HOME FELLOWSHIP CHURCHES

THE WORDS

We would not know who God is without the Word of God. The 6Word (JESUS CHRIST) is God’s revelation of Himself to humankind. We would not know what righteousness is without the Word. The Word defines righteousness. We would not know the fullest definition of sin without the Word. We would know neither of our origin nor of our destiny without the Word. God’s plan for the ages would never be ours without the Word of God.

  • Quote from “3:16” of Max Lucado:

If you know nothing of the Bible, start here. If you know everything in the Bible, return here. We all need the reminder. The heart of the human problem is the heart of the human. God’s treatment is prescribed in 7John 3:16.

Moses disciplines Israel. The two stone tablets contained the 8ten commandments. These were not the only code of laws in the ancient world. Other law codes had come into existence when cities or nations decided that there must be standards of judgment, ways to correct specific wrongs. However, God’s laws for Israel were unique: (1) they alleviated the harsh judgments typical of the day; (2) they were egalitarian, democratic or free – the poor and the powerful received the same punishment; (3) they did not separate religious and social law. All laws rested on God’s authority.

      9Hiding or keeping God’s Words in our heart is a deterrent to sin. This alone should inspire us to memorize Scripture. Memorization alone will not keep us from sin; we must also put God’s Words to work in our life by yielding, surrendering to the Holy Spirit and help us.

God will discern whether or not we make every effort and whether or not we have truly come to faith in Christ; nothing in all creation can hide from Him. We may fool ourselves or other Christians with our spiritual lives, but we could not deceive God. He knows who we really are because the 10Word of God is full of living power. The Word of God cannot be taken for granted or disobeyed. The Israelites who rebelled and learned the hard way that when God speaks, they must listen. Going against God means facing judgment and death.

The Word of God is living, life changing and dynamic as it works in us. The demands of the Word of God require decision. We not only listen to it, we let it shape our lives. Because the Word of God is living, it applied to these first-century Jewish Christians, and it applies as well to Christians today. Most books may appear to be dusty artifacts just sitting on the shelf, but the Word of God collected in Scripture vibrates with life.

The Word of God penetrates through our outer façade, frontage, pretense, outward show, or public image and reveals what lies deep inside. The metaphor of the sharpest knife pictures the Word of God cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires, revealing what we really are on the inside. Nothing can be hidden from God; neither can we hide from ourselves if we sincerely study the Word of God. It reaches deep past our outer life as a knife passes through skin.

Two thoughts are presented by the phrase, everything is naked and exposed before His eyes. (1) We cannot give excuses, justifications, or reasons – everything is seen for exactly what it is. No one can deceive God. (2) We are exposed, powerless, and defenseless before God. The word refers to paralyzing grip of the wrestler in a choke grip or hold.

The Word of God penetrates like a sword, and is exposing us to God Himself to whom we must explain all that we have done. All people must give an account to God, but without trappings and rationalizations. These words give warning that believers must be careful not to drift away, but to obey God wholeheartedly. God is the final judge.

It is noteworthy; however, that there was a condition attached to the promise of God that only then will we prosper and succeed: total victory depended on firm and constant meditating day and night, talking and obedience of the Words of God, by 4Joshua and all the people including us, to all the laws of God.

First, Timothy was to 11preach the Word of God – the message of the Gospel. The word suggests vigorous proclamation! Paul wanted Timothy to be bold and passionate. It was up to Timothy to preach the Gospel so that the Christian faith could spread throughout the world. Timothy should always be persistent, whether the time is favorable or not, Paul, soon to die, may have looked back on his life realizing how short the time had bee. Paul urged Timothy to make the most of the time he would be allotted on this earth. Timothy would need to patiently correct those who were in error by explaining the truth, helping them to understand and accept it. He should rebuke those were sinning by explaining their sin and their need for repentance. He should encourage those who were growing, for even those growing in the faith need instruction and guidance. Patience should always characterize Timothy’s attitude as he dealt with the people in his church; good teaching (or doctrine) should be the basis for his words.

      The expression be quick to listen is a beautiful way of capturing the idea of active listening. We are not simply to refrain from speaking; we are to be ready and willing to listen. This “quick” listening is obviously to be done with discernment. 12We are to check what we hear with God’s Word. If we do not listen both carefully and quickly, we are liable to be led into all kinds of false teaching and error. Quick to listen and slow to speak should be taken together as sides of the same coin. Slowness in speaking means speaking with humility and patience, not with hasty words or nonstop gabbing. Constant talking keeps a person from being able to hear. Wisdom is not always having something to say; it involves listening carefully, considering prayerfully, and speaking quietly. When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that we think our ideas are much more important than theirs. James wisely advises us to reverse this process. We need to put a mental stopwatch on our conversations and keep track of how much we talk and how much we listen. When people talk to us, do they feel that their viewpoints and ideas have value?

            The second coming of Christ – the moment God’s people had been waiting for (See 13Mark 14:62; 14Luke 24:30). Christ’s return will be unmistakable. Heaven will be opened, as Christ, on a white horse, makes His entrance. The white horse symbolizes victory. (Some think this is the same rider as mentioned in 156:2, who was also on a white horse. They suggest that the rider symbolized Christ and the spread of the Good News across the world.

            This rider is named Faithful and True, judges fairly and then goes to war. The order of words indicates that the warfare is a result of God’s judgment on the inhabitants of the earth who have completely rejected Him. Although Jesus is called “Faithful and True,” “Word of God” (1619:13), and “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1719:16), these verses imply that no name can do Him justice. He is greater than any description or expression the human mind can devise.

An Invitation to Meet our Lord Jesus Christ

We hope that our “Home Fellowship Churches” has not only helped all of you understand and experience more about the Bible, and first and foremost, knowing the Way, the Truth, and the Life at this moment of adversities especially this COVID-19., forced us to – Stay At Home.

Perhaps it has also caused you to think seriously about your own relationship with God. If your life were to end today or tomorrow, God forbid -, and it certainly will someday – what valid reason would you give the living God that you should spend eternity in heaven?

If you have always assumed that “being a good person” or “not killing anybody” was the requirement for heaven, that is not a correct assumption. The Bible says we have all sinned and that our sins separate us from a holy and loving God. No human being can be good enough to qualify for heaven. That is why our Lord Jesus Christ came, that is why our Lord Jesus allowed Himself to be put to death on a Cross, and that is why He conquered death by His resurrection. The only way to be assured of eternal life is to depend completely on the grace and mercy of God expressed through Jesus Christ.

If you would like to be certain of your eternal destiny and begin a new relationship [not new religion] with God today – you can do both in the next few moments – here is how:

  1. First, you need to recognize and acknowledge that you need God’s forgiveness offered only in Jesus Christ.

All have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. [Romans 3:23-24]

  • You must repent of your sin – that is, turn away from anything in your life that you know to be wrong before God – and resolve to walk in a path that is obedient to our Lord Jesus Christ. Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God. [Acts 2:38]
  • You must walk ask Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to give you spiritual rebirth and to come and live in you. Our Lord Jesus Christ replied, “I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God.” [John 3:3] “Look! Here I stand at the door and knock. If you hear Me calling and open the door, I will come in.” [Revelation 3:20]
  • You must commit yourself completely to knowing, loving, and serving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior for the rest of your life.

The apostle Paul said, “I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us to heaven.” [Philippians 3:13-14]

I invite and encourage you to begin your new life with our Lord Jesus Christ today. You can take the steps outlined above by talking to God just as you would to a friend and/or just as you are. You can pray something like this:

Dear God,

I acknowledge that I have sinned – intentionally or unintentionally – and that I fall short of your standard of perfect goodness and holiness. I know that I cannot save myself by good works. I believe that Jesus Christ, Your Son, died on the Cross to pay for my sins, that He rose from the dead to give me the hope of eternal life, and that one day He will return to take me to be with Him in heaven forever. Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to forgive my sins. Please send your Holy Spirit into my life and begin to teach me and shape me as you wish. I commit myself to knowing, loving, and serving you as my personal Savior and Lord for the rest of my life. Please help me to do that, in the name of Jesus, Amen!

You do not need to pray exactly those words. Just talk to God honestly from your heart. He will hear you and understand. You may or may not feel anything special as you talk to Him, but if you genuinely want to belong to Christ, rest assured that He will welcome you into His family of Born-Again Christian believers. Think of it – the God of the universe, who created you, will forgive all your sins and make you a new person with a new start! [2 Corinthianso 5:17]

He will live in you by His Spirit and be your loving Savior and Lord. He will guide you throughout this life and welcome you into heaven when you die. The Bible says that if you have turned from your sins and asked God to save you and make you His, the Angels in heaven are rejoicing over you. [Luke 15:10]

                If you are a new Born-Again Christian, we encourage you to do two things:

                First, begin to read your Bible and talk to God every day. Prayer is simply talking honestly with God. As you do that, you will begin to sense God reminding you of the Bible’s truths and giving you strength to obey Him through the Holy Spirit. As you probably already noticed, the pages and posts in our new, “Home Fellowship Churches” includes Bible Studies. If you do not already have a hard copy of the Bible, let us know, and will ship the Bible to you for free. You might consider purchasing one of the new translations that include helpful study notes. You might try the Life Application Bible published by Tyndale House Publishers, and/or download the Bible App, “YouVersion” from www. bible.com.

                Second, all Christians are encouraged find a local church where they can share in the experience of worshiping with other believers, learn, from the teaching, and enjoy getting to know other Christians. It may take some time to find just the right church for you. Make it a top priority to do so. A good church will be a great encouragement and help as you grow in your new Christian life and spiritual maturity.

                For the meantime, while this pandemic, COVID-19i s still around, and simultaneously looking around to find the right church for you, you are welcome to join us at www.trinityblessings.org, and/or www.homefellowshipchurches.org

May God bless you richly as you begin your journey of faith with our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!

Victories – At The Cross of Calvary

Romans 8:35-39 NLT

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither Angels nor demons, neither the present  nor the future, nor any powers, neither height , nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Let’s digest the scriptures above:

Romans 8:35 NLT                                                                                                  The next questions help seal our assurance in God. Nothing can separate us from Christ’s love for us. Then Paul lists several situations we might think could come between God and us. Paul knew from experience that these could not separate believers from God—he had already experienced them (see 2 Corinthians 11:23-28). This means that the love of Christ doesn’t separate us from these experiences, but that even in the most devastating of these, the love of Christ is with us.

Let’s get it deeper:

 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 NLT – In Verse 23, “Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served Him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again”.

Although Paul had conceded to his opponents their Jewish heritage, he would not agree with them that they served Christ. To prove his point, Paul listed all the trials he suffered for Christ. Could his opponents, who boasted in achievements, accomplishments, and credentials, produce an even more extensive list of suffering and persecution endured for Christ’s name? Were they willing to follow Jesus’ way of the cross, His life of suffering? Were they willing to take up their crosses daily for Christ (Matthew 10:38)? Paul had suffered the hardship of imprisonment; including being whipped (Acts 16:22-24). He had faced death on a number of occasions (see Acts 14:19, when Paul was stoned by a crowd). Since this letter was written during Paul’s third missionary journey (Acts 18:23–21:17), his trials weren’t over. He would experience further difficulties and humiliations for the cause of Christ (see Acts 21:30-33; 22:24-30). Paul was sacrificing his life for the Gospel, something the false teachers would never do.

In Verse 24, “Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes”.

According to the Jewish law, forty lashes was the maximum number the Jews could prescribe (Deuteronomy 25:3). The rabbis, however, would only allow thirty-nine, so that if the flogger miscounted he wouldn’t accidentally sin by administering more than forty. These beatings were carried out in the synagogues and were for either moral or religious offenses. The lashes were made of several straps of leather, sometimes with bone or metal tied to the ends to inflict more pain. In Paul’s case, the punishment would have been for preaching the Gospel, what Jews commonly considered blasphemy. He faced this five different times. None of these beatings are recorded in Acts, but the adamant opposition of the Jews to the Gospel message is recorded (Acts 13:45, 50; 14:2; 18:6, 12).

In Verse 25, “Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea”.

Only the Romans could administer beatings with rods. Yet Paul was beaten with rods at Philippi (Acts 16:22). Apparently, government officials had beaten him on two other occasions (these weren’t recorded in the book of Acts, however). At Lystra, Paul had survived being stoned (Acts 14:8-20). Sea travel was not as safe as it is today. Paul had been shipwrecked three times, and he would face another accident on his voyage to Rome (Acts 27). By this time, Paul had probably made at least eight or nine voyages; thus, given the danger of first-century sea travel, he could have certainly experienced that many disasters at sea. The fact that Paul survived twenty-four hours adrift at sea would have been considered miraculous in the first century, a sign of God’s hand on his life.

In Verse 26, “I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not”.

The sea did not present the only danger Paul faced on the many weary miles he had traveled as he took the Gospel all over the Mediterranean world. Robbers were a constant problem in the ancient world. In addition, Paul’s own people, the Jews, were trying to orchestrate his downfall. When Paul first visited Corinth, the Jews had dragged him before the governor of Achaia in order to stop him from preaching (Acts 18:12-17). The Gentiles also had opposed Paul in Philippi and in Ephesus (Acts 16:19-24; 19:23-31). Paul’s list of dangers climaxes in men who claim to be Christians but are not. His point is abundantly clear. Since he had bravely faced all sorts of dangers for Christ, he certainly would have enough courage to face those false teachers who were discrediting his authority and his name in Corinth. On past visits, Paul had not been as aggressive with those who opposed him (10:1). He was planning to confront his critics on his next visit (13:1-5).

In Verse 27, “I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm”.

In order to place his ministry beyond reproach, Paul had supported himself by working at a manual trade. Working two jobs had caused weariness, pain, and sleepless nights. Because of the low wages of itinerant laborers and the hardships of first-century travel, Paul was often hungry, thirsty, and cold. But Paul had endured all these hardships cheerfully to preach the Gospel, to tell men and women all over the Roman Empire that Jesus could save them from their sins.

In Verse 28, “Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches”.                                                                                                                                  Every day Paul thought about the spiritual health of the churches he had founded. There were so many pitfalls and traps into which a young congregation could fall. Persecution could force the church to compromise its theology; quarreling and inner strife could distract the church from its purpose; false teachers could deceive a church. Paul was concerned that the churches wouldn’t persevere in the faith. One indication of his burden was his dedication and persistence in praying for them.

 

Victories – In Our Minds

1 Peter 1:9 (NLT) “The reward for trusting Him will be the salvation of your souls”.

We express joy (1:8) because of our belief in and love for our Lord Jesus Christ. The reward for trusting Christ will be the deliverance or salvation of our souls. Believers receive salvation when they accept Jesus Christ as Savior, yet salvation will not be complete until Jesus Christ returns and makes everything new. In the meantime, we continue growing in the Christian life and experiencing more and more of the blessings of salvation. As we continue to believe and rejoice, we also continue to grow toward maturity in Christ and to our promised salvation.

Born-Again Christian believers express joy (1 Peter 1:8) because of their belief in and love for Jesus Christ. The reward for trusting Christ will be the salvation of their souls. Believers receive salvation when they accept Jesus Christ as Savior, yet salvation will not be complete until Jesus Christ returns and makes everything new. In the meantime, we continue growing in the Christian life and experiencing more and more of the blessings of salvation. As we continue to believe and rejoice, we also continue to grow toward maturity in Christ and to our promised salvation.

%d bloggers like this: