Grace Verse by Verse
     a Daily Devotional
 (Monday-Friday)
Through the books of the Apostle Paul
Romans-Philemon
 
4/22/2019 God's purpose, through Christ, before the world began!

2Ti 1:8  Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
 
Here we see again and as I always try to point out and emphasize, that we were not predestined and chosen before the world began but that God's predestined purpose was through Christ who was with God before the world began!!! God's grace and purpose is in Christ  and through Him we have received by faith salvation not the other way around!! This is so important that many teachers and scholars have switched this to say that God chose some before the world began to be saved and others not! Notice Paul says "...but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ..." Through Christ, God's complete purpose may be accomplished and that is that ALL men have the opportunity to be saved through Christ by faith! Now some say that this is not a big deal, but say that to your wife or husband or kids or parents, that regardless of their good intentions, or faith THEY will not be saved because some one taught them Calvinism, that is... that God did not choose them and they have NO choice in the matter!!! They are sent to hell regardless! 
 
We ALL have a choice and have been given the opportunity to come to Christ by faith, because it is truly by God's grace THROUGH CHRIST, that we have LIFE!!!
 
as always for you by faith,
Howard 

4/19/2019 By faith we have a sound mind by the power and love of God!

2 Tim 1:6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
 
This gift that Paul is talking about is 2 fold . One the gift of God is always salvation, and 2 the authority in which Timothy was to walk in which was presented by Paul's hands! The laying on of hands does not do anything per say of some supernatural thing but rather a blessing and encouragement to teach and preach the gospel of grace through Christ! Now to add to this gift is the understanding that God has given every believer His love! Every believer is loved and because we have accessed that love and grace by faith we have received God's power through the Spirit! Now the Spirit lives in us, within our Spirit and we are to think, renew and receive by our mind what is true about us in our spirit! Our conscience then is good, sound and pure! We are to constantly renew our minds and be transformed mentally and emotionally! From insecure to secure! From unfaithful to faithful! From self centered to Christ centered, ALL because within our spirit is Christ! We are completely transformed in Spirit already! From death to life! From darkness to light! Our Spirit is now Spiritually sensitive, motivated and has spiritual understanding! The Spirit is now awake and aware of God and relates to God!
 
Now in Genesis 3 we know that sin introduced fear and fear is in our flesh regardless of what we do! The flesh never gets better and never gets rid of fear, BUT WE can walk by the SPIRIT and RENEW our minds and NOT walk in fear! When you fear and you do , so just admit it, than renew your mind and receive God's love,... for it is God's love that takes away fear!!! 1John 4:8  ... for God is love. ... AND 18 There is no fear in love (GOD); but perfect love (GOD) casteth out fear: because fear hath torment (rejection, punishment...)........
 
Receive and Renew your mind in God's love, until you sense and feel secure and rested emotionally! God's love is the key to ALL mental and emotional issues! It brings security and a sense of understanding of God's great power within you!
 
in God's Love for you,
Howard 

4/18/2019 Faithful parents and grandparents!!

2Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; 4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
 
It is so good to have faithful parents and grandparents praying for you! It helps so much to have a tradition of faith! Now tradition in religion is not the same, but a tradition of knowing Jesus as their Lord and Savior Great!
 
Paul prayed for Timothy and wanted to be with him! This is how we should be with those who genuinely love the Lord! I enjoy being with those who are faithful and who actually desire to grow and love the Body! Many family members are not faithful even though they may be believers and even that comes into question sometimes! If they are selfish and argumentative! If they always want their way and try to control by talking or demanding things! If they control the atmosphere by being only in there home or their particular location! I have many friends who are believers but seem to be in their own La La Land most of the time when it comes to discernment!
 
Pray for your friends and family members and enjoy the company of genuine faithful believers! 
 
as always for you in grace,
Howard 

4/17/2019 There is no life in riches or worldly science called psychology!!!

1Ti 6:17  Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.
 
Again we are encouraged to not look at financial security for security but only in Christ do we find that security! Paul then encourages us to encourage the wealthy to not depend on their riches but to give that wealth away! Paul says that the rich can be high minded or prideful but we should discern and help them to see that sin!
 
Now things that the rich as well as all of us should help support are the poor, the widows who are truly needy widows and the orphans!  We are to support the advancement of the gospel of grace and to help ministers who share this grace message! At no time are we told to support big building projects or to make pastors wealthy!!!
 
Paul tells Timothy to avoid babblings that are ungodly! Now in todays time we often see books written that are just babblings! They are self help psychology books or sometimes just bad doctrine as a whole! Be careful what you read or who you listen to on the radio! Some good communicators/pastor/teachers sound good but are really teaching horrible doctrine! Be aware, awake and stand in Grace!! Remember if it is not Grace it is not of God for today!
 
in grace always,
Howard 
 
 
   

4/16/2019 JESUS, Lord of lords, and King of kings!!!!

1Tim 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; 14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: 15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
 
Paul encourages Timothy to flee, put off you might say and seek, follow after righteousness....! Notice that he puts righteousness godliness and faith before love! Why because if love is NOT righteous it is NOT LOVE!! So many people think they no what love is , they think that love is just being kind or giving the person what they want but that is not love, that can be lust! While yes we are to be kind we are not to approve of fornication or homosexuality or....abortion, same sex marriage or anything else that is ungodly and unrighteous! God is love and if it does not bring glory to God if it is not love!
 
Paul encourages Timothy to fight the good fight of faith! We ALL are to walk by faith and faith is NOW! IT does not matter if you were faithful yesterday or may be in the future we are to be faithful now! Some of us might say well I once was A...Sunday school teacher, deacon, pastor.... so what, maybe you were faithful then and that is good but we still need to walk by faith today!
 
God is God and we are not.... and Jesus is the Lord of Lords and King of kings, so lets give Him the honor and respect He deserves! Lets give Him the praise and worship Him as our Savior and Lord! Lets give Him our Spirit-Soul and Body!
 
Amen,
Howard 

4/15/2019 For the "love" of money!

1Tim 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
 
Having wealth is not sin but having the "love" for it is! Coveting for more money, things and power is lust which is sin! Many covet and do not even know it, because it seems normal to them. Sometimes wealthy people give money or resources away and that is good for those who receive it, but sometimes the heart of the giver is still the same! They may give to feel better about themselves or for a tax deduction! It does not mean that their motivation has changed and is godly!  
 
For many money brings security and comfort, but our security and comfort should come from Christ and Christ alone! You can lose money as fast or faster as you gained it! We should strive to be content with what we have yet work to take care of our family and give to others in need and who do not have what we have!
 
Coveting, lusting for anything is sin, but the love of money is the root of all evil!!! It leads to discontentment and seeking of power, which is a form of pride! This pride says "I am someone, I am above, I made it"! It says "I AM.." BUT God said He was the great "I AM"! It also can be for seeking attention, approval and appreciation! Again the focus being on self rather than God!
 
Be content in Christ, by being faithful, receiving from Him what is already yours, and you will be rich in His mercy and love, for " ....God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,..... Eph. 2:4! 
 
Rich in GOD''S LOVE,
Howard 

4/12/2019 Grace and Godliness!!

1Tim 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
 
As I have said before and will say again that the biggest problem is those who rebel against authority! Now one of the easiest way to see this is if someone just wants to argue! They won't shut up and think... they just react to what is said and pushing their agenda! Another way I know where this argumentative person is coming from is they tend to talk against grace and tend to talk more about law! I know people who like being under law better than grace because they can see the boundaries much more clearly "they say"! People often want to know the boundaries so they know how far they can go without sinning per say! Sadly the law only shows the fleshly, sight seeing part! Jesus said if you even "think" hate, you have murdered! So it is not just what you can "see" or "do", but it is a internal heart matter! People who want to argue against grace, goes against godliness!!!
 
Grace and Godliness are the same,... for God is Grace and Godliness is Grace! I am not talking about gracing without discipline I am talking about THE GRACE that God has extended through the cross, which shows us our sin AND GIVES US LIFE!!!!  Where sin abounded, Grace abounds more!
 
If you struggle with trying to "not" sin or if you have sinned and are mad, depressed or anxious about what you did, you are prideful and trying to fix the fix that Christ has already fixed!!!! Only Christ can live the perfect, sinless, Christian life, so let Him!!  (that's grace)
 
 
as always in God's grace,
Howard 
 
 

4/11/2019 Be submissive to authority, and authority serve the submissive!

1Ti 6:1  Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed. 2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
 
I believe the number 1 problem today is the same as it was in Genesis 3, submissiveness to authority! Satan rebelled and encouraged Eve and Adam followed! Knowing how authority works and understanding the heart that is "willing" to surrender to authority is huge! Jesus was always "willing" to obey and follow His authority yet He had the power to not if He chose not to! We too have the spirit and power to not follow but we also have the power to surrender to "THE" authority, God himself!
 
Paul instructs the authority to love, honor and respect the one under them. As God loved man who is under Him we too should treat those who are under our authority likewise!
 
By the way I am not saying you should feel and behave like a door mat! BUT rather because you are in Christ and know who you are in Him, you can lay down your rights, just as Jesus laid down His rights unto the authority in your life! I often ask wives "which is easier to follow and submit too, God or your husband"? They ALWAYS say God!!! BUT the bible says in 1 John 4:20 (my paraphrase)... "how can you love someone who you can't see if you can't love whom you can see..."  SO how can you say you will submit to whom you can't see if you can't submit to whom you can see??? God has said a lot in His word to think and do, do you think you do them all, all the time? Yet because you don't hear a audible voice we often think we are ok!!! YET we "do hear" mans (husbands, authorities) audible voice don't we!
 
In Christ we all are the same! Walk by Faith in who you are and that is a child of God who is loved, accepted and forgiven! You need no ones approval for you are already approved by "THE" authority of life, GOD!! Then lay down your rights as Christ laid down His rights and went to the cross!  Read Philippians  2 to see a better view on this!
 
as always in Christ love for you,
Howard 
 
 

4/10/2019 Partiality, Partaker and Pureity!

1Ti 5:21  I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. 22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure. 23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. 24 Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
 
Paul's words to Timothy should be a great help to us hear! Paul's says not to be PARTIAL toward people. Now as a pastor that will be hard, because some saints will become faithful friends who will sin and need correction or even discipline. I believe that leaders need to take in all the information, history and heart into account that is good discernment YET that person does not get away with their sin and their consequences and handling of their case is not dismissed! 
 
We are not to PARTAKE of others sins. That may sound like just common sense but it is harder than one thinks! For instance someone tells a dirty joke, and your first instinct may be to laugh, but really you just partaked of their sin!!! You see it can be subtle but it is still sin! Be careful who your friends are to begin with! I am a big believer that you should not be friends with unbelievers. What I mean is that you should not make a habit of hanging out with them over a extended amount of time!
1 Cor 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 
 
Keep yourself PURE!!! NOW while our Spirit is pure because the Spirit of God and Christ are in it, we need to renew our minds, and walk after the spirit so that our body follows and we  become a living sacrifice unto God, spiritual, mentally AND PHYSICALLY!!! Our bodies will follow pure thinking! Put your mind on Christ, His love for you, not seeking love or comfort from others but on Christ and you will keep yourself pure! Now this does not mean trying to live pure on our own and walking after the flesh but rather in Christ, in Spirit and receiving God's love!!!
 
Don't be partial, or partaking and keep your thinking pure IN CHRIST!!!
 
as always in Christ love for you,
Howard 

4/9/2019 Elders, Pastors and Teachers, High honor and big responsibilities!

1Ti 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward. 19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
 
To be a Elder, is great honor, and has great rewards! But it also comes with great responsibilities! The pastor/elder gets hit from everyone. The world hates his stand for Christ and morality! Many in his own fellowship will dislike him or disagree with him on his doctrine. While some may praise his sermons and teachings others will dislike and be critical!  AND he is to love and be patient with all!  He may stand up for his people on one hand and they will turn around and leave for not having the right food at a social event!!!
 
Now many people do not think that a pastor should be paid and some think he should be paid a lot! But I believe these verses are clear that he is to compensated "if possible" for his work! Now that compensation depends on a lot and it does not always have to be financial, but can come in housing, or other ways! I have had churches that paid me nothing but would give Robin and I a paid vacation trip! This helps the pastor to be refreshed and allow him to get some rest too!
 
While there is great reward and responsibility there is also great discipline that may come with that! In churches that I led or was apart of we did not hesitate if needed to bring an leader upfront and to  allow him to seek forgiveness or dismiss him! We also would give the church a opportunity to ask questions and for him to explain or acknowledge his wrong! 
I have seen way to many pastors and leaders get caught up in extra martial affairs or in a financial way that brings great shame to the body of Christ! When this happens it can affect the local church but have far reaching affects also! Many unbelievers will hear and say "see their all hypocrites.."!
 
Respect, honor and love your leaders as well as pray for them! If one sins and fails forgive them for they are saints also! Be sure and remember them but do not idolize them for they are merely men! 
 
because God is God and we are not,
Howard 

4/8/2019 Be Responsible for your family!

1Ti 5:7   And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. (8) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (9) Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, (10) Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. (11) But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; (12) Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. (13) And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. (14) I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. (15) For some are already turned aside after Satan. (16) If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
 
We men are to be responsible to take care of and provide for our families! Men are to provide financially and spiritually! We are to protect our families minds as much as possible as well as their physical being! We are to take on the heavy roles that are needed! I know that this may sound old fashioned but I believe that the man should be the one doing the financial duties! Paying the bills and so on! WHY? Because women find security in God, husband and finances! A women wants to know and make sure her children are provided for! She wants that security for them and herself! So as that vessel that tends to worry and fear in that area why would you put it in their face constantly to think and worry about! MEN step up, pay the bills and provide Spiritually, psychologically, physically, parentally, martially AND  financially!!!
 
As mention in previous post that the families of widows should take care of the widows! Again this is just another area were the man, the head needs to be responsible! Now I realize that it is a burden but it is also a burden for the church to do it also! NOW that does not mean you can't talk with or share or ask for prayer and at times certain help like nursing from the church but it does mean that it is the families reasonability more than the church!
 
Now when a young man dies and the wife is left to take care of herself she will still desire some one to take care of her as well as provide for her children! At times this urge and fleshly thinking will be out of control and will seek when she should be resting in Christ! YET she still may want to remarry and should do so properly and righteously!
 
God's ways are righteous and better to wait and follow than to press on in self centered, worldly control!
 
for you,
Howard 

4/4/2019 Entreat and appeal, respect and responsibility!

1Ti 5:1  Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; 2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. 3 Honour widows that are widows indeed. 4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. 5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
 
Paul shares some great practical ways the church should behave! We want to entreat older men and women! Meaning we should love, be friendly, come along side and appeal to them as older and hopefully wiser! We should always RESPECT them regardless of how they act, yet we may need to correct with gentleness!
 
Notice Paul encourages the family to take care of the widows and not put that responsibility on the church. I think to often the church does not put the responsibility were it needs to be and tends to over step in false humility in caring! While the Body should love and care they do not need to rescue everyone from their responsibility. If we rescue to often at the wrong time people won't know what hardship is and be willing to call on the Lord! Hardship, tribulations have a purpose, the Body of Christ needs to understand this! This is 1 reason why the prosperity message is so popular, "...why should we suffer, when we can become rich..."it hits and allows the Body of Christ to think it does NOT need to suffer, but to be wealthy and comfortable!
 
Occasionally I have come across widows who are still young enough to marry again BUT seam to want to live off others instead of being responsible for themselves! Most though are older and also seem to be great prayer warriors! PRAISE GOD!
 
The last verse here is good for ALL of us....6 But she (we) that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
Any of us that would rather live in pleasure more than by faith in Christ will "feel" dead!
Today make a choice to live by faith in Christ! To receive and rest in Him regardless of your circumstances!!!
 
as always in Christ, in love for you,
Howard 

4/1/2019 Read, Receive and Renew Sound Grace Doctrine!

1Ti 4:11 These things command and teach. 12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
 
Paul encourages Timothy to be an example in many things! Don't think that you can't grow in something, because we all have strengths and weakness! Grow in sharing the Word, Grow in Loving others, Grow in Faith, Spirit and Purity!!! And this is but a small list of things we can grow in! NOW remember we grow by receiving, praying and knowing who we are in Christ not by "doing" or "trying" to be more spiritual!!!
 
Paul encourages us to READ THE WORD!!! Reading the word is the 1st step in Renewing the mind but it is NOT renewing the mind only! SO read, read, read and grow in knowing sound grace doctrine from the mystery message given to Paul! The GRACE message, the CROSS  message and then exhort others which means to encourage others to come to Christ! Whether they need to be saved, or to repent, renew or rest in Christ! Sometimes this may even mean a rebuke or discipline! Sometimes this means to comfort or correction! Sometimes a teaching or encouraging word from the WORD!!
 
Now the gift Paul is talking about here is not some supernatural gift but the gift of life through Christ! The gift of leadership and authority given to him to teach and oversee the Body! This is why Paul emphasized  knowing sound grace doctrine!
 
I want to encourage you to read Paul's books over and over! Study them, receive what is yours already in Christ, so that you continue to save and renew your soul, (mind-will-emotions, not your spirit for it is already saved)...and encourage others to be saved also! 
 
as always for you in Christ,
Howard 

3/29/2019 Exercise thyself rather unto godliness!

1Ti 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. 7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
 
Paul encourages us through writing Timothy to be a good minister of Jesus Christ! We should know doctrine by reading and then applying faith to it daily! A good minister is not one who shows false humility and religion but one who walks in godliness, righteousness and faithfulness!
 
I like to lift weights and exercise, but while that may be good for the body it does nothing for the conscience in walking by faith and therefore godliness! Any activity that does not bring godliness is religion and unfaithful! All things done in faith are godly, so walk by faith in all things! The easiest way to do that is to receive from God and thank Him for all things, at all times! We do not give to Him first without receiving, that is trying to give to get! That is the flesh trying to get acceptance! We receive from Him because HE IS GOD! He has done the work through Jesus, and He was the initiator of reconciliation between man and Himself!!
 
Notice and again I say "...living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe...."! God's desire is that ALL men would come to Him and be saved, not some chosen and others not chosen, but that they all be given the opportunity to say yes to Jesus!
 
TRUST, THANK AND TEACH GODLINESS as you live it daily! 
 
in Christ love for you,
Howard 

3/28/2019 Latter days, Lost and Law!

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
 
It is interesting that there is a church which actually calls themselves Latter Day Saints, (LDS)! And that they actually teach and walk by law! They teach salvation by works! It is a church that is based in lies, and I have caught them in lies, yet most in the church do not even know they are lying because their conscience is so seared and callus!! 
 
Many other denominations prohibit and forbid priest  to marry and we see the results of that, as scandal after scandal comes out in the news!
 
No longer are we bound to the Levitical law in dietary ways or any other way for that matter! Eat freely if like and want! Don't live under the law, live under grace! You can eat pork or any thing else if you want! If there is something that you don't like the taste of, you are not bound to eat it just because God said you could either!
 
Live in the freedom that God has given you and  
give God thanks in everything!! 
 
under grace,
Howard 

3/27/2019 Godliness in the Church!

1Tim 3:14  These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: 15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
 
The church is the Body of Christ, so when it says in these verses, "mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God", it is not talking about a building! It is talking about the everyday life of the believer and the everyday life with one another! Verse16 is describing the church and that it is Godly, righteous and holy! We are to be a light to the world and showing them this great mystery! We are to proclaim Christ, teach others who He is and how to live by faith! We are to share God's grace through the cross! We are to give God's love and life away so that others may come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior!
 
THE CHURCH is the greatest organization of truth as well as the only life giving hope on earth!
WHY because it is JESUS CHRIST BODY!!!
 
As you grow in His love and grace, Pray that you would share and for the Body of Christ to preach and teach the cross and His love, grace and forgiveness!
 
as always for you in God's love,
Howard 

3/26/2019 Deacons and family!

1Tim 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
 
Theses verses are good to read and hear how Paul emphasized the importance of the family among the leaders of the church! Wives should be a part of and seen as honorable among the fellowship as the husband who holds the office! Often times people will be attracted to Robin my wife  because of my position. They honor her and other women look up to her for advice and help! Robin sometimes feels odd about this,...but she knows it is part of peoples perception. She is after all just human herself.... but she does what she can when she can!
 
The wife  should be just as faithful and seeking and understanding God's grace and love as her husband! She may not have the knowledge but she can have the heart!
 
The children should be under control and hopefully saved but they too have their own mind and heart and may even rebel at some point! I have often heard the saying that a Preachers kid is worst than the worlds kids, and sometimes that is true! I believe that Satan attacks the leaders homes even more to bring down God's Word and power! I also believe that the pressure and the spotlight can affect the kids as well! AND last but not least the pastor is a person as well, who sins... and depending on his background, upbringing and when he came to the Lord in his life...all that will bring about a sowing and reaping process also!
 
IF your a deacon be bold, strong in faith and serve others! If you are not a deacon again keep praying for them as well as for their family!
 
as always for you in grace,
Howard 

3/25/2019 Deacons!

1Ti 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
 
Paul now moves on to Deacons, which have a lot of the same responsibilities as a bishop/pastor!  While a bishop is a overseer of a local fellowship the deacon is one who may serve the bishop and the church! He is like a waiter who waits on people at the restaurant and also works in the best interest of the owner of the restaurant,... even collecting the money which is also a description of the deacon job, aka. a collector!
 
This is a very important job because not only are the deacons serving the Body but also showing how to serve authority! I liken this position to a wife/mother, meaning while the wife serves her children she also teaches her children how to submit and serve by her actions to her husband! Both of these jobs are not easy, and are very much needed! Now not every fellowship is big enough nor needs this office or position! I think of a house church that may not have enough faithful people or someone who is ready for this but it is still is a office that can be filled and used if needed!
 
Just like a bishop/pastor they need to be of good character, with pure motives and conscience as well as being faithful to Christ! This needs to be proven out! It needs to be seen NOT by just working around the fellowship/building... but they should be asked questions about what they believe? Their understanding of scripture...I have seen WAY to many deacons who were NOT qualified and in some cases I would say not even believers!!!!! The church just wanted someone to fill the position and wanted help...."so lets ask so and so to be a deacon...."! Sadly this stains the Body and it hurts the authority by bad decisions and judgement! The Body will always question the leaderships discernment and understanding! They need to know who Christ is and be faithful through a fairly long period!
 
If your a deacon be faithful, grow in grace and serve with a pure heart! Serve Christ first, then the Body and leadership with all your heart! If you are not a deacon pray for them as well as for all the leadership, they need your prayer and support!
 
with love and grace,
Howard 

3/22/2019 The responsibility of The Overseer's!

1Tim 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
 
Paul uses the word "bishop" which means overseer! Now the word bishop is used in some denominations and churchs more then others! Most use the word pastor/teacher which seems to come across differently I think! A bishop takes in all overseers and a pastor is a overseer, but it also means friend, teacher, provider and shepherd! 
In some denominations the saying "the husband of one wife..." literally means only one wife in your whole life! I have seen many a good teachers and pastors not be able to A) remarry after the wife died or B) not be a pastor anymore because the were once divorced or their wife died, BOTH are wrong! This thing about "one" wife is dealing with polygamy not divorce or death! From the beginning God created marriage to be one man and woman!
Notice also Paul always uses the word "he" and uses the word husband... you can not be a female in this office nor are you to be a homosexual with a wife! I would think that goes without saying, but it does not in this age!!!! HE should be able to rule, lead and discipline his household as well not be a immature believer! Now there is no certain age set but it would all depend on the maturity, faithfulness and heart of the man!
These are guidelines, not law! Every leader fails and they are human, but these should be a guiding point for the pastor and church to know and hold on to!
 
I encourage you to pray for your pastor and leaders in your church! The responsibility is huge and unless you have been in that position you will have no idea how heavy that responsibility truly weighs on them!!!!
 
as always in love, and in God's grace for you,
Howard 

3/21/2019 God's roles!

1Ti 2:9  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
 
Sadly I see so many women taking on the authority roles in todays fabric of life! In government, homes and sadly to me the most in churches! There are more and more female pastors...(those that call themselves pastors anyway) who rule over churches and men! NO where in the bible does it say for a women to lead or have the position of leader in any church fellowship! Now this has nothing to do with ability or intelligence but has to do with God's design and divine authority! Males are to provide, protect and prosper the church and the family! Males are to preach , teach and lead! By allowing women to do so allows men to go against what  they were called to do and become "irresponsible" as well as for women to be "over" responsible in their roles and godly design!
 
If you go to a church that has a women pastor and teaches men from the pulpit per say then you should know that that church is in disobedience to God's word! I would encourage you to again make a stand, speak forth and/or leave!
 
in Christ grace and for you,
Howard 
 

3/20/2019 Paul the Preacher and Teacher to the Gentiles!

1Tim 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. 8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
 
Paul was commissioned and ordained to preach and teach to the gentiles! As time goes on and moves forward we see the Body being formed into a predominate gentile church for today! Peter and the other Apostles were commissioned to the circumcision while Paul was to the uncircumcision!  The transition in the book of Acts is from Israel and Peter focus to Paul and gentile as well as the Body of Christ focus! A NEW CREATURE! A NEW work, a NEW CREATION! Not of a nation or works but of Spirit and by faith! 
Notice Paul says of "verity"... meaning while he taught faith in Christ he also taught many other things that brought freedom and growth in the church and for individuals!
 
He encourages us to pray everywhere and to lift up holy hands! That does not mean just with your hands but with your heart and intentions! With your mind and your motivation! With praise and thanksgiving!
AND then he says without "wrath"! It is hard to be thankful, with a bitter heart! It is impossible to truly worship and praise God while being angry at someone and not forgiving them! First extend forgiveness, just as you have been forgiven!
 
AND NOW without "doubting"! Meaning by faith! With a sincere heart and mind! With a complete devotion to God and His authority! Submitting ourselves to His will, not ours! To be faithful and obedient because of who God is and who we are in Him!
 
Pray with a faithful, thankful and grateful heart for others!!
 
in Christ for you,
Howard 

3/19/2019 Jesus gave himself for all and God desires all!

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. 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.
 
So many churches are teaching Calvinism, which in short means that God chose some but did not choose others unto salvation! This is such a horrible doctrine and does not by any means go with the dispensation of grace! God was always desiring that His creation, mankind would come to salvation in Christ! He used Israel in the beginning to bring ALL nations which last time I checked nations are full of people!!! He set Israel apart so that they could show the rest of us gentiles who God was and to worship Him! BUT they failed and so God says I will still save this world, by sending my son Jesus to die on the cross for ALL mankind.... AKA this is GOD EXTENDING GRACE TO ALL MANKIND!!!!
 
Paul says in verse 4 "Who will have ALL men to be saved"! God desired ALL men to have the opportunity to be saved! He calls ALL but not all come! He predestined man to be saved through JESUS CHRIST before time began, but He did not predestined certain men and not others to be saved!!!! Jesus was in the beginning, not man! Jesus created all things and all things were created for Him!!! Jesus is the mediator between God and man not God choosing some men before they choose Jesus!!!  Jesus died for ALL men, but not ALL men will receive by faith!!! Jesus died and was the ransom for ALL men, not some!!!
 
PLEASE check out your church doctrine to see if they are Calvinist, and if they are, I encourage you to make a stand, say something and or leave because it does not "just" affect your salvation but your everyday way of seeing God and life! The Calvinist never knows if he was one of the 'chosen" and therefore he either must "work" to be good enough, and will always live in insecurity and fear! 
 
always for you in Christ,
Howard 
 

3/18/2019 Pray for our leadership and all authorty!

1Ti 2:1  I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
 
We should PRAY for our leaders in government and in our houses! We should pray for the school principles as well as the judges and courts officials! We should pray for husbands who lead in their homes! We should pray for all men and leaders, not just tear them down. You do not need to agree on everything to pray for them! In fact the attitude of many Christians is worse then the worlds when it comes to encouraging and attitude toward authority! Remember the real problem is NOT the ISSUES but rather our attitudes and heart! We do not battle flesh and blood but rather the principles, strongholds and imaginations that are against God! In the spiritual realm there are forces that exalt themselves above God and want you to follow them...
DON'T! STOP and PRAY!!!
The problems of today are mainly against authority! The husband against God, the wife against her husband and the children against the parents!  The main stream of many is to fight against authority! Other counties fight so they can be in authority with out honor and godliness!  
So PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for all authority, don't just complain!!!!
 
in Christ and for you,
Howard 

3/15/2019 Keep a good conscience with the King of kings!

1Ti 1:17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
 
God is God, and we are not! He is KING of kings... and we are not! He deserves the honor, glory, praise and worship forever and ever!!! WE DO NOT!!
 
It is easy to fall into the trap that Satan set up Eve with in the 3rd chapter of Genesis, that is that we can be our own god or "like" God! BUT we can't! Hymenaeus and Alexander; evidently thought they could though! Notice Paul said "I have delivered unto Satan, meaning he gave them over to the world and ALL the repercussions that come with that lifestyle! We are not to endure for long or put up with ungodly people just because we are Christians! We are to bring to light the sin and help those who do sin to come to repentance unto God! To have a change of mind, heart, and will in faith toward God! We are to live with a clear conscience and that means we have to be honest with ourselves about our own sin! I have met many a pastors who teach good doctrine but can not admit to their own sin or even feelings!!! We need to remember verse 5 in this chapter that says 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: 
Keep you conscience cleared by being honest with yourself and with God, after all what do you need to fear, your sin is already forgiven and God loves you!!!
 
KEEP THE FAITH!!
Howard 

3/14/2019 Paul's Pattern!

1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 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.
 
Jesus came to save sinners and last time I checked we all were sinners from birth! SO again we see that Christ did not come to save "some" but all are given a chance to trust in Christ and receive salvation by faith!
 
Now Paul says something interesting in verse 16 he says "...that in me "first" Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern..."! Now Paul was not the first to be saved was he?... wasn't Peter or all the others from Christ earthly ministry saved before Paul? YES!!!
BUT Paul was the first to be saved that was a enemy and wanted to destroy the church....and saved through Christ heavenly, spiritual and mystery program! He saw and was spoken to by Christ from heaven!
HE WAS THE FIRST TO BE THE PATTERN OF GRACE EXTENDED TO ALL MANKIND!!!! 
 
Everyone prior to that was under Israel's Messiah and prophetic program!! It was foretold and prophesied for the Messiah to come and save Israel and the rest of the world would come, but Israel denied Jesus and killed Him! Act 3:21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
 
So God extended grace to all man kind without a nation and without fleshly ordinances or laws but based on Christ sacrificial cross work we may all be saved by faith! This mystery which was never foretold is
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, 
 
So read Paul's books to us,... the Body of Christ, gentiles in Christ and the mystery program under grace!!! This is were you will find our doctrine and salvation message for today! 
 
as always in grace and for you,
Howard 

3/13/2019 God's Great Grace, Mercy and Love!

1Tim 1:11  According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
 
 
God's grace and mercy is so great that even Paul was saved! Which by the way really the point for all gentiles, because if Paul who was a Jew and hated and persecuted Jesus and the church than anyone could be saved! Paul was not like the other Apostles who walked with and followed Jesus for 3 years in His earthly ministry! Peter, James and John knew Jesus from His earthly ministry but Paul who wanted to destroy this "new" sect, was shown grace from Jesus's Heavenly ministry! AND so are we!
 
Because Paul was such a hater of this "new" sect he than became a great lover of the church and Jesus! A great defender of the church! WE too should look at our own lives and say "look how miserable I was",
BUT NOW look at ourselves, and say " THANK YOU for I am saved and in Christ" "I am a child of God".... and appreciate God's grace to such a great degree that we too are a defender and lover of Christ and the church! Never ever forget God's Great Grace and Love for you dear Saint!!!!
 
for you,
Howard 

3/12/2019 Use the Law for what it is for!

1Ti 1:8  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; 9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
 
The law has always been a good thing, but it does not mean that it is a saving thing! Law does not bring salvation! Law is not faith, and we are saved by faith in what Christ did! He died for our sins and He rose to give us life! Law only condemns, it does not bring life! It says this is wrong and therefore repent! Repent always means to " have a changed mind"! So we see by the law that we are thinking or have or are doing something wrong! We can think lustful thoughts and that is sin too, even if we don't act on them....but we can have a "change of mind" by faith and receive from Christ!
 
Now notice what the Law covers hear...."and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine"; You see ANYTHING that is not of sound doctrine! This is but a small list and there are many lists in the bible but every sin is not in every list!!! So even though it may not be listed that does not make it NOT sin! 
 
Often people want to play word games or defend their sin by saying show me in the bible where "MY" particular sin is listed!!! BUT we must understand that the greatest law and the only law that Christians in the body of Christ are under is THE LAW OF LOVE!!! If it is not honoring God and not loving others than it is sin!
 
Use the law for what was intended for only, to condemn sinners to come to Christ!
Living a life that is always trying not to do something wrong is backwards to going forward in life through faith! We walk by faith not by works of the law!
 
in Christ and for you,
Howard 
 
 

3/11/2019 Love, Faith and a "good" conscience!

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: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; 7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
 
This is our LAW for today! The Law of Love! God's love is righteous for "God is love"! God's love has boundaries and is to be obeyed! God's love is not feelings but rather shows what is in GODS best interest  for another!
 
A pure heart means to be totally devoted to God in mind and heart! While being committed to God will touch our feelings our feelings do not necessary show obedience!
Now a "good" conscience touches on the mind! If we "think" sin, we should correct and renew our minds! We need to constantly take our "thoughts" captive and bring those thoughts into obedience! The first step is ALWAYS  to receive God's love by faith! A faith that is unfeigned is a faith that is unwavering! A faith that is "so sincere and real that regardless of anyone or anything It is devoted to God!
 
In summing up these 3  words I would say we should be sincerely devoted and unwavering in our love, faith and thinking toward God! 
 
To many Christians walk by their feelings verses by faith... in devotion, in love and obedience! Just because we talk about God in different ways does not mean we are being obedient with our heart and mind! I see many people talk or post on Facebook and other social media things and live a life that is immoral and ungodly!!! "Vain jangling" means to be babbling about! This is how it comes across when someone uses God's name in many ways and talks about spiritual things and their life be completely contrary to God! 
 
First learn to see your true thoughts and thinking and then repent (by having a changed mind, by faith toward God!)  and grow in His love!!! Other wise you will become someone who knows enough about the bible and its laws to be dangerous to others , yourself and the BODY OF CHRIST!! 
 
in Christ love for you,
Howard 
 

3/8/2019 NO OTHER DOCTRINE, BUT BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH!

1Ti 1:3  As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, 4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
 
Paul says to "...teach no other doctrine..." meaning the doctrine for today! The salvation and sanctifying message for todays church! Not of works, water or wonders!!! Not of Law, but in Liberty! Not in Temples, thrones or Treasures!
BUT by the Spirit,... sealed and secure in Jesus! BY FAITH, GRACE AND CHRIST CROSS!! BY hearing, hope and heart! 
OFFERED TO ALL, BY Jesus who died for ALL, so that ALL may have the right to choose!!!!
Not by any one Nation, Tribe or genealogy that you would not give you a choice in,.. but only by your will and it IS HIS WILL!!!
SO by faith choose too come to Christ and continue to be ENCOURAGED, EDIFIED AND ENJOY your fellowship and relationship in CHRIST!!! 
 
in grace by faith for you,
Howard 

3/7/2019 Jesus is our only hope!

1Tim 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; 2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Paul as always mentions his role, position and authority in which he had! It tells us who he served and to whom he was under in that role as well as who is his authority, which is Jesus! Don't be afraid to say who is your authority and to whom you serve! Your identity is in Christ not anything else!
 
Our hope is only in Jesus! Our future even if it is for a second it is in Christ! We have eternal life, but eternal life starts somewhere.... so let your hope be in Christ NOW!!! Hope is NOW, faith is NOW....Hope comes from placing faith and receiving from God NOW!
 
Grace, mercy and peace are all things Christ "is" and gives so by faith receive
HIM and HIS grace, mercy and peace daily!
 
in the faith and with hope,
Howard 

3/6/2019 The Lord is our Peace!!!

2 Thes 3:16  Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. 17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
 
Jesus is peace! He has no fear of the future for He is the future! He has no anxiety for He is secure in His Father and in "WHO" He is! So you and I also have "peace" in us because we have Jesus in us! So claim, renew and rest in that peace! It is fear and anxiety that keeps us insecure and troubled! It is fear the bible says that drives us in torment!
1 John 4:18  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. 
BUT IT IS LOVE that takes away fear and torment! Now what is love? 1John 4:8.....for God is love.
GOD IS LOVE!!! SO if I may.... 
1 John 4:18  There is no fear in GOD; but "the" perfect GOD casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in GOD.
BUT WE are made perfect and complete in God!!!! 
 
You see God's love takes away whatever torment you have because He is "peace", and His love brings security! WE don't need to fear our future because we are with Him now and then! We don't need to fear failure in anything because He has already cleared us of any wrong doing and guilt! W e don't need to fear rejection because the GOD of CREATION has already accepted us! WE don't need to fear punishment because Christ Jesus took our punishment!!!
 
So walk in God's love and have peace through the GOD OF PEACE!!!
 
the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, 
Howard 

3/5/2019 Don't be lazy and gossiping but work to support your family and give to others!

2Th 3:8  Neither did we eat any man's bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: 9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. 13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. 14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
 
If you know someone who won't work, (and notice I said won't vs can't, some have legitimate reasons why they can't...) than encourage them to work so they can give to others! Gossiping or being a busybody is self centered not other Christ or other centered!
 
If they persist and are argumentative than you should rebuke and separate from them! Again we see were the Word tells us to discern righteously and separate from others! This is the only way to discipline believers and protect the Christ, church and yourself! Notice this is a attitude that says "I will do what I want , when I want...! A Independent, self centered attitude, that only thinks of themselves! Also the argumentative person is one who will not listen to sound words and therefore again acting Independent of the Body and Christ!
 
Paul worked when he had to and received ministry funds and goods when it was given, but he was not lazy anytime!!! Some ministries take in a lot of funds and others do not! It does not make the ones who do not have support any less valuable in fact perhaps they are even more valuable for they do not seek to become wealthy but only to serve the Body of Christ!!
 
Don't be lazy and gossiping but work to support your family and give to others!
 
in Christ and for you,
Howard 

3/4/2019 Bring order and boundries through faith and discipline!

2Th 3:6  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
 
It seems that many in Christ live a life that still resemble their lives before coming to Christ! That is because they take advantage of grace and still live a disorderly, undisciplined life!
 
While the Christian life is about Christ, the fruit of allowing Christ to live through us shows in a outward way! It shows by a more discipline life mentally and emotionally toward Christ! So we will sacrifice friends and family if they don't follow Christ for Christ! IF you still hangout with your unbelieving friends and party and get drunk or whatever you did... than you need to stop and follow Christ! PLAIN AND SIMPLE!
 
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.
Notice the word "temperance" which means "to restrain oneself" or be "self discipline"! We are to live a life of order in all 7 areas of life!
 
Now if we have friends and family who do not live this life of order, we are too separate from them, and set boundaries! I always say there are lots of ways to separate from someone. It can be mentally and emotionally withdrawing or as far as completely withdrawing physically from them.One can look like a chain  link  fence which you can see through or it can be a wall which you can not see through!
 
I also would say that the church as a whole as done a poor job of this. Because we do not understand the "Word", nor our identity that we tend to follow the world by what we do know from scripture ( being very little again ) and that is to "love" everybody!!! Which means we jeopardize God's righteousness for "love" which is really "lust" and acceptance of others!!! It takes faith and courage to make a stand against sin and ungodly people, 
 
which is really "loving them"!!!
 
hoping to bring order to your heart,
Howard 

3/1/2019 Pray for each other and receive God's love!

2Th 3:1  Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. 5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
 
Asking for prayer and praying for each other is so important! We look toward the creator, God our Father to give thanks and bring in as well as seek the Spiritual vs. the human part of man!  Pray that you may share freely, not out of fear or obligation or even attention getting, but out of love! Share His gospel, the gospel for today, as Paul says in Col 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
 
The Mystery of Christ! That Christ is in you not around you but in you! AND you are in heaven in Christ! That Christ died for your sins and rose and defeated death and that you too were spiritually baptized into that death and His life!
 
Now as we keep our minds and hearts on God's love, we automatically continue to be established and secure in Him! Now most believers would say I know God loves me but I still sin, which is true of all of us, but we need to relies that while we know God loves us we don't "always" at "all" times appropriate it! AND when we don't we sin. We look at other things to give us love or comfort or.... we lust for attention or acceptance from other people or things instead of receiving and resting in God's love! So knowing about God's love is different than walking faithfully "in" or receiving God's love on a minute by minute basis!
 
WALK FAITHFULLY IN GODS LOVE AND BE CONFIDENT IN HIM! 
 
for you always,
Howard 

2/28/2019 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you...!

2 Thes 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
 
God has called you and I to "our" gospel, as Paul says! The gospel of 1 Cor. 15:1-4, that if we receive by faith, we shall be saved! A simple gospel with out works or ordinances! A gospel that says Christ died and rose and did all the works needed at the cross! That God extended grace to all men and that by faith we have access through! No temple, no priest, no law, no works or water baptism needed! 
 
You are sanctified, set apart in Christ, in spirit, in heaven, so be comforted in Christ and Christ alone!
 
in closing THANK YOU for being faithful to our God and Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
 
 
be encouraged in Christ love,
Howard 

2/27/2019 Received the love of the truth!

2 Thes 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
 
Sadly so many people will not be saved because they will not humble themselves to receive the truth, that God Loves them and sent Jesus to be the sacrifice for them! Pray for them that you know do not proclaim Jesus as Lord and keep sharing the message of the mystery, that Jesus died and rose and may give them eternal life! 
 
Let me also just say that so many Christians want to know who is this man who will try to replace God and be God! Now NO one knows for sure, and we don't need to spend energy and time trying to figure it all out either! Just put your mind and heart on what you do know and not walk in fear or being deceived into trying to figure it all out! WHO ever it is they are still nothing compared to Christ! They are still nothing in comparison to WHO YOU are in Christ and they can do nothing to you!
 
Don't be shaken but rather STAND IN THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH OF GOD!
 
always in Christ and always for you,
Howard
 
  
 

2/26/2019 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified!

2 Thes 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed ) in that day. 11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: 12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
WOW! Praise the Lord! When He comes to be glorified in His saints! You are a saint, child of God! You are sanctified meaning set apart spiritually in Christ! You are Holy as He is Holy in Spirit!
 
He is returning to gather His Body, His church into heaven with Him for eternity! Now in this return He will not becoming to earth but rather we will go to Him in the clouds!
 
His Power, His goodness, His pleasure is in us and we are in Him!
So let us give our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the Glory today and everyday! 
 
GLORY TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!!!
 
AMEN,
Howard 
 
 

2/25/2019 Vengence is mine says the Lord!

2 Thes 1:6  Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
 
We all get rejected, hurt and want to pay back those who have hurt us in some way! Bitterness and hate will destroy you and I very quickly! We are called to forgive everyone , all the time. Now that does not mean we will forget what they did nor does it mean we accept what they did as being right, but it does mean we are obedient to Christ as well as releasing them to God so that He can deal with them. He is God so let Him take vengeance if He wants it is not up to us! After all we are not God!
 
Christ is coming some day and God will deal with the world in the future but for now extend forgiveness through Christ and be free of hurt and rejection and put on God's love and Christ mind!
 
to God be the glory,
Howard 

2/22/2019 That ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God!

2Th 1:4   So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: 5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
 
I often hear people say " I wish it was like the "good old" days when I grew up"! Sadly the "good old days" weren't always so "good"!!!
 
The early church suffered greatly and was under persecution constantly! To add, persecution many times meant death! Only in certain Muslim countries do we see Christians killed today, on a large scale! Yet not long ago in Russia/Soviet union and Germany many Christians and Jews were slaughtered for their beliefs! 
 
We all go through things and it is a lie to believe that some never suffer! Yes some more than others but we all have our trials! How we go through them... is a testimony of our faith and worthiness if you will, to God! 
 
The bible says in Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
 
Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered and so do we! We suffer and call out to God! We hurt and we want help and peace, so we renew our minds with what is true by faith! We receive what he has given us by faith, especially in our times of suffering!
 
I have been in prisons and seen men who have given their life to Christ... because of their sin which put them in prison, they are suffering behind bars but are free in heart and spirit for the first time!
 
Don't think of suffering as a punishment or that you are the only one going through it. You are just being given a opportunity to come to your LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST!
 
for your sake,
Howard 
 
 

2/21/2019 Grow in Faith and Love!

2Th 1:1   Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
 
The church was growing in faith and Paul was so excited for them. He desired for them to abound even more in everything and they did! He was excited to hear that they gave to one another and that their love and dependency for one another grew also! This is early in church history so it was new and they were persecuted from all sides!
 
We want to grow and abound as they did. We too should desire to see other churches prosper as long as they teach that we are saved by grace and received by faith! That they teach the cross and not the law! That they understand the mystery and not just the prophecy message! That Christ is in them and that they are in Christ!
 
Thank God today, and abound in faith, grace and His love always! 
 
in Christ love for you,
Howard 

2/20/2019 Sanctified and preserved in spirit, soul and body!

1Th 5:23  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. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us. 26 Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
 
God lives in us and therefore our Spirit is set aside, in holiness and righteousness! God who is Spirit must be worshipped in Spirit, so He lives in our Spirit so that we can be one with Him! Our spirit is preseverd in God! Like a person who preserves and cans vegetables or a fruit in a jar, so we are! The jar is cleansed inside and then sealed! We too are cleansed, sealed and preserved forever in Christ! Preserved spiritually, holy and complete!  
 
Now our Soul is our mind, will and emotions! The mind is our "thinker"! Our will is our "chooser"!! So we choose to think about certain things, good or bad, Godly or ungodly, right or wrong! Our emotions are our "feeler" so it tell us what we are "thinking" about! It tells what we are willingly, choosing to think about!
 
Our Body follows are thinking.... 
 
So "choose" to "think" about God's love for you and you will "feel" secure and loved!!! CHOOSE to THINK about what is TRUE IN YOUR SPIRIT ALREADY! That GOD IS LOVE! LOVE IS IN YOU!
CHRIST IS IN YOU!
 
SING and give THANKS UNTO GOD DEAR SAINT!!!
 
as always in God's love,
Howard 
 

2/19/2019 For this is the will of God!

1Th 5:16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
 
Rejoice, Pray and give thanks in everything and for everything for this is God's will for you! God desires that you rejoice in Him and that we thank Him for everything in our lives! My wife starts every prayer with "...I thank you Lord for...."  Praying is His way of communicating sharing and getting to know and receive from Him!!
 
Quench not, despise not,.. means to put out or stop the spirit or teachings that are so needed. Like pouring water on a fire, NO NO!, let the fire of the spirit burn hot and warm other hearts unto Christ!
 
Prove all, hold fast, means to hold onto and stand in truth and grace as well as make sure that grace is not being tainted!
 
AND lastly and very important abstain, don't do, even something that may appear sinful or evil! Sometimes folks will say "I am not sleeping with them...I am just spending the night...! BUT you see it looks like to others/neighbors like you are! Now while we are not to get caught up in gossip or what others think of us, we are still to be a light and to minister to others, and if it  appears sinful we have just lost our testimony haven't we!! 
 
So quench not, and pray, rejoice and thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! 
 
amen in Christ,
Howard 

2/18/2019 Warn, comfort and support patiently!

1Th 5:14  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
 
Revenge is something most of us do on a daily basis even if we just think it! My wife does this so I won't talk to her or I do something and she stops cooking our dinner! (you don't want to taste my cooking, ha!) Being vengeful is trying to be God and take over His role! Paul in Romans 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. 
So check out your thinking and motive when feeling hurt and rejected, you could be thinking vengeful thoughts and then repent and renew your mind!
 
We are to be awake, aware and discern what others are doing! YES this takes some judgement and we are called to judge righteously and in love for Christ, the Body and for the person's sake! We are to warn those who are rebellious and unruly and will not listen to sound words! Sometimes we even must separate our selves and ask them to leave the church depending on their heart!
 
BUT we also need to help those who are weak and confused! You can be hurting, confused and still want help! You can seek help and counsel from the body and in fact that is what we all are to do when we are hurting or going through something! To many people run away from the body when they should run to the body of Christ!
 
We are to be patient with all even those who are rebellious. Give them some time to think about what you have said before you move to the next phase and/or separate!
 
Don't be vengeful and minister to others if you can! Even praying with them is ministry to their heart and sometimes that's all that is needed!
 
in grace,
Howard 

2/15/2019 When it comes to authority...Not my will, but God's will!

1Th 5:12 And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
 
I believe one of the biggest problems in the church as well as the world is the rebellion against authority! Authority of all kinds, parents, teachers, police/government and of course God!
 
Christian don't go to church because they don't want to submit to the pastor or leadership! They think they know more, and in some cases they do , BUT they don't have the position of authority! Position is so very important. The bible says that the husband is the head of the wife and that Jesus is the head of man and that God the father is head over Jesus, and that Jesus submitted to God, even unto death.
 
So looking back at this is in a human way...is the husband always right, of course not. I can tell you for sure my wife is smart and can make decisions and know more things than I do but she does not have the positon that I have. NOW you might say lets get rid of the positions and everyman for themselves, which is what we have really done in todays time, but than you have as we have read in Genesis 3 everyone acting and behaving like their own God and listening to no one, loving no one, and not able to follow any one..... including God! If everyone is for himself, why should I protect and provide my family, after "all" everyone is for themselves.   
 
RESPECT the position of authority in all walks of life regardless if you agree and especially in the church fellowship and submit, encourage and even show the authority how to live the Christian life through Christ! Just as Christ died in submitting to bad authority, He died in submitting to His Father, for He said
 
"...Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done...." 
 
give Glory to God,
Howard 
 

2/14/2019 ...but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ...!

1Th 5:8   But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
 
Faith, Love and Hope of our salvation is in our Lord Jesus Christ! We have that assurance and we can feel secure in that we are and will live with Him for eternity!
 
So I want to encourage you to rest in that fact and be comforted in it! Resting and comforting means to not be fearful or anxious in other worldly things or even death, but having a quite, restful and peaceful heart and mind!
 
Anxiety is fear and we all have it to some degree but we can have peace mentally just as we do spiritually by putting on the breastplate of love and faith over out heart and on our head the helmet of hope!
 
Edify, encourage and exhort one another in this love, faith and hope so that the BODY OF CHRIST may show this world who is Lord! 
 
in Christ my Lord,
Howard 

2/13/2019 Ye are all the children of light!!!

1Th 5:1  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
 
"Ye are all the children of light...",... therefore we do not need to fear death! We do not need to fear failure, rejection or punishment for the God of the universe has said "I LOVE YOU AND YOU ARE MINE"!!!
 
Take comfort in that dear child of God! Receive that and stand in that! As you renew your minds daily you will automatically be awake and aware of this coming of our Lord and Savior!!  
 
No one can say when He will come but He will come so no need to figure the time, You can stand secure in that you will be with Him, just be renewing your mind in His love for YOU ARE HIS!!!
REST in HIS LOVE and know that you are with Him now regardless!
 
in the love and grace of our Lord,
Howard 

2/12/2019 Wherefore comfort one another with these words!!!

1Thes 4:13  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
 
OH WHAT COMFORT!!! OH MY!... when we are fearful of dying or losing a loved one we often say we or they will be in heaven in a better place and we are comforted in that! AND if we were to live trough the worst of times we would know that Christ is coming to receive us and that brings us some comfort!!!!
 
The word "caught up" in Latin is rapture and so that is where we we get that word  they we will be raptured or taken up! Now it is important to know that being caught up with Christ is not the end times but rather the beginning of the end times! Israel must still go through much more, but for the church today we will be "caught up" with Christ! Notice also that Jesus does not come to earth but rather we meet Him in the clouds!
 
If your a believer remember that you are in Christ now spiritually speaking and that you will be with Him again soon, one way or another! So that means do not fear this world or your circumstances or people for soon their will be a better place for you! Be comforted in this, Thank God and give God the Glory!!!
 
in Christ always, 
Howard 

2/11/2019 ...but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

1Th 4:7   For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit. 9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; 11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; 12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
 
When we reject Godly counsel we actually despise God not the man. Now we need to be wise yes,... to whom we are getting that counsel but after there is trust built and you know that you are loved, and the counsel is for you, as well as shown in scripture your sin, than follow that counsel.
 
I see way to many Christians who live together in sin, as if married! And sadly not just young but older believers as well! You don't "live" together outside of marriage, for financial reasons or any other reason!   
 
Paul encourages us to work, and not be gossiping nor useless but willing to work to give to others! We should desire to grow and mature in all things that are Godly and righteous! Grow in faith, grace and love! Grow in receiving from God as well as giving to others! We need to always be renewing our minds in who God "IS" and who God is in us and walk in Christ love! This never stops but continues on daily in every believer!
 
Remember the 5 R's I have shared many times, and will share again! If you do these 5 R's daily, minute by minute you will abound in Christ and "feel" secure and confident!
Repent, Renew, Rest, Reconcile and Reach....these 5 R's make up the Christian life daily! 
 
in His love,
Howard 
 
 

2/8/2019 For this is the will of God!

1Thes. 4:1  Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
 
Paul encourages us to grow more and more....more in faith, in love and in Godliness! While we are not held to the Levitical law we are told to be Godly, Holy and sanctified... meaning set apart from sin and the world! We are to not live in fornication, meaning sex outside of marriage, any sex outside of marriage by the way!
 
I see a lot of younger and older Christians living with someone as a couple, NO, NO, this is not Godly, get married or separate! When we live with someone we are not loving them we are "defrauding" them! Defraud means "to take advantage for selfish gain"! It is not thinking what God wants or what God wants for the other person. In marriage we can defraud the spouse by not giving ourselves to the other,(see 1Cor. 7:5) but outside of marriage we defraud by taking without being married! 
 
ALL this is called lust, not love! Lust is to covet for self, for selfish gain and desire! Sadly most people fall into lust not love including believers! As I always say this is a 3 letter word starting with "S" and ending in "IN", "SIN!!! Repent, Renew and RELOCATE, if you must!!!
 
Grow in faith, love, grace and GODLINESS!
 
in God's grace and love,
Howard 

2/7/2019 Grow in God's Love and you will not lack in faith!

1Thes 3:9   For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; 10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith? 11 Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you. 12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: 13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
 
It is interesting that Paul encourages the church to abound and increase in love and in the same verses tells them that he is coming to help them in what ever is lacking in their faith! 
And to add so that they may be holy and unblameable!!
 
What I mean is that what is lacking in our faith is receiving God's love for us and therefore being, knowing and acting holy and unblameable,... by understanding how secure we are in that love and then sharing and giving that faith/love away! The more you receive God's love, the more you can give! The more you increase in God's love the more secure and confident you will be! The more you rest in His love the more joy you will have!
 
SO GROW IN GOD'S LOVE AND YOU WILL NOT LACK IN FAITH!
 
By faith,
Howard 

2/6/2019 Estabished in faith and comfort others!

1Th 3:1   Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone; 2 And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith: 3 That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. 5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain. 6 But now when Timotheus came from you unto us, and brought us good tidings of your faith and charity, and that ye have good remembrance of us always, desiring greatly to see us, as we also to see you: 7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: 8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
 
Paul sent Timothy to see how the church was doing and if they were growing in faith! The new church needed to mature and was under great tribulations! 
 
While it is easy for us to be lulled into passivity because we do not need to test our faith to the same degree, we must not grow passive, because a hidden enemy is still around! That enemy being in the form of Satan and sin!
 
We are to grow in faith, grace and knowledge in our relationship to God through Christ and we are to comfort one another! This is why it is so important that people fellowship with each other. All of us at some point need encouragement and help, so don't be a Lone Ranger and stay at home, fellowship with other like minded believers! 
 
Paul was encouraged that the church was still growing in faith and he felt alive even more that they had made a stand for Christ! We too should be excited when we see the church make a stand for Christ, righteousness and Godliness in this world! 
 
Grow in faith, make a stand and fellowship with one another!
 
in faith,
Howard 

2/5/2019 For you are our glory and joy!!!

1Thes 2:17  But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire. 18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us. 19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 20 For ye are our glory and joy.
 
Have you ever desired to have a family or friend come to the Lord and after they do you are so overjoyed that you cried! Or have you ever met some one you did not know and they said they were Christians and your heart just felt so good and overjoyed!  There is a reason for that! It is not just that you are of the same heart and mind, which you are by being in Christ, NO more importantly they are saved from hell and will live eternally in Christ in Heaven with you! They are "SAFE" , and you are so grateful and overjoyed!!! This is how Paul felt when he talks about the church and seeing them. He wanted to see them and spend time with them.
 
I still get excited when I see that light bulb of freedom come on in the eyes of those I meet with and I tell them they are completely forgiven! When I tell them they are free from guilt and shame! When I see them know for the first time that they are accepted and loved in Christ!!!
 
I encourage you to never forget when that understanding came to you for the first time and you felt the incredible freedom of forgiveness! Get excited and REJOICE for others when they come to that same freedom and know the GLORY OF CHRIST!
 
in Christ,
Howard 

2/4/2019 It is the Word of God that they reject not you!

1Thes 2:13    For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: 15 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: 16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.
 
You have probably already had people reject things you say about God and Jesus, but I want to encourage you to keep on sharing in small, insignificant ways! You will be surprised at how those who are searching and desiring God hear what you say! They will cling to the smallest words of hope! They don't have hope, so keep sharing! Paul, the Apostles and the church were all persecuted so don't think you won't be either, but I have found that even the most harden folks will RESPECT you for your stance!
 
The Jews that came to Christ were persecuted by Jews and the gentiles persecuted them as well as well as the other gentiles in Christ, so remember even if your family persecutes you,
it is the WORD OF GOD, that they reject and not you!
Keep sharing and give HOPE to someone who is searching!!
 
in hope, in grace, in Christ,
Howard 

2/1/2019 Give and Receive!

1Th 2:9  For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. 10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: 11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
 
Ministry is about serving God as well as giving to others! Paul did not take advantage of that, as we see in todays times with the prosperity preachers! If a prosperity preacher teaches and lives a lavish life style and especially off the giving of others it only reaffirms self-centeredness and a carnal lifestyle! 
 
The greatest example of a leader would be to live the same life style as the church so that they teach as leaders how to model contentment in everyday struggles! They also would be able to model giving back as well as receiving! Paul received food, money and shelter if given but he did not demand and worked when he needed too!
 
One of the best ways a husband or parent can minister to his family is show how to be content in Christ  in whatever the situation is and to give back to others!!!
 
Buying and selling is the worlds way, Giving and receiving is God's way!!
 
in Christ,
Howard 

1/31/2019 Because you are dear to me!

1Th 2:6    Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. 7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: 8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
 
This is so important for us to hear in this age of Muslim extremist, social media and prosperity preachers!! Paul and the other Apostles did not act rude or demand that the Thessalonians come to Christ as a "new" religion as extremist do! They did not take their money or covet their goods! They not only preached God and salvation through Christ but they gave of their hearts and soul! They were relational and spent time with them! To a extent ...,that is the difference in "just" teaching and preaching from he pulpit and one on one discipleship! In counseling and discipleship you spend time listening as well as teaching, comforting as well correcting!
 
Listen, love and be gentle with one another!
 
in Christ love,
Howard 

1/30/2019 Exhort and encourage truth from a pure heart!

1Th 2:1   For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: 2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. 3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: 4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. 5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
 
While it may seem that you do a lot of work at church or preaching to people who do not want to hear the truth or gospel, you should continue to work and speak out! Paul was under tremendous pressure and hate from Jews and gentiles yet he continued to minister. He did it without seeking money or fame! He did it for all the right reasons and we should do the same! I do believe that many prosperity preachers use the word and minister with a heart of coveting! Don't follow their example but rather give the love and salvation message that you have heard and know away!
Always EXHORT AND ENCOURAGE TRUTH FROM A PURE HEART!
 
in Christ love,
Howard 

1/29/2019 Let our Faith be known and shown!

1Th 1:8  For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
 
Let our faith be known! Let our faith be shown! Let our faith spread out, so that others do not need to guess but know that we serve a living God, and worship no other!
Ask your self what do I worship? What idols? Do I worship work, family or money more than God? Do I worship my T.V. , phone or working out?  Do I worship myself more than God?
 
Let us worship the only living and true God through Christ, and wait for His glorious Son, Jesus to return for us!
 
as always in grace,
Howard 

1/28/2019 Learn to Follow before you lead!

1Th 1:5  For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
 
I find the biggest problems in society today is that we do not want to follow someone! Everyone has a opinion and usually will give it without the experience, respect or knowledge of life! Now there are boundaries to this of course, but just like in Genesis 3 we tend to want to be a "god" and be independent of GOD and others!!!
 
For example, the problem with divorce, is not that just 2 people left each other but that husbands don't lead and wives don't follow and the children are left to act and or be independent of both!!!! Children don't follow authority and therefore don't follow God as "THE" AUTHORITY"!! Paul was encouraged that the church followed the Lord yet also followed Paul! 
 
Now by the way Paul is our Apostle and our leader as far as man is concerned and in reading the books of the bible! So read Paul's books over and over, there is a reason why ALL his books are in a row....! 
Be a example of following until you are mature enough to be on your own! This will take work, humbleness and submission as well as time and a genuine heart first before you can be mature enough to teach others without a prideful, arrogant attitude which so many Christians have today!
LEARN TO FOLLOW BEFORE YOU LEAD!
 
in grace,
Howard 
 
 

1/25/2019 Faith, Love and Hope!

1Th 1:1  Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.
 
As always I go verse by verse through Paul's books and we now enter into 1 Thessalonians! By going verse by verse we don't skip any verses that may have great significance and we do not get off on any one subject and ride that hobby horse!!! 
 
1 Thes. is great book and encourages us in 3 ways! First Faith, To stand in faith and to continue to grow in faith! By faith we are saved and complete! By faith we receive God's Love which is the 2nd thing we can be encouraged in! And by receiving God's love daily we are refreshed as well as have the 3rd thing which is Hope! Now 1 Thes. encourages us to comfort each other in Hope of being caught up to the heavens with Christ! To have this hope gives us comfort no matter what we are going through now! We know where we are now in Christ and if He gathers us up with Him or that we are going to heaven when we die and therefore do not need to fear death!
 
So just like these Thessalonians we too should work in faith, labor in love and be patient in hope of our Lord Jesus Christ and in our Father! Walk by faith dear saint by receiving and renewing your mind with God's love and know the HOPE OF GLORY THAT IS IN YOU!
 
Have a great weekend and remember God Loves You!
 
in faith, hope and love,
Howard 
 
 

1/24/2019 Take Heed....!

Col 4:14  Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you. 15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. 16 And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. 18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.
 
In what ever we do, do unto the Lord! So you have a ministry, "TAKE HEED..." and fulfill it! Now that ministry does not need to look like a missionary, or pastor, it can be just your everyday ministry to your family, friends and co workers, but fulfill it!!! Take it seriously and minister. Paul said  "...the church which is in his house". Meaning the church is Christ and Christ is in you so the church is where ever you are....house, work, coffee house....wherever you go the church is there! Now with that said don't stare at the mirror and give your self a sermon either. Share Christ, share life, SHARE!
 
Meet with one another, pray for one another, and reach out to one another!!!
 
grace be with you,
Howard 

1/23/2019 Have a Zeal for God and others!

Col 4:11  And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.
 
Paul says that these men were his fellow workers ! He means that they shared along side him and preached this Christ, the savoir of men! He says that they have been a comfort and that Epaphras had a great ZEAL for the church! That he prayed for and desired that they grow in maturity  and walk by faith knowing they are complete in Christ alone!
 
I often have seen pastors who think they are the only ones that know scripture and can do the work of the ministry. I have seen pastors kill themselves working and not ask for help! Usually their are other capable men in the church with as much zeal for the church as the pastor. There should be no Lone Ranger pastor or leaders!!! 
 
Paul wrote the books but their are others who contributed to the building of the church's! You may not get the appreciation of the pastor or leaders, but you can still minister!
Have a ZEAL for God and others! 
 
for you,
Howard 

1/22/2019 Fellowship and comfort one another!

Col 4:7   All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord: 8 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; 9 With Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. 10 Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)
 
Paul wanted to know how the church was doing! He wanted to know if they were walking faithfully or if they were having any problems! He wanted to help them mature in their faith and teach them what may have been lacking in their faith!
 
He also wanted them to know what was going on with him! He wanted them to pray for him and be encourage by what he was doing! He wanted them to know the gospel was still being taught and that they were not alone in this "new" faith! He was comforted by how they were doing and he wanted to be a comfort to them also!!
 
That is why we should meet together in some form! To comfort and encourage one another! It does not need to be in a building that is called a "church"! It can be a bible study in a house, garage, or at work! It can be in a café or donut shop! Just meet regularly, read the word and pray and comfort one another! It is good that we have Facebook and social media, but it should not replace face to face fellowship!
 
Go to some kind of fellowship and get to know each others strengths and weaknesses! Minister, encourage and build up one another in love, faith and Christ!
 
in grace,
Howard 
 

1/21/2019 Walk in Wisdom!

Col 4:5   Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. 6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
 
Walk in Wisdom today when your with your family, or at work! Walk with a purpose of sharing with others The Gospel according to the mystery! That Christ died , rose and has forgiven your sins! Be wise with your time and with purpose priorities your day! Priorities your time with family and church! Priorities reading the word before your day begins and ends! Priorities your fun, family and faith!
 
I want to address something I see more and more in saints today, and that is cussing! So many have grown up in a environment with parents or authority and cussing is normal for them but I assure nothing destroys your witness more than cussing! Cussing shows what has happened in your life and perhaps what is still going on in your mind and attitude! Words offend and cuss words are offensive NO MATTER WHAT!!! Our words should be used to edify, encourage and exalt Christ! Can you imagine exalting Christ with cuss words!!!
 
 "...That ye may know how ye ought to answer every man",....means first listening to what they have to say so you should listen, and wait to respond WITH WORDS OF WISDOM!
 
Walk with purpose, and pure in tongue, heart and mind and preach the Gospel that saves!
WALK IN WISDOM TODAY! 
 
in grace,
Howard 
 
 
 

1/18/2019 Master, Mystery and Manifest!

Col 4:1  Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven. 2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
 
God is our Master and He has given us eternal life, and all the heavenly, spiritual blessings in Christ! So as we allow our Master to work through us, we can prayer and be thankful as well as share this Mystery with others! The Mystery is the NEW work, the NEW creation of the church today! It is a revelation and has a fellowship unlike any other that has ever been! It is in Christ, heavenly and is spiritual not earthy or fleshly! It is all about Christ and His cross! His work, His death, His life!!! We need only to receive by faith, into this grace which God has extended to us!
So let the Master's Mystery Manifest in you today!!!!
 
in grace,
Howard 

1/17/2019 Submit, Love and Obey!

Col 3:18   Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. 20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. 21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged. 22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
 
3 things we all need to do at some level! Submit, Love and Obey!
 
Submit means to place oneself under another voluntarily! It is not forced, but given! We ALL can submit if we understand "WHO" we are in Christ! Christ submitted even to sinners in a way,  by allowing them to mistreat and crucify Him! BUT HE always knew "WHO" He was and "WHO" was His Father and the power HE had!!! So we must do also!
 
We then can love, just as Christ submitted to give love we to can love one another! LOVE is God's way of giving us the emotional security we need and feel complete in Him! God is love so we must grow in knowing His love and then give it away! We do not need the approval or acceptance of the authority in order to submit to them because we are filled through Christ love!
 
Lastly obey! Now we show the love we have received by being obedient! We receive love and then we don't look at other things and lust because we are secure and whole in God's love and in turn we are obedient by faith!
 
We all must submit to some authority and the first and most important authority is God!
 
in Christ,
Howard 

1/16/2019 Teaching and admonishing one another!

Col 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
 
As we Read, Receive, Renew and Rest in God's Word we begin to mature, and in turn admonish each other!
Now the word admonish means to warn or exhort! Exhort means to teach, train, encourage, rebuke, instruct, beseech, beg, comfort in faith IN CHRIST.......and/or to do what is necessary to bring another closer to Christ and Godliness!
 
So just like a parent would do toward a child, ...like teach, train, help, scold, discipline, and encourage we need to do that toward each other! That's what we do hear in doing Christian counseling!
 
We need to grow in God's word and so that we can give to one another and always do it with a thankful heart, and praising our Lord and savior Jesus Christ as well as our God and father!
 
Give God the glory dear saint,
in Christ love,
Howard 

1/15/2019 PUT-ON!

Col 3: 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Yesterdays devotion was on Putting -off, and I talked about taking off dirty clothes and bathing.... today we are going to see that we just can't take off and stand naked, we must PUT-ON! Now if we stand naked we can be attacked by the world and it's elements, such as cold, heat and wind.... as well as the law and people!!! Notice I said the law! If you stand naked, out in the street.... the law of the land will charge you with indecent exposer....the law exposes our sin and so if we take off that sin and stand naked, we will live in shame and guilt because we are not living by faith but just trying to live by the law which condemns us of sin! We also will be attacked by the world and its elements like the cold, heat and wind... so we will be attacked by our own feelings and thoughts as well as the rejection of others....we will also feel ashamed as well as be guilty of the sin in which we committed! We will fear rejection from others and failure and the punishment from God as well as the world and the law of the land!

So it is important that we take our thoughts captive and PUT OFF our sin by admitting and acknowledging it to God and PUT ON His love, acceptance and forgiveness for us! Put on those clean cloths! Put on that white new robe if you will! Putting on is just as important as putting off! Some churches and Christians over emphasize sin by talking about it constantly without regard too and teaching about Putting -on God's love and acceptance! BOTH are necessary and important! We don't put clean clothes over dirty, but we don't stand naked either! WE Put on by renewing our minds and receiving from God! We need to understand that we are a New creation and we are His children that are deeply loved! We need to tell ourselves the truth over and over of who we are in Christ and walk in faith daily!

When we don't hide our sin and are honest about it as well as receive God's love, acceptance and forgiveness, and know who we are as His children, then we will walk "in" and have His peace in our hearts! We won't walk in shame, guilt or fear because we are COMPLETE IN CHRIST!

in His love,

Howard

1/14/2019 Put-off those old dirty clothes!!

Col 3:5   Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 
 
I love the words Paul uses for us to describe how we are to live our lives! He uses the words that I think are like useing good hygiene and taking care of our selves! And so if you worked really hard and got all sweaty you would take off those dirty old cloths and shower, right! You would not want to put clean clothes on because you would still be dirty and stink, so we shower!! Now you also don't want to put on Clean cloths over the dirty ones because you would still be dirty and stink, plus that would get very heavy after a while!
 
So many Christians either don't see their sin and acknowledge it, and then they keep putting on clean clothes over their dirty ones, by covering up their sin! The burden gets heavy after a while and then they cry out for help!
 
IF you know your identity in Christ and "WHO" He is...and that you are in Him, and that you are forgiven....and then walk in confidence and faith you will not be afraid to fail and tell others, because Christ took care of it all at the cross! You are forgiven and you need no ones approval or acceptance! The fear of rejection and failure often takes over but you do not need to be afraid of God or others! Like cancer it is good to diagnose and then get it out and fixed! Praise God Jesus has already done the surgery!! 
 
So see your sin, call it what it is, acknowledging it and then take off by repenting to God by faith! Now we need to see our sin, but we don't need to beat our self to death or live in self destructive or have a pity party about it either! We just need to see that we were living by our flesh and not by faith in what God has done through Jesus Christ our lord! Put your faith in Christ not your flesh!
 
Put off is important but tomorrow we will see what is even more important! 
 
in Christ love,
Howard 

1/11/2019 Christ IS life!

Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
 
Christ IS LIFE!!! There is no life without Him! So just as you have eternal life in Him, continue to renew your mind and bring life to your soul! The soul is your mind-will-emotions, and that is were we all have problems! While not living by our emotions the problem every person has is in our emotional health! We become bitter, angry and hate! We are lonely and want love, and yet we lust... for love ! We judge others because we are hurt, rejected and offended! ....so our mental and emotional well being is were we struggle!
 
Keep your heart and mind on spiritual, heavenly things and receive from God through Christ by faith! Receive His love and His acceptance! Receive and remind your self that He has taken your sin and He has forgiven you and that you belong to Him! Thank Him dear saint daily for He is YOUR LIFE!!!!! 
 
as always for you in love,
Howard 

1/10/2019 Worship Christ from the internal not through external ordiancances!

Col 2:10   And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
 
... 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
 
Because we are saved, sealed and secure spiritually in Christ, we are complete and whole Spiritually and therefore we no longer need the external things to show and remind us of God like Israel did! We have Christ IN US, internally and eternally through the Spirit! So when we practice external things we actually show a false humility, a weak faith and a prideful works mentality! True humility comes from ONLY understanding that we are in Christ and He is in us!
 
No need to practice all the ordinances given to Israel or even the 12 Apostles they are only a external reminder and we no longer need them, because the RISEN CHRIST IS IN YOU!
 
Give God the glory, through Christ,
Howard 

1/9/2019 God has forgiven you for ALL your sins!

Col 2:11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
 
Which sins, ALL!!! If God has forgiven you ALL your sins, then why do you keep asking for forgiveness????
STOP asking for something you already have and start THANKING HIM for what you do have! We are circumcised in Christ! We are baptized in Christ! We are raised and made alive in Christ!
AND WE ARE COMPLETELY FORGIVEN IN CHRIST!!!
Thank Him dear Saint daily and every time you sin, thank Him! A truly faithful, humble understanding is not asking and begging for forgiveness but receiving what Christ did at the cross already!!!!  
 
in Christ and for Christ,
Howard 

1/8/2019 We are Complete in Christ!

Col 2:8   Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
 
We are complete, whole and full of God's spirit In Christ! God has done everything He needs to do for our salvation and security in Him and therefore all we need to do is receive from Him!  By receiving Christ into our lives we then are made spiritually complete! ALL God's wisdom, power and love is in us, so don't listen to worldly philosophy or even your own thoughts if they go against God's word! Take all your thoughts captive and think about what your thinking about!! The world wants to conform you to their thoughts and their sins, don't get caught, not thinking... but rather dwell on God's Word and receive what has already made you whole and complete! You need nothing else!!!
 
in His love,
Howard 

1/7/2019 Be Rooted in God's Love!

Col 2:1    For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 5 For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
 
Everything you and I need in life is found in Christ! Now some may say I need a house or a car.... and those are nice to have but you don't "NEED" them! I have seen many a wealthy people with cars that commit or want to commit suicide! I have seen the poorest of people have victory in Christ and gave what they had and when they could to the rich!!  SO ALL of God's treasures is found in Christ! If you want to be secure and wealthy in mind and spirit, you will find it all in Christ and His Word!
 
Being rooted and built up in Christ means to be secure, solid and that your very existence is found in Him! Not in your spouse or kids! Not in your work or success! Not in your parents or heritage, but only in Christ! If you have "received" which can also mean accepted, and both are good ways to understand that if you have trusted in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then let Him work through you! Walking in Jesus and by faith is receiving from Him and allowing Him to comfort and LOVE YOU!! 
 
Learn to receive and grow in God's LOVE and your roots will grow deeper in faith, security and in God's  wisdom! 
BE ROOTED IN GOD'S LOVE!!!
 
peace to you in His love,
Howard 

1/4/2019 Preach and Teach the Mystery Message!

Col 1:23  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
 
The goal for Paul and ourselves in these verses are found in verse 28, Preach and Teach! Preach means to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! Teach means to disciple and edify those that have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Notice that Paul says and I repeat again and again, "...to every creature under heaven..."! Not some but ALL!!! All have a choice, ALL have the option to choose! Free will is given as much as any other gift by God!
 
Now what are we to preach and teach? We are to preach and teach the mystery message for this dispensational time period! This Mystery was not foretold and was not known before hand! This mystery is that God's spirit now lives in us and through us and we are in Christ in heaven! We also have through this mystery EVERY Spiritual blessing in Christ, NOW and without the need for law or Israel! We are New Creatures and are one in Spirit in Christ! We have a NEW Revelation and a NEW Fellowship in Christ!
 
Get to know this mystery message, through Paul's books and PREACH and TEACH IT OTHERS!!!
 
in grace always,
Howard 

1/3/2019 Reconciled, Holy and Blameless!

Col 1:20  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
 
We that are saved by faith have peace with God! We have been Reconciled to Him through Christ! As Paul was a enemy and trying to destroy Christ church, so we too were His enemies, but God initiated His love and initiated the way of redeeming us through Christ! So by faith we too are  Reconciled, Holy and Blameless through Christ blood and His cross!
 
We no longer need to fear what the God of the this universe will do to us! We no longer need to fear rejection or perform to be good enough... for GOD has said "I LOVE, ACCEPT AND FORGIVE YOU IN CHRIST!!! 
Therefore we no longer need to fear man or perform and work for approval and acceptance!! 
 
Receive from Him, Thank Him, and give Him the glory!
 
as always in grace,
Howard 
 

1/2/2019 Jesus is Lord!

Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;
 
Christ is the exact image, character, holiness and perfection of God! When we think and in a way see Jesus in scripture  we see God! And God gave power and authority  to Jesus to create and have everything through Christ! Christ is above all things! When we see in Genesis 1:3  that "...God  said..." that was Jesus! Jesus is the Word! Christ is the head of the church! He is head over all things and so we do not need to shrink in fear to any earthly thing but remember that you are in Christ and Christ is in you and that you are the son or daughter of the creator of the universe!!! Give Him thanks and praise today as you worship Him! Let Him have His preeminence, the priority,  in your life!!!
 
as always in grace,
Howard 

1/1/2019 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Happy New Year!!!
I hope you had a great 2018 and that 2019 will be even better in God's Great Grace!!! I want to encourage you to look forward to growing and maturing in God's grace this year and if you need help just ask for it! We will be trying some new things out to get God's Word out in different ways so I look forward to hearing from you this year! 
 
Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
 
Starting off where we left off from last year in the book of Colossians we see that Paul encourages us to give thanks unto our Father! This is what we should do all the time, thanking God for who He is and for initiating  reconciliation between us! God is the one who was offended and He still forgave us! By sending His son to the cross and dying for our sins and then Jesus rose again to save us from death and hell HE then transferred us into Christ! Our spirit is in Christ in heaven and we no longer need to fear death or anything that man can do to us because what is worse than death or hell!  So we are redeemed which means "ransomed and paid for", and we are reconciled and forgiven in Christ!
 
Have a heart of THANKS and you will have peace in this NEW YEAR!
 
as always in grace,
Howard 
 
 

12/21/2018 Love, wisdom and understanding of God's will!

Col 1:7   As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ; 8 Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit. 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
 
Paul was excited that the church loved them after the spirit! You really can only truly love if God's spirit is in you! God is Love, so true righteous love is from God in us! So because we do have God and God's love in us, we also have HIS wisdom and spiritual understanding IN US! We have Spiritual understanding, Spiritual sensitivity, Spiritual awareness, Spiritual discernment in us! SO when Paul is saying that he hopes that the church would "be filled with".... he is talking about the SOUL! Our mind and will are putting on what is God's will which is already in our Spirit, so that we may walk "in" and give thanks "to" God! AND when we do that by faith and by renewing our mind daily we are again pleasing God!
 
God is pleased with you already because you are saved in Christ! So continue to receive, put on and walk in Christ and give God the glory!
 
to God be the glory,
Howard 

12/20/2018 The Gosple of truth and grace bring good fruit!

Col 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, 2 To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, 4 Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, 5 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; 6 Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
 
As we continue going verse by verse through Paul's books we see Paul's normal greetings! Again and as always calling the church saints, those who are holy and set apart in spirit! You are a saint too and not because you have done perfect things but because of Christ in you! 
 
Paul continued to pray for the church and to be encouraged because of their faith and love for the saints everywhere! Paul reminds them of the hope that is in heaven  and comforts them with knowing where their spirits are now and will go later in bodily form! They heard the Word, the gospel of grace and received by faith and just as all of the world has heard it! AND this truth, this grace, this gospel has brought forth the righteous life of Christ in each of us! The righteous fruit and love of God!
 
Read His Word, allow it to comfort you in His love and grace, for it is life, peace and true!
 
for God's saints in love,
Howard 

12/19/2018 Buying and Selling or Giving and Receiving!

Phl 4:14  Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 21 Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. 22 All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar's household. 23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
 
Buying and selling is the worlds way of dealing with everything! We buy cars, homes, clothes and comfort in many ways! We often sell the same things so we can make a buck here and there! Buying and selling can keep us in debt and a slave to man, things or banks! We owe and it can be a burden and hold us in bondage! This is why God says own no man anything! As much as possible pay off your mortgage or car as soon as you can! Don't use credit cards any more than you need to and always pay off in the same month if you can! By the way their are lots of ways to buy and sell ourselves without using money! Don't sell your self to gain something else! Mentally, emotionally and physically we can sell ourselves to gain power, control or even affection in life!
 
Giving and receiving is God's way of dealing with everything! God gave and we receive! We must always be the receiver when it comes to Godly things, because as we receive we in turn give what God wants most is our life! He only desires our hearts, by giving of ourselves, he in turn gives life through Jesus! He ministers and works through us! Many talk about being obedience to God and that is true but ALL obedience starts with the giving of ourselves first by receiving what God has given and that is CHRIST LIFE! ALL Life comes through Jesus Christ and it is what matters most to God!!!
 
So God gives to us, we receive and give to others! We are to give away what God has given to us! Don't just sit around and not share what God has given to you! I don't know about you but I find that I can not stop talking about Jesus, I am so blessed with His life and full and running over in thankfulness that I just have to share!!!!
 
Receive from God and Give to others, it's God's way!!!
 
in God's love and grace,
Howard 

12/18/2018 Rejoice in Christ which strengthenth!

Phl 4:10   But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
 
That's what we can do dear saint is REJOICE IN CHRIST WHICH STRENGTHENS US!!
 
Be content in every situation by resting in Christ! Paul says whether he is abased or abounds , full or hungry, suffering or  victory he is content in Christ! You see your circumstances are going to change but Christ never does! His love, His power, His forgiveness, His peace is in you! SO Rest in His love! Rest in His peace! Rest because you do not need, and are needy.... but already have LIFE IN YOU!  Learn to be content in Christ alone, in ALL circumstances!!!!
 
Like any relationship you have to spend time with that person. SO Spend time with Christ! Spend time praying and pouring your heart as well as receiving from Him! Spend time renewing your mind with truth for He is truth! Spend time reading His word which is Christ ,for He is the Word!!!
 
It takes time to get to know someone, so it takes time to grow and know and trust in Christ! BUT He never changes! His character has always been the same, Holy, righteous and loving!!!
 
Renew, Rest and Receive from God daily, by faith and be strengthen in Him so that His peace will fill you in mind and body!
 
Grace to you, today,
Howard 
 

12/17/2018 "Think" and "DO"!

Phil. 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
 
What a great way to say, Renew your mind, Put -on, dwell on, walk in and THINK!!!!.... Paul is saying the same things all the time in different ways!
 
"DO"! A two letter word, that is backed by a lot of powerful words! Paul is saying Jesus is True, Jesus is honest, Jesus is just, Jesus is pure, Jesus is lovely, Jesus is good, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!!! Jesus is all things and more so,... think, think, think.... renew, put on, tell yourself over and over and over  and by "DOING" these things, the God of peace which is already in you will manifest out of your heart, mind, emotions, and body! You will be appropriating what is already true, honest, just, pure and lovely in YOU!!!
 
Paul says Finally, meaning he is ending his letter to the church with these words and that is to THINK!
Think about Jesus, and give Him the praise and the glory!!!!
 
in Christ love,
Howard 
 
 

12/14/2018 Brethren, Beloved and Beautiful!!!

Phl 4:1  Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
 
I love the way Paul calls the church Brethren, Beloved and Joy and Crown! These words describe you and I in Christ as well! We that are saved and in Christ are brethren with Christ and each other!! We are dearly and deeply loved and therefore beloved in Christ!!! We are a priceless gem and have holy royal blood in us, from the King of kings!!! This is who you are dear Saint and never ever forget that!!!!
 
Paul goes on to say "be careful for nothing meaning, don't be anxious, fearful and worried but rather pray and be comforted in God's love! Be thankful for Christ and Christ alone! AND in so being thankful and faithful you will have the peace of God in your heart and mind!!! The number one thing people want is to have internal peace and that comes from internal security which only comes from knowing God's love, which was shown through Christ death and life!!!!
 
So be THANKFUL AND REJOICE, everyday and no matter what the situation is in life because you are in the BOOK OF LIFE IN CHRIST!!!! 
 
in the God of peace and love,
Howard 

12/12/2018 Who do you follow?

Phl 3:15  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
 
Paul encouraged the believers to follow him! To grow and mature in Christ by following him. Now Paul did not think that he was "a god" but that he wanted the church to follow him because he had been discipled by Christ himself. He knew what righteousness and faithfulness was, and he wanted them to know also. 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.
 
Personally I believe this is missing in the church today, the disciple part that is. The part were a more mature believer counsels and disciples another with the attitude of follow me as I follow Christ! Now of course as in all relationships there can be wrong motives for telling someone to follow them but over all that is not the case. Some people may say follow their pastor, but the pastor does not really know or spend time with them. It takes time to really get to know someone. When I hear pastors/counselors say they counsel 3x or 6x, and then there done, I think you can't even get to know someone in that time! I once heard a pastor say his mentor was a another (famous) pastor,  the problem I see is that the other pastor lived in another state, ( and this is before skype I might add...) They only saw each other once or twice a year. That's not discipleship! That's admiring someone for what they know or do, but not discipleship! Discipleship requires really getting to know someone and then teaching, rebuking and correcting what is wrong and encouraging repentance and reconciliation! It is exhorting someone to Christ in ALL situations, in ALL issues, in ALL relationships!!!
 
So Read the Word daily, walk by faith and find someone to follow,
just as we follow Paul who followed Christ!! 
 
in God's love,
Howard 
 

12/11/2018 Conformed and Transformed in Christ!

Phl 3:10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
 
We are conformed to Christ death and transformed into His life! We are transformed in Spirit and being transformed in Soul and Body! I often hear Christians say "I don't know what God's will"? "What does God want me to do"? Well Romans 12:2 says..." 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".
God's will is that every Christian, every saint, be transformed by the renewing of your mind! THAT IS GOD'S WILL FOR YOU!!
AND as we are transformed we deal with our past sins or issues in the NEWNESS of our Transformed Spirit and Mind!!! We forgive or we stop walking in shame and guilt of our past! We are not perfect after the flesh but there is a change in Spirit and therefore a change in mind and life! 
 
Walk in Faith, Walk after the Spirit and Renew your mind daily in WHO you are in Christ!!! You are a child of God who is deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven!!!
AND BE TRANSFORMED IN CHRIST!
 
in love and grace,
Howard 

12/10/2018 That you may "win" Christ!!

Phl 3:1  Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. 2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. 3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. 4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
 
I once had a man appeal to me to buy his book! It was all about how the 7th day advent church was so bad and how great his "new" church was, which was now Mormon! He said to me "that the 7th day advent people are sincere and zealous but you can be sincerely wrong for something too"! (just as he was going from one works based church to another...)!!!!
 
Paul was this way for Israel and the law! Sincere and zealous and IF any one had the right to brag and boast in their fleshly accomplishments it was Paul, but He said ALL His accomplishments were as dung!!! You see when we relies that our so called righteousness is nothing and we stop justifying and defending our selves and we receive Christ and His righteousness then and only then do we have true righteousness, true freedom and life! Only then can we feel secure and comforted! Only then can we see without a veil and live without restraints! Only then can we live without fear and know God's love!
Only then may we "WIN CHRIST"!!!! Win means to gain!!! We gain life over death! We gain freedom over bondage! We gain favor and fellowship over loss and loneliness! We gain everything in Christ eternally and internally!!!!
 
Notice Paul says that by having his own righteousness is by following the law, because it is his works unto the law! Only by faith can he or we come to the true righteousness of Christ because it is HIS WORKS, not our works!
 
Walk by faith, Read His word, and Live in Christ and WIN!!!!  
 
by grace only,
Howard 

12/5/2018 Be like minded and comfort one another!

Phil 2:19   But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. 20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. 22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. 23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. 25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. 26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. 27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: 30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
 
If you have ever been in a foreign country and did not understand the customs or language you may feel all alone! OR perhaps you have been camping with no one around for miles and you may feel scared and alone! One of the greatest things about the church is that it is  a body of believers and we are to comfort one another! Paul was comforted by Timothy's reporting and as Timothy also was to comfort the church, and the church comfort Timothy! Epaphroditus also was a fellow brother, companion and soldier in Christ and both of them acted somewhat like son's to Paul and Paul treated them like he was their father in Christ!
 
You see we need each other! We need to have a likeminded heart toward those who proclaim Jesus just as we do! We need to comfort and encourage one another! There seems to be even more resistance to the gospel of Christ so lift each other up and be there for one another. Don't be a Lone Ranger, go to a fellowship, hopefully that teaches the Word, and if not you share the word! It does not need to be formal, or at a church building it can be at work or at home but don't stay at home alone and listen to teachers on T.V. by yourself! Being with and knowing other Christians is what a body does! AND it is the way the church is to function!
 
If you don't go to some fellowship and can only complain or gripe about the church does this or the church does that, then I would say the problem is not the church but you!
 
Give yourself and receive from others! Giving and receiving is God's way!
 
loving you in Christ,
Howard 

12/4/2018 God's work is in you, so work "with" Him!

Phl 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. 17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
 
God lives in your Spirit and Has given you life in your Spirit! God's work is in Christ and Christ work is in you! You and I have salvation from that work, so "work" with God not against Him! BE willing to be willing! Be willing to submit to God's work which is transforming you from the inside, out! What is God's will for you, that you be transformed into His son, in which Spiritually has already happened!!! So mentally put your mind on that salvation, that life, that love, that liberty in which you already have!
 
No matter what the world thinks or outside pressures are around you, you have the choice to choose Christ! You have the freedom to focus on Christ and read His word and make Christ the preeminent place in your heart! 
 
God's GREAT PLEASURE is being YOUR FATHER! Let Him lead, love and live in you!
 
for God's love,
Howard 

12/3/2018 Let Christ's mind, be in You!

Phil 2:5   Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
 
Christ knew who He was, He was God!!! And so He was willing to come to earth as a man and reconcile the world to His Father! He was willing to be human, a servant and die on the cross and for being willing to do all that,.... God exalted Him!
 
We too need to be WILLING! We need to be willing to think and have this mind set of Christ, who was equal with God yet submissive to God! We are "IN SPIRIT" equal with God, because GOD lives in us! We are equal with God, because Christ lives in us! We are NOT equal with God in our flesh or in our humanity! So Spiritually we are,.... and so mentally we need to think, renew and remember, "WHO" lives in us and "WHO" we are "IN THEM" and that we too can "humbly" submit to them and serve man kind by sharing His gospel!!
 
Don't take a back seat to anyone mentally and emotionally because "YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD", but you can share or give that backseat to anyone, anytime!!!
 
You are "EXALTED" ALREADY DEAR SAINT IN CHRIST, so give God praise and thanks and declare
JESUS as LORD!!!!
 
to God be the Glory,
Howard 

11/30/2018 "THERE IS"....IN CHRIST!

Philippians 2:1  If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
 
What a great chapter this is! One of my all time favorites and I could easily have put half the chapter into one devotion but I won't!
 
Paul begins in verse 1, by say "If there be..."! Now he knows there is so this is not really a question, but he saying "there IS"!! There "IS" consolation in Christ, "There IS" comfort of love, "There IS" fellowship of the Spirit, There "IS" bowels and mercies.... which means to love with great affection and show mercy, kindness and compassion! In Christ and In Spirit there are always these things and more! So we want to walk by faith and show these things to one another!
 
One of my deepest concerns for the church today is that there are to many saints staying home and not fellowshipping with other Christians OR for that matter other people in general!  They watch on T.V. or on their computer and call that church! OH NO that is not church that is a teaching but not church! The church is a body that works with one another! It shows love, kindness and gives to one another! It is a "ORANISM" IN CHRIST, ALIVE  and MOVING, WORKING AND REACHING OUT....NOT just a teaching or building or a Lone Ranger at home!!!
 
The church needs to be with people, and hope fully be of the same mind and doctrine, but regardless of each persons personal belief or doctrine we need to be and share with others!!
 
Don't be  alone Lone Ranger but spend time with other believers on a weekly basis and spend time getting to know them. Small groups are best so you can share your issues, defeats, needs and prayer request! You can also share your victories, hopes and things you have learned over time! You can give your testimony and listen to other's testimonies and get to know them more intimately! 
 
When you grow in faith and knowing "WHO" you are you will want to share and give and this is what the "BODY OF CHRIST" is about!  The 5th "R" I teach is REACH, so reach out to others! This other person may be across the room in your own house, your spouse or child or it may be some one in the church or it maybe some one on the street, who does not know God at all!  But Reach out to others because you are already saved, secure and sanctified in Christ!!! You are a child of God who is deeply loved and completely forgiven....so Walk in Faith, Walk in Christ, and be bold and secure in Him!
 
for God's Glory always,
Howard 

11/29/2018 Stand in one Spirit and one Mind, by faith!

Phl 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake; 30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me.
 
Paul wanted to hear about how the church was doing! He wanted to hear about their struggles and their victories! He loved them and wanted to be there with them if he could but even if he wasn't he wanted to know how they were!
 
We should strive to be the same way with our families! Husbands talk with your wives', because women are more relational oriented so share with them your day and don't be so caught up in the results of work but in the relationship at home! They want to talk and hear how your day was. Also ask about them and listen to them, ask about their dreams and desires! Put the remote down and sit across from them, look them in the eyes and pay attention to what they are saying! Be interested in each other, and share everything with one another! 
 
The church should be the same way! Sharing life and spending time together! Not gossiping but sharing, helping and encouraging each other! Be interested in one another genuinely and try to be there for one another! 
 
Now the home and the church should seek to be one with one another. Now "one" does not mean that we all have to dress the same or like the same cars or football team, but it does mean that we should be one in Spirit! That we are saved and that Jesus is Lord of our lives! Some marriages may struggle because one spouse is not saved, but the church is always saved and one in Christ! We should strive in mind to remember that Jesus Christ died and rose and that by grace, through faith alone, we are saved! These are things that the church does need to be one in mind in!!
 
We should try to be submitted too one another with a heart of humbleness and want to minister to one another in love!
 
No need to fear man or eternity, for you are saved, sealed, secure in Christ and have a eternal life with God! Make the Word of God priority and walk in faith!
 
One in faith,
Howard 
 
 
 

11/28/2018 YOUR THE WINNER!!!

Phl 1:19  For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, 20 According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith; 26 That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again.
  
Oh Saints put this verse in your mind and heart! Get it deep down into your thinking!!! This Verse 21 is so good..."For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"!!!! Oh my what a great verse for us!  
 
We need to know this and have such faith in it, and let it build such great confidence and hope in it! "...TO DIE IS GAIN..."!!!! We all tend to cleave to life! We tend to think that life here on earth is all there is to life...and we want to stay as long as we can, but true life is IN CHRIST!, True life is in heaven! True life is in Spirit! When we hold onto this life, like a fist clinching onto something so tightly... we actually walk in fear! Most people fear pain, fear death, fear, fear, fear.....because fear and lust go together! If you covet, lust for something so much that you can't let go you are walking in fear! Paul wasn't afraid to die and we must not be either! 
 
Paul says ...to die is gain....! I don't know about you BUT I always like to win at what ever I am doing and being with Christ in heaven, is a WIN!!!
 
That if funny because Paul goes on to say that he needs to stay for the church,... for others but he would rather die! You see like I said I like to win, so to me this is a WIN- WIN situation!!! To die is GREAT, to stay is GREAT! We WIN either way!!!
 
OH REJOICE Dear Saints!!! your in a WIN-WIN GAME!!!!! READ, MEMORIZE AND DWELL ON IT BY FAITH!!! 
 
in prayer for you,
Howard 
 

11/27/2018 By faith, Preach Christ, even IN your circumstances!

Phil. 1:12  But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; 13 So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; 14 And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear. 15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: 17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
 
Oh how often we want to run from our troubles and find comfort and relief in some other thing besides Christ!
 
BUT Paul is saying hear in different ways that while he is in prison he is still renewing, and resting and finding comfort in God's love! He is saying that even in this tribulation he is sharing the gospel of Christ!
 
Even in our worst of times, we can walk by faith, renew our minds and we can minister and help others to know Jesus Christ!
 
Don't let your circumstance control you, read the word, walk by faith and receive from God and in that circumstance share Christ with others!
 
Preach and proclaim salvation, grace, peace and love through Jesus Christ!
 
as always in Christ and for you,
Howard 

11/26/2018 You are filled beleiver, with fruits of righteousness!

Phl 1:7-11 Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. 8 For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
 
Oh how Paul loved Jesus and the church! Oh how he loved serving Jesus! AND why because he understood grace! He knew who and how he was before being saved! He knew how Christ transformed his life and it was all because of God's grace! The church had become "partakers" of God's grace and now the fellowship was so different! The fellowship we have with other believers is so sweet! There is a saying that the blood of Christ is thicker and richer than the blood of family! And, That is saying a whole lot, if you think about it! Being on the same page, in the same book of life and values are important! Try talking to someone who does not have Christian values and you will struggle to get through a conversation, without being offended! Now sometimes we have struggles even with Christians on these same values but that should not mean you can not fellowship with them necessarily! Like any family there will be problems BUT the difference should be that we forgive, and submit in love and kindness rather than just trying to get our own way!!
 
We the believers have been justified by faith, by the blood of Christ and by grace, so we then are transferred by the spirit into Christ! We are "IN" CHRIST and CHRIST is "IN US"!!!! So we have in spirit everything that is righteous in Christ, in us! YOU are FILLED with the FRUIT of RIGHTEOUSNESS! The fruit that gives life! The fruit that gives peace! The fruit that gives security forever! The fruit that gives internal victory and freedom in Christ!!!!
 
So partake of this fruit, by renewing and resting in it! Tell your self the truth and become even more faithful in it's taste! GROW IN FAITH BY EATING RIGHTEOUS FRUIT!
 
for God's glory,
Howard 
 
 

11/23/2018 God's Good Work in You!

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: 2 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
 
We are starting a new book and of course going verse by verse! I want to encourage you to encourage others to join us in these devotions, by sending them a link and/or telling them about the web page and setting them up  to receive these daily devotions! My hope is that they minister to you all!
 
Now Paul once again gives His usual Grace and Peace opening in His letters and many times I think that we just read over them like any other introduction! Really though they are so important to realize that without grace there is NO peace and without receiving and believing God's grace we have to perform through life! We have to work to find our own significance and sadly that never ever comes!! So remember our peace comes through God's grace!! 
 
When Paul thinks back on the Philippian church He is filled with joy that they received and were committed to Christ! That they gave of themselves and wanted to help Paul give this gospel of grace to others who would receive and be saved!
 
He knew and had such confidence in them but even more in the God in which He served that God would complete His work in them! Now God has already done the work through Christ and now lives in us, but Paul is talking about the work to be completed in the soul! The work that the mind, will and emotions must do as it receives and walks in day by day! The Spirit of God is always working through our spirit and is feeding your mind, so be filled mentally by renewing your thoughts with His truth! The truth that you are completely forgiven and totally accepted and deeply, deeply, deeply Loved!!!!!! OH SAINTS, just dwell on that! Just sit and rest and receive that daily! God's work is your reward! God's work is to you, and all you have to do is receive, trust and say THANK YOU!
 
to God be the Glory,
Howard 

11/21/2018 Pray, be bold and share the mystery of the gospel!

Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
 
Paul asked for prayer and encouraged us to pray for each other! He wanted the saints to pray for the saints! Now we should be praying for each other, but not just so we can be healed or if something is wrong but even more that we would be encouraged and stand in the gospel of grace! That we would be bold and share the mystery of the gospel, that is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again to give His life to us! That we would keep our minds and hearts in the heavenly places and not be consumed with this earthly place and its circumstances!
 
Paul said he was a ambassador for Christ and we are too! A ambassador is one who acts and represents God! One who is sent to share and give understanding of who God is and what God wants! God wants you and me and all peoples to know and praise Him! He wants all people to be saved and to live and be with Him!
 
So be a ambassador for Christ and pray for ALL the Saints to do the same!
 
Peace, Love and Faith in Christ,
Howard 

11/20/2018 Let's get ready to RUMBLE!!!

Eph 6:10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
 
Our fight is not against each other necessarily but against Satan and unholy, unrighteous principles and authorities! Against those things that stand against God!  
 
Now we must take responsibility for our selves and "get ready to battle" against our own thoughts and flesh! We must take a honest look at our actions behaviors and thinking!! We must be willing to repent meaning have a change of mind, from what influences us after the flesh and be willing to put that off and put on Christ! Put on His righteousness, and His put on His love!
 
Notice in verse 11 it says put on the "WHOLE" armor meaning we can't forget anything or else we put ourselves in jeopardy!
 
For example.....Sometimes people will ask me about forgiving someone who has offended them! They may have went to the God and told the Lord that they forgive so and so.... and then they tell me they still are struggling with it! Now I take them back to the process of everything and we walk through the process again! I say "what is the first R"? "Repent from sin... and they say "OH I did not do that"! You see when we are offended by someone, we too react and most of the time we are hurt and then get mad, angry or vengeful! Our fleshly reaction to the offence is sin too and needs to be looked at also!!! Sometimes they forgive but forget the 2nd R and that is to Renew!! Renew their minds, and Rest in God's love, acceptance and forgiveness....!!!! SO you see we must put on the "WHOLE" armor or we will be vulnerable to attack again and again!! We need to Put-On truth, righteousness, faith  and receive peace as well as give back with the Word, and use your sword, which is your only offensive weapon! 
 
Lastly Paul tell us to STAND! STAND and when we have done everything to STAND then STAND! STAND in Christ! STAND in His righteousness! STAND UP for God and God's word! STAND in His Love!!        
 
STAND, STAND, STAND, AND LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!
 
 
Standing in Christ,
Howard 

11/19/2018 Give your heart fully to God!

Eph 6:1  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: 8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.
 
Some GREAT "to do" verses that show us what our walk should look like if we walk by our worth in Christ! We will walk in submission to God and receive from Him and in turn will work hard for our employee and obey our parents!!!
 
ALL of this starts with verse 5  which says to do it with "singleness of heart and doing the will of God from the heart"! If we will keep focused on walking by the Spirit, giving thanks unto God through Christ we will work hard for others and respect authority!
 
Tell yourself today that "I am a child of God who is deeply loved" and as I receive from Him, I will give my all to others! Walk in grace and love and be "thankful" for you are deeply loved! 
 
to God's Glory,
Howard 

11/15/2018 Submission, a mission of God's Glory!

Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
 
Some of the most talked about and misused scripture especially by men! Husbands love these verses and women struggle with them!
 
If we really understood scripture especially in this context it would be so much easier! Christ is the head of the church and we the body submit to Him! Now the reason we can submit to Him if we get past our fleshly desire is that HE HAS DONE THE WORK!!! Jesus died, rose and saves by giving! Jesus is the worker the church just follows! Jesus is the anchor we just float you might say! The only hard part is being willing!
 
Now the same way for the women, and notice I said women! There is no male to male or female to female here! This is one reason why homosexual marriage is sin! WHO IS IN AUTHORITY! WHO FOLLOWS, WHO SUBMITS TO WHOM!!
 
So if we men would do the Work and Wash our Wives with the Word, it would help our wives to follow, submit as well as "feel" important! Now ladies you have a part too, especially if the husband is failing in reading and washing them with the word! Wives need to depend even more on Christ, and more on Christ love!
 
By the way just to reemphasize what I said before, is that the most intimate thing a husband can do for his wife is READ THE WORD TO HER!!! Set up a daily reading time for you both as well as for your children and read to them!! 
 
Submission means to give up your will for God's will, and in that weakness, God's glory is revealed even more! SUBMISSION IS A MISSION OF GOD'S GLORY!
 
Submit to God and allow His mission to be shown in your marriage! 
 
in God's love,
Howard 

11/14/2018 Walk Wisely Saints!

Eph 5:12  For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. 18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
 
In the book of John, John calls Jesus "the Light"! Because Jesus is light, there is no darkness and therefore no sin! Sin is dark and hides and never wants to be exposed! But because we have "THE LIGHT" in us we are called to expose sin, not ignore or hide it!!! Only when sin is exposed can we deal with it properly and that is through the cross! Those who do not want to admit to their sin are still trying to be "good" enough on their own efforts and self righteousness!
 
We are to walk in life! As I said in yesterdays devotion we know our worth from Ephesians 1-4 and now Paul says to walk! Keep walking even when you forget your worth. Keep walking as much as you can and when you fail, remember your "worth"!!!
 
Now I want to touch on a few things that I believe to many Christians  struggle with! They don't want to live by legalism, so they tend to think they can do what ever they please, which they can and do! But let me just say that while Christians may drink alcohol, (not under law...) it is always a bad testimony, especially in public! People who are not Christians or who are young will tend to look at you and you will have hurt them in your actions and behavior! Your word and Christian life is now on trial!  In todays time it also only takes 1 drink to begin to make you feel good and drunk, NOT SOBER,.... And the bible calls us to be of sober mind ALWAYS!!  So I would encourage ALL Christians to not drink alcohol! If you can not go without it, than perhaps it controls you to begin with! Let us Love and be wise in our testimony unto one another!!!! 
 
Finally, and again be thankful always and
Keep walking in His Light, His Life, His Love! 
 
grace my friends,
Howard 
 

11/13/2018 Go for a "walk" with your Father!

Eph 5:1   Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
 
To be a follower of God you must first be "IN" God, through Christ!  So first we must be made a "NEW CREATURE", that is regenerated and alive in Christ! Verse 1 is talking about the mind and daily putting on aspect of the believers life! While The Spirit of God is in us, we still need to think, choose and receive with our minds what is true about us in Spirit!
 
The first 3-4 chapters of Ephesians is telling us our "WORTH" in Christ, Now Paul tells us to WALK in Christ! Just like a child who walks behind a parent and perhaps even mimic their mom or dad, we too are to follow God as children of His!!! 
 
Now GOD IS LOVE!! So it is normal for us to mimic "WHO" GOD IS! We have LOVE IN US, because we have GOD IN US! Most Christians try to hard and go outside the boundaries  of God's design by trying to be "more" loving and accepting everyone, rather than staying with in God's boundaries of love that is already in you! When believers go beyond God's boundaries as the church has already we see things like homosexual priest, marriages and the acceptance and even the approval of this sin!
 
While God is love we are not to condone perverseness or sin, in fact we are called to expose it!
 
God is love and God lives in you so keep renewing your mind and walk in His worth and you will follow God!
 
to God be the glory,
Howard 
 

11/12/2018 FAILURE, FAITH AND FORGIVENESS!

Eph 4:25  Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 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. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
 
Here we see Paul giving us standards to live by! Now these standards are not something that we can lose our salvation by but rather the standard of love and respect for others! They are the boundaries that are set for the church as well as society to fellowship together, as one!
 
I always like to ask people "when does a thief stop being a thief"? When He stops being "self" centered and be comes Christ centered and a giver to others! He no longer covets for selfish reasons but begins to share, work and contribute to the needs of the Body! Sadly we have a lot of thief's in our families and church's! There are lots of ways to steal and covet in families and church! We may steal by coveting attention, appreciation and affection! We talk to much and want everyone to love us! Or we just leave, check out and hide mentally, emotionally and even physically!!! So a thief stops being a thief when his internal spirit, heart and mind is transformed and no longer covets and begins to be a giver and not a taker!
 
ALL of us will do these things to some degree at some point, so Paul ends this with the understanding that we are to forgive others because we too have already been forgiven!
 
This brings me to another important point! When Christ went to the cross His blood sacrifice was for all man kind for ever! Now if man's sin's are taken care of there is only one thing left for man to do and that is "BELEIVE"! To trust in and believe that Jesus did die for our sins and rose to give us His life! A "exchanged" life! His for ours, the righteous for the unrighteous! So knowing that you are already forgiven and that He paid the price over 2000 years ago, we should "THANK HIM", not keep asking for forgiveness, but live in and stand on that fact!!!!! To keep asking for something you already have is not faith and "is" self centered not Christ centered! Your forgiveness is not based on you asking for forgiveness but upon your believing in what He did 2000 years ago!  
 
Tell your self daily " In Christ I am a child of God who is completely forgiven"!!! When you sin, just admit it  to yourself and to God! Now I want to make something clear ...You are not forgiven because you admit it either, but you are just acknowledging and talking in prayer to God! You are not forgiven by confessing but rather again being honest with yourself and turning in heart and mind and by faith toward God, "thanking Him" and resting emotionally in His love!!! When we keep asking "for" forgiveness, even for a second we are saying "I need something I don't have...and I am so guilty, I "hope" you will forgive me..."! There is some doubt and question in our thoughts!  You see when we ask we are acting as if we are still under guilt and shame and going to receive some punishment and therefore fear our loving God and Father!!! NO, NO, He loved us before we were born and accepts us now, so run to Him and stop walking in shame , guilt and fear!!!! 
 
to God be the glory,
Howard 

11/9/2018 Think and Put-on God's love for you!!!

Eph 4:17    This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
 
The reason why the world does not know Christ as their Lord and Saviour is not because God did not want them but because of their ignorance and arrogance! The hearts are blinded and mind darken because of PRIDE!!!
 
BUT WE who are saved have submitted too and have put faith "IN" Jesus Christ! We who are saved have trusted in His truth , His death, HIS LIFE!!!! We who are saved can Put-off our sin and Put -on Christ! We can Put off our sinful desires and have a change of mind-will and emotions and in turn Put -on God's love, God's heart and God's mind! The bible says "we have the mind of Christ"! That means that we have in Spirit His attitudes, His sensitivity, His understanding of spiritual things! We have His desire spiritually to be Godly, now all we have to do is THINK!!!! I always say the biggest problem with Christians is that they don't "think"!! We have to renew our minds over and over!!! We have to "think" about what scripture says about God, Jesus and who they are! We need to "think" about who they are "IN US" and who we are "IN THEM"! We need to constantly "think" and PUT ON GOD'S LOVE!
 
Here is a good saying to constantly tell your self, "I am a child of God who is deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven ,in Christ"!!!  The bible talks about many things, but when you sum it all up into a very general way it is GOD'S BOOK OF LOVE TO US! A LOVE BOOK TO YOU!!!
THINK, THINK, THINK, about how much GOD LOVES YOU SAINT!!!! 
 
God Loves you and never ever forget that! It is receiving, refreshing and resting in His love, in every situation and all day long that brings about a transformed life! A secure and confident lifestyle! And a peace filled mind, without anxiety or fear!
 
In God's love,
Howard 
 
 

11/8/2018 Perfecting the Saints, for the work, to Edify!

 Eph 4:10   He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
 
I use to pastor a church and we used another church's building for our fellowship. When you left the parking lot, there was a sign that said "you are now entering the mission field"! I love that and that is so true!!
 
 
Pastor and Teachers are given to teach and encourage the saints, so that "they" the saints are perfected, or another  word might be prepared... to do the work! So many Christians think that it is the pastor-teacher who does all the work but while they do work, really it is for the saints to go and to do the work of the ministry out in the world!

This is why teachers need to be good at what they do so that the trickle down affect will affect the church, and so that the Body of Christ will grow, mature and share Christ in the real world! The real world ...Meaning the secular world and work place, such as your neighbors, friends and family!  
 
This is why I also believe so strongly in Christian counseling and discipleship! Teaching and counseling one on one helps a person to look at themselves correctly, taking that honest appraisal of themselves and to see their true heart motive! They will also understand their identity faster, be transformed and walk in Godliness! They will be equipped than to teach, disciple and counsel others!
 
Paul's said 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 to Timothy, Timothy to faithful men and faithful men teacher others.... 4 generations per say of working itself down.
 
I would say that the average church and Christian today can not disciple even one person on their own.This is why church's need to do more one on one than "big" group meetings! Even many small groups are better than 1 big one each week! Big group meetings are great for gathering more people and having a bigger church... but not for in depth personal growth and Godliness! We have sacrificed a great amount over big, fame and prestige for true personal Godliness as well meaningful relationship with Christ and each other!
 
The Body of Christ is to edify, meaning to support, teach, build and train itself in GODLINESS!!!! Not just knowledge!!! Knowledge actually puffs up, by itself... and if you look around you will see a lot of puffed up church's and Christians! The Body is to love one another and loving means correcting as well as teaching, training as well as rebuking! Just as in a family there needs to be parents who love, comfort an accept one another there also needs to be rebuking, correction and sometimes discipline! Not just corporate discipline but one on one discipline!!
 
Get one on one ministry and begin to grow, so that
you can edify the Body of Christ in Godliness!
 
in God's grace, by faith
Howard

 

11/7/2018 The Doctrine of One!!!

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. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
 
Like so many of my daily devotions I could write a book on each day, but try to limit them to a short devotion! These verses I could easily go on forever it seems!
 
Now I believe that these verses show us the Doctrine of One! They tell us which we should also tell the world, that there is only One God, and He is our Father! The One creator of all things and the Father of our One Lord, Jesus Christ! There is no other way to heaven, so there is only One Hope and no other way to eternal security but through Jesus Christ! By that one hope and calling comes One Baptism of One Spirit into our spirit making us Holy, complete and righteous! We are then joined to One Body, the Body of Christ, which give us communion with Him and the church!
 
Now notice I said One Baptism, that should not be overlooked and ignored! The only baptism necessary for today is the Spiritual baptism! By that baptism we are regenerated, and made into a "New Creature"! We are made into a Spiritual being and alive spiritually in Christ! We are now children of God and deeply loved, totally accepted and completely forgiven! We are made holy, whole, and sanctified in Christ! Our dwelling is in heaven with Christ now, and so we are justified, reconciled and righteous in the Beloved! So do not get caught up in water baptism but only in the spiritual baptism is their life!
 
If you have children or loved ones and your church teaches water baptism, teach them that it is a heart, A FAITH matter not a external but a internal difference and that they do not "HAVE" to be baptized to be saved! Now most protestant churches would say you do not need to be water baptized in order to be saved but for obedience sake you need to be water baptized! Now last time I checked if you are doing something for obedience sake and "do not do it"  then it is called "Disobedience"!! That would mean that  you sinned, and  that is not the case with water baptism and to add.... you have just put someone under "false guilt"! NOW THAT IS SIN!! Now if a person wants to get water baptized it does not mean they are Not saved, nor are they sinning as long as they are NOT putting their faith into the baptism but only Christ! They may be weak in understanding or just desire to be water baptized but it does nothing as far as eternal salvation or obedience!!
 
Remember the doctrine of ONE and that you are "IN" the One Father, One Lord and One Spirit!!
 
as always, in Christ, in grace, by faith,
Howard 
 

11/6/2018 Rooted in Love!

Eph 3:17  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
 
Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
 
God is Love! So the more we understand God's love for us the more we mature! Just like the roots of a tree that go deeper in the ground as it is watered and therefore become more stable and secure! The tree does not fall over and does not move with every wind that comes along! The tree bears good fruit and that is what happens to us when we understand God's love for us!
 
We begin to walk in a worthy matter when we understand God's love! The righteousness of God through Christ which is already in us by the spirit then begins to manifest it's self outwardly through our actions and behavior!
 
When saints come to me for counseling, I tell them "I do not do behavior modification"! In other words I am not going to help you "do just" the right things or say the right things! Because your heart,... the very inside of you is just the same! I am going to share and lead you to Christ love and to His Word which transforms you from the inside out! God's love is what transforms us! Now when I say God's love, I also mean by His Spirit and His Word which are both telling of and showing His love! The Spirit of God "IS" His Character and the Word of God is His message and both confirm HIS LOVE!!!
 
There is no limit to how deep and wide the roots can go,... so all of us can keep growing in God's love!       Read His Love, Rest in His Love, and allow His worth to be your worth and walk in His love!
 
Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace,
Howard 
 

11/4/2018 God's Eternal Purpose in Christ!

Eph 3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. 13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory. 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
 
God's eternal purpose is in Christ and He was in the beginning with God! It is this purpose, that is predestinated and that man would be saved through Christ! It is and has always been that God would provide away for man to be saved and justified through Him!
 
So this wisdom that is talked about here is heavenly, spiritual and powerful! It is God himself! And because He lives in us and we in Him we can be bold without fear and confident in Him! We are strengthen, comforted and more than adequate to share this gospel! We do NOT NEED approval or the acceptance from man! We do not need to fear man or seek their appreciation! We can be who we are in Christ  and do not need to put on a façade of having it all together nor one who is needy! 
 
We can share from our own testimonies and share easily this simple gospel message! That Christ died for our sins and rose to give us His life, and by faith you can be saved!
 
Be BOLD and CONFIDENT dear Saint, in CHRIST, for you are apart of the family of God!!! 
 
in grace and love,
Howard 
 

11/2/2018 Fellowship of the Mystery!

Eph 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
 
As I said in yesterday's devotion, that this mystery is not one or two new things but a whole "NEW CREATION" as far as the church, salvation and Body are concerned! The Mystery is not only that gentiles now are apart of the same body as Jews and "in" Christ! But it is, "A PART" of the mystery! No more division between men, no nation, race or Law... but rather ALL MEN, now have the opportunity to be saved and apart of Christ!
 
Notice that Paul says again that this mystery was NOT KNOWN before! So many believers want to live in the prophecy program that is given to Israel! They think it sounds spiritual and that their is some sort of mysticism to it! It is funny though you would think that the program/church called the "mystery" would have the so called mysticism but it does not! The mystery has at its very core, the Cross, reconciliation and justification through Jesus Christ! At its core everything is done and as Jesus said at the cross "IT IS FINISHED"!!! Only in the mystery will you know for sure if you are saved, secure and sealed in Christ!!!GRACE is shown, given and through the mystery! Grace to ALL MEN is extended!! 
 
Calvinists want you to believe that God "chose" you but not others, but if that is true, ask a Calvinist if they are saved and they will not be able to say with confidence that they are! WHY because it is not based on the finish work of Christ and by faith but rather on the choosing of God before time began, and know one knows who He chose, which is the "prophecy" program through Israel! That's not faith, Saint's, that's mysticism and hope at best! That's based on guess work and being irresponsible, not "in"  faith and being responsible! The only way to know who is saved under Calvinism is by works,... hmmmm, sounds like being back under Law and prophecy again, doesn't it!
 
Don't be fooled by these types of teachings and church's! Read, study and get grounded in the "FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY" under Paul's ministry! By the way notice again it says for "ALL MEN" to see!!! This is what we are to teach, share and give to the world! ALL MEN means that ALL MEN may be saved by grace through faith, it is their decision! IT IS EXTENDED TO THEM AND it IS a FREE WILL CHOICE!!
 
in Christ,
Howard 
 

11/1/2018 The Mystery Program of God!

Eph 3:1   For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;...
 
The Mystery was never foretold! The prophets of the old testament did not know or understand about this because they could not foresee Israel's disobedience in rejecting the coming messiah! They looked over into the heavens like looking at the top of a mountain but missing the valleys!
 
Now the Mystery has many facets to it! It is a whole "NEW CREATION", by God! It is a revelation, a fellowship and it contains many aspects! It is heavenly, spiritual and internal! While the prophecy program was to Israel, the mystery is a body primarily of gentiles! It is Christ body and His church for today!
 
When reading the bible you would better off understanding it and dividing between the Prohecy and Mystery verses then the Old and New covenants which are both to Israel! The Mystery program is for today and again we get our identity, our worth and our doctrine from it! There is a difference and it is important!
 
Read over and over and understand the Mystery and the dispensation of grace for today through Paul's books, Romans -Philemon and you will grow in and be secure in His grace!
 
with love,
Howard 

10/31/2018 "BUT NOW"!!!

Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
 
As I have said in the last two devotions that this Chapter 2 of Ephesians is a timetable of Life! Paul is telling us that there are three different time zones if you will. "Time past", "ages to come" and  "BUT NOW"!!!
 
This "But Now" is the most important! It is for us today! It is predominantly gentiles and it is the time of grace! "BUT NOW" also has significance because it is such a radical change in so many things from the old covenant and even the New covenant which both were given to Israel! In it contains the books that Jesus gave to Paul! Those books are Romans- Philemon and are for us today! They contain our doctrine, position and purpose! They contain our worth, walk and work in Christ, as we are NOW in Christ! This dispensation, (time period, and dispensing of grace period) is to ALL man kind and has no nationality, sex or race! There is no law in the sense of Levitical priesthood, temple or ordinances to do! There is only ONE Spirit, ONE body, ONE man! Gentiles are no longer strangers, aliens or lost needing someone like Israel to show them God, but are able to come to Jesus by faith on their own! Christ CROSS is at the center of our salvation and sanctification! Our place and citizenship is in heaven not earth! It is a SPITIURAL work and not a man made, earthly work!  It is so GREAT and WONDERFUL that many can not accept it, but it is true none the less!!!
TODAY is  the DAY of FREEDOM in CHRIST, BY GRACE, through FAITH!!!!
 
BE THANK FULL, and PRAISE HIM FOREVER!! 
 
in grace,
Howard 

10/30/2018 For by grace you are saved!

Eph 2:7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
 
In yesterday's devotion I mentioned that this 2nd chapter in Ephesians is a great chapter showing us God's timetable of life! In the 2nd verse we saw "time past", and in verse 7 here, we see, "ages to come"! Now in the ages to come we will see all of God's plan for man which is spelled out here as well as in the books given to Israel, Hebrews through Revelations!
 
Now it is important to grasp the meaning of verse 8, which says "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works.....! Salvation is the gift given, and it is given by grace! We can not work for it! We can not earn it! ALL we can do is receive it by faith!!!! So salvation is by grace, through faith!  
 
Yet so many believers after receiving then go on a performance trip and still try to earn God's respect and favor by works! They try hard to NOT sin! They try hard to "BE GOOD ENOUGH"! Salvation and Sanctification (meaning to purify, cleanse and be separated in Holiness.....) is all by receiving, not doing!
 
Now we must understand that there will be fruit, and by that I mean action or works that are produced from this receiving but it is not created by external works but by internal faith first! This is what was meant by Paul using the term "good works" in verse 10!
 
Again we see the term "time past" used in verse 11, to describe to us gentiles how we were from the beginning!  We were aliens and strangers from God with no hope and with no chance at knowing God except through Israel! This is why the bible talks about those gentiles who followed and became proselytes of Israel! Not natural born Jews but gentiles who believed in their God! We gentiles were called "the" uncircumcised and Jews were called "the" circumcision!
 
You are saved by grace, through faith, so receive, rest and renew your mind in
GOD'S GREAT LOVE FOR YOU! 
 
as always in grace,
Howard 
 
 

10/29/2018 Made Alive in Christ!!

Eph 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
 
As most of you know I go verse by verse through Paul's epistles! In Chapter 2 of Ephesians Paul shows us a timetable of the gentiles! It gives us the understanding of the dispensation in which we are in today! Now we begin to see in  these verses 1-6, a time period called "TIME PAST"! Now in "time past" we were dead and lost children of wrath! We were not apart of Israel and therefore we were without God and Godliness and we needed Israel to show us who God was!
 
BUT GOD, who is RICH in mercy and took such great strides to show us His mercy, reached down to us and gave us His love! He showed us His love, through Jesus! He showed us His grace and gave us Life, apart from the nation of Israel! Apart from the Law, ordinances and traditions of Israel!  
 
We are born dead in sin, and only through faith in Christ works do we have life! God then allowed us to be "IN CHRIST" "IN HEAVEN" with HIM!!!! OH how GREAT  is GOD'S LOVE!!
 
LOVE is God's security blanket around us! Put on that blanket, and you will "feel" secure, and whole, child of God! In every situation and issue in your life, you can put on God's love and "feel" and be secure so that no matter what the outcome you will have the victory!!! God's love is the way He connects to us! The way we grasp and sense and feel comforted in Him! The way we are mentally and emotionally whole and healthy!
 
Tell your self daily, minute by minute , "I am a child of God who is DEEPLY LOVED IN CHRIST"! 
Believe it, receive it, rest in it, and you will mature as a believer in Christ!
 
always in God's love,
Howard 

10/26/2018 The church is the "body of Christ"!

Eph 1:20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
 
Christ church is CHRIST! Christ church is His "body"! Christ church are the genuine, faith and spirit filled believers! It is not a denomination or building or temple or anything else, but human beings in Christ!  So keep that in mind that if you have a bible study,... it is the church coming together! If you have a home fellowship,... it is a church fellowship!
Now some pastors will say that a bible study is not a church, or it does not function like a church! BUT I would disagree! They might say that the body is not functioning as one in certain ways, but I would say do you think that ANY church has 100% agreement and functioning as one, NO! So the church are people who are in Christ Body! They did not have a so called "programs" in the early church, they just ministered to the "body"!
The Body of Christ allows Christ to function through them and lead them! The Body needs to remember that Christ is above ALL POWERS of AUTHORITY on earth as well as heaven! Now if we are IN HIM, we also have certain amount of authority, meaning we do not need the approval of man to have security! But rather we know our WORTH, and therefore WALK and can WORK in this world through the Holy Spirits guidance and in turn share this LIFE GIVING GOSPLE WITH MAN!
 
You are a "CHILD OF GOD", and apart of HIS BODY, so LIVE as if YOU ARE!
NO FEAR, NO SHAME, NO GUILT! 
JUST the POWER OF THE LIVING LORD, JESUS CHRIST IN YOU!!!
 
as always to encourage you,
Howard 
 

10/25/2018 God's inheritance Given to YOU!

Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
 
Now God has delivered ALL that Wisdom and Knowledge through Christ and through the Holy Spirit, into our Spirit already! AND all that wisdom and knowledge is found in Christ and Spirit and in scripture, so what Paul is saying is that we need to receive with our minds what is already in our Spirit!!!  That we would understand in hope the riches of what we have already in Christ! That we would  experience His power, which is in Christ!
Now to understand, know and live in that power means we need to understand that we have everything Christ has and we have that same power, wisdom and revelation in us!
 
The problem with most Christians is 1. they aren't Christians! BUT 2. IF they are they don't understand, and walk in confidence in their PLACE, POSITION and PURPOSE in Christ!!!! which has POWER!! Now I am not talking about a super natural power to heal or speak in tongues kind of power! NO I am talking about a SUPER NATURAL power of Christ with in us, to be bold, confident and secure daily in our walk regardless of our circumstances!!! While people may say that is not anything super naturally great....
then why does the world try so hard to get people, kids and everyone to think that way!
 
WE ARE THAT WAY ALREADY,DEAR SAINT!!! WE have the security in Christ , in heaven forever! We have the hope of eternal life forever! We have the Wisdom of God now and forever! We have the Riches of a eternal God which we can never lose! We have all this and more which is above ALL POWERS, PRINCIPLES, AND PLACES  ON EARTH!!!
 
WE have ALL this NOW! SO lets give Him the PRAISE HIM!!!! 
 
for God's Glory,
Howard 

10/24/2018 Trust in Christ and be saved, sealed and secure in Him!

Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. 15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
 
In order to be saved we first had to hear the "word of truth"! That word is also called Jesus!
In John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
 
By hearing the truth we now have a choice to make to either trust in or not! To trust "in",  means to have "hope in"! Our hope and faith is in what Christ did at the cross! That He died for my sins and rose to give me life over death! By trusting in, God's Holy Spirit enters our spirit and seals us in Him! We are now "in Christ"! We are now saved! We are now secure for ever in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!!! Now by spirit we are in Him but there will come a day when our whole spirit, soul and body will be together with Him!
 
Now first things first and the most important is that our spirit is one with His Spirit! Notice I said our spirit, not just our soul!! Our soul houses are intellect, our minds and thinking! We may know a lot about God, or Jesus and His death, but we may have never trusted totally, completely with our lives! This is the difference between a saved person and a person who just has information about God! Who perhaps is not saved but has went to church his whole life for example! They may know the historical Jesus but not trusted in the life giving, Christ!
 
There is no part time life in Christ! You either are saved or not! If you have never given your life and trusted in His, than I encourage you to do so!
 
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 
CHRIST IS LIFE, PUT YOUR HOPE AND TRUST IN HIM! 
 
in hope,
Howard 
 
 
 
 

10/23/2018 God's predestined PURPOSE, fulfilled in Christ!

Eph 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
 
Since we have been redeemed, which means to be ransomed or to be freed by payment, we are now forgiven of ALL our sins! Now this is a unbelievable act on behalf of God through Jesus, to pay the price for ALL of our sins. Under the law, blood needed to be shed in order to pay and for sins to be atoned for! Christ blood has been shed once and for ALL sins! So that means that our past-present and future sins are paid for! With that understood and knowing that it was His blood, His works at His cross over 2000 years ago, why do Christians keep begging and asking for forgiveness? What that says is that Christ works was not sufficient for all but just the ones we confess, or beg for..... OH NO!!!! They are sufficient for ALL sins, so by faith I accept and believe that His blood paid for all my sins and therefore repent, (which means "have a change of mind") , each time I sin and Renew my mind in that fact all the time and then say THANK YOU! Thank you says I believe, I have faith in what you did, and Thank you brings freedom from a performance oriented life! 
He also has let us know His divine predestined purpose! His purpose was that all men who by faith and trusted in Christ for their salvation may be one in Christ forever!  It is this purpose that was predestined not certain individuals and others excluded! God's purpose from the beginning was all based in Christ, for Christ!
 
Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
 
You were redeemed and forgiven by the GREAT CREATOR through JESUS CHRIST, WHO is above ALL things, ALL KINGS, ALL POWERS, ALL AUTHORITY!!!!
PRAISE HIM TODAY, SAINTS!!!! and give HIM THANKS!!!!
 
in Christ love,
Howard 
 

10/22/2018 God always wanted you!

 Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: 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: 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, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
 
God always wanted man to be with Him! He always wanted and desired that man be as he was before Adam sinned! Before the fall of man, Adam was perfect, holy and blameless unto God, but he chose to be independent and find significance on his own! Eve was deceived and Adam gave into this deception and tried to be his own god!
 
BUT here in Ephesians Paul says that God always wanted us! He says God, chose and predestined man to be with Him through His son Jesus! That he would accept us by adoption through Jesus! That we would be Holy, Blameless and  stand before Him in LOVE! God blessed you dear faithful one, with every Spiritual blessing there is, and placed you in the heavens with Christ and IN CHRIST! We can not be any more blessed than that! To add it was GOD'S GREAT AND GOOD PLEASURE TO DO IT!!!!!
Give God Praise and Thank Him and GIVE GOD THE GLORY!!!!! 
 
for God's glory,
Howard 

10/19/2018 Not Law or tradition but a "NEW CREATURE"!

Gal 6:11  Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand. 12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ. 13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. 14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. 16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God. 17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. 18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
 
One of Paul's distinctions is that he wrote and signed his epistles himself, all though he did have help as his eye sight got worse! Which also leads me to another interesting thing is that physical healing was needed in Jesus earthly ministry to distinguish Jesus, but not so much now in Paul's time or our times! While physical healing can occur, the need for it to show Christ is not the predominate thinking but rather the cross of Christ and salvation by faith! Paul says in verse 14 that he glories in the cross, not in anything fleshly! We too should glory in the cross, and not focus on the flesh as much! The Spiritual realm is a higher realm than the fleshly, earthy and worldly realm!! So focus on it, and don't get caught up on the law which again is focused on performance based and earthly principles! Paul's says that those who want you to follow the law can't follow it themselves but they want to boast in the fact that they convinced you into doing it!
 
Now with that said, I want to comment on something that may hurt some of you but I think it needs to be said! There are certain Christian church's and denominations they exercise more law, more orthodox, more traditions than others and therefore are in a sense bringing you back under the Law! Don't just go to a church building or a  denominational fellowship for the sake of going, check them out! See what they believe and look at sometimes the most obvious things that you see! IF your pastor or speaker wears robes, reads prayers and you repeat after them, that is a obvious thing to consider! They are not walking under the Spirit but tradition! That is not grace but Law! That is not freedom but bondage! 
 
Be aware and awake because you are no longer in bondage to fear, law or tradition but you are
a "NEW CREATURE"  IN CHRIST!!!
 
always in grace,
always by faith,
Howard 
 

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