A Way of Winning Others is GENTLENESS

The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT

Podcast Episode: The Fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT – GENTLENESS #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 in the LOVE Chapter of the book in the Bible – New Testament – 1 Corinthians 13.

In John 14:6-7 NLT says, “6 Jesus told him, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me. 7 If you had really known Me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him!”

In John 3:16-17 NLT says, “16 “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.”

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Love God, Love People, and Make Disciples,

Pastor Elias Aguilar Busuego Jr PhD DTM

Founding Pastor – Home Fellowship Churches – https://homefellowshipchurches.org

trinityblessings@homefellowshipchurches.org is inviting you to scheduled Zoom meetings.

Podcast – Gentleness #3

The Manifestation of the HOLY SPIRIT is on FIRE!

Peter Heals Aeneas and Raises Dorcas

In Acts 9:32-42 NLT says, “32 Meanwhile, Peter traveled from place to place, and he came down to visit the believers in the town of Lydda. 33 There he met a man named Aeneas, who had been paralyzed and bedridden for eight years. 34 Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you! Get up, and roll up your sleeping mat!” And he was healed instantly. 35 Then the whole population of Lydda and Sharon saw Aeneas walking around, and they turned to the Lord. 36 There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas). She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor. 37 About this time she became ill and died. Her body was washed for burial and laid in an upstairs room. 38 But the believers had heard that Peter was nearby at Lydda, so they sent two men to beg him, “Please come as soon as possible!” 39 So Peter returned with them; and as soon as he arrived, they took him to the upstairs room. The room was filled with widows who were weeping and showing him the coats and other clothes Dorcas had made for them. 40 But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Tabitha.” And she opened her eyes! When she saw Peter, she sat up! 41 He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then he called in the widows and all the believers, and he presented her to them alive. 42 The news spread through the whole town, and many believed in the Lord. 43 And Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, living with Simon, a tanner of hides.”

Peter, the leader of the apostles, was last mentioned in Acts 8:25 returning from Samaria to Jerusalem with John. He came to Lydda, a predominantly Gentile community about twenty-five miles west of Jerusalem. Lydda was a fairly large town and commercial center at the intersection of highways connecting Egypt to Syria and Joppa (on the Mediterranean coast) to Jerusalem. The Gospel likely came to Lydda as a direct result of the mass conversion at Pentecost (chapter 2) or from those who had fled the Jerusalem persecution (Acts 8:1).

In Acts Chapter 9 Verses 33 – 35 described that nothing more is known about Aeneas other than this fact of his miraculous healing from an eight-year crippling illness. The healing was done by our Lord Jesus Christ, and it was immediate. This miracle was not an end in itself but a confirming sign of the truth of the Gospel. The phrase, the whole population, was probably not meant to be taken literally; rather, it was Luke’s way of reporting that a vast number of people turned to the Lord and were saved, including not only those in Lydda but in the whole area of Sharon, a coastal plain about ten miles wide and fifty miles long stretching north from Lydda toward Carmel.

In Acts Chapter 9 Verses 36 – 37 described that the important harbor city of Joppa sits 125 feet above sea level, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Joppa was the town into which the cedars of Lebanon had been floated to be shipped to Jerusalem and used in the temple construction (2 Chronicles 2:16; Ezra 3:7). The prophet Jonah had left the port of Joppa on his ill-fated trip (Jonah 1:3).

It was customary to bury corpses before sundown. The believers had only prepared her for burial and laid her in an upstairs room, suggesting that they believed that she could be raised. The church had not previously experienced miracles of this nature, though such signs had occurred during the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. Perhaps word about the healing of Aeneas had reached Joppa from Lydda, because the believers dispatched two men to find and bring Peter (Acts 9:38).

In Acts Chapter 9 Verses 38 – 39 described that Joppa was only about ten miles northwest of Lydda. To go and find Peter and bring him back would have taken these two men six to eight hours. Once located and presented with the need in Joppa, Peter returned with them. The text indicates the haste with which all this was accomplished. Arriving, Peter was immediately ushered to the upstairs room. There he met a group of mourning widows. Clearly, this woman’s death was a major blow to the church in Joppa.

Tabitha made an enormous impact on her community by “always doing kind things for others and helping the poor,” by making coats and other garments (Acts 9:39). When she died, the room was filled with mourners, very likely many of the people she had helped. And when she was brought back to life, the news raced through the town. God uses great preachers like Peter and Paul, but He also uses those who have gifts of kindness like Tabitha. Rather than wishing you had other gifts, make good use of the gifts God has given you. Amen!

In Acts Chapter 9 Verses 40 – 43 described that after getting down on his knees to pray, Peter told Tabitha to get up. Then she opened her eyes. Peter presented this back-from-the-dead saint to her overjoyed friends. As a result of this startling miracle, many citizens of Joppa believed in the Lord. Peter stayed a long time in Joppa, at the home of Simon, probably in order to teach the people more thoroughly the full implications of the Gospel.

It is significant that Peter stayed with a man who was, by vocation, a leatherworker who made animal hides into leather. This occupation involved contact with dead animals, and Jewish law considered it an “unclean” job. Peter was already beginning to break down his prejudice against people who were not of his kind and customs that did not adhere to Jewish religious traditions.

Dorcas’ life was a testament to her gentleness. Many crowded around her gentle life and held their own little crafts show. They celebrated at her death her giving spirit, so outgoing that she used her creativity to bless others. Dorcas is a role model for all Christian artists. Every creative disciple needs to ask himself or herself, “Have I developed an outgoing gentleness that seeks to use my artistic talents to cause the world to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ?”

Gentleness is a great evangelist. It is the best witness of the gentle living and the best witness of the gentle dead. Gentleness was our Lord Jesus Christ’s gift to Dorcas and Dorcas’ best gift to the world.

In this passage, Dorcas was revived and lived on. Who knows what happened when she died the second time: another arts and crafts party? Is there another celebration of her gentle life by her gentle converts? Those around it always celebrates no doubt for gentleness. 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”

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The Lord Speaks to Elijah

In 1 Kings 10:9-17 NLT says, “9 There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the Lord said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” 11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” 15 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. 16 Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. 17 Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! 18 Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”

When Elijah fled to Mount Sinai, he was returning to the sacred place where God had met Moses and had given His laws to the people. Obviously, God gave Elijah special strength to travel this great distance – over 200 miles – without additional food. Like Moses before him and our Lord Jesus Christ after him, Elijah fasted for 40 days and 40 nights (Deuteronomy 9:9; Matthew 4:1-2). Centuries later, Moses, Elijah, and Lord Jesus would meet together on a mountaintop (Luke 9:28-36).

Elijah thought he was the only person left who was still true to God. He had seen both the king’s court and the priesthood become corrupt. After experiencing great victory at Mount Carmel, he had to run for his life. Lonely and discouraged, he forgot that others had remained faithful during the nation’s wickedness.

When we are tempted to think that we are the only one remaining faithful to a task, don’t stop to feel sorry for ourselves. Self-pity will dilute the good we are doing. Be assured that even if we don’t know who they are, others are faithfully obeying God and fulfilling their duties.

In 1 Kings Chapter 19 Verses 11-13 described that Elijah knew that the sound of gentle whisper was God’s voice. He realized that God doesn’t reveal Himself only in powerful, miraculous ways. To look for God only in something big (rallies, churches, conferences, highly visible leaders) may be to miss Him because He is often found gently whispering in the quietness of a humbled heart. Are you listening for God? Step back from the noise and activity of your busy life, and listen humbly and quietly for His guidance. It may come when you least expect it.

By an awesome exhibition of divine power (cf. Exodus 19:16, 18), Elijah was made aware of the divine speaker; his petulance or unreasonably irritable or ill-tempered was silenced, and his heart was touched. Then he was ordered to return north and carry forward the Lord’s work there. a still small voice.

After several powerful phenomena occurred in which God did not speak, He did communicate in a quiet, intelligible manner. Perhaps this was to show the prophet that he should not be looking for spectacular encounters with God, but should instead listen for the voice of God in the more mundane. Our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate Word of God, came not in a sensational way, but in a humble way.

In Verses 15-16 described that God asked Elijah to anoint three different people. The first was Hazael, as king of Aram. Elijah was told to anoint an enemy king because God was going to use Aram as his instrument to punish Israel for its sin. Aram brought Israel’s external punishment. Israel’s internal punishment came from Jehu, the next man Elijah was to anoint. As king of Israel, Jehu would destroy those who worshiped the false god Baal (2 Kings 9–10).

The third person Elijah was told to anoint was Elisha, the prophet who would succeed him. Elisha’s job was to work in Israel, the northern kingdom, to help point the people back to God. At this time, the southern kingdom was ruled by Jehoshaphat, a king devoted to God.

The nation of Israel had cast Elijah out and had gone on worshiping Baal despite Mount Carmel. In response the Lord commissions Elijah to anoint three persons (Hazael . . . Jehu . . . Elisha) who would be agents of God’s judgment on the people of Israel. Anointing is used synonymously with appointment and is applied to all named. However, Elijah will not anoint any of these. Elisha will cause a disciple to anoint Jehu (2 Kings 9:3, 6); Elisha himself may have anointed Hazael, but the text does not explicitly say so (2 Kings 8:9-15). Elisha’s “anointment” was a metaphorical one: oil was not used, but instead Elijah symbolically casts his mantle on him.

In any case, all three were destined to be prominent instruments in achieving the overturn of the subverted ruling house of Israel and the wiping out of the idolatrous followers of Jezebel’s Baal, though in highly different ways. Having thus rekindled the zeal of the frightened and depressed prophet, who had for a time lost his sense of purpose and his confidence in his God-given mission, the Lord further revived Elijah’s spirits by correcting the idea he was nursing that he was the sole person in Israel devoted to God; for God had his faithful remnant, seven thousand persons who had not “bowed unto Baal” or done him homage (lit. “kissed the hand”).

Look not for our Lord Jesus Christ in rock-splitting displays and lightning-shattered skies. Sit still in a quiet place. He will come to us in whispers, which the loud display of our affairs has camouflaged.

God’s whisper defines both our calling and our own gentle manner of living it out. When we quiet ourselves to hear God’s whispers, we find that our purpose in life becomes clearer. Amen!

Wives

In 1 Peter 3:1-6 NLT says, “1 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives. 3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.”

When a man became a Christian, he usually would bring his whole family into the church with him (see, for example, the story of the conversion of the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:29-34). By contrast, a woman who became a Christian usually came into the church alone. Under Roman law, the husband and father had absolute authority over all members of his household, including his wife. Demanding her rights as a free woman in our Lord Jesus Christ could endanger her marriage if her husband disapproved. Peter reassured Christian women who were married to unbelievers that they did not need to preach to their husbands. Under the circumstances, their best approach would be one of godly behavior: They should show their husbands the kind of self-giving love that our Lord Jesus Christ showed the church. By being exemplary wives, they would please their husbands. At the very least, the men might then allow them to continue practicing their “strange” religion. At best, their husbands would join them and become Christians, too. Amen!

In 1 Peter Chapter 3 Verses 1-2 described the phrase in the same way (or “likewise,” homoios) most likely referred to 1 Peter 2:13, “Accept all authority.” The word homoios has a slightly different slant than the word kathos, another word that is translated “in the same way.” If Peter had used the word kathos, he would have meant that wives should serve their husbands in the same way that slaves serve their masters. However, the word homoios focuses the comparison in other areas. While wives are to serve their husbands “in the same way” as slaves serve their masters, Peter was not saying that wives were slaves. Instead, the wives’ service should have positive motives (“for the Lord’s sake,” 1 Peter 2:13) and should be consistent no matter what the attitude of the one in authority (“even if they are harsh,” 1 Peter 2:18). Christian wives were to accept the authority of their husbands in obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ to keep harmony in the family and to encourage unbelieving husbands to believe.

Submission of the wife to the husband is an often-misunderstood concept, although it is taught in several places in the New Testament (see, for example, Ephesians 5:24; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1, 5). It may be the least popular Christian teaching in society. These texts do not teach the general subjugation of all women under all men.

The principle of submission does not require a woman to become a doormat. When a Christian wife interacted with an unbelieving husband, she needed to be submissive according to cultural norms in order to save her marriage and sometimes even her life. But she ought not participate in her husband’s pagan religion or submit to actions that dishonored God.

However, when both wife and husband were Christians, the woman should respect the God-given authority of her husband, while the husband exercised his authority in a loving and gentle manner. For marriage and family relationships to run smoothly, there must be one appointed leader – and God has appointed the husband and father. The wife should willingly follow her husband’s leadership in our Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledging that this is his responsibility. Submission does not mean blind obedience, nor does it mean inferiority. A wife who accepts her husband’s authority is accepting the relationship that God has designed and giving her husband leadership and responsibility.

In 1 Peter Chapter 3 Verses 3-4 described that as today, society’s focus was on outward beauty. Such beauty was achieved in fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, and beautiful clothes. But Peter contrasted putting beautiful “things” on the outside to make oneself beautiful, versus revealing the natural inner beauty that a Christian woman should have because of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Peter 3:4).

This passage is teaching that women should not count on their beauty coming from outward adornments, not those women can’t braid their hair or wear gold jewelry or nice clothes. (Paul wrote almost the exact words to the women in the Ephesian church; see 1 Timothy 2:9-10.) Christian women should not be obsessed by fashion or overly concerned with their outward appearance.

On the other hand, neither should they be so unconcerned that they do not bother to care for themselves. Beauty and adornments have their place, but they must be kept in proper perspective. Born-Again Christian women should let their beauty come from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. Their beauty should come from their personality, and the attitudes, thoughts, and motivations that are revealed in words and actions.

For believers, this inner self has been transformed by the Holy Spirit. To be “gentle” means showing humility, consideration of others, not insisting on one’s own rights, not being pushy or overly assertive (see also Galatians 5:23). To be “quiet” refers to the same attitude as that described by “gentle,” also focusing on not causing dissensions with inappropriate words or gossip. Amen!

In 1 Peter Chapter 3 Verses 5-6 described that the holy women of the past were both holy and beautiful, not because they lived perfect lives and had perfect looks, but because they trusted God. Another ancient writer understood this: “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised” (Proverbs 31:30). These women trusted in God and knew how to submit to the authority God had established, by accepting the authority of their husbands (as described in 1 Peter 3:1-2 above).

Peter used one woman in particular as an example: Sarah, who obeyed her husband, Abraham, when she called him her master. Peter commended her attitude of obedience, hanging his argument on Sarah’s use of “master.” Sarah’s submission certainly wasn’t slavish or showing no originality. She insisted that Hagar and Ishmael (Abraham’s other wife and first son) be sent away. Abraham didn’t like it, but went along with her request. Apparently, God approved of Sarah’s request as supported by his answer to Abraham, “Do just as Sarah says” (Genesis 21:10, 12).

Why did Peter use Sarah as an example? Sarah was considered the mother of God’s people (as Abraham was the father, according to God’s covenant promises, Genesis 12:1-3). Not only was Sarah an example to be followed because of her faithfulness to God and to her husband (she did submit to Abraham to have the child), but also because she was the mother of all believers – under the old covenant, the mother of the Jewish nation; under the new covenant, the mother of all who believe (see Galatians 4:22-26). Peter saw Christian women as true daughters of Sarah, and thus true daughters of God.

So, they should do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do. A Born-Again Christian woman’s faith in God would help her not to be afraid. In context, this could refer to them not fearing the physical harm that might come to them from their husbands, not fearing the result of submitting to their husbands, or not fearing what might happen if they had to disobey their husbands because their husbands asked them to do wrong or evil acts. It could also refer to the theme of persecution throughout this letter, recommending that these women not be afraid of anything that might come upon them or their families. But in this context, their fear and hope in God (1 Peter 3:5) allowed them both to reverence (1 Peter 3:2) and not fear (1 Peter 3:6) their husbands.

Gentleness is the great cosmetic that adorns the human spirit. Those who work for hours before their mirror, brushing and creaming and lotioning their way to a supposed loveliness, need to sit quietly before the Holy Spirit. He will seep into their lives and make them truly beautiful. He will supply the unfading gentle spirit that comes in neither creams nor lotion.

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ has immensely liberated women, and how grateful all of us are to our Lord Jesus Christ for that freedom. Peter gives advice to women in this restrictive situation. They could show their husbands their new faith without words. They could live lives of submission and gentleness. Peter explains that a quiet spirit can speak volumes. Sometimes words get in the way of evangelizing. Rather than telling others about our faith, a gentle spirit can show others what we believe.

How does a gentle spirit witness? It majors on the purity of the inner life. It has unfading beauty. It has history. It was the way that holy people of the past made themselves beautiful. Let’s not assume that Peter was telling women to entirely disregard their appearance. For both men and women, looking clean and attractive is a positive goal. However, emphasizing outward beauty and neglecting one’s inward state of being impede our ability to effectively minister to others. No matter how attractive we may appear, people will not be drawn to our Lord Jesus Christ if we are cruel, dishonest, or unkind. Loveliness is essentially an inward matter. The lack of it cannot be compensated for by mere cosmetics. Peter reminds us all that the best way of spreading God’s love is to have a beautiful, gentle spirit. Amen!

Caring for the Lord’s Workers

In 3 John 5-11 NLT (Only 1 Chapter) says, “5 Dear friend, you are being faithful to God when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. 6 They have told the church here of your loving friendship. Please continue providing for such teachers in a manner that pleases God. 7 For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. 8 So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. 9 I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. 10 When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church. 11 Dear friend, don’t let this bad example influence you. Follow only what is good. Remember that those who do good prove that they are God’s children, and those who do evil prove that they do not know God.”

In the church’s early days, traveling prophets, evangelists, and teachers were helped on their way by people like Gaius, who housed and fed them. Gaius had been willing to open his home and take care of the traveling teachers who were passing through. He lovingly cared for these men who served the Lord, even when they were strangers to him. These teachers were partners in the truth (3 John 1:8) and deserved to be helped. John called this a good work.

Hospitality is a lost art in many churches today. We would do well to invite more people for meals – fellow church members, young people, traveling missionaries, those in need, visitors. This is an active and much-appreciated way to show our Christian love. In fact, it is probably more important today. Because of our individualistic, self-centered society, there are many lonely people who wonder if anyone cares whether they live or die. If you find such a lonely person, show him or her that you care! Amen!

This book is a letter from John to his friend Gaius. It isn’t a long letter. Actually, it is more of a thank-you note, releasing the great gentleness displayed by this little-known hero of the Bible. It is such a small letter, but there it is, glistening with gentleness and speaking almost entirely on our service to others.

This letter, 3 John is gentle – from a gentle pen, addressed to the gentle Gaius. Yet it throbs (pounds, thumps, beats, vibrates) with purpose. Although this book is short, barely enough verse to contrast the gentility of Gaius with the cruelty of Diotrephes, it contains an excellent example of Born-Again Christian tenderness in action. Consider the contrast between the two men mentioned in this book.

Gaius continues to walk in the truth (3 John Verse 3), leads others to walk in the truth (Verse 4), and is gentle to strangers (Verse 5). Gaius is the very picture of a winning gentleness that serves others and draws them to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now consider Diotrephes (Verses 10-11). He is ambitious and craves power. He is a malicious gossip. He is inhospitable, even to good people, and is hasty in throwing people out of the church.

The writer of this brief letter gives us a positive role model in Gaius. Gentleness reaches out to others. It does not reside undisturbed within a person. Gentleness gets its feet wet. Gentleness gets its hands dirty. The hard work of ministering is often done by the most compassionate of souls. We can imitate the gentle life by working for our Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom. What a great reminder for the church/fellowship – those who minister with gentleness will win others and please God. Amen!


Naomi and Ruth Return

In Ruth 1:15-17 NLT says “16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. 17 Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us!”

Ruth was a Moabitess, but that didn’t stop her from worshiping the true God, nor did it stop God from accepting her worship and blessing her greatly. The Jews were not the only people God loved. God chose the Jews to be the people through whom the rest of the world would come to know Him.

This was fulfilled when our Lord Jesus Christ was born as a Jew. Through Him, the entire world can come to know God. Acts 10:35 says that “in every nation He accepts those who fear Him and do what is right.” God accepts all who worship Him; He works through people regardless of their race, sex, or nationality. The book of Ruth is a perfect example of God’s impartiality. Although Ruth belonged to a race often despised by Israel, she was blessed because of her faithfulness. She became a great-grandmother of King David and a direct ancestor of our Lord Jesus Christ. No one should feel disqualified to serve God because of race, sex, or national background. And God can use every circumstance to build His kingdom. Amen!

There is no relationship stronger than the fellowship of suffering. Ruth and Naomi had gone through the pain of widowhood together and had clung to each other when all light seemed to have been shut out by the black mantle of death. Their tears watered their common trust, and it grew. Their love flourished in their brokenness, proving that we can never really know someone until we’ve wept with them. Two hurting women vowed their undying support and offered nothing more to each other than a gentle spirit. Their gentleness and love placed them in the lineage of our Lord Jesus Christ and taught the world that life itself is worship.

To think of gentleness is to think of Ruth. This book is a beautiful little stopover of grace sandwiched between the frequently gruesome sagas of the judges and the checkered histories of the kings. Ruth isn’t a book we study – it’s a new pair of shoes that we wear and find that our heels are winged with all that is most noble in the human spirit.

God is a balm for the pain of the gentle. His touch in a life can inspire worship through the difficult experience. If we would know gentleness as a way of winning others and thrilling in personal worship, then observe a hopeless old woman become an ancestor of the Son of God – our Lord Jesus Christ. And see Ruth, a Gentile woman, contributing her bit of DNA to the makeup of Mary’s baby a thousand years before His time. Gentleness is a part of the life of Ruth, and can be a part of our lives and worship is the life lived for God. Amen! Hallelujah! Praise God!

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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 FAITHFULLNESS Series of Podcast, we learned the following PURPOSES of this fruit of the HOLY SPIRIT:

  • Gives us the idea of forbearance, patience or self-control
  • To learn the art of ego displacement
  • Helps us to speak of friendliness and cheerfulness
  • Learn to humble ourselves like a child
  • Know a way of winning others to Christ
  • To see that we are considerate in all we do and remember that our Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon
  • To receive the healing touch of God

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 https://homefellowshipchurches.org/an-invitation-to-meet-our-lord-jesus-christ/

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 by appointment.

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: trinityblessings@homefellowshipchurches.org. 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”

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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.

A Call to – Make A Difference – Generous Giving

In 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 NLT says, “1 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in His kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. 3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. 6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways – in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us – I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. 8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches. 9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich. 10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.”.

Paul, writing from Macedonia, hoped that news of the generosity of these churches would encourage the Corinthian believers and motivate them to solve their problems and unite in fellowship.

During his third missionary journey, Paul had collected money for the impoverished believers in Jerusalem. The churches in Macedonia – Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea – had given money even though they were poor, and they had sacrificially given more than Paul expected. Although they were poor themselves, they wanted to help. The amount we give is not as important as why and how we give. God does not want us to give grudgingly. Instead, He wants us to give as these churches did – out of dedication to our Lord Jesus Christ, love for fellow believers, the joy of helping those in need, as well as the fact that it was simply the good and right thing to do. How well does your giving measure up to the standards set by the Macedonian churches?

The Kingdom of God spreads through believers’ concern and eagerness to help others. Here we see several churches joining to help others beyond their own circle of friends and their own city. Let’s explore ways that we might link up with a ministry outside our city, either through your church/fellowship or through a Born-Again Christian organization such as Convoy of Hope – The Bridge Church -Hutto, Texas (My adopted local home church). By joining with other believers to do God’s work, we increase Christian unity and help the Kingdom grow. Amen!

The Corinthian believers excelled in everything – they had faith, gifted speakers, knowledge, enthusiasm, and love. Paul wanted them to also be leaders in giving. Giving is a natural response of love. Paul did not order the Corinthians to give, but he encouraged them to prove that their love was real. When we love someone, we want to give that person our time and attention and provide for his or her needs. If we refuse to help, our love is not as genuine as we say.

There is no evidence that our Lord Jesus Christ was any poorer than most first-century Palestinians; rather, our Lord Jesus Christ became poor by giving up His rights as God and becoming human. In His incarnation, God voluntarily became man – the person Jesus of Nazareth. As a man, our Lord Jesus Christ was subject to place, time, and other human limitations. He did not give up His eternal power when He became human, but He did set aside His glory and His rights (see Philippians 2:5-7). In response to the Father’s will, He limited His power and knowledge. Our Lord Jesus Christ became “poor” when He became human because He set aside so much. Yet by doing so, He made us “rich” because we received salvation and eternal life.
What made our Lord Jesus Christ’s humanity unique was His freedom from sin. In our Lord Jesus Christ, we can see every attribute of God’s character. The Incarnation is explained further in these Bible passages: John 1:1-14; Romans 1:2-5; Philippians 2:6-11; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 1:1-3.

The Christians in the Corinthian church had money, and apparently, they had planned to collect money for the Jerusalem church a year previously (see also 2 Corinthians 9:2). Paul challenges them to act on their plans.

Four principles of giving emerge here: (1) Our willingness to give enthusiastically is more important than the amount we give; (2) We should strive to fulfill our financial commitments; (3) If we give to others in need, they will, in turn, help us when we are in need; (4) We should give as a response to our Lord Jesus Christ, not for anything we can get out of it. How we give reflects our devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

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