...verse by verse...
My

 A verse by verse devotional through the books of grace given to Paul through Jesus! 
Romans -Philemon
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   or if these devotions minister to you!
 
We are praying for 50 people to give $50.00 a month to help financially and
help scholarship those that come for counseling, but can not afford to give.
Please pray about how you can help scholarship someone!  
 
 
 
10/18/2018 A Harvest of Life!!!

Gal 6:6  Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8 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. 9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
 
Sowing and Reaping, two words used by farmers! To sow means to work, plow and spread seed! It means to put effort into the ground and make it able to receive the seed! We too must work and put effort into our minds and hearts! Now that effort and work is not "just" to "do" something to "get" something in return! That would be like a farmer who has nothing but financial gain in mind, regardless of how it may hurt or destroy the land, family or world! No, it should be about protecting the land or thinking of how it feeds people around the world and even his own family! There is a heart difference!
 
Now Reaping means to receive or benefit from the seed or harvest! It means to actually cut and by cutting you receive the seed for food! It is getting the pay back, if you will, for your labor! So when you so you get the fruit or pay back for your sowing!
 
When we sow, the heart must be able to receive, or in other words be humbled to God! Humbleness is the softness and teachable part of the heart! So many Christians are not teachable! They are not able to receive from others well, they still have a hard ground that needs plowed! Now many may say I don't need to learn from people "I have God, Jesus and the Word"!! While that is true, sadly you are NOT listening to God, Jesus or the Word, and it shows! So the BODY is there so you will learn also! IF you can't learn from someone you can not see, how will you ever learn from someone you CAN'T SEE!!!! Namely GOD!!!
 
Now sowing to the Spirit, is what we are called to do, so that we will reap LIFE! Christ Life! and Christ life  is "good" righteous and shows all the fruit of the spirit! Mainly God's LOVE! And that love ministers to others as well as allows others minister to them! It will look like a humble, teachable heart!
 
Do you have a teachable, humble heart or are you still telling everyone that you know everything and in control of everything?
 
Sow to the spirit and reap life and Sow to the Word and reap truth, today!
 
in love,
Howard 

10/17/2018 Restore, Bear and Prove!

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
 
Now Paul gives us 3 encouraging words here in these verses!
 
1. RESTORE- We are to HELP others if possible and I liken this to counseling someone. When we live in sin and dominates our thinking, our lives generally in some way will spend out of control! That is when people usually come for counseling! So then I get the privalage of restoring some one or a couple back to and in Christ! Always remember that whether it is me counseling or you helping someone else it is not just to fix their issue or marriage or get them to "feel" good about themselves BUT about restoring them and exhorting them to Christ! I don't care if a person has their marriage restored or their lives in order and don't know Christ! A dead person is still dead even if issues are fixed or they have their lives in order or not!!!  Christian counseling and restoring is not self help or self esteem building it is about Christ and their relationship in Him!! So as you minister to others and try to help and restore them, remember to always have in mind  restoring them to Christ! If you do NOT you may do more harm to the cause of Christ!
 
2. BEAR- We are to bear or hold up each other when the Body of Christ is hurting! Bear means to support each other as a foundation bears the weight of the building above it!! Now every person at sometime will feel weak in faith or even just need physical or financial help to some extent, and the Body is to minister to it! This is why going to some fellowship is so important! I do not agree with some teachers who say if you don't have a church that believes the same as you to not go at all! We are to go, perhaps you may teach them something new or different, or even just minister to them, but go! If your thinking is different than theirs do your study at home, but go and minister to them at sometime during the week! Now I am not saying that your ministry needs to be to only to those in your church or "A" denominational church either, because the church is not a building but people.... so don't just sit at home studying and griping about how every church is wrong and do nothing! 
 
We are to edify, encourage, and exhort each other constantly! We may need to rebuke, teach and correct each other!  YET the one thing we all are to do is
 
3. PROVE- In other words be responsible for your self! While we are to restore and bear with the Body and each other, we are NOT to be irresponsible and not mature or grow in faith! Each of us needs to grow to the point of giving back and ministering to the church in some way! We need to take responsibility for or own actions, behaviors and sin! If you can't do that than you are still immature and like a child who is always defending their actions! NO the Body needs to grow up and prove it is mature in Christ! We can not depend on others or claim someone else's salvation or maturity for our own!  
 
We are not to live as if we are totally dependent on the body forever,  but rather we are too
be independent of the world and sin....interdependent with the each other, and
TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON CHRIST!!!!
 
in love and grace,
Howard 
 
   
 

10/17/2018 Restore, Bear and Prove!

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
 
Now Paul gives us 3 commands here in these verses!
 
1. RESTORE- We are to HELP others if possiable! I liken this to counseling someone. When we live in sin and dominates our thinking, our lives generally in some way will spend out of control! That is when people usually come for counseling! So then I get the privalage of restoring some one  or a couple back to in Christ! Always remember that whether it is me counseling or you helping someone else it is not just to fix their marriage or get them to "feel" good about themselves BUT about restoring them and exhorting them to Christ!  I
I don't care if a person  is lost and they get their marriage or lives in order and don't know Christ! A dead person is still dead even if issues are fixed or they have their lives in order or not!!!  Christian counseling and restoring is not self help or self esteem building it is about Christ and their relationship in Him!! So as you minister to others and try to help and restore them, remember to always have in mind  restoring them Christ! If you do not you may do more harm to the cause of Christ!
 
2. BEAR- We are to bear or hold up each other when the Body of Christ is hurting! Bear means to support each other as a foundation bears the weight of the building above it!! Now every person at sometime will feel weak in faith or even just need physical or financial help to some extent, and the Body is to minister to it! This is why going to some fellowship is so important! I do not agree with some teachers who say if you don't have a church that believes the same as you to not go at all! We are to go, perhaps you may teach them something new or different, or even just minister to them, but go! If your thinking is different than theirs do your study at home, but go and minister to them at sometime during the week! Now I am not saying that your ministry needs to be to only to those in your church or even "A" church, or denominational either, because the church is not a building but the people.... so don't just sit at home studying and griping about how every church is wrong and do nothing! 
 
We are to edify, encourage, and exhort each other constantly! We may need to rebuke, teach and correct each other!  YET the one thing we all are to do is
 
3. PROVE- In other words be responsible for your self! While we are to restore and bear with the Body and each other, we are NOT to be irresponsible and not mature or grow in faith! Each of us needs to grow to the point of giving back and ministering to the church in some way! We need to take responsibility for or own actions, behaviors and sin! If you can't do that than you are still immature and like a child who is always defending their actions! NO the Body needs to grow up and prove it is mature in Christ! We can not depend on others or claim someone else's salvation or maturity for our own!
 
We are not to live as if we are totally dependent on the body forever,  but rather we are too be independent of the world and sin....interdependent with the each other, and TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON CHRIST!!!!
 
in love and grace,
Howard 
 
While we are to   
 

10/17/2018 Restore, Bear and Prove!

Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. 4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
 
Now Paul gives us 3 commands here in these verses!
 
1. RESTORE- We are to HELP others if possiable! I liken this to counseling someone. When we live in sin and dominates our thinking, our lives generally in some way will spend out of control! That is when people usually come for counseling! So then I get the privalage of restoring some one  or a couple back to in Christ! Always remember that whether it is me counseling or you helping someone else it is not just to fix their marriage or get them to "feel" good about themselves BUT about restoring them and exhorting them to Christ!  I
I don't care if a person  is lost and they get their marriage or lives in order and don't know Christ! A dead person is still dead even if issues are fixed or they have their lives in order or not!!!  Christian counseling and restoring is not self help or self esteem building it is about Christ and their relationship in Him!! So as you minister to others and try to help and restore them, remember to always have in mind  restoring them Christ! If you do not you may do more harm to the cause of Christ!
 
2. BEAR- We are to bear or hold up each other when the Body of Christ is hurting! Bear means to support each other as a foundation bears the weight of the building above it!! Now every person at sometime will feel weak in faith or even just need physical or financial help to some extent, and the Body is to minister to it! This is why going to some fellowship is so important! I do not agree with some teachers who say if you don't have a church that believes the same as you to not go at all! We are to go, perhaps you may teach them something new or different, or even just minister to them, but go! If your thinking is different than theirs do your study at home, but go and minister to them at sometime during the week! Now I am not saying that your ministry needs to be to only to those in your church or even "A" church, or denominational either, because the church is not a building but the people.... so don't just sit at home studying and griping about how every church is wrong and do nothing! 
 
We are to edify, encourage, and exhort each other constantly! We may need to rebuke, teach and correct each other!  YET the one thing we all are to do is
 
3. PROVE- In other words be responsible for your self! While we are to restore and bear with the Body and each other, we are NOT to be irresponsible and not mature or grow in faith! Each of us needs to grow to the point of giving back and ministering to the church in some way! We need to take responsibility for or own actions, behaviors and sin! If you can't do that than you are still immature and like a child who is always defending their actions! NO the Body needs to grow up and prove it is mature in Christ! We can not depend on others or claim someone else's salvation or maturity for our own!
 
We are not to live as if we are totally dependent on the body forever,  but rather we are too be independent of the world and sin....interdependent with the each other, and TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON CHRIST!!!!
 
in love and grace,
Howard 
 
While we are to   
 

10/16/2018 If you want to be healthy...!

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
 
 
It is interesting that the word fruit is singular, not fruits but fruit!! In other words The fruit of the Spirit is "love"! So love produces joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: AND TO ADD... against such there is no law. The Law of Love is in the Spirit of God because GOD IS LOVE!!!
 
Fruit is the by product of the Spirit! We can not make fruit the fruit come as we depend on the Spirit! Mentally renewing our minds with what the Word says and Resting in Christ, by faith, creates this fruit! Have you ever heard or seen a fruit tree scream, as the fruit comes out!!! Of course not, fruit simply comes out of it! Don't try to "be" peaceful, or "be" joyful, just rest in God's love, and that will come automatically! 
 
This is why I say all the time the answer to every problem is God's love! Knowing, understanding, renewing , resting, feeling, dwelling, putting-on, walking in....... God's love!!!! As we receive Love from God we in turn  will have Joy, peace........ and than GIVE love to others!  Believe it or not Love actually brings temperance, (self discipline) into our lives!
 
Since we LIVE IN the Spirit, we might as well WALK IN the Spirit! So EAT of this fruit, and be healthy! Be healthy Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally by Receiving, Renewing and Resting in GOD'S LOVE!
 
in love,
Howard 

10/15/2018 Are you a Lover of pleasure, or a LOVER OF GOD!

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
 
Now the word flesh here means sin, natural, earthy, the sinful part of man! It means when we see these things in our lives or in anyone's life, that we know what sin looks like!
 
Now it MUST BE said that just because you can not see sin, does not mean that there is not sin going on! A example is that a unbeliever is "IN" sin whether he does anything or not!  Now another example might be for a believer that has a fantasy or some thought, you may not see it but it does not mean it is not sin, to him! Now also I might add that this is a very, very, very short list of fleshly sin, there are many more, such as in
 
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. ...(aka homosexuality)
29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
 
AND  
 
2 Ti 3:1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
 
AND AGAIN I SAY, STILL A SHORT LIST!!
 
Now notice that in Romans 1:31 that it uses "... Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:..."! These are things like undiscerning, unloving, unforgiving, untrustworthy  and unfaithful! These are sins too that you may not see as evident  but do need discernment to bring to light!
 
Also notice in verse 32 that it is not just those who do these particular things but those who are ok with, and/or have pleasure, allowing others to do these things! Now this is much bigger than one might think! For instance the modern day church has embraced the homosexual agenda to some extent, and thus has done exactly what verse 32 says! Let me clearer IF you or any other believer, church or organization believe that homosexuality is Ok for today than YOU ARE IN SIN TOO!!!!, and are in the same boat as they who are homosexuals!!!!!  So let this either be a encouragement or a warning!!!!!
 
I also want to add that like in 2 Timothy passages that many of the sins that are listed are mental or emotional and again not to be seen as easily as some sins but they too need discernment and understanding for they will lead too more or still as a self centered, lover of self rather than a LOVER OF GOD!
 
Seeing our sin, being hard on ourselves and making sin bigger to some degree than perhaps we do now, is what we need to do.... SO THAT WE CAN know, grasp and sense GOD'S GRACE EVEN MORE!! GOD'S  GRACE is GREATER than our sin, but we need to see, acknowledge and be truthful with ourselves!
Dear Saint learn to be much more discerning of your own attitudes, motivations and flesh, as well as others and  at the same time always remember, to renew your mind, and walk and stand in "who you are in Christ"  for your identity is in Him!!!   
 
as always, in love,
Howard 
 

10/12/2018 Walk by the Spirit!

Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
 
The flesh and Spirit are contrary, or total opposites! One is death , the other Life! One has victory the other is failure! One has peace the other strife! One has freedom the other bondage! One is self centered and focus the other is Godly and Christ centered! 
 
Now the word repent means "to have a change of mind", so walking by the spirit is the same as repentance and the word Renewing!!! Meaning, I decide and choose to walk by the spirit I automatically am not walking by the flesh! It is like turning from left to "right",  from flesh to spirit! Self to Christ! Flesh to Faith! Another way of saying the same thing, is like it says in Col 3:8,  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. ... 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: ... 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; ... 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
PUT-OFF, PUT-ON! ....."Oh I did sin, Oh I did walk after the flesh, Ok I have a changed mind and I will walk after the Spirit, and then I will continue to walk after, put-on, Renew my mind after the Spirit""!
 
Now the Spirit and the Word are one, so what does the Word say..."I am a child of God, deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven!!!! "I am saved, safe, sealed and secure in Christ"! "I am redeemed, reconciled and righteous in Christ"! "I AM "NEW" and complete and whole in Christ"! "I AM........."!  
 
So many Christians try to NOT walk after the flesh! They try hard to not sin, but they are focused on "not" sinning and therefore end up walking by the flesh and sinning anyway!  AND sadly they end up even more miserable! The Christian life is not about NOT sinning but about Christ! Allowing Christ to live and work through us! Our job per say is to walk after the spirit just as we already LIVE in the Spirit! Staying connected mentally on what is true Spiritually in us already! 
 
SO don't focus on not sinning focus on Christ and receive God's love over and over and over and over.....after all, YOU are dear Saint,  "In Christ, and a child of God who is deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven"!!! 
 
in Christ,
Howard 
 

10/11/2018 Faith, freedom and love!

Gal 5:7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be. 11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision, why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offence of the cross ceased. 12 I would they were even cut off which trouble you. 13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
 
When walking by faith there is always action! Paul is saying here that because the church has not walking by faith there is therefore no obedience to the truth that is in Christ! True faith produces obedience and that obedience produces freedom and that freedom produces a love for others!! 
 
God is love and as we come to Him through Christ and by faith we begin to make righteous choices!
 
For instance if you are not married and living with someone in a romantic relationship....than as you grow in  faith you will either get married or move away and separate, that is obedience to Christ based on God's love for you and faith in Jesus! You do not need the other persons affection, acceptance or appreciation any longer! You do not need to LUST for LOVE, because you are loved in Christ!! Be faithful to Christ first and then be obedient, and this applies in all situations! Now as I said before that may mean separating in some form until they repent and/or desire the same values that Christ has and you want in Christ!
 
Because God is Love, Love is ALWAYS RIGHTEOUS!!! LOVE says I want what God wants for this person! I want what God wants for this church and one another! I want what God's desires for my spouse! 
 
True Love in Christ ALWAYS produces FREEDOM! Renew your mind until you have freedom mentally, emotionally and physically! Your body needs to be sanctified as your spirit and mind does also! This why the Word of God says your body is a temple, which holds God! Would you share God with a harlot, No!!!, So don't do it in a UNrighteous relationship either! OR in any other way that is not obedient to God's standard!
 
Understanding God's LOVE for you, by FAITH, always produces FREEDOM and that FREEDOM produces Love for others! Dwell on God's love for you, and allow that love to give you freedom in all 7 areas of life, and than Give that love to others!!!
 
in God's love,
Howard 
 
 

10/10/2018 Free Indeed!

Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
 
If one was to be circumcised he would then be under the whole law, in fact here in these verses circumcision means law! So while it may seem like a one time event of being circumcised it is actually a way of coming under the Levitical law and old covenant! Paul is saying then if you come under the Law than you are responsible to the WHOLE LAW! That means that you would need to do all the laws and sacrifices in order to be cleansed and faithful, and by the only to fail and do it again and again!!! It also means and much more important that you would have denied Christ and Christ work at the cross for you! Christ died so that we may have that salvation free and without works!   Paul says if you want to be justified by the law you have fallen from grace which again is to deny Christ works!
 
We need to take a STAND and STAND in CHRIST, IN GRACE and live in the FREEDOM that we have in Him! We need to receive what He has done and be content, resting in His finished work on the cross! No other need for anything more to be done as far as salvation, no works or sacrifices to be done or for us to strive to be made right unto God!
 
As you make a purpose effort in mind to STAND, you will begin to STAND and have more confidence and security in Christ! You might say to yourself, "I am free in Christ, and I will not bow down and allow others, work or my performance unto some law to control me any more"!!! 
"I AM FREE, INDEED"!!!
 
in Christ love,
Howard 

10/9/2018 Freedom in Christ, alone!

Gal 4:21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
 
Oh my dear friends, if we could get this down into out hearts and minds! Only are we free when we understand and STAND in God's grace, by faith!
 
I like how Paul says "...do ye not hear the law"? He can't believe that any one would want to be back under the bondage of the Law! YET so many of them did AND so many do now!!
 
Many think....If I could just "do" and "perform" and "be good enough" than I can feel good about myself!!! I could say "YES" I DID IT"!!!
only too fail again and again and again and again and.......... ...!!!!!
 
As we will see in chapter 5 how the flesh and spirit battle! Here we see on a bigger scale, a doctrinal scale, a battle goes on! Two covenants given, One of a fleshly law and commandments to follow, work oriented and controlled leading to bondage..........
 
the other a Spirit driven, love motivated and given by grace....,
accepted by faith and made faithful in Christ! Redeemed, Reconciled, and Righteous in Christ unto God! Deeply Loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven by God through Christ! ALL through Christ and made "New, Holy and Complete" therefore totally and completely FREE IN SPIRIT, IN CHRIST!
 
Let us learn the freedom we have by faith not law, by grace not works! Let us desire and receive and know that great love that God has shown through Jesus Christ and HIS WORKS!
 
FREE AT LAST, FREE AT LAST,
THANK GOD ALMIGHTY I AM FREE AT LAST!!! 
 
in God's love,
Howard 
 
 
 

10/8/2018 Christ be formed in you!

Gal 4:13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. 14 And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. 16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? 17 They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. 18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. 19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, 20 I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.
 
Have you ever seen a movie and you thought WOW what a great movie, and than you ran and told every body you knew about it! You were excited because this show was so good, you just had to tell every one!!!!
 
Well Paul is saying to the church and us, God's grace and love has been shown through Christ and it has been so good and you saw it and in return you blessed me (Paul) with that same love and kindness! WHY on earth would you leave that and go back to those who only want you to serve them by the law, works and take financially from you! They covet you, they don't love you, because there is no freedom in serving the law or them!!!  
 
Paul says I tell you the truth! What is Paul gaining from them, nothing! IF any thing he is getting shunned , beaten, and treated bad for loving them and sharing Christ! Paul does not want to rule them, but he does want them to follow him as he follows Christ! He wants Christ to be formed in them as he wants Christ to be formed in us!
 
Now what does that mean to have "Christ formed" in us? When we become believers, the Holy Spirit comes and lives in our spirit and we are made "NEW" ! We are alive spiritually, and we live "IN CHRIST" and Christ in us! So spiritually speaking Christ lives in us, but we also need to depend on Him in our Soul! Our Soul is our mind, will and emotional part of us!
IN Hebrews 4:12  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.
 
You see our spirit and soul are separated and that is good because the spirit stays the same, regardless of our soul! Regardless of our thinking which could be sin! We are totally sanctified, meaning set apart in God's Spirit forever! Now our thinking needs to mature and grow in what is "NEW" and HOLY and RIGHTEOUS in our Spirit! Our mind needs to be renewed and receive constantly God's love, acceptance and forgiveness!  Our "thinken is stinken", from our past and flesh so it needs to be changed constantly! The word "repent" means " to change ones mind or a change of mind and thinking"! So Christ is formed and maturity comes through repentance, a constant change of our fleshly thinking to a Spiritual thinking in Christ! From flesh to Faith, from wrong to right in Christ, from independent to dependent on Christ and God's love for us! From striving to resting in Christ works! As we do this we see Christ being "formed" in us, in our Soul and therefore out our body too!
As 1Th 5:23 "SAYS"...  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
So remember these 3 R's Repent, Renew and Rest in Christ and let Christ be formed in you daily!!!!
 
May God's love grow in you today,
Howard 

10/5/2018 Weak and beggarly, brings bondage!

Gal 4:8  Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. 12 Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.
 
No one likes to waste time on others! We all tend to hope that if we share life, wisdom and material things with others that they would hear, act and use wisely! Paul felt the same way! Had he poured his life and sacrificed so much for the church and they not received it and wasted it?
 
They still struggled with idols and following the weak and beggarly things that are fleshly! They wanted to see, feel and touch!!!
 
Funny we still have that same problem in the church today! So many want to see a miracle, or be healed or speak in some tongue! They want to see God's manifestation in some way! They want to act, dress and be like Israel! They want to act or look spiritual, instead of realizing WE ARE spiritual! They want to remember all Israel's feast and do them as if they are of great importance for us today! They can see and try to follow the Law, in order to be "right" and good and closer to God! They want to go to the holy land so they can be closer to God, instead of realizing that You can not get closer to God, for He is in you! They want a feeling or a experience instead of a relationship! They want, they WANT, THEY WANT.....!!!
 
NEVER RELIZING THAT GOD HAS DONE EVERYTHING ALREADY THROUGH CHRIST! We will always seek more if we walk by our flesh, for the flesh is never content! And therefore we will live in bondage to our flesh, In bondage to wanting to see, feel and touch more! The church is hurting because we often preach, teach and encourage more from Israel's prophecy program than we do from Christ's mystery program given to Paul for us today!  ONE IS BY FAITH, the other by sight!!! One keeps you in bondage the other in spiritual and mental freedom!! Rest in what God has already done dear saint and be completely content in Christ! Don't turn to the weak and beggarly for they just bring bondage!!! 
 
freedom in faith,
Howard 
 
 
 

10/4/2018 The church is fully mature by faith and so are you!

Gal 4:1- Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
 
Oh how I love Galatians!!! Here Paul is using a great way of saying, that Israel had the law, the ordinances,  and that through them the knowledge of God for the whole world!  Now gentiles were to listen to Israel and become followers and therefore they could be saved! We were ALL condemned by law! And the law was a tutor to lead and teach Israel and the world about God! The law condemned us so the tutor leads us to Christ! The law also was to restrain us just as rules and boundaries restrain and control a child! Children need boundaries and discipline! Those of the church today who want to follow the law in order to be saved or "good" enough, are really immature believers!! They need to be shown in black and white.... and hold the Law's hand in order to not sin and therefore are always working to be good enough! Christians who walk by the Law, and there flesh, are children and need milk instead of meat! As it says in 
Hebrews 5:11  Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
THEY cannot discern good and evil! Right from wrong! Righteous from Unrighteous! Now while these verses in Hebrews are written to Hebrews for the end times we can get some principles from them! It goes on to say in 
Hebrews 6:1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
NOTICE  it says "...not laying again the foundation...", the first foundation to be saved is to repent (meaning to have a change of mind, from a sinner to faith in Christ and God...), and then after being saved we continue to mature by having that same "change of mind", repenting and renewing our mind with the word of "WHO" Christ is and "WHAT" Christ has done on the cross, and "WHO I AM IN CHRIST"! We mature by repenting, renewing and resting in Christ by faith!!!
 
Now Christ came first, born through Mary and under the Law! Jesus was a Jew and Israel had the law! He was Israel's Messiah and was to save Israel and be their King! In turn we the world, (gentiles) would follow Israel but they killed Him and did not follow Him even after he had risen!
 
BUT GOOD NEWS!!!
He also died for us and while His cross is a source of shame to Israel, it is our redeeming cross! By faith we become His son! Now a son is a child of their parents, yes, but he also can be grown, a mature man! This is how the Body of Christ is today! The church is fully grown in the sense that it is mature by faith and in not in need of restraints, or discipline by the law in order to be Holy and righteous and function! Christ is the end of the law, IT IS FINISHED!  
Now that does not mean that we in the church today do not need teachers, pastors or counseling, to teach us to live by faith, it just means we do not need the LAW TO BE MATURE! While the law is good, it is not CHRIST!
 
by faith, in grace always,
Howard 
 
 

10/3/2018 Child of God by Faith!

Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 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. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
 
Notice in the first verse it says UNDER the LAW! When we are under something it means to be held by, or in bondage to! It can also mean to be held in subjection too, so that by being under something means that it is above and over us and is the rule for us! Now if it is the rule, that is the authority over us, then we are to "DO" it! But to "do" it means to work, labor at trying to be righteous and THAT is impossible! THAT is why Jesus came and died and conquered not only sin, but even the ability to work to be righteous is gone!
 
WHAT DO I MEAN BY ABILTIY TO WORK! 
Let me give you another thing to think about. Did you ever notice that Jesus said to Israel, if you even "THINK" hate, anger, lust...... you have sinned! You see Jesus made it even harder,... if you "think" not just "DO" sin, but think it, you sin! He did not make it easier on them but impossible!!!! This is why I laugh, but I am sad also when someone says "I don't sin" or "I don't fear"!!! COME ON MAN!! We ALL sin and fear and.......... ........!!!!
 
Now Paul says that we are no longer UNDER law but "UNDER GRACE! So while we were ALL condemned to sin by Law, we believers are saved by FAITH!  Law is our school master teaching us that we sin and are sinners! Teaching us that we need saved and a Savior! Teaching us that we are trying to live without God, and independent of God, and trying to be our own God and find significance without Him!!!! The Law is "good" for what it was intended to do but not for what it NOT intended to do!! 
 
Now FAITH is intended to bring us to Christ! FAITH is intended to bring salvation! FAITH is intended to bring Life! BY FAITH you are a  child of God! BY FAITH you are deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven! BY FAITH you are made right, righteous and reconciled to God! BY FAITH you are a saved, sealed and secure saint in Christ!!! BY FAITH, BY FAITH, BY FAITH!!!!!!
 
Now you are baptized into CHRIST, not water! You are to be identified by the spirit of God cleansing you from the inside out! You have been conformed to Christ by Christ and are now a pure, holy and sanctified saint!!! You have inherited ALL that God IS and HAS because YOU ARE A HEIR TO GOD ALMIGHTY!!!!
 
Give God the Glory and THANK HIM ALWAYS!
 
by faith,
Howard 
 
 

10/2/2018 The Promise given to those Who Beleive!

Gal 3:21  Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
 
The Law was never against the promise of salvation to a lost world, but it only condemns! The Law never give life and it shows only death! In other words It shows sin, and sin is death! So righteousness does not come from following the Law but through Jesus Christ alone!
 
Now verse 22 is a great verse to show again how off Calvinist are....22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. .." GIVEN TO THEM THAT BELEIVE...." ! Not how Calvinist teach that God chose some people and not others, but that ANY AND ALL WHO BELEIVE! A Calvinist can never be sure if they are saved because they don't know if they are one of the chosen! They don't have security in their salvation and if you don't know if your saved, you will "WORK" hard to be good enough, and the only way for a Calvinist to know is to persevere in that work till the end! THEN they will know! WOW, what a life of performance!!!! Constantly up, down, trying harder and never able to quite have rest or peace in the finished work of Christ!!! 
 
All of us struggle with our performance in life to some degree! We all fail, we all sin, but if you know that ALL that sin was taken care of on the cross and that you are safely saved in Christ than you can feel secure and rest mentally and emotionally in God's love for you! But if you are NOT secure in your salvation than you are depending on your self for salvation and in turn are self righteous!
 
Israel was like this! Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.  This is why so many Christians fail they are trying harder to be good and righteous, when it is impossible to be righteous by the law, or on our own!
 
Don' be like Israel and trying to do this in your own strength! Just submit, receive, and rest in Christ, He has done ALL the work for you!
 
as always in grace,
Howard 
 
Ps. if you don't know if your church is Calvinist than ask some one in leadership. Also most Calvinist church's will call themselves Reformed or have Reformed theology and or Sovereign Grace....!
   
 

9/28/2018 Jesus, The seed of Life!

Gal 3:15  Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
 
When you try to grow something in the ground, you dig a whole and plant a seed, and out of one seed comes lots of fruit. Paul is saying that God said "seed", not "seedS".... Paul is emphasizing that the "seed" is Christ! Christ is the "seed of Life"! And there is no life without Christ! 
 
Now if life came through the law than we should serve the law, but life does not come through the law, it was given to show sin! The law only condemns it does not give life! Only Christ saves!  Now the law was like a mediator, meaning a reconciler, if you will, between God and man! Now the mediator is not just representing one person but many, so the law showed Israel, (many), their sin and therefore they were to repent, sacrifice and worship God! They were to show their faith unto God by their works and following the law!
 
Now the law is black and white, it is written out! It says "...do not steal..." so I don't steal, but that does not mean I am turning, following or giving myself to God it just means I am doing the "LETTER OF THE LAW"!!! This is how Israel was performing! SADLY This is how many Christians live their lives! The funny yet sad thing about that, is that you will wear yourself out trying to do that! Living by the law and not by faith was designed to wear us down, until we cry out unto God by faith! We can not live by law or works , we must live by faith, in Christ, in His cross work and not ours!
 
If you feel depressed, wore out or even anxious,...and you are trying to "do" and "be" the "good" Christian..., which you CAN NOT and was NOT designed by God to "be" or "DO"!!!!! If you find yourself "feeling" that way, then repent, renew, and rest by FAITH IN CHRIST! The only one who can live the Christian life is CHRIST, so let Him... through you!
 
in grace, by faith,
Howard 
 

9/27/2018 The Just shall live by faith!

Gal 3:6  Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10 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. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
 
Paul here reiterates that one must do the whole law in order to be righteous! Now this is impossible because no one can do that, and the law only condemns man it does not save him! Lets just take the 10 commandments, for example (and there were 613+ laws).... such as "do not steal", not stealing does not say your worshipping God it means you are not a thief! Now there are 9 more of the 10, but the one that most people forget about is #1., "thou shall have no other god's before me"! Now no one can say that because when we are selfish , self centered, covet we are making ourselves like God! Genesis 3:5 says "...we shall be like gods..." "or try to be God"!!! We worship our selves! BUT even if we were to TRY and do the first commandment it still says "..thou shall have no other..." , That again is saying something in the negative form, meaning don't do or don't touch, or don't.....not "YOU SHALL BE SAVED AND HAVE LIFE! This told Israel when they were NOT worshipping God, and that they were to then repent and worship God!
 
Now these verses in Galatians says that if you operate under the law that you are under a curse! Meaning a penalty or a punishment type of covenant! Paul even says that the Law is NOT by faith, and that Christ has redeemed us from that curse, that penalty! Since we are born in sin, we need something, a sacrifice or a Savior, to pay for that curse! Christ paid the price by hanging on a tree meaning the cross! So Christ died receiving the one and only penalty needed for us!  Now we gentiles may receive the promise of salvation by faith through the Holy Spirit!
 
Again Paul tells us by faith, by FAITH, BY FAITH!!!! Walk today by faith, by receiving what God has done through Christ cross, not in your own efforts, but by FAITH!
 
in Christ by faith,
Howard 
 
 

9/26/2018 Don't be foolish!

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
 
This is a strong rebuke from Paul! He is saying "WHAT, are you crazy", "What are you doing"?? You were saved by faith why on earth would you go  back to trying to be justified by the law and works! 
 
It seems just like today, that they were trying to be "good" Christians by being "better" Christians by following the law! Today I find so many Christians reading the word trying to know more and know all about Israel and old prophecy and covenant things that they begin to be caught up in doing the law! They then begin to be immersed in it and before long their life is dictated by law and Israel tradition! One of my old friends began to listen to a rabbi's teachings on the internet and before long he was engulfed in being a Jew! His whole life was changing and he would not listen to sound grace filled words anymore! This is how easy it is if we start listening or reading old covenant, Israel and works oriented and not grounded in grace! Grounded in God's love and forgiveness! This is why you should read Paul's books over and over until Christ is formed in you! (Gal 4:19) 
 
Reading and getting a understanding is one thing but do not let it change your identity or how you are to walk by faith! You received salvation by faith and you are to put-on faith daily! Put-off that law, works thinking and Put-on Jesus! Put-on His Love, acceptance and forgiveness! You are loved and forgiven, so let that comfort you and satisfy you! You are already a Child of God through Christ, you need no other identity or need to meet any other standard! 
 
No amount of works can make your sinful flesh righteous! So remember to be refreshed daily by receiving, renewing and resting in Christ by faith and live in CHRIST VICTORY TODAY!
 
by faith only,
Howard 
 
 

9/25/2018 ...Not I, but Christ liveth in me!!

Gal 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
 
Oh Saints if there is one verse you want to understand and get it into your heart and mind is Gal. 2:20!!!! NOT I BUT CHRIST....!!! You see we have been condemned by the law as sinners and therefore in need of a Savior! Our flesh, and sin need to be dead, crucified and we are crucified to the law! Our old man in Adam is dead, that very nature is dead! Our Spirit is made alive in Christ, we are now a Living Spirit! Spiritual beings that can rest in that fact as well as let Christ live through us! Most Christians do not understand this "ECHANGED" LIFE! Christ life for mine! The just for the unjust! Christ LIVES in YOU saint!
 
"Oh how he love you, Oh how He loves me, Oh how he loves you and me"!!!! We are now free to live by faith, receive by faith, rest in faith! Salvation only comes by faith in Jesus! LIFE IS IN JESUS, His righteousness is in you, His holiness is in you, His Father is in you! You belong to Him! He gave His life to you and me so let that LIFE LIVE IN YOU, and THROUGH YOU!
 
It has often said that the Christian life is hard to live, but I disagree, its impossible.... the only one who can live the Christian life is CHRIST, so let Him live it, then and only then, is the Christian life lived and is easy!
 
only by faith, 
Howard 

9/24/2018 Justified by faith in Jesus Christ!

Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
 
Some of Paul's greatest statements are written here in this chapter I think! We are not justified by works of the law BUT BY FAITH, FAITH in JESUS and by FAITH ALONE!
 
Now it is easy to see why so many people think or want to live by the law because it seems tangible, you can see it written. It is a "doing" thing. We all want to perform in some way to be "good" enough! Yet no one can live by the law, even Jews who were brought up in law can not do it! Peter says in Acts 15:10  "...why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, (gentiles) which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear"? You see the Law was designed to condemn, and control, so that Israel could see their wrong and turn toward God! It was to show the difference to the world that a righteous God did exist and wants them to follow Him! 
 
Now the reason I encourage Christians to understand the difference in the dispensational times is because if you don't you will end up following and trying to be justified by the Law! Now a lot of Christians even pastor's will skip over Paul and go straight to The Hebrew epistles from the 4 Gospels! Now the Hebrew epistles are written to HEBREW'S!!!! To Israel for the end times! Why do I even bring that up because in the book of James, James says that they are justified by works... see how confusing it can be if you do not understand "WHAT" time frame we are in or "WHO" God is speaking too in each book and again the time frame! It is vital for your Spiritual growth to understand these divisions in the books and dispensations in order to being made right, righteous and just by FAITH and faith alone and not be put back under law!  
 
What some believers also do not understand that if you try to "build again", live under what has been destroyed you are a transgressor again! Meaning to live or try to be justified by works of the law is sin! I call this performance! It means to perform to be "good" enough! To perform a task or work to be accepted, appreciated  or approved!!! You will never be approved by God based on your "works" alone, you must believe first, and by faith receive your salvation through Jesus's death, burial and resurrection for your sins! And than continue to RECIEVE, RENEW AND REST IN THAT AND THAT ALONE!
 
So many Christians after receiving Jesus through faith than turn to or return to working, performance based life style, which will lead to a even more miserable life then before. Because you want and desire to live the Christian life but are doing it on your own! Striving to meet the highest standard there is, and that is PERFECT HOLINESS in God and we just can not do it on our own!
 
Remember Christ has justified you before God! He has made you perfect, Holy, just and righteous before God, not you! God see's only Christ IN YOU! So don't try to work to be "good" enough, but rest in the fact that you are "JUST RIGHT" IN CHRIST! 
 
for you,
Howard 

9/21/2018 Rebuked, for the truth of the gospel!

Gal 2:11  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? 15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
 
While Peter was the leader of the 12 apostles and was commissioned to go to the circumcision he also knew about and even was shown by Cornelius and in a dream that God had now cleansed by faith in Christ and that salvation by faith had come to the gentiles! Now up to this time gentiles were to still come under Israel's laws in order to be saved! Peter did not go to the gentiles as Paul did but he was to verify to the Jews that God now saves gentiles by faith through Jesus Christ! Now Jews still followed the law per say... they still went to temple and did the ordinances, but Peter was not to shun or separate from gentiles as he did here!
 
So Paul rebukes him in front of all! He rebukes him for the Truth of the gospel! I think Paul knew that if he rebuked Peter in front of all of them, that for 1. they would all get the message and 2. that if Paul would stand up to Peter he would stand up to any of them! Peter was wrong to separate himself and he knew it!!!
 
Now I should point out that separation in itself is not wrong, it is the reason behind the separation. We are to separate our selves from the worlds philosophies and behavior. We are to separate ourselves from those who sin, rebel and do not listen to sound counsel and doctrine! We are called to separate yet in love and respect! Separate with a heart that desires others to know the truth, and come to Jesus Christ by faith, in grace! Separate from those who demand us to follow the law, yet have genuine heart to show them the gospel of grace if possible! Don't be afraid to separate! Yet be sure you are doing it for the right reasons! They should be Godly and righteous reasons not personal or vengeful reasons! We need to grow in faith so that we can discern if or when we should separate. Sadly most believers are to immature to do that and the church has become more worldly than Godly! We are to busy trying to menplease to get someone to see Jesus that we forget He lives in us and through us, and that we are already loved and accepted....we do not need the approval of others, especially the lost!
 
Christ died for ALL!  Jew and gentile, male and female, black or white it makes no difference, only by faith,
AND ONLY BY GRACE!
 
in Christ, by grace,
Howard 
 

9/20/2018 Commissioned and Committed!

Gal 2:6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision. 10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
 
While God does not elevate one person above another, He does respect and honor the authority in which that person has! So when Paul met with Peter, James and John and they all understood the different ministries that were commissioned to them by God! Peter and the 12 were commissioned to the circumcision, Israel's national and Kingdom ministry, and Paul's was to the gentiles, the uncircumcision.
 
Now this is important because the cross met to different things to each. The cross was a source of shame to Israel for killing their Messiah but the cross was a bridge and the power of God unto salvation for the gentile!  Both have salvation through Christ but are different! The nation of Israel even after Christ resurrection denied Christ as the Messiah, "BUT NOW" we gentiles may come to salvation and be sealed in the Holy Spirit without any Law, ordinances or even the nation of Israel! The church today is not in any way a national type of church that nations follow, it is a Body of individuals, that make up the church, which is the Body of Christ! Now the book of Acts shows this transition from Israel to gentile, from Law to grace, from works to faith! It shows the transition from Peter lead to Paul for he is the Apostle for the gentiles and the Body of Christ for today!
 
As Paul understood his commission and was committed to it, let us be the same! His books Romans - Philemon are written "to" us. They give us the doctrine and salvation message for today! They also give us our worth, walk and work for today! So read them over and over! We are God's ambassadors to the world! We are saved, sealed children of God, that are completely forgiven, totally accepted and deeply loved! Don't forget it, dwell on it and receive
HIS GREAT GRACE GIVEN TO YOU!
 
 
as always in grace,
Howard 

9/19/2018 God's Law is Love!

Gal 2:1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. 2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. 3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: 4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: 5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
 
Paul spent a lot of time with Jesus and we can see how this changed and affected his life AND ministry! Spending alone time should not be the last thing we do but rather the first thing we do! Notice Titus was not circumcised, which means that he did not buy into coming under the law! Even today the Law vs grace groups are out there! You will have nice people telling you to follow the Law! Now I am not talking about the law of the land but the Levitical law and ordinances! While the ten commandments do bring a moral law into our minds... do not steal, lie, murder... they only condemn, they do not bring life! The only law we are to be under per say is the LAW OF LOVE! God's righteous Law is Him, because He is Love! So if I think hate, anger, steal and lie... I have broken with God's character and law of love, mentally that is, and therefore have sinned! Now that sin has been taken care of already, at the cross and I merely have a change of mind, will and emotions toward God by faith and therefore walk in God's character as my Spirit already has, and Receiving and Renewing my mind in His love! Always remember dear saint that you are" a child of God, In Christ and DEEPLY LOVED! Don't listen to those who want to put you back under law unless it is
the LAW OF LOVE, IN CHRIST!
 
in LOVE,
Howard 

9/18/2018 God Glorified in Us!

Gal 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. 20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 21 Afterwards I came into the regions of Syria and Cilicia; 22 And was unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: 23 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. 24 And they glorified God in me.
 
Paul was a zealous Jew! Paul stood for something even when he was wrong! Sometimes that takes courage even if your wrong! You can at least respect a person for that! I think God of course knew this and picked Paul for this work because of that! Of course God needed someone who hated the church so He could also demonstrate His great grace too! 
 
Paul was to preach to the heathen, the gentiles who did not have any so called laws, ordinances or even know the One and only God! God shows His love for man by reaching out in grace to those who did not know Him without knowing Israel's ways! We gentiles were aliens of the commonwealth of Israel, we were strangers from all of God's promises, and had no hope in God in this world! (Eph. 2:12)
 
Paul was taught by Jesus Himself, not by any man! It was by revelation not just information! It was a "NEW" work, a "NEW" doctrine, a "NEW" creation God was doing through Paul! It is called the revelation and fellowship of the Mystery, "The Body of Christ", the CHURCH for TODAY!! It is by faith, through grace and we are saved, sealed and sanctified in CHRIST! Meaning we are "IN"  Christ, "IN" heaven saved from death eternally, and purified, holy and cleansed Spiritually forever!!!
 
Paul then says in verse 24 that "they Glorified God in me"! Oh Saint let us understand all this for our selves, so that GOD IS GLORIFIED IN US!!!!
 
in Christ,
Howard 

9/17/2018 By Grace the Only True Gospel for today!

Gal 1:6   I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
 
Paul begins here  with a rebuke to the church! The so called "gospel" that they were teaching was a "works" Gospel! Not some weird gospel like we have today in some so called church's! ANY church, ANY pastor, ANY person who promotes "works" and "Law" is perverting the one and only true gospel, and that gospel is the gospel of GRACE! Don't get caught up in all these fads or prosperity gospel's! Or even the more popular and traditional teachings in most church's that are still works oriented! This is why Paul was so upset with them because while they claimed Christ and His cross, they taught works! Most church's today teach this same thinking! I have been in church's were they teach verse by verse through books which is ok, IF your teaching in Paul's books, but if you teach for months in the books under law and especially do not clarify the difference each and every teaching you are teaching law over and over, Sometimes for months and years! I have been in church's were they start in Genesis and go straight through the bible but never clarify the difference and that can be YEARS of teaching LAW and WORKS! Some teachers brag about being in a book for 1 or 2 or even 3 years, meaning that they really studied it....but really all they accomplished in putting themselves under law and works over and over! Some teach topical which again is ok as long as you don't teach on the same thing over and over which is common! But if you teach on topics again it always needs to come back to scripture that teaches grace!
 
Paul goes on to say if he still taught law and works then he would be a men pleaser but since he did not receive this gospel from man, and that he received this gospel by the revelation of Jesus Christ that he was going against normal tradition and therefore not being a men pleaser! Notice that Paul said he received this by the inspiration, and revelation of Jesus Christ, in which Jesus had already died and risen and was in heaven! All the other Apostles were taught by Jesus when He was on earth as a man! Peter's ministry was by the earthly Messiah for the nation of Israel and the "little" flock! Paul's ministry was to the world and especially the gentiles for the church today, the "Body of Christ"!
 
Don't be a men pleaser, a rebel without a cause, dear saint! Have a cause and that cause is for the gospel of grace through Jesus Christ! And don't be argumentative just to argue BUT believe, teach and edify the body in the true Gospel, The Gospel of grace!
 
Always in grace,
Howard 
 
 
 
 

9/14/2018 Galatians!

Gal 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) 2 And all the brethren which are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: 5 To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
 
We are starting a new book, that is like the back hand of Romans! A book that shows us our freedom in Christ!
 
Paul begins by saying that man did not appoint him to be a Apostle but rather he was chosen by Christ to be the Apostle for the church today! The Apostle to the gentiles as well as the Body of Christ! The church today is mostly gentiles and we were never under the Levitical Law! So Paul teaches and shows the difference in understanding of the salvation message given to us. By faith, in grace, through Jesus Christ death, burial and resurrection, alone! The cross is preached and  the we are sealed in the Holy Spirit forever! Jesus who gave himself for our sins that He might deliver us from this world by His Spirit, also give us peace because of God's Great Grace Given to us! Let us always give Glory to God!
 
Remember saints if you do not have peace today, go back and understand God's grace! Which means seeing your sin, your strife, your worry, your anxiety.....and that by His son, ALL that sin is taken care of, and that it is taken care of because of GOD'S GRACE EXTENDED TO YOU! Receive, Renew and Rest in His grace, and His forgiveness!
 
to God be the Glory,
Howard 

9/13/2018 Our God of Love and Peace!

2 Co 13:10  Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. 11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. 12 Greet one another with an holy kiss. 13 All the saints salute you. 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
 
No one likes to rebuke or correct harshly if they don't need too, unfortunately many of us do not respond to kind words of correction. We often see the kind, gentle rebuke as a way of doing what we want, because we see it as a  "our choice" type thing! And we often think that because it is kind and gentle that the person is going to approve and accept the decision or act and still be friends regardless! This is not the biblical way though! It is not God's way! When gently rebuked or confronted with sin we should repent and walk by faith as well as reconcile and seek forgiveness if necessary from the body that was offended! Usually this is going to be the person who is confronting you! Now to add if we/you do not listen  and repent after being confronted by the Body, (or the person doing the confrontation) he/they may separate from you! THAT IS the biblical way! The Godly way! You see when we don't listen and repent we are now not only doing the first sin but now another, another called rebellion, pride, and independent of God! Paul is saying he is writing to encourage them to repent but if he has too he will rebuke and correct harshly when he comes!
 
He encourages them to be perfect meaning mature and as God intended us to be in Christ! Be of good comfort with each other. Minister to each other by being one minded and in peace with each other! When we are NOT one in mind and beliefs we will not have peace! As we see in our political venue today! While not veering off of Godliness and righteousness we should put out hearts and mind on what is important and that is being an American and people of a free society, that cares for one another! Just as in the U.S we should remember the important things... we should in the church keep in mind that we belong to Christ and walk in who we are in Him!
 
Grow, mature in faith and always remember that the God of love, the grace of Christ and the union in the Holy Spirit, is always with you and comforts you and gives you peace!
 
to God be the glory,
Howard 
 
 

9/12/2018 Don't blame others, be faithful!

2 Co 13:6  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. 7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection.
 
I love those verses.... Paul is saying that He is not a reprobate, in other words someone who is not fake or a fraud or does not understand and not prove the word of God out in his life! He has shown that he is a Apostle and "THE" Apostle to the gentiles and that his life has shown it, but even if he wasn't who he said he was or even if he was a reprobate that does not give the church the right or approval to sin and not be faithful!
 
We also must be the same way in our daily lives! Just because your spouse sins against you or in any other way does not give you the right or a reason to sin! Often times we blame others for our mental and emotional health! We blame them for our emotions, our feelings of being hurt......in world psychology we often hear people say "...how did that MAKE you feel..." but the correct way and a responsible way, and the Christian way is "...they did not MAKE me feel, I chose to feel..."! We choose to feel rejected and hurt and then behave in a certain way! WE CHOOSE TO THINK AND FEEL! We should say"...how do YOU feel..." ! You see one way is laying blame on someone for your feelings the other is being honest , transparent and taking responsibility for YOUR FEELINGS  and dealing with them in a righteous, Godly way! Don't blame others for your unhealthy life and decisions in life, even if they contribute, it won't help you too blame them! If others are weak in faith or sin, than you can still be strong in faith and even help them to be faithful and to walk in Christ! Be Faithful dear saint, no matter what!
 
by faith for you,
Howard 

9/11/2018 Christ is mighty in you!

2 Co 13:1  This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
 
Paul says that the church doubted him constantly so he says in verse 3 "...Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me"!  Christ worked and lived in Paul as He does us also and so Paul knows Christ is mighty in him and He says "He is might in YOU"!
 
Christ in you the hope of glory dear saint! Think about that and dwell on that! Receive and Renew your mind that Christ the very glory of God lives in Me, and He is mighty in me! Mighty, meaning saved and sealed in Him...and you do not need to fear the world, or fear rejection of others! We do not need to perform or seek approval from others! You are free from the bondage of shame, guilt and fear so you can love others as Christ loves you! Now notice I said love others as Christ loves you, meaning we are to love others in GOD'S Righteousness.... and not have a attitude of rebellion or pride, or in sin that says "I can do whatever I want because I am, saved and not afraid of what others say, so forget you people!!!  I'm better than you! I know more than you...."! Now while you can do what ever you want and behave badly that is not Glorifying God nor edifying others!
 
When I see or hear of believers or at least they call themselves believers, I always remember what Paul said in Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
 
Many Christians profess God but by their works show that they are not! Paul calls them in 2 Co 13:5  reprobates meaning a person who has heard the word, but has not really received or use the word correctly in their day to day lives! It can also mean a liar, fraud or a unbeliever who is faking or pretending to be one! I have always said "that the problem with many Christian is that their NOT"! Are you? Paul says to examine yourself! If your life style and or heart is not for God's Glory, and is only self serving, even though you may know about God....you may be a reprobate a fraud , a fake, a pretender....!!!! 
If you examine yourself and come to that conclusion, Than I encourage you to Repent (have a change of mind and thinking...) and come to Christ by faith and make CHRIST YOUR LORD and SAVIOR!!!! Sometimes straight talk is needed to save a life!
 
MAKE CHRIST MIGHTY IN YOU!
 
in God's grace and love,
Howard 
 
 

9/10/2018 for your edifying...!

2 Co 12:16 But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile. 17 Did I make a gain of you by any of them whom I sent unto you? 18 I desired Titus, and with him I sent a brother. Did Titus make a gain of you? walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps? 19 Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults: 21 And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall bewail many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.
 
Paul is trying to get across here that everything he did was for their edifying, their growth and good! He did not gain anything financially or materially but only their hearts he hoped! He was not after anything  except their hearts to be toward God through Jesus!
 
Now he knows he may have to rebuke them but he hopes not! No one likes to rebuke or discipline anyone. It is hard  but it needs to be done for their sake as well as the church and mostly God's sake! Paul tells them that they should repent of their sin and walk by faith!
 
Now the word repentance has many different meanings among the church today. For some it means to just stop sinning...for others it means to confess, asking and begging for forgiveness... and believe it or not for some it means nothing, ...it may even mean "a works" and therefore is sin also!
 
Now repentance simply means "a change of mind"! So when we sin, we stop, think about what we are doing or what we are thinking and have a change of mind, will and heart! We receive by faith what God has already given us which is his love, acceptance and forgiveness. We can be grateful and thank him, and know that we are his children and his possession and that we find our identity and significance in Him and Him alone!
So while we should repent from sin to walking by Faith in God, we do not need to feel defeated, or angry at ourselves because that can actually be self centered , self righteous too! No we need to rest in the love and freedom that is in Christ! If I have said it once I have said it a million times, the Christian life is not about NOT sinning but is about Christ!
Repent, Renew and Rest in Christ today dear saint and walk in the victory that is yours through Jesus!
 
always for your edifying,
Howard 

9/7/2018 ...though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

2 Co 12:11  I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing. 12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. 13 For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong. 14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
 
Paul was constantly trying to persuade the church of who he was, the Apostle to the gentiles! He was the chosen vessel by God and through Christ for the work of the now formed "Body of Christ", the church for today! The church with no walls, between Jews and gentiles, male or female, black or white! No traditions or hoops to jump through! No works involved for salvation or acceptance! God has received you and me on the basis of faith in CHRIST works! Christ CROSS, Christ BLOOD, CHRIST and CHRIST ALONE!
 
Paul explains that His works of signs and wonders were the same as any other Apostle and prove to the church at that time that he was "a" Apostle! That he was who he said he was. The last line in verse 15 says "though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved". Oh this is so true of Paul, the more he sacrificed it seemed the church did not receive! They did not always love and accept him, even though he was beaten, starved and hated by Jews and gentiles! I am sure in some ways on some days he felt very much alone in this world, which probably drove him to depend even more on Christ!
 
We should do the same when you feel down, alone, unloved, run with all your heart to Christ,
"FOR HE WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR NOR FORSAKE YOU"!!!! Forsake means to be abandon, and  Christ will never abandon you! He is in you and you in Him! You are one! Receive God's love and feel secure within! Secure internally and eternally!
 
in Christ forever,
Howard 
 
 
 

9/6/2018 God's Great Grace is Sufficient!

2 Co 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 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. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
 
Paul was "caught up" , which is the same words used in Thessalonians for what we call the rapture! Paul was raptured up to heaven! Paul was told and taught by Jesus himself, unbelievable revelations and shown visions that were beyond our comprehension! Paul probably could not put into words everything he knew and was told, and this is just another reason to follow and read Paul's books and doctrine!
 
Now Paul was buffeted, meaning humbled to the point of crying out to God for relief! Christians often cry out for relief! We want our circumstances to change, we want a sign so we can know what to do and therefore change the circumstance instead of walking in faith! God says " MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE"! You see if God's grace is not sufficient in ALL circumstances then it is not good enough for ANY circumstances, BUT IT IS!!!! Don't just try to get out of your dilemma ! Don't just run, or hide, or control but REST IN HIS GRACE!!!
 
Now what is God's grace? God's grace is GOD! GOD'S grace is the very character of God, so it encompasses His love which is extended to you! God is love, so receiving His love and grace every day, day in and day out AND in every thing we do gives us internal as well eternal security! You may not be able to take away the cancer eating your body, but you can rest in His love and feel a sense of security as you go through it and taking the fear away, as well as knowing where you will be going if you die! GOD'S GRACE IS ALWAYS ENOUGH! I can not stress it enough folks, Renew, Receive and Rest in
GOD'S GREAT GRACE!
 
in His Grace and love,
Howard 

9/5/2018 Who is weak, and I am not weak?

2 Co 11:29  Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
 
Paul so identified and loved the church that when someone was weak he was sad and hurt with them. If the church was hurting or offended he was offended! Just like when your kids or family are hurting you hurt, or when your kids are bullied or rejected you get upset!
 
Now we should identify and feel sympathy with that person, but it does not mean we have the right to sin or to walk in our fleshly emotions just because some else is!
 
Sometimes I see spouses who manipulate and want their spouse to be sad and mad as they are in every circumstance and hate as they hate and "feel" like they do in all circumstances! I always tell people " I can feel sympathy, and empathy for you but that does not mean that I am going to join you in your "pity party"! I can even be offended if some one offends my wife or church family but again what I do with that is my responsibility and it is yours! We should treat those offences and rejections like any other offence toward us and that is first to extend forgiveness, (after repenting of our fleshly reactions, renewing our minds and resting in Christ...) than seek forgiveness if necessary for offending them if needed! Now we are free to confront the person-s without anger or hating them! We will be able to be sober minded and also able to let them go or separate from them. If we don't forgive we too are in sin! AND what most Christians don't realize is that if you are still holding them guilty, and will not forgive, then not only are you in sin, but you are still attached to them mentally and emotionally! NO time or distance can separate you! Separate if you must but forgive no matter what!
 
forgive, because you ARE forgiven,
Howard 

9/4/2018 Suffering for the Fellowship of Christ!

2 Co 11:21  I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool ) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
 
Paul is challenging the church at Corinth! They are challenging his authority and he has to constantly prove himself! Paul says that you glory in your self but let me tell you....I AM a Hebrew, I am a Israelite, I am of the seed of Abraham...I AM! Were they, NO! So you see not only is he a Jew and from Israel, and who knew and had God's oracles to begin with...They were not! Now to add look at my work and sufferings! I labored sharing the gospel! I suffered beatings, shipwreck and stoning's...I have had to battle robbers and his own country men as well gentiles! He had to fight false brethren, go hungry and live in horrible conditions, ALL just to share this gospel with them!
 
Now I don't know about you, but sometimes I don't even want to leave my lazy-boy chair and miss a football game for a bible study! Paul on the other hand went through tremendous things and suffered greatly because he understood that LIFE is in Christ, not comfort or TV or any thing else! He understood and loved Christ so much that he gave his life to Christ and to others! Let us REACH out to others as Paul did! In verse 28 he says  "Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches". He also had a great love and concern for the church's! He wanted them to know Christ and have Godly, righteous and good doctrine as well as share life with each other! 
 
Let us be in fellowship and concerned about the church as Paul was! Let us seek ways to know one another, and help one another! Let us be kind and whole heartedly love one another! Pray for another! Be honest, open and transparent with one another! Teach, edify and encourage one another!
Care, comfort and counsel one another, in love! Let us be ONE with one another!  
 
 
in the fellowship of grace,
Howard 

9/3/2018 Fools, Flesh and Faith!

2 Co 11:16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. 17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. 20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face.
 
Paul calls the church in a way fools, to allow fools to put them under bondage! He is not saying if another country was to come and make slaves of them physically that it is necessary to resist but rather a new and different spiritual bondage! A different teaching other than Christ! The Corinthian church questioned Paul's authority and therefore his understanding and teaching! If you are not made to be in physical bondage you do not need to volunteer for it either. You do not need to have some one slap you or beat you to prove anything or to feed their fleshly minds! That's just false humility! Trying to be humble, really it is just trying to get attention, self idol worship and self justification.
 
Paul's authority and Apostilship was something that he had to battle then and it is something that is in question today! I know pastors and teachers who will not or do not teach Paul's books. Some ignorantly say they believe them but never teach from them. You see it is easier to teach from law, because there seems to be boundries set, as well as you can "see" the characters in action....David, Solomon, and even Peter.... but it seems that the teaching on God's grace, righteousness and love is not a good illustration anymore. Every pastor/teacher wants to illustrate it seems, but that is not always needed. Just preach and teach God's version, God's Word, God's salvation for mankind today! We are saved by faith, through grace in JESUS CHRIST! It was and is good enough for God... than it is good enough for us! Read Paul's books over and over. No other salvation or freedom is needed and it is all found in Romans -Philemon!
 
grace today,
Howard 


8/31/2018 Stop following false teaching and teachers!

2 Cor 11:11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. 12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
 
I begin here in vs. 11 after Paul was sharing about giving the gospel away at not charge. He says he does this because he loves them! Now he goes on to say not only do I love you I will show that I do, by protecting you from these false teachers! They want to bring you back into law, works and idol worshipping! They want you to follow them so that they may gain in some way! By either financially or controlling you in some way! Paul says to be aware and STOP following these false teachers.
 
I have said the biggest problem with Christians is that they tend to not think! We need to think, discern and be aware of what teachers are teaching and make a stand! Now that does not mean that every time a pastor or teacher says something that is off a little to confront him, but rather what is his overall doctrine that he teaches. I recently was with a pastor that while he said he believed in that Jesus died on the cross....he spoke and taught in the old testament 95% percent of the time. That means he is teaching law! It is easy to teach from the old because you can see law. It is black and white and there are lots of stories and examples to show things. It is like you would talk to your kids and share old testament bible stories. BUT these are not from the dispensation of grace where we walk by faith not sight! 
 
These evangelist on TV talk about tithing so you give more, and talk about getting rich by giving more and they heal as many as they can so they can impress more, and again you give more...... Don't be taken in by the messengers of Satan! They are false teachers who are "transformed" into angels of light ,Paul says but they are not! Be aware and awake and STOP following false teaching and teachers! If its not by faith, in grace, in Christ, then it is false! By the way you can only get and hear that message by Paul and in his books, Romans - Philemon!
 
 
in His grace always,
Howard

8/30/2018


8/30/2018 The truth of Christ is in you!

2 Cor 11:7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. 9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.
 
Paul did not charge the church to share the gospel so that others would not think that he was profiting from this "new" religion. He realized that some would take advantage of it!  BUT he did receive from other church's and people gave to help him! He also worked as a tent maker because he was trained as a child growing up to do that! All Jewish men are trained in a trade to support themselves! There are lots of Bi-vocational pastors and people in ministries! Most people think that all church's are "mega" church's but really 80 % of church's are 200 or less and at least 50% of those are 100 or less! Big mega style church's are the minority and should be! Better to have 100 church's with 10, than 10 with 100 or more! 
 
Now what he trying to get across is that he has given with out taking and being a burden to no one, in sharing this great gospel of Jesus Christ! Pastor's and those in ministry should receive from others and not to be taken advantage of yet.... while not demanding the minister should also be quick to give regardless!
In the church today, sadly, we see so many preaching a prosperity message "give to get" type message! And these evangelist, live in huge mansions and drive expensive cars! They even ask for and have Jets so they can fly around preaching this message of prosperity! Don't buy into it folks,... and sadly it is mostly on these T.V. channels! Many have went to prison and probably more will some day,
 
but for you and I, lets just be comforted in God's love and grow in grace! As Paul said "as the truth of Christ in me..." let His truth be in you, dear saint!
 
in God's love,
Howard

8/29/2018 The Gospel of Grace!

2 Cor 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.
 
 
Paul always preached the gospel of grace! Now while he was preaching this grace there is a difference in the audiences! Sometimes it was to Israel, but mostly it was gentiles! He was and is the Apostle to the gentiles! Now he says to the church in Corinth why do you put up with these that preach a different message, a different Jesus and a different gospel! WHY? It seems we have that same thinking today that we allow different groups to teach a different Jesus, such as the Mormons! Or a different gospel such as works or law! Many protestant church's teach more in Law and Israel's covenants than they do the gospel of grace given to Paul! In fact I have been in church's were they will go from old covenant, to the 4 Gospels and skip over to James and Peters books, without ever teaching Paul's books! Folks this is law and given to Israel! Keep in mind that thee is nothing wrong with those books given to Israel, for Israel, but they are not "TO" us! There are principles that are good and can be used, but if wrongly taken and used they can put you in confusion and back under Law! Please discern rightfully and not be confused, the gospel for today is only found in Paul's books! Salvation and freedom come through Jesus, through His cross, by faith, in grace + nothing!!!
 
 
Give God the glory,
Howard

8/28/2018 The simplicity of Christ, is shown in His love!

2 Cor 11:1  Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. 2 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. 3 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.
 
Paul loved Christ church! Paul always wanted the best for the Body, and encouraged it to come to Christ like a bride to her husband! For comfort, protection and provision! Notice He calls the church a virgin, meaning "one with out stain"! That is what a true and genuine believer is in Christ! Pure and Holy, with out sin in Spirit, complete whole and righteous in Christ! 
 
Paul is also concerned though that the church would be naïve, tricked and deceived like Eve was! That they would think that the world and all that is in it would be better than Christ! That they would feed their flesh and eyes as well as be filled with even more pride! That they would lust for attention and affection from others instead of receiving the love of Christ!
 
I have been asked what is the answer to man kind, and I always say the same thing, JESUS LOVES YOU! Now I know that sounds simple, and almost trivial but it IS the answer! Now their are lots of  complexities to man and our needs and circumstances, YET the answer and security of life comes through those 3 simple words, "Jesus loves me"! Never forget that! Dwell on that until your emotions are at peace, Your mental state is at rest and you "feel" secure in Him! ALWAYS remember this simple way to feeling secure, is in the LOVE OF JESUS!
 
in His love,
Howard 

8/27/2018 Discipleship is On the job training!

2 Co 10:15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, 16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. 17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
 
 
These are great verses for understanding discipleship! Often people will struggle with giving praise to a person because they struggle with pride or should "I give Glory to God"! They want to thank the person, but the person will often say " it is not me but God..." ! Now while I agree with that, the person giving the compliment, even if they don't know it....is saying thank you for allowing God to work through you! AND the counselor should also know that is God who has given to him to begin with! So what should a person say when they say " you have helped me so much"... The counselor should just say " your welcome" and "thank you"!!
 
You see Paul is saying that God gets the glory, either way, yet Paul is not shy about saying that the doctrine, teaching and counsel he gave is good and therefore give it to another! When we realize what God has done in our lives through others than we begin to know and share what we have been taught!
IT IS SIMPLY ON THE JOB TRAINING! Repeat what others have taught you, as long as it is good doctrine and is biblical.... until you mature to see and give your words and advice that God has given you! Paul told Timothy in 2 Tim 2:2 ; And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. You see Paul told Timothy, Timothy told faithful men, who will teach others also!
 
...4 people are involved hear! 4 fold downward until they are able to share on their own and mature! Now I am not saying that you have to repeat word for word only, but don't be afraid to 1. be disciple and counseled and 2. repeat what you have been taught!
 
Give Glory to God,
Howard

8/24/2018 Don't compare your self to others!

2 Co 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. 14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
 
 
In this day and age it is easy to compare our selves to others! On T.V. women see thin, beautiful models and want to look like them. Men will look at them and think why doesn't my wife look like that and of course women see young, washboard abs on men and think the same thing, what can't my husband have that! It is easy to compare to others! Even preachers compare ministries and some want the BIG church's and to be known for their great words and big audiences! BUT ALL of that really is saying "look at me"! It is seeking attention, approval and appreciation from man! It is looking for the opinions of others, (man) over God's opinion of you! ONLY GOD'S opinion matters Saint! So don't compare your self to man, compare your self to God!! Then you will see your worth in Spirit and if needed your ugliness after the flesh! Which only means and says run back to God to see your worth in Him!
 
in grace,
Howard

8/23/2018 Look up and be faithful!

2 Co 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. 8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. 10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. 11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
 
WE often look at things from the outward appearance and live by what we see! We live by what we think of as success! Often times I am blown away at the success of some pastors church's! I listen to the pastors message or the way they look and deliver their message and I say to myself "WOW, they are terrible"! "How on earth did they ever get such a huge church"? You see I was looking from the outside and judging by what I see! Now with that said that does not mean we should not have opinions or ask ourselves why or even have some good critiquing....? But it means there could be a lot more going on that I just don't see! Caring, loving and giving of oneself to a group of people can build a church community! Perhaps the pastor was given Spiritually a work to do because of being faithful!
 
Paul was faithful!! Paul may not have looked good to the eye, but he looked "good" to God, because he was faithful! Being faithful with what you have is just as important as anything else!!! Perhaps even more. IF your ministry is small be faithful to the few, if large, to the masses! Being faithful to your family first is even more important, regardless of what you have! Work and ministry are important BUT NOT more than your families, Spiritual well being! There is more to giving to your family than financial security, while that is important, it should be way down the road compared to spiritual security in Christ!
 
At times Paul needed to exercise his authority, in word and when he was in front of them, although he did not want to lord it over them. He would have rather they be faithful to God without him correcting and rebuking them, BUT he would if he had to! We also need to know, and exercise our authority if we have it and/or need too! STAND FAITHFUL SAINT! Stand faithful daily with God in whatever your responsibilities are!!
 
 
Thank God and give Him the glory,
Howard

8/22/2018 Take "EVERY" thought Captive!!

2 Co 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: 2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
 
These are some GREAT verse for all Christians but especially if or when we are struggling in life! Paul tells us that our WAR is not against flesh and blood, humans which we can see but against things they we can't see! Spiritual wickedness and perversion! Anything and Everything that stands and goes against God and His righteousness is evil and we need to be aware and discerning of it! Taking our thoughts captive means thinking about... what we are thinking about! This is why we can not hide behind doctrine alone! In other words we may know the bible inside and out but we behave and act in a way that is counter to what it says with out even realizing it! Without even admitting it! We need to understand our feelings and not ignore them because they tell us what we are thinking! Some Christians hide behind doctrine and say "we are to live by faith and not our feelings" which IS true, but they don't admit nor even understand their feelings or thoughts and therefore LIVE BY THEM ANYWAY!!! Take your thoughts captive, think about what your thinking about and repent, renew and receive from God and you will be walking in obedience AND being vengeful toward DISobeidience! When we turn toward God your back turns toward flesh and you are automatically standing against fleshly sinful disobedience!
 
So Take ALL your thoughts captive today and walk in VICTORY SAINT!!
 
in God's grace and for God's glory,
Howard
 

8/21/2018 Let God's Grace Abound!

2 Co 9:8 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: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; 13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; 14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
 
This gift of salvation by grace is the greatest gift you can receive and share with others! God not only has offered, and given grace but He continues to grow us in that grace! NOW it is grown the same way it is received by faith! We can not change those facts! The receiving process is how we mature and become secure! WAY to many Christians think they can some how give something to God, OTHER than themselves and be blessed, or be secure or faithful! God does not want candles, sacrifice or money or anything else for that matter,
HE WANTS YOU! We are rich in Christ, so give Him thanks and give to others that gift, that GREAT GIFT, of SALVATION THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!
 
to God be the Glory,
Howard

8/20/2018 Give cheerfully!

2 Co 9:1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. 3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready: 4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. 6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Paul is once again in this chapter talking about sending the financial support for the saints in Jerusalem! He is encouraging them to be ready in collecting their offering and be ready when he gets there! Paul uses the word superfluous which means "it is unnecessary to say or repeat, BUT" I am going to anyway!! Paul usually repeated things over and over, in diferent ways to teach and encourage righteous behavior and life in Christ! FOR instance to repent means "to have a change of mind" to turn from unfaithfulness or self too GOD and being faithful! WELL to "put -off" means to take off, unfaithfulness and self too "put-on" God and being faithful! You see saying the same yet different!

He encourages them to give with a cheerful heart not a self centered, lustful heart! A heart that says I want to help others, love others, and TELL OTHERS ABOUT MY LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST! There is NOT TITHING (10%) RULE OR LAW, in the church today, yet we are encouraged to give, 'if" we want, "when" we want, "how" we want!

as always by faith in grace,
Howard

8/17/2018 Honest and Integrity!

2 Co 8:16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you. 18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches; 19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind: 20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: 21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you. 23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. 24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.

Show your love by being honest and giving, while being wrapped up in integrity! That was what Paul, Titus and this brother had when they helped with the gift to the saint in Jerusalem! They had their trust because they had integrity! They trusted Paul and Titus with all their hearts with their hard earned money! They were not after their money but their hearts! In this day and age of T.V. evangelist and prosperity preaching, the give to get blessed, is a sad resemblance to Paul and his heart! While he did need financial support in some way to eat, clothe and travel, he did not take advantage of it! If he needed he worked as a tent maker! If needed he received from other churches to minister! He did only what was necessary to give this Great Gospel of Grace to as many as he could! The church at Corinth proved their love by giving to others, as they had received from them!Give as you have been given too!

in grace,
Howard

8/16/2018 Equality... Giving and Recieving!

2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. 12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. 13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.

Again I say this chapter is about giving financially! The Corinthians were to give to the church in Jerusalem!

Paul explains that while Jesus was rich in ALL ways, as He owns everything, HE gave, so that we may be saved! He gave His life to those who could never repay! He gave His life and the only way we can even begin to show our gratefulness is to give our life! When we give our selves as a living sacrifice to God, that is all we can give and ALL that God "wants" from us!

Now Paul also says that as the Corinthian church, had received from them that they should give to the Jerusalem church! How did they receive from them you ask? The Jerusalem church gave Spiritually!!
Look at these verses
Rom 15:27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.(carnal meaning financially...)
1Co 9:11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?
They gave Paul and Timothy to them! They allowed and helped them to go and spread the Gospel of grace to Asia and Europe! They received the good "News" of salvation through Jesus Christ! They received the understanding of living by the Spirit! They received LIFE from them! SO they could at least give back financially!

Paul says that a "equality" should be between Christians, a giving and receiving! We want to give yes but their are times when we need to receive! PRIDE sometimes gets in the way of receiving! Sometimes Pastors and church leaders, as well as others, need help, need counseling, and they need a time of receiving instead of giving! They need a time for them to be ministered TOO, instead of ministering!

We all need to pray for others, but we also need to seek prayer for ourselves! We need to give but we need to be able to receive also! NOW many take advantage of that receiving part they only want to receive!! That actually can be selfish and fleshly! Lusting for more and never giving! We need to give and receive in balance! Not one more than the other!

There are lots of ways to give! We can give ourselves, by praying, by listening and in physical work! We can give with food, clothing, shelter and financially! There are many ways to give!

While I don't ask very often, I do ask for you to consider giving financially to this ministry! We need monthly support to teach and counsel the Word of God to those who are hurting! Marriages destroyed need reconciling! They need someone to lead, direct and encourage them in righteousness! Help us help them! And to add if you have received spiritual blessings from these devotions we ask that you give in some way back! 

Please pray about being a monthly financial partner with us!

as always by faith, in grace,
Howard

8/15/2018


8/15/2018 Grace is always given and received!

2 Co 8:6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. 7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.

Paul encourages the church to grow in faith, speech and knowledge! He encourages them to be diligent and grow in their love toward all the apostles! AND he wants them to mature and understand grace! Not just God's grace given to them through Jesus, but rather this grace of giving to the Jerusalem church! Again the saints in Jerusalem are struggling and needed help. So Paul wants the church to finish what they said they would do! Also A good point here to make is that they volunteered this offering, it was not commanded that they give! By following through with what they said they would do would show their TRUE sincerity of their love! Paul was helping them to be discipline, and exercise faith not their flesh! So often I here non believers say I am praying for you, but they don't and to "whom" would they pray to "IF" they do not know God!!! BUT I also hear Christians doing the same, saying they will pray for this...but they don't! OR I am going to "do" this or "do" that but they don't! In other words their word is not kept! We need as believers to keep our word, be honest and also not men please at the same time! Most of the time Christians say they are going to do something is out of men pleasing, not faith! Be a person who keeps his word and grow in faith, love and giving! GRACE IS ALWAYS GIVEN AND RECEIVED! If it is commanded and taken it's no longer grace!

by faith, in grace,
Howard

8/14/2018 Giving God's Grace, Graciously!

VERSE BY VERSE!

2 Co 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.

Just to let you know that this whole chapter is on giving financially! Paul encourages the church to give if they can to the church in Jerusalem! The saints in Jerusalem, as he calls them were struggling there! The Jews would not help them, and their sense of Jewish community was not the same! They were persecuted and needing help! Food, shelter and clothing! Paul encourages the church to give and they do BUT first they gave themselves to God in prayer! Many Christians still living under law....as well as many church's still teach tithing...but that is not dispensationally correct. Gentiles never were told to tithe! There is no temple or priest or any reason to tithe today! We are to give generously after going to God first as we can! I want to encourage you to pray first, spend time with God and generously give to your church (meaning people), to the poor, orphaned, and/or this ministry! I do ask you also to become a prayer and financial partner with us!
We would love your help to continue to minister this GREAT GOSPLE OF GRACE!
GIVE GOD your attention first, and then share from a clear conscience!

by faith, in grace,
Howard

Become a prayer and financial partner in this ministry! 

8/13/2018 Repentance, Receive and be Refreshed!

2 Co 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. 12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you. 13 Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus, because his spirit was refreshed by you all. 14 For if I have boasted any thing to him of you, I am not ashamed; but as we spake all things to you in truth, even so our boasting, which I made before Titus, is found a truth. 15 And his inward affection is more abundant toward you, whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him. 16 I rejoice therefore that I have confidence in you in all things.

I wanted to go back in some verses that I left off with in the last devotion! YES, Repentance brings maturity but it also brings comfort and refreshment! You see worldly sorrow or sorrow that is not genuine toward God by faith is just self righteousness! It is trying to feel bad enough to say and look humble but it is not! It is false humility unto God, and therefore only brings more death!

BUT TRUE sorrow and repentance brings life! It is truly being genuine , sincere and humble before God! Notice in verse 11 it say, ."...what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter....". There is a true sadness and humility toward God and a zeal, that brings us to clear our conscience, of this "GREAT PRIDE"! That we would even have the gall to attempt to find significance without our God and Father and without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
Now by this same true zeal, desire and clearing is to live by faith, to RECEIVE from God and to be REFRESHED in Christ is what happens every time we REPENT! We find comfort in Gods life, in God's arms, in God's Son! The only true comfort in life is Jesus, don't try to find comfort in your daily circumstances, by trying to fix them or yourself!

Be COMFORTED by CHRIST, REPENT, RECEIVE and be REFRESHED DAILY!

by faith,
Howard

8/10/2018 Repentance the way to maturity!

2Co 7:8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

As I said before when we started this chapter that we would discuss more about the cleansing aspect that Paul was talking about in verse 1 of chapter 7!
Repentance is the first step in the foundation of every believer, EVERYDAY!!!! Whether this is for the fist time and coming to the Lord for salvation or the everyday put-off, put-on that we must all do regularly! NOW most people do not understand repentance! They think it means to "stop sinning", but it does not! It means to " have a changed mind" or "to change your mind and thinking"! It means to go from self to FAITH in God! It means from relying on self effort, self righteousness, self determination, to Faith in Christ, in His death, resurrection and life which is in us! It means that when we sin we may think or say to our selves " I have sinned, and have relied on self to find significance and life"! "I have become independent of God", instead of dependent on God"! So we then take a "honest appraisal" of our selves and turn to God and see that He has done all the work at the cross and that He loves you, even if/when you sin! It is not about NOT sinning but rather faith and a relationship with God! FROM SELF TO FAITH IN GOD!
NOW the person who repents regularly and sees his sin and turns in faith to God will begin to mature in his thinking! His emotions and character begin to be formed by the spirit and he begins to grow up with a mature mind by God's Spirit...not a fleshly, carnal way that he was before!
So if you want to grow spiritually, REPENT! Have a "changed mind" and walk by faith!

by faith,
Howard

8/9/2018 God's Love Comforts!

2Co 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. 5 For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fighting's, within were fears. 6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus; 7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.

2nd Corinthians is about God's comfort! He comforts us with His Spirit, His presence, His love, His power, and even His Body! When Titus came and Paul knew that he was not alone he felt comfort. Now while Paul could be among the church he was like all of us comforted by someone he knew well! Who believed like he did! You know sometimes I am around Christians but I know that they do not think or believe like I do,and I can be a little uncomfortable! Now we can still find comfort in them, at least they are better than worldly friends, but we are not quite likeminded in everything! Titus and Paul were likeminded in everything doctrinally! We should find a church fellowship that is likeminded with what we believe. Now we do have to be careful because what you believe may not be scriptural or for today! If you go to a church that teaches more on the old, law or about Israel's covenants you may want to find a new church!

Now another great point I want to make here is that Paul says that there were fighting's and fears! So Paul had fears also! I say this because sometimes we lift people up out of the bible and think that they were not human and did not fear but Paul did! YET let me say that he also knows who takes away fear! God's love takes away fear!1Jo 4:8...for God is love. ... 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
So God who is Love takes away fear! When you fear, and you will, than remember to RENEW your mind with "God loves me, who or what do I need to fear"..... until the fear goes away! This may take some time, even days/weeks depending on what the fear is about...for just one fear! But this is how we grow in depending on God! This is how we mature and have a changed heart, mind and character!
Find COMFORT IN GOD'S LOVE DAILY!

in faith,
Howard

8/8/2018 Only Christ Cleanses!

2 Co 7:1 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. 2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. 3 I speak not this to condemn you: for I have said before, that ye are in our hearts to die and live with you.

It's easy to read this and think that we can cleanse ourselves, but that is not what this means and we will see even more clearly as we go in this chapter! What it means when Paul says "let us cleanse ourselves..." is that we would allow and understand that Christ cleanses us and to repent unto Him! In other words to rely on the cross, Spiritually, mentally and emotionally! To give our bodies to Him and not walk in sin! To walk by faith not sight! NOW under the Law and Israel's covenant, they were cleansed by water! The priest washed themselves and the nation of Israel was to be a nation of priest, leading the world to God! They were ceremonially cleansed by water! John the Baptist ministry as well as Jesus's earthly and national ministry through the 12 Apostles was a water cleansing! 
...BUT NOW we are cleansed inwardly, permanently and completely SPIRITUALLY! Water has nothing to do with our cleansing! Water has nothing to do with the internal or external for that matter! By RENWEING our minds and allowing Christ to clear our conscience just as He has already cleansed our Spirits, we perfect His holiness through our soul and body!

Paul goes on to say we have wronged no man, and that he loves them! That he lives and would die for them if he thought it bring them closer to Christ!

Don't look for external, man made, religious or any other philosophy to cleanse you,
you are already cleansed Spiritually!

in Christ,
Howard

8/7/2018 Seperation is Good if it is for righteousness sake!

2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

Here we see a great principle that I believe most Christians do not understand and for sure do not do! Separation from the world as far as daily life! Too often believers behave and act just like the world, which I sometimes question if they are saved at all! We are not to be getting drunk , fornicating and living with people if not married! We are not to be cussing and joining in jokes that are inappropriate! We need not be getting tattoos and seeking attention for them as well as bragging about them, (as even some pastors do)! AND THIS is just outward behavior not counting inwardly attitudes, like anger, bitterness and unforgiveness! and so , so , so much more!
Now what may be just is sad to me is how the church has accepted homosexuality! This is sin, yet I see the church say God loves all and all means all! YES it does but he does not say to the thief after they are saved keep on stealing does He? or the liar, keep on lying, or to the murderer keep on killing....so why does the church allow homosexuals to think and continue on after they are saved!!! OR EVEN WORSE that they allow for homosexual pastors, teachers and church's!!!! NO, NO, NO! This is wrong, ungodly behavior and needs to stop!
DO NOT JOIN THEM SAINT, BUT STAND UP AGAINST THEM! Don't join the UN- righteous, UN Godly, UN..... but separate your self from these who believe it is ok to sin against GOD! We are God's temple! God lives in us! Would you join God to something that is so wrong and sinful? OF course not!
Separation is good if it is for righteousness sake!

by faith, in grace,
Howard

8/6/2018 Through ALL circumstances Christ is in you!

2 Co 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. 11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. 12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. 13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.

We often feel sorry for our selves because we are going through circumstances that are not fun! BUT lets look at what Paul went through! Beaten, in prison (for nothing at that), disrespected, dishonored, rejected by Jews, gentiles and even by the church at times! AND while Paul did have friends like Timothy and Titus he was often still alone, while being in the ministry!    

YET He kept his eyes on Christ! The answer to life is Christ and the answer to everything you go through is that "No matter what the circumstances are CHRIST IS IN YOU"!!! NOTICE I sad "IN" YOU! We often want God to fix our circumstances and show up and "DO" something when the something HE wants to "do" He has already done and fixed it on the cross, AND by being "IN YOU"! He lives in you so that you don't need to look outward but look at the GREAT GOD IN YOU! Peace is in you, so Peace can be in every situation!
Don't let your circumstances control you, but rather let God "who" is in you,... control "YOU"!

By the way Paul was also saying that he "loved" the Corinthian church! His heart was enlarged with love!
Let us be enlarged with love for Christ and His church.

by faith, in grace,
Howard

8/3/2018 God's Great Grace, for TODAY!

2 Co 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Paul encourages us to not take the grace of God in vain! Now this is very important in many ways, but one way is this! That we must understand this unique and specific time frame in history! God has tried to work with Israel and lead them to Himself! He has Spoke to them....He has sent Christ, their Messiah, and now has even sent the Holy Spirit and as a nation they still have rejected Him! You know the old saying 3 strikes and your out!!!! Well praise God that He is such a loving compassionate patient God, because He is still going to save Israel in the end times, but until then, HE has moved on to, the gentiles! The time frame in history of man is called the dispensation of grace! A time period in which ALL MEN, are given a opportunity to be saved, by faith, through God's grace!
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. ... 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Lets receive, know and preach God's grace! Lets share with as many as we can!

The dispensation of grace is also so important in that it is the ONLY way to be saved today! No one can be saved by Law, works, or ordinances! It is only by faith, not water baptisms, food communions or tithing! It is by Christ cross, Christ works, Christ sacrifice, CHRIST AND CHRIST ALONE!!!!

Thank God today for His great grace and love for you today!

in love by faith,
Howard

8/2/2018 We are Ambassadors for Christ!

2 Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Paul calls us "AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST"! That is what we are, ambassadors! A ambassador is someone who represents and who speaks for His authorities wishes, plans and programs! We speak out for "THE" authorities thoughts and heart! We have put God as our authority, and therefore are His representatives for ALL man kind! Under Israel there were prophets and priests who spoke on behalf of God, "BUT NOW" we gentiles under grace may ALL speak, preach and proclaim JESUS IS LORD!

Now Paul goes on to say that Jesus became sin for us! Now that does NOT mean that Jesus sinned but that He represented sin on the cross! He was the propitiation, the complete and only sacrifice for God's wrath upon man's sin! No longer is there a need for any other sacrifice for man's sin. And therefore by faith we have been given, Christ righteousness! It is imputed to us! So we are made righteous because of Christ, not on our own works but rather Christ himself! When I hear Christians say that "they are not righteous....they are along ways from being perfect, and are dirty rotten sinners still..." I cringe! That is NOT what scripture says but religion speaking forth condemning the believer, and trying to act humbly but really full of PRIDE! That kind of Christian is looking at their works not Christ's! YOU are made righteous in Christ, SAINT!
Proclaim Jesus as Lord and be that Ambassador for Christ!

by faith,
Howard

8/1/2018 God initiates, and we are reconciled to God through Christ!

2 Co 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

WOW!! Just BEAUTIFUL!! God is the one who was offended yet He initiates love by reconciling the world to Himself through Jesus! Oh my!!!.... think about that! God extended forgiveness, yet He was the one who was offended against! What a GREAT example for us to see! I have a hard time forgiving my wife sometimes who loves me! BUT I really have a hard time forgiving someone who is my "so called" enemy!! Then lets add ALL mankind for eternity that are born enemies, WOW!!! What love, what GRACE! AND then Paul adds not only has God reconciled us to Himself... but given us a ministry of reconciliation!

Now sometimes we think that reconciliation is just forgiving our sins and that we are now OK with God, which is true, but it also means, to restore back to favor, divine perfectness and holiness! Now we are made holy and complete because of reconciliation through Jesus! Christ lives in us and we IN CHRIST! GOD sees only His perfect son in us! BE THANKFUL, and THANK GOD TODAY!

by faith,
Howard

7/31/2018 You ARE a "NEW CREATURE" IN CHRIST!

2Co 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

OH what a wonderful verse to know! We have become New!!! The Spirit is no longer dead but ALIVE IN CHRIST! We are a totally different creature, alive, complete , whole and righteous in Christ! WHY is this so important? Well for one we are saved, but to add, so many of us (all of us), walk in shame of something in our past! Some sin, or a lifestyle of sin, that we just seem to hold onto! Shame can be devastating in many ways! It can keep us in bondage to pleasing men instead of God our whole lives if not dealt with! We can seek approval and lust for acceptance if shame is not dealt with! We will be afraid of taking risk that may help us in our work situations and or help us financially! We will walk in fear, thinking "if people really knew me they would not like me or......."! Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; By "regeneration" we are made into something "new", and that regeneration takes care of shame of ALL our past!
If you struggle with shame, Repent, Renew and Rest in Christ! You have been made NEW, so tell your self the truth! BELEIVE WHAT IS ALREADY TRUE IN YOUR SPIRIT!
CHRIST DWELLS IN YOU!

BY FAITH,
Howard

7/30/2018 Jesus died for ALL!!!!

2 Co 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.

OH MY!! What a GREAT verse!!! "...He died for ALL" !! As I have said over and over Jesus did not just die for some or only those who believe but for ALL!! Calvinist teach that Jesus only died for those who are saved and that those who are saved are ONLY those to whom God chose before time began! This is a false doctrine and you need to be aware of it! God's purpose was predestined and that purpose was that man would be saved through His son!

The Gospel is that Jesus died, buried and resurrected for mankind to be saved by faith! AND then that we would not live for ourselves but for Him! AND that we may share this simple gospel message with others! Take time to share with others about Christ, His death, burial and resurrection! Share with them your experience, testimony and how He has changed your heart!

Now Paul also says "...though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more". This means that the Apostle's and church once followed His earthly ministry, (this means Peter and the little flock....) but now Jesus has resurrected, gone to heaven and has sent Paul as our Apostle, and to give us gentiles a "Heavenly ministry"! A heavenly gospel, and doctrine! No longer with earthly manmade doctrines and commands but only heavenly, spiritual and internal life! Don't get caught up in the ordinances and demands by church's and the to "do's", Keep your eyes on the heavenly things, the spiritual life that Jesus has given to us! Don't be a human machine of "DOING" but rather a human, "BEING" IN CHRIST!

in grace,
Howard

7/27/2018 God's LOVE...Jesus died for ALL!

2 Co 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 12 For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart. 13 For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause. 14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

We should have a mind set to reach the conscience of man! While wanting men to come to God to be saved through Jesus Christ...we also want to reach, their very conscience! The same with believers, in that we want to continue to minister to the thinking of those that already know Christ! It is not enough to just go to church or hear a sermon IF the heart/conscience is not being reached! In fact just hearing without reaching the conscience we end up being even more prideful than before!

Paul says that God's love constrains him, in other words it controls and keeps things in the right boundaries! God's love should constrain, control and keep us in HIS RIGHTEOUS BOUNDRIES!
Let God's love permeate your thoughts today, and everyday...so that you may "feel" secure and therefore allow Him to be in control!

One last thought... Jesus died for ALL, because we were ALL BORN DEAD to begin with!

in grace,
Howard

7/26/2018 To be with God!

2 Co 5:8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. 9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. 10 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.

The ONE thing you can count on in life, is that we will all die! Every person will come to that point someday! Will they be ready to meet God and stand before Him? Many won't! Many may say they are ready but they are not! And what will they say! What will their works show! Will their works and fruit resemble Christ or self! This is not a lose your salvation verse but rather a "IF" your saved verse! IF YOU are saved and in Christ or lost and dead in sin! We ALL have a choice!

This is why we should share the gospel! This is why we should stand in the gospel, when the world and even our family disagrees! Because they too will die someday and face God!

always in grace,
Howard

7/25/2018 Walk by FAITH, not by sight!

2 Co 5:4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)

It is funny in a sad way that we want to hold onto our bodies, our physical flesh and body, so much... when Paul says it is a burden! In other words Paul is saying only through the spirit is freedom! Only through the spirit are we truly ALIVE! AND that we should be living and walking after the spirit.... so that when we pass from this life, rather this world, our spiritual bodies will be free, from the burden of this world!

BUT we must realize that while we "DO" have these fleshly bodies we are STILL to live by faith, and not by sight! Even if your sick, "physically" walk by faith! Walk SPIRITUALLY! Put your mind on God, not necessarily asking for A healing but rather thanking God for WHO HE IS! His grace is sufficient! His life is sufficient!
His love is MORE than enough!
Walk by FAITH dear SAINT, and let Christ LIVE through you, For His Spirit is more than enough!

in grace, by faith,
Howard

7/24/2018 Your address is Heaven Street! SO Clothe yourself in Christ!

2 Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.

We need to understand that our positional, spiritual house is in Christ and therefore in Heaven! RIGHT NOW, your home address is on Heaven's Street! You do not need to think you are homeless, and insecure about  shelter and future! You know where you will be and where you are now! You are clothed with God's house! Clothe yourself daily in your thoughts! Clothe yourself with... Who is in you and where you reside! Don't stand as if your naked, Put-On on God's clothing! PUT ON CHRIST!

in grace,
Howard

7/23/2018 Internal vs External!

2 Cor 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

When we look at things seen, we tend to lust, or want fixed! We think we can control, save or manipulate! When we see that we can not, fix or change the circumstances, we do 1 of 2 things! We either wine, cry and get mad! We may even throw a grown up fit, like a child OR we go to God! NOW We may even pray but still lust, and throw a fit! NOT UNTIL we truely submit, rest and give God thanks for His presence  and His glory that we have truely given the internal, spiritual, Godly GLORY TO GOD! Don't live in the external but the internal! God lives IN YOU! The internal is much more important then the external, for only in the internal is there peace and life! What ever we go through is only for a short time even if it leads to physical death, in comparisen to the eternal life with God which is forever! Focus on the internal and bring every thought and feeling to God! He loves you and will bring security and peace to your mind!

as always in grace,
Howard

7/20/2018 Be Thankful for God's grace and glorify God!

2 Co 4:12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

My Life's verse is verse 15...that I may share the gospel of grace and do all things for your sake....
that you and all of us may be so thankful, and growing in thankfulness.... and giving thanks unto God, that we all would bring GLORY TO GOD!

We give God glory by being His children, resting at His feet , and allowing Him to love us! We give Him praise, respect and honor by calling Him our "daddy" our father! By being thankful for His grace, His love, His mercy, His Righteousness, His holiness, His Godliness, His........HIM!
Just be THANKFUL for God's grace and GLORIFY GOD!

glory to God,
Howard

7/19/2018 The Treasure within us!

2 Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

OH MY SAINTS!!!! Did you read that!!! WE have a TREASURE in US and that treasure is the POWER OF GOD! The Glory of GOD and the LIGHT of GOD! (see verse 6)!! AND because we have this power, light and glory we can go through the same things that Paul did! He is our example! He went through trouble, rejection, and persecution!! He went through so much YET, he lived in the power and victory WITHIN HIM!!!

No matter what your going through today... remember the treasure within you...sit, receive, rest in God's light, love and liberty! God's glory, power and Spirit is in you, so don't strive to control, fix or overcome some circumstance, just be content in CHRIST'S LOVE!

in grace,
Howard

7/18/2018 Shine Jesus Shine!

2 Co 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Preach the cross! Proclaim and Preach Jesus as Lord!

Among the church today there are teachers that teach a message of dishonesty and of handling the "word" deceitfully! They preach prosperity, Calvinism and healing in trickery for financial gain! They teach a different gospel, like the Mormons or scientology! Many teach the "old covenant" as if it is "THE" covenant for today! These ALL will keep you in bondage! These ALL will keep you insecure and tormented with anxiety and fear!

DON'T BE DECEIVED....IF your pastor/teacher does not teach the gospel of grace by faith, through the cross, and Jesus as Lord...then they are deceiving you!

Now notice Paul says that the god (little G) Satan, the god of this age, has blinded there minds! While on one hand he is the instrument, liar and deceiver, MAN still has the responsibility and ability to choose if he will proclaim and receive Jesus his Lord! The Spirit of God is always shining around this world and it is up to man to see and receive!

IF you are saved and believe that Jesus is Lord, that same light of God is shining in you! Let that Light Shine on others so that they will know and receive Jesus as Lord! Let that Light Shine in your day to day life, and GIVE GLORY TO GOD!

in grace,
Howard


7/17/2018 Freedom in Christ!

2 Co 3:12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: 13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: 14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. 16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. 17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Just as Israel had a veil across their hearts and still do, it seems that many gentiles do too! Now the truth be told they do not because gentiles never had the veil to begin with! YET a hardness of heart, or a sort of veil still keeps them from receiving Christ! Remember ALL unbelievers, non Christians are in this position!

My ministry is and always has been that I would share the freedom in Christ based upon the Spirit and works that Christ has done! And by the way you can ONLY know that freedom in Paul's books! All the other books are written with Israel in mind under law and commandments not given to us! Only through the cross is their freedom Spiritually! Yet so many of us, CHRISTIANS, live in bondage in many areas of our lives! WE do not see the bondage of fear, guilt and shame! WE do not see the bondage of seeking acceptance , approval and affection from others! WE do not see our independent, controlling or vengeful heart! WE do not see how we are locked up in our religion, rituals or relationships!

Now we have liberty, the freedom in Spirit but because of our thinking (Soul) we do not see it manifest in our Soul and body! WE do not see that freedom in our thinking and therefore our emotions have turmoil and are twisted!

This is why we must RENEW our minds daily, every second, taking captive EVERY thought we have, unto Christ! It brings discipline and freedom into our soul and body, that Abundant LIFE that is already true about us in the Spirit!

Walk in the freedom that you already have Spiritually! THANK GOD, be content and complete in Christ!
Your WORTH is in Christ! Your VALUE is in Christ!
FREE, FREE, FREE at LAST in CHRIST!

in grace,
Howard

7/16/2018 The Spirit is Glorious and gives life!

2 Co 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

If you have received these devotions for long you know that I have said that we do not live under the "new" Testament! Let me clarify... THE "NEW" covenant, which begins after the cross and in the book of Acts at Pentecost, was prophesied to Israel in Jerimiah 31:31! AND because it was prophesied, it was said to be from the beginning, it was known to Israel in other words. BUT things in the "mystery" were NOT known, and that is were we are today, in the age of the revelation of the mystery given to gentiles and the BODY of CHRIST! So what Paul is indicating here is that the same Spirit of God which was going to be given to Israel under the "NEW" covenant is now given in the dispensation of grace to gentiles! We live in a dispensation without law, without traditions and ordinances!
Paul is saying that the law is glorious YET the SPIRIT IS MORE GLORIOUS! We gentiles never had "the" law, and still do not have it!
Read HIS WORD and LIVE BY THE SPIRIT AND YOU WILL HAVE LIFE!

in grace,
Howard

7/13/2018 ENOUGH in Christ!

2 Co 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

WE are made sufficient in Christ! Our Spirit is filled with God's Spirit, so how much more do we need? NOTHING! We have everything Spiritually given to us the second we become a believer! So to be sufficient in Christ means to be adequate, which means to also be qualified in Christ! Christ makes us qualified, sufficient and adequate for God! We do not need to "DO" more, or strive to be "good enough" for God, through Christ we are! Your worth is not in what you do, but in "who you are"! Even more so "WHO IS IN YOU"!!!
We were inadequate, insufficient, and disqualified on our own,
BUT NOW you are completely, abundantly and plenty enough through Christ!
Thank Him Saint,

in Christ enough,
Howard

7/12/2018 YOU are a LIVING LETTER, to be READ!

2Co 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward:

As the bible transitions and changes from Israel to The Body of Christ....It also has moved in the understanding of the Spirit! Everything today in the working of the body is by the spirit, not by Law, or traditions! Keep that in mind when you see your church take communion, water baptism or other outward things! It is not by external but by internal! In Ephesians 4, it says there is 1 baptism...in Cor. Paul says that the communion for today is in Christ,... heart and fellowship of the body!!! So remember that Paul uses the understanding that the Corinthian church is his epistle, his letter! While he wrote a letter to them, the letter has no value in just ink, but they come alive when read and sought by the Spirit! Believer you have the spirit of God in you! Some non believers read the word but it takes no effect because they do not have life in them! Israel's Law does not give life, it only condemns! Life is only through JESUS! Remind yourself today that Christ is in you and you are in Christ!
YOU are a LIVING LETTER to be READ!
Because the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD LIVES IN YOU! AMEN!

in grace,
Howard

7/11/2018 Oh you smell "SO GOOD" to God, dear saint!

2 Co 2:15 ; For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

Under the Law and in the Temple, incense was burned! It gave God a sweet smell of Israel's obedience and devotion! It was to be burned continually forever through out all generations! Now when Israel rejected Jesus their Messiah, then the dispensation of grace came to the gentiles, not under law but grace!

So by receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior we now have His Spirit burning within us forever! We have that sweet savor of love in us! We have Christ in us and God smells Him, sees Him, in us! It smells like LIFE, not death! It smells like God...Godliness, righteousness and holiness! It smells like and looks like death to those who do not believe, because they can see life within us! Therefore it will lead them to Christ! When you smell something good in the kitchen you get hungry and begin to desire it! You begin to be drawn to it!

This is what we are to be to the world! So let the world "SMELL" you....let them "SMELL" JESUS inside you! Let the righteous Oder and savor of Christ go out from you!

and always remember YOU smell "SO GOOD" to GOD SAINT!

grace be with you all,
Howard

7/10/2018 Take advantage of the door when they open up!!

2 Co 2:12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, 13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia. 14 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.


A door was opened up to Paul, he says! Meaning that the door was open to share the Gospel of Christ! People were WILLING to HEAR! They wanted LIFE! They wanted this gospel!!! The gospel of salvation by faith, by grace and by the cross! The only gospel that saves today! The gospel of Christ death, burial and resurrection! We should not add to this gospel, but rather share it as it is without adding works, traditions or any other hoops to jump through! AND when this door opens to you... be ready, be willing, be BOLD!! Many will not accept, but many will! We are to share the cross, share the faith, share Christ! Give them what they desire most LIFE!

as always in grace
Howard

7/9/2018 You are already forgiven, so forgive!

2 Co 2:6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. 7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. 8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. 9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. 10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; 11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Paul is addressing the issue of the man in 1 Cor. 5, where the church was allowing a man to be among them who was having a sexual affair with his step mom! While Paul was not pleased with the man He was even more upset with the church for allowing such a man to be among them! BUT NOW the man has repented...you may say how do we know he repented,... because Paul would not have allowed nor encouraged the church to forgive and allow him to come back if he hadn't!

We always need to extend forgiveness no matter what toward those who have offended us! Those we may feel have rejected or hurt or even not have felt loved by, even if they are dead! But that does not mean we are to allow rebellious, unrighteous , ungodly behavior to continue! We may need to send someone to prison for breaking the law, and to protect society, YET we still need to forgive first! Forgiveness does not mean approving of their sin, it means that I no longer hold them guilty, because I am NOT GOD! Only God is the judge of eternal things! We must allow Him to be "the" judge and we follow His leading and word!

Paul goes on to say if they continued to punish the man after he has repented then they too would fall under Satan's devices and set standards that are not theirs to set and become bitter toward this man!

We are set free of the bondage of death, bitterness and trying to be "God" when we forgive. It is doing exactly what Paul said in Eph. 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Repent, Renew, Rest AND Extend forgiveness, in ALL situations!!

in grace,
Howard

7/6/2018 The Joy and Sorrow of the Body!

2 Co 2:1 But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness. 2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me? 3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all. 4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. 5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.

You can sense Paul's emotions for this church! Paul has worked and shared the gospel with them and he has seen their transformed life in Christ! He shared and they received! When we share Christ and we see others come to Him for the first time, we are so excited! We know they are saved, and will see them in heaven! We are now one in spirit and we see the hope arise in them! In counseling I get the same thrill out of seeing them realize that they are completely forgiven and watching them grow in the freedom that Christ has for them!

Like any parent Paul did not like correcting or rebuking them, but it was necessary for them to grow and be discipline in knowing Christ! So Paul was sad when he had to do that but He was also full of joy for they responded correctly. They repented and began to walk by faith!

Because the church is a living body, people have problems and need to be shown how to walk by faith! Exhorting the church to Christ, is what is necessary all the time. Correcting, rebuking and training the body to be discipline by faith! Now this discipline I mention is not punishment but rather a steadfast, day by day, life style!
REJOICE.......and EXHORT, EDIFY AND ENCOURAGE THE BODY!

in grace,
Howard

7/5/2018 Stand Sealed, Secure and Sanctified in Spirit!

2 Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; 22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. 24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

We are Sealed in the Spirit, and by the Spirit of God! Sealed means to put in, conceal and stamp closed, like a Spiritual letter inside a HOLY ENVELOPE!! We are put in Christ, concealed in Him and stamped closed in Him! It also means to prove and confirm it so! So by this seal we are stamped and sealed with the most HOLY, RIGHTEOUS MARK OF CHRIST! This is how we know we are saved! We are saved, secure and sanctified...meaning our Spirit is in Christ, set aside, separate from our flesh, which is our soul and body! It means regardless of our fleshly actions, based on the Holy Spirit and our Spirit being one we are for ever secure in Christ! We are in heaven now Spiritually and will join God and Christ physically someday in the future! See how important it is to know what scriptures says! If you did not know this you might think that every time you sin, you lose your salvation! Now there are churches and pastors and teachers who teach that you can lose your salvation...but THAT is a LIE!
YOU ARE FOREVER SEALED IN CHRIST,  so stand in faith!
STAND SEALED, SECURE AND SANCTIFIED IN SPIRIT!

in Christ,
Howard

7/4/2018 GOD IS YES!

2 Cor 1:12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 13 For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; 14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. 15 And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; 16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea. 17 When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? 18 But as God is true, our word toward you was not yea and nay. 19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timotheus, was not yea and nay, but in him was yea. 20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Everything about God is YEA or YES AND AMEN! WHY because God is God! Everything He does is perfect and good and righteous! YES, He brought reconciliation to man! YES,He wanted us, and therefore gave His son Jesus to us and to the cross! YES, He gave us a way of salvation, to have life for eternity! YES God loves us, accepts us and forgives! YES He promised from the beginning of time that man kind would spend time with Him! YES, we are one with God and in heaven! YES, God fulfills All His promises, and did fulfill ALL His promises through Christ! So YES, GOD is YES, YES, YES........and CHRIST IS YES TOO! Lean on Him, depend on Him! He wants you to come to Him in all situations ALL THE TIME! He is our Father, our Lord and He LOVES US!

always, yes in Christ,
Howard

7/3/2018 Honest and transparent!

2 Co 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: 9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead: 10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us; 11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

Paul is being transparent and honest with his circumstances and fears! He thought that any minute he could die! DO you ever feel that way? I know I have! Sometimes life circumstances seem so big, so overwhelming they we just want to die! YET, it is those circumstances that will either drive us to God or kill us! When we are feeling this way it seems we have no choice sometimes but to cry out to God and that is what God wants! Cry out to Him, be open transparent and genuine with your thoughts and feelings! Knowing that no matter what happens, even death, that you will be with Him forever! You see the fear and bondage to the circumstances of life is what hurts! The bondage of fear or loss is so great that we live in torment! When we yield to God and yes even death we understand LIFE! We can be free of fear, and no longer be tormented! GIVE GOD THANKS! Pray for others and ask them to pray for you! and try to be THANKFUL IN ALL things, because ALL things can drive you to the cross of Christ!

in love,
Howard

7/2/2018 God's comfort!

2 Cor 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: 2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 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. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

Most of Paul's books give the topic of the whole book in the first chapter. The book of 2nd Cor. is about God's comfort! God's grace and love comforts us! He gives us hope for the future! He gives us security for the present! He has forgiven us for not only our past sins but for all our sins! We can be comforted that a God that is so powerful can accept us and reconcile us to Himself! When we need to cry out we can! He never leaves us and is always giving life in each situation we are in! He comforts us that we may comfort others! Because we have hope we can share hope! Because we have life we can share life! We have all been in low places in our lives and know that God is the comforter! So comfort, share life, and put that security blanket of Christ around someone!


in God's comfort,
Howard

6/30/2018 Live life and fellowship with one another!

 1Co 16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. 21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand. 22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Aquila and Priscilla's house church was common in these early days! Small groups gathered to share and bond in Christ! They were protected and felt closer in these type of settings. They could not always depend on or use the synagogues, which would have been a meeting place for most city events! I encourage people to start home fellowships/bible studies so that they too can have a more intimate understanding of God and each other! In the U.S. there a more house church's than you might think, but in places like China and S. Korea there are literally millions! Small groups are the most effective way of getting to know one another as church life goes! Also the small group should not be just a small group who has someone preaching in a pulpit like manner but rather a group sharing life with each other! Meals are a way to get together and begin the time and then have a study, prayer and sharing time with each other! Knowing and meeting the needs of one another is greater also. Some may have emotional, marital or financial needs! These are more likely to be known and helped by a small group that a larger one! Yes I know that most people think that all churches are Mega churches but the statistics show other wise! 80% of churches in the U.S. are under 100 people and only about 2-3 % are mega size (2000 or more)! In the case of ministry smaller is better!

Notice Paul goes on to say that "... If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema..." which means cursed! The man who does not love God, who is not saved is cursed to hell for the rest of eternity! Do you know some one who does not love the Lord Jesus? If so share Christ with them, that they may have LIFE! ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST!

in grace,
Howard

6/29/2018 Refreshed in Christ and addicted to minister!

1Co 16:15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. 17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. 18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.

Paul uses a great phrase here "...addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints"! What a neat way of saying they committed themselves to serving the church! They gave prayerfully and financially to the saints in Jerusalem who were starving! They needed help and they were more than willing to help them, especially since the saints in Jerusalem sent Paul to minister to them! The Corinthian church reaped Spiritual things from the church in Jerusalem while the saints in Jerusalem received material things! Notice there was a reciprocal giving, not just a one way giving only! Meaning in ALL relationships in order to call them a healthy relationship there needs to be a equal giving and receiving! To many relationship are only one sided! One person talks about themselves constantly while the other may listen, never able to speak because the other is controlling the conversation and environment!
Paul was refreshed when his ministry buddies came! People can encourage and refresh each other by being there for them. It helps to not be alone and to know your not the only one who is going through something! So spend time getting to know other believers and share life with them!
Be refreshed and refresh others in LORD TODAY!!

in God's grace,
Howard

6/28/2018 By Faith, stand like men and be strong!

1Co 16:10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. 11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren. 12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time. 13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 14 Let all your things be done with charity.

Paul wants the church to support Timothy and protect him! Can you imagine being a young man alone in harsh country and with strange company teaching the word of God! To add Timothy was known for being a little timid and fearful in comparison to Paul! Paul also says that Timothy does the work of the Lord! We too desire to do the work of the Lord! Sharing, teaching, giving ourselves so that many may come to faith in Jesus! Think about that as go your way today and everyday! WHO can I share even a small part of Christ! A smile, a hello, a prayer.... shows you care and may open doors to share your life and even more important Christ! People watch small things we do, so if your gentile ,kind, and loving they notice! If your happy, peaceful and your attitude is different than others, they will notice. The world has NO HOPE, we have THE HOPE ALREADY!
STAND STRONG in FAITH, and share LOVE!

standing in Christ,
Howard

6/27/2018 If the DOOR is open, Take it!

1Co 16:6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. 7 For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. 8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. 9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

One of the reasons I go verse by verse is that I don't miss anything! I find that many devotions or teachers often stay on a particular subject that they enjoy but may not teach the whole counsel of God! Meaning these seemingly insignificant verses are some times great and powerful verses!

Paul is saying here that he wants to see the church! He wants to spend time with them! He loved them and was "one" with them. WE TOO should desire to be with like minded believers. Those that share Christ, and share a enthusiasm for God and Godliness! Go to church...meaning spend time with others! That may be at work where 2-3 gather at lunch! Or it may be at a evening bible study in a home, or even a morning one! It does not need to look like a Sunday morning production and preaching!

Now Paul wants to get back to Jerusalem to see the saints at Pentecost! He says "...a great door and effectual is opened to me..."! You see He knew that this would be something that he could share the gospel of grace with many! That He could share how the gentiles were growing in heart and numbers! He would be able to boast in the ministry that started in Jerusalem and now is spreading around the world and how that would give the saints back in Jerusalem joy! That they would be encouraged that Christ was spreading even though they were suffering!

Paul also says " ...there are many adversaries..."! YOU see Paul knew that there would be hard times, but he still wanted to go! How many of us want to go through that open door even if we knew there would be hard times! When your circumstances are hard, keep this in mind! It does not mean the end... it just may be the beginning of sharing Christ to someone who does not know Him! BE willing to go through that door so that GOD MAY BE GLORIFIED!!!

always in grace,
Howard

6/26/2018 Food for the Spirit!

1Co 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. 4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me. 5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.

The first day of the week is Sunday! Now that does not mean that Christians need only meet on Sunday, but that it is no longer a Sabbath type rule for gentiles! Again this shows the difference between Israel and gentiles in the Body of Christ! It shows the difference between law and grace, covenant and dispensation, and prophecy and the mystery! The first day of the week Christ rose! The first day of the week we "can" make God first and celebrate Christ before our work week! Israel's day of rest was after their work, ours is before! Spiritual verses natural!
Paul was encouraging the Corinthians to gather a collection to share with the Jerusalem saints who were struggling being around a dominate Jewish influence! They were starving and not being aloud to work, buy or even receive from the normal rations given for the poor! They were treated harshly and desperately needed help! While Paul's ministry was primarily to the gentiles He still was a Jew, and had great sympathy for Israel and it's people! Especially these new converts to Christ!
If possible we should give to those who are hungry and need help but always giving them the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ as well! Tell them about the cross work and that Christ died, He was buried, and rose and lives today! That they too may have His life for eternity! We should share food for the body, AND food for the spirit as well! IF we don't share Christ, we become another charity giving food, but not life!
GIVE THEM LIFE, IN CHRIST! What good does it do to give them food for their stomach and they die in lost in sin!

as always, in grace
Howard

6/25/2018 We shall be changed!

1 Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

John 4:24 says that God is Spirit and those that worship Him must worship Him and be "IN" Spirit and truth! So we must have the Spirit in us to be one with God! Now we are changed Spiritually now and because of that sanctification (set apart in holiness) we are continually being sanctified in our Soul and body, but we will be "COMPLETLY " changed Spirit-Soul- Body, when we are in that heavenly place with God!

Death no longer will have any part of us at that point! We are made alive forever Spiritually now and later physically! Now Paul explains that the sting of death is sin! In other words when we sin, every time we sin, is a death type process! If I get mad at my wife, and I am harsh with her, I sinned, and that death process is guilt on me and hurts her! Now Paul explains that the Law says to love! The Law shows me that I did not show love toward my wife and that their is a death that happened! NOW also Paul explains that the strength of sin, is in the law! Have you ever told a child NOT to stick their finger in the electric plug in, and then watch them do it! The law says Not to do something but our flesh says "I will do whatever I want...." and BANG, SIN!

The answer to ALL sin, ALL death, ALL things is Christ! Let us THANK GOD, who sent JESUS to be the one and only sacrifice needed for death, and sin and in which also brings LIFE!

in grace, Howard

6/22/2018 We too!

1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

These two Adams are talking about Adam in Genesis, the first born by God's creation and the first natural made man! Born earthy, fleshly and sinned! The 2nd Adam represents Jesus! Born in spirit and heavenly! Born perfect, whole, and complete as is His Father! Hebrews tell us the Jesus is the exact, express image of God! Spiritually speaking we too are the exact, perfect and complete image of God, through Christ! WE too are holy, righteous and Spiritually complete! WE too have the Power, Wisdom and Mind of Christ! WE too have everything that Christ has and is! WE TOO.....!!!! WHY, because HE LIVES IN YOU! Our Spirit is no longer our Spirit but His SPIRIT! So not only does our Spirit bear the image of God but eventually our bodies will too! Don't look back and say I am a no good dirty sinner.... but rather look forward tell your self, I AM the IMAGE OF GOD NOW, in SPIRIT and I look forward to that day when I will have that IMAGE IN BODY IN HEAVEN! Death for the believer is not a sad thing but a Glorious one, for we shall be with our FATHER and LORD!

in grace,
Howard

6/21/2018 Natural-Spiritual!

1Co 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Paul is describing how we are born in the natural, unsaved and dead spiritually! We are all born in sin, BUT when we come to know and receive Jesus Christ as our savior we then have a Spirit that is ALIVE! ALIVE in Christ! A Spirit that has our God, our Savior, and a Holy Spirit all in our spirit! We have received all the heavenly blessings and are completely whole, saved and sealed, Spiritually! Now don't get focused on the celestial and the terrestrial body thing! Celestial means heavenly and terrestrial means earthy! So while we are spiritually saved and complete here on earth, we still have a terrestrial body, but soon we will have a celestial body! Angles are a good example of celestial bodies and man a terrestrial one, yet are we just as important as angels of course! So remember you are important, loved and received in Christ! YOU are HEAVEN BOUND! AND your spirit is in HEAVEN NOW! What a home.... Give God the glory and thank Him for giving you LIFE TODAY!

with love and grace,
Howard

6/20/2018 Dead or Alive!

1Co 15:35  But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

It seems that not much has changed. I still have people ask me what will we look like and be like after the rapture! Will we have our own bodies, in other words our own identity, and will we be able to tell each other apart! And will we be whole and healthy and the answer is yes!

BUT that is not the point here! The point Paul is trying to get across is that there is a resurrection and that the only way to get that is by dying to our self centeredness and allowing Christ to live in us! A seed is planted and then the outer shell dies and allows the enter seed to grow! This is how we too must grow, in Christ! Not external but internal! Not natural but Spiritual! That internal, Spiritual man must be made alive and yielded to Christ to have Life! IF you are a believer your Spirit is alive in Christ and you are going to spend eternity with Him! IN FACT YOU ALREADY ARE!

Praise Him, Thank Him and LIVE!

alive in Christ,
Howard

6/19/2018 The LIFE of the Party!

1Co 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Paul continues to write about the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and we too will rise from the dead and be with Him physically! WE are already one and with Him Spiritually, but that time will come when we will be with Him in that physical form!

NOW in the verses above they tend to lean toward the thought that if we do not rise with Christ as some say then we might as well have a party! The world thinks this way! The world says there is no hope in a after life and so lets do everything we can now! There are no boundaries! "Lets live it up"! "Live life to the fullest"!!!! BUT you see they have no conscience or understanding of the future! They have no life, no hope, no security! Only fear, of not living, so "live it up now" they say!

Verse 33 says "do not be deceived..." That sums up the world, they ARE deceived! They ARE lost! AND they WILL die in their sin! Don't hang out with those doubters, unfaithful, worldly people. They will rub off on you more than you will rub off on them! Share the gospel, but not hang out without a purpose! AND that purpose should be to bring them to Christ! Be discerning... if they seem genuinely interested in knowing Christ.... share, but if they don't move on there are lots of people who are seeking hope and security and need Christ!

Share, give,... but be wise and protect your heart and mind also. Don't live for the party,
because the LIFE of the party is IN YOU!

for you,
Howard

6/18/2018 In Christ, Eternal Life!

 1Co 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

Paul is describing that Christ rose from the dead and is alive and transfers that very life into us by the Spirit! Christ was the firstfruit, meaning the first to conquer death that we too may conquer eternal death by eternal LIFE! BUT than he goes on to talk about a last day type of gathering as God sets up His Kingdom on earth that finally there will be no more physical death on earth but eternal life on earth! AS far as for you and I today we have that eternal life! For us today if you are a believer you have every SPIRITUAL blessing now! We do not need to fear, or worry about our eternal future for it is set in Christ now! We do not need to wonder about God's future plans for they are already in place! We have security in Christ NOW!!!! The one thing we can do besides renew our minds, and walk in faith is too pray for the lost, share with lost, and pray for Israel! It will not be a easy time for the Nation of Israel, but we can still pray and find comfort in the fact that what God has promised he will complete! Always remember dear saint, that you are already "complete" in Christ!

grace to you,
Howard

6/15/2018 LIFE IN CHRIST, TODAY!

 1Co 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

If Christ has not risen we would not have eternal life, nor hope! But He did rise and we do have eternal Life! We also have LIFE NOW! We sometimes think we have eternal life after death, and we do, but we need to also remember that eternal means NOW also! We have LIFE over death NOW! We have LIFE over fear NOW! We have LIFE over judgment NOW! We are living IN ETERNAL LIFE NOW!!!!! So while Christ resurrection brings hope after physical death, we have that same LIFE NOW!!! That CHRIST LIFE!
Give God Thanks and start living LIFE through CHRIST TODAY!!!

always in Christ,
Howard

6/14/2018 Paul's Pattern!

1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 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. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Paul persecuted the church! He was a enemy of Christ, just as we gentiles were! YET and this is what makes His ministry unique and different than Peter's and the "little" flock, is that he was a enemy and did not walk nor know Jesus in His earthly ministry! He would have been like the Pharisees were back then! He hated Christ and the church! Remember that next time one of your friends say that they are atheist, they just may become "A" Paul! Now Paul was the first to be granted grace based upon not works or following the Messiah or by a earthy conversation but by a Spiritual one, because Christ had already ascended to heaven! He was saved by Jesus extending and releasing grace upon His "enemies" by faith!
1Ti 1:16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Paul becomes our pattern because we too were a enemy of God! You see Israel was given the very oracles of God...Rom 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; But we did not have or know God without Israel!
So while Paul says he was least because of being a enemy and not walking along side of Jesus in His earthly ministry, HE became the Apostle to the gentiles and the forerunner of the gospel of grace given to The Body of Christ for today!
Yet remember that while we should grasp Paul's ministry and read His Doctrine for today, we also praise God for those who preach Christ, regardless of their particular doctrine! MEANING that while I would encourage other pastors, teachers, and Christians to understand Paul's distinct doctrine, under grace and the freedom that it brings in Christ and not under law, so that they too may have freedom from legalism and works based Christianity! Which most Christian leaders do not know how much they themselves walk in performance based and works mentality! BUT they do preach CHRIST!
Grow in Grace, understand Paul's ministry by reading Romans through Philemon over and over and you can be free from the performance and bondage that it brings!

growing in grace,
Howard

6/13/2018 The Great Commision for Today!

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

This is our Great commission for Today! Most Christians believe and follow Matthew 28:16-20, as that commission, but that commission was given to the 11 apostles for the nation of Israel! Nothing had changed as far as Israel was concerned in that the King and Kingdom were to still be restored. That the Messiah was to come and He would restore Israel's Kingdom! Israel was to be a Nation of Priest and water baptize all who would repent and follow Jesus! BUT they did not as a nation believe! Some Jews did but not as a nation! Now the water baptism was a cleansing and a identity from being under Moses to being under the Messiah! It showed "WHO" they belonged too! NOW we gentiles never belonged to anyone unless we came under Israel's, law, ordinances and traditions! HERE IN chapter 15 we see the way to salvation given to us by Jesus to Paul! That we gentiles, and The Body of Christ for today, be given salvation by faith alone! By believing that Jesus died for our sins and rose to give us LIFE, we are saved! NO water baptism, the Spirit lives in us and we are first cleansed by Christ blood and 2nd by the Spirit! WE ARE SPRITUALLY BAPTISED INTO CHRIST! You can't get anymore cleansed then that! We are made Holy, Pure, Righteous, New, Godly and Complete in Christ! WE ARE saved, sealed, sanctified and secure IN CHRIST! WE ARE loved , accepted, forgiven and reconciled to God IN CHRIST!!
WE ARE......... YOU ARE.......... .......... ...

in Christ,
Howard

6/12/2018 Unity by edifying not seeking attention for self!

1Co 14: 4-40
.....19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. 20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. 21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord. 22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe. .......
... 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

I know this is a lot of reading for a devotion, which is why I shorten it but I would encourage you to go back and read verses 4-40 of this chapter. I want to focus on what I believe is the point of what Paul is saying here! AND AGAIN I repeat Paul is talking about unity! He is saying that we are not children, and don't behave like children! Be mature in understanding knowledge and discernment! Be mature as adults and NOT SEEK attention as children do! A child needs attention and craves attention and acceptance! When adults behave this way, and MANY do, it is called sin! Now it is sin when children do it too, and we are told to guide that child to God when they are young so that they can learn what sin is and that God loves them and sent Christ to them! It is the perfect way to lead your child to salvation in Christ!
So many churches act so childish in their theology! Tongues was used as a "sign for UN believers" so when the world sees this acting out on T.V. or in church, they say this is some religious idiots, why would I want to be a part of them! We should share Christ in a intelligent way! Talking in a language they can understand and make a intelligent decision based on their will and choosing.... not some, emotional, guilt ridden, crazy super natural stuff!
Prophesy means to teach, exhort and edify, don't seek attention by "trying to be" spiritual, and speaking in tongues or for that matter "trying to be spiritual" by seeking attention in any other way,
BECAUSE YOU ALL READY ARE SPIRITUAL, IN CHRIST! Unity comes from giving, selfless thinking! What is in God's interest! What is in the interest of God for this person! Seeking attention is not for others but for your self, so give, edify and let all things be done in God's order!

in order, in Christ,
Howard  

6/11/2018 The point is to Edify the body for unity!

1Co 14:1  Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

Just like in the world, the church begins over time and years to begin to teach certain chapters as if they are separate from the very point of the book! The subject in 1 Corinthians is unity! The point of Chapter 12 is NOT gifts or tongues, but rather the point is to EDIFY the BODY for UNITY! Unity in Christ and unity with each other! Edify means to grow, mature and exhort in Christ! The point here is to Edify, Exhort and Comfort each other so that the church may be mature, secure and whole as they reach out to others for the GLORY OF GOD! Prophesy means to teach here, NOT to foretell as the old covenant prophets did! Teach to grow, teach encourage, teach to comfort each other in God's love and to bring the believer closer in his identity in Christ! The tongue gift is no longer necessary today, since the completed, closing and maturity of the bible! We can all speak to God in our own language, and it is self centered to do otherwise! The misguided and over emphasis of tongues, is why so many tongue speaking churches require believers to speak in tongues on order to prove they are believers! This is wrong and not a requirement for proof of salvation! Paul is conveying that teaching is what is required and says so in Titus 1:3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; Preaching and teaching is what is needed today not tongue speaking, attention getting, spiritual self centeredness!  Don't get caught up in the hype of tongue or any other gift, just grow in your identity in Christ and teach others when you can!

in grace,
Howard

6/8/2018 God never fails!

 1Co 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

As I said yesterday that the word charity means to have a "giving" mentatallty! YET as I also said that it also means love! Most bible transalations use the word love! Now LOVE must be righteous because GOD IS LOVE! 1Jo 4:8....for God is love. ... 16....God is love; a ... 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
So with that in mind lets look at these verse in this way God who is our Father is...
My Father suffereth long, My Father is kind, My Father does not envey, My Father vaunted not , My Father is not puffed up..... MY FATHER NEVER FAILS!
I think many people...Christians "try" Christianity....and it seems to fail them and so blame God, and sometimes move on, but scripture says Love, GOD never fails, so if there is a failure it is our undoing that failed! God is totally committed to you, God loves you because He is love... but He will not sacrifice holy , righteous principles for you He has already sacrificed HIS child, so that you can become HIS child! Always remember DEAR child of God,
GOD NEVER FAILS!

IN GOD IS LOVE,
Howard



6/7/2018 Charity!

1Co 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

As I have said before the different versions of the bible can sometimes change the meaning just slightly! While most versions use the word love, the KJV uses the word charity! Charity is the correct version and word to be used here, not love! Love is used as a very general term here! From a worldly point of view, Love usually brings in the thinking of emotions! While charity can mean love and have emotions... it is not what Paul was getting across here! The meaning here is really "GIVING"... GIVING from a "good will", "benevolence" and "brotherly kindness" heart and thinking! ALL of these have a form of love, we might say, but still different! For instance "good will" is to show kindness toward another, and lead them to Christ, or even feed them, yet I may not know the person! It means what is in "GOD'S INTEREST" for this person! It always means to "GIVE" and to have a good will, benevolence and kind thinking! This "GIVING" is always righteous, Godly and exhorting others to come to Christ as their savior and in their circumstances! ALL of these have a form of Love and this is why most versions just use the word love!

The most important thing we can get out of these verses is that we can "look" spiritual, be religious or even act humble by giving money, food, time or clothes....away, but this may be for ourselves, so we "feel good" about ourselves and NOT FOR GOD! Remember that true "CHARITY" is righteous and Godly, and that God looks at your heart not what you give! If your heart is selfish and in the wrong place it is no longer Godly, righteous or CHARITY!

Ask yourself why I am doing this?... giving this? Do you tend to give to "feel good" about yourself? While others may benefit, and are glad to receive,....
it does not make your gift "charity"!

in charity,
Howard

6/6/2018 You are the Body of Christ!

1Co 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

YOU and I, WE are the Body of Christ! All genuine, true believers are called MEMBERS of the Body! No where in Paul's ministry does he call the church, the gentile church... sheep! We are members of CHRIST BODY! And as such we should reflect that! Meaning our lives are intertwined, ONE and will produce, manifest, pour out Christ on the world! People will see Christ being lived out in our work place and in our relationships with our spouse, family and friends! They will see righteousness, Godliness and Love, as God loves us! NOTICE I said as God and Godliness! Love that accepts and approves of sin is not Godliness nor love! Now God has set His church up with authorities to help lead and direct but by no means are these leaders better than anyone they are just the roles in which they have! Now coveting gifts is not the point here either but rather again, UNITY! Communion of one Heart and mind! Unity with Christ and with each other! That is why we are called members of ONE BODY! Remember to know, renew and walk as who you are in Christ! It is a privilege to be apart of Christ and you are His!

a member in Christ,
Howard

6/5/2018 Care for one another!

  1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

WE ALL are important to the body of Christ! WE ALL have a function! WE ALL play a role in the Body!
WE ALL, WE ALL, WE ALL! You need to see that even if your particular role seems small that it is still needed! Perhaps no one sees your giving because you pray at home, but at least you are praying! Some parts of the human body we never see from the outside but can you imagine NOT have a kidney, or liver or even a heart that pumps blood so you can live! Just because you can't see these organs does not mean they are not important! NOW!!!! While we ALL are important, if they are not used, exercised and functioning they then can bring pain, hurt or even a toxic on the body! So you see it is important to be active alive and helping the Body to function as it should! No need to pick up the work of another organ if you are not that organ! Let the role you have be plenty but do your role! Sometimes in the beginning of a young Christians life they may say what is my role? If you have just come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior your role is to be like a child, go, learn and seek help, so that you may mature to do the same toward others! The Body of Christ is more than capable of taking care of Christ church! Old, young and everything in between! So do your role your part and CARE FOR ONE ANOTHER!

in grace,
Howard

6/4/2018 ONE SPIRIT!

1Co 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

I had a friend ask me for some help. He had a friend that was following and listening to a preacher that spoke about the idea of there not being a trinity! This preacher was so adamant on teaching that there was not a trinity and that we needed to be water baptized into only Jesus name! Now the funny thing is that This man, this preacher spent a lot of energy and time to prove something that does not exist or make what bit of difference! You see the preacher was spending so much effort trying to get across that you need to be "water" baptized into someone when in realty the Word says we are baptized by the SPIRIT into ONE BODY!!!! You see how the church gets off the right path to prove how we must and should do something and how if you don't do it that particular way your unsaved....when the bible clearly says "NOT SO"!!!
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
What good does it do you if you are water baptized and don't believe, or if your water baptized in God's, Jesus and/or Holy Spirits name if you don't believe! God looks at mans Spirit!
1Co 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
AND
1Co 14:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
You see religion, tradition and trying to be accepted keeps us in this doing everything right, works and striving state, instead of simply receiving by FAITH! Don't get caught up in the should ofs, could ofs, must, works mentally, but rather Rest and be comforted by faith, in Christ only!

by one Spirit,
Howard

6/1/2018 One Spirit, One Body!

1Co 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

So many churches do a type of test to find out what their gifts are! This thinking is shallow to what Paul is sharing here with the Corinthian church. He is trying to get across that while there are different people there is but one Body! There are different people that may function differently but there is ONLY ONE SPIRIT, AND ONE BODY! The manifestation or revealing of the Spirit may be different for each person at different times but it should NOT be the thing that is important, but rather the UNITY of the Spirit within the Body! We tend to get caught up in things for ourselves or what seems simple and obvious rather than Paul's point!!!!
UNITY regardless of personality, talent or gifts is what is important! Don't try to figure out your "gifts", just
WALK IN THE SPIRIT and SERVE the BODY!!

in His love,
Howard

5/31/2018 Jesus is Lord!

1Co 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

From the beginning of time we gentiles knew and desired "A" God or something spiritual to pray to! We all want to have a deeper more spiritual life! This is why so many people go to places around the world, so they can get a deeper more fulfilled life! We gentiles, people in general, seek spiritual comfort and wisdom through rocks, animals and even dead prophets! Some with big round bellies, some with long gray beards.... it does not really matter they all are either men, rocks or both, (that is that their dead)! BUT NOW we have the great privilege to come to Christ, who was neither "just" a man nor dead but a Spirit/man and ALIVE! ALIVE from the dead! ALIVE and sinless! ALIVE in Heaven! ALIVE IN YOU! He is alive by the Spirit that lives in you and ONLY by THAT Spirit can we say that HE IS OUR LORD! Say it, SHOUT IT, JESUS IS LORD!!!

glory to God,
Howard

5/30/2018 Take a "honest appraisel" of ourselves!

1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. 33 Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. 34 And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.

Paul is not describing a need for a physical healing thing to go on here, He is saying that when people are in disunity, selfish and sinning the body reacts!
As Psalm 32:1 describes.... Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah......
Our bodies react to sin, we get wore out, tired and even sick!!!This is why when people tell me their sick a lot I look to see what sin could be affecting them! SO the disunity within the church, the hearts of those who were selfish was causing them to be sick! In verse 31 Paul says "For if we would judge ourselves.... we need to take a "honest appraisal" of ourselves! What is our sin!? We may be right on something 99% of the time but wrong 1% we may be sinning! That one percent can do as much damage as being 99% wrong if not recognized as sin and repented of and shown that it is sin! We need to walk in unity! Unity in Christ first and then with each other! Disunity does not mean we agree on all things but that we may submit to each other in love! Now that is not in all things, with all people but within the Body we should be "willing to be willing to willingly submit in love"!

in grace,
Howard

5/29/2018 Unity in Christ, not food!

1Co 11:17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. 20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper. 21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken. 22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not. 23 For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. 27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

Once again Paul is talking about unity! The disunity of the church is always because of self centered , independent people! Acting apart from Christ and therefore selfish and independent of each other! Lusting for selfish needs instead of loving and giving to one another! Paul is addressing this and is using what many would call the Lord's supper to describe this unity in Christ! Now Paul is saying that the bread and drink are representatives of the unity in which we belong, but he is not saying we are to do this in a ritual type of thinking! We can and should give thanks everyday for our food and at every meal! BUT this communion is not the communion we celebrate but rather the union in Christ that we have in us, on a daily basis! We are to understand that we are ONE with Christ! And because of that we can be one with each other! When we act selfishly and are not in unity with each other THEN we have broken the unity and are said to be guilty and called "not worthy"! The worthiness has nothing to do with eating, but rather how we treat one another and live our daily lives in Christ! NOW with that said Spiritually we are worthy, because Christ lives in us, but we struggle with this in our Soul! Our mind, will and emotions! Our flesh lust! Our need to be accepted and appreciated kicks in! We want attention! So Paul is not saying to get caught up in the external... food, diet or even body, but to be aware of the internal, eternal Spirit with in us and the Body of Christ around us! ALWAY remember it is never external, natural fleshly, but rather eternal, internal and Spirit that counts for todays dispensation! The dispensing.... pouring out of God's Spirit on man!


in grace,
Howard

5/28/2018 Head Coverings!

1Co 11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Again Paul keeps to theme of disunity, and there was disunity over men and women's coverings! AND AGAIN, we see the gentile church has freedom from the Law! Israel and most Arab countries require head coverings for both men and women and even some face coverings for women! Their thinking is that the authority of God is over man and the authority over women is man! Now while Paul is a Jew he would have grown up with this same thinking, but we see a change again from this tradition! Paul declares to the gentile church that a women's hair is her covering! I always find it sad and interesting that many churches today, protestant churches too, push the old law on women to were coverings! It is as plain in letter now as it is in heart that a women's hair is her covering! Also Paul relates that it is a shame for men to have long hair! I was at a church recently and I said to a person I was talking too, "those girls are having so much fun playing..."! The women said " those are my grandkids and that is a boy"! She was not offended by what I said as much as explaining that the boy's parents had never cut his hair and he was about 8-9 years old! I could not tell that he was a boy, and THAT is Paul's point! Men should look like men and women should look like women! Now I don't fall into the camp that says women can not ever cut their hair! If women wants to cut her hair, great, just continue to "look" feminine and that is Paul's point! Let's not get into these religious rules for the sake of "looking" spiritual, but really are carnal! Lets remember the balance and understanding of true worship and the roles within God's boundaries!

in grace,
Howard

5/25/2018 Follow Paul!

1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 3 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.

Here is a perfect example of why it is so important to understand the dispensation of grace and the time frame in which we live according to the bible! Paul here says follow me! Following Paul as a example of understanding the ordinances! For instance it would be easy to think that these ordinances are from the Law, BUT they are not!!! If we understand and put into perspective we see throughout the book of Acts and in Romans onward through Philemon that the gentile church is not under Law! So when Paul references the ordinances he is not talking about the Levitical Law, but rather the ordinances of living in Christ and loving the Body of Christ! That comes from a understanding of this... 1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
You see we need to see Paul's ministry different than the other Apostles.... they were doing what they were told and Paul is doing what he was told to do for the gentile church! DON'T mix Peter's ministry with Paul's ministry, because it is not the same, nether is Peter's ministry to you! If you mix the two you will be confused, living under law vs grace or works vs faith! Christ gave Paul's doctrine and ordinances for us and we are to understand them in every area of our lives. Here in verse 3 Paul share about the roles in marriage!
FOLLOW CHRIST BY FOLLOWING PAUL!

in grace always,
Howard

5/24/2018 Do all things to the glory of God!

1Co 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. 25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: 26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. 27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Have you ever ate at some ones house and did not like the food? You kind of pick over it, but don't really eat it! Well sometimes the host sees that and knows that you don't like it and may even feel hurt by that! They may not say anything but they wish that you would have enjoyed their food! These things happen, but if you say to them that I won't eat that because I am a vegetarian without telling them before they went to the expense and time to make it now that would really offend them! Don't make food a idol or anything else for that matter! Maybe you can eat some that one time so you don't risk hurting their feelings and ONLY serve yourself! Paul is communicating here that we should not be selfish or religious in our thinking but be relational! Understanding that we are NOT under law but grace and may eat freely, while others may struggle with food and other things under the dietary laws! They may even struggle with their own Laws! The Laws they make up in their own mind! So for THEIR conscience sake, be willing to eat and do ALL things for the GLORY OF GOD!

to God be the glory,
Howard

5/23/2018 All things are lawful, but...!

1Co 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? 23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

WHAT!!! WAIT A MINUTE!!! ALL things are lawful!!! Do you mean that I can eat pork, work on Saturday even not give money to the church! Do you mean I can do anything I want and still be a Christian!!! I got news for you, WE ALL do whatever we want anyway (hint, hint)!! Paul is saying in another way that we are not under law but grace! Paul is getting across that we can now do anything and it is Ok but does it bring GLORY TO GOD! Does it edify, build up the church to glorify God! Does it exhort people to Christ, His cross, His life! Does it......? Everything we do per say is ok, because we are "in" Christ, yet EVERYTHING we do has ONE purpose, to bring glory to God! We will not lose our salvation,(although our soul, our conscience is affected) or go to hell, but our actions and behavior do make a difference! For example...I always like to tell young married couples with little kids, when they ask "can you smoke, drink and just watch T.V. and still be a Christian" and the answer is Yes! BUT how does that look and help your children! What do they see! That can't see your heart toward God... ALL they see is your outward actions! So everything is lawful but not everything edifies your children! Don't misuse your freedom in Christ for selfish gain. Let your freedom in Christ glorify God and bring others to CHRIST!

Hoping to edify you,
Howard

5/22/2018 COMMUNION IN CHRIST!

1Co 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. 21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. 22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

I always want to remind you that the book of Corinthians is about Unity! In the first chapter Paul address the issue of disunity! So what Paul is getting across in these verses 15-22 is NOT communion with bread or wine, but rather the communion with Christ! Just like water baptism is not necessary anymore, because of Spiritual baptism, neither is bread and wine! They are EXTERNAL things, the church today is about INTERNAL things! Paul is saying that we are in communion with the body and blood of Christ! He is saying that to give, sacrifice or partake with anyone or anything else makes that a idol! For instance we may worship ourselves, T.V., food, religion and yes, even our own families above Christ! OUR COMMUNION TODAY IS CHRIST and CHRIST ALONE! Now we do have fellowship with the body, the church... and we are to be in unity with them also! BUT don't get caught up in the external, the bread and the blood but rather the internal communion with CHRIST! Spend time with Christ! Commune with Christ daily! He wants to spend time with you, so take time to spend with Him! Remind yourself minute by minute that He loves you and accepts you!
one in Christ,
Howard

5/21/2018 Jesus is the way out of temptation!

1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Everyone struggles with temptation! Every one sins! So don't think your alone in that! Those that say they don't sin, and there are those who say that....just did sin! They just lied! Now because we are tempted and will struggle and will sin, we also must keep in mind that the Christian life is NOT about "NOT SINNING"! It is about CHRIST! Christ is the only sinless person and HE LIVES in you! So Christ is the way out of temptation, struggles and sin! Christ is the answer, not "just" trying to stop or get out of a situation! NOW with that said there may be times when we should physically leave a place or person in order to fall into a deeper even more physical bondage! A example may be if you have had a drinking, drug or sexual problem, don't hangout or be around those that do! KNOW your strengths and weaknesses! One person may be able to be around and witness to those who drink and do drugs, another may not! Now the temptation is in our minds, and THAT IS THE SIN!!!!! BUT we can do somethings that will help with the manifestation of that sin! Either way, in your mind or has become reality it is still sin and you need to still repent (change of mind, flesh to faith in Christ), renew your mind, rest in God's love and reconcile if need! Always remember that JESUS is the way out of temptation! Receive His love and nothing is greater than that!

in Christ love,
Howard

5/18/2018 NEITHER...

1Co 10:7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Neither, Neither, Neither and Neither.... Paul has a theme going on here! He is trying to get across to us, that Israel failed by having Idols, getting drunk, living the party life! They committed fornication and tempted God! They moaned and complained about everything YET they did nothing as far as the works and supply, God gave them everything! He is saying DO NOT be like Israel! He is also saying NEITHER sin here and call it sin there! In other words Sometimes we see sin in one area of our lives but call other things not sin, or we defend our actions! CALL SIN ,SIN! Christ paid for our sin on the cross so we do not need to be afraid to fail nor to call it what it is ! God has judged sin, and see's only Christ in us! He loves you and He always wants us to spend time with Him! Don't think because you sin that God is ashamed or mad at you! Don't run from Him until you think you have "sin" under control! RUN TO GOD, no matter what! He loves you, He accepts you, and He has ALREADY forgiven you! Don't look toward other things to satisfy you or comfort you, let God comfort you, like the dear child of God that you are!

in love,
Howard

5/17/2018 Christ the Spiritual Rock!

1Co 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Sometimes it may "feel" like we live under a cloud! A cloud of emotions, sometimes sad, depressed or lonely! Israel was under a cloud, a cloud and baptism of Moses! You see baptism means to identify and to be immersed in! So they were immersed in Law, covenants and promises! They had Temple worship and washings sacrifices and dietary rules! Law, standards and a performance driven lifestyle will bring sadness depression and loneliness!
But notice while Paul is describing a water type of baptism in mentioning the sea, this is not a water baptism, but a spiritual, nationality type of baptism! A identity like no other for that time! Now Jesus was in the beginning... John says in John 1:1-3, 14 "...the Word was in the beginning...and the Word was made flesh..." and Jesus was the WORD and He was that Rock that Moses and Israel drank from! Meaning that all of life and salvation comes though Christ even then! God always had mans best interest and was always using Jesus to show that love! YET Israel did not see, understand or obey and they suffered greatly for it! They lusted for other idols! They lusted for themselves! They lusted, coveted to "feel" good and have something to find comfort, identity and power in APART FROM GOD!

We too can be independent and trying to find significance apart from God! We should be aware and awake as well as learn from Israel's failures and run to that ROCK, that ROCK called JESUS!
Stand tall on the ROCK, dear Saint, the ROCK OF JESUS!

in grace
Howard

5/16/2018 "That we may gain them"!

1Co 9:19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you. 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Paul encourages us to understand our freedom and responsibility toward others! While we are free in Christ, we are also to help others come to Christ! Our responsibility is to encourage others to come to Christ and sometimes we need to make allowances for that. Notice Paul says "those that are under the Law"! Jews still followed the law and Paul was a Jew so when around Jews he would do his best to follow the law so as not to offend, and win them to Christ! Now that being said it does not mean in ALL situations, but when he thought it was ok to do so without compromising his freedom in Christ! You may recall in Acts 15 That there was a big discussion over the issue of gentiles, circumcision and following the law! And the Apostles all agreed that gentiles do not need to follow the law (Levitical ordinances...), and be circumcised! Which to be circumcised meant to be under law! BUT then Paul took Timothy in Acts 16, the very next chapter and had him circumcised! NOTICE I said Paul was a Jew, you are NOT! Paul says in verse 21...That to those who are not under law, we gentiles never had the Law, so STOP putting yourself under law by reading and trying to follow what Israel did or should I say "could NOT EVEN do"! So you see we gentiles do not need to follow the Levitical Law! You really need to know "WHO" you are in Christ and "WHO" Christ is in you in order to be mature and that all comes through Paul's books, read them over and over! Paul's goal was to win both gentiles and Jews, yet he never compromised Christ! We too should never compromise Christ and his cross by putting ourselves back under Law! Know scripture and when and where in the bible it is under law! To whom are the verses written and referring to! We gentiles and the Body of Christ are under grace, so we can be discipline in Spirit, mind and body! Be discipline with your thinking, not just wondering through scripture aimlessly but decisively!

under grace,
Howard

5/15/2018 Spiritual AND Carnel things!

1Co 9:10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. 15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void. 16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. 18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

Again the rights of a minister are shared here! Should, "CAN" a Pastor, teacher or minister be paid,... of course! Paul says "...if we have sown spiritual things..." meaning he taught them and shared with them the gospel! He gave them the understanding so that they may choose by faith to believe and be saved through Jesus Christ! Now Paul later on in the book of Timothy tells Timothy to take if needed financial support for his work their! So financial support is ok and working is Ok! If a minister labors should he not get paid? Now Paul was smart and careful so that people would not think he was just doing it for financial gain "only"! They may think he was "making up" this "new" Messiah story for financial gain! So he did not want to take advantage of that! We too should make clear as much as possible, before hand, what our work and needs are AND that we do not take advantage but we may need the income! Sometimes people take advantage of the minister. They want the ministers time and words but at no cost to them! "No cost" financially OR in any other way! They often demand that he meet with them, counsel marry, and bury them all for nothing! Some may say that "that is his job...",... and if that is so, than "A JOB" requires payment! BUT most ministers do not demand payment, depending on the type of ministry and demands put on them! We should discern, talk and give when we can but also be understanding with all parties, at all times!

in grace always,
Howard

5/14/2018 Our Rights!

1Co 9:3 Mine answer to them that do examine me is this, 4 Have we not power to eat and to drink? 5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? 6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working? 7 Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?

As I continue going verse by verse, we see that Paul continues to claim his rights as a Apostle, leader and man of the church! Did he have certain rights?? DO WE? Of course we have the "rights"! Paul is saying does he not have the right to marry, the right to receive income from the church and not do secular work! Paul was a tent maker so he had the skills to work, but he was traveling, working at sharing the gospel! Does he not have the right to take income from the church? These are issues that plague the church, even today! In light of all the leaders of churches who have molested children, most of these were done by churches not allowing for marriages! AND many churches do not believe in allowing the pastors to work outside jobs while some believe and demand that Pastors support themselves and not be paid for their work!
The bible teaches that the church is under no set Law! Pastors can marry if want and may work outside of the church if they need to support their family! They can receive income from the church also if not a burden to the church financially! Their is NO LAW, it is not always black and white! We live in the dispensation of GRACE! We all may have "RIGHTS" but we should never demand or make it LAW! We all may have "RIGHTS" but WHEN and IF we should exercise them is the question! LOVE exercises what is best for the condition, time and Body of Christ for all and to bring GLORY TO GOD! This is why maturing in spirit, knowledge and DISCERNMENT is so vital!!! People do not know what to do because they do not understand the Word and then discern the situations biblically! This is why we need to read the Word Daily and then apply, mature and be transformed! Let Christ be manifested (seen and lived out) in your daily thinking and lives! in grace my friends,
Howard

5/13/2018 Happy Mothers Day!

While not worshipping her, perhaps the one who had the greatest privilege of being a mother is Mary!

Luke 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ...
 
And so on this day we have set aside to honor our mothers!  Like me, some of us do not have our moms around any more, and some still do! None the less we still remember and look back at all the good times and perhaps some sad ones as well! We hopefully remember her hugs and kisses! Her gentleness and love! And even her smile and laugh! This day give your mom a hug in either a physical way, or in heart! 

Happy Mothers Day to all of you who have had the privilege of giving birth or
raising one who is not yours by birth, but loved with all your heart! 

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

grateful to my Mom,
Howard

5/11/2018 Paul, the Apostle to the gentiles!

1Co 9:1-2 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? 2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

Paul was questioned about His Apostleship, his leadership! AND he is called the Apostle to the gentiles! He is the spokesman for the Body of Christ Today! Just as God used and spoke through Moses, Jesus speaks through Paul! We should understand Paul's unique role and ministry as the leader and spokesman for this dispensation of grace! Now while unto Israel and the little flock signs and wonders were used to prove their apostleship, here Paul says that the seal, and or proof is the church themselves in Christ! In other words Christ internally shows who "IS" a Christian, not what is external, like signs and wonders or external laws, washings and ordinances! Christ in you is all the proof you need! Let Christ work and minister through you today dear Saint!

"IN" Christ,
Howard

5/10/2018 One God and One Lord!

1Co 8:4  As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

I often see gentile Christians trying to act like Jews! Now There is nothing wrong with visiting Israel or understanding there customs, but we need to remember, that they denied Jesus their Messiah! You can not get closer to Jesus, than He being IN YOU! Also, We gentiles have been given salvation and "favored" if you will, with Christ! So trying to Identify our selves with Israel is actually a stepping back, law minded, identification then you have now! Don't step back but go forward in grace! As most Christians know we can eat anything! We are NOT bound by Law to not eat certain things! Now Jews were, yet Paul tells us here in these verses, just because you are not bound does not give you the right to sin against them, by eating food offered to idols! Now by eating things offered to idols the very thing that ALL the Apostles encouraged in Acts 15 at the Jerusalem counsel, Not to do! It is important not because something is wrong with the food, but rather "WHO" is getting the "GLORY" and "THANKS"! We have ONE GOD and ONE LORD, JESUS! Be sensitive to others and give thanks to God through Jesus, for all things, at ALL times!

thankful,
Howard

5/9/2018 God's love edifies!

1Co 8:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

"...Knowledge puffeth up...." That means that "just "knowing something and having doctrine in our head, WITHOUT charity, without LOVE is PRIDE! Unfortunately ALL of us can do this at some point in life! We know scripture but fail to let it move us in love and grace! Now with that said there are many Christians and church's that tend to "live" only in knowledge and are prideful! This is why we need to study and make it a priority in life to be set free from the bondages that hold us! A "little" knowledge can be dangerous and most Christians know little and "LIVE IN LESS"! Just because you know "some" of the bible and can quote some verse does not mean you are transformed, free or loving others! Reading is only the beginning point! There must be understanding, willingness, renewing, receiving, resting, transformation and giving! Love must edify! Love must exhort in everything to God's glory! Love must be righteous and encourage each of us to a relationship with and through Christ! If love does not do that then it simply is NOT love! GOD IS LOVE! Are you loving others or yourself? Are you allowing others to control you because you want their acceptance and love? Are you encouraging, exhorting others to Christ or are you coddling them, nursing them along to protect yourself? You see true knowledge is "wisdom" and shows through love and true love shows the wisdom of GOD and what is best for another to come to God!

for the love of God,
Howard

5/8/2018 Singleness of heart!

1Co 7:34 There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction. 36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry. 37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well. 38 So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. 39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 40 But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.

Again, as like yesterdays devotion, Paul talks about marriage and unmarried! One who gets married is often thinking about their spouse, kids and home life! And that is not necessarily bad! But Paul is trying to get across here again is the "singleness of heart"! WHO are you devoted to first! WHO has the priority in your life! No matter who we are when we are involved with relationships we tend to put them first before God! We tend to lean on and need them before we go to God and we even seek approval from them! We need to keep our minds and heart in the singleness of God! IF the relationships you are in do not draw you closer to God, you may want to think about those relationships differently! If single and dating or even just friends and family...sometimes separating is the righteous and Godly thing to do, rather than trying to force and make it work!
SEEK GOD FIRST TODAY SAINT!

grace,
Howard

5/7/2018 Care for things of the Lord!

1Co 7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful. 26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be. 27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away. 32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: 33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

It seems that most people are very busy these days! We lead busy lives, especially those with children. Families are working and playing all most 24/7! So involved with school, sports and outside influences that they do not take enough time to really know one another! BUT perhaps even worse they do not stop long enough to "please God" as it says here in verse 32! You see while these verses are talking about marriage are also reminding us that when we get married we will spend time thinking about our spouse and family! Most if not all will think about them in a way that is selfish! "How can I get my spouse to love me, or my kids to mind me"! Self centered! Paul is trying to get across if single "please God" or if married" please God"! Either way we should focus on "pleasing God"!!!!
NOW what is this pleasing God thing about! It is NOT about your works, performance in other words! It is NOT about IF you sin because you will! And when you do sin what do you do about it! Do you still try to fix the fix that Christ already fixed, on the cross, ....by your flesh by working and trying hard not to sin.... or do you receive His grace His Love His forgiveness again and again...! It is not about how much you "do", but rather if you are "being IN" Christ! Relating to Christ! Sitting as Mary did at His feet! GIVING OURSELVES TO CHRIST IS PLEASING GOD! All God wants is you! This pleases Him! So you see when we sin by being busy, working , playing and giving our attention to other things, it is not pleasing to Him!
SPEND TIME WITH GOD, EVERY MINUITE OF LIFE, FOR HE IS LIFE! Read, pray and renew your mind constantly! Rest in His love, acceptance and forgiveness!
RECIEVE, RECIEVE, RECIEVE from GOD for He wants you, loves you and gives life to you!

in Christ love,
Howard

5/7/2018


5/4/2018 Freedom in Christ!

1Co 7:18 Is any man called being circumcised? let him not become uncircumcised. Is any called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. 20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. 21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. 22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ's servant. 23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.

Paul is saying that external circumstance do not matter! What you are going through in some ways does not matter because God is in you and you can be content in Christ no matter what the circumstances! That is why we need to RENEW, RECIEVE AND REST constantly! I have been watching T.V. and been anxious or fearful, about something! And I have been in the cells of prisons vising prisoner's and been content and with peace! SO you see it does not matter if your watching T.V. or in prison!... I have seen people go through cancer treatments with a smile on their face because they know "to whom they belong too" and where they are going IF they die! I have seen others go through tremendous things and have had Victory, while others seem to struggle with the seemingly small matters! We also as Paul said can seek freedom or a change if need, but don't make that the priority, make Jesus the priority!!! Don't be in bondage toward men or situations in life, but rather LIVE IN THE FREEDOM that is yours in Christ!

in freedom, in Christ,
Howard

5/3/2018 God has called us to peace!

1Co 7:10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: 11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife. 12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace. 16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? 17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches.

NOW these verses are great verses for seeing the difference in grace vs. LAW! Jesus said while he was on earth, that if you divorce a women, which under law Only the men could divorce, that it is sin! And the Law says that God hates divorce, and that it is sin! Now Paul is stating here in Corinthians that if a spouse wants leave then let them leave! Now some would argue that the word says a "unbeliever" and it does, yet a unbeliever can be one who does not believe or even one who is a believer but wants to leave! The point is if they want to leave let them! It does not do any good to stop someone for religious law, if their heart is far from the spouse! Israel proved this! Just like God has changed the understanding of law and grace from Israel to gentile, GOD is stressing the heart not the letter!!! God is wanting our hearts not "just " our obedience to "A" LAW! Grace vs LAW! FAITH vs WORKS! SO does God hate divorce yes! but we make it a law and we put such emphasis in the wrong place for those who do not want to be married to each other and create a war zone instead of peace! I once new a women who having a affair. She killed her husband and when she was asked by the media why didn't she just divorce her husband, she said " because divorce is a sin, and God does not want that"!! SHE was willing to comment adultery and murder, but not divorce! By the way she a Christian and even worked at a ministry! YOU see she is a perfect example of how the Law can dominate our minds without us even knowing it! Another example may help here, I once knew a man who his wife had a affair, left him and remarried! He was brought up in the church, his dad a elder and always thought he "COULD" not remarry because the LAW said he can't remarry, meanwhile he went on to sleep with his girlfriends!
NOW with saying all this, it does not mean I am saying that divorce is good. IN FACT it is not good and it hurts everyone in the process! Their are no winners in divorce! I have always encouraged reconciliation, along with repentance to God! But church lets not understand and force LAW back on those who choose to divorce and "WILL" not live together! LETS not SHAME, or GUILT them into living UN righteous and UN-godly lives because of our lack of understanding God's Word and GRACE!
God is PEACE, God gives PEACE, and God has called us to PEACE!

glorifying God,
Howard

5/2/2018 Don't burn, turn!

1Co 7:6 But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment. 7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. 8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

Paul again is emphasizing to not lust and fornicate! He wants those that are unmarried or widows to live as single and give their hearts and lives to Christ, if possible! Some can, some can't! It is easier to be single focused and do more for God, if you can, then it is to be married and not having to think and take care of a spouse or family! BUT Paul also realizes that it is not easy, especially if you have been married and have lost your loved one early in life! Desiring to be married is not sin, but lusting for love, attention, and sex is sin! Any lust is sin, and is saying "Christ is not enough"! Christ is enough! DON'T BURN, TURN to Christ and repent , renew and rest in Him!
By the way you may think this is a young persons problem, but I have noticed with many older believers that this is just as hard for them too! Some even live together saying it is Ok, and that they need to "JUST" live together because of financial issues! Their spouse has died and they get a certain amount of income from their pension and they would lose that if they got married! SORRY FOLKS, that is still SIN!
If you struggle with being lonely and desire to be married that's ok and certainly pray about it, YET remember your Identity is IN CHRIST not your spouse!

in grace always,
Howard

5/1/2018 Don't Defraud one another!

1Co 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 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. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

As I said on some devotions back that we are not to defraud each other! Now defraud means to take advantage of, and act ungodly toward one another, for selfish gain! In this case we are talking about men and women and their relationships. Now notice I did not say men and men or women and women! Homosexuality is ungodly and sin, so it is easy to see the defrauding it that situation! Now in the case of relationships between a man and women we are not to have sexual relations with out first being committed IN MARRIAGE! Not just saying "I'm committed" but buy law, showing and proving the commitment! Feelings change so at times we may "feel" not committed, but we are under God and under law! As Christians are one with God we become one with each other! One unity in Spirit, Soul, body! One mentally, emotionally, physically, financially and even socially! Being one in Christ and one with each other serving God and a testimony to the world of God's LOVE! Commit to God, commit to your spouse and give to each other as God has given life to you! Spirit - Soul and BODY!

committed to Christ and to you,
Howard


4/30/2018 Free to sin or Free to Live for Christ, our choice!

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. 13 Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 15 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. 16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Today the devotion is FREE TO....., we are free to sin or free to live for Christ! Christ died for all sin, and we have the choice to either sin or not! Now sin may be fun for a time, a season, but the reaping and harvest will not be! In fact I believe as a Christian, a truly saved person, as soon as he chooses to sin he reaps death in his conscience! Now if a believer continues to do that he will sear his conscience! His conscience becomes callus and insensitive to the Spirit! That does not mean he is not saved but he will feel dead while being alive! It is almost worse for a believer who continues in sin than for a lost person, because the lost person does not feel the Spirit and is like a dead carcass without God! So when I see or know of Christians who live "IN" sin, such as fornicating they are of the most miserable of all! You see living in that state is telling them where the love and faith truly are! It is self centered not Christ centered! Now lets define fornicating! Fornication is any sexual sin outside of God's Devine Holy plan! Any sex outside of marriage! Adultery, homosexual, and same sex relationships! Now not many Christians would ever say that Christ is committing a sin, yet when we fornicate, we are bringing Christ into that relationship! Christians are the Temple of God why would we bring a UN HOLY relationship into Christ! First make the temple HOLY by allowing Christ in them! And then dedicate, commit and receive LIFE from Christ!
We belong to God! So give yourself to Him. You are His property, 1Co.6:14-20 so offer up Rom. 12:1 your heart and body and renew your mind and body, Rom. 1:2 and Prov.3:1-8 as well as be discipline 1 Co 9:27 and it will begin to reveal 2 Co 4:10 Christ to others and yourself!

sharing Christ,
Howard

4/26/2018 BUT YE ARE.....!!!

1Co 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren. 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

BUT YE ARE.... Washed, cleansed from sin...Sanctified, set apart, holy, pure and blameless, and Justified, made righteous ALL IN CHRIST! We all were sinners and fell short of the glory of God, but by FAITH we that have received His Life, His grace, His mercy, His Spirit and ARE YE!! That "ARE YE" means it is a done deal. STOP trying to say I am such a horrible wretched sinner and claim what is yours now a Saved, Secure, Sanctified, SAINT! Don't defraud God who has made you in His image Spiritually! He has cleansed you ,He set you apart spiritually, He has made you righteous in Christ! LIVE LIFE NOW, as you would in heaven, for their is NO difference in Christ now! Our identity is not longer that list but rather YE ARE....A CHILD OF GOD!

Glory to God,
Howard

4/25/2018 Be a wise man!

1Co 6:1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?

To Defraud some one is to take advantage, cheat or manipulate for selfish gain! Outside of marriage we can defraud a person by fornication, having sexual relationships with them. They do not belong to us for they are still under God's authority and are His! In marriage we can defraud our spouse by NOT being with them sexually or any other way too! So you see it all depends in the relationship, and what we do to them! HERE in chapter 6 Paul is saying "...is there not a WISE MAN among you..." who can counsel, teach and even judge right from wrong??? The church was defrauding one another, rather than loving each other! They were suing each other for selfish gain, instead as Christ had shown suffering when wronged! Proving suffering has it's advantages! UNITY, UNITY ,UNITY AGAIN Paul is teaching this church and us! Unity in Christ! Now we all do not need to agree on every doctrine, but there needs to be hearts and minds open to accept and forgive on both parties! My prayer for you is that you will choose to be a WISE MAN with others today!

for the glory of God,
Howard

4/24/2018 Righteous Judgement!

1Co 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father's wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 6 Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: 10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. 11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? 13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

I know this is a long devotional, but I want to encourage you to read the whole thing at once. Paul is speaking to the church , NOT just the person who is in sin! He is rebuking and correcting the CHURCH!! That means he is actually more upset with the church's handling of this situation! The church thinks they are "LOVING" this person but they are really allowing and hurting him, the church and God! Paul says to hand him over to Satan for his Spirit may be saved! He tells them to not mix fornication in the church and to address it! IN fact he talks about a number of sinful acts and how to handle them! If the church today would stop trying to baby believers and start disciplining them we would be much better off!!! AND by the way when I say the church I am NOT talking about your local church pastor and organization.... per say... but I am talking about individuals doing this with each person in their sphere of life! If your brother, sister or friend is acting in a sinful matter talk to them, try to reach them and hopefully they will repent BUT if they DO NOT remove yourself from them! Separate your self from them! JUDGE RIHTEOUSLY AS CHRIST SAID TO DO! John 7:24   Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 
Believer we are to judge and make judgement calls in life! AND when some unbelieving, or even believing person says you are judging me, say "YES" I AM!!!! (according to God's Word...)

Now please remember to extend forgiveness in ALL circumstances and then talk, reach out and then if needed separate! 

always in love and GOD'S GLORY,
Howard

4/23/2018 The Kingdom of God is in Power!

1Co 4:17 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. 18 Now some are puffed up, as though I would not come to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 21 What will ye? shall I come unto you with a rod, or in love, and in the spirit of meekness?

Paul sent Timothy to remind the church of Paul's ways, which Christ gave to Him! Christ discipled Paul and Paul discipled Timothy! Paul knew Timothy's heart and doctrine and trusted him completely! This is how discipleship should be! One person teaching another until that person teaches another and that person teaches another! Too many church's and pastors want the big crowd and that is all the teaching they do! Most Pastors have not been one on one discipled themselves, so while they may bring new babes to Christ, they will not mature as they should and in turn teach others! While the crowds may big and bring people in, and even support financially that does not mean that the teaching and discipleship is deep in nature but usually shallow! There is a lot more to consider than just knowledge!!!! Some Christians know the bible inside and out, but can not tell you what their sin was for that day, well known repent, renew or reconcile! Paul goes on to say that because of this prideful, puffed up knowledge that the church has that they are missing what is necessary for the church, not themselves! Religion may look good even to the world, but it lacks the true POWER OF GOD! God is not just about knowing the word, it is about the POWER of GOD, to transform a person from the inside out to be Godly, Righteous and GLORIFY GOD!

to God's glory,
Howard

4/20/2018 Follow Paul!

4/20/2018 VERSE BY VERSE.....

Follow Paul!

1Co 4:14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you. 15 For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 16 Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.


Just like any sincere loving dad would warn and protect their children, Paul here states that he is the Corinthians Spiritual father, and does exactly that. Now Paul did not say he was God nor was he exercising any thing other than the authority given to him by Christ! Many Christians do not recognize Paul's authority as it was given by Jesus from heaven. The only Apostle to have Christ speak to them directly from heaven and Jesus gave him specific orders compared to the other apostles! Paul was the apostles to the gentiles, also the only one to be given and to state that in scripture! He was given permission to go outside of Palestine and minister to the uncircumcised gentiles and was given the ministry and revelation of the mystery! The books of Romans -Philemon are all written by Paul to the church today called the "Body of Christ"! Now James was the first book written, but it is in the back of the bible, did you ever wonder why? Why are all of Paul's books in the middle and all together, even though they were written at different times and some before and some after the other books in the "New Testament"! Because they written for a specific purpose and a "SPIRTUALY" historical meaning! IN the beginning, there was Genesis, then the forming of Israel through Acts, and then Romans- Philemon for the dispensation of grace and the Body of Christ for today! Then Hebrews - Revelation for the last days and Israel.... the Kingdoms of Heaven and earth are formed, so you see we have from the beginning to today to the end of time ALL in one book, and in ORDER!!!!!
FOR TODAY FOLLOW PAUL! His books are written "TO YOU" and he gives you the doctrine for today!!

following Jesus, by Paul following Paul,
Howard

Praying for you!

4/19/2018 No Shame, but warn!

1Co 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another. 7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? 8 Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us: and I would to God ye did reign, that we also might reign with you. 9 For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. 11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace; 12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: 13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.

Paul continues to encourage unity! Paul is trying to get across that division based on identity by sects, groups or leadership is wrong! We need to understand that it is in Christ that we find our identity and purpose! Paul describes the hardship and trouble the Apostles have had to go through while the Corinthians have done well, but they have done well at a great cost! Many church's and Christians fall into a thinking that if a church is big or seemingly successful then it is right and good! BUT it may be worldly, earthy and carnal! I see a lot of church's adopting a business like manner that is adopted from the world! I go to a lot of church's and see a lot of the mall type of buildings that do not even resemble a church! BUT that is not what I am referring to! I am talking about a church, (people) who behave and act as if they are Godly when it is so apparent that their hearts are far from being Godly! As we go through chapter 4-5 you will see how this plays out! Be careful and as Paul warned the Corinthians to be aware of what your church teaches and behaves because it may be popular and look like it is Spiritual but rally be a façade! Do you know your church's doctrinal beliefs? Do you know what they actually teach or do you just go and buy into everything they teach regardless if it is in scripture! BE AWAKE AND AWARE!

in Christ, grace and love,
Howard

4/18/2018 Counsels of the Heart!

1Co 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

When Paul wrote these letters he did not break it down in chapter or verses, as we have now! So chapter 4 continues from chapter 3, and that we are the temple of God! Paul continues to encourage us in the fact that we are in Christ and Christ in us and Christ in God is in us! So as that Temple we are to be faithful! Paul was faithful to God! Paul committed his life to God and the teaching of the mystery! He taught the cross, grace and the revelation as well as the fellowship of the mystery! He was teaching this when the rest of the world taught Law, works and punishment! The world teaches if you do something wrong someone needs to be punished and so we play the blame game! But Paul says here in chapter 4 that he does not even judge himself, but that only God judges him! Now that may sound like he could do whatever he wanted and he could, just as we can do whatever we want, but remember, the God that judges, LIVES IN YOU! So we can not escape the conviction of sin in our own minds, lessen we become callous to our own conscience, and the counsels of own heart be made manifest!
BE FAITHFUL TO GOD TODAY!

to you who are faithful in Christ,
Howard

4/17/2018 YOU ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD!

1Co 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. 20 And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. 21 Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; 22 Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; 23 And ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.

God is in us and we are the Temple of God! I find so many Christians or at least those that claim to be Christians Living together or living a very fleshly, carnal way! Many go to church, or share on Facebook or other social media about God YET all the while living day in and day out in sin! You are IN Christ! You belong to God! Would you join God in your sin! Of course not, so why let yourself "live" in sin! Don't give your body over to someone who does not belong to you or even more so who does not belong to God!!! GOD IS HOLY and SO ARE YOU! Live Holy, Live Godly, Live in Righteousness! Give your self, ALL of yourself to God!
SPIRIT-SOUL-BODY!

living for God Today,
Howard

4/16/2018 Make Christ your Foundation for Life!

1Co 3:10 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. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

World wide we see buildings and houses fall and crumble because they were built sub standard. Many countries do not have the building codes nor the access to good material that we have here in the U.S.! They do not build on solid ground nor do they always have a solid foundation! Our lives can actually resemble these buildings if they are not built on that good foundation! OUR foundation is JESUS! Everything you go through needs to be in the context of salvation and security through Christ! If you are going through marriage problems, while sad compare it to "life" in Christ! If you are dying, or have lost a loved one, renew your mind and rest in the fact that you are "deeply loved and secure in Christ"! ALWAYS be comforted by Christ, before anything else! Build, grow, and make a secure, safe and strong foundation in Christ!
BE A WISE MASTERBUILDER!

built by Christ,
Howard

4/13/2018 Give God the Glory!

1Co 3:4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? 5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

Who gets the praise? Who gets the glory? We may do a good thing but who do we give glory too ourselves or God? Paul is trying to get the church to see that they are behaving fleshly, carnally and sinfully! They are worshipping man instead of God! We often can be men pleasers can't we! We may say we don't but we do! We want others to like us, even praise us! We seek attention, acceptance, affirmation and affection! We want others to think highly of us because then we could say "we have made it" and "I am someone important"!!! Some times we even like using and throwing names around... "my Pastor is...." and "I go to such and such church..."! "You know the big one with 10,000 people...."!!! Sadly that is nothing more than PRIDE! Paul rebukes the church at Corinth! He tells them to stop this fighting and arguing about who is their leader! These divisions are wrong and that they needed unity in Christ! We are to allow God to work through us and so in turn work "with" God to accomplish HIS MISSION!
Church be dependent on God, interdependent on each other and independent of the world!!!!

giving God the glory,
Howard

4/12/2018 Milk or Meat, which do you want?

1Co 3:1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Unfortunately the church is filled mostly with immature Christians. Not because they just came to the Lord but because they do not read, receive, and experience God! I always say to those that come for counseling that the way to maturity is through repentance, meaning if you are not honest with your self, see "YOUR" sin and then repent, you WILL NOT MATURE! As Paul expresses here that they who are immature have to be fed with milk like a "baby"! Meat is for the mature! NOW maturity does not mean a theological degree or memorizing all the bible but rather a honest look at oneself and the depending, receiving and giving of oneself by faith to God! Your identity is in God not others or self but totally in Christ! Envy, strife are just the fruit of your flesh if you live selfishly! As my parents use to say "GROW UP"! Seek, repent and renew your mind daily and you will mature! Don't be a 50 year old baby Christian!!

in grace,
Howard

4/11/2018 Natural vs Spiritual!

1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 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. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

In John 4:24 it says "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth". God can only be truly worshiped by the Spirit! God's Spirit lives in You, therefore He is working through you to worship Himself! You see we are in unity with God because His Spirit, is in us! WOW!!! GOD LIVES IN YOU SAINT!! Now of course the opposite of that is true also, without the Spirit, man can not worship nor understand Spiritual things! Just because you go to a church does not mean you are worshiping God! Or you say prayers or light candles! Just because you may use the word God does not mean you have the Spirit in you! Lots of people have religion but not the Spirit of God! So be sure and ask yourself and KNOW for SURE if you have the Spirit of God! NOW if you have the Spirit of God you have His mind, His thinking! You are Spiritually sensitive to God! You have Spiritual awareness with Spiritual understanding and motivation! Now Paul never uses the word "born again" in his writings to the Gentiles! Born again is only used by John who was writing to Israel at the time! Israel was God's first born, but gentiles were not! So Paul uses the word regenerate, meaning to be created "A NEW FROM NOTHING"! We are the "BODY" of Christ, A "NEW CREATION"! Something that was never thought of (by man anyway) and never foretold or prophesied about! WE ARE SPITUALLY ALIVE AND ONE WITH GOD!

worshipping in Spirit,
Howard

4/10/2018 The Wisdom of God in Christ!

1Co 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Paul once again uses the word mystery! He uses it here as the wisdom of God and that He ordained it before the world! What is that mystery, Jesus! Jesus was before the world and God gave Jesus to bring glory to himself! Jesus is the exact representation of God and God gave Him to save man! God's purpose was to save mankind through His Jesus from the beginning and that all mankind would worship Him! God's predestined purpose was and is in Christ! We received life by faith, through Christ, and the Holy Spirit live in us! The Spirit works in Us to convict, strengthen and transform us! God's wisdom is in Christ, and Christ is called the WORD! Get to know Christ by reading His Word daily! Be transformed by renewing your mind with the Word! And let God's wisdom live through you! You are a blessed saint, so THANK HIM TODAY!

in God's wisdom,
Howard

4/9/2018 Power of God, is in the cross!

1Co 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Paul is not saying here that God's power was through some super natural sign or wonder or by great speech's but rather the power of God is shown through the salvation of a man's Spirit! We should not get caught up with miracles and signs and wonders that is a Israel thing! We in the dispensation of grace should focus on the power through the cross of Christ and His life in us! Israel was shown signs constantly because as soon as one came they needed another to show them God! We on the other hand have the Spirit in us and are saved by faith, not sight! The cross work of Jesus has done ALL the work needed, so by believing in that, there is no need for signs, wonders or works! Walk by faith, look at the cross and BE THANKFUL!

in Christ power,
Howard

4/6/2018 WE ARE IN CHRIST!

1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

While we may think we are so smart, we are not so smart! Only God is wise, strong and mighty! He is love, and cares for us, and calls us His children! We are "IN" Christ! Who is righteous and Holy, perfect and whole! We are set apart spiritually in Him and therefore are in the same state as He is! Redemption means to be paid for or ransomed for! So He has paid the price through death, and sets us with Him, IN Him, in heaven! This is our place Spiritually, safe and secure! Keep your eyes focused on Him, and the heavenly and holy things, above in Christ, And GIVE GLORY TO GOD TODAY, SAINT!

for God's glory,
Howard

4/5/2018 PREACH CHRIST CROSS, THE POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD!

1Co 1:12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. 13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius; 15 Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name. 16 And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other. 17 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. 18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. 22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

I know todays devotion is a little longer than most, but it is a sensitive subject and needs the attention. Have you ever wondered why water baptism is so confusing to most church's. Some baptize infants, others don't! Some dunk, some sprinkle, some pour.... which is right and why? Well the word says that God is not a God of confusion, yet on this subject there seems to be confusion. Lets see if we can bring clarity to this!
Jesus says in Matthew 10 and 15 that He came to the nation of Israel only..., at that time! Israel is under the Law, ordinances and temple worship given them by Moses! Israel is waiting for the prophesied Messiah to come and save them. Jesus comes and they crucify Him! Now Israel is still under the Law and John the Baptist, water baptized them for cleansing as the Law states to do! In Matthew 28 Jesus says to Peter and the Apostles go and Baptize all nations! They were still under Law, and were to be the "PREIST" of the world and bring other nations to God! BUT they denied the "RISEN" Messiah in Acts and so Jesus went to and SENT Paul to the gentiles! Gentiles had no Law, no ordinances, no temple and no cleansing unless they became a proselyte under Israel! NOW if Jesus sent Paul and told him, that he was sent to the gentiles and to NOT baptize he would be going against what Jesus said to do in Matthew! He would be Disobedient to that! BUT he was not disobedient to Christ but rather obedient, because he was told to preach the CROSS not water baptize!!!! You see the cross is what takes away sin not water! Israel was to water baptize for cleaning unto Moses and the Law, and then when Christ came to identify and be cleansed unto the Jesus their Messiah! Ephesians say's Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism! You see folks it is not confusing, God took away all Israel's Laws, ordinances and temple worship and has cleansed us through the blood of Jesus NOT WATER!!!! Preach the cross Paul is told, and so should we!
Don't make the cross of Christ have NO effect!
(this is a short version of explanation)

preaching Christ Cross,
Howard

4/4/2018 Division vs Unity!

1Co 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. 11 For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.

1 Corinthians is a book that is about unity! Most of Paul's books tell you what there about in the first chapter or two! In order for people to move forward and love and accept one another and their ideas, there must first be unity! Now most Christians would say that two or more being Christians is unity, and that is a beginning place for sure, but there is much more unity that needs to in place! You see it is not about if you never offend any one, YOU WILL! Offending each other is easy and common, natural and normal, so being in unity is not about that! What we are to be in unity about is having a humble heart! A heart that is willing to be willing to forgive and seek forgiveness! A heart that says I will lay down my desires if need for UNITY FIRST! Without unity we have independence! We have people behaving as the old song by Paul Anka, made famous by Frank Sinatra goes "I DID IT MY WAY"! Selfish!!! The military teaches unity... without unity they will not be able to advance, take a hill, march..... now they are in unity as military things go... we need to be in unity in order for the "Body " of Christ to move forward! Not just in doctrine but heart! I may disagree with you, on doctrine but I do not need to be rude, mean and sin against you... and if I do, PLEASE FORGIVE ME!

forgiven to forgive,
Howard

4/3/2018 GOD IS FAITHFUL!

1Co 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is faithful, always! He always has been and always will be! He is faithful to us by His righteous, holy and honorable character! God does not need to change! God says what He means and does what He says! God is LOVE and we have His Love, because He said we have fellowship through His son Jesus! We are in communion, union and fellowship with and through Jesus! What GREAT LOVE, for a perfect, sinless, holy God to give us! To be called, means to be invited and if we respond in a way that says we desire and want by faith we are received! ALL men have been called! No one is not called, even though many will not receive the calling,
GOD IS FAITHFUL TO CALL!!!!!! Have you responded to God's knock at the door? Have you received His invitation by faith? If you have... you are now in fellowship with Christ and with God! God will not and does not leave you, because HE IS FAITHFUL! Today receive what you already have in Christ! Receive what He has already given you, His Life, Love and Liberty! Walk in His wisdom, His heart, His love, for He is faithful to give!!

to the faithful in Christ,
Howard

4/2/2018 God's Grace Given to you by Jesus Christ!

1Co 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to Israel and many others "if you know me, you know God..."! God's grace is shown and given to us through the sacrifice and life of Jesus! We have every Spiritual blessing and need through Jesus! We have every gift that we need and that is LIFE through Jesus! So keep looking heavenly not for things to get on earth but only to anticipate His return! This church, this "BODY" will be gathered up with Him someday and what a day of rejoicing that will be, but until then remember you have everything now in Christ!
LIFE, LOVE and LIBERTY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, BY FAITH, IN SPIRIT! You are holy and blameless in Spirit, TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

for God's Glory and your edification,
Howard

3/30/2018 Grace and Peace, SAINT!

1Co 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul here in Corinthians address the church and calls them Saints! A Saint is a Holy person through Christ! God said often to Israel, "be holy as I am holy", WELL YOU ARE Holy as God is holy because HE IS IN YOU!!! He lives in you! He is your Spirit and your Spirit lives in Him! So you are a holy saint! He also says that they are sanctified meaning set apart in Him. Your Spirit is holy and it is set apart from your mind and body! Your Spirit lives in Christ in heaven! He also tells them the normal Hebrew, Greek welcome grace and peace to them. Now while that was a normal greeting it also can be read as a way of saying, "there is no peace without God's grace! If you seem to be missing God's peace then only look toward God's grace!
Have a great weekend and enjoy this Resurrection Sunday... and as always,

in grace,
Howard

3/29/2018 The Revelation of the Mystery, and the Cross!

Rom 16:25 25 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,

I wanted to go back to yesterdays scripture to share one more thing before moving on, verse by verse through 1 Corinthians! Now the Revelation of the mystery is not just one or two things but it is a whole
"NEW CREATION" as I said yesterday! But in this mystery church it is the understanding of the cross! The cross work has accomplished everything needed for salvation and therefore LIFE!!!! In other words nothing needs to be added to the accomplished works that Christ did on the cross in order for you to be saved,  sealed, secure, saint and sanctified in God in spirit! You are made HOLY, that's what saint means! You are sanctified, set apart spiritually which means that no matter what your soul or body does as far as sin your spirit is secure in Christ! Your Spirit is sealed forever in Christ, therefore secure in Christ and saved in Him! Your position is in heaven with Jesus NOW!!!! So the cross means everything and we will discuss that more as we go into 1 Cor.! Now because the cross is sufficient, there is no longer a need for ANY ordinances that was given to Israel and the "little" flock! Meaning Peters ministry in Acts after the risen Christ went to heaven. They were to still follow the Law while still being saved through Jesus! BUT WE are not of Israel and are saved completely by the cross work of Jesus! The mystery is fulfilled in Christ cross! Don't get caught up in laws, Israel, ordinances, diets, tongues, water baptisms....or anything else for it is ALL accomplished through CHRIST CROSS!! The REVEALTION OF THE MYSTERY IS THAT IT IS FINISHED IN CHRIST! When I hear pastors bragging about how many they water baptized they really are saying and adding something more is needed to show and be obedient, other than faith in the cross work! They are putting themselves back under law, to be washed and cleansed by something that the SPIRIT HAS ALREADY DONE!
Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

by HIS CROSS,
Howard

3/28/2018 The Revelation of the Mystery kept secret!

Rom 16:21 Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. 22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. 23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. 25 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, 26 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: 27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

Continuing verse by verse in Romans we see Paul continuing to thank people who ministered to him. Don't forget to thank those who minister to you, too! Also we see Paul give God the glory for only God has the power to establish, grow and mature each of us! BUT Paul here says that God establishes us in the "REVEATION OF THE MYSTERY"! Now a revelation is something that is manifested, inspired and NEW! It is a change of something for a greater cause!!! A mystery is something NOT known or realized before! Something that was kept from he beginning, "BUT NOW" known! The revelation of the mystery is NOT just that Christ lives in us, or that He now goes directly to the gentiles, without Israel! It is not ONLY that we have all spiritual blessings, and much more.......ALL of these are apart of the mystery! THE mystery is that Jesus Himself is the NEW CHURCH! A new BODY! A "NEW CREATION"! JESUS has come and formed His body! Not made of any man made laws or rules or earthly things, but ONLY SPIRITUALLY MADE! You must be Spiritually alive in Him to be apart of it! The mystery is Christ! JESUS has formed a NEW CREATION FOR ETERNITY! Now this is completely different than the prophecy dispensation given to Israel and the prophets before! Israel knew nothing of this mystery! Jesus earthly ministry was under the prophecy program given to Israel as well as Peter's ministry! Only Paul was given the understanding about the mystery church program given to and through the "BODY OF CHRIST"! So next time you begin to read your bible ask your self is this under the prophecy program given to Israel or under the mystery given to Paul by Jesus for the Body today! Don't put yourself BACK UNDER LAW.... BUT live in the freedom given through the Spirit and Christ which is only through faith, under the Mystery and given by the grace of God!

through Christ,
Howard

3/27/2018 Wise unto Good, Simple concerning evil!

Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

I went back to those verses 17-18 that I used for yesterdays devotion. I wanted to touch on something again. I used the context of yesterdays to get across that we should separate from a worldly mentality, but today I want to touch on the separation from a church doctrine mentality! Yes a church mentality, that we should follow, do and uphold the Levitical Law in order to be true Christians! You may not know this but their are lots of church's that teach that we are to "still" do the Levitical law, ordinances and traditions!!! This is not just a wrong thing to do it is actually disobedient to what Jesus told Paul to teach and give to the Body of Christ for today! Jesus spoke through Paul in giving our requirements as far as outward expression of the inward change! AND that IS, RIGHTEOUS AND GODLY LOVE! Not any law, temple, washings, diet, Sabbaths..... or anything else! Our commandment is to Glorify God through Jesus by offering ourselves first to Him and second to others, and that will look like RIGHTEOUS LOVE! Notice I keep saying Righteous Love, or GODLY LOVE! Love with out God and Godly boundaries is NOT love but lust! What the world says is love is really lust! What follows out of this obedience unto God is PEACE!
WANT PEACE, KNOW GOD, THROUGH JESUS!
Don't get caught up in "doing" but rather "BEING" IN CHRIST!

May the God of peace and grace be "IN" you today,
Howard

3/26/2018 Mark them that serve their own belly!!!!

Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

As I have said before one of the reasons I go verse by verse is because we don't skip anything. These verses are found in this last chapter of Romans, in the meet and greet section and may be overlooked by many! These verses though are powerful and needed. So many Christians are still trying so hard to not sin and love others.... that they actually are hurting the body of Christ! Let me explain... Many Christians think that the Christian life is about "not" sinning, instead of glorifying God and letting Jesus live through them!! They have been taught so much that they are sinners, worms and no good, so they want to love everyone which really is nothing more than worldly lust!!!! YOU have the SPIRIT of the LIVING GOD IN YOU!!! Don't you think He knows what to do!!!! LET HIM DO IT! Know WHO YOU ARE IN CHRIST! So we are to separate from evil, sin and ungodliness!!! Separate from and distinguish between righteousness and unrighteousness!!! IF you can not separate yourself from what is obvious worldly sinful people you may want to check yourself if you are in the faith and  If you are a Christian! We can easily shrink in fear, men pleasing , fearing rejection! You don't need anyone's approval, you already have GOD'S APPROVAL!!!
DON'T BE A MEN PLEASER, BUT RATHER A GOD PLEASER!!

be bold,
Howard

3/23/2018 I SALUTE YOU!

Rom 16:6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. 7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. 9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. 11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. 12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. 13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. 15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. 16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

Paul again here in Chapter 16, uses the word greet as we talked about yesterday, but today we see another word, SALUTE! While greet means to welcome, salute means to take in, draw in, receive and respect! There is a certain honor given when we salute people in the military and it shows their authority, experience, character and gives respect and honor for their sacrifice and service! Paul says to salute all the saints, and the church to salute them! We should take Paul's advice here and salute one another daily!
You can begin with your spouse!!!

saluting you dear Saint, in Christ,
Howard

3/22/2018 MEET, GREET and RECEIVE!

Rom 16:1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

One of the reasons I go verse by verse is that I don't want to miss anything when it comes to the counsel of God! Everything in scripture we can learn and grow from! In the end of Paul's epistles it is usually a meet and greet type of thing were he says his goodbyes and such. But these small seemingly insignificant verses may have great practical as well as meaning behind them so don't skip them! He is saying to be around others believers and fellowship with them. Some of our greatest times in the ministry has been with small home church style meetings. So don't think size or style needs to be there! Paul has great respect for and honors these people and some he even says to greet those in the church that meets in their house! House church's were common then. It is better to have 100 small house church's then 1 big one! He also says they risked their lives for his! What a eternal testimony unto these folks! Meet, Greet and give your self to others for the GLORY OF GOD THROUGH CHRIST!

with love and grace,
Howard

3/21/2018 Refreshed For Christ sake!

Rom 15:29 And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ. 30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; 31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints; 32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Paul encourages us to love, pray and strive as one for Christ sake! We should as much as possible do ALL things for Christ sake! Sometimes that means putting down our personal doctrine for the unity of the saints. Not on major things but on things that do not need to be a deal breaker! BUT of course we should also learn to work and understand scripture and not just do what ever we please either! NOW Paul wanted to see them and teach them even more so that they may be REFRESHED! The more we grow and mature in Christ the more we are free from all the legalities and works that held us in bondage, usually all of our lives. It may be simple or complex! It may something that our parents taught us or something we just thought we had to do! BUT when we mature and are free from all that, we feel free and that feels REFRESHING! You can be refreshed even as you work! It is not just about taking a vacation and NOT working. It is not about physical rest but rather mental and emotional refreshment! It is about when the Soul (mind-will-emotions) are one and in unity with what is true in your Spirit! The Spirit, Christ and God ALL live in you! Your Spirit is New, perfect and secure in Christ!
So Renew your mind with the truth and Receive, Rest and be REFRESHED IN CHRIST!!!

hoping you are refreshed TODAY in Christ,
Howard

3/20/2018 Spiritual matters ministered and financial support given!

Verse by Verse....

Rom 15:26 For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27 It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things. 28 When therefore I have performed this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will come by you into Spain.

Paul was the Apostle to the gentiles but never forgot where he came from. He was a Jew, and remembered his fellow country men. He wanted them to be relieved of the harshness they had went through for believing in Christ and being in Jerusalem. Now he encouraged gentiles who had received the word and knowledge of salvation through a Jew, named Jesus, to give back to those Jews a gift of financial support! The gentiles had received Spiritual things and so they could at least give back carnal things...money! The Jerusalem saints where being picked on and the people would not buy from them, like their produce and things that they sold. Along with not buying they would not sell them things that they needed! Many were beaten and died. So they needed help and the gentile church's gave in support, giving glory to God as they gave to others in need. There are several areas we should give our financial support too! Those who are poor, sick and hungry, widows and orphans, and to advance the gospel of Christ. Those who are in ministry and minster to others and their causes! I ask you to pray fully consider giving to our ministry as we minister to you as well as counsel and disciple others with this gospel of Jesus Christ!

always for God's glory,
Howard

3/19/2018 Minister to the Saints!

Rom 15:22 For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you. 23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; 24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. 25 But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.

Paul was hindered from going to the church, but he always wanted to see them. He enjoyed sharing life with them. He enjoyed their mutual faith in Christ! He wanted to see their faces. So many believers today want to stay home and watch some teacher, or TV. evangelist preach and call that their church but it is not! It may be a good teaching (although generally its not!) but that is all it is. Church fellowship is more than a teaching for you, it is about being with each other, sharing that mutual bond in Christ and exhorting, encouraging and edifying each other!!! It is about the MINISTRY TO THE SAINTS! Don't sit at home go to a fellowship of some kind! It does not need to be big, it can be 2 or more in a coffee shop, or at work or at a home bible study! It can be a mega church or small group but go be with others and minister to their needs as well as let them minister to you!

for you Saint,
Howard

3/16/2018 Paul Preached!

Rom 15:19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: 21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.


In the early days of Paul's ministry he Preached, (meaning to Proclaim) to those in Israel! He showed them signs and wonders because Israel has always been a nation of signs and wonders to show them God and which way to go. But as Israel rejected the risen Messiah he began to venture out where Christ was not known unto the gentile nations! Now signs and wonders became less needed because the cross was what God was using to bring salvation unto the gentile for eternity! Even today when one wears a cross the connection is Christ! The cross is what we should preach! Jesus sacrificial death for sins and His resurrected life for our eternal life in Him! By faith not signs and wonders!
PREACH and PROCLAIM CHRIST CROSS to those who are lost!

for the cause of Christ,
Howard

3/15/2018 Obedience to God, begins in the mind!

Rom 15:17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Paul the Apostle to the gentiles preached repentance(change of mind) toward God by faith through Jesus Christ! And he taught them to be faithful with a sincere genuine heart and mind! Obedience is not just acts of behavior but rather obedience of heart and mind! Sin is anything without faith! Anything that does not bring glory to God! Sin is unrighteousness and ungodliness even if it is just your thinking! So ask your self "what am I thinking"! Get in touch with what your thinking, feeling AND doing! Paul encouraged us to renew our minds, receive from Christ and rest in Him! Renew your mind, and GLORIFY GOD TODAY!

for God's glory alone,
Howard

3/14/2018 Paul the minister of Jesus Christ to the gentiles!

Rom 15:15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God, 16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

Paul at times spoke boldly of his position in Christ! His position as being the Apostle and minister to the gentiles. He did not always push it but he always knew his position, purpose, and place as that authority! He had great responsibilities, and a heavy burden to share and reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ! You too should know your position and purpose in Jesus Christ! You are "IN" CHRIST! and your purpose is to share Jesus Christ, life with others! And That they may be saved, eternally "In" Jesus in Heaven!!!
PREACH and TEACH others in JESUS NAME!

because of the grace of God,
Howard

 

3/9/2018 We are able to Minister to each other!

Rom 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

One of my favorite verses for counseling! We are filled with God's power, wisdom, goodness and knowledge and able to minister to one another! You see the Body of Christ is able to live and function without the psychological worldly thinking! We are able, YOU ARE ABLE, to minister to another person! You may not be a preacher from the pulpit but you can be  a preacher from the pews! Go and serve another, give to another, reach another, and love each other!

in God's hope,
Howard

3/8/2018 GENTILES GLORIFY GOD!

Rom 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Notice Paul say that Jesus was a minister to he circumcision! Jesus's earthly ministry, while He was here on earth was to Israel only! Meaning He was Israel's Messiah who was to come and Israel would follow and the rest of the world would come to know God! BUT that did not happened because Israel did not follow Christ! They did not believe who He was, so they did not believe the earthly Messiah or the risen Messiah and so God said then I will move on to the gentiles without Israel! Israel is as a nation is on hold for now! We gentiles now are free to receive Christ without any limitations from Israel, law or temple! We are free to GLORIFY GOD!
THANK HIM DEAR SAINT! GLORIFY GOD TODAY!

for the glory of God,
Howard

3/7/2018 Receive and accept one another!

Rom 15:7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

One of the greatest verses in the bible to memorize and dwell on DAILY!!!!! I can not over emphasize this understanding on this verse and renewing the mind with it DAILY!!! By faith will choose to believe that Christ died for our sins and that by this ONE act all my sins are dealt with, and that II do not need to fix, or worry about punishment for them! I believe that by Christ resurrection that he conquered death and lives in heaven as well as in me! I trust in His relationship to His Father our God and that because of Jesus works I am received by God through Christ! Now received means to be taken in, accepted and to be part of that person! In this case to be taken into and be apart of God, His child, His son and daughter, to be HIS POSSESION! Oh Saints to know that this God of the Universe has take in for His own and will provide, protect and place with HIM IN ETERNITY, is unbelievable, yet it is so believable! RENEW your mind, REST emotionally, in the fact that you are a CHILD OF GOD THAT IS TOTALLY ACCEPTED IN CHRIST! Tell yourself this daily, minuet by minuet so that it is deep in your thinking and the first thing you think about and go to when you feel rejected and unloved!!!!

Then accept and receive others based on that fact!

accepted in Christ,
Howard

3/6/2018 With One Mind & One Mouth Glorify God!!

Rom 15:5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These verses are so powerful! This is what the "BODY" of Christ is called to do! Think as one, speak as one, BE ONE! Now we may not all agree on everything, but we are still to be One! Being one means understanding scripture, relating to God, understanding the cross of work Christ! Because there are so many gentile, and different customs compared to Israel and its laws , which have a lot too....I believe God made it simple! Only the cross matters now! The cross is the power of God, so only knowing Christ death and resurrection is necessary for life today, though Jesus! EASY RIGHT! Lets not make it so complicated with ordinances that are different in every church.... just OMOM IT!

for God's glory,
Howard

3/5/2018 Learn and have hope for JESUS IS LORD!

Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

I often hear people say all things happened for a reason! The sad thing is that these same people don't know the reason!!! ALL things in life are to bring GLORY TO GOD!!! It is that simple! Everything that Israel went through, and then denying Christ, the little flock with Peter, and still denying the risen Christ was always for us to learn and have HOPE IN CHRIST! The "Body of Christ", we gentiles have been given a great opportunity to be saved and have that hope! That hope is in Christ! Don't forget it, know it, see it in ALL situations! Learn from what you have done and missed but mostly learn from Israel's mistake, that JESUS IS LORD!

GLORY TO OUR GREAT GOD,
Howard

3/2/2018 Please One Another, for edification in Christ!

Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

Paul here in Chapter 15 begins by encouraging us to not be consumed with ourselves but to help, encourage and edify one another! Edify means to build up! That does not mean to just say to someone "you look good today" (although you could say that)! It is not trying to build someone up after the flesh, or give them self esteem or even just complimenting them! We are to exhort each other to go to God, to walk by faith and receive from God! To please others does not mean we are "MEN PLEASERS" But rather because we are pleasing to God, we are to "please" by giving, helping and ministering to others! Encourage, Edify and Exhort, 3 "E" words you can think and do when dealing with one another! When fellowshipping with the Body of Christ we want to think and apply these "3 E's"!

Exhorting you in Christ,
Howard

3/2/2018


3/1/2018 Whatsoever is NOT by FAITH!

Rom 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

There is a Spiritual interest in every thing we do! Meaning that we can live and do things unto Christ or unto self! Everything and anything may show us our hearts, our faith, our God! When we think, choose, feel and behave fleshly for self or do we think and behave righteous in Christ! So don't think that certain things don't matter cause they do! The little things as well as major decisions are ways for us to stop and think, renew our minds and receive from God and show us our hearts! Don't get caught up in the external, yet the external can show you WHO and WHAT you truly believe at the time! The Kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace follows that. Is your thinking righteous, your feelings righteous, your behavior righteous! Remember,
WHATSOVER IS NOT OF FAITH IS SIN!

in faith, by faith,
Howard

2/28/2018 Nothing unclean, and that means YOU TOO!

Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

Paul is continuing to prescribe how to live with others! How we should view people according to grace vs.law and judgement! Now as always we need to understand that we are to judge, discern but with the right attitude and reasons! Paul here is describing someone who may have the wrong intentions when they judge! Paul judged but always for the Glory of God and what is in God's interest for the person! Paul says don't lay down stumbling blocks for others! Don't have a feast with someone who is trying to lose weight! Or drink wine in front of someone who struggles with alcohol! Be considerate, caring for the person not just yourself! One way I see a lot of people NOT caring for others is they talk about themselves constantly! The whole conversation is always about them, their work, their family, their lives! STOP and consider others, ask and get to know what the other person may think and feel! Now Paul also says here that nothing is unclean! YOU ARE CLEAN TOO! You have been made perfect, in Christ! Don't keep looking at your flesh, your sins, your natural human earth suit! But rather look at your SPIRIT! WHO is in that SPIRIT? WHO abides in that SPIRIT! GOD!!!!! YOU ARE CLEANSED! AMEN!!!! Go about your day, today, telling your self I AM CLEAN IN CHRIST!!!

cleansed in Christ,
Howard

2/27/2018


2/27/2018 Unto the LORD!

Rom 14:5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Let us do everything unto the Lord! Unfortunately most of us do religious things for OURSELVES! We try to be good and want to do good, for ourselves! We want to "feel" good about ourselves so we think if we eat right, in a certain way or celebrate some religious holiday, again we will "feel" good about ourselves! That is a performance trap! It is trying to "do" something to "feel" good, rather than based on Jesus! He loves you regardless of your performance! He died for us before we were born and EVER performed anything!!! Now some people want eat certain foods for health reasons, that is fine but don't do it to "feel" closer to God or be in "right" standing with God you already are in "right" standing with Him, through Christ! YOU BELONG TO GOD, DEAD OR ALIVE! and by the way, that is a WIN, WIN, situation!!!!
THANK GOD TODAY DEAR SAINT!

for God's Glory,
Howard

2/26/2018 WEAK IN FAITH!

Rom 14:1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Paul continues with practical steps in how to treat others in the Body of Christ! Notice and a often overlooked part of these verses is the first part, "...WEAK IN FAITH"! The person who "ONLY" will eat certain foods is a person who is weak in faith! Now just because someone is weak does not mean we need to disassociate with them but rather encourage them to mature! Paul is using the negative part of the word judgement in not being harsh with them, but it does take discernment and "a" judgement" to understand that they are weak in faith! WITH that being said never should the weak in faith DEMAND that others eat or do whatever "they" think is right!!! NOTICE I said they should not DEMAND, that YOU eat only what they eat....! Then the mature one should talk to them not about eating but rather them trying to be GOD! Setting standards, demanding other to obey them and then judging others! Sometimes I see people who want to eat or look like Israel and do the things Israel did! They want to Identify with Israel....They think that are being more spiritual or getting closer to God.... they are not! You can not get any closer to God then being in God and GOD IN YOU!

be strong in faith,
Howard

2/23/2018 Put on the Lord Jesus Christ!

Rom 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Notice Paul starts these verses with "And that" meaning "NOW, KNOW" the time we are in! Awake and do not be passive, lackadaisical or slow but rather be aware, awake and alive in JESUS CHRIST! PUT-ON JESUS! Be ready as Peter says for the enemy is ready, the world is ready... to eat and form you into their world ,their sin, their death! "Cast off" Put off, sin and put on light! The same type of thing Paul says in Ephesians AND Colossians! Put off those dirty clothes, sin, evil thoughts....AND don't stand there naked, the elements are waiting....(cold, hot, wind, evil thoughts, sinful, fleshly, worldly, hurts, rejection, ........) AND PUT ON those clean clothes, JESUS! Renew, receive and refresh your thinking in the LOVE of GOD! He Loves you, He accepts you, He has forgiven you, He has made you righteous, holy and beautiful IN CHRIST! So wake up everyday and Thank God for He is your LIFE!

always for God's glory and your edification,
Howard

2/22/2018 The LAW of LOVE!

Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

The same theme from yesterdays devotion is continued here with "The LAW of LOVE"! The only LAW needed is Love! As I said yesterday God is love, so love is righteous! Without righteous love you have LUST! God's love, righteous love is always doing what is in GOD'S BEST INTEREST, not mans! God's best interest though is always for man's hearts! Mans Spirit, Soul and Body! Every time we sin that is our interest, and there is a death process that follows. Our minds and conscience are hurt and may even become callus if we continue on! God's interest is LIFE! So when we receive and walk in faith, we are doing God's interest! When we trust and are obedient, we receive and have life! We feel secure, confident and have victory in our lives! God loves us and sent Jesus to show us that love! So Love is God's motivation and our greatest need and desire and so by receiving that love we fulfill God's judicial law, of being holy and righteous and in turn may give GOD, ("LOVE") to others! Righteous love GLORIFIES GOD, not a person, and has no bearing on the persons feelings who is receiving it! For instance God's love may hurt when you share or tell them they are a sinner and need Him! OR if you need to rebuke some one that hurts, but if done for God's glory it may be necessary to save ones life!

in LOVE that worketh no ill....,
Howard

2/21/2018 GOD'S LOVE IS RIGHTEOUS!

Rom 13:7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

LOVE IS THE ONLY LAW FOR TODAY! Now Let me define that some if I may! God is Love, so everything that God, "IS" is in love! It is His very character and nature! And since we know God is righteous and holy Love must also be righteous and holy! Lust means to covet, to take for selfish gain. What is called love today in the world is not love because it is not righteous! Sadly what is called love in the church is much the same as the world! So if we Love righteously and are not lusting selfishly, we are glorifying God and therefore fulfilling ALL LAW! The Temple was to find, see and know God, but God is in us, therefore the Temple is of no use per say! Jesus had purified us and made us holy from the internal not external, therefore water baptism is of no importance anymore! This is why Paul says in Eph 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one BAPTISM... When we love , we give, not take! SO No need for all of Israel's laws to perform under in order to "HAVE" God! You see God is Love, and LOVE IS IN US, so we CAN tribute, honor and give instead of owe!

The church of today spends so much time quoting Jesus "love your enemies", that we forget that they are "A ENEMY OF THE CROSS OF CHRIST"! You may ask why did I put in this last segment that seems to go against what I had just wrote on love! BECAUSE the "Love your enemy" has become "LUST WITH OUR ENEMY"!

in righteous Godly Love,
Howard

2/20/2018 FOR CONSCIENCE SAKE!

Rom 13:5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Yesterdays devotion was Romans 13:1-5, which deals with authority! Todays devotion deals with why we should voluntarily submit to authority! YES and always... because God said so, but also for  "OUR CONSCIENCE SAKE"! You see everything we do either has a benefit or takes away from our conscience! Sin slowly calluses our conscience! While obedience keeps our conscience supple and sensitive! So respect, honor and submit to authority even bad authority and you will have a life of Love, Peace and
"A CLEAR CONSCIENCE"! Don't forget this verse!
1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: AND THIS VERSE FROM   1 Pe 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. 17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
You may not always agree with the authority, but you can have victory, if you don't rebel and try to have your way but rather think of GOD'S WAY! When you fight , argue and get mad at authority you are trying to be God and be "THE" AUTHORITY"! Let God be God and PRAY for the authority!

for God's Glory,
Howard

2/20/2018


2/19/2018 AUTHORITY IS FOR YOU!

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

Authority is so important in our lives! God is "THE" authority, and if you can not submit and humble yourself to Him you will have problems with "ALL" authority! In every area of life there is authority! Spiritual, marital, parental, and even Financial! There's government and civil authority and we need to remember that they are set in place by God for us! To help and protect us! NOW that being said we know that there is bad authority! Those who that take advantage, hurt and control wrongly! That does not mean that the power, principles, or position of the authority is wrong, it just means that the person may be wrong! We are still to respect and honor authority regardless! Jesus was a Great example as He had the power to wipe out "ALL" authority, yet for GOD, "THE" GREATER authorities glory, He submitted to man a lower authority and died on the cross! YET He was EXALTED above all names! Just remember that GOD, "THE" authority has already "EXALTED" YOU IN CHRIST! Therefore voluntarily submitting to earthly authority is not hard, for you are already
A EXALTED SAINT, HEIR AND CHILD OF GOD!

with you in heart,
Howard 

2/16/2018 VENGENCE IS GOD'S BUSINESS!

Rom 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 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. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

God is God and I am not God, and neither are you, so let God be God! God is the only one who has the right to take vengeance! He is the only one who is perfect (besides Jesus who is one with God)! So don't "play" God and strike out in some form to get back at someone! Often times we may get mad at our spouse and do or say something that will just needle them! Perhaps we men will not take out the trash because the wife said something you did not like! Sometimes wives will withhold intimacy to get back at the husband and gain some form of control in the marriage! These are acts of vengeance! IN FACT Paul describes here in these verses that if someone offends you we should minister to them! Here is a good way of handling this and can be remembered by a simple acrostic....Prayed!
1. PRAY, when offended, pray to God telling Him "who" and "what " they did!
2. REACTION, admit your feelings AND your sinful reaction to the hurt!
3. ACCEPT, THANK GOD for forgiving you at the cross!
4. YEILD to God and say " I CHOOSE" to forgive__________ ______!
5. ERRORED, go back and seek their forgiveness if you sinned, Saying "I was wrong for...!
6. DO perhaps do or say something that will minister to them!!!

in faith,
Howard

2/15/2018 LIVE IN PEACE IF POSSIABLE!

Rom 12:17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

"Vengeance is mine says the Lord", not us! If your spouse or someone hurts you, forgive them! Recognize the rejection, the hurt and extend forgiveness, don't just stay in bondage to that person and in holding them guilty! You are only hurting yourself! AND being disobedient to God to boot!!! OUR sin of forgiveness is just as great as their sin when they hurt us to begin with! Go to God, tell Him who it was that hurt you! What they did! Your pain and your sinful reaction to it! THANK HIM FOR FORGIVEING YOU! And then CHOOSE to forgive them! Be honest with your self, as well as others, and try to live peaceably with others! We can't always but do your part and LIVE IN THE FREEDOM OF CHRIST!

in peace,
Howard

2/14/2018 ONE MIND, ONE HEART!

Rom 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Caring about others is a "good" work, that is manifested by the Spirit and by a transformed life! Being one with others does not mean we will all be on the same page theologically but rather in a thinking of Christ love and sacrifice for us! We need to understand that we too have been loved, saved and forgiven! WE too have been comforted in Him and therefore can comfort others with the same comfort He has given us! That comfort is first by the Spirit, second by our mind! Be of one mind, one thinking, ONE IN CHRIST!
so REJOICE, WEEP AND LOVE!

in Christ love,
Howard

2/13/2018 BLESS!

Rom 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

As much as possible we should bless those who attack, reject and hurt us! Now to bless means to pray for them and seek God's blessing that they too may know Him and be saved! It also means to encourage, edify and exhort them to come to Christ! To talk and share with them about Christ and His cross! Giving them if need food or drink may break down some barriers but it is more then just that! People often bless people with food ,clothes and money but without Christ they are still lost! Blessing can also mean to rebuke, correct and lead to Christ! So in other words what ever is needed for the person and in God's best interest is a blessing! Remember Paul also says to separate from people if needed, so don't think you are not blessing them if you need to separate from them, it may be the biggest blessing of their lives!!

Blessings,
Howard

2/12/2018 IN HOPE!

Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

REJOICE!!!!! Something that we may do everyday when we stop and compare to having Christ in us! We can Rejoice because nothing is more important than that! We can rejoice because we know who we are in Christ and where we are going when we physically die! Notice I said when we physically die, not SPIRITUALLY!!! Because we can compare everything we go through to being in Christ, being saved, sealed and secure in Him, we have HOPE! We can persevere through tribulations, while praying and receiving God's love! It is God's love that gives us the security and emotional stability to continue! In turn because we are secure we can minister to others! Giving to those that need food, clothing and emotional help! Teaching and encouraging them to come to the Lord! Being nice and helping those who truly desire to come to Christ!
so REJOICE, RENEW and REVEAL CHRIST!

IN HOPE,
Howard

2/9/2018 SERVE THE LORD, FERVENTLY!

Rom 12:11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;

This is a great verse, not just from a business point of view but from a day to day point of view for ALL Christians! Serve the Lord, Fervently all the time!!! Fervently means with energy, passionately with enthusiasm!
When you go to work serve the LORD! Not just go and get a pay check or "just" serving your boss but serve the Lord! You can also serve God by telling others about Him! OR by NOT participating in gossip or dirty jokes! By standing for God in all that you do and say! Don't be cussing one minute and praising God the next! Cussing destroys any witness you have in seconds!!! ALL of this is done by identifying with Christ, by renewing your mind all day everyday! Start your day off by praying, reading and telling yourself the truth before you even go to work! Make that the priority! Not your work or even your family schedule!
BE FERVENTLY SERVING THE LORD! If you struggle with this passion, then pray, admitting being honest with God and then receiving from God His power, His love and HIS PASSION!
Have a great weekend! Praying for you all!

in grace,
Howard

2/8/2018 Love, cleave good and honor others!!!

Rom 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Sadly in my opinion, Love in the church today has become dissimulation! Meaning that it is more worldly and fleshly than Godly or righteous! Love is more LUST today in the church! It is for self, NOT GOD! Notice I said God and not for others! While true, genuine Godly Love is to be given to others, it is to honor God! It is to show God! It is to "BE GOD"!!! 1 John 4:8 says....GOD IS LOVE....! Would God approve of fornication, NO! Would God approve living together before marriage, NO! Would God approve of homosexuality, NO! SO WHY DOES THE CHURCH!!!! Why do Christians congratulate homosexual couples! We are to show Love, SHOW GOD, to the world, not approve, accept and affirm SIN!!! We are to hate evil, cling to good and be kind, honoring those that are believers! We should desire to be around believers before non-believers! That does not mean we don't share Christ with unbelievers, but that we don't hang out for long periods of time with them until their heart and faith are in Christ! We don't join them in their sin! Also on this same note of Love I often hear "Christians" who walk selfishly talking about themselves constantly! Behaving selfishly, fleshly and carnally most of the time! AND then when they are confronted with their behavior, they are defensive, prideful and say " Christians are suppose to love each other and you are NOT loving me...."! Did they ever stop and think that THEIR behavior is NOT loving others!!!! Be genuine, sincere fellowshipping with other like minded believers and let
GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS AND GODLINESS BE THE STANDARD FOR LOVE!

in God's love, only
Howard

2/7/2018 ONE BODY IN CHRIST!

Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; 8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

The church today is a Live moving Body! It is Christ Body!!! It is apart of Christ and not formed in a nation, temple, or by ritual! It is always receiving from God as well as sharing with others. It has no walls! It moves and lives at home, at work, at play ALL day, everyday! Since we are one we should work together as one! Supporting, encouraging and edifying one another! The building up of the Body is by faith, sharing, evangelizing and disciplining! Preaching, Teaching and Counseling each other! One on one, small groups, big groups, house fellowships, work fellowships, any where 2 or more are gathered we can minister to one another! NO ONE SHOULD NOT MEET WITH OTHER BELEIVERS! I know some who will not go to a fellowship because they don't teach or believe the same! You do not need to believe exactly to fellowship with one another! Christ Love is a greater call to unity then our theological beliefs!
The BODY OF CHRIST IS ALIVE AND YOU ARE APART OF IT!

In unity,
Howard

2/6/2018 Know who you are,and be satified in Christ!

Rom 12:3 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.

Often times we may aspire to be a leader, a teacher or pastor in the church! Yet we have no experience, training or opportunity given. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to do that but don't make that your identity! Don't think more highly of your self means to not be a preacher or think you are better than someone else but rather to understand "WHO" God is! What He has done through Jesus! "WHO" Jesus is and what He has done! And to know that you are in them and they are in you! Be content with that! What ever your ministry "IS" and that it is not above others! They are all roles or may be positions of authority in the "Body of Christ"! But as soon as you leave that position of authority, you can still minister and help those who have that position by praying and serving them the best that you can! NO ONE member of the Body is above another as far as value to God! Keep the "right" perspective and attitude toward God and others! Don't let your ego grow OR shrink according to your feelings! Take a honest look at your self! Self perception should not be self deception or self rejection BUT self acceptance because of and IN CHRIST!



grace and love,
Howard

2/5/2018 Transformation!

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I often ask those who come for counseling, "what is God's will for you..."? I often ask people in church or in other conversations when they say "I don't know what God's will is for me in this... or in life... or to do/go somewhere"? So many of us don't know what God's will is for us, but this verse tells us! To be TRANSFORMED! You see it does not matter if you go to Africa and feed the hungry if you are not saved! It may be a good work but if not saved/ transformed you are still lost, dead and going to hell for eternity! God's will is that every person be transformed first Spiritually! Second in Soul, meaning mind will and emotions.... and last Body! We often think only in terms of Body or physical! What does God want me to "DO"? What is His "WILL" for me in this situation, ("to do")? NO, NO! His will is that you are transformed, by renewing your mind with what is already true about you in Spirit! IF you are saved, a believer, a true converted Christian, then you are already transformed Spiritually! Now by renewing your mind with that same truth, your soul begins to be renewed with the truth that you are a child of God that is deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven! You are sealed, secure and saved in Him! You are redeemed, reconciled and righteous in Christ! You are accepted, approved and adored by Him!
YOU ARE.......... IN CHRIST!!!! Renew your mind daily and continue to be TRANSFORMED!!!!

in God's grace and love,
Howard

2/2/2018 SERVICE AND WORSHIP!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

True worship of God comes through your giving of yourself! It is not just singing or lifting your hands singing a worship song at church or in home! It is that you give yourself completely Spirit Soul and Body, and Receiving from Him! God desires to give to us, our job is to receive what He has given, namely Jesus! His Life, His Love, His power, His Spirit......!!!! Give your mind, thinking on Jesus today and receive God's love completely! Let His love minister to you in ALL situations!!

in Love,
Howard

2/1/2018 TO WHOM BE GLORY FOREVER!

Rom 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

OH MY SAINTS!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY! How unsearchable is His riches, His wisdom, His knowledge and judgements!!! Who knows God's great mind!!! PRAISE GOD you have His mind, His wisdom His knowledge, His riches! PRAISE GOD He gave them to you through JESUS CHRIST! You are IN CHRIST, IN GOD, IN HEAVEN! PRAISE GOD everything is for Him, through Him, and to Him! THANK HIM CHILD OF GOD!!
PRAISE HIM DEAR SAINT!!
To God be the GLORY, to God BE THE GLORY, TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!

IN GOD'S GLORY,
Howard

1/31/2018 MERCY ON ALL!

Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.

What a great verse!!!! Paul declares here that God sees all man equal in unbelief and has provided a way to relate and be with Him forever! ALL means ALL!!! So now God sees man not as a particular nation, or race or sex, but rather all as lost individuals needing His mercy! Who needs His love, life and liberty! You have that now dear Saint! Don't forget it and THANK GOD FOR IT!

in God's great grace,
Howard

1/30/2018 GOD'S MERCY!

Rom 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. 30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief: 31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

OH MY, God's mercy is so great! So good! Mercy means to not give us what we deserved! To withhold punishment, and to show compassion! God has shown us His great compassion and mercy, even though Israel failed! He did not have to do that! He showed that He loved man and had compassion for mankind! He could have discipline Israel and left us to our own sinful passions, to die in hell, but He did not! He extended mercy to us, and in turn we may extend mercy to others! Israel will someday come to see that same great mercy of God! Don't forget you have been shown and given God's compassion and mercy and
THANK HIM FOR IT!

by His mercy,
Howard

1/29/2018 ...Israel shall be saved...!

Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes.

Notice Paul says here that they are enemies for your sake.... meaning that Israel rejected the Gospels! The Gospel given to them through their Messiah Jesus Christ! They rejected the risen Jesus so Jesus went to Paul! Paul shares with us that we gentiles now may be saved and therefore be apart of God's election by faith! Election means chosen! It does not mean he chose some and not others it just means that people are chosen based on their faith! Grace has been extended to mankind and we make the decision to receive it!
Israel did not, but they will after much tribulation! YOU ARE BELOVED FOR THE FATHERS SAKE!!!
Renew your mind and receive GOD'S LOVE TODAY!!!!

BELOVED IN CHRIST,
Howard

1/26/2018 GOD'S GIVES GRACE & GOODNESS to the GENTILES!

Rom 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. 24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

GOD IS GOOD! GOD IS RIGHTEOUS! God goodness is shown by His grace and love toward man! Through sending His Son to the cross, God proves and shows His goodness! BUT because He is righteous He also has the right to be severe with those who will not bend their will toward Him! Those who want to do their own thing and not come to Him in faith will suffer the consequences of that decision! God desires all mankind to come to Him. He wanted Israel, as a nation to come to Him! But they rejected Jesus, so the gentiles now come to Him! AGAIN I say, Israel will one day come to Him, when the fullness of the gentiles is complete! When the last gentile under and in the Body of Christ, His church for today is complete, and taken up to be with Christ in Heaven! Praise God today for His grace and goodness toward you!!

in God's grace,
Howard

1/25/2018 THE ROOT IS HOLY!

Rom 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? 16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; 18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. 20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: 21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

I love trees! I like to get to know the different species and know how they grow! Here Paul uses the Olive tree as a example! Branches connect to the tree and find life through the roots upward through the trunk and into the branches! If branch's do not stay connected to the trunk and therefore not connected to the branches they die! Israel was a branch that did not stay connected by receiving Jesus as their Messiah! They died in a sense and were broken off! Because of Israel's unbelief, and broken off, gentiles were grafted in!
God is Holy! God is the root of the tree of life! So while Israel failed, and God grafted gentiles in, can He not also graft Israel back in, of course, He's God!!! Let us stay humble and pray for Israel, and that many Jews would come to know Jesus now... and be apart of the Body of Christ! Never forget that you were once not apart of the tree of life, but were grafted in BY GOD'S GRACE!

to God the tree of life, ever so wise,
Howard

1/24/2018 SHARE AND SAVE!

Rom 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. 15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?

Paul's great desire was to share the gospel of Jesus Christ! He wanted all men to be saved, Jew and Gentile! While Jesus sent him on the mission to the gentiles, he never stopped loving and caring about Israel! His country men, his blood, his nation! Don't stop praying for the lost, and keep sharing the Gospel! The gospel that saves man! The gospel of grace, by faith and The gospel of Christ cross! Tell others your story, your testimony, how Jesus saved you! No one can say that did not happened, because it is your testimony!
SHARE, LOVE AND REACH OTHERS FOR CHRIST!

glory through Jesus Christ,
Howard

1/23/2018 PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES!

Rom 11:12Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

Paul magnifies his office, as the Apostle to the gentiles! Peter, James and John were Apostles to the circumcised to the little flock of Jewish Christians predominantly in Palestine. Gal 2:7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Paul was given the authority and administration to be the Apostle to the Body of Christ! Along with this comes a different gospel! The gospel that says we are saved by grace through faith alone! The gospel that is by Christ cross and Christ works not ours! Now while the Jewish Apostles did see and watch Jesus die on the cross they still were called and told to follow the law, temple and ordinances of Israel! We gentiles did not know nor have these laws or ordinances. We were then directed to go through Israel and become proselyte's in order to be saved. BUT NOW we have NO mediator but JESUS! Israel's failure to believe and receive the "RISEN" Messiah gave us our opportunity before Christ without Israel! Israel's failure also does not mean the end of Israel but a pause until the fullness of the gentiles is complete and the Body of Christ is taken up with Christ in heaven!
So Read, re- read.... and understand Paul's epistles, Romans through Philemon for they are written to you!

encouraging you, Christ Body,
Howard

1/22/2018 ISRAEL'S FALL!

Rom 11:7What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

Israel's did not receive the earthly Christ nor the risen Messiah, so Israel's fall is that they are put aside as a nation and God has now offered and extended grace to the rest of the world without going through Israel!!!! AMEN AND PRAISE GOD!! Israel's fall, unbelief allowed us gentiles to be saved through grace! By faith we believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose to give us life! ETERNAL LIFE IN HIM!!! Do not try to include nor imitate and identify with Israel's for you have been given a MUCH GREATER REWARD! Not through any other mediator, not through Israel, Moses, angels, law, temple, baptisms or any thing else but only through
CHRIST CROSS!

Because of Christ Cross,
Howard

1/19/2018 Grace is Grace!

Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.

Often times Christians come to be saved, knowing that they are saved by grace! God's grace is extended to us and we receive that grace and have life in Him! BUT then turn around and begin to work to be good enough, even though we say and know we were not saved that way to begin with! GRACE is GRACE! When we work to be good enough, or for God's favor.... there is a debt! We expect to be paid for that work, but vice versa too when we sin, we expect punishment for that work! We can be on a endless cycle of performance!
JUST RECEIVE FROM GOD SAINT! GRACE UPON GRACE! By the way the meaning of "...according to the election of grace..." is simply chosen by grace, not works! By faith we receive what God has extended to us!

To God only wise, be Glory through Jesus Christ,
Howard

1/18/2018 God's not done with Israel!

Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, 3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.

While Israel has rejected Jesus and God has granted salvation to the gentiles, He has not forgotten about Israel! God will eventually set up His earthly Kingdom with Israel, but for now He is building His heavenly Kingdom with Christ "BODY"! The church for today is called the BODY OF CHRIST! It is a heavenly ministry and we have and live in Christ! Israel as a nation will come to Him but not until the fulfillment of the gentiles! Keep praying for Israel, but relies the dispensation/time in which God is working today!

In Christ there is always hope,
To God who is always wise,
Howard

1/17/2018 "Have they not all heard"?

Rom 10:18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. 19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. 20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. 21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

Paul continues here in Romans 10 in addressing Israel with its disobedience toward receiving Christ and as he also addresses God's grace given to the gentiles! Isaiah says that God was found by gentiles and Israel still did not hear! Gentiles now will provoke Israel to jealousy! You see folks we are NO LONGER the tail following Israel but rather Israel is the tail following us eventually! Don't try to be like Israel and follow their customs and trying to Identify with their ways to get closer to God! I sometimes see Christians trying to act and behave like Jews to "FEEL" closer to God! It may seem like it after the flesh, but you are no closer to God than you were before!!!!
YOU CAN NOT GET CLOSER TO GOD THAN HE BEING IN YOU!!!!

to God only wise, and be glory through Jesus Christ,
Howard

1/16/2018 FAITH COMES BY HEARING!

Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Preach and Proclaim Jesus Christ folks! By sharing people hear, people listen and people come to God! We came to God through someone sharing with us! Mom, dad or pastor/teacher.... and so will others! Keep sharing even if it seems people are not listening, they may not tell you they are, but they are! IF at the very least, they will know were you stand and who you stand with! You learn and mature the more you hear! The more you see others of like minded faith, at church, you know you are not alone and that encourages us to share even more! Grow in faith! ....and HEAR THE WORD OF GOD!

To God only be wise, be glory through Jesus Christ,
Howard

1/15/2018 PROCLAIM JESUS SAINTS!

Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

We are to preach Jesus! Preach and proclaim, which is what preach means! While there is a place for the leader in a local "BODY", we ALL are to preach the GOSPLE OF PEACE! Take time and get to know your neighbors, co-workers and family who do not know Christ and begin to share with them your personal testimony as well as GOD'S GREAT GOSPLE!

for God's glory,
Howard  

1/12/2018 WHOSOEVER BELEIVES!!!

Rom 10:5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 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; 9 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. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Are you a WHOSOEVER? YES YOU ARE!! All of us have been given the opportunity to be saved! To have life in Christ! Grace has been extended to everyone! Now it is up to you and I to receive Christ! To TRUST IN HIM! How is that done, by FAITH! Trusting in His works!! Trusting in His POWER! Trusting in His WORD! Trusting, trusting, trusting!!!! Life is in Christ! Hope is in Christ! Love is in Christ!
ARE YOU A WHOSOEVER???

in grace,
Howard

1/11/2018 CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW!!!

Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

Paul's great love for Israel is shown again here! He wanted just as God desire for them to be saved! BUT he also knows that they went about it all the wrong way! WE too may go about it all the wrong way! IF you are saved, you were saved by faith, by grace, by CHRIST! So why go back to trying to be righteous in your own works! TRYING to live up to the law! That lifestyle and behavior will were you out! It is self -righteousness! Keep receiving from Christ. Submit your life to Him!
FOR CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW!!!

in grace,
Howard

1/10/2018 GENTILES, RIGHTEOUNESS AND FAITH!

Rom 9:25 As he saith also in Osee,  I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: 28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. 29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha. 30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

We see here Paul continues to show us that God has given the gentiles the opportunity to be saved by faith! Not through Israel but by faith in Jesus! Righteousness is attained by faith and not by works! NOTICE AGAIN, as I said in the devotion yesterday that this is about Israel and gentiles NOT CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS! As God says in 1 Tim. 2:3  For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
God's desire is that ALL men, have the opportunity to be saved and reconciled to Him!
Dear SAINT, you are saved, sealed, and secure in Christ by faith, and made righteous in Christ and Christ alone!
PRAISE GOD TODAY!

in grace,
Howard

1/9/2018 ALL MEN!

Rom 9:9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Now I know this devotion is a little long compared to other devotions but without the right context these verse can be misunderstood! So misunderstood that some church's and teachers have taken these verses to mean God chose some men, certain men, and did not choose or want all men to be saved! That is NOT the case. That is called Calvinism by the way! Your church may teach Calvinism and if they do I would encourage you to take a good hard look at what that is!

Mean while back to these verses. Paul is getting across hear that God can show mercy and grace to whom ever He likes, whether to ISRAEL OR GENTILES!!!! THAT is what these verses are talking about! Remember in the opening verses of Chapter 9 Paul refers to how sad he is for the nation of Israel that they rejected Jesus. and Paul says the same thing in Rom. 10:1-3.... but Paul is saying that God has now gone to the gentiles, and ALL may have the opportunity to be saved and have life in Christ! ALL men have been granted grace that hey may accept! ALL men may come to the cross and through Christ be reconciled to God! ALL MEN!

in grace,
Howard

1/8/2018 NOT BY FLESH OR HERITAGE!

Rom 9:6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. 8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Paul is describing here in Romans 9, that the children of God is not by flesh but rather by Spirit. Meaning that the promise given to Abraham, down through Isaac's linage, the seed of promise is given! That seed being Jesus and that only those who believe by faith in Him shall receive that promise of eternal life! We are ALL born in a natural sense, dead and going to hell..... but only those who receive the promise, that is Jesus may be rewarded with LIFE!

1/5/2018 Paul's great sorrow!

Rom 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

Paul's great sorrow is for his fellow Israelites! That while having the Law, covenants the glory of being and know God did not receive Christ! Christ came in the flesh for Israel! He came so that they may be saved and delivered and in turn bring the rest of the world to God! But instead they ignored and rejected Christ! While we gentiles had none of these things given to us, God granted His grace, His love, His son, and we now may be saved without the nation of Israel! We now have only one mediator, and that is Christ Jesus! Keep praying for Israel, but pray that individuals, Jews would come to the knowledge of the Jesus Christ as Lord! PRAISE GOD FOR GREAT GRACE GIVEN TO US!

in grace,
Howard

1/4/2018 NOTHING!

Rom 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 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.

NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING SHALL SEPERATE YOU FROM THE LOVE OF GOD,
WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD!!!!!

Dear Saint dwell on this daily! Love is God's motivation toward you! He is Love! He showed love by sending His son to the cross! Jesus is Love also! The love of God LIVES IN CHRIST! Receive it and rest in it everyday! LOVE is what comforts us and gives us the feelings of emotional security! No matter what the sin, the problem , the issue, faithfully dwell on God's love and you will find peace!


in grace
Howard

1/3/2018 MORE THAN CONQUERORS!

Rom 8:36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

In verse 35 Paul states that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ! In these verses Paul is stating that because of that love, that power, His life we have already won! We have already attained the victory! We have already been delivered and hold the everlasting trophy of life in Christ! Why are you "MORE THAN", because and through the "LOVE" of Christ! Don't walk in fear for you are more than a conqueror,
MORE THAN, MORE THAN, MORE THAN!!!

in grace,
Howard

1/2/2018 BY FAITH ALONE!

Rom 10:8 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; 9 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. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We are saved from hell, death and bondage only through faith in the person of Jesus Christ and HIS WORKS, not ours! The Word of faith, which we preach.... The heart of faith which we have.... The confession of faith which we have....You are saved dear SAINT, SAVED! RECEIVE, RENEW AND REST IN CHRIST! This year put in your mind what is true in your Spirit already you are saved, sealed, and secure Spiritually by FAITH!

in grace
Howard

1/1/2018 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Lam 3:22 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Hope you had a GREAT Christ- filled Christmas and New Year's day!
A New year and a New day to begin a New habit for this year! Start out this New year by reading His word everyday! Praying and Spending timed with God everyday! YOU CAN DO IT! God wants to spend time with you so give your self to Him, receive from Him and make this year a GREAT GRACE FILLED YEAR!

in grace,
Howard

12/29/2017


12/22/2017 FEAR NOT, GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!

Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

A SAVIOUR CHRIST THE LORD!
Give Him praise today and everyday dear Saints!
For Jesus was conceived, born and NOW LIVES IN YOU!
Glory to God! Gods will toward you! His will Is that everyman may be saved! That everyman may call His name, by faith, JESUS MY LORD!


MERRY CHRISTMAS SAINTS!!!!

IN GRACE,
Howard

12/21/2017 The miracle that happend, in December!!!

Luk 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

Contrary to popular belief, Jesus was not born in December, but a even greater miracle was in December! Jesus was born of a women, natural like any other baby in September, (read Luke 1-2 and follow John the Baptist conception and birth... that is the key) BUT Jesus was conceived by the Spirit and by a virgin! Now that is a MIRACLE!!! Christmas Is about God and His GREAT LOVE for us, that He would go to such great lengths to have His son, come and be formed in a women, on earth, and among men! We are all wanting to go to heaven, to be safe and away from this ugly world and all its sin.... and to be secure with God forever, BUT GOD, came here, to earth, as a man, to save us! NOW THAT IS LOVE! and what is Christmas about!

12/20/2017 LOVE OF CHRIST!

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Who shall, NO ONE SHALL, separate us from Christ love! God is love the bible tells us in 1 John 4:8! God is the very essence of love, and Jesus lives in God and we live in Christ! You are surrounded in love! You have love in you! Your very DNA is love! For God is love WHO IS IN YOU! How can you separate your DNA? You can't! While yes you may sin, that did not make God leave you, He is in you to stay! Now what is important is that we NOT confuse what we may have been told our whole life what LOVE IS! It is not a feeling, while feelings are felt! It IS caring enough to lead, correct, and rebuke if necessary so that someone may come to Christ! It is standing up for and fighting for that someone to come to Christ and not just letting them do whatever they please! Sin is death and it hurts themselves and others! LOVE that person enough to say "NO" and let them experience the true meaning of love, GOD!

12/19/2017 IF GOD IS FOR US....!

Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
ALWAYS remember dear Saint that God is for you! He loves you! He accepts you! He desires to spend time with you! HE EVEN LIKES YOU, so don't shy away from Him!!! AND IF GOD is for you, loves you, accepts you... then there is no need to care what others think about you! There is no need to fear rejection! There is no need to hide, or walk in shame! You do not need to fear failure because through Christ you are a success! You are accepted and therefore do not need approval from others! THE ONE AND ONLY GOD IS FOR YOU!

12/18/2017 GOD'S PURPOSE IN CHRIST!

Rom 8:27 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. 28 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. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 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.

Some bad doctrine has come from these verses, and it always has to do with predestination! BUT it is as simple as God preordained salvation through Christ before the world began! WHO was with God in the beginning Jesus! God always knew that Jesus would be the propitiation for man and it is He who set this in motion! Predestined does not mean God picked you and not your spouse, friend or family member before time but rather that He picked Christ to be the salvation for ALL mankind! GOD'S PURPOSE WAS ALWAYS PREDESTINED IN CHRIST! You are conformed to the image of Christ, In Spirit, by the Spirit of God! You are justified and glorified just like Christ, in Spirit! Don't let people stop you from receiving what God has given you!

12/15/2017 GOD SEARCHES HEARTS!

Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 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.

God loves you so much that the Spirit of God actually is in aguish and groaning for your heart and wants the best for us no matter what! Even when we are in deep anguish in the natural He is searching and seeking our hearts to turn, renew and stay with Him! He desires our hearts and cares for you so much! The will of God is that we be transformed! We are transformed in spirit the second we are saved! Then on a daily basis, transformation comes through our spirit by renewing our mind and out our body and actions!
RIGHTEOUS THINKING, RIGHTEOUS FEELINGS, RIGHTEOUS BEHAVIOUR!

12/14/2017 SAVED BY HOPE!!!

Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

We are saved by faith through grace from God! God gave and extended grace to us, and we received it ALL by faith! Yet we were not there in person over 2000 years ago, we have been told about Jesus! About His works and cross! About His death and resurrection! We have been told to receive by faith, and we will be one with Him! Saved from hell and placed in Heaven! Alive in Him! Spiritually alive and loved, with power and spiritual wisdom! All of that by faith! And faith has the element of hope, because we believe and hope in a sense that all that we have been told and come to believe is true! So hope is involved in our thinking, our faith! Faith is hope in what you can not see! IF you can see it, it no longer is hope! Believe, WAIT, IN HOPE DEAR SAINT, for that which is told will come to fruition in time!

12/13/2017 DEAR CREATURE!

Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

We are creatures, created by God! Creatures of habit, a habit of sin, in our flesh! We are born lost creatures! Creatures that need LIFE! Creature that desire love! Creatures that desire our own way and in our own time! Creatures that lust and covet for power and wisdom! But oh how vain we are! OH how we want to be out of this bondage, this bondage of death! This bondage of fear! SUDDENLY in a instant, We are changed ! Changed to a glorious creature in Christ! A NEW CREATURE, A BEAUTIFUL, AND ACCEPTED CREATURE IN CHRIST! Don't dwell on the past, just recognize it, call it what it is, and live as children, freed from bondage and GLORIOUS IN GOD!
always in grace

12/12/2017 God's Glory Revealed in Us!

Rom 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

We all suffer at some point, and some suffer more than others! Some suffer because of their choices, sin in other words! Some suffer because it is just life! Like sickness, disease or because of someone else's sin! But we all suffer some! Physically , mentally or emotionally we suffer and none of it seems fun! BUT compared to the Glory of God in us and compared to the heavenly place in which live and will go someday the suffering is small! Don't focus on the suffering ,in fact while suffering focus on God and His love for you! Be content in Christ and His love!

12/11/2017 Sons of God you are no longer in bondage to Fear!

Rom 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

What GREAT verses these are!!!! Let them sink into your heart and mind! We are Children of God! Sons and daughters of the most high God! WE BELONG! While we all LONG to BELONG, we truly belong to God! We have a identity, we are His children and therefore we have meaning and purpose! We are not lost, spiritually orphaned or in bondage to fear any more! All of us are born in fear the bible tells us so NOW no more fear, for we know WHO we belong to, we know WHERE we live and WHERE we are going! We do not fear death, punishment nor rejection for we are accepted in Christ and BELONG!!!! I have everything that Jesus has because I am in Him, He is my Lord, friend, and brother! We share the same D.N.A., which is GOD!!!
SHOUT PRAISE TO GOD TODAY SAINT!!!

12/8/2017 GOD'S SPIRIT IN YOU!

Rom 8:11 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. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

God raised Christ from the dead! HE IS ALIVE! and HE IS IN YOU! and because He lives in you, seek Him, receive from Him, know Him.......... .when you struggle with your thoughts and emotions, just realize what you are thinking is fleshly, death like and turn your thoughts toward God who is IN you! Think on what is already true about you! for GOD IS IN YOU! What power, wisdom and comfort that is!

12/7/2017 Pleasing God!

Rom 8:8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

To Often we may try to please God by works! We must understand that IF you are in Christ, God is already pleased with you! God can only be worshiped in Spirit, so God's Spirit lives in you and you are one with Him! God is pleased because He sees Himself in you! He also sees Christ "IN" you! You are accepted, received and complete because of Christ and God is pleased! Now those who are not "IN" Christ, even if they try hard to be good or even go to church, are NOT pleasing to God because they are not in Christ! The SPIRIT OF LIFE is IN you and that SPIRIT IS GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS!

12/6/2017 LIFE and PEACE!

Rom 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

If you want to have a victorious Christian Life and have peace you must "THINK" SPIRITUALY! Think, and renew your mind... tell yourself the truth, that "God is love", and that "God loves me" and that "I am His child, who is deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven"! Take a good, honest look at "what your thinking and put off that sin, negative and wrong thinking and "PUT-ON" righteous Godly truth!

12/5/2017 AFTER THE SPIRIT!

Rom 8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

The law while being good and righteous, does not give life, yet it is just, and contains the legal rights of God! Therefore because we are IN CHRIST, and CHRIST IN us, the righteousness of the law is in us, In our spirit! So then, we have a choice to walk by the Spirit, IN CHRIST or walk AFTER the flesh! Now let me clarify something big! Believer's are "IN" Christ and "IN" the Spirit, but can walk AFTER THE FLESH, sin in other words, BUT NON believers are "IN" the FLESH! A believer NEVER "IN" the flesh, but may walk "AFTER" the flesh! DEAR child of God, since you are "IN" the Spirit, walk today after the SPIRIT! Since you have given yourself over to God in Spirit, give yourself to Him, in Soul! Your whole mind-will and emotions!

12/4/2017 NO CONDEMNATION!

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

What a great word for today and everyday! NO CONDEMNATION!!! WOW! We are totally accepted in Christ! We are received by God based on Christ righteousness! No more striving to be perfect, or live up to something! When you get caught up on the performance wheel and feeling anxious about life, just stop and think about theses verses! Slow down, renew your mind and receive what God has done through Christ! No condemnation, just loved and accepted in Christ! Christ has done the work, He condemned sinful in the flesh! Thank Him today Saints!

12/1/2017 OH Wretched man WHO will deliver me?

Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

I know this is a long devotion reading but it all goes together! I also know that is seems somewhat confusing, but if we generalize it we can understand it better! IN SHORT, Paul is saying, I sin, but I don't want to and I know what is right to do but don't do it either! He then cries out WHO will save me! NOT WHAT but WHO! Now are we able to save our selves, NO! Only CHRIST can save us! Only Christ can transform us, OH THANK GOD FOR CHRIST!!! So this tells us we may still sin but through Christ we still are deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven!

11/30/2017 Spiritual vs Carnel!

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Spiritual means a Godly thing while carnal means a manly/animal type of thing! Carnal would mean to be under the control of the our own ungodly, fleshly appetites ! So now the Law is Spiritual! Paul is saying that the law is good and was given by God! Now with that said the law does not give Spiritual Life and regeneration, only the Spirit does that! The law condemns us so that we may know our guilt! Now the verdict for sin is guilty, that is by the LAW! So while we were once IN SIN, we are now IN SPIRIT, alive in Spirit, yet we still sin by our flesh! So the LAW is good but it gives NO life! Don't try to get Life from something that only condemns you! Life is by faith, through grace, IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE!

11/29/2017 APPEAR EXCEEDINGLY SINFUL!

Rom 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

I tell everyone who comes for counseling "it may seem worse, than you thought for awhile"! It may seem worse because I am going to show them their sin! WHY YOU ASK! Because it is sin that is the problem! Sin is the reason you are here! Sin must abound, or better said, shown, so that GOD'S GREAT GRACE MAY ABOUND MORE!!!!! Sin must appear exceedingly sinful, and death must seem present, to grasp and desire God's salvation, through Christ!

11/28/2017 LAW AND DEATH IS GOOD!

Rom 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Paul uses the word covet here to describe our sin! Covet is to lust for self! Every sin is a lust or coveting for self! The way we know that that it is sin is by what the law gives as boundaries! We think and understand sin sometimes to be as something on the outside, like stealing, murder, sexual..... but anything , even something good can be coveting for selfish reasons! A Pastor/teacher can teach something but thinking selfish thoughts! They may desire, appreciation, applause, acceptance.... That does not change the message value but only to point toward the heart of the person! Paul says that the Law is good because it points toward our sin, which leads to death so that we may desire LIFE! That we may repent, have a change of mind, toward receiving life continually through Christ! Now we have Life in Christ as believer ALL the time, BUT we need to RENEW our minds so that we are receiving our worth in Christ and walking and working faithfully! Don't run, ignore and hide from your sin, just admit it to yourself  and walk faithfully by receiving from Him!

11/27/2017 NEWNESS OF SPIRIT!

Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

The Law shows us our sin! It names it, but it is there whether it has a name or not! Just call it "SELFISH" if want! Now when we were unsaved, unbelievers "IN THE FLESH", the law stimulated us in sin and too sin! "BUT NOW" we are no longer "IN the FLESH", but rather "IN THE SPIRIT"!! We do not need nor did we ever have the Law, to save us! YET we still may "WORK" to be just, righteous, and holy "AFTER THE FLESH" and this is sin also! The only thing that brings salvation, life and security is by the Spirit!
BY FAITH THROUGH GRACE!

11/24/2017 MARRIED IN GRACE!

Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

One of the most misunderstood and twisted verses in the bible! These verses have nothing to do with marriage per say, but rather that Paul is trying to get across the understanding of Grace vs. Law! The law was once the first husband, (unto Israel by the way). BUT NOW, the law was nailed to the cross, and we have a new husband, a new marriage, unto grace! No longer under the authority of the first husband (LAW) BUT rather a new Husband, (GRACE), UNTO CHRIST! Praise God today saint, because you are married and under the authority of CHRIST IN GRACE!

11/23/2017 HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

2 Co 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

Have a heart of thanksgiving today, for it is by God's grace, that we are saved, sealed and secure in Him!
That we have eternal life, and that we belong to Him as His children,
deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven!
Give Glory to God!
 

11/22/2017 HOLINESS AND EVERLASTING LIFE!

Rom 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

AGAIN Paul uses the term "yield"! We once had no control, no freedom in sin, BUT NOW we have a choice! We have that choice because we have LIFE in us! Righteousness in us! Christ in us! SIN brings death! Sin brings feelings like death, feelings like being unloved, insecure and fear....through hurt, offences, rejections..... these tell us what we are thinking, and feeling.... SO THAT we may run back to our loving FATHER! The one who showed mercy, grace and love! Gave us grace and reconciled us to Himself! Forgave us and then turned around and gave us ETERNAL LIFE!

11/21/2017 SERVANTS of RIGHTEOUNESS!

Rom 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

OH dear Saints we are free from the bondage of sin! We no longer are chained and a slave of sin,
WE ARE FREE! We may choose to sin, but we are not bound to sin! WE are bound, slaves, servants of God and His righteousness through Christ! The Spirit gives notice, that in you is the Spirit of God and therefore are Free! For where the Spirit of God is there is liberty! SO receive, rest and walk in righteousness, by mentally receiving what is ALREADY TRUE IN SPIRIT!

11/20/2017 YEILD TO CHRIST!

Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Yield, submit and give ourselves over too! Just like when driving, and you see a yield sign, you slow down and allow the other cars to go before you, this is how we react toward God! Yield and allow God's love, goodness and grace go before us! Let God's righteousness lead, direct and control our thoughts and attitude! Yield to God today and you will not crash "your" soul! Always remember that the form of doctrine Paul is talking about here is that form of grace, not law! Not commands, but Christ! Forgiveness, salvation and life come through Christ cross!

11/17/2017 SO YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT?

Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

So many Christians who live under the law, say this to me! "So you can do whatever you want since you are under grace"? What they mean by saying that is that since "your saved, now we can sin all we want"! BUT that is NOT what we are saying! YET I always reply back, "you do whatever you want anyway, don't you"! You see you can sin and still be saved! IN FACT you WILL sin and still be saved!! BUT is it good, Godly, Righteous NO! Does it help anyone, NO! Does it hurt anyone, ALWAYS! Does it affect you, YES! So grace is not something we take for granted and advantage of for selfish motives, but rather take advantage of for Godliness, worship and CONSCIENCE SAKE!

 

11/16/2017 UNDER GRACE!

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

One of the most important verses in scripture! Paul would be wrong to say that we were still under the Law, but we are not and never were! We gentiles never had the law, and Israel could not keep the law whole heartedly, as even Peter described in Acts 15:10! So stop trying to live up to the law dear Saint! The Law only condemns, it does not bring life! When you sin the law gives the understanding of guilt, it is telling you to turn your focus back on Christ! Back on His love, His life! Sin no longer needs to have control of you, but by faith, receive God's love by grace! Grace has been extended to you, TAKE IT!

11/15/2017 YIELD!

Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

What a great verse to describe how we should approach our everyday life! YIELD means to hold back, surrender or submit to God! To not yield and give ourselves over to what we want or desire but rather to yield and put ourselves under God's protection, guidance and righteousness! Just like yielding for traffic, and allowing them to go before us, and then we follow.... we stop and allow ourselves to come under and follow God! YIELD to God dear saint Spiritually mentally and physically! YIELD and receive His love, acceptance and forgiveness! YIELD AND RECIEVE!
grace

11/14/2017 once dead, but Now ALIVE!

Rom 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

WE are both dead to sin, and ALIVE IN CHRIST! Lust, coveting for oneself, selfish...whether it is for food, flesh or financially....power, prestige, or pleasure... it is all for ourselves! We do not need to give into these fleshly things, but we can receive, rest and be refreshed In Christ! Identity with Christ cross is so important! We were once dead, but now ALIVE! Believe dear saint, for it is true!
grace

11/13/2017 DIED, DEAD AND DOMINION!

Rom 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Paul is trying to get across to us that "WE" have DIED on that cross and that "WE" are DEAD, as Christ was dead and that sin no longer has DOMINION over us! THE understanding of identity and thinking here is beautiful! WE need to know that Christ died, we died, Christ lives, we live! Christ died once for ALL sin and that sin no longer needs to dominate us, LIVE UNTO GOD TODAY!!

11/10/2017 FREE!

Rom 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Just as Christ died, we too died on that cross! Our "OLD MAN" died! Our old, lost, sinful nature DIED! We are free from the bondage of sin, because our Spirit is ALIVE IN CHRIST! Christ is in our Spirit, he is perfect, sinless and holy and therefore we no longer have sin in our Spirit! SO LIVE AS IF FREED FROM SIN AND ALIVE IN CHRIST!

grace

11/9/2017 POWER OF SIN!

Rom 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

The old man, our old sinful nature is crucified! You can only have one nature at a time! A sinful, lost, unregenerate OR saved, found, regenerate Spirit! We are either saved or not, believer or Unbeliever, sinner or saint! You are either dead in your sins and therefore a sinner, or you are a saved Saint who sins, not both at the same time! One nature, Holy, sanctified, sealed, Spirit IN CHRIST! We are no longer Under the power of sin, and need to serve sin, but are free in Christ, in His righteousness! The old man is dead, leave him there!
grace

11/8/2017 BAPTIZED IN CHRIST!

Rom 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 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. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Perhaps one of the most misquoted and misunderstood verses in the bible! We are baptized into Christ! Identified , immersed and put IN Christ, not water! The dispensation of grace is now all internal not external! Those church's that teach water baptism is required or a way of obedience are wrong! No one is ever saved by water baptism nor are they being disobedient if they don't! Col. 2:8-23 speaks directly into this, and Col 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: COMPLETE IN CHRIST not water, washings or any other ordinance! Baptized into death, raised in to LIFE!!
You are crucified, cleansed and complete IN CHRIST ALONE, BY FAITH ALONE!
grace

11/7/2017 GOD FORBID!

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

When I say we are forgiven and that we are under grace, I hear from others "so you can just sin if you want..."!
I always say "you do anyway"! We all have a choice when we sin, and WE DO sin! BUT Paul addresses that hear by saying "... shall we continue in sin.... GOD FORBID"!!!! NO!! Sin does not help in any situation! Sin only brings death and bondage! Sin brings fear and a sense of punishment, and guilt! Shame and embarrassment...., so don't keep sinning, but when you do acknowledge it, and repent TO GOD IN FAITH BY RECEIVING FROM HIM! Repent is a "change of mind"! So rather than thinking, and doing sin, for fleshly comfort, I "change my mind" and receive God's love! Don't get caught up in thinking that the Christian life is about never sinning, but rather receiving and resting in the comfort of GOD'S LOVE!

11/6/2017 GOD'S GRACE ABOUNDS EVEN MORE!

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

I LOVE THESE VERSES! Just as Paul has said over and over in this chapter, by one man, Adam, WE were made sinners! That death is in us, hell bound, as well as bondage to sin! We need to understand how great SIN is, how LOST we are, and how BAD our true condition is! SO we really can realize how
GREAT GOD'S GREAT GRACE that is GIVEN to us! So while sin abounds and we recognize it,
GOD'S GRACE ABOUNDS EVEN MORE!
Be thankful for God's grace, dear Saint!

11/3/2017 CONDEMNED VS JUST!

Rom 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Adam was condemned for His sin, and as he was so were we! We are condemned to hell, death and separated from God, spiritually and eternally without GOD! BUT when we by faith trust in Christ, trust in His cross, trust in His works, trust in His life, we are then justified! We are made right, and righteous through Christ! So just as one man, Adam we received death, by one man, Jesus, we receive LIFE!
BELEIVER YOU ARE "JUST RIGHT" IN CHRIST!

11/2/2017 THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!

Rom 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Paul again shares the great news of this great gift, but this time adds even more great news! That we, by believing, and receiving God's provision for us through Jesus, have life! We receive another gift, the gift of righteousness through Christ righteousness! Dear brother and sister, you have the righteousness of Christ in you, Spiritually speaking! DO NOT DENY this! To deny and say I am not righteous, in Christ, is to say that He is not righteousness, nor does He live in me! We are in Christ and He is in us! Declare His righteousness, receive His righteousness, and Put on His righteousness! What a free gift to receive, NOW OPEN IT, EVERYDAY!

11/1/2017 GOD'S GREAT GIFT GIVEN!

Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Just as Adams sin has been passed on and all men are born in sin, so is GOD'S GREAT GIFT GIVEN! We may receive this gift of salvation, FREELY! It is God's by God extending grace to us, that we may receive LIFE! And just like Adam, by one mans sin ALSO by ONE man life, we receive LIFE!
THANK JESUS TODAY, for you have been given GOD'S GREAT GIFT!

10/31/2017 IN ADAM!

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

We are all born and come from Adam, who was the first man! Through Adam's sin in Genesis 3 we all have inherited sin! Our Spirit is born dead and with out God! The law which was given to Israel later, was to show man his sin! But just because there was not a law to show and remind man of sin does not mean there was not sin! Sin was in man because GOD WAS NOT! You are either in Adam or in Christ! You can not be in both at the same time! Which one are you? A saved, sealed and secure SAINT IS ALWAYS IN CHRIST!!!

10/30/2017 JUSTIFIED , SAVED AND RECONCILED BY JESUS!

Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

God just keeps piling it on! Not only have we been justified, but reconciled! Saved by Jesus! Justified by Jesus! Reconciled by Jesus! Forgiven by Jesus! By Jesus death God reconciled man to Himself! Before you trusted in, Jesus, God initiated His love, life and salvation message through Christ! "Even when we were His enemy He had a plan, to bring His creation to Himself! GOD GIVES ,WE RECIEVE! Keep receiving CHILD OF GOD!

10/27/2017 CHRIST DIED FOR YOU!

Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Christ died for you! Christ died before you were born! Christ died when mankind was lost, seeking and searching for significance! Christ died because God loves you! Christ died, CHRIST died, CHRIST DIED! THATS HOW MUCH HE LOVES YOU! Live everyday with that in your thinking! LIVE everyday knowing that God loved me so much, that He would sacrifice Himself by sending and sacrificing HIS SON!
OH HOW HE LOVES YOU, DEAR SAINT!

10/26/2017 The Love of God is shed!

Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Because the Love of God is in our hearts, we can then have hope! We can experience this love, and work through situations! We can be patient, persevere and have a character that reflects Christ even when going through tribulations! GIVE THANKS IN ALL THINGS!
Because the LOVE of GOD IS IN YOU,IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES!

10/25/2017 BY FAITH WE HAVE!

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

When we come in true genuine, sincere faith, we are then justified and have peace with God! Actually God is at peace with us because of Christ! This is not just a feeling this a commitment, a way of God saying this is where I stand with man! I no longer hold them guilty, and mad at them but rather I am at peace with them! FEAR of FAILURE, and our performance is not a issue anymore! Our relationship, with God is not built on our performance, pass or fail, blessed or cursed but rather by our relationship in Christ! HE has EXTENDED HIS GRACE, and by ACCESS into this GRACE, BY FAITH, we can REJOICE, because our HOPE is IN CHRIST!
GLORY TO GOD!

10/24/2017 HUMBLENESS, RECEIVEING GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS!

Rom 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

ABRAHAM was given and he received righteousness based on his belief that God would give him a son and many others that would trust in God for their salvation! JUST as Abraham received and it was counted unto him so we too receive that very righteousness when we trust in Jesus as our savior! Jesus was handed over for our offenses, our sins, He was crucified! He was also raised for our justification! HIS life for ours! We have been made righteous just as Christ was righteous! We become righteous spiritually and God see us as He sees Christ, PERFECT IN CHRIST! To deny that is to say that Christ righteousness is not enough and that WE must do more! Just receive what Christ has given you, NOW that is being HUMBLE UNTO GOD

10/23/2017 Against hope, HOPE!

Rom 4:18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. 19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Abraham was 100 years old! In the natural most people would say "I don't even want to start a family at that age, even if I could"!! But you would think that most men or women could not have a child at his age! Now that is against hope, because even if they did want a child, they physically could not! YET, against that hope, Abraham believed, and it was seen as faith and therefore righteousness was given! Believing in God and what the Word of God says always brings hope! Jesus cross should be seen as hope! Against what ever your going through there is hope because God is in you! The love of God is in you! IF the worst thing that happens in the natural is physical death, you will be with Christ forever! Not a bad thing to happened! Most of the time you will have victory here on earth by just resting, renewing, putting on Christ and His peace is VICTORY ENOUGH, regardless of the natural consequences! Against hope,
HOPE IN CHRIST!

10/20/2017 FAITH BY GRACE!

Rom 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, 17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

As Paul is always saying in Romans, by FAITH! Now with that in mind, Paul is saying that if it is by anything else, like our works than we receive only what we deserve, success in good work and failure and punishment in bad works! That's debt! BUT by FAITH, we have been extended God's grace based on Christ cross and HIS works, and so HIS success is ours! His life is ours! NO FAIL! NO PUNISHEMENT! NO DEBT! We are given a position to stand before God, blameless, guiltless and righteous! IF it were by works we get according to them good or bad! We are in debt and receive what is owed us! BUT GRACE IS GIVEN, RECEIVED FOREVER, BY FAITH! Now God makes the dead, alive, spiritually! He called those which WAS dead to become alive by faith IN CHRIST! YOU are ALIVE dear Saint, only by faith in Christ
Don't try to fix the fix, that Christ has already fixed!

10/19/2017 HEIR BY FAITH, NOT LAW!

Rom 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: 15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

We should always keep in mind the difference between Israel and the Body of Christ! So many Christians connect with Israel, in a way that becomes their Identity! BUT just as these verses suggest that the heir was not by law but by faith! So you see Israel had the law, gentiles did not have the law, so then we who are in the Body of Christ today are saved through faith apart from the law! Law only condemns it does not bring life! FAITH IN CHRIST BRINGS LIFE!

10/18/2017 A SIGN AND SEAL OF FAITH!

Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

While Abraham received the sign of circumcision, he did NOT get it before he believed! He BELIEVED and then received! To show the separation of believers from the unbelievers there was the circumcision but they were to always believe first! Later it became a law to Israel, and to show the world that there was a God, and the distinction of beliefs, but it was always to be based on FAITH! Gentiles and Jews are NOW saved by faith alone! Faith in Christ cross! Faith in Christ death for sins and risen  to give life eternal! Faith is a INTERNAL belief not a EXTERNAL WORK!
WALK BY FAITH, FAITHFUL ONE!

10/17/2017 All moved from my other daily devotion page!

10-17-2017
Rom 4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. 9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
RECKONED RIGHTEOUSNESS BY FAITH!
This is a great illustration for us to understand the works of the Spirit,when it comes to salvation! Abraham was NOT circumscised when righteousnss was imputeted to him! There was no law, when he trusted in God,and was blessed! He did not have external means to salvation, and neither do we! We are saved by faith, not by some ceremonial, external, works! THE SPIRIT ALONE, BY FAITH ALONE! Don't get caught up in "doing" external things or "jumping through hoops" dear Saint! Just walk in faith, daily, receive what God has done, what CHRIST has done, through the cross! Christ did His job, now lets do our job! Our job is to receive the righteousness that has been given to us through Christ, and by doing that we worship GOD!

10-16-2017
Rom 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
BY FAITH, NOT PERFORMANCE!
While working for someone or place we hope to get paid for that work! But when we don't work we could be fired or put on leave without pay! This is the way it was under the "old" covenant, and if you did well you were rewarded, but if not cursed per say! God now deals with us under grace, by faith! It is by faith, and therefore the reward is eternal life! It is by faith that Jesus already paid for that curse, on the cross! Sometimes Christians think that if they are good and do not sin, in other words by their performance in life, that God is pleased with them, but if they sin, God is mad or is going to punish them! This is the same thinking as being under the curse! God is pleased with you because you are IN CHRIST! Christ is who God sees in you! Don't try to please God by "your " works, your performance but rather by your faith in HIS SON!

10-14-2017
Rom 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
FATHER, FLESH AND FAITH!
Abraham is considered the father of the nation of Israel and of the promise given by God! He is by flesh, by natural means the father and therefore Paul takes us back to that time when God separated Abraham from his family to start a new family for a new cause! God spoke to Abraham and he believed God! God told him to leave his country, leave his family, and to sacrifice his son, and Abraham did! He also told him he would be a great nation and promised him he would have many children and Abraham believed God! So Abraham was walking by faith and therefore was declared by God righteous!
YOU TOO, are declared righteous by faith! By believing God we show that by our will we believe, submit and yield ourselves to God! Our thinking for His thinking! His will not our will! And therefore GOD is served, worshiped and looked at as our superior! Always remember that GOD IS GOD, AND WE ARE NOT!
Walk by faith today dear SAINT!

10-13-2017
Rom 3: 29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: 30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
A GENTILE GOD!
The only way to know God for years was to go through Israel, but now Paul is saying to the Jew, that God is a GENTILE GOD! A God that relates to gentiles without the law, by faith! In fact He NOW, relates to both by faith, ONLY! By faith are we justified! Both groups of people saved and justified by FAITH! Now Paul says by this faith and by God's justification we fulfil the law! In other words, just "DOING" the law, does not save you, BUT by faith, when we give ourselves to God, worship God, receive Christ payment, we then understand God's great love! We also, and because of love do not break the law! We do not covet, WHY, because we have everything we need in Christ! We love, instead of steal, we love instead of lie, WE LOVE! The law for today is "THE LAW OF LOVE, IN CHRIST JESUS!  

10-12-2017
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
BOAST, IN WHAT?
While many people and Christians boast about their goodness, accomplishments and intentions, ultimately they are boasting about their works! Thinking that their works will justify them, and make them "feel" righteous! They are doing right according to their standard but not God's! God's standard is perfection! God's standard is holy and that only comes through Jesus! We all fail, sin, so why not be completely justified, completely whole in Christ! IF we do 99% perfect, (which we can not), and miss by 1% we failed James says! YOU ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH ALONE DEAR SAINT,
AMEN AND THANK GOD!

10-11-2017
Rom 3:25 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; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
THE JUSTIFIER!
God is always the initiator! God sent Jesus to be the propitiation, in other words to expiate sin for us! Another way of saying is that Christ was the perfect sacrifice! He took the punishment on the cross so that by faith, we can receive forgiveness by His one blood sacrifice! His blood is the cleansing of sin for all time! God's wrath was against man because of sin, BUT the cross appeased God's wrath, meaning it satisfied, fulfilled and relieved God's wrath for sin and man! God is no longer mad or angry with you Saint! He is not going to punish you! The FEAR of PUNISHEMENT is gone! So no need to punish others or yourself! No need to blame or take blame, call it what it is, which is sin! AND WHO took the punishment, JESUS!

10-10-2017
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
GOD'S GREAT GRACE!
We are justified meaning to be made right, and free from the bondage of sin! AND that comes because of God's great grace, the He has extended to us! When someone extends a gift it is up to the other person to receive! We receive by faith His grace, His life, His love, HIS SON!
Keep receiving from God, dear saint, and you will have VICTORY DAILY!

10-9-2017
The RIGHTEOUNESS OF GOD!!
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 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: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
God's righteousness is manifested, meaning come to life, appear and shown in Christ! Christ is righteous and by faith we receive that very righteousness! All men have sinned, All men are born sinners, guilty before God! A righteous God requires righteous children, and the only way for us to become righteous and just is by Christ! Remember that very righteousness in Christ is in YOU, SAINT!

10-7-2017
LAW AND KNOWLEDGE!
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
While the law brings the knowledge of sin, it does NOT take it away! Under the law, something had to be done for forgiveness of sin! Hebrews tells us that blood must be taken in order for forgiveness to be accomplished! Yet, really the heart had a lot to do with that! A changed heart and attitude should have happened in order to make the blood sacrifice whole and holy! Israel did not do that and therefore Christ came as the propitiation for ALL sin! Once and forever! But then again Israel, did not receive Christ! NO ONE is justified by following the law, NO ONE! The law is weak when compared to the cross, faith and grace! Today we find many Christians who put the law before Christ, and His cross! Don't do that Dear saints as by doing that we void the GREAT SACRIFICE AND LOVE OF CHRIST CROSS!

10-6-2017
GRACE OVER GUILT!
and ALL MOUTHS STOPPED
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
ALL men are guilty before God! Guilt is a legal and judicial word, meaning that God is the judge and has condemned all men under His law! His is perfect and righteous and expected the same from man
"...be Holy as I am Holy..." ! Now no man could be perfect without sin under the law, but the holy part comes from His heart and desire to be faithful! For instance in the book of Luke chapter 1 we see that Zacharias and Elisabeth were considered righteous before God, doing all the commandments and ordinances blameless! But that does not mean they did not sin! And of course as time went on we know that Zacharias could not talk because of doubt! Now guilt has purpose, (read my monthly newsletter for Sept.) Guilt drives us toward the cross! AND because of Christ work and by faith we trust in His sacrifice for our sins, We are No longer held guilty for our sin! We are declared righteous! Never forget how sinful, you were, yet how much more God's grace is! THANK GOD FOR HIS GRACE OVER GUILT!

10-5-2017
ALL LOST!
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Paul is still speaking to the Jews and that they are still lost, but now adds the point that all men are lost! He uses old covenant teaching and scripture to prove it! Fear of God is the understanding of His power and also the respect given to the authority! Like a child who knows dad loves them but fear what dad could do if upset!
FEAR GOD'S POWER, BUT RECIEVE HIS LOVE! Authority does not always need to demand or punish but by a confident, firm and honest way it is shown and known!

10-4-2017
GOD IS RIGHT, RIGHTEOUS AND TRUE!
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. 5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) 6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. 9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
God is always true and right! We often give into the worlds pressures but we should keep our thinking on what God's word says! God is right, man is wrong! The bible teaches us that ALL men are born sinners! Jews , gentiles, are all under sin! We are born in that condition! No one is better than another! All need a savior, so keep this in mind when you see others, and think that they are better off than you! They may have wealth or health, more than you but without Christ they will still die in sin! No one is better or worse than you, so don't compare your self to others, just receive from God, by faith! Give to others the gift of life, JESUS!

10-3-2017
THE FAITH OF GOD!
Rom 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Paul begins this chapter 3, after he has just condemned the Jews in chapter 2! He is saying to them, while you are a sinner just like everyone else, you have had certain advantages! Israel was given the oracles of God! The law and the understanding of WHO GOD IS! So it was to their advantage, yet they did not take advantage of the opportunity, by faith! We gentiles and BODY of Christ, have now a advantage looking back at what we know and understand through history of the church and teaching, but remember just like the Jew we still must receive by FAITH!
Renew and be Refreshed daily by faith! FOR GOD IS FAITHFUL!

10-2-2017
KEEP YOUR HEART NEAR, DEAR!
Rom 2:26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Paul is trying to get across that a gentile, the uncircumcision, when doing what was right, even though the gentiles never had the law, Was he not righteous, unto God in heart! Under the old covenant and law, Israel was given the law! We gentiles came to know and be saved by God, by becoming a proselyte of Israel! BUT Paul is saying that even if they did not come to be a proselyte, if they did not steal, were they not also just as righteous and good as a Jew! Now what Paul is saying is NOT that they did not need the law, but that the Jew could not hide behind the veil, and say they were righteous, with they law, when they obviously were not! Their heart was far from God! KEEP YOUR HEART NEAR, DEAR, TO GOD!

9-30-2017
EXTERNAL VS INTERNAL!
Rom 2:21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. 25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
Paul is confronting the Jewish thinking that says, I am a Jew, and have been given the law, and therefore I will teach and preach "do not....." BUT than they went and did exactly what they said not to do! They thought that because they were a Jew, and had the law, that they were better and saved! Paul is always preaching that ALL men are condemned, sinful and that we all need a savior! He is saying that the law, circumcision and external obedience has no effect on a internal spirit! We ALL need Jesus! We need a transformation from the inside not a conforming from the outside! A genuine, sincere, faithful heart and conscience is what is needed! INTERANAL NOT EXTERNAL!

9-29-2017
"THE SET UP"!
Rom 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. 17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, 18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; 19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
Paul is beginning the "SET UP"! He setting up Israel and Jews who think that, because they have the law, the things of God, and have been chosen by God to share and show Him to the world that they are somehow better than the gentiles!
Sometimes we think as Christians that we know more and are somehow excluded from sin or from the world, and some ways we are! But we need to understand and empathies, with others! We need to relies that it is not just that persons personality, or that they are just a evil person, BUT let us put the blame where it belongs, on SIN! When we relies that sin is the problem we can address it with the right heart and attitude rather from a personal, like or dislike of a person! After all do we not still sin! Judge , and discern righteously, and lovingly, because we too have been forgiven!

9-28-2017
GOD HAS NO FAVORITISM!
Rom 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Paul is trying to reach and show Jews that even though you have the law, you did not "do" the law! This is what many Christians do today! They try to "DO" the law! They work and strive to be "good" enough and "do" all the right things and yet still fall short! This will wear you out! NO ONE can do the law, perfectly! SO we submit, surrender and yield to the cross! Our hearts, conscience and faith being genuine and sincere unto Christ and His work, not ours!

9-27-2017
HEALTHY OR HARD HEART!
Rom 2:5  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Doctors always listen to our hearts when we go in! Is it healthy or does it have heart disease!
God checks our heart too! God knows and sees if we have a  healthy or diseased heart! A healthy, sincere and faithful heart, or do we have a hard, guilty, unfaithful heart! DEATH come spiritually as well as physically to a unhealthy heart! We may sin, yes but do we genuinely repent in faith and receive His love and  
GLORIFY GOD!  A healthy heart is a sincere, genuine, faithful heart, resting in Christ!

9-26-2017!
GOD'S GOODNESS GUIDES!
Rom 2:4  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Oh, the goodness of God! How His love and heart is so tender and precious! So kind and gentle! So perfect and good! God is lovingly righteous, and desires all of us to come to Him!  To have a changed mind, heart and will! To decide and choose to run to Him in faith! It is God's goodness that guides us and shows us His intent for us always! By sending His son, Jesus to the cross, He proves how "GOOD" HE IS! He loves you so spend time with Him, because He wants to spend time with you!
GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME!

9-25-2017
NO WAY OUT?
Rom 2:1Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
The message here is not that we should not judge another, but rather that we are all in the same boat! We are all born in sin! There is NO WAY OUT! Born sinners, and are condemned to hell, unless we come to Christ! We are all born sinners, and sin, YET, believers are SAINTS THAT SIN! The difference is in our identity and our nature!
So what is a believer, to do? We can be empathetic and sympathetic to others! We can be understanding knowing that the only difference between unbelievers and ourselves is Christ! THAT does not mean that we do not discern, and make some righteous judgements but rather learn, love and lead others to Christ!

9-24-2017
GOD'S STANDARDS!
Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
God does not make us do anything, we have a choice! He allows those who choose to have a reprobate, sinful, ugly, dark, dead, mind to do want they want! But the penalty is harsh, death and hell forever!!! WOW is "THAT" worth it! OH MY NO! Filled with ALL UN righteousness and notice THOSE WHO APPROVE are the same way! Those who agree, approve and accept these things as being OK are JUST AS GUILTY!
Guilt by association as the LAW says! Be careful that you do not agree with societies standards for today!
Choose God's design and standards, AND LIVE!

9-23-2017
LUST OF THE HEART!
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Just as in Gen. 3 Satan changed the truth, just a little and deceived Eve! She bought in and exchanged God's truth for a lie! Which man began to worship the creature, aka. SELF! He worshiped things he could see and touch and comforted him! Things that became so vile, so perverted, such as homosexual behavior!
One of the hardest things for us to do, is to give up control, and trying to when someone to the Lord who does not desire God! BUT GOD did!! God gave up those who lust for their own way! God let's them suffer in their own sins! He allows each of us to choose by our own free will to choose Him or our selves! He loves us, but He won't "MAKE" us! We have a choice life or death! God is life, self is death!
STOP believing the lies and choose truth, CHOOSE GOD!

9-22-2017
WISE OR FOOLS!
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
It is easy see God's beauty in what He has created! And it is challenging for some to hunt, fish and to be out among nature! BUT we need to remember that God created these things for us to see Him, and know Him! We can also worship things that are not in nature, such as our phones, TV, sports, cars and jobs! Sometimes we worship our families, and/or even more OURSELVES! Don't be a fool, but rather,
BE WISE, WALK IN WISDOM AND WORSHIP CHRIST TODAY!

9-21-2017
GOD'S BEAUTIFUL CREATION, LETS GIVE HIM THE GLORY!
Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
God's beautiful creation is all around us! He created this world, this universe! You have to blind and hard hearted to not see and realize this! Some people are this way and they are without an excuse of not glorifying God! God is a patient and understanding God! BUT He wants us to recognize Him! His works, His power, His creation!
BE THANKFUL AND GLORIFY GOD TODAY!

9-20-2017
GOD HAS SHOWN US ALL!
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Always remember that while God is a loving God, He also is a righteous God! God has shown the world that He exist, and that He stands against sin, against all UN-righteousness!
We all have choices, CHOOSE TRUTH TODAY!

9-19-2017
FROM FAITH TO FAITH!
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
We are saved, sealed and secure in Christ BY FAITH!!! You are just, right and righteous in Christ, by faith! Renew your mind daily, by faith, for faith is NOW! WHEN? NOW!!! By faith receive, by faith give! Jesus died and rose, for all mankind!
SHARE HIM, THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!

9-18-2017
THE GOSPEL, THE  POWER OF GOD!
Rom 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16 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.
Paul calls the Gospel of Christ, " the power of God"! The power to save a human life! The power to give love! The power to bring confidence and security! The power of the creator to save a dying world!!!
YOU HAVE THAT POWER IN YOU!
PREACH, TEACH AND REACH OTHERS WITH THAT SAME POWER!

9-17-2017
PEACE AND LOVE BY FAITH!
Eph 6:23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is love, and showed that love by sending Christ to the cross Jesus became the complete and only sacrifice for ALL sin and therefore satisfied God's wrath and made peace between man and God!  So there is  peace, but we also can "feel" peaceful in our mind, and not be anxious, because we no longer need to fear punishment for our sin! We do not need to fear failure or guilt from our sin, But can "feel" secure in God's arms ! His love, brings security and peace of mind, by faith!
WALK BY FAITH, RECEIVE GOD'S LOVE, AND HAVE A PEACEFUL DAY, EVERYDAY!

9-16-2017
TRUTH AND GRACE!
Jhn 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: ...
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Jesus "IS" truth and grace! So by being in Christ we come to the understanding of truth and the freedom through grace! Grace was extended and truth gives life and security!
Put Jesus on, renew in truth and receive His grace, daily!
FOR HIS VICTORY IS IN YOU ALREADY!
grace

9-15-2017
SPEND TIME WITH OTHERS, GIVING AND RECIVING!
Rom 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
Paul so desired  to fellowship with people! He knew that sharing LIFE with them was important, and he truly loved being with them! He wanted to share the gospel, and share some spiritual fruit and understanding into God's grace and love!
We too should desire to spend time with others. In todays time it is easy for people to hide behind a the walls of their home and get teaching from T.V. or their computer, but that is not the same as interacting with others! Christians are to GIVE, NOT JUST RECEIVE!
Spend time, face to face, fellowshipping with likeminded believers!

9-14-2017
COMFORTED IN MUTUAL FAITH!!!
Rom 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
Isn't so cool when your out and about and someone has a cross necklace or tee shirt and you say "are you a Christian", and they say yes they are! Or out of the blue someone begins to talk about there faith, in Jesus! I sometimes am comforted when I go to a restaurant and see others praying, and giving thanks for their meal!
We all are encouraged, and comforted with like minded people! Like minded and Spiritually in Christ!
Find other believers and fellowship with them as much as you can, you will be uplifted, and comforted by their LOVE!

9-13-2017
Rom 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
THE GIFT!
Of course we should pray for others, and like Paul we should ask for prayer for ourselves too! Asking only for ourselves is selfish, but not asking at all, is selfish too! Give and receive!!! Now Paul wants to give the Romans a GIFT! Now most of us want a gift we can see and touch! We get all excited when someone wants to give us something! UNTIL the next time, and the old gift no longer satisfies, then we want something else,... and it wears off....the cycle continues... We should desire the gift that never stops giving...
LIFE IN CHRIST! Try to give someone a Spiritual gift, a devotion, a word of encouragement, prayer,...
LOVE!

9-12-2017
Rom 1:8  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; THANK GOD!
Paul thanked God for other believers! Paul understood how beautiful and important people are! He wanted to encourage and let them know that their faith is not in vain! That the world had heard of their faith in Jesus! He continued to pray for them! We too should pray for each other and ALL the saints around the world!
As I pray for you, please pray for us, and THANK GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST!

9-11-2017
HOPE!
Today marks a day we Americans will never forget! A horrible, horrendous and hateful act was displayed In New York! But while we will never forget and regardless of this day in our countries history, we believers have HOPE! Our hope is in Christ! Our Hope is in Heaven! Our Hope is NOW!
WALK BY FAITH, PUT YOUR HOPE IN JESUS!
Rom 8:24- For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Rom 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Eph 4:4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

9-10-2017
BELOVED SAINTS
Paul is declaring Jesus as the Son of God! With all the power, holiness and wisdom of God! We receive by faith, peace, grace and "WE" are called beloved saints of Almighty God! Don't forget this Dear Saint!
Rom 1:1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
RING-RING, GOD CALLI Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
Paul was a servant of Christ , and a called Apostle, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ! The gospel of grace and the gospel that saves!
We all have been called, that is what grace is about,
"a grace call extended to all"! We are chosen based on whether we accept that call! By faith, and faith alone! By faith we receive, Jesus as our Lord and Savior! By faith we we believe that he died, and rose again! By faith, we then become servants and ambassadors of Christ!
Have you accepted that call? God is always ringing, waiting and wanting to talk with you! Pick up the phone, answer the call, it is "the 911 call, for life"!!!

8- 29-2017
STAY HUNGRY!
Act 28:26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves. 30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
In Texas, Houston and the gulf states their are many who are hurting. Perhaps starving for food and basic necessities! The needs of these are great now! The same with the world,  starving for food, shelter and clothing! The world is starving for attention and love too! They are starving for Spiritual life, now more than ever!
I like what Paul said in Acts 28:28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. What confidence Paul had in saying they will hear it! Paul was saying that Israel would not hear and receive but the gentiles would hear and receive because they were hungry for it! They were hungry for Spiritual life! They needed salvation! They knew they were sinners and needed a Savior! They were as hungry as any man starving for food, and Paul knew it! Paul would deliver that  food, that Word, that Life to them in the name of Jesus! The next time you are hungry, for food, just think of the Spiritual hunger for this world, for people, and perhaps you will have a opportunity someday to serve them, that "Bread of Life"!

 

10/13/2017 FREE INDEED!

Gal 4:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.

We were servants (per say) of the law! In other words, even though we gentiles did not have Israel's law, we were in bondage to the earthly elements of that law! The do not steal, lie, covet.... was universal we might say! Also we are under the elements of earthly laws such as disease, and death! BUT when Christ came, by way of  Mary and under Israel's law, He redeemed ALL mankind! ALL of us were under bandage to death! We were servants of death meaning we could not get ourselves free from this bondage called death! So by faith, in trusting in Christ sacrificial death and His resurrected life, and by the SPIRIT in us, we went from servants to SONS! AND from SONS to HEIRS! YOU ARE A HEIR, WITH AND IN CHRIST! Now a heir receives ALL the blessings of the Father! ALL that is HIS is YOURS, NOW! You are RICH, SAINT! RICH IN LIFE! RICH IN SPIRIT! RICH IN LOVE! RICH IN EVERYTHING THAT IS GOD'S!

NOW WHY go back to eating slop when you have steak! Don't go back and want material or things you can touch and feel with your hands and see! DON'T GO BACK! That is going back into bondage! That is like a slave being freed, unshackled but just sitting as if he is still shackled!
YOU are FREE! FREE in SPIRIT! FREE to THE LAW!
FREE TO PRAISE GOD!
LIVE IN THAT FREEDOM SAINT!

10/6/2017 The Glory of His Grace!


Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

YOU are accepted in Christ! How much are you accepted "TOTALLY"! You see we are in Christ and God loves Jesus His son, so God 's sees, receives and accepts us, based on Christ! Christ became the propitiation for us, meaning He appeased God's wrath, on the cross! Now God no longer has wrath, nor are we separated but reconciled to God through Christ! "Child of God you are TOTALLY ACCEPTED IN CHRIST! Dwell on that, let that sink into you thinking, and renew your mind daily!

10/4/2017 PURPOSE AND PLEASURE, IN CHRIST!

Eph 1:4 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: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 

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


Believer God loved us so much the even before the world began, God had a plan! Now that plan was in Christ, and Christ was going to reconcile us to God, through the cross! We who turn to and trust in, become children of God! Adopted, holy and blameless before God!
GOD'S PURPOSE AND PLEASURE IS FOR US TO BE WITH HIM!

10/3/2017 APPROVED AND ACCEPTED!

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Rest easy Child of God! God loves you and does not see your sins, but rather sees Christ righteousness in you! There is no condemnation of you, because of Christ! Condemned means disapproval and therefore punishment! God accepts us on the basis of faith in Christ and the Spirit within us! Now some people say, yes God loves me and accepts me because of Christ, but if Christ was not there would God love me for who I am! Well YES and NO! He loved you enough to send Christ to the cross for you, yet without Christ we are still unsaved, unregenerate sinners! Christ is always perfect, holy and righteous, and I for one am so glad that God always sees Jesus, and His acceptance of me is based on Jesus! Because I fail, JESUS NEVER DOES! You are a "CHILD OF GOD THAT IS NOT CONDEMNED OR DISAPPOVED OF, OR GOING TO BE PUNSISHED BUT APPROVED AND ACCEPTABLE IN CHRIST"!

10/2/2017 RIGHTEOUS IN CHRIST!

Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: ... 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law......25  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. .....5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

The believer, YES YOU, has been made "justified in Christ"! No longer held guilty for sin and need to be punished, but rather are set free from the bondage of sin and guilt! What would be "just" in a judicial system would be that we, the criminal, the sinner, would be held accountable for our crime! The crime of being a sinner, a UN faithful, without Christ, person! We would not be righteous according to God's righteous standard! Which His standard is HIMSELF and is "HOLY" perfect in Spirit! "Be Holy as I am holy"! Christ died , rose and imputed, (gave us) His righteousness! Child of God, the next time you begin to think your nothing think again! For you are a "SON and DAUGHTER of GOD, JUSTIFIED, made RIGHTEOUS BY A RIGHTEOUS GOD!

9/30/2017 BLESSED FOREVER!

Eph 1:2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Dear Saint, we have been blessed with everything we could possibly need! Blessed with every spiritual blessing! What always counts is our spiritual person, our inner man! The physical will grow old and die, the spiritual will live forever! We are in heaven today, now! We are protected and perfected spiritually, forever! FOREVER IN CHRIST, FOREVER IN HEAVEN, FOREVER WITH GOD!
YOU ARE BLESSED FOREVER!

9/29/2017 YOU ARE ESTABLISHED IN CHRIST!

Rom 16:25 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,

You and I are established IN Christ! Establish means to set up, accept and make permanent!! We are permanently set in Christ! Set in and according to the gospel of Jesus Christ! Moved into a secret mystery program that is in Christ, and never known before! If we are in Christ, and it was never known before, Satan had no way of dealing with or doing anything about it! We are heirs that are heavenly, holy and healed in Christ! Protected, preserved and prospered in Christ!
GIVE THANKS TO GOD!

9/28/2017 ALIVE IN CHRIST!

Eph 2:5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Quickened means to be alive! You were dead but now you are ALIVE! ALIVE IN CHRIST! Spiritually we all were born dead, but when we came to trust in Christ and His works at the cross we were made ALIVE!
Therefore don't walk around beating yourself up for not being good enough, or for NOT sinning! Sin is not the issue, FAITH IS! AND by faith you are alive! Walk, receive and rest in that fact that you are ALIVE IN CHRIST!
CELEBRATE AND BE THANKFUL TO BE ALIVE! 

9/27/2017 SECURE FOREVER IN CHRIST!

9-27-2017

Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

You are in Christ who is IN God! Our Spirit now lives with Christ in heaven! Our Spirit is joined together in Christ who is IN GOD! Isn't that WONDERFUL!!! Christ in God and we are in Christ, such security! Such protection! Such power and authority all around us! You have the wisdom of God and the righteousness of Christ! You have been ransomed and paid for, and you are His forever! Set apart forever IN CHRIST!
HALLELUJAH!!!

9/26/2017 SAINT!

9-26-2017

YOU ARE A SAINT!

Phl 1:1  Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

While this is but one verse, and there are many in which Paul calls believers SAINTS! A saint is a holy, pure, sacred and consecrated person in Christ! God said under the Law, "...be holy as I am holy...", but that was based on their faith and the keeping of the law! YET we are now by faith alone, through spirit alone, HOLY!  So next time you are focused on yourself, and thinking you are failure, stupid, a nobody..... just remember you are
"...HOLY AS GOD IS HOLY..."!

9/25/2017 YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD!

Rom 8:14  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

CHILDREN LONG TO BELONG...
A child needs to know they are loved! They need to know so that they may grow up secure and confident of who they are! They will wonder who loves them! Often times children will not have this security and seek love from the first person who will comes along and show them acceptance! This often ends in bad circumstances! We all LONG TO BELONG! To be loved! To be accepted! 
When we seek God, and come to trust in Him we are adopted, brought into His family with His DNA! The Spirit is God's DNA, and we have Him in us! YOU ARE A CHILD WHO BELONGS! and no longer needs to long to belong! You are A CHILD OF GOD WHO IS DEEPLY LOVED!


9/24/2017 "NEW"!

2 Co 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

We are made a "NEW" creature IN CHRIST! Spiritually alive and reconciled to God! The shame of our past does not matter anymore! The fear of rejection does not matter anymore! What I think or others opinions of me do not matter anymore! ONLY what God thinks of me counts, and God Loves me!
I am "NEW"  TODAY, EVERYDAY!
Don't let the shame of your past or your present sin stop you from being "NEW",
refreshed and alive TODAY! 
ALWAYS BY FAITH!  

9/23/2017 #1 GRACE TODAY!

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Sin no longer needs to rule or dominate us, because we are not under law, but GRACE! Let grace rule your life, your thinking , your understanding, put your mind in grace constantly! Say to your self, "I am a Child of God under God's great grace"!