delivered him from the belly of the fish! What won’t our God deliver us from when we become faint? In Proverbs 24:10, the Bible says, ”If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” If our strength is small, then that means that we are trying to work out our problems in our own strength, and of course, we will work ourselves into a state of pure exhaustion, instead of working ourselves towards the solution.
The word ”believed” means ”to be assured, possessing a state of confidence or faithfulness in something trustworthy”. The word ”goodness” means ”beauty, spiritual blessing, always spoken of the best”. The word ”good” always implies God’s purpose being fulfilled, with Him putting His stamp of approval on it, so the ”goodness” has to tie back to something God has done. In Psalm 121:1-2, the Bible says, ”I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.” Isn’t it a privilege to not only be able to cry out to the Lord for help, but to also to be able to expect His response? Isn’t it also amazing that when God responds, He will totally deal with what we are facing, so there is no reason for us to lose a step. It doesn’t matter what time of day or night our adversity strikes, because our God doesn’t sleep. He is always ready to work in our behalf.
The phrase ”land of the living” is the same as saying ”on earth” or ”while I am still alive”. In 2 Corinthians 2:14, the Bible says, ”Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” God ALWAYS causeth us to triumph in Christ, and this victory is continuous. We don’t have to wait on heaven to live in victory on earth. God has goodness prepared for us in advance to walk in an experience, so this paints a wonderful picture of a God who understands our needs.
Psalm 116:9 says, ”I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.” Despite the adversity we may face, let our commitment be to always dwell in the presence of the Lord, to receive His strength and perspective. What do we see when adversity comes, strength or weakness, God or our circumstances?
Marshall & Jessica
Jul 4, 2022 – Hosea 13:9 – but in me is thine help
I remember the day clearly when I used to sabotage my own success. Every good thing that came my way, I found a way to destroy it. Every opportunity God provided, every provision He freely gave me, and every resource that could’ve helped me become a better person I found a new and inventive way to implode it. I was a wreck and my life reflected it. I can only imagine my God, shaking His head in disbelief behind my squandering of His blessings, but at the same time, still sending His angels to protect and help me at a time where I only wanted to hurt myself. I look back on that, how, despite my best efforts to destroy myself, God was right there, sending the help I didn’t know I needed. How can we ever discount or undermine the love of God, when we can look back and see how His hand and help has brought us to where we stand right now in Him? Today, we will look at Hosea 13:9, our help in the midst of our destruction.
”O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help.”
The word ”destroyed” means ”to utterly waste, ruin, cause decay, or corrupt”. Many people blame our propensity to sin on the devil, but Satan is not to blame for our sin, we are! Some people attribute their temptation to sin as some kind of test from God, but that is a lie as well. In James 1:13-15, the Bible says, ”Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of HIS OWN LUST, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” There is no one to blame for the temptations we allow ourselves to succumb to. The blame shifts completely to us. Even in the fall, Adam and Eve shifted blame.
In Genesis 3:11-13, the Bible says, ”And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.’‘ There was no accountability within Adam and Eve when they sinned before God, just blame. In 1 John 1:7, the Bible says, ”But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” How we are walking determines what we fall prey to. If we are walking in the light, according to the Word of God, then we can see our path clearly, which prevents us from stumbling. The minute we begin to entertain sin, causing ourselves to become enticed, darkness enters and the likelihood of stumbling now becomes inevitable.
In Jeremiah 2:17, the Bible says, ”Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way?” We tend to bring a lot of our suffering upon ourselves. The Israelites kept sinning before God, kept turning their backs on the Lord, kept serving other gods, despite God’s many stern warnings. Despite all the blessings God bestowed upon them, and despite the evidence of His presence and power, they still turned their backs. In Jeremiah 2:19, the Bible says, ”Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” God will allow our own folly to produce correction that will hopefully cause us to repent, but that choice is still ours. God is not going to force us to serve Him.
The word ”help” means ”aid, protection, or covering”. In 1 John 1:9, the Bible says, ”If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God has a remedy to rectify the sinful behavior in our lives, but we have to make the choice to confess our sins and then allow God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. God doesn’t want us utterly wasted and broken beyond repair. This passage in Hosea is prophecy about how God’s chosen people sinned so badly that they would have to be taken captive, but even in this state, God didn’t mean for it to be for their destruction.
In Jeremiah 29:11, the Bible says, ”For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Even in the midst of our self-sabotage, God is still allowing our worst decisions to ultimately work out for His divine purpose. Psalm 46:1 says, ”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” This even means the trouble we bring upon ourselves!
May we see the sin in our lives, and return to the Lord in repentance, not allowing our sin to cause us to end in our ruin.
Marshall & Jessica
Jul 5, 2022 – Psalm 50:15 – I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me
Being a believer doesn’t exempt us from trouble. Too many people place an unfair expectation on the faith, thinking that because we are children of God, heirs of the promises of God, possessors of the Holy Spirit, that we won’t face trial in our life. Many who possess this attitude tend to fall away in the midst of suffering because their expectation didn’t prepare them for the truth, that trouble still comes, but God delivers us from the trouble we face. It is far more refreshing knowing that God is walking in the fire with me, than me going at it alone like I was when I wasn’t saved. There is no hope or assurance of deliverance if we aren’t in Christ, and having that assurance makes what we go through manageable. Praise God I don’t have to figure my way out of trouble when it comes, because my God has the answer to the trouble we face! Today, we are going to look at Psalm 50:15, calling on God in the day of trouble.
”And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”
The word ”call” means ”to accost a person, to address by name, or to cry out for someone to come near”. This doesn’t imply someone merely calling out to someone like a kid would their parents when they wanted a candy bar from the store, but this a crying-out out of anguish and distress. In Mark 10:47-48, the Bible says, ”And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.” When we call out to the Lord, especially in the midst of trouble, we have to cry out to Him, and be unwilling to be silenced. Blind Bartimaeus was not going to be silenced. He was tired of being blind, he heard that Christ was coming and he was going to continue screaming until Christ heard him. How many of us have this level of persistence when we cry out to the Lord?
The word ”day” doesn’t expressly mean a 24 hour period, but it pertains to a season or age in time. The word ”trouble” means ”tightness, anguish, adversity, distress or affliction”. In Exodus 3:7, the Bible says, ”And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows”. God is so loving that He becomes acquainted with our sufferings, He looks upon us with compassion and sends us deliverance in the face of our troubles. The Israelites cried out to God in the anguish of their bondage and God heard them, and was charging Moses with their deliverance. The Israelites were in the dark to what God was doing in the light, but cried out to God because they knew He was the only One who could deliver them.
In Psalm 107:5-7, the Bible says, ”Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them. Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses. And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.” He Israelites had a deep, unsatisfied hunger and thirst for freedom, just as Blind Bartimaeus had this deep unsatisfied hunger and thirst to see. I know what this hunger and thirst for freedom feels like, and I cry out to the Lord for deliverance the same way, trusting that God hears my cries and is sending a deliverer for me as well!
The word ”deliver” means ”to remove from danger”, but it also means, ”to strengthen, fortify, or equip for war”. So either God is going to remove us from the anguish we face, or He is going to give us the ability to stand in the face of the anguish, but He will definitely sustain us with everything we need while His answer comes. In 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, the Bible says, ”For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’‘ Sometimes, God’s deliverance is His grace to go through it with strength and power as a testament to God’s power and presence in the midst of trial.
In Psalm 107:19-20, the Bible says, ”Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.’‘ Isn’t it such a blessing that all it takes from God is a Word to deliver us from our troubles?
The word ”glorify” means ”esteem as honorable, to make weighty in a good sense”. In Psalm 22:23, the Bible says, ”Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.” WHEN God delivers us, let us glorify Him everywhere we go, and praise Him in all we do.
May we never forget Who it is who delivered us from our troubles, and may our testimony declare His goodness!
Marshall & Jessica
Jul 6, 2022 – Mark 16:20 – the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs
Ministry is an outpouring of the Lord’s Word, power and provision into others, so they may hear, see, experience, and believe. That belief turns into salvation, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, sanctification, development, and ministry to then be extended to others. I was terrified the day the pastor pointed at me from across the juvenile detention center church service and prophesied that I would preach the Word of God. I knew I was a mess, and well on my way go messing up my life even more, so I did what most people do in that type of situation. I ran! What I didn’t consider then, on my 17th birthday when the prophecy was made over my life, was that I wouldn’t have to walk in my own knowledge, strength, power or ability, nor would I be alone, because my God would equip me for the work He ordained for me to do. I just have to go where He sends me, and I have! Today, we will look at Mark 16:20, spreading the Word of God abroad in ministry.
”And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”
The phrase ”went forth” means ”to depart, to go abroad, to proceed”. This is one of those phrase we tend to read right over, not deeming there to be much significance to it, but this is a statement of both obedience and faith to the Word of the Lord. In Matthew 28:19, Christ says, ”Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”. Christ gave the disciples the commission to spread the Word of God to ALL NATIONS through teaching and preaching. This means ”leave no place behind”! How many people do we neglect to share the love of God with because they come from a different neighborhood, they were raised under different circumstances, they are of a different race, or economic standing? Christ didn’t discriminate and showed himself mighty to all who came to Him. Now, Christ has charged the disciples to proceed with the commission He gave them, to operate in the earth as He did, and they obeyed.
The word ”preached” means ”to herald as a public crier the divine truth, to publish or proclaim the Word of God abroad.” Now, some will say that they are not preachers, and this message is for the disciples and the pastorate of the Church. Some will feel unqualified, but they would be responding to the lies of the enemy. God has equipped us all and I will share an example. In Mark 5:18-20, the Bible says, ”And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.’‘ This man was just delivered from a legion of demons so powerful that when they entered the swine, they caused a herd of two thousand swine to jump off a cliff and into the sea, drowning them in the process! The man wanted to go with Christ, but Christ charged him to go home and tell his story to his friends. He published (preached) his testimony in ten cities! He wasn’t a pastor, yet he preached in ten cities what God had done for him. What is our excuse?
In Ephesians 4:11-12, the Bible says, ”And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”. God has equipped us for ministry, for a role specific to our calling and gifting, but we still must proclaim the Word of God everywhere we go. In 2 Peter 1:3, the Bible says, ”According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue”. It is not our own power or ability that we are working with. God fills us with the power and the Word, but we have to be willing to open our mouths.
The phrase ”working with them” speaks of being ”fellow-workers” also meaning ”to co-operate”. In John 14:26, Christ says, ”But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’‘ God is going to equip us with the Word, the teaching, and cause us to remember things we may have forgotten.
The phrase ”confirming the word” means ”to establish or corroborate the Word of God by proof or arguments”. The word ”signs” means ”indication of supernatural miracles or wonders”. In Acts 5:12-14, the Bible says, ”And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch. And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)”. When the Word of God is preached, signs and wonders follow, and because of the display of both Word and the power of the Word of God, people experience the truth and give their lives over to the Lord.
In Acts 14:3, the Bible says, ”Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.” The signs are the testimony that the Word of God is true, as the apostles spoke the Word of God boldly, and the Word is the power behind the signs and wonders. In 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, the Bible says, ”And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.’‘ Our preaching is about the Word of God flowing from us to the people we speak the Word of God to. It doesn’t make the preacher any better than the person being preached to, because the same Word of God is power for them both, and it becomes more evident in the people who are deemed ”qualified”. God uses the ”unqualified” to show that this work is being done by God’s hand and not by man’s intention.
May we go where the Lord sends, preaching what the Holy Spirit gives us, ushering in the power of God everywhere we go. Amen.
Marshall & Jessica
Jul 7, 2022 – Hosea 14:4 – I will love them freely
Many believers during the course of their lives have experienced backsliding. This is when we make a sound decision to follow after the Lord, only to later make another decision to go our own way, to live according to our own flesh. Backsliding doesn’t have to be some monumental sin, some incredible wrong committed according to societal standards, but backsliding can also mean going back into a lifestyle of disobedience. In the time of Israel and Judah, they frequently and repeatedly backslid, racing after other gods, living the lifestyle of the heathens around them, but God was always there, trying to bring them back into a right relationship with Him. No matter how far they fell of course, no matter the wrong they’ve done, and no matter how filthy they became in the process, God’s compassion gave them the opportunity to turn back to Him. He offers the same thing to us now! Today, we will look at Hosea 14:4, a backslider redeemed by the love of the Lord.
”I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.”
The word ”heal” means ”to mend by stitching, repair, cure, or make whole.” The word ”backsliding” means ”apostasy or turning away from the faith”. Let us pay close attention to who is doing the healing, because too many of us get into the trap of trying to heal ourselves, cure ourselves, change ourselves. This verse speaks of God doing the healing. In Exodus 15:26, the Bible says, ”And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.” God is always the Healer, and we can do a bunch of good works, but will not receive spiritual healing until God gives it.
Since the beginning, mankind has always tried to go their own way, but God has been there, ready to heal, mighty to save, able to restore us unto Him. In Jeremiah 5:6-7, the Bible says, ”Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased. How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses.”
Sometimes, we can go so far ”off script” that God will question whether or not He should pardon the offenses, because He has a record so extensive of us living in our flesh that our changing appears hopeless. Fortunately, our hope, just like our healing, is in the Lord! In Hosea 11:7, the Bible says, ”And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him.” There are too many people who are ”playing church” all the while living lives no different than the world they have been delivered from. Being ”bent to backsliding” implies a person being inclined to backsliding, meaning it should be expected. This shouldn’t be!
The phrase ”love them freely” means ”to have affection for, to friend”. Not only will God cure us of our backsliding, but He will establish us as friends and pour His affections upon us. In John 15:15,16 Christ says, ”Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” When God loves us, He gives us His Word and will, and also the ability for us to bear fruit in Him. This gives us the privilege to come to God and ask for what we will, and He will give it. Why? Because we are in His will.
The phrase ”turned away”, means ”to withdraw, to cease, or to reverse”. So God will stop being angry with us when He heals us of our backsliding. In Jeremiah 31:34, the Bible says, ”And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” God doesn’t hold grudges against those He forgives, and He will bring us into a right relationship with Him. God has always desired to bring this healing and restoration in our lives, but we must be willing to receive it. May it not take captivity in order for us to receive the Lord’s healing.
Marshall & Jessica
Jul 8, 2022 – Aug 6, 2022 LOVING YOU SERIES – 30 DAYS
Aug 7, 2022 – Acts 14:27 – they rehearsed all that God had done with them
Praise reports are something important in the Church. It is one thing to believe in the Word of God by faith, but it adds something beautiful and powerful when we can receive a praise report of the Word of God at work in someone’s life. It adds something encouraging, to know that the ministry that is going out is bearing fruit, and that lives are being transformed and made whole by the blood of Jesus Christ washing them clean. A testimony is a living record of the presence and power of God at work, but without testimony, how will the Word of God spread? A testimony also details the experienced Word of God, adding weight and credibility to an already credible message. There are far too many believers today who stand silent amid all of the spiritual blessings they receive, when our testimonies can inspire others to believe the Word of God as truth. Today, we will look at Acts 14:27, a testimony that opens the door of faith.
”And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
The phrase ”were come” means ”arrived”. Paul and Barnabas went on a journey of evangelism, going to different cities, spreading the Word of God. Paul was doing exactly what God was calling him to do, because in Acts 9:15-16, the Bible says, ”But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” God chose Paul for the ministry that he would have, and it was specific to the people he would reach out to. As badly as Paul wanted to stay and preach to the Jews only, God sent him to the Gentiles, to preach and teach them the Word of God. With the preaching came miracles, bearing an even stronger record of God’s power, but also came persecution. Not only was a great display of God’s power being presented through Paul, but he was also stoned for preaching the same Gospel.
Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch from their mission with a report of all that happened, so what did they do?
Gather the church together!
The word ”church” means ”an assembly of Christians or a religious congregation of believers”. The Church back then, didn’t have the buildings that we have now. Many people gathered at homes and in public places. This was a huge movement of ”word of mouth”, to assemble the believers together, which shows the commitment they had to come together.
The word ”rehearsed” means ”to announce, make known, to declare in detail”. In Acts 15:4, the Bible says, ”And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.” Everywhere Paul went, he met with the Church and gave them a report of what God was doing in the places they went. There is something empowering about a praise report that comes in, especially back in those days. There was so much persecution going on, and believers were afraid to be Christians, so ministry was even harder. Could it be that the testimonies given empowered those who were afraid to be more bold in their faith, seeing the result of the ministry overcoming fear?
In Acts 21:19-20, the Bible says, ”And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law”. Testimony is designed to explain the work, the Word and the power of God, so that the hearers and receivers of it may give glory to God.
The phrase ”door of faith” pertains to the way or route to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the doctrines received and believed, and all Christianity stands for”. In John 10:9, Christ says, ”I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” The door of faith is Jesus Christ, and that it evidenced by John 14:6, in which Christ says, ”Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
The Gospel points to Christ. The miracles as the result of the Gospel point to Jesus Christ, and all that we are points to Jesus Christ.
The word ”Gentiles” refers to the non-Jews, people of heathen and pagan nations. In Colossians 4:3, the Bible says, ”Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds”. Paul is still trying to find more people, more Gentiles to preach the Word of God to, right from his prison cell! Paul experienced the power of God at work during the course of His ministry and never ceased to give his testimony. May we do the same!
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 8, 2022 – Revelation 16:15 – blessed is he that watcheth
We must protect our walk of faith at all cost. We must protect our joy, our peace, our progress, and our identity in Christ. But the question is, do we treasure who we are in Christ enough to see it as worth protecting? Will we guard our physical possessions all while leaving our spiritual possessions vulnerable to attack or theft. The enemy comes as a thief, to catch us unaware and off-guard so that he can attack before we can protect ourselves. What we fail to recognize is that Christ is going to come in the same fashion, as a thief, to catch us as we are. What side of this are we going to be on? Are we going to be spiritually clothed in the Word of God, or are we going to be found without, naked and ashamed. Now is the day for salvation. Now is the day to clothe ourselves in the Word of God, and live our lives patterned to His Word. Now! Tomorrow might just be too late. Today, we are going to look at Revelation 16:15, clothed and ready in the presence of “The Thief”.
”Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
The word ”behold” is a term that expresses a person’s desire for people to pay very close attention to what is being said or shown. The word ”thief” means ”stealer”. In Matthew 24:43-44, Christ says, ”But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” The whole point of coming as a thief is the element of surprise. Anyone can clean their house up today knowing that company is coming tomorrow but how will our homes be if our company shows up to our house unannounced? The Lord wants His children to be on the look out for His arrival, and ready to receive Him.
In Revelation 22:7, Christ says, ”Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Christ is telling us to observe the Word of the Lord, so that when He arrives, He will see a Church ready for His return. We want to be a Church that our Lord approves of. In Revelation 22:12, Christ also says, ”And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.’‘ Anytime something is mentioned twice within the same message, it is a word confirmed, a word that must be regarded with great care. Not only does our Lord want to see a Church ready for His arrival, but He wants to reward us for our readiness!
In Luke 12:43-44, Christ says, ”Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.” Christ wants us to be ready so He can entrust us to reign!
The word ”blessed” means ”happy, or fortunate, receiving God’s favor despite the circumstances.” The word ”watcheth” means ”to be vigilant, to stay awake”. The phrase ”keepeth his garments” implies a readiness for the Lord’s return, a soldier ready for battle, or a homeowner watchful for the arrival of a thief. In Ephesians 4:22-24, the Bible says, ”That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” We must disrobe ourselves of the nonsense we used to wear, the sin, iniquity, malice, anger, lust, and disobedience, and we must robe ourselves in our new identity in Christ. When we do that, we are robing ourselves in righteousness and holiness, in love and peace, in obedience and faith.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:4, the Bible says, ”But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Because we are robed in light and in the Word of God, we will be ready when our Lord appears, and we won’t have to make a massive clean up job to be ready for the Lord.
The word ”walk” means ”to tread all around, or to live”. The word ”naked” means ”unclothed, destitute of spiritual goods”. The word ”shame” implies indecency. In Luke 12:45-46, Christ says, ”But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” We don’t want our Lord to come back, only to catch us being poor stewards, living more ungodly lives than the people in the world do. God desires for us to be ready for the Lord’s coming, our lamps trimmed and filled with oil, ready on the Bridegroom’s arrival.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 9, 2022 – Luke 22:32 – I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not
God knows when we face trial, a testing that will either build us up further in the Word of God, or break our faith altogether. God equips us with His Word as a warning that trying times will come, but in the life of a believer, our trials are not designed for us to fail, but succeed mightily. Our trials, especially the ones overcome become highly effective in helping others in the midst of their struggles. Just as Peter went into the depths of fear and denied Christ three times, so we will in our own way. Christ knew Peter would mess up and He knew that it would break Peter’s heart to walk with Christ for three years only to then deny Him. But Jesus still had a plan in place for this failure to be turned into purpose. I used to wonder why God didn’t just strike me down instead of allowing me to make horrible decisions that would drastically alter many people’s lives in the process, until there was someone who went through a painful process like mine, who couldn’t see a way out. Sometimes our failures are the lessons we need before we can help others from falling in the same way. Today, we will look at Luke 22:32, a prayer for conversion and ministry given by Christ.
”But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
The word ”prayed” means ”to beg God as binding oneself to, to petition God, or to request something of God”. Christ knew Peter was going to be under attack, and also knew that he would deny Christ. Christ even knew that, when Peter would come to the revelation that he did in fact deny Christ, it would break his heart. This verse is a huge testament to God being all-knowing, because Christ knew Peter inside and out.
In Psalm 139:1-3, the Bible says, ”O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.” Our God just doesn’t search us, but He completely knows our character, our vices, our habits, and our impulses. Think about this. Christ knew that Peter would be under attack before it happened; and went as far as to say in Luke 22:31, ”And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat”. Christ even knew Satan’s intentions for Peter! Even though Christ knew it all, He still prayed for Peter, because this was still a battle Peter would have to overcome.
In John 17:9, Christ says, ”I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.” Christ interceded on Peter’s behalf, because Peter would have to be victorious over this trial and he obviously needed help. We are no different. In John 17:15-16, Christ also prays, ”I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” Christ knew who Peter was under the mess, just as He knows who we are under our mess. He prays that we will be victorious over evil, because we are of Him, not of the world.
The word ”faith” means ”reliance upon God, or assurance and confidence in the Word of God as truth”. The word ”fail” means ”to cease or die”. Christ is praying that Peter doesn’t fall away in his brokenness, because He knows that brokenness can cause people to do things they wouldn’t normally do; and can also push a person give up. Satan would love it if we gave up, and that is why he tries to sift us as wheat. Intercession was huge here, because Peter needed to find his way back into the presence of God. In Romans 8:27, the Bible says, ”And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Knowing who Peter would become, we understand why this prayer of intercession was necessary, so that Peter could fulfill the will of God over his life.
”And when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren”
The word ”converted” means ”to return to God in an absolute sense”, implying repentance. The word ”strengthen” means ”set fast, confirm, or establish”. The key word to this verse is ”when”; because Christ is basically telling Peter,
”You will overcome this.”
In 2 Corinthians 2:14, the Bible says, ”Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.’‘ Our victory is in Jesus, and solely in Him. When we overcome, we must strengthen our brethren with our testimony, because they will need to hear that they too will make it, and this too shall pass. They will need to know that they have a loving God with wide open arms, ready to receive His prodigal children. They will need someone to speak from both the pit and the pulpit, and that someone is us!
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 10, 2022 – Romans 12:3 – to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think
As believers, we all have a role to play in the kingdom of God. Some people are going to be pastors, some people will be deacons, some will sing in the choir, some will work in the nursery with babies, and some will be ushers. These aren’t the only roles, because some will work with people with drug and alcohol addictions, some will help the homeless, some will assist prostitutes with rebuilding their lives, and some will go into prisons and preach the Word of God. These still aren’t the only roles, because some people will be one of the few saved people in their jobs, in their homes, in their communities, and their lives will become a role models. Whatever our roles are, we must understand that God gives us the grace to be who we are and do what we do. Today, we will look at Romans 12:3, a low mind in the presence of the Most High God.
”For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”
The word ”grace” speaks of the divine grace and favor as exercised in conferring gifts, grace, and benefits on man, particularly those gifts manifested and benefits bestowed in and through Christ and His Gospel. In this verse the gift Paul received, was the gift of apostleship and holding an apostolic office.
In Romans 1:4-5, the Bible says, ”And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name”. Christ received all power as the resurrected Lord and Savior, and that power was freely extended to us. We must always consider that His life was completely guided by the Holy Spirit dwelling within Him, something we receive to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Because of Christ’s triumph over life and death, we have access to receive the grace we need to live as living epistles here on earth. In 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, the Bible says, ”According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Sometimes, our role in the kingdom of God is to lay the foundation of Christ where we are at, and other times, we continue to build upon the foundation of Christ after someone else has already laid the foundation. Both roles are vital, because both establish the Word of God as truth, and the grace of God is necessary to facilitate both roles.
”Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think”
This expresses an attitude of conceitedness or arrogance. This type of person has effectively taken God out of the equation and made everything about them.
In Psalm 24:1, the Bible says, ”The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Nothing in this world belongs to us. Everything belongs to the Lord, including our identities and our roles in Him. In 1 Corinthians 15:9-10, the Bible says, ”For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” The grace of God is bestowed despite what and who we used to be, no matter how bad we may have been, and it only by the grace of God that we can be who God has ordained us to be, no matter what role that is. It is only God’s divine empowerment that allows us to be who we are, not because of anything we have done.
The phrase ”think soberly” means ”to exercise a sound and right mind”. We think we are exercising our minds, but God wants us to use of minds in a way that brings glory to Him.
In 2 Timothy 1:7, the Bible says, ”For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.’‘ Even the contents of our sound minds come from something God has given. The word ”dealt” means ”to distribute or allot”. God distributes ”to every man” the measure of faith – that means that we all have access to some measure of faith. In Ephesians 4:7, the Bible says, ”But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Could it be that the measure of God is given according to the capacity we have for Him? How much room do we make for the Lord in our minds, hearts, and lives? How can we be arrogant and then expect God to fill us with an abundant measure of faith? May we all come to know who God is, and who we are because of Him. May this attitude of humility grow us in grace and faith.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 11, 2022 – Psalm 73:26 – but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever
There will come a point in any believer’s life where we will feel like we are being bled dry. There will be an unquenchable thirst for God, a deep longing to experience the presence of God, but He will feel so far away. Asaph, like David, cried out for God during some of the most trying times in his life and God always came through for him. God is our source, our strength, our peace, and there is an inheritance available to us by coming into a right relationship with God by faith in Jesus Christ. We have unlimited access to the presence of God in all situations, not just when our hearts cry out to the Lord in pain or emptiness. The Lord has something for us that will fill us forever and that is His Holy Spirit. Today, we will look at Psalm 73:26, an eternal portion for the hungry and thirsty in Christ.
”My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.”
The word ”faileth” means ”to cease, to perish, or to become utterly destroyed”. This speaks of a condition of mental, emotional, and physical deterioration, due to self-pity and depression. Asaph is viewing the wicked become prosperous while he is watching the difficulties believers in God have trying to live a holy life. He came to realize that the prosperity of the wicked is short-lived because destruction will come to them without remedy, and there is so much more that lies ahead of us who believe!
It is devastating when one of the praise leaders becomes burdened by depression, but this shows that it can happen to anyone. In Psalm 84:2, the Bible says, ”My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.” It is okay to cry out to God in the midst of our agony and depression, to desire the presence of the Lord when we are burdened by life. We don’t have to suffer in silence, because God didn’t create us for us to not communicate our every thought to Him. Think not?
In Matthew 26:38-39, the Bible says, ”Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith, was sorrowful, and in deep emotional agony. He didn’t want to die the death He would die, and sought God for a way out. Now, if Christ never sinned, then obviously His truthful pleas to God were not wrong or without faith.
In 1 Peter 5:6-7, the Bible says, ”Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” One of the biggest acts of humility is to tell God how broken we are and how in need of Him we are. He honors truth with comfort, peace, grace, and answers. God doesn’t leave His children to suffer without relief. He has us covered!
The word ”strength” means ”refuge”. The heart is the center of our being, where our desires, impulses, and thoughts pour from. God is a refuge for our broken and depleted hearts. The key word is the word ”IS”. God didn’t stop being our strength because we experience trouble.
In 2 Corinthians 7:6, the Bible says, ”Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus”. God is a great comfort to those who are depressed, and sometimes, He will cause the presence of another to be the comfort we need. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, the Bible says, ”Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.’‘ When we are broken, stressed, and when our heart and flesh faileth, our God comforts us so much, that we will have enough to comfort others with the comfort we received of God. Some the psalms of both Asaph and David go from utter despair to extraordinary power, all because of the comfort and perspective of God.
The word ”portion” means ”an allotment or inheritance”. This is something that God sets aside especially for us from Him. In Psalm 119:57-58, the Bible says, ”Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words. I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.’‘ God is our portion, and if we cleave to His Word during the midst of our trial, we will find that in the Word lies everything we need for comfort, perspective, and redirection. God never promised we wouldn’t get depressed, but He provided a way for us to not remain that way.
If God is our strength and portion, how can we ever remain in a cast down state? When we face a depressive state, may we always turn to the Lord for heal our wounded spirits.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 12, 2022 – Hebrews 10:23 – for He is faithful that promised
In Christ, we have a hope and a future, very stable ground to stand on. The Word of God is life, and the promises available to us lead us into salvation, a new identity, and eternal life. The enemy loves to separate our minds and heart from what the Word of God says about us, so we won’t walk in the promises of God and experience His power at work in our lives. Even though God has given us a very sure record of who Christ is and what He has done for us, it is still our job to tightly grip our salvation and sanctification as believers. We have to be certain about the promises of God being true or the enemy will attack our doubt and lead us further away from the presence of God. Wavering is not a sign of confidence, and a building without a sure plan is a building doomed for destruction. Today, we will look at Hebrews 10:23, being sure in our faith and God’s faithfulness.
”Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)”
The phrase ”hold fast” means ”to keep in memory, to retain in one’s mind and heart”. The word ”profession” means ”acknowledgement or confession”. David said it best when he wrote in Psalm 119:11, ”Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” We come to know that not living a sinful life is only a small part of what God desires of us, but it is especially important to plant the Word of God in our hearts so the Word of God is what will flow from us.
In Matthew 12:34-35, Christ says, ”O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” What is in us will come out and serve as testimony to what power is at work. If the Word of God is at work in our hearts and minds, and it is the thing that we retain, then it will be revealed in our actions, in our relationships, and in our ministry. We express the importance of what we receive from God by keeping it in our memory. In Matthew 6:20-21, Christ says, ”But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’‘ What we should store up as believers are heavenly treasures that will never deteriorate, and those treasures are stored up in our hearts and minds. We will then be guided by what is inside of us.
The word ”faith” refers to the hope, expectation, and confidence we have in our salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. It is the assurance about where we stand spiritually with God, and what we now have access to as believers. In Hebrews 4:14, the Bible says, ”Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.’‘ The profession of our faith is not about what we think, but what we know according to the Word of God, and also what we live out in our lives. Christ is faithful and true, someone that we can place our full confidence in. What use would it be to place our faith, hope and expectation of salvation in someone who is capable of failure?
The phrase ”without wavering” means ”not leaning, or firm”. So the writer of Hebrews is encouraging us to keep our identity in Christ secure in our minds and hearts, and to not deviate from who we are in Him. In James 1:6-8, the Bible says, ”But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” There is no secure standing for the person who wavers, and it also restricts our access to kingdom provision from God.
The word ”faithful” means ”trustworthy”. The word ”promised” means ”to announce or assert something respecting oneself”. In Romans 4:20-21, the Bible says, ”He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” When we have faith in God, we are not placing faith in our belief, but we are placing faith in God’s ability to keep His promises. The writer of Hebrews is beckoning us to lock into the faith with complete assurance that Jesus Christ died to give believers in Him salvation, eternal life, access to the kingdom of God, and the complete teaching and leading of the Holy Spirit. In Hebrews 11:11, the Bible says, ”Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” What has God given us strength to conceive because of His faithfulness?
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 13, 2022 – 1 John 3:17 – how dwelleth the love of God in him?
As believers, giving is definitely more important than receiving. Our salvation came as the result of Christ giving Himself, the Holy Spirit was given so we could walk in kingdom power. God freely gives us daily provision, so that our needs are met by Him. The Gospel is all about giving, about giving the Word of God and then giving people a living representation of what the Word of God is. This is done through love, through service, through administering to the needs of those around us, all of which produces a ministry that points the way to our loving and generous God. How can we be Christians and then be stingy with our time, money, resources, and ability to reach out to those of need? How can we see someone who needs immediate help and then turn our backs on them? Today, we will look at 1 John 3:17, opening up the love of God to a world in need.
”But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
The phrase ”world’s good” refers to a good livelihood, an abundance of possession, the ways and means to provide for oneself and others. The word ”seeth” implies a discernment, perception, or knowledge that comes from observation. The word ”brother” refers to Christians, but can easily extend to nonbelievers as well, because we are supposed to love them as well. The word ”need” means ”lack or destitution”.
In James 2:14-16, the Bible says, ”What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” It is one thing to profess that we have faith, and it is a totally different thing to live out our faith. Our walk of faith is displayed by what we do, not what we say. Wishing a person well when they are down and out, when we are able to meet the need they have is not only a slap to their face, but is a slap to God’s face as well.
In 1 Timothy 6:17-18, the Bible says, ”Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate”. God freely gives us an abundance, not so we can just enjoy having an abundance, but to distribute some of our abundance to people in need. What is the use of receiving more than enough and then being unwilling to share with others? God gives us more than monetary abundance. He gives us more than enough Word, more than enough teaching, more than enough peace, and more than enough Godly perspective. Why? So that we can share what we have with others.
The phrase ”shutteth up his bowels of compassion” means ”to close one’s heart, sympathy, pity, mercy, and affection to”. This would be the opposite of the Gospel! In Matthew 14:14-16, the Bible says, ”And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” Christ was moved with compassion for the lack and destitution of the multitude, so he first healed the sick, and then he met their need for food. Christ told his disciple to give them something to eat. Christ already gave them power to operate in kingdom power in Matthew 10, so they had experienced God make something happen from nothing. Christ didn’t close His heart to us, so why should we ever close our heart to someone else in need?
The word ”dwelleth” means ”to abide or remain”. The word ”love” speaks of a love-feast, a deeply Godly affection. Love is shown from the depths of our heart and extends through our actions.
In 2 Corinthians 9:7-8, the Bible says, ”Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work”. When we eagerly give to others in need, God responds in kind, by giving us everything we need to continue to do good for the kingdom. In 1 John 4:12, the Bible says, ”No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” When we give freely from our hearts to those in need, we are actually showing them who our God is. May we never lose sight that our all-encompassing love is the greatest gift we can give to someone in need.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 14, 2022 – Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength
Believers are not exempt from experiencing trouble. I have had my share of trouble throughout my life as a believer, situations arising that led others to question how was I still standing, still strong, and still smiling. Even as I type, I have awoken in prison, still serving a life sentence without parole, still waiting on my miracle, still in the presence of so many whose beliefs I am not in agreement with. Sometimes, doing this time gets heavy, especially as a believer, because I know I am built for something greater than this, and I have to continue to look beyond my surroundings. Sometimes, it is easy and other times it is hard. As I am typing this, I am listening to Pastor Steven Furtick preach as I do almost every morning, and something in his message encouraged my wounded spirit this morning. He said that God is only going to ask of you what He has put in you. My eyes welled up with tears, because this is exactly what I needed this morning. Today, we will look at Psalm 46:1, God’s refuge for my troubles.
”God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
The word ”refuge” means ”hope, shelter, or trust”. The word ”strength” means ”security, power, or force”. I love how this verse is clear when it says, ”God is”, because there are far too many people who believe that our God isn’t the same God He was back in those times.
In Malachi 3:6, the Bible says, ”For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.’‘
The Bible also says in Hebrews 6:17-19, ”Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil”. God not only doesn’t change, but He also desires to show us that His Word is truth. God desires to show us that we can take real comfort in Him, to protect us, and root us in Him, no matter what situations in our lives arise.
In Psalm 62:7-8, the Bible says, ”In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Everything we are and will be as believers is in God, who provides for us richly to live lives of faith, power, and purpose, lives that bring glory to Him. Because God is our refuge, we must trust in Him in all times, in all seasons, no matter how rough it gets. We can’t be believers in God, professing to trust God and then suffer in silence. I had to tell God this morning in the midst of tearful frustration that I am tired and I want to go home, that I am tired of prison, and I am ready to be released. I also asked Him to help me with the things I have to do today, and with the attitude I have because I know tomorrow doesn’t come until today is fulfilled.
In Isaiah 26:3-4, the Bible says, ”Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength”. When we trust in God, when we see God as our refuge and strength, we will be more than willing to turn our weaknesses over to Him. God can’t be or refuge and strength while we try to do everything ourselves.
”A very present help in trouble”
The word ”present” means ”ready or sufficient”. The word ”help” means ”aid or assistance”. The word ”trouble” means ”anguish, tribulation, tightness, adversity, or distress”.
In Psalm 9:9-10, the Bible says, ”The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” God is ready to respond to our cries for help, and our God is not someone who is going to forsake us and leave us without the help we need.
In Matthew 14:29-31, the Bible says, ”And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Peter looked at the environment, taking His eyes off Christ, but when he cried out for the Lord, Jesus IMMEDIATELY stuck out His hand. God’s help just isn’t quick, but it is complete.
Psalm 145:18 says, ”The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.’‘ Just as God responded immediately to my discouragement this morning with a Word that still has encouraged me, He will do the same for you. Let the weak say I am strong!
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 15, 2022 – Romans 2:6 – who will render to every man according to his deeds
My Tee-Tee (Auntie Dianne, the one who raised me) used to always say, ”The truth always comes to the light”, expressing that our deeds will always be made known, no matter how well we try to hide them. I also knew that if the truth did come to the light, there would be rewards or severe consequences depending on my deeds. Sometimes, the phone would ring and someone would extend a good report of my behavior or some accomplishment, but the same phone would ring to extend another report, one of misbehavior, one that would sure to precede a punishment. I knew as a child that there would be repayment for whatever I have done, good or bad, and I had no clue in my childhood that this was a sound Biblical principle from God. His punishment has purpose, and I am grateful for the correction of God because now I enjoy being directed by Him. Today, we will look at Romans 2:6, the payment for our deeds.
”Who will render to every man according to his deeds”
The word ”render” means ”to pay, repay, recompense, or reward”. ”Every man” tends to be all-inclusive, so this applies to every person. In Galatians 6:7-9, the Bible says, ”Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” There are things that we plant by our actions, things that will grow up and produce fruit. God gives us complete control over what we plant, but we will get back what we plant.
We can’t sow seeds of wickedness and expect a harvest of righteousness to flow from us. We can’t sow seeds of doubt and expect to reap a harvest of faithfulness. We can’t plant seeds of divisiveness and then expect a harvest of peace. This extends to much more than just sin.
The fruit of our whole walk of faith is determined by the seeds we plant. In Job 34:10-11, the Bible says, ”Therefore hearken unto me ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways.” God doesn’t do anything wrong, neither is He unfaithful, neither does He come short on His Word. He is the standard by which we pattern our lives, and He has given us His Word against which to weigh our actions, thoughts and feelings.
The word ”according” is a word expressing a conduit, a pathway from one place to the next. Repayment comes as the result of our deeds. The word ”deeds” means ”toil, labor, work, performance, whether right or wrong, that are judged by the precepts of the Gospel”.
The Word of God tries our deeds and uncovers what sort they are.
In Proverbs 24:12, the Bible says, ”If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?’‘ God goes as far as to weigh our hearts and intentions, when He looks at our actions, and repays us accordingly.
In Jeremiah 32:18-19, the Bible says, ”Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings”. God’s love is so extensive that He desires each one of us to succeed in serving Him. God gives us what we need to serve Him completely and live lives pleasing to Him, but he also punishes sin and inquiry. The children of God were captured and imprisoned by the Babylonians because of their lawlessness and their turning away from God. God will lovingly dote upon His children but make no mistake. He will also punish us when we sin. He leaves the choice up to us. Which God we will experience, the rewarder or the punisher?
In 1 Corinthians 3:8, the Bible says, ”Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” In ministry, there is repayment for our labor, and God takes our stewardship into account. When He gives us His Word, He expects us to share it, and He is definitely watching to see if we are stewarding well.
In 2 Corinthians 5:10, the Bible says, ”For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” Not only will we be repaid here in this world, but also when we appear before on the judgement seat of Christ.
The truth will come to light. What will the light reveal about us?
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 16, 2022 – Proverbs 16:20 – whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he
As believers, it is expressly important to not go after our own way. Sure, we have authority in the earth as children of the kingdom of God, but we are still responsible for ensuring that we live our lives according to the Word of God, where our standard comes from. If we approach all matters of God from a kingdom perspective, seeing things the way God desires us to see them, and conducting ourselves accordingly, then we will live lives of success, lives of fruitfulness, lives that are blessed and complete. If we so choose to chart our own course, we are testifying by our actions that we don’t trust God, or His Word, or His Holy Spirit to give us the keys to our success in the earth. Many people live their lives to chase happiness only to find themselves vastly unfulfilled, because they haven’t pursued God in the midst of their ambition. Today, we will look at Proverbs 16:20, handling the matters of life according to the Word of God.
”He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.”
The phrase ”handleth a matter wisely” means ”to conduct affairs with insight, to act with intelligence prudence, or to behave circumspectly”.
In Proverb 16:1, the Bible says, ”The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.” We must always plan and patten our lives according to the Word of God, because God will definitely let us know when we are acting outside of His will. When we understand that the standard for our lives comes from God, then we will seek God for His perspective on how we should proceed.
In Proverb 8:14-16, the Bible says, ”Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.” Handling matters wisely, means that we operate with Godly counsel and wisdom, which causes us to reign in the earth, and execute justice. But doesn’t this passage in Proverbs speaks of kings and princes? How does this apply to us? In Revelation 1:6, the Bible says, ”And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Believers are royalty in the kingdom of God. It is our job to be aware of who we are, and live as kings and priests in the earth.
In order for us to handle matters wisely, we must know where wisdom comes from, because in James 3:17, the Bible says, ”But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” These are some of the qualities we will possess when we walk in wisdom because that is what wisdom is.
The word ”good” means ”fruitfulness, that which is beneficial and God-intended”. When we walk in wisdom, when we handle matters wisely, we will discover fruitfulness along our way. In Proverb 19:8, the Bible says, ”He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.’‘ In Colossians 1:9-10, the Bible says, ”For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God”. Paul prayed for the Church to be filled with the knowledge of His will, and in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. We will bear fruit in the earth if we develop the ability to walk in the way that pleases God. There is nothing better in the earth than a child living the way God intended them to live, becoming exactly who He created them to be.
The word ”trusteth” means ”to instinctively run towards, for refuge, to be confident, sure, and without fear”. The word ”happy” implies a state of blessedness and bliss. In Psalm 34:8-9, the Bible says, ”O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.” When we fully trust the Lord, we will see that He is good, and we will live lives where we don’t lack, and we will see how blessed we truly are to be entrusted with the kingdom.
In Jeremiah 17:7-8, the Bible says, ”Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.” Trusting in the Lord means we are continuously sustained inside and out, it means that dry times won’t consume us, and we will always be in a position to bear fruit. When we handle matters wisely, there will always be fruit, and our God will be pleased!
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 17, 2022 – Proverbs 17:3 – the LORD trieth the hearts
Our God refines us, making us pure, new, and more valuable than we ever could be ourselves. Throughout our lives, we will sometimes find ourselves attached to ideas, things, or people that will diminish our value greatly in the kingdom. Sadly, this is happening in the Church, where it is receiving doctrine that is inconsistent with the Word of God, where the Church is accepting the standards of society and conforming to them, and where there is so much mixture that it is sometimes hard to distinguish the Church from a social club. Refinement according to the Word of God is vital to ensuring that we as individuals are in step with the Word of God, and we as a body are living according to God’s design for the Church. The refining fire of God brings us back to ”default settings”, to the place where we believe and live in the way God intends, and by doing this we can once again be the Church that exercises power in the world. Today, we will look at Proverbs 17:3, tried in the fire of the Lord.
”The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”
The phrase ”fining pot” speaks of a crucible, a device used in the purification of metals especially precious metals. The ”furnace” had the same purpose but a furnace was typically excavated as the word defines it. The method used depends upon the metal and the refining temperature. Some metals take a greater temperature to refine correctly. The metal goes into the device, gets heated up in the fire, the impurities separate from the pure metal before they are ultimately burned off, leaving the precious metal pure and unblemished. This is a physical example of a spiritual principle.
In 1 Peter 4:12-13, the Bible says, ”Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” Refinement doesn’t feel good, and it will definitely make us feel out of place.
If this Scripture is telling us to ”rejoice”, then it is safe to say that rejoicing may not be our first reaction.
In James 1:2-3, the Bible says, ”My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” There is something good to be gained from trial, from refinement, from testing. God never allows us to go through anything without purpose, because like Romans 8:28 says, ”And we know that ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’‘ Everything we go through has purpose and there is divine good to experience from our trials.
The word ”trieth” means ”to test, examine, investigate or prove”. In Psalm 26:1-3, the Bible says, ”Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.” God will refine us to show us what is inside of our hearts and minds. I have endured refinement in my walk of faith, and not only did it display areas where I missed the mark, but it also provided a way of redirection by the same Word of God. God doesn’t just tell us we are wrong. He also shows us how to live right.
In Jeremiah 17:10, the Bible says, ”I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” God doesn’t just search through our hearts, but he investigates ”the reins”, the things that are driving us and motivating us to do what we do. The Word of God goes that deep into us, and in Hebrews 4:12, the Bible says, ”For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” When we go into the refining fire of the Lord, He breaks us completely down and relieves us of anything that is inconsistent with His Word and His will for our lives. His purpose is so we can serve Him with a pure heart, mind, and intentions.
The word ”heart” refers to the seat of our emotions and will. In Malachi 3:3-4, the Bible says, ”And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.” God refines us so our offering to Him will be pleasing and acceptable to Him. God never promised that our refinement would be some pleasant experience, but He does ensure that we can become everything He ordained us to be!
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 18, 2022 – 1 Peter 5:3 – being ensamples to the flock
God has formed His believers into a body. In that body, we have many roles, all of which aim to edify the body of Christ, spread the Word of God and bring glory to God in the process. Some people have positions where other believers are in their charge, and these positions are extremely important because our leaders are responsible for directing us towards the presence of the Lord. Having a position of leadership in the Church is not designed for anyone to go on a power trip, exercising dominance over people just because they are a minister or a pastor. But sadly, many allow their position to go to their heads and they forget about how Christ led the disciples, by serving them. Our greatest leaders must be the greatest servants if we are to follow the example of Christ, because he did not come to dominate the Church with His authority. He came to serve the Church with everything He had in Him. Today, we will be looking at 1 Peter 5:3, leading by the powerful example of service.
”Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”
The word ”lords” means ”to subjugate, to control, to exercise power or dominion over”. The word ”heritage” means ”an allotment, a portion, a possession, or an inheritance”.
The person who tries to use their power to subjugate others has no appreciation for the Word of God, because Psalm 24:1 says, ”The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” We belong to the Lord, so who would we be to attempt to exercise control over others?
In Colossians 1:16-17, the Bible says, ”For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.’‘ God created power and the people who are in power, but He never designed power to be for people to exercise their own will over others. Leadership was always instituted in order to lead people into the perfect will of God. Think not?
In Ezekiel 34:4, the Bible says, ”The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.” When people in leadership are on power trips, their only concern is the power they have, not the people they are supposed to serve.
In Matthew 23:3-4, Christ says, ”All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” Bad leadership will always put a load on someone else’s shoulders that they themselves won’t carry. They will tell you what to do while not doing it themselves.
The word ”ensamples” means ”a die, a model, a pattern to be imitated or followed”. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, the Bible says, ”Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” Our leadership should follow Christ and be a living example of how Christ led while on earth. In Philippians 3:17, the Bible says, ”Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” We have the example of Christ written in Scripture and we also have His apostles who led by His example. Leaders today must still follow the pattern of Christ, and as leaders, we must point the way to the present of God.
The word ”flock” means ”a group of believers, spoken of the Church”. It is important that we are using our leadership to represent Christ in the best possible way, and we put the needs of those we are serving over our faulty agenda for power. A flock are a people who need and seek direction. In John 13:14-16, Christ says, ”If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” Christ is God robed in flesh and He humbled himself and washed the disciples’ feet. He gave us an example to follow, and a mentality to seize, one of love, humility, selfless, and service.
In 1 Timothy 4:12, the Bible says, ”Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Paul taught Timothy, admonishing all God’s people in the process, that our service should be in the purest form of love, guided by the Word of God. This is how God led, this is how Christ led, this is how the apostles led, and this is how we must lead.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 19, 2022 – Romans 6:4 – we are buried with Him by baptism into death
When we received salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, a death occurred. Not only did Christ die on the cross for our sins, so that if we believe on Him, we shall receive redemption from the penalty of sin and death, salvation for our souls, and also eternal life. Christ’s death gave us the perfect atoning sacrifice, but His resurrection gave us even more! Not only do we have redemption, salvation and eternal life, but we also have the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us breathing the breath of life within us so that we would be a living soul. When we accepted God’s gift of salvation, we also accepted that the old person we used to be is dead and buried and we are new creations in Christ. Being buried and risen with Christ is how we identify with Christ, and we have a real second chance in Him. Today, we will look at Romans 6:4, from death to new life by Christ.
”Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
The phrase ”buried with him” means ”to inter in company with, or to assimilate spiritually”. The word ”baptism” refers to the immersion instituted by Jesus Christ. In Colossians 2:12-13, the Bible says, ”Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses”. God never intended us to remain in our dead state, so He provided a perfect sacrifice for sin, that if we would believe in the name the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work, we will pass from death to life.
In Romans 8:11-12, the Bible says, ”But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.” This new life we have should make us eager to live unto the Lord and not serve of flesh like we used to. The flesh was buried with us in baptism, so it no longer has authority over us. In Ephesians 4:22-24, the Bible says, ”That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” We don’t have to wear our old lives like clothes. Those things have been put off of us, so we can serve the Lord with a pure heart and mind. Sin keeps us from growing in the Lord, a position the enemy loves.
The phrase ”raised up from the dead” means ”to wake or rouse up from the dead”. In Romans 10:9, the Bible says, ”That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” God raised Christ from the dead by His ”glory”, which means ”infinite perfection, divine majesty, and holiness manifested by the power of God.” Just as God has raised Christ from the dead, He has raise us from the dead as well. In 1 Corinthians 6:14-15, the Bible says, ”And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.’‘ We are not to use our new life or our second chance to serve sin again. God raised us up for a much greater purpose than for us to be out of fellowship with Him. He raised us up to bring us into fellowship with Him, to experience the same oneness that Christ experienced with God. In John 2:10-11, the Bible says, ”And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” The miracles we are able to perform are all done by that same power that raised us from the dead, making us new creations in Christ.
The word ”walk” means ”to live or follow”. The phrase ”newness of life” refers to our new lives in Christ where we can live in kingdom authority in the earth. In Colossians 3:9-10, the Bible says, ”Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him”. We have a choice to walk in resurrection power or to continue to walk in death and sin. We can choose the pits of sorrow and misery that we have been delivered from, or we can choose to enjoy the bliss of salvation. The choice is ours
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 20, 2022 – Romans 1:17 – the just shall live by faith
When I was in the world living a sinful life, I wanted to change my life for the better. Even though I wanted to change, I could only look at the laundry of things I would have to do to please God, which only frustrated me further. I knew I was going to mess up at some point, and find myself right back in the same position again, out of fellowship with God. Praise be to God that my impression of God and His Gospel had nothing in common with my thoughts and fears concerning the Gospel, because it is by faith alone in the Gospel of Christ that saves me, and makes me righteous before God. No matter how much right I do in my own strength, I will never triumph, faith is the only thing that makes salvation and righteousness possible. Today, we will look at Romans 1:17, living justly by faith.
”For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”
The phrase ”for therein” means that there is something that this Scripture hinges on, a reason for this verse to be written. What is the ”therein” written in this text? We would have to go to the verse before this one to find out. In Romans 1:16, the Bible says, ”For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” The ”therein” is the Gospel of Christ.
The phrase ”for therein” explains to us what the Gospel of Christ consists of. It already has explained that it consists of the power of God, also the power to activate salvation. What else does it consists of? The word ”righteousness” means ”justice, or justification approved, required, or bestowed upon us from God.’
Another interpretation of the phrase ”of God” is ”from God”. Too many people try to be their own righteousness and try to make themselves righteousness before God, but righteousness comes from God in a gift bestowed to us. The word ”revealed” means ”to uncover, to disclose, or to bring to the light”.
God never designed His Gospel to be a secret to us. In Matthew 11:25-26, the Bible says, ”At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight”. It has always been God’s intention to give us His Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it was always His plan for the most unlikely people to be recipients of His Gospel. In Romans 3:21-22, the Bible says, ”But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference”. God wanted us to understand that there is true righteousness outside of the law, and that righteousness comes by faith in Jesus Christ.
The phrase ”faith to faith” is merely an intensive form meaning ”in faith alone”. The word ”faith” means ”firm persuasion, confidence, assurance in, on, and toward God, His Gospel and His truth.” Paul is establishing the truth that our righteousness in God comes by faith in Christ alone. In Romans 5:1-2, the Bible says, ”Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” The righteousness of God bestowed upon us gives us peace and access to the grace of God. We get unrestricted access to all the kingdom provisions available to us as children of God by our faith in Jesus Christ.
The word ”just” means ”those made upright, virtuous, Godly, holy or innocent by faith in Christ”. The world ”live” doesn’t just mean alive in this life, but also in heaven as well. A life of faith isn’t one single act, but it is a lifestyle patterned by the Word of God. In Romans 10:17, the Bible says, ”So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” We can’t have faith without the Word of God, and we can’t have faith without receiving the Word of God with intentions of obeying it.
In Galatians 3:11, the Bible says, ”But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” No one can stand before God and profess that they have kept the whole law, and even if they did, it is still not enough, because without faith in Jesus Christ, we will never receive salvation from sin and death, or the righteousness of God. In Habakkuk 2:4, the Bible says, ”Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.” We need not be high minded in our behavior and think we are enough on our own. Only by faith in Christ alone will we ever be acceptable on God’s sight.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 21, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #1: Ephesians 5:21 – submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God
Marriage is a Godly union, one where there is give and take on both sides. In a marriage, you get the most out of the experience when both parties give the most to each other, and that is done when we submit ourselves to each other. As we submit ourselves to the Lord, He gives us a clear picture for how we are to submit ourselves to each other. Marriages today crumble, because there is no fear of the Lord in the marriage, and there is no submission between husband and wife. The two are supposed to become one flesh, but they still remain as two, choosing their own paths. Submission is not about being a commander or being commanded, but submission is about entrusting yourself to your spouse, that they hold your best interests at heart. Our submission to God is the same way, where we entrust ourselves to His Word, His plan, and His direction all to become one with Him. There is no real marital submission without submission to God. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:21, a Godly fear invoking a heavenly submission.
”Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”
The word ”submitting” means ”to bring oneself under subjection, to be obedient to, to make oneself subordinate to”. Submission has nothing to do with the power one person has over another, because no believer is inherently superior to any other believer. Submission is an act of humility and openness. In Galatians 3:28-29, the Bible says, ”There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.’‘ Submission begins with understanding who we are and whose we are. We are the bride of Christ, the Church, the body of believers that bear the image and likeness of God in the earth. Christ was equal to God in every way, but He brought Himself under subjection to God, submitting to God even to death on the cross. This template of submission given by Christ is the same thing we must give each other.
In Galatians 5:13, the Bible says, ”For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” In the world, there is a liberty present for us to do as we will, but in a marital relationship, submission requires service to one another out of love. Submission to one another in love should be something that is desired by each person, not demanded upon them. Forced submission is slavery, and that is not the design of God for the Church, or for marriage.
In Philippians 2:2-4, the Bible says, ”Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” This passage is not saying that we are supposed to be the same people in a marriage, or be robots in the Lord. Being the ”same” expresses that we possess the same vision, the same faith, the same truth, the same foundation in the Lord. The Bible is not only the standard by which the Church is to pattern their lives, but the Bible also is the standard by which we are to pattern marriage. We should be selfless, founded in the Lord, placing our spouses’ need above our own. It is desiring to help our spouses become everything God has desired them to be.
The word ”fear” means ”reverence, respect, honor, a deep reverential sense of accountability to God or Christ”. Our submission to our spouses should be as if we are submitting to them to please God. In Proverb 9:10, the Bible says, ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” When we have deep reverence, respect, and honor for the Lord, God will equip us with what we need to know and how we need to live in order to correctly submit to the one we are married to who and with whom we also serve the Lord.
In Psalm 111:10, the Bible says, ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.’‘ When we submit to each other, we have God’s Word on our minds and hearts, and when we have a heart for serving God, then serving people, especially who we are married to, should come naturally.
In 1 Peter 5:5, the Bible says, ”Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” A humble spirit is one ready for submission to God and others, one that understands that submission isn’t just a command, but an act of love and service.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 22, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #2: Ephesians 5:22 – wives, submit … as unto the Lord
Being believers of God and followers of Christ, we have a guide for how we are to submit to Him and each other. In marriage, submission is also a requirement, but many cringe at the thought of submitting to their spouse. There are a lot of women who have experienced the wrong examples in men during the course of their lives, and that has greatly altered their perception of submission. Most men have misunderstood that submission isn’t forced upon a woman, and because a woman submits, it doesn’t mean that a man is superior to a woman in any way. Submission from a wife shouldn’t be due to the command of her husband, but because of her husband’s submission to the Lord. A wife should submit to her husband as he leads her in the way of the Lord, not as he is halfway through a power trip. A wife’s submission helps her husband to fulfill the purpose God has set for them as individuals and together as one. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:22, a submissive wife pleasing to the Lord.
”Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
The word ”wives” mean ”women”. The word ”husbands” means ”men”. Let’s break down the initial design for marriage, according to the Word of God.
In Genesis 2:22-24, the Bible says, ”And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” God designed marriages from the beginning to be between a man and a woman, and to expound according to the current trend, between a person born a male and a person born a female. I am not here to be politically correct, nor am I a homophobe in any way, but God designed the institution of marriage to be between male and female. Woman was taken out of man, and marriage is the reunification process of making the two one flesh.
The word ”submit” means ”to make oneself subordinate to, or to make oneself obedient to”. Submission by wives isn’t absolute, because if the husband is leading their wife into a life of sin or faithlessness, then there is no way the wife should submit. The Bible expressly tells us in Romans 13 that we submit to the governing authorities, because they are ordained by God, but in Acts 5:28-29, the Bible says, ”Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” When the governing authorities’ commands are against the command of God, then we must listen to God first, and the same rules apply in marriage. If the husband’s direction is against the Word of God, then the wife should listen to God first. The Word of God is the only authority in a marriage, and if a husband is being led by the Holy Spirit, living by the truth of God, then a wife should be more than willing to submit.
Submission isn’t about educational level, ability, or knowledge in relation to her husband, but it is because it is what the Lord commands us. In Genesis 3:16, the Bible says, ”Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’‘ After the fall, God commanded husbands to have headship, but it didn’t nullify God’s intention in Genesis 1:27-28, where the Bible says, ”So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed THEM, and God said unto THEM, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
The husband’s title as head is something given by God, but it doesn’t mean that husbands are to be domineering dictators in the home. God designed husband and wife to reign together, have dominion together, and be fruitful together. God desires wives to submit to their OWN husbands, limiting her submission to the man that God has placed over her. In Song of Solomon 2:16, the Bible says, ”My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” In Song of Solomon 7:10, the Bible also says, ”I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.’‘ A wife who submits to her husband should receive the same submission, and should be rewarded by an outpouring of love and desire showered upon his wife. A husband and wife belong to each other, and both belong to the Lord.
The phrase ”as unto to the Lord” implies a wife’s submission to her husband should be as if she is doing it to the Lord. It also implies that a wife’s submission should be done to please the Lord. Remember, a marriage requires submission, and in mutual submission, there is also mutual service to God and each other. In Ephesians 6:5-7, the Bible says, ”Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men”. This doesn’t mean that wives are the servants or slaves to their husbands, because the husband and wife serve each other and God. These two verses express the attitude that we must procede in service to one another; having deep reverence, dedication and sincerity, doing it from a place of obedience to God. The wife who lovingly submits to her husband pleases both him and the Lord, and that component of the marriage honors the Lord.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 23, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #3: Ephesians 5:23 – the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church
Headship is a role given to the husbands by God, a role that should bring humility and service. Headship is not given for men to abuse in order to meet their own selfish need for power, neither is headship given by God in order for man to exercise his own agenda. Headship is given so that the husband can represent Christ in the home and cultivate an environment for success for his wife and children. In order for a husband to lead his home effectively, he must understand that the Word of God speaks of how Christ leads the Church. Christ is the head of all things, but He is the biggest servant we have experienced, and His desire is to always please God and His bride. Headship is about responsibility, not about power, and a husband is responsible for ensuring that both he and his wife become everything the Lord has created them to be. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:23, the powerful purpose for headship.
”For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”
The word ”head” means ”chief one of whom others are subordinate to”. The word ”Church” means ”a community of Christians or an assembly of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are a lot of women who don’t like hearing that the husband is the head of them, primarily because of the male chauvinism they have experienced, the incorrect domineering nature of the males they have encountered, or the poor representation of manhood in the communities they come from. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, the Bible says, ”Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” The husband’s responsibility is to follow Christ first, and then promote his wife to follow after his example. A man who doesn’t follow Christ is not an effective head of his marriage, because everything he needs to lead the way God intends is in Christ. In John 14:26, Christ says, ”But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The husband who follows Christ is being led by the Holy Spirit, being taught everything He needs to know in order to be the type of husband God has called him to be. Apart from the Word of God, a husband can’t serve God in his headship, as 2 Peter 1:3 says, ”According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue”. God teaches us how to live a Godly life as husbands, leading our wives in the way of the Lord by His Word, by the example of Christ, and by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians 11:3, the Bible says, ”But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Headship begins with God, continues through Christ, comes to men, and is conveyed to women. It is absolutely vital for a husband to understand who gives him his authority as head in the marriage, because when a husband truly understands that his headship is given by God, he won’t wear it as a badge of dominance. In Colossians 1:18, the Bible says, ”And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” A husband has to come into an understanding of how Christ led the Church, in humility, in servitude, and in love, in order to understand that he must lead by the same example.
The word ”saviour” means ”deliverer” speaking of Christ, the Saviour of mankind, who saves his people from the guilt and power of sin and death, from punishment and misery as a consequence of sin, giving them eternal life and blessedness in His kingdom. A husband cannot provide this type of salvation to his wife as the ”saviour of the body”, but the husband can protect, preserve his wife from danger or destruction, bringing her into a state of prosperity and happiness. The husband provides an earthened version of what Christ has provided to the ”body” the Church. In
Ephesians 1:22-23, the Bible says, ”And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Just as God put all things under the feet of Christ, especially the Church, God has put all things in the home under the feet of the man. The wife is the husband’s ”body”, so the husband is to love, protect, and preserve his wife like he would himself. A husband at the head is supposed to understand the will of God for their marriage, the will of God for his wife, and ensure that the will of God is done in the home. Headship is a responsibility God has given husbands, to ensure he brings the absolute best to his wife and the marriage, according to the will of God.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 24, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #4: Ephesians 5:25 – husbands, love your wives
A husband’s greatest contribution to marriage is love. Love is so important in the marriage, because it manifests the presence of God into a marriage. A wife’s submission flows from the love and respect she has for her husband and for God, but a husband is to honour his wife’s submission and their marriage with love. Christ is always the example for marriage, from both the wife’s side as well as the husband’s, because He is the perfect example of submission, and also the perfect example of love. A husband’s duty to his marriage is to love his wife, not as the world defines love in a cancel culture, but an unconditional, refreshing, invigorating, life-giving, edifying, and sacrificial love that covers and restores her. Love is completely selfless, and a wife’s needs from her husband are more important than his own. If a husband doesn’t give himself for his wife, then his love is questionable. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:25, the sacrificial beauty of a husband’s love in a marriage.
”Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”
The word ”love” means ”a warm affection received from God that is extended to others, with an idea of duty, veneration, respect, honour, a service of fidelity”. The word ”Church” means ”a Christian congregation or community, or an assembly of believers”. Just as Christ is the example of how a wife should submit to her husband from His submission to God, Christ is also the example for how a husband should love his wife.
In John 3:16, the Bible says, ”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God loved the world so much that He gave His Son to die for the sins of the world. In the sacrifice, there is a gift of life available to all who believe in Him. God gave Jesus for us, but Jesus had a choice in this as well, because in John 10:11, Christ says, ”I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Christ gave His life for us, and that is the greatest gift He could give the world. In John 15:12-13, Christ says, ”This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’‘ In order for a husband to love his wife correctly, according to the Word of God, he must familiarize himself with the way Christ loves the Church. If He has never received the love of Christ, then how can He extend it to his wife?
In 1 John 4:7-9, the Bible says, ”Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” Love is manifesting God’s presence into a marriage because God is love. The husband has responsibility of headship, because he is commanded to love his wife, ushering in the presence of God into their marriage. God gave us the example of Christ, so we could understand that our love has to remain the same, even when circumstances change. In 1 John 4:12, the Bible says, ”No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” A husband has the opportunity to reveal God’s presence and residence into a marriage by the love he gives his wife.
The word ”gave” means ”to surrender, yield up, entrust, or commit”. A husband’s love is also proven in his surrender to God and the marriage, and by his commitment to his wife. This love is in all seasons, good or bad. In Colossians 3:19, the Bible says, ”Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” We must treat our wives with the same love and affection as Christ treats us with, and we are to stay away from bitterness and strife, because Christ did not handle us in this fashion.
In 1 Peter 3:7, the Bible says, ”Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” The wife is entrusted to her husband, and a husband’s job is to love, encourage, and empower his wife in the Lord. A husband’s job is not only to affirm his wife with love but to help her see who she really is. Whatever the husband receives of God is what He then shares with his wife. In Ephesians 5:2, the Bible says, ”And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” A husband must be willing to sacrifice himself in order for his wife to be her best in the Lord. This type of loving sacrifice is acceptable and pleasing to the Lord.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 25, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #5: Ephesians 5:26 – that he might sanctify and cleanse
The title of ”head” in marriage carries great responsibility, and there are many things a husband must do for his wife in a marriage. We previously saw in the Word that husbands and wives are to submit themselves to each other and God, and we also saw in the Word that husbands must love their wives with a sacrificial love, seeing the example of Christ as the standard to follow. A husband must also love with a purifying love, bringing the Word of God into their marriage, and seeing to the spiritual development of his wife. It is also the man’s responsibility to ensure that both conform to the Word of God and allow the Word of God to govern their marriage and their lives. Headship isn’t about giving orders, but it is about positioning the people under our care to be exactly who God desires for them to be. In order for that to happen, the husband has to have a relationship and fellowship with God, patterning His life by the Word of God. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:26, the purifying role of husbands in the marriage.
”That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word”
The word ”that” at the beginning of a verse displays a continuation to a previous thought, a connection between two verses. In Ephesians 5:25, the Bible says, ”Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. Before we can get to the point of sanctification and cleansing, we must love our wives and give ourselves up for them as Christ did for the Church. Love and sacrifice opens the way for sanctification and cleansing. Husbands cannot expect their wives to grow with them in the Lord if they aren’t showing their wives love and sacrifice.
The word ”sanctify” means ”to make holy, purify, or consecrate, by the purifying influences on the heart by Christ. The word ”cleanse” means ”to purge, or free from filth”. In John 17:17-19, Christ says, ”Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” A husband’s job is to be sanctified by the Word of God which is our truth, and as he lives a Godly life in the world, he will show his wife how to do the same. Husbands are to pattern their lives by how Christ lived, and we must lead by example.
The phrase ”washing of water” is used here as an instrument of cleansing. The word ”word” here means ”teaching, precepts, or doctrine”. Just as Christ allowed the Word of God to be the instrument of cleansing, so husbands must allow the Word of God to be the instrument of cleansing in their marriages. In Titus 2:14, the Bible says, ”Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
As Christ’s desire was to see His Church cleansed and free from sin and iniquity, a husband should have the same desire for his wife to be cleansed from sin and iniquity. A husband is incapable of cleansing anyone, including his wife, but the Word of God provides everything we need through Christ to be cleansed. In John 15:2-3, Christ says, ”Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.’‘ It is the husband’s job to bring a mirror to his wife, the mirror in this case being the Word of God, which begins the process of his wife seeing what is unfruitful in her life and as Christ purges the branches that are not producing fruit, so she becomes even more fruitful. Nowhere in this passage does it ever imply that we are to help our wives to be more fruitful for our benefit, but it is for the benefit of God being glorified by her life.
In John 4:34, the Bible says, ”Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Christ didn’t come to earth to do His own will, but His desire, His meat, His food, was to do the will of God. Husbands will only be able to promote this in their marriage, if they have embodied this in their personal lives. When the Word of God and the will of God is as meat to the husband, it makes it easier for it to become the same for his wife.
In Romans 10:8, the Bible says, ”But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach”. A husband can only teach or promote what is within him. If the Word of God isn’t in his heart or in his mouth, then how could he ever encourage his wife to plant the Word of God in her heart?
It is the husband’s duty to submit to God and his wife, to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, and cultivate an environment for her spiritual success.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 26, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #6: Ephesians 5:27 – that he might present it to himself a glorious church
Christ provided the way to salvation and redemption by the blood He shed on the cross for our sins. This was done so that we can once again experience fellowship and a right relationship with God again, as He intended from the beginning. Christ made us into a beautiful bride, amazing in the appearance of our God, and this was done through His submission to God, His service to us, His sacrificial love, and by the purification we received as His Word washed us clean. The husband must pattern his life after Christ’s example, all while understanding that our job is to not be our wives’ salvation but rather to lead our wives into the presence and purity of our Lord. As we encourage our wives in the Lord, and the Lord purifies and cleanses our wives, they become the most beautiful, perfect person in the world, being displayed with the light of Christ. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:27, a glorious bride for a faithful husband.
”That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
The phrase ”present it to himself” means ”to stand beside, to recommend, or to substantiate.” When a husband stands beside his wife, he defends her, her embraces her, and he receives her as his own. Think about how a traditional wedding goes. The husband stands by the pastor, the wife appears veiled, and the Church stands to welcome her. When she makes it to her husband, he lifts off the veil and sees his wife at her absolute best. The word ”glorious” means ”splendid, honorable, signifying the Church adorned in pure and splendid raiment as the bride of Christ”. In 2 Corinthians 11:2-3, the Bible says, ”For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.’‘ Just as Christ received the Church unto himself, husbands are to receive their wives unto themselves, protecting them from outside forces that aim to destroy what God has built. When Christ stands beside us, recommends us, and substantiates us, He displays before God that we are His choice. Husbands must do the same.
In Colossians 1:22-23, the Bible says, ”In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister”. Christ’s death becomes our cleansing from sin, making us pleasing and acceptable in God’s sight. A husband is to have a desire to not only see his wife saved, but also to build an environment for her to excel spiritually, and become completely rooted in the Word of God.
”Not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish”
The word ”spot” means ”stain or soil”. In Song of Songs 4:7, the Bible says, ”Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.” Christ wants to present His Church to God without stain or dirtiness. Christ wants us at our absolute best. In 1 John 1:7, the Bible says, ”But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.’‘ Christ gives us the opportunity to walk according to the Word of God just as He did, so husbands must set the proper example of godliness in their marriage. It isn’t the husband’s job to cleanse his wife, but it is his job to support his wife in receiving cleansing according to the Word of God, and to lead by example.
In 1 Peter 1:18-19, the Bible says, ”Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot’‘. A sacrifice with a spot or blemish was unacceptable to God and He would not receive it. A husband has the responsibility of making sure both he and his wife are living Godly lives, acceptable to the Lord. The word ”holy” means ”morally pure, upright, and virtuous”. The phrase ”without blemish” means ”blameless, or without fault”. In Ephesians 1:4, the Bible says, ”According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love”. This has always been God’s design for us since the beginning, for us to be in His presence cleansed from all sin. A husband’s job is to ensure that the will of God is done in his marriage and together they become as a glorious Church in Him.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 27, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #7: Ephesians 5:28 – so ought men to love their wives as their own bodies
Husbands have many duties to their wives, but the main one is to love them as Christ loved the Church. This type of love is unconditional, pure, and it is a gift of life that should continue to overflow in the marriage. This love pleases God, and it also shows God a great appreciation for what He has blessed the husband with. Husbands should desire to love their wives, to be a covering for them, to bring out their wives’ greatest potential. The beauty about love is that it only considers the recipient, and it produces the presence of God into a marriage. In order for husbands to know how to love their wives, they must learn what love is. The divorce rate is at an all-time high because husbands haven’t been taught what love is, where love comes from, and what love produces. Love cultivates a constructive environment for the marriage to grow and bear fruit. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:28, loving our wives as we love ourselves.
”So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”
The word ”ought” means ”should”. The word ”love” means ”to regard with strong affection, out of an idea of duty, veneration, and respect, serving with fidelity”. In Mark 12:30-31, Christ says, ”And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Christ expresses that there are no commandments greater than to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. The law is fulfilled by the keeping of these commandments and a marriage pleases God when husbands loves their wives as themselves. A husband’s duty should be to love His wife, but that should also be His desire!
Sadly, there are a lot of husbands that have no clue how to love their wives, some even don’t know exactly what love is. In 1 Corinthians 13:4, the Bible says, ”Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.” Love is patient, so if a husband loves his wife, he must be patient with her, allowing her to grow and mature into the woman God knows she is. Husbands also are to treat their wives with kindness, cultivating an environment of loving respect and edifying treatment. A husband’s heart must be softened to his wife, and be must be gentle with her. Husbands are to not be jealous of their wives, whether they be more intelligent, more financially secure, more spiritually connected to God. A wife’s strengths will be a husband’s strength if he humbles himself and is willing to learn from his wife. A husband needs to be willing to be vulnerable in the presence of his wife.
In 1 Corinthians 13:5, the Bible says, ”Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” Husbands are to behave themselves like children of God everywhere they go, and not be rude, offensive, or overbearing. Husbands are to not be selfish in their ambitions or only after their own happiness. If husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies, then what will please his wife is just as important and even more important than what will please himself. Husbands must also have a desire for both himself and his wife to walk in Godliness, and seek the Lord with their whole mind and heart.
In 1 Corinthians 13:6, the Bible says, ”Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.” A husband should usher in the Word of God to be the standard in the marriage, because a husband who loves his wife desires them to have direct contact and fellowship with God, and to grow in the Word of God together. In 1 Corinthians 13:7, the Bible says, ”Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” A husband’s love should be present in all seasons, under every circumstance, and a husband should always be positive in his view of their future together. A husband must see beyond their current reality to the bliss he desires them to have in love, and in Christ.
In Philippians 2:2-4, the Bible says, ”Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” A husband’s desire should not only be to love his wife, but also to be of one accord with her. A husband should love his wife in humility, preferring her needs above his own, feeding her the same things he himself should desire. Husbands must always consider what God would desire from him in loving his wife as he administers love unto her. Love never fails!
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 28, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #8: Ephesians 5:29 – no man ever yet hated his own flesh
In order for husbands to effectively love their wives as Christ loved the Church, they have to pursue what the Word of God says about love, and about obeying the Word of God as written. We have to love our wives the same way we love ourselves, but the question is, do we love ourselves? A husband must assess his own needs, wants, and desires and understand how to fulfill them, so when he assesses his wife’s wants, needs, and desires, he will fulfill those as well. A husband is never supposed to eat while his wife starves, and he is never supposed to excel Scripturally while his wife lacks Scripturally.
Christ made sure that we were given the Word of God as God gave it to him, and we were also given the promises of God the same way He received them.
Until husbands understand that through marriage their wives are a part of their own bodies they will continue to aim to fulfill their own need.
Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:29, nourishing and cherishing our wives in the Lord and in love.
”For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church”
The word ”hated” means ”to detest or love less”. The word ”flesh” means ”the body or human nature”. God really has something against people who don’t steward headship well. Jeremiah 23:1-2, the Bible says, ”Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.” There is an expectation from God that the people who He ordains to be head must feed the person or people that are under their headship. God provides for those He ordains, and those He ordains must feed those entrusted to their care. Husbands must come to understand that when they enter into the union of marriage, their wives are under their care. Husbands must submit, love, sacrifice, cover, and present their wives spotless before God, so this requires selflessness, and a real desire to please both God and their wives.
In Jeremiah 23:4, the Bible more, nor be dismayed, says, ”And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.” A husband should have the same love for his wife as Christ has for the Church, and Christ gave himself freely for His Church. Christ did not want the Church to lack anything from God, so He equipped the Church with everything they needed. Husbands must do the same.
The word ”nourisheth” means ”to rear up to maturity, to train.” Husbands must have a very proactive role in their wives spiritual, emotional, physical, and financial development. The word ”cherisheth” means ”to warm towards, to brood, or to foster”. In John 15:5, Christ says, ”I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” The husband’s responsibility is to make sure that he and his wife are branches on the vine of the Lord, receiving the spiritual food they need to be who God has called them to be. It is the husband’s job to position his wife to be fruitful for the Lord, in the same way he must be fruitful. A husband must provide for the needs of his wife, helping her to grow mature in Christ, and he must also provide tender affection, love, strength, comfort and security.
There is no such thing as a selfish husband, because if Christ is the example for how a husband should be for His wife, then Christ certainly was not selfish in any regard. In John 13:34-35, Christ says, ”A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” We show who we serve by our love for our wives. Christ didn’t tell us to love each other with our version of love, according to the current societal standard of love. He said that we use His love as a template for how we are to love our wives.
In 1 Peter 5:2-3, the Bible says, ”Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” Husband’s must feed their wives as Christ feeds the flock. Husbands should never seek their own success above their wives, neither should they use marriage to produce their own desires. A husband’s desire should be towards God first, then their wife, then himself. Husbands must understand that God entrusted the care of their wives unto them, and just as husbands must learn to take good care of themselves, they must also learn to do the same for their wives.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 29, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #9: Ephesians 5:30 – we are members of his body
God created mankind for fellowship with Him, and to be one with Him in all things. He created Adam and Eve to abide with Him, and they had direct contact and access to all of the provisions of the kingdom of God. Because of the fall, a second Adam came, Christ, to not only pay the cost for the sins of the whole world, but bring us back into fellowship with our loving God. Not only does God abide with us, but His Holy Spirit dwells in us, and we are now one with God in Christ. Just as we are one with God in Christ, husbands and wives are also members of one body, and together, they are one with God in Christ. Successful marriages are those where they are one with God and each other, and husbands and wives live their lives to experience the presence of God and to fulfill His purpose for their lives. Successful marriages are those where husbands and wives understand that they belong to the Lord first. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:30, being members together of the body of Christ.
”For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”
The word ”member” means ”a limb”. The word ”body” speaks of the whole, referencing the Church. The phrase ”flesh and bones” implies things inside and outside. So we are members of the body of Christ inside and out, so our bodies are His, our minds and hearts are His and our spirits are His. In Psalm 24:1, the Bible says, ”The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” We belong to the Lord in all we are and as believers, we must remember that. In Genesis 2:22-23, the Bible says, ”And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’‘ What makes husbands and wives one is through the joining together in marriage, where husbands become reunited with his ”rib”. What makes us one with God in Christ is when Christ becomes one again with us by the Holy Spirit He has given us.
In John 17:22-23, Christ says, ”And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” God’s design was always for us to be one with Him and in Him, to experience His glory, and for Him to put His stamp on us in the earth, so mankind will see who we belong to. God desires to establish His relationship with us, and also establish our place in the earth as the Church.
In Romans 12:4-5, the Bible says, ”For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.’‘ Just as we have many different roles in the kingdom of God, but are still one in Him, husbands and wives have their individual roles to play while they are still one in each-other. God didn’t create us all the same, and that reason is so we can reach every place together. God created husbands and wives as one thereby complementing each other, each having what the other needs.
In 1 Corinthians 6:20, the Bible says, ”For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Our lives, inside and out, are meant to be lived to bring glory to God, and a marriage should be the same dynamic. The marriage should bring glory to God because both belong to the Lord.
In 1 Corinthians 7:3-4, the Bible says, ”Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” As we are to live our lives to bring glory and honor to God, husbands and wives must live their lives to bring glory and honor to God and to honor each other in love and devotion.
In 1 Corinthians 12:18, the Bible says, ”But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.’‘ God has clearly defined the roles of those in the body of Christ, and He has also clearly defined the roles of husbands and wives in a marriage.
In 1 Corinthians 12:25-26, the Bible says, ”That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.” God didn’t create us to have division, but to come into oneness with Him and each other. The body is supposed to come together so that the will of God is done, and that the body supports all. A marriage is no different, and husbands and wives must come together as one body, flesh, and bone.
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 30, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #10: Ephesians 5:31 – and they two shall be one flesh
When God was creating man, he spoke the plan into existence, then God did one further. He formed man from the dust of the earth, and then breathed the breath of life in him, making him a living soul. When he created woman, He went a step further, causing man to go into a deep sleep and took a rib from Adam and formed Eve from it. So there was something removed from man at creation that God ordained woman to complete. God did the same for us with Christ, having something missing for Christ that He ordained the Church to complete. God desires for man to leave the safety, provision and protections of his mother’s and father’s house to build a house and a life with His wife, to complete the picture God has for marriage. Just as God ordains husband and wife to become one flesh, God also ordains the Church to be one flesh with Christ. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:31, when the two come together as well.
”For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”
The phrase ”for this cause” implies that a reason is given for man and wife becoming one flesh. In Ephesians 5:29-30, the Bible says, ”For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Husbands are to recognize that they must be one flesh with Christ in order to recognize his need to be one flesh with his wife. It all begins with the Lord, who provides the standard for relationship in His Word. In Genesis 2:18, the Bible says, ”And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.’‘ God designed marriage out of His understanding of our need for companionship and completion. God knew that man can only go so far on his own, so He created a help meet for him, so he could be everything that God ordained him to be. When a husband has his help meet, it opens up a whole different avenue to him spiritually. In Matthew 18:19-20, Christ says, ”Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’‘ A husband and wife who gather together in Christ’s name can guarantee that they will remain in the presence of the Lord. When the two come together as one, the agreement ushers in their prayers being answered as well. In Ecclesiastes 4:11-12, the Bible says, ”Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” God created marriage for companionship and strength, for the two to overcome anything that comes their way, including the enemy.
The word ”leave” means ”to abandon or forsake”. The word ”joined” means ”to glue to, to adhere, to cleave”. So a marriage does not form without trust and sacrifice. Husbands are to leave the security of their home with their parents, to get out from under their provision, in order for each to build his own family with his wife. When a marriage forms, this means that a husbands’ parents are no longer first in his life here on earth, instaed his wife becomes first, second only to God. If a husband doesn’t understand that the order has changed, and it is God first, wife second, himself third, and family fourth, then he hasn’t grasped the meaning behind ”one flesh”.
In 1 Corinthians 6:15-16, the Bible says, ”Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.” We are not supposed to join ourselves to someone who is outside the will of God. The marriage is supposed to be an extension of the marriage we have with Christ, and a marriage is supposed to be a successful conduit for the will of God to be fulfilled in them. Husband and wife can’t do that if they are not on the same page, having the same priority, or having the same loyalty.
In 2 Corinthians 6:14, the Bible says, ”Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?’‘ Husbands and wives must share the same faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and have the same understanding of the foundational matters of the faith. If husband and wife are going in two different directions spiritually, emotional, mentally, or financially, how can they become one? God designed marriage for husbands and wives to be one, not so they can be independent of each other. Unity is vital!
Marshall & Jessica
Aug 31, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #11: Ephesians 5:32 – I speak concerning Christ and the church
There are things God wants us to know as believers that have been reserved especially for us. God has a strong desire for us to know Him thoroughly through His Word and also by His revelation given to us by the Holy Spirit. There are mysteries that couldn’t be understood in the Old Testament times the way we can understand them now, and that is all by the design of God. Marriage is a union with a much deeper meaning for the husbands and wives involved. It gives a living illustration of Christ and the Church, and also how deep God’s love is for us, to betroth us to His Son. Because of this spiritual marriage, we have unlimited access to the kingdom of God, including the secret things hid from old, but if there are no real secrets because of Christ with us, then how can there ever be secrets between husbands and wives? The marriage is supposed to pattern our relationship with Christ, and openness is one of the requirements. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:32, uncovered mysteries of God in marriage.
”This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”
The word ”mystery” means ”a secret, something into which one must be initiated or instructed before it can be known; something of itself not obvious and above human insight; spoken of facts, doctrines, and principles not revealed.” The word ”speak” means ”to lay forth, to utter, or to set discourse”. God never intended to keep His will a secret from us. He gave us His Word, and He also gave us His Holy Spirit, to ensure that not only will we understand His will, but all gaps will be filled by the Holy Spirit.
In John 17:7-8, Christ says, ”Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.” Everything Christ gave us is of God, and in Christ’s intercessory prayer, He acknowledges to God that He gave them the Word and the disciples received the Word of God given and they believed in Christ because of it.
In John 16:13, Christ says, ”Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.’‘ Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth, including the mysteries of God. It was always God’s intention to reveal His secrets to His Church, but we must be willing to be guided by the Holy Spirit. Christ remained attached to God for truth and direction, and so must we.
In Matthew 13:10-12, the Bible says, ”And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.’‘ Christ assured us as believers that God desires for us to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever is given by God is given in abundance. Abundance is always meant to be shared.
The word ”church” refers to the congregation, assembly, or community of Christians, or believers in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior. These mysteries, secrets were set for us to experience at such time God appoints. In Ephesians 1:9-10, the Bible says, ”Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness 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”. The mysteries of God were reserved for those who are in Christ, those who are one in Him. In the Old Testament, they didn’t have the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit within them, available to all who believed. We do! God desired for us to live as Christ did on earth, in full knowledge and power.
In Colossians 1:26-27, the Bible says, ”Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”. In marriage, we have something so powerful available to us as believers and that is the Holy Spirit in us, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit through every moment we spend in marriage. The Word of God shows us how to be the type of believers that God called us to be and teaches husbands how to love, cherish and guide their wives by the example of Christ. Marriage is a union of permanence emulating our union with Christ, a bond perfected by the Holy Spirit.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 1, 2022 – Marital Bliss Series #12: Ephesians 5:33 – love his wife even as himself
Love and reverence, two amazing qualities that build believers up in the Lord, but those two qualities are key in marriages and relationship building. As believers we all have our roles to play in the building of the kingdom of God and marriage is no different. If every person in the body of Christ serves in the capacity they are called according to the Word of God, the Church will grow and reach people everywhere, and be effective everywhere we go. When husbands and wives serve each other and God in their respective capacities, the marriage will grow immense, will please God, and serve as a living testimony for others to govern their marriages the same way. If people start being individuals within a body, doing their own thing, operating according to their own agenda, then the body will suffer division and loss. Today, we will look at Ephesians 5:33, reverence and love, binding qualities of marriage.
”Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
The word ”love” means ”to regard with strong affection, to serve with fidelity, veneration, and reverence”. Husbands must understand that loving their wives is a great service, one that shouldn’t be done out of obligation or treated like a chore. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, the Bible says, ”But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work”. What we sow into a marriage tends to be what is returned to us. If we sow inattentiveness, a lack of regard for the feelings and thoughts of our wives, and if we try to overpower the marriage with dominance, then we can only blame ourselves when resentment comes as a result. If we sow love, quality time, edification, affirmation, and commitment, then it should reap a harvest of trust, love, submission, and cooperation. God doesn’t desire us embark on a path in marriage for it to not work out. God wants to empower marriage with His grace, causing it to bear fruit for the glory of God. The phrase ”every one of you in particular” implies that this applies to every individual, so we each have our own role to play in both marriage and in the body of Christ. If husbands sow love with cheerfulness from the heart, then the wife should sow submission and cooperation from the same place, the heart. If something isn’t done from the heart, then the motives will always be in question.
In 1 John 2:10, the Bible says, ”He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” This type of love is applicable whether husbands are loving their brothers and sisters in Christ, or they are loving their wives. If husbands lead with love, then they don’t have to worry about wronging their wives. In 1 John 4:21, the Bible says, ”And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” Love comes from God, and He gives us a clear example of love by the example of Christ. He then instructs us to love each other according to that example.
In Matthew 20:28, Christ says, ”Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” A heart of love will give husbands a heart of service, a desire to serve God by also serving his wife, loving her as Christ loved the Church.
The word ”reverence” means ”to morally respect, fear, or honor”. In 1 Peter 3:1, the Bible says, ”Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives”. Not every believing wife’s husband is going to initially submit to God in word and deed. God still requires them to submit to the husband, but God requires wives to display conduct patterned after the Lord that sets a great example. So if God requires this submission and reverence for a husband that is wayward, then God definitely expects this type of submission to a husband who is serving the Lord faithfully.
In 1 Peter 3:5, the Bible says, ”For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands”. Submission to the husband is a statement of faith and trust in God, one that should be worn with pride. Reverence is a service to God, one that should be done willingly and cheerfully. Both love and reverence are qualities Christ displayed fully to God, and the kingdom of God came through Him. May the kingdom of God come through your marriage as well.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 2, 2022 – Psalm 97:10 – He preserveth the souls of his saints
There is an attitude that we as believers must possess. Being cleansed from the evil and filth that governed our lives when we lived outside of the will of God, we should now hate wickedness. Just as it makes no sense for a person to be rescued from shark-infested waters only to jump out of the boat again into the same waters they were delivered from.
It makes no sense for us to go back to serving sin.
When we love the Lord, our hearts are inclined to fulfill His will, to be the children He called us to be. When we live as His children, we have protection and direction, to continue on the path that He has paved for us, and God intends us to have victory over everything that comes into lives. Believers experience a great love from God, access to the eternal kingdom of God, and deliverance from the hand of the enemy. Today, we will look at Psalm 97:10, Godly preservation leading to spiritual success.
”Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”
The word ”love” here means ”have affection for, to friend”. The word ”hate” means ”to detest, to loathe, to be hostile towards, or to be an enemy to”. The word ”evil” means ”bad, or wicked in a moral or ethical sense”. In Matthew 6:24, Christ says, ”No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’‘ In the kingdom of God, there is no straddling the fence. We are either serving the Lord, or we are serving sin, and whatever we are serving, that is where our love is. There are too many believers with mixture in their lives, which is the opposite of how we are supposed to live our lives. Do we understand that as believers, we are the bride of Christ, and our lives belong to the Lord?
In James 4:4, the Bible says, ”Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.’‘ When we serve sin, we befriend the enemy and make ourselves enemies of the Lord. When we befriend, or love someone or something, we want to know all of its secrets.
In John 15:15, Christ says, ”Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” Whether we serve the Lord or we serve the enemy, a relationship is formed, and secrets are exposed. In prison, I still have options to do the right things or the wrong things, and whatever my intention is, there will be someone that can usher me into the intention I form; and disclose its secrets.
We can’t love God and sin. We have to let one go.
The word ”preserveth” means ”to hedge about, to protect, guard, or attend to”. The word ”souls” refers to the innermost thoughts and emotions in our innermost being. The word ”saints” means ”Godly, merciful, holy, those who share a personal relationship with God”. In Psalm 31:23, the Bible says, ”O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.” When our hearts are right before the Lord and we are serving Him in fidelity and truth, He will protect us from the deepest parts of us and to attend to the deepest thoughts we have. In Psalm 37:28, the Bible says, ”For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.’‘ The Lord looks out for His children, but those who serve wickedness are severed from fellowship with God. God has not forgotten about us, even when we go through trial.
The word ”delivereth” means ”to snatch away”, implying the power of one overcoming the power of another. If God delivers, then He cares about what attacks us! The word ”hand” means ”power, strength, means, or direction”. The word ”wicked” means ”morally wrong, condemned, or ungodly”. In Psalm 37:39-40, the Bible says, ”But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.” The person who serves the Lord looks to Christ for salvation, placing their trust in the Lord. Sometimes, the enemy will attack us for not choosing to serve him, but in the Lord, there is deliverance. In Psalm 34:19, the Bible says, ”Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Our God doesn’t deliver us from some the afflictions we encounter. We are delivered from all of the afflictions we encounter, because we love the Lord, and have made the choice to serve Him in all things. May we choose this day who we will serve and make the Lord our choice.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 3, 2022 – Psalm 94:12 – blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD
Sometimes, we are chastened by the Lord. There a points in our lives where we need redirection and God allows a period of chastening to transpire in order to bring us into compliance with His Word. When we are chastened, our natural, fleshly inclination is to run away from it, but as believers, we are not only called to endure chastening, but we are also expected to learn from it. If we don’t learn anything from the chastening of the Lord but discomfort and pain, then there is a high likelihood that we will repeat the offense against God, setting us up for even more punishment. Parents don’t like disciplining their children, but they understand that those moments are for their children’s good. God is no different, and His discipline positions us for success in the kingdom of God and in our daily lives and interactions with people. If our perspective would change towards chastening from anger and pain to love and purpose, God will be able to direct us into an amazing harvest of righteousness. Today, we will look at Psalm 94:12, he painful purpose of chastisement.
”Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law”.
The word ”blessed” means ”happy” referring to a person’s state of bliss from their connection or relationship with God. Being blessed includes being wise and prosperous in life as the result of God’s teaching. The word ”prosperous” here does not mean that we are financially well off, because we can have tons of money and not be blessed, and we can be financially poor, but immensely blessed. In Jeremiah 17:7-8, the Bible says, ”Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’’
In order for us to be blessed as believers and children of God, we must trust God in all things. We must completely yield ourselves to the direction and leading of the Lord. In Proverbs 3:5-6, the Bible says, ”Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” We will fall off the path God has paved for us when we go our own way, pursue our own righteousness, and do things that are outside of the will of God. When that happens, redirection is necessary.
The word ”chastenest” means ”to discipline, instruct, teach, or punish”. In Job 5:17-18, the Bible says, ”Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.” God disciplines us when redirection is needed, and no matter how uncomfortable is may appear to be, we are not to resent God or the process of chastisement. The process may work us over in an unpleasant way, but God’s intention is to make us whole, or complete, in Him. In Proverb 3:11-12, the Bible says, ”My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.” We must also understand as children of God that God loves us, and that is the position God takes when He is forced to chastise us. God doesn’t desire to see us living outside of His will, and He definitely doesn’t want us to experience failure or brutal consequences as the result of the choices we make. God loves us and truly cares for us, because if He didn’t, He would just let us run wild unchecked. That would all but ensure our destruction.
The word ”teachest” means ”to goad, or to instruct”. The word ”law” refers to the precepts or statutes of God, also referring to the Torah. In Psalm 119:171, the Bible says, ”My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.” God doesn’t just chastise us. He teachers us how to be His children and live according to His law. In Psalm 119:71, the Bible says, ”It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” God wants us to learn a lesson from His chastisement and that lesson is in His Word. He wants us to learn His Word and heed it.
In Hebrews 12:11, the Bible says, ”Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” The chastening of the Lord doesn’t feel good, but it bears fruit when we allow the Word of God to train us up. When we can receive God’s discipline for our betterment, we will become open to what God wants to show us and where He wants to direct us in Him. May we all receive the Lord’s discipline with understanding of His love, and a desire to be at our absolute best.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 4, 2022 – James 4:6 – God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble
Humility is a characteristic that all believers should exemplify. Christ is Emmanuel, or ”God with us”, but He came to earth and took on humanity in complete obedience to God, humbling himself in life and in death. Christ had every right to be arrogant, and had every opportunity to flaunt his power. Everything is at Christ’s disposal, but He used what He had to help others break free from physical, spiritual, and emotion bondage. His humility was His worship; the complete reliance upon God for everything was His testimony that He wanted to do nothing of Himself. He entrusted everything into God’s capable hands and was rewarded with the power to walk supernaturally in the earth. We have the same ability to humble ourselves before God, to completely deny our abilities in order to receive what God desires so we can do what God wants us to do. We have the ability to walk supernaturally in the earth as Christ did, but we must humble ourselves. Today, we will look at James 4:6, divine empowerment bestowed upon the humble.
”But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
The word ”giveth” means ”to bestow or bring forth”. The word ”grace” speaks of the divine grace and favor as exercised in conferring gifts, and benefits on man, bestowed in and through Christ and His gospel. Pastor John Bevere identifies grace as God’s divine empowerment. The first thing we have to understand is that this grace comes only from God and it is not something we can give ourselves. God just doesn’t give us grace, but He gives us MORE grace.
In John 1:14, the Bible says, ”And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” God can only bestow something upon us if He Himself has it, and when Christ came to this world, He was full of grace and truth. In John 1:17, the Bible says, ”For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Christ coming to the world paved the way for God’s grace and truth to arrive as well. Because Christ was full of grace and truth, He willingly shared it with others, but there is a condition involved. In Romans 5:2, the Bible says, ”By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” The condition is ”by faith”. Without faith, there is no access to this grace, or divine favor and empowerment. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says, ”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” God gives us something that we can’t give ourselves, and that is His grace. Because God bestows His grace upon us, there is nothing we can pat ourselves on the back about. Understanding God’s grace should produce humility, because we didn’t provide this divine favor or empowerment.
The word ”resisteth” means ”to range oneself against or to oppose”. The word ”proud” means ”haughty, arrogant, or conceited.” The reason God opposes the proud is because their mindsets are outside of the will of God. In Romans 12:3, the Bible says, ”For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” The proud think higher of themselves than they ought, and they tend to credit their successes to themselves rather than to God. In Psalm 138:6, the Bible says, ”Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” God, in His high seat, still looks upon us in our low estate. In Proverb 8:13, the Bible says, ”The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” If we have the mind of God, then we are to hate pride and arrogance, because pride and arrogance pushes God out of the picture and makes it about us and only us.
The word ”humble” means ”lowly, modest, or depressed as an expression of worship. In Proverb 29:23, the Bible says, ”A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” The lowly are in position to be lifted up, because they have brought themselves low in the presence of our Lord. The proud will be knocked off of their high horses. In Matthew 23:12, Christ says, ”And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” God isn’t looking for people who believe that they can do it without Him, but He is looking for people who know that they can do nothing without God. The person who bows down in worship will be lifted up. The person who sees themselves as nothing compared to the Excellency of Christ will experience the power of the kingdom of God in their lives. The humble will be the most powerful.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 5, 2022 – 1 Corinthians 4:12 – being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it
There is an attitude that we must have as believers, one that is approachable, one that is willing to roll up the sleeves and get our hands dirty, and one that is willing to be subjected to scrutiny without falling into our flesh. We have a powerful example of Christ of how our attitude should be when reviled, and we also have great examples of faith in the apostles as they suffered persecution. No minister should ever feel that they are above any task in the kingdom, nor should they ever feel like they are too good to work with their hands. Great stewardship shows that the minister not only cares about our spiritual needs but also about our physical needs as well. It is a wonderful thing when our spiritual leaders are willing to go in the trenches with us, and assist us right where we are, and it is also a wonderful thing when our leaders can show us by their actions how to effectively handle persecution. Today, we will look at 1 Corinthians 4:12, working a mighty work for the kingdom of God.
”And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it”
The word ”labour” means ”toil or hard work”. The word ”working” means ”to be engaged with, or to minister about”. There is not supposed to be a such thing as a lazy Christian. God set the perfect example for us by working for six days and resting on the seventh. In Genesis 2:1-3, ”Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” It was only after God finished His work, that He rested, and He choose a day for us to rest from our work as well. In Proverbs 13:4, the Bible says, ”The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.” If the person who doesn’t work has nothing, then how would they be able to offer anything to someone in need?
Paul set a good example of now only partaking in ministry, but in work and service. In Acts 18:3, the Bible says, ”And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: for by their occupation they were tentmakers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.” Paul came to Corinth to preach, and found himself among tentmakers. Paul was a tentmaker by trade, and even though he could have stayed at Aquila’s house and did nothing, he rolled up his sleeves and worked with them. Hard work was never lost on Paul, and no matter how powerful he was, he realized that some of his greatest ministry work is bearing the burden with others.
In Acts 20:34-35, the Bible says, ”Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Paul worked with his hands, offering up his labor to help others with their work, giving what he had to people in need. If we are unwilling to share in the burdens of others, and display that we care about their work, then how can we ever expect them to care about our ministry? In 2 Thessalonians 3:8-9, the Bible says, ”Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.’‘ Paul not only wanted to bless people with the Word of God, but also by contributing himself to the work that needed to be done. He didn’t want a ”free ride” because he was spreading the Word of God, and he set an example for others to follow.
The word ”reviled” means ”to reproach or vilify”. The word ”bless” means ”to speak well of, or to praise”. In 1 Peter 2:23, the Bible says, ”Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously”. When Christ was vilified, he didn’t become petty and vilify them in return. We can’t trade insults with people who speak evil of us, but we are to love them and rise above their reproach. That is ministry within itself.
The word ”persecuted” means ”pursue in order to cause one to flee”. The word ”suffer” means ”to endure, or to bear affliction patiently”. In 1 Peter 3:9, the Bible says, ”Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” Our response to reproach needs to be blessing, because as representatives of Christ, we must respond as He did. In Romans 12:20-21, the Bible says, ”Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Christ overcame the world with good, by giving Himself as a living sacrifice, and ultimate sacrificed His life so that we can have access to the salvation God desires to bestow upon us. Our lives must reflect the same love, work, and sacrifice.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 6, 2022 – Ephesians 3:9 – the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid
God created mankind for fellowship with them and to make His mind and will known to them. God has spoken to us through His Word, through His priesthood, through His kings, through His prophets, by Christ, by the Holy Spirit, and once again, by us. God never designed His purpose for the world or His plan for salvation and sanctification to be a secret forever, but designated for an appointed time and place. Jesus Christ’s birth began the unlocking of the mysteries of God and it still continues today, because the Holy Spirit is still revealing Himself to us in love, wisdom, and power. The pastorate today have the authority and responsibility to reveal to the Church what has been revealed to them, so all of mankind can receive the mysteries of God by faith. Today, we will be looking at Ephesians 3:9, the fellowship with the mystery of God.
”And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ”
When a verse starts with the word ”and”, it is a continuation from a previous passage, so in Ephesians 3:8, the Bible says, ”Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” Paul considers himself the least of all the saints, yet he still had direct access to the ”unsearchable riches of God.” If something is unsearchable, then that would suggest that we can’t find it on our own, that it would have to be revealed to us. Paul is also indirectly suggesting that, if God revealed it to him, then God will reveal it to us as well. The phrase ”make all men see” means ”to enlighten, to illuminate, to cause to understand”. ”All men” is all-inclusive, so Paul wanted to reach all men with the mystery of God.
The word ”fellowship” means ”communion, partnership, to experience oneness with”. The word ”mystery” means ”a secret, specifically of the Gospel, dispensation, as having been long hidden and first revealed in later times.” Paul is only conveying to us what was conveyed to him. In Ephesians 1:9-10, the Bible says, ”Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness 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”. God’s purpose for revealing us the mystery of the Gospel is to bring us all together as one at His appointed time.
In Romans 16:25-26, the Bible says, ”Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith”. The mystery of God carries power to establish us, to set us firm in our faith, so that we can not only receive the Word of God in faith, but we can live out the Word of God in faith, and experience the power of God in our lives.
The word ”hid” means ”concealed”. The secret of the Gospel was concealed in God from the beginning, even though we had an extensive number of clues given to us about Christ in the Old Testament. Even if we were to read the whole Old Testament, it still wouldn’t have done much to explain the power and authority we now have in Christ, nor could it fully explain the revelations by the Holy Spirit that we have access to receive daily.
In Ephesians 3:5, the Bible says, ”Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit”. The Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us as believers has given us something so much deeper, so much more powerful, and so precious.
In 1 Corinthians 2:7, the Bible says, ”But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory”. The secrets of God when so deep within us that we can speak the hidden wisdom of God, will cause His light to shine upon us.
The word ”created” means ”to establish, or to produce from nothing”. In Colossians 1:16, the Bible says, ”For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”. God created His secrets to reach us because of Christ and through Christ. We cannot receive the mystery of God without Christ, because without Christ, there is no Holy Spirit to reveal all things to us. May we do as Paul did, and work to cause all mankind to understand the secrets of God by Christ, as they are revealed to us.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 7, 2022 – Ephesians 3:10 – might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God
Do we ever realize that what God is doing in our lives here on earth provides a sure record in heaven? Do we also realize that whatever we do here on earth also provides a sure record in heaven? Everything we have as believers comes from God in heaven, and the work he allows us to do in the kingdom extends from the earth back to the heavenly realm, to be beheld by God, by Christ seated at the right hand of the Father, and even by the angels, whether holy or unholy in nature. Our ministry provides testimony of the faithfulness of God, of His grace, and of His power to transform lives for His glory. Do we understand that because of what God is allowing us to do here on earth by His will and by His Spirit, the angels have the glory of God manifested to them through us? Today, we will look at Ephesians 3:10, an earthly ministry given by God that extends into heaven.
”To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God”
The word ”intent” means ”purpose”. When a Scripture starts with ”to the intent”, then that shows a connection between what is written now to what was written before. When we can make the full connections in Scripture, we can receive the full revelation. In Ephesians 3:8-9, the Bible says, ”Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ”. Paul is teaching us that, despite his own past bad acts, or lowly estate, that God still imparted His grace upon Paul to teach all men the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the mystery of the kingdom, so that not only will mankind receive the good news, but so the report will extend into heaven for the angels to receive as well.
The word ”principalities” means ”dominion, magistrates, princes, or chief among angels”. The word ”powers” means ”domains, authorities, jurisdictions, or delegated influences.” This isn’t exclusive to just angels, but also of demons as well. Remember in Job 1:6, where the Bible says, ”Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” God is in heavenly places, and so are the angels and demons. Think not?
In Ephesians 6:12, the Bible says, ”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” The word ”high” in this verse means ”celestial, above the sky, or heavenly”. So what we do for the Lord in performing the ministry He has placed within us extends into the heavenly realm, making even angels and demons aware of it. Think not?
In Job 1:10, the Bible says, ”Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.’‘ Satan was fully aware of the work of Job’s hands, of the blessing of the Lord, and of the hedge of protection placed upon his life. Don’t think for a second that the work we do on earth doesn’t give testimony in heaven, because it does.
In 1 Peter 1:12, the Bible says, ”Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” The angels want to have a view into what the work of the Lord is doing, how the seed then grows to bear fruit. Through the Church, God manifests His glory to the angels, allowing them the privilege to rejoice over the work of the Lord. In Luke 15:10, Christ says, ”Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” Just as there is rejoicing in heaven over the sinner that repents, and likely tantrums thrown by the demons!
The word ”church” means ”an assembly of Christians, or a community of believers in Christ Jesus”. The phrase ”manifold wisdom” means ”infinite skill, insight, knowledge, or purity in a variety of form, character, or diversity”. In 1 Timothy 3:16, the Bible says, ”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.’‘ Christ presence on earth provided a record in heaven of the power and wisdom of God bestowed upon Him and what He did with that power in the earthly realm that brought glory to God. We have the same ability as Christ did in the earth, but what report will the angels in heavenly places receive of us?
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 8, 2022 – 1 Corinthians 2:1 – declaring unto you the testimony of God
In this world, the power and wisdom of God is being replaced with the knowledge of the world. People line up around the block for the latest self-help seminar, trying to find the next new idea that can catapult them into their best selves, and are willing to pay obscene amounts of money for a seat. People have replaced Christ with philosophy, replaced salvation with evolution, and place more faith in aliens than in the living God. In an age where we are churning out more college graduates worldwide than at any other time in our lives, we have become more Godless, more apathetic, more disconnected. Even the Church has dealt with the mixture from the attempts of the pastorate to combine the world’s knowledge with the knowledge of God. God gives us the wisdom to preach and teach His Word and we don’t have to worry about being smart enough or sounding smart enough to do it. His power and grace is enough. Today, we will look at 1 Corinthians 2:1, declaring God’s testimony by God’s wisdom.
”And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.”
The word ”brethren” refers to fellow Christians or believers. It expresses the closeness that comes from Paul’s deep love and care for the Church. The word ”excellency” means ”authority, prominence, or superiority”. The word ”speech” means ”utterances, preaching, delivery, oratory or eloquence”. This means the Paul wasn’t trying to sound important or smart, but his concern was giving the Church what God gave him to say.
The word ”wisdom” refers to the learning and philosophy current among the Greeks and Romans in the apostolic age intended to draw away the minds of mankind away from the divine truth, which stood in contrast to the simplicity of the truth. In 1 Corinthians 1:17, the Bible says, ”For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” The wisdom of the world is aimed at nullifying the work of the Lord, discounting the cross and the path to salvation. Corinth was on a major trade route, and people came from all over the place. People also brought and traded their doctrines as well, hoping it would be spread all over the world as a result. In 1 Corinthians 2:4-5, the Bible says, ”And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
Paul wasn’t like the world around him in Corinth. He didn’t care about sounding intelligent or powerful in his speech, but his concern was providing a conduit for the flow of the Holy Spirit. Paul wanted his speech to reflect God, not himself, because he wanted glory to be given to God as a result. Think not?
In Acts 14, when Paul healed the man impotent in both of his feet, the people tried to worship him and Barnabas as gods, and were preparing to sacrifice to them, but in Acts 14:14-15, the Bible says, ”Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein’‘. Paul implored them to serve God who created everything.
The word ”declared” means ”to teach, proclaim, or to implant in the mind by repetition”. The phrase ”testimony of God”, means ”evidence in reference to Christ and His doctrines”. In 1 Corinthians 2:13, the Bible says, ”Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.’‘ Man’s wisdom only goes as far as man’s knowledge will take them, but the Holy Spirit teaches us all things, earthly and spiritual. Paul only desired to teach from a spiritual perspective, so that people would know that the Holy Spirit gave him what he had to teach.
In 2 Corinthians 11:6-7, the Bible says, ”But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things. Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” Paul not only wanted to be preaching the wisdom of God only, but he also wanted to make himself nothing in order to edify the body of Christ. He wanted nothing to point to him, but everything to the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 1:5-6, the Bible says, ”That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you”. Everything Paul taught and preached was so the kingdom of God would be established in the people that heard him. It wasn’t about knowledge, but about Christ!
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 9, 2022 – Romans 16:25 – the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery
We have a firm foundation in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is power to those who believe, but the power is manifested when we live the Word of God out in our lives. The point of receiving the Gospel is to live the Gospel out, to receive the promises of God and to walk according to those promises. The Gospel is delivered by people ordained by God to herald it everywhere they go, by those He ordained to peach and teach the Word of God. One of the purposes for the Gospel, that is still being lived out today, is to reveal the hidden things of God to those who don’t know that God had a plan for us since creation. The Gospel will reveal God’s extraordinary love for His creation that He wants to adopt us as sons and daughters, welcoming us into the kingdom as if we always belonged. Today, we will look at Romans 16:25, the revelation of the mystery of the Gospel.
”Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began”
The phrase ”of power” means ”able to make it possible”. A person can only give what they have, so if a person is ”of power”, then that means they have been empowered. In Matthew 28:18, the Bible says,
”And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
Jesus Christ was given all power from God, and with that power, he gave a charge to us to go and preach the Gospel everywhere. If we weren’t empowered to do so, then He wouldn’t have ever instructed us to do so. In Acts 1:8, Christ says, ”But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” God’s Word is going to always confirm itself, and it is His desire that we are witnesses of His power and wisdom in all the earth. Many of us question the power God has given us to perform the purpose He has set for us, so many of us never allow ourselves the privilege of beholding what God truly can do in our lives. In Ephesians 3:20, the Bible says, ”Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”. Some people only see the first part of this verse, that God can do immeasurable things in our lives. Some prosperity preachers use this verse to equate God to an ATM machine, where we can withdraw materialistic blessing from Him as we will, but they conveniently leave out the second part of the verse, ”according to the power that WORKETH IN us”. If we don’t allow the power of God to work in us, then we will limit what God can do in our lives.
The word ”stablish” means ”to confirm, fix, strengthen or set fast”. The word ”Gospel” means ”good message, the plan of salvation, its doctrines, precepts, and promises”. God doesn’t want us to fix our feet on something that is not of Him because it is not solid ground. God wants our trust, wisdom, strength, love, faith, and ministry to come from the Word of God. In 1 Thessalonians 3:13, the Bible says, ”To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.” God wants us to be His righteousness and holiness in the earth and before Him, so we must entrust our hearts to Him, so what flows from us are the things that God desires to come from us. In 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, the Bible says, ”Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.” The power of God from His Gospel will provide strength, peace, comfort and a firm foundation for our feet.
The word ”preaching” means ”to proclaim or herald the Gospel”. The word ”revelation” means ”disclosure, manifestation of the unknown purpose and doctrines of God”. The word ”mystery” refers to things previously hidden, but now are revealed to us by faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God. In Galatians 1:11-12, the Bible says, ”But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Only God can reveal His Gospel to us, and the only way someone can preach or teach the Word of God is if they were taught it by the revelation of Jesus Christ. God desires for His children to be ”in the know”, and experience the power, wisdom, and revelations of Jesus Christ, so we can share what we receive with others. God wants to reveal Himself to us, so He can empower and root us in the Word of God, making us available to share the Word with truth and power.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 10, 2022 – Acts 15:36 – brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the LORD
As believers, we are called to share the Word of the Lord with others. God has given us all the power and ability to share the Gospel we received with someone else. Sharing the Word of God can mean a lot to someone, especially when the Word comes at a time where they need it the most, when they are searching for answers.
You know what means even more to that person who receives the Word we share? Following through!
When we share the Word of God, we show that we care about the state of their soul, but when we follow through by checking in on them from time to time, it shows that the ministry we provided wasn’t just obligatory or a show, but out of a deep concern for their spiritual development. We must care for our family of believers at every junction of their faith. Today, we will look at Acts 15:36, checking in on those we shared the Gospel with.
”And some days after, Paul said unto Barnabas Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the LORD and see how they do.”
The word ”visit” means ”to take care of, to tend to, to observe, to examine closely, or to inspect”. The word ”brethren” means ”a brother”; and refers to any one connected to another in any kind of intimacy and fellowship, one of the same faith, a fellow Christian. In the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20, Christ says, ”Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” This sums up our responsibility as believers to those who need the Word of God shared with them, but it goes deeper than just sharing the Word of God. The teaching part is the first step, but teaching ”them to observe all things” implies a continuation process to ensure that the people we share the Gospel with can apply and live out the teaching they receive.
The word ”brethren” also implies family, and families build through time, communication, love, and follow through. In Proverbs 22:6, the Bible says, ”Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Paul didn’t just teach the Word of God, but he also trained them up by following through to make sure that they can live the Word of God out. Everyone starts out in the faith as a child in need of training up, and the training process builds spiritual development. Paul preached the Gospel, and then desired to go back to all the places they preached, to make sure that they were developing in the faith and in power.
The word ”preached” means ”to set forth, proclaim, teach, or implant into the mind by repetition”. Repetition implies that it is not a one-time process, but a continual sharing of the Word of God so the hearer will learn how to live out our faith. In 1 Corinthians 4:17, the Bible says, ”For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.” Sometimes, Paul couldn’t get to people in order to follow through personally, but he sent Timothy to remind them of everything they had been taught by Paul. If we do send a delegate behind us, then it is our responsibility to ensure that they are also teaching and preaching the same message. A major part of spiritual development is consistency and continuity with the Gospel, so the Word of God will be confirmed when the seed is watered. In 1 Thessalonians 3:2, the Bible says, ”And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith”. The delegate should come to continue the message already taught, and to confirm their faith in the Word of God.
In Philippians 1:6-8, the Bible says, ”Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.” The work of the Gospel extends until the day of Jesus Christ, because God follows through to make sure we develop according to His will. We must have the people we share the Word of God to in our hearts, and long after their spiritual well-being, just as God longs after us. This work is a continuous labor of love. That love will compel us to check in to make sure they are growing and prospering in the Lord.
Think about it. Paul’s life in ministry and the letters to the Churches was the evidence of his follow through. What will be ours?
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 11, 2022 – Psalm 84:11 – no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly
Being in the Lord is an awesome experience. Being in the presence of our loving Father is a million times better than being in the presence of our loving parents, and God has a special way of taking care of His babies. In this world, especially in the current climate, we need the presence of God now more than ever. We are seeing war, mass shootings, violence, government dissension, and a lack of Godliness in the world that can only be repaired by the love of God, but as believers, we must seek the Lord’s covering in order to be safe. Having an amazing Father in our God means that we are protected, that we are covered, that we are equipped, and our needs are supplied. When we live in the Lord and walk according to the Word of God, He will extend His provision to us in order for us to continue to walk in Him. Today, we will look at Psalm 84:11, a believer experiencing the covering of our Lord.
”For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”
The word ”Lord” means ”Supreme in Authority, or Controller”. To call God the ”Lord God”, it signifies the knowledge that God is in control and is THE authority of all things on earth. In Psalm 24:1, the Bible says, ”The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Calling God the ”Lord God” also signifies trust, that we establish that God’s direction and purpose for us is what is best for us. Believing these things isn’t enough, because in Luke 6:46-48, Christ says, ”And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” We have a solid foundation in the Lord when He is the ”Lord God”, and we do the things the Lord says to do, and storms, adversities, or tests won’t break us because we build our lives in the Lord.
The word ”sun” speaks of God’s brilliance and glory by His light. The word ”shield” means ”protector, defense, or buckler”. In Isaiah 60:19-20, the Bible says, ”The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.’‘ If we are looking for earthly things to light our paths, then we will remain in darkness, but if we entrust ourselves to God’s brilliance and glory, we will continue to be in the light forever. In Malachi 4:2, the Bible says, ”But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” When our God shines His light upon us, there is no more mourning and we have access to healing, both spiritual and physical as long as we place ourselves under His wings. In Psalm 115:9-10, the Bible says, ‘O Israel, trust thou in the LORD: he is their help and their shield. O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD: he is their help and their shield.” Whether we are under the pastorate or are the pastorate, we must trust in the Lord to be our protector and defender.
The word ”grace” means ”unmerited favor”, and it bridges the gap between where we are, and where God needs us to be. The word ”glory” means ”majesty, honour, weight, or splendor”. In 1 Peter 5:5, the Bible says, ”Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” There is a certain attitude we must have in order to receive the grace of God, one of humility, understanding that we are nothing without God’s help, and can do nothing unless God’s grace is upon us. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says, ”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” The grace of God is given, despite our works, which will never be sufficient enough to earn us the grace we need. In Matthew 3:16-17, the Bible says, ”And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The glory of God upon us is His stamp of approval, and the heavens open up so God’s glory will shine upon us.
The word ”good” means ”beneficial, well-pleasing, or morally correct”. The word ”good” also signifies God’s approval behind His intended purpose being fulfilled. The word ”withhold” means ”deny, or keep back”. The phrase ”walk uprightly” means ”to live blamelessly, in truth, in integrity, virtuously or completely.” In Psalm 34:9-10, the Bible says, ”O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.” When our God is the Lord God in our lives, and we allow Him to fill us with His grace and glory, we won’t have a need that won’t be met, a hunger that won’t be satisfied, and a longing that won’t be answered. Our God takes great care of His children, but will we entrust our lives completely, to live in Him, to pursue His kingdom over our ambitions, to seek His refuge over our own?
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 12, 2022 – Micah 7:18 – because he delighteth in mercy
”Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”
Our God is an amazing God. I know this firsthand, because I have experience the love of God when I was the most unlovable, when I was a complete enemy to the Cross. I remember being unmerciful, not forgiving people when they trespassed against me. I remember holding grudges for years when I was wrong, and I also remember allowing those hurt feelings and grudges to govern my life. I remember the day I cried out to God in my prison cell, asking for His forgiveness for all the wrong I have done, and God forgave me; unlovable, abandoned, rejected, hated me! God saw beyond my faults and forgave my sins, and then gave me a place in His kingdom where I’d be forever. There is no love like this in the world! Today, we will look at Micah 7:18, a full pardon from God!
”Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.”
The word ”pardoneth” means ”lift, carry, or take away”. The word ”iniquity” means ”perversity, evil, a deliberately sinful life”. In Exodus 34:6-8, the Bible says, ”And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.’‘ God’s pardon changes us from guilty to innocent because of faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. Those who are under that blood covering are safe from eternal death and damnation. In Jeremiah 50:20, the Bible says, ”In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” When God’s pardons us from our sin, there won’t be anything left to accuse us of. God’s forgiveness was once and for all, for all who believe in the name of Christ.
The word ”passeth” means ”crosseth over”. The word ”transgression” means ”rebellion, or revolt against God”. In Micah 4:6-7, the Bible says, ”In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever.” God may allow us to be driven out because of our sins, but when we seek His forgiveness with a sincere heart, God will bring us back and restore us into His fellowship. Pardoning our iniquities ensures that we can stand in the presence of God and commune with Him.
Isaiah 53:6, the Bible says, ”All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.’‘ God knew that we were going to do the things that we have done in our lives, and He laid our sins upon Christ on the Cross. He did this so we would turn to Him.
The word ”retaineth” means ”to fasten upon, or cleave to”. So when the Scripture says, ”He retaineth not his anger forever”, it means that God has no desire to hold onto our sins, implying that He desires to pardon us and make the way for salvation. In Psalm 103:8-10, the Bible says, ”The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” For the person who thinks that God is some brutal executioner of those who defy Him by living a sinful life, they completely don’t see God accurately. God is trying to give us the chance to defy our sinful lives and choose life in Him.
The word ”delighteth” means ”to incline or bend towards”. The word ”mercy” means ”lovingkindness, piety, reproof, or goodness”. Mercy is not giving us what we justly deserve. In Lamentations 3:22-23, the Bible says, ”It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” In the Lord, we wake every morning to new mercies, to God’s desire to see us at our best in Him.
2 Peter 3:9 says, ”The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” God has proven His Word faithful and I am living witness. He could have left me in my sins, could’ve punished me with death for taking life, but His love and mercy was rich towards me, the worst of the worst. Praise be to God who can and will forgive anyone of their sins if He did it for me!
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 13, 2022 – Psalm 81:7 – thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee
”Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.”
The Israelites were people chosen by God to bear His name in the earth. God allowed them to build immense success, and when they went to Egypt, they became just as successful as they were at home. When the new Pharoah, who didn’t know Joseph, began to enslave the Israelites, they cried out to the Lord and He sent them Moses, who God chose to deliver them from their Egyptian captors. When in the wilderness, they were fed, clothed, warmed, cooled, and the presence of God went with them, leading them into their land of promise. No matter what they went through, when they cried out to the Lord, He answered and responded to their need. He is the same God today, willing to answer our calls for help, for deliverance, for healing, for provision, but will we call out to Him in our trouble? Today, we will look at Psalm 81:7, a call from trouble and an answer from the Lord.
”Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.”
The word ”calledst” means ”to accost a person, to address by name, or to cry out unto”. The word ”trouble” means ”tightness, adversity, affliction, anguish, or distress.” In Exodus 2:23-25, the Bible says, ”And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” Israel experienced great blessing while in Egypt, but began to experience affliction in the form of bondage. In their deepest anguish, they cried out to God, and He heard them. Never think for a second that God doesn’t hear His children, and won’t answer us when we call.
In Exodus 3:7, the Bible says, ”And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows;”. We have a God that not only hears us, but looks into our distress, and becomes acquainted with our sorrows. Our God puts Himself in our shoes in order to meet our need! Where does this sound familiar? In Hebrews 4:15-16, the Bible says, ”For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We have Christ, who walked in our shoes but overcame the world without sin, so we can come to Him in confidence, knowing He will help us.
The word ”delivered” means ”to prepare, to strengthen, to fortify, to equip for war”. Sometimes, God isn’t going to ”snatch us away” from our anguish, but will empower us in the face of it. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Bible says, ”And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” In weakness, affliction, anguish, or distress, God will not only rescue us, but He will empower us as well. In Psalm 50:15, the Bible says, ”And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” When God delivers us, He will get the glory for our deliverance, just as the word of the Israelites’ deliverance from Egypt spread.
The word ”answered” means ”to eye, heed or pay attention to in order to respond”. In Exodus 19:16, the Bible says, ”And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” In Exodus 19:19, the Bible says, ”And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.” These verses paint a clear picture that God spoke to the Israelites through thunder and trumpets. His voice came through what He created.
The word ”proved” means ”to test, examine, investigate or refine”. In Exodus 17:6-7, the Bible says, ”Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?” God showed His faithfulness to answer us by causing water to flow from a rock to provide for His children, and answer their cries. What won’t God do for us, the redeemed of the Lord, the bodies that house His Spirit?
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 14, 2022 – Psalm 80:3 – turn us again, O God
”Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”
Repentance is so vital to our salvation, but it is also vital for our sanctification. To turn from living according to the world, we had to turn our backs on our former life and turn our face to the Lord. When we sin against God in our saved lives, it is as if we are turning our backs to the Lord and turning our face to sin that we desire more. I have been in both situations, living according to the world, and sinning against God even when I was saved. However God who us rich in mercy, heard my cry for forgiveness and He not only forgave me, but He restored me as well. A restoration is where you bring something from its former or normal condition by altering, rebuilding, or repairing it. Sometimes, there are things that have to be cut from us, things that would spread that will aim to place us in the same situation of sin again. God does whatever it takes to restore us unto Himself, but repentance is a requirement. If we don’t turn to Him, we can’t expect Him to turn to us. Today, we will look at Psalm 80:3, restoration by repentance.
”Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”
The phrase ”turn us again” means ”to repent, restore, re-establish, or return to our starting point. Well, what was our starting point? In Genesis 1:27-28, the Bible says, ”So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Our starting point is our creation, when God created us in His image and likeness, and commanded us to be fruitful, multiply, and have dominion over every living thing in the earth.
How God is in heaven is how we should be in the earth, according to His plan for us at creation. Think not? In 1 John 4:17, the Bible says, ”Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as HE IS, SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.” Our starting point was living in the image and likeness of God, projecting His authority in the earth.
The fall and the sinful life of mankind threatens to separate us from God’s intended design for us. Sin always separates us from the presence of God, but in Romans 8:38-39, the Bible says, ”For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” God will remove Himself from us because of our sin, but He will never remove His love. In Psalm 60:1-2, the Bible says, ”God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again. Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.” God removes Himself from the sin in our lives, not to abandon us, but so we can feel the void from the lack of His presence, so we feel Godly sorrow and cry out to Him for forgiveness and healing. In 2 Corinthians 7:10, the Bible says, ”For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” When we sin against God, we turn our backs to Him, so God turns His face from us. That separation should cause the godly sorrow, and that should ultimately begin the restoration process in us.
The phrase ”cause thy face to shine” implies that God is bringing us back into His favor, acceptance and good graces. In Numbers 6:24-26, the Bible says, ”The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” When God turns back to us, He face shines upon us, and we once again are allowed to experience His presence unrestricted. In Lamentations 5:21, the Bible says, ”Turn thou us unto thee, O LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old.” We are renewed when God turns His face to us, and He makes it how it used to be between us.
The word ”saved” means ”delivered, helped, or rescued”. In John 3:16, the Bible says, ”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Even despite the sinful lives we live that threaten our fellowship with God, He gives us access to salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. In Ephesians 2:8, the Bible says, ”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” When God turns His face to us, causing it to shine upon us, we have salvation through faith, given by the grace of God. God is always ready to restore His children unto Himself, but are we ready to repent?
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 15, 2022 – 1 Peter 1:15 – be ye holy in all manner of conversation
”But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation”
1 Peter 1:15
As believers, it is crucial to our faith and our witness that we live according to the Word of God. In the Word of God we have life, power, peace, and holiness, which God does not withhold from His children. As bearers of His image and likeness, we must live lives of holiness that reflect the awesome God we serve. When people see the Church, they must see the body of Christ, the power of God, the fellowship in love, and be able to make the connection between how we live and who we say we are. Our God is a holy God and in His Word lies the road map for us to live holy lives in Him. The world teaches that we can live by our own truth, that we can do what we want even if it violates the will of God, but we know better! Our will should be to do the will of the Father, which is the same will Christ had when He lived on earth. Holiness should be what we long for. Today, we will look at 1 Peter 1:15, a holy God commanding holiness from us.
”But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation”
The word ”called” means ”to bid, to invite to come near”. In Romans 8:30, the Bible says, ”Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” God knew those He would call long before we were here, and God clearly stands by His choice. We are not believers by accident, or by chance, but because God chose us and called us. In John 10:3, Christ says, ”To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.” God calls His own sheep by name, so that further establishes that He knew us before we were called. When the Lord God calls us, He will lead us into the place He ordained for us. In Psalm 23:3, the Bible says, ”He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” God leads us in righteousness, showing us how to walk this narrow path. God doesn’t give us commands without a way to perform the things he asks and expects from us.
In 2 Peter 1:3, the Bible says, ”According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue”. God desires for His children to succeed in everything He sets before us, and He positions us for that success. It is our job to receive what He has given us and use what He has bestowed upon us. As the ‘called’ of the Lord, we inherit promises, power and abilities that we wouldn’t otherwise have, in order to fulfill His will for our lives.
The word ”holy” means ”hallowed, sacred, blameless, pure, or clean, worthy of reverence or veneration”. Our God is a holy God, above all reproach, and He deserves all honor, glory and praise. In Isaiah 6:3, the Bible says, ”And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” Do we praise God for being holy, who has given us the pathway to holiness, and the opportunity to live as children of the kingdom? The word ”holy” as it pertains to us means the same thing, but it is spoken of those who are purified and sanctified by the influences of the Holy Spirit.
In Luke 1:74-75, the Bible says, ”That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.” God delivers us from the hands and power of the enemy, not for the sake of our salvation, but so that we can live in holiness for the rest of our lives. In 2 Corinthians 7:1, the Bible says, ”Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” Being delivered by the Lord should make us desire to shed the filthiness of sin from our lives and live our lives in reverence and thankfulness to God.
The word ”conversation” means ”behavior”. In 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4, the Bible says, ”For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour”. Our behavior should reflect holiness from the inside out, and we should be bold in our desire to abstain from lust and sin. In 1 Thessalonians 4:1, the Bible says, ”Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” If we focus on holiness, walking in the Word of God, living lives pleasing to Him, then we don’t need to be focused on doing wrong. When our minds are trained on the Lord, then that pushes the enemy and his influences out of our lives. God is holy and He commands us to live holy lives because He has given us the holiness we need already.
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 16, 2022 – Romans 3:25 – whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood
”Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God”
God has an unexplainable, immeasurable love for us, a love that has been shown in the most extraordinary way. He sent Christ to earth to die for the sins of the world, knowing full well that some were not going to accept His gift, despite the enormous sacrifice for our sin. God also sent Christ to be the atoning sacrifice for sin while we were still sinners. God didn’t wait for us to get ourselves together, or change first to then receive His gift. He made His gift available, knowing that it is only by His gift, by this beautiful sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that we can stand before the Lord God as children of the Most-High God. If only we knew how to love and sacrifice on this level! Today, we will look at Romans 3:25, a worthy propitiation for our sin, Jesus Christ.
”Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God”
The phrase ”hath set forth” means ”to be displayed as, to exhibit, or to purpose as”. The word ”propitiation” means ”an atoning victim, carrying the idea of appeasement of satisfaction”. In John 3:16-17, the Bible says, ”For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” The purpose for Christ being set forth as a propitiation, was because God’s love for us overwhelmed His desire for condemnation. In Isaiah 53:11, the Bible says, ”He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Our propitiation for sin embodied the righteousness we could never attain on our own, and Christ lived in full holiness and righteousness while on earth, without sin.
The Scripture above says that Christ’s sacrifice will ”justify many”, so that means that some won’t meet the condition of John 3:16, ”whosoever believeth in him”. Imagine possessing a gift we never open, thus never access. How smart would that be?
The word ”faith” means ”firm persuasion, confidence, assurance of Gospel truth itself.” The word ”blood” speaks of the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross. In Leviticus 16:15-16, the Bible says, ”Then shall he kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the vail, and do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat: And he shall make an atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions in all their sins: and so shall he do for the tabernacle of the congregation, that remaineth among them in the midst of their uncleanness.” In the Old Testament, under the Mosaic Law, atonement had to be made by the blood shed by the sacrifice, and its blood being sprinkled on the mercy seat. This atonement would cleanse people from their transgressions, but it only had power to roll back the penalty until the next atonement sacrifice was made. In Hebrews 7:27, the Bible says, ”Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” Christ was the atoning sacrifice, but He only had to do it once and for all!
In 1 John 2:2, the Bible says, ”And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” His sacrifice covered us all, but we can only access this salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.
The phrase ”declare his righteousness” implies that God made the power of His justification evident when He sent Christ to be the atoning sacrifice of sin. ”The word ”remission” means ”to pardon, remove guilt or not punish”. The word ”sins” means ”offenses, trespasses, or transgressions before God”. In Hebrews 9:21-22, the Bible says, ”Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.’‘ The blood remitted our sins, and pardoned our offenses before God. Our great conduct in the Lord is awesome, but without the blood of Jesus Christ, we have nothing but condemnation ahead. The word ”forebearance” means ”patience or restraint”. In 2 Peter 3:9, the Bible says, ”The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” God is patience in His love, giving us time to accept His gift. God would love for us all to partake in His atonement. What are we waiting for?
Marshall & Jessica
Sept 17, 2022 – Romans 3:28 – a man is justified by faith
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
I remember trying to do right in my life to make my life better, to stop getting into trouble, only to find myself in trouble yet again. What I was doing was trying to get where I felt God wanted me to be by walking on a tiled floor, trying not to step on any cracks. To be honest, that was more of a prison than the one I am housed in! I was trying to be my own righteousness, trying to please God and others on my own efforts, but I found myself in a maze of disappointment, frustrated that I couldn’t do it. When I committed my life to the Lord, I realized that my efforts at obtaining my own righteousness were terribly wrong, because righteousness only comes by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and we are justified before God by that faith. I realized after salvation, that it is not about trying not to step on cracks, but about developing a living, powerful, faith-filled relationship with our Lord, where He sanctifies us with His truth. Today, we will look at Romans 3:28, justification by faith in Jesus Christ.
”Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
When the word ”therefore” is used, it is to sum up a point. This means that we must go back in the text to extract the point being referenced. In Romans 3:21-23, the Bible says, ”But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”. We have all inherited and accumulated a sin debt that we were unable to pay back, but God offered His righteousness to us if we would just place our faith in Jesus Christ and believe in His finished work. This isn’t something He still has to do, because He already died, was buried and rose again in resurrection power, where He is seated at the right hand of the Father. This truth is manifested to us, but it is up to us to believe in Christ. God won’t do that for us.
The word ”conclude” means ”to take inventory, estimate, or reason”. God has provided us with all the information we need in order to reason that Christ is the only way to justification before God. In John 6:44, Christ says, ”No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” We can’t do it on our own. Even us being led to Christ was done by God.
The word ”man” is speaking about mankind, not just males. The word ”justified” means ”to render or declare innocent, to absolve or acquit, to clear from any charge or imputation.” In Acts 13:38-39, the Bible says, ”Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” It is by Christ that we receive the forgiveness of sins, and the justification we need to stand before God as His children. When God forgives, it is similar to us being guilty, but through the blood of Jesus Christ, we are declared innocent instead. God who, has made Christ the Mediator of this new covenant, is the only one who can absolve us from our sin and guilt.
In Hebrews 8:6-7, the Bible says, ”But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.” The Law could not justify us, nor could it give us salvation for our souls. The Law couldn’t give us eternal life, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or power to operate in the Earth with the same power Christ did.
The word ”faith” means ”confidence, assurance, or reliance upon Christ’s death for salvation”. The phrase ”deeds of the Law” speaks of the works of the Mosaic Law. We can’t be justified with the Mosaic Law. In Ephesians 2:8-9, the Bible says, ”For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” One reason doing the works of the Law couldn’t justify us before God is because we would be able to take the credit and glory for ourselves, giving none to God. In Galatians 3:10-11, the Bible says, ”For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” The people who try to find justification by the Law are under a curse, because there is nothing they can do to fulfill the Law. The ones who live by faith in the finished work of Christ shall live!
Marshall & Jessica
Sep 18 to Oct 2, 2022 – Psalm 91 Series