Tag Archives: Ephesians

How’s Your Hinges today?

chick labor

There are days when I write that I think I’m writing to read what I have to say. Then I am reminded of the preachers of little country churches who preach Sunday after Sunday to a house of  a half dozen filled seats and a dozen or so good intentions who didn’t show up; it is then that I count it a privilege to have a place that I can share what God speaks to my heart. Every soul that reads the words I write, and are encouraged by my thoughts are soldiers in the field of battle that I’ve had the opportunity to support. God knows each one and I’m encouraged by that. It still however does not stop me from counting and complaining. For myself as a writer and speaker, and for the Pastors that labor and study to fill the pulpit on Sunday, preaching to more air than mass.

Ecclesiastes 12:8-11

Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity. And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs. 10 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd.

It reminds me of that song “I’m working on a Building.”

Church attendance is not proof of salvation, but the lack of church attendance is evidence of commitment issues. If people attended work like they do church they’d be fired. And before you say that you have to work to survive and pay bills, let me call to remembrance the scripture in Ephesians 2:17-22 (speaking of Jesus)

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.

Sunday is the day we go to the hardware store! While that job that pays the bills is important for survival and filling your house with the necessities of life therein, it’s a temporary housing unit for life. Our permanent dwelling isn’t finished yet. (Lest we’d be in it!) And the building material necessary for that life is found in the house of God and in the Word of God.

Solomon said that all was vanity. We spend so much time living for ourselves that we forget our real purpose. Solomon the preacher was wise and taught the people. The people were wise in that they showed up! He reminded them that this life is short… James 4:14 says ~ It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

The words of the wise (the preacher) are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. He’s talking about the building, that’s us! Paul in verse 22 of Ephesians said “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:” That’s the church! The men and women of God who share His word have got the construction material for you to build your house, and if you don’t  show up at the hardware store on Sunday, and read and study His Word the rest of the week, your doors may fall off the hinges, or your pipes might break! The preacher is a goad… it doesn’t sound very flattering but I hope I’m a goad to. Someone that pokes you and prods you into living closer to cross of Christ. That was the first thing He built for us… and then He died on it. So that we could live in this house of flesh and serve Him where we are.

Glory to God! I’m workin’  on a buildin’, I’m workin’ on a buildin’, I’m workin’ on a buildin’ for my Lord, for my Lord!

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours

CHICK SEAL

If that headline caused you to break out in song or bust a move, you’re either a lover of the oldies, or you’re an oldie. Although I was only 8 years old when Stevie Wonder released that song, it was still quite popular in my teenage years, so as I studied Revelation 7 for my teen class this morning, my ol’ fleshly mind couldn’t help but go back to that song. No, I didn’t bust a move, but in my mind’s eye I did go back to the 70’s when love and I were young. But reality soon kicked me back to 2015 and what caused me to reminisce is now in the forefront of my mind, and that is the fact that I have been signed, sealed and delivered, GLORY TO GOD! for almost 20 years.

Revelation 7:3-4 speaks of the 144,000 of the tribes of the children of Israel, servants of God, sealed in their foreheads and protected from the wrath that’s being poured out on the earth. The last evangelist team on earth. But what about the one before that? You know… us! We don’t have a seal in our forehead, but if we’ve accepted Christ as our Savior but we have one across our heart that declares we are children of the living God. That should cause us to bust a move and do a little holy dance across the floor this morning.

Ephesian 1:13 says ~

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,

There it is – Signed, sealed and delivered! The promise of God that we are sealed by the providence of God that regardless of what happens in this world, nothing happens to us without God’s stamp of approval and for His glory.

You better believe in the hour that Revelation 7 is being played out, when all the world is in chaos even greater than now, these 144,000 are going to be feeling the seal that protects them from the enemy that wishes them dead. And this morning I feel that seal as I read the latest on ISIS and their grand scheme of taking over the earth. This wicked lot of men who proudly boast and proclaim victory over the suffering in Paris will one day meet the wrath of God and their arrogant touts will cease as they bow to the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus Christ.

But until then remember…

YOU ARE SIGNED

Isaiah 49:16a

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; 

On the cross of Calvary Christ bore our names in His hands so that we would have the promise of eternal life.

YOU ARE SEALED

2 Corinthians 1:22

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

The second we accepted Christ’s final work on the cross as payment for our salvation, God sealed His Spirit inside us so that we may know and feel His presence in our heart.

YOU ARE DELIVERED

Luke 1:70-8

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant; The oath which he sware to our father Abraham, That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

It’s that time of year again when the Christmas season is upon us. What better time to remember that we are signed, sealed and delivered to serve Him without fear. Preparing the way for our friends and family that they may know the peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ before it’s too late.

Go and Tell somebody!!!

Are they glad you’re gone… or did you leave them longing…

chick longing

Good night a mighty! I’ve seen so many Christians tear down the body of Christ with their words and actions that there’s nothing left but the knee caps! Praise God… at least they can still pray. This is where my mind was when I awoke this morning in frustration. Coffee did make it a little better, but didn’t make the thought go away. Just so you know up front… I’m a Christ lovin’, Church goin’, Hymn singin’, Bluegrass pickin’, Blood Bought child of God, Saved by Grace through Faith alone, and not one bit concerned about what denomination you are so long as you have those last two in your statement of who you are as well. I’m not here to argue, I’m here to edify and encourage the body of Christ. When you leave my presence I want to have added something to your life, not taken away.

Ephesians 4:11-12 says:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

To edify is to educate, illuminate, inspire, and nurture. Nowhere in its definition, nor biblical intention does it tell you to make someone feel like a dirt dog because they don’t believe as you do. That attitude will only serve to drive them away, which may not be a bad idea…Am I on a soapbox today? Oh possibly. Will the person who needs to read this see this post… probably not? My point of this ramble this morning is to encourage you to share Christ’s love and encourage someone today with your presence.

God said He sent us into the world with those job descriptions with a three fold purpose:

1 – Perfecting the Saints

We’ll never be perfect in these fleshly forms, but we are perfect in Christ Who is perfect. To perfect the saints is to bring them out of being babes in Christ to adulthood, ready for service on their own. It’s where I feel most churches are failing miserably and that’s in discipling young Christians , training them how to serve God and being an encouragement in their lives. So when they meet a negative Nellie of the faith that tries to suck the life out of them by pointing out their faults and failures, they’ll be spiritually prepared.

2 – Work of the Ministry

It is a labor of love, but it most assuredly labor! Working in the ministry is a 24/7 job whether or not you are full time ministry or a Sunday go to meetin’ kind of Saint. Somewhere within that Ephesian 4 description is your job title; now it’s between you and God which one it is.  But for certain it’s our job to tell someone about Jesus!!!!

3 – Edifying the Body of Christ

Back to my soapbox… who have you encouraged today? When you leave their presence are they longing for more… or glad you’re gone. I hope that I left you longing…

Sin Runs That Deep

rootsEphesians 2:3

King James Version (KJV)

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.

The roots of sin run deep. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who has issues in life. Whose old nature pulls back so hard at times I think my arm is going to disconnect from my body. Nothing would make Satan happier than to see me back slide in a very public way. There’s more bang for his buck if the unsaved can see a saint fall and then with glee straight from the pits of Hell say, “I knew it wasn’t real.” You don’t even have to fall far. Say the wrong thing, be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or get caught in a weakened condition and have someone rub you the wrong way and watch the old nature of man rear its ugly head.

When I seen this tree picture this morning on the web my first thought was “that’s sin, those roots grow deep.” Somehow or another we’ll find ourselves staring the old nature in the face, Satan will make sure of it… or so he does with me. Maybe you’ve moved past that point.

So what’s the answer?

Romans 6:19

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness

This is why I’m crazy about Christ. This is why I talk about Him all the time. Why I awake in the morning desiring a day of fellowship with Him. Because as deep as the roots of sin ran in my life before salvation, I have to run the new roots of salvation even deeper into the things of God, else the old nature will take over.

It was the nature of that tree to seek out dirt beneath the surface, but above the ground it reaches toward God and grows strong in the sun and rain. It’s metaphorical for certain, but we all know there’s truth in it. Beneath the surface there’s that sin nature that could go back to looking for dirt in a heartbeat. It’s important to be very conscious that it’s there, else you get caught off guard.

I don’t want to give Satan anything to cheer about…