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Topic: Fruit of the Holy Spirit & God’s Promises for All Our every Needs

Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples,

Pastor Elias Aguilar Busuego Jr PhD DTM

Founding Pastor – Home Fellowship Churches –

The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT

Podcast Episode: The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT – GOODNESS #3

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL. There is no law against these things.” [Galatians 5:22-23 NLT]

We need to understand that love is the first characteristic of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is well placed at the head of the list, for it permeates all the rest of the attributes. Somehow, if we live a life of love, the other virtues will attend us all the days of our lives. Love is the key that unlocks the entire fruit basket of Galatians 5:22-23, as well as permeating 1 Corinthians 13.

Podcast – Goodness #3

The Manifestation of the HOLY SPIRIT is on FIRE!

Faith Without Good Deeds is Dead

In James 2:14-24 NLT says, “14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? 17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. 18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” 19 You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. 20 How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? 21 Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete. 23 And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” He was even called the friend of God. 24 So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.”

In this chapter James argues against favoritism and for the necessity of good deeds. He presents three principles of faith: (1) Commitment is an essential part of faith. You cannot be a Christian simply by affirming the right doctrines or agreeing with biblical facts (James 2:19). We must commit our mind and heart to our Lord Jesus Christ. (2) Right actions are the natural by-products of true faith. A genuine Christian will have a changed life (James 2:18). (3) Faith without good deeds doesn’t do anybody any good – it is useless (James 2:14-17). James’s teachings are consistent with Paul’s teaching that we receive salvation by faith alone. Paul emphasizes the purpose of faith: to bring salvation. James emphasizes the results of faith: a changed life.

In James Chapter 2, Verse 14 describes that this person who claims to have faith obviously thinks that his belief alone, without any good actions (deeds done in obedience to God), is satisfactory in God’s sight. However, faith not accompanied by deeds has no saving value. Anyone can say he has faith, but if his lifestyle remains selfish and worldly, then what good is that faith? It is merely faith that believes about our Lord Jesus Christ, not faith that believes in Him. That kind of faith can’t save anyone. Instead, the faith that saves is faith that proves itself in the actions it produces.

Two images help us remember the importance of genuine faith:

On one side are people who project confidence in their standing before God and yet show no evidence that their faith affects any of their actions. They may even take pride in the fact that they can believe what they want and that no one has the right to challenge their faith. After all, “only God really knows for sure,” they may say.

On the other side are people whose lives demonstrate such a frantic flurry of activity that they literally have no time to think or talk about their faith. Those people, whose lives at first exhibit the marks of someone who believes, turn out to have real doubts. They doubt God’s acceptance and feel compelled to work very hard in hopes of gaining that acceptance. But trying hard to build merit with God becomes a substitute for faith.

James helps us see that genuine faith will always combine deep trust in God and consistent action in the world. It is not the one who claims to have faith, but the one who actually has faith who is saved. Someone may ask, “But what if genuine belief never really gets a chance to demonstrate itself in action?” One instance of genuine faith given little time is the case of the thief on the Cross who believed in our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 23:32-43). In sight of death, this man acknowledged our Lord Jesus as the Christ. Did even this man’s short-lived, genuine faith lead to real action? Certainly, it did! The dying thief said a few words of profound eloquence: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom” (Luke 23:42). The thief could not possibly have known how many times his simple trusting witness during his final agony would give hope to others who felt they were beyond God’s help. Most of us have a great deal more time than the thief on the cross. Do our lives count for as much? Do we declare our faith and then demonstrate its vitality throughout our life?

Our Lord Jesus Christ told us not how to behave, but what to believe. For what we believe determines how we behave. In this way, faith will always precede ethics because faith always defines ethics.

Faith is credited as righteousness (See Romans 4). The goodness that our Lord Jesus Christ gives us supplants our own sinful lives the moment we believe. Then of course, we reap the benefits of goodness in our lives and share that goodness with others. We are Christ’s. We benefit from His perfect sacrifice, and that perfect sacrifice will one day present us faultless before our Father God (See Jude 24), and our faith will be credited as righteousness forever. Amen!

In Verse 15 stated that James gives an example of a hypothetical person who may have been someone in the church fellowship – a brother or sister – who was in real need. To be without food or clothing is to be in a desperate yet all-too-common situation. There is hardly a church today within whose walls there are not persons who live without adequate food and shelter.

In James Chapter 2, Verse 16 describes that something could be done for this needy person. There would be plenty of clothes and food in the fellowship to care for this person, but the person was sent away empty-handed, with a prayer over his head, but no clothing on his back or food in his stomach.

Too often, we in the church offer mere words – prayers, advice, encouragement – when we are being called upon to act. The need is obvious, and the resources are not lacking, yet the help is not given. “What good does that do?” James asks. Faith that does not result in actions is no more effective than a pious wish or sincere but wishful for the poor person to be warmed and fed. Words without action accomplish nothing.

In James Chapter 2, Verse 17 describes a conviction or intellectual belief that refuses to obey the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ is unprofitable – it is dead. Good deeds are the fruit of living faith. If there are no positive actions, then the professed faith is no faith at all – it is dead and useless. The right actions prove our faith to be real faith. Believing involves faith keeping company with action. If those around us note our actions, they should be led to know the faith that motivates them. If others hear us speak of faith, they must also see us act out that faith.

In Verse 18 described that this someone considers faith and good deeds to be separate and alternate expressions of Christianity. “You do your deeds, I’ll have my faith, and we’ll be religious in our own ways.” But the two cannot be separated without ceasing to be alive. Faith lives in the action it generates; actions require faith to gain a particular meaning.
James responded with a challenge: “I can’t see your faith if you don’t have good deeds, but I will show you my faith through my good deeds.” Faith cannot be demonstrated apart from action. Faith is within us; it can only be seen by the actions it produces through us. Anyone can profess faith, but only action shows its genuineness.

In James Chapter 2, Verse 19 stated that the acceptance of a creed (even a true one) is not enough to save anyone. The demons have complete and thorough conviction that there is one God, but they are terrified by that truth. They believe in God only to hate and resist Him in every way they can. Their “faith” even moves them to a negative reaction, while the faith of some of James’s readers isn’t real enough to give them a shiver or an instance of trembling. The demons tremble in terror and demonstrate that their “faith” is real, though misdirected.

In Verse 20 describes James addresses his hypothetical person who held the above views, calling that person a fool. The foolish person is literally a “hollow man.” If the faith around which we build our lives turns out to be empty, we are truly hollow people. When will we ever learn that faith that does not result in good deeds is useless? There are times when we need more teaching or understanding in order to respond to God’s direction. But most often we know what needs to be done, yet are unwilling to act. When it comes to putting into practice what we know, is it our habit to obey God?

In James Chapter 2, Verse 21 describes that from his own case studies, James now turns to historical figures from the Old Testament that he expects will confirm what he has been teaching about the importance of active faith. Abraham was one of the Old Testament figures most revered by the Jews (see Genesis 11:27–25 for Abraham’s biography). Abraham’s remarkable obedience in being willing to sacrifice his son at God’s command was evidence of the works for which Abraham was declared right with God.

What was Abraham doing when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? He was trusting God. The lesson we can draw from Abraham’s life is not a comparison between his sacrifices and ours. We can expect that in one way or another, our faith will have to grow from internal trust to external action. Eventually, like Abraham, we too will have to answer the question, “Do I really trust God?”

In Verse 22 described that Abraham had great faith in God (Genesis 15:6), but James points out that Abraham’s faith was much more than just belief in the one God – the fruit of Abraham’s great faith was in his deeds: His faith was made complete by what he did – by his actions. His faith produced his actions, and his actions completed his faith, meaning they “perfected” or “matured” it. Mature and complete believers are produced through perseverance in trials; mature and complete faith is produced through works of obedience to God. Faith and works should not be confused with each other, but neither can they be separated from each other.

In James Chapter 2, Verse 23 describes that Abraham believed God, so God gave Abraham the status of a right relationship with him – and this happened before Abraham’s noted works (such as his willingness to sacrifice Isaac), and even before Abraham was circumcised (see Paul’s words in Romans 4:1-17). The Scriptures to which James is referring is Genesis 15:6, “Abraham believed God, so God declared him to be righteous. “James showed that Abraham’s righteousness was the basis and reason for all those actions. Because of Abraham’s great faith and obedience, he held the privileged status of being called “the friend of God” (see also 1 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8). Acting out our trust in God will lead to friendship with Him, as it did in Abraham’s case.

In James Chapter 2, Verse 24 describes that we are made right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Many have said that this statement contradicts Paul’s position, who wrote: “We are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law” (Romans 3:28). Indeed, if both James and Paul used the term “made right” (justified) in the same way, this verse would contradict Paul’s teaching about justification by faith alone.

But for James, being “made right” refers to God’s final verdict over our entire Christian lives, whereby we are declared righteous for having lived a life that was faithful to the end.

For Paul, being “made right” is the initial granting of righteousness upon a person’s acceptance of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For James, “works” (what we do) are the natural products of true faith; for Paul, “works” (“obeying the law”) are what people were trying to do in order to be saved.

For James, faith alone is the shallow belief in an idea; no commitment or life change is involved. For Paul, faith is saving faith – the belief that brings about an intimate union with our Lord Jesus Christ and results in salvation and obedience. Paul made clear that a person enters into God’s Kingdom only by faith; James made clear that God requires good deeds from those who are in the Kingdom.

A person receives salvation by faith alone, not by doing works of obedience; but a saved person does works of obedience because of that faith. For people who rely on their religious “busyness” for their salvation or merit before God, Paul’s words are critical – those works alone can do nothing to save them. For people who rely on their intellectual assent of a belief, with only a verbal commitment, James’s words are critical – their belief alone can do nothing to save them.

Two brief questions that help us monitor our spiritual health are: Who am I trusting? and why am I working? If we are trusting anyone (including ourselves) other than our Lord Jesus Christ as the source and provider of our justification, we are lost. If we are acting for any reason other than in obedience and thanksgiving to our Lord Jesus Christ for what He has done for us, we are lost. We only truly find our salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ. Out of our trust in Him will flow action. AMEN!

Donations for Author’s Books

This book, “From The WORDS And THOUGHTS To The SWORDS And BATTLEGROUNDS” is planned and designed with three goals in mind (thought): • To help us become more like our Lord Jesus Christ – so much like Him that our family, loved ones, friends, and others in our lives can see Him manifested and reflected in our words, actions, and attitudes. • To help us surrender and submit to God and resist the devil. • To help us be always victorious in our lives by winning the spiritual battles. Author’s next book is coming soon, entitled, “From The BATTLEGROUNDS and WARS To The OVERCOMING And VICTORIES”


Abraham’s Faith Tested

In Genesis 22:1-2, 6-14 NLT says, “1 Sometime later, God tested Abraham’s faith. “Abraham!” God called.
“Yes,” he replied. “Here I am.”2 “Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much – and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.”

6 So Abraham placed the wood for the burnt offering on Isaac’s shoulders, while he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them walked on together, 7 Isaac turned to Abraham and said, “Father?” “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.
“We have the fire and the wood,” the boy said, “but where is the sheep for the burnt offering?” 8 “God will provide a sheep for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham answered. And they both walked on together. 9 When they arrived at the place where God had told him to go, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. Then he tied his son, Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 And Abraham picked up the knife to kill his son as a sacrifice. 11 At that moment the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied. “Here I am!”
12 “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” 13 Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So, he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. 14 Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the Lord will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

God tested Abraham, not to trip him and watch him fall, but to deepen his capacity to obey God and thus to develop his character. Just as fire refines ore to extract precious metals, God refines us through difficult circumstances. When we are tested, we can complain, or we can try to see how God is stretching us to develop our character.

We don’t know how Abraham carried the fire. Perhaps he carried a live coal or a flint to start a fire. Abraham answers Isaac’s queries: “God will provide a sacrifice.” Abraham is right. And he is spared the very price that God Himself would later pay. When our Lord Jesus Christ was nailed to the Cross, there was no ram caught in the thicket to take His place. Our Lord Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice. He entered the tabernacle as the High Priest – not a high priest who offered a sacrifice, but a High Priest who was a sacrifice. (See Hebrews 9:12).

Why did God ask Abraham to perform human sacrifice? Pagan nations practiced human sacrifice, but God condemned this as a terrible sin (Leviticus 20:1-5). God did not want Isaac to die, but he wanted Abraham to sacrifice Isaac in his heart so it would be clear that Abraham loved God more than he loved His promised and long-awaited son. God was testing Abraham. The purpose of testing is to strengthen our character and deepen our commitment to God and His perfect timing. Through this difficult experience, Abraham strengthened his commitment to obey God. He also learned about God’s ability to provide.

It is difficult to let go of what we deeply love. What could be more proper than to love your only child? Yet when we do give to God what He asks, He returns to us far more than we could dream. The spiritual benefits of His blessings far outweigh our sacrifices. Have you withheld your love, your children, or your time from Him? Trust Him to provide (Genesis 22:8).

Abraham followed God’s plan for his life. He followed God even when he didn’t understand the purpose of God’s calling. His obedience is an example to us of faith in God, and it is a foreshadowing of God’s ultimate sacrifice and our Lord Jesus Christ’s ultimate obedience on a hill at Calvary.

Notice the parallel between the ram offered on the altar as a substitute for Isaac and our Lord Jesus Christ offered on the Cross as a substitute for us. Whereas God stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son, God did not spare his own Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, from dying on the Cross. If our Lord Jesus Christ had lived, the rest of humankind would have died. God sent His only Son to die for us so that we can be spared from the eternal death we deserve and instead receive eternal life (John 3:16). Praise God! Hallelujah! Amen!

The Rich Man

In Mark 10:17-23 NLT says, “17 As Jesus was starting out on His way to Jerusalem, a man came running up to Him, knelt down, and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked. “Only God is truly good. 19 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” the man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.” 21 Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” He told him. “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell, and he went away very sad, for he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!”

This rich man wanted to be sure he would get eternal life, so he asked what he could do. He said he’d never once broken any of the laws our Lord Jesus Christ mentioned (Mark 10:19), and perhaps he had even kept the Pharisees’ loophole-filled version of them. But our Lord Jesus Christ lovingly broke through the man’s pride with a challenge that brought out his true motives: “Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor.”

This challenge exposed the barrier that could keep this man out of the Kingdom: his love of money. Money represented his pride of accomplishment and self-effort. Ironically, his attitude made him unable to keep the first commandment: to let nothing be more important than God (Exodus 20:3). He could not meet the one requirement our Lord Jesus Christ gave – to turn his whole heart and life over to God. The man came to our Lord Jesus Christ wondering what he could do; he left seeing what he was unable to do.

Self-righteousness is what such people really achieve. They produce an aura of morality because they are a whole lot better than a Mafia boss is and slightly better than their next-door neighbor. In a culture where the God of requirement is dead, all that’s left is a comparison system. If people will not seek righteousness from God, the only other way to know it is through some sort of relativism.

What the “better than” have not done is compare themselves with our Lord Jesus Christ. Then, of course, they would see that the comparison system of morality only works if we never compare ourselves with perfection. If we do compare ourselves with Jesus Christ, we’ll have to admit as Isaiah did: “All of us have become like one who is unclean and all righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). When we realize our true sate or to satisfy fully or to provide with more than enough before God, then we recognize that we need our Lord Jesus Christ’s implanted righteousness if we are ever going to enjoy a real relationship with Him. Amen!     

What barriers are keeping us from turning our lives over to our Lord Jesus Christ?

Let’s surrender them all, and make a total commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ, our God and Savior. Amen!

Salvation is for Everyone

In Romans 10:12-15 NLT says, “12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”

The “anyone” of Verse 11 includes both Jew and Gentile. God’s salvation is available to all who believe for they all have the same Lord. Every person is confronted with the need to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord. Because sin is a universal condition, the remedy of justification by faith universally applies. Those who are saved will be richly blessed with God’s great riches – in this world (although not always materially, as some might hope or expect), and most certainly in the world to come.

A final quotation taken from the Hebrew Scriptures (Joel 2:32) serves well for Paul’s conclusion. God’s special relationship with Israel will continue, but it has been broadened to include anyone who calls on the name of the Lord. God’s plans for Israel had their climax in our Lord Jesus Christ. Access to God, for all people, now comes through our Lord Jesus Christ. With this last reference, Paul neatly lays the foundation for the necessity of worldwide evangelism. Joel 2:32 is an Old Testament mandate for missions. To call on the Lord is to ask the Lord to come to you and be real to you. Those who call on Jesus Christ as their Lord want Him to be their Lord and Savior.

If God’s salvation is for anyone who calls, how can people call on God to save them if they have not been moved to believe in Him? How can they believe if they have never heard about Him? There can be no call, no belief, if these people have not heard about God (“heard” means a hearing that understands the significance of the words and realizes that a response is required), and been given the offer of salvation. And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? There can be no call, no belief, no hearing, unless there are those sent to share the Good News.

All Born-Again Christian believers are sent to announce this Good News. The process of salvation begins with the one who tells another the Good News. Like Paul and the early Christians, who spread the message of our Lord Jesus Christ despite persecution and even death, we should be eager to share this Good News of salvation to all who will listen. In the verse quoted from Isaiah 52:7, the herald is bearing good news to Judah about the end of their exile in Babylon and their return to their own land. His feet were beautiful to them, for His good news was so welcome. The message was what He brought, but it was those worn and dusty feet that brought Him. Those feet were beautiful because they represented the messenger’s willingness to be sent with good news. Only now the message was not just for Israel, but for the whole world. Amen!

Have you ever been asked, “How do I become a Christian?” These verses give you the beautiful answer: Salvation is as close as your own lips and heart. People think it must be a complicated process, but it is not. If we believe in our heart and say with our mouth that Jesus Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved.

We must take God’s great message of salvation to others so that they can respond to the Good News. How will your loved ones and neighbors hear it unless someone tells them? Is God calling you to take a part in making His message known in your community? Think of one person who needs to hear the Good News, and think of something you can do to help him or her hear it. Then take that step as soon as possible. Amen!

Our Lord Jesus Christ Anointed at Bethany

In Matthew 26:6-13 NLT says, “6 Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7 While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over His head. 8 The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste of money,” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”

Matthew and Mark put this event just before the Last Supper, while John has it just before the Triumphal Entry. Of the three, John places this event in the most likely chronological order. We must remember that the main purpose of the Gospel writers was to give an accurate record of our Lord Jesus Christ’s message, not to present an exact chronological account of His life. Matthew and Mark may have chosen to place this event here to contrast the complete devotion of Mary with the betrayal of Judas, the next event they recorded in their Gospels.

In Matthew Chapter 26, Verses 6-7 describe Bethany was located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives (Jerusalem is on the western side). This town was the home of our Lord Jesus Christ’s friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Our Lord Jesus Christ had been returning to Bethany from Jerusalem each night during this final week, probably staying with these dear friends (Matthew 21:17).

One night, a dinner had been prepared with our Lord Jesus Christ as the honored guest. The host, Simon, did not have leprosy at this time, for lepers were forced to live separately from people. Our Lord Jesus Christ may have healed Simon of his leprosy, but he had the nickname as a former leper.

The woman who came in was probably Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. She had a beautiful jar of expensive perfume which she poured on our Lord Jesus Christ’s head. Such an anointing, using expensive oil, pictured a royal anointing appropriate for the Messiah.

In Verses 8-9 describe Mary’s gift to our Lord Jesus Christ was worth a year’s wages. The disciples concluded that the expensive ointment had been wasted on our Lord Jesus Christ, and they rebuked Mary for such an act because the perfume could have been given to the poor. Where Matthew says the disciples, John specifically mentions Judas (John 12:4-5). Judas’s indignation over Mary’s act of worship would not have been based on concern for the poor, but on greed. Because Judas was the treasurer of our Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry and had embezzled funds (John 12:6), he no doubt wanted the perfume sold so that the proceeds could be put into his care.

In Matthew Chapter 26, Verses 10-11 describe our Lord Jesus Christ reprimanded the disciples for their lack of insight. Their words criticized Mary’s actions, but our Lord Jesus Christ’s words comforted her. The expensive perfume poured on our Lord Jesus Christ had been a good thing – a beautiful act of love and sacrifice – and our Lord Jesus Christ declared it to be so. This was a unique act for a specific occasion – an anointing that anticipated our Lord Jesus Christ’s burial and publicly declared faith in Him as Messiah.

In saying you will always have the poor among you, Our Lord Jesus Christ was not saying that we should neglect the poor, nor was he justifying indifference to them. Born-Again Christian believers should show kindness to the poor, and opportunities to do so would continue until the end of time. There would always be poor people who would need help.

The phrase – “I will not be here with you much longer” meant that our Lord Jesus Christ would soon be gone from them physically. Our Lord Jesus Christ’s purpose in these words was to explain that the opportunity to show Him such devotion and to anoint Him with oil (in preparation for burial) would soon pass. Our Lord Jesus Christ was affirming Mary’s unselfish act of worship and highlighting the special sacrifice that Mary had made for Him. The essence of worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ is to regard Him with utmost love, respect, and devotion, as well as to be willing to sacrifice to Him what is most precious.

In Matthew Chapter 26, Verses 12-13 describe Mary may not have set out to anoint our Lord Jesus Christ for burial; she was merely showing great respect for the Teacher she so loved and respected. She may not have understood our Lord Jesus Christ’s approaching death any more than the disciples, although she was known for truly listening to our Lord Jesus Christ (Luke 10:39). She may have realized something was going to happen to our Lord Jesus Christ, for all knew He was in great danger, and thus she sympathized with Him and honored Him with the greatest gift she could give.

Mary’s unselfish act would be preached throughout the world along with the Good News. This has come true because we read about it today. While the disciples misunderstood our Lord Jesus Christ’s mission and constantly argued about places in the Kingdom, and while the religious leaders stubbornly refused to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ and plotted His death, this one quiet woman so loved our Lord Jesus Christ and was so devoted to Him that she considered no sacrifice too great for her beloved Master. She is an example to us all of unselfish devotion to our Savior. Amen!


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Now, let’s talk about “Prayer and “Salvation”.

Prayer is the key that unlocks and reveals faith. Effective prayer needs both an attitude of complete dependence and the action of asking. Prayer demonstrates complete reliance on God. Thus, there is no substitute for prayer, especially in situations that seem impossible.

So, let our hearts and minds in tune with God, in the power of God, the Holy Spirit. Let’s continuously and persistently pray for God’s perfect will be done. We as Born-Again Christians have been tried and cleansed, we have moved freely into a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ that is more powerful than it was before our trials. We are at home in the presence and fellowship of God, for we are heirs with our Lord Jesus Christ, more like Him that we could ever have dreamed possible. So, let’s continuously and persistently pray for God’s perfect will be done. Amen!

The principle is that no one has anything of value to bring to God in order to deserve salvation, mercy, justification, or even a second glance from God. The proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored. Acceptance before God cannot be achieved by good deeds, piety, or any amount of self-proclaimed righteousness.

Let’s never get over the effect of God’s saving transformation on people’s lives. People who were lost in sin, filled with anger and bitterness, give up their hatred and become approachable as we have studied and learned last time. That is, of course, why we minister to others. Those of us who minister are not people to whom (fruit of the Holy Spirit) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control comes naturally. We are people who have been remodeled by grace. We thankfully leave our old natures far behind as we embrace the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, the first of the list > agape love of God, and in our treatment of others. Amen!

Sunday by Sunday as we come to worship, let me encourage our brothers – and sisters-in-Christ, and I want my readers and listeners to be both strong in the faith and sensitive to others’ needs. Because all, we as Born-Again Christian believers are strong in certain areas and weak in others. We constantly need to monitor the effects of our behavior on others.

In these GOODNESS Series of Podcast, we will learn the following PURPOSES of this fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT:

  • We just learned to care how God feels about our morality
  • Received and to have the desire for holiness
  • Knew that God implanted righteousness into our lives through our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Learn to imitate Christ
  • To be contented with God’s commandments

On every Podcast, I always have three (3) questions we can answer from only these two (2) Sources: The Bible and the Guidance of the Holy Spirit. The following are:

First is about our > Observation: What do these passages or Scriptures say to you?

Second is about our own > Interpretation: What do these passages or Scriptures mean to you?

Third is about how we can apply > Application: How do the meaning of these passages or Scriptures apply to you or to your situation?

If you are not sure that you are Born-Again Christian believer or you have relatives, loved ones, friends, neighbors, and people in your circle of influence, please take a look and/or guide them to one of our ministries, “An Invitation to Meet Our Lord Jesus Christ” at

Let’s give an opportunity for the lost souls to experience on being Born-Again Christian as explained by our Lord Jesus Christ in the book of John 3 in the New Testament of the Bible.

It is as simple as A, B, & C > Admit, Believe, & Confess. All Born-Again Christian believers prayed this simple prayer we called “Sinner’s Prayer”

“Father God, I come to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I acknowledge and admit that I am a sinner and I need a Savior. I believe and have faith in Jesus Christ who was born of Virgin Mary, died on the Cross for the penalty of my sins, and rose again that I may have the eternal life. I confess and declare Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord of my life. Please comfort, guide, and help me Holy Spirit to live and grow in my spiritual life according to Your Words, purpose, and perfect will of God, in my Lord Jesus Christ name, Amen!”

If you prayed this, “Sinner’s Prayer” sincerely in your heart, you are Born-Again Christian believer. However, you are a spiritual baby who needs to grow up. (See 1 Peter 2:2). You need to find a church or fellowship to grow spiritually. We are glad to establish or bring the fellowship to your own home if it is safer.

Now, let me pray for all of you:

Father God, we come into your presence in our Lord Jesus Christ name, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ for Your agape love and forgiveness you have done on the Cross of Calvary, and continue to intercede for us in prayer. Thank you, Holy Spirit as our Helper and Comforter. Thank you for the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, courage and strength. We cling, yield, plug-in and tune-in to you Holy Spirit to help us understand God’s Words, obey them, receive Your divine revelation, know the Truth that sets us free, and apply them in our lives, in our Lord Jesus Christ name, Amen!”

Let’s praise and worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Give all thanks to God for all answered prayers.

Please send your > Praise Reports (answered prayers) and New Prayer Requests via email to: God bless you all and our families!

Donations for Author’s Books

This book, “From The WORDS And THOUGHTS To The SWORDS And BATTLEGROUNDS” is planned and designed with three goals in mind (thought): • To help us become more like our Lord Jesus Christ – so much like Him that our family, loved ones, friends, and others in our lives can see Him manifested and reflected in our words, actions, and attitudes. • To help us surrender and submit to God and resist the devil. • To help us be always victorious in our lives by winning the spiritual battles. Author’s next book is coming soon, entitled, “From The BATTLEGROUNDS and WARS To The OVERCOMING And VICTORIES”


A Message to be Blessed:

A Call to Repentance and Be Blessed

In Malachi 3:7-15 AMPC says, “7 Ever since the days of your ancestors, you have scorned my decrees and failed to obey them. Now return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “But you ask, ‘How can we return when we have never gone away?’ 8 “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it”, says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” [Malachi 2:2.] 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer (insects and plagues) for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruits before the time in the field,” says the Lord of hosts. 12 “And all nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight”, says the Lord of hosts.

If the people would obey God, giving as they should, God would flood His people with blessings. There would be an overabundance of God’s blessing if He was given what He requested.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse – See 2 Chronicles 31:11; cf. 1 Chronicles 26:20; Nehemiah 10:38; 13:5, 12. If the temple storehouses were empty, it was the people’s fault. God had already blessed them with enough to give a little back to Him.

Instead of destroying our crops (blessings), God would make them come in greater abundance than we had ever imagined possible (Amos 4:9; Haggai 2:19; Zechariah 8:12). The devourer – probably referring to locusts, though the word here is general in meaning (Baldwin). In the Near East, locust swarms are known for their ability to damage huge tracts of agricultural land (see note on Joel 1:4).

A delightsome land – All of the blessings promised to Jacob would come to pass if the people would obey God (Deuteronomy 33:29; Zechariah 8:13). Their land would be a delight to all who saw it (Daniel 8:9).

The problem in Malachi 3:7-12 was the people’s departure from God as reflected by their neglect of tithes and offerings. Two annual tithes were required according to Israelite law – one for the Levites (Leviticus 27:30; Numbers 18:21), and one to be used in worship at the annual feasts in Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 14:22). A tithe was required every three years to provide for the needs of the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28-29). There is debate as to whether this tithe for the poor was in addition to or served as a substitute for the tithe used in worship.

The New Testament pattern for tithing is proportionate giving – a person is to give “in relation to what you have earned” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Certainly a tithe should be given proportionate to one’s wealth, but not all proportionate giving is a tithe.

The anticipation of blessing for obedience to God’s command to tithe was based on the Mosaic covenant, which promised blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience (Malachi 3:10; cf. Deuteronomy 28:15-68). Generally, God will meet the needs of His own people (Psalm 34:9-10; Philippians 4:19), but that is not an unconditional guarantee. There certainly were and are exceptions. Yet, where God chooses not to provide physically, He gives sufficient grace to go without (2 Corinthians 12:9).

The problem in Malachi 3:14-15 was that the people were guilty of arrogant words against God. They were saying, “There is no prophet who is serving God,” and “God is not concerned about justice.” God responded by showing that He did distinguish between the wicked and the righteous. The righteous would be blessed, and the wicked would be judged.


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