Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The enemy that is in!

Scripture Read: Romans 1:21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes. 24 So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved.28 When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents.31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving.32 They are fully aware of God’s death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.

Application: Refuse to understand:σύνετος asunetos -  unintelligent, without understanding, stupid. Paul calls unredeemed man’s heart asunetos, because of its inability to conclude from the observable creation that there must be a Creator, To be without understanding is not just a partial deficiency which might be overcome; it is total darkening, and as such the work of God, ,

Break their promises: σύνθετος asunthetos - In the NT a breaker of a covenant or agreement, faithless, treacherous. Paul, however, uses it with an act. referring to those who, being in covenant and treaty with others, refuse to abide by their agreements. ,

Heartless: στοργος astorgos - without natural affection, Without family love,

Unforgiving: νελεήμων aneleemon  - Unmerciful, not compassionate.

This is a pretty ugly description of man. I wonder how often I would fit into this category. I realize that I have been delivered but since this is a description of my old nature – when I yield to it, am I not in the same boat again, except I am not without hope? Perhaps this is why believers can do such ridiculous sins! We know what is right and wrong – but when functioning from the old man we can easily sin because the old man does not operate with spiritual eyes. This is why it is so important to have a moment to moment conscious relationship with the Holy Spirit. For He can awaken us from within when we are trying to walk in the power of the flesh. This is not an excuse Lord – for I do not have to yield to the old man. Help me my Lord to see the need I have to stay conscious on my relationship with the Holy Spirit. He alone can provide me with the strength of Christ. Thank you that He is in me and desires to lead me. Thanks Holy Spirit! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Seeing Clearly

Romans 1:16–20 For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. 17 This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” God’s Anger at Sin 18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

Application:  Suppress: κατέχω katechō -  to hold back, detain, retain, to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of), In a bad sense c. of “holding illegally,” “holding in prison” (with ἐν) in R. 1:18;

Obvious: φανερός phaneros -  apparent, manifest, evident, known. to be plainly recognized or known, to shine, to make to shine or to cause to appear. The primary reference is to what is visible to sensory perception, In such cases the reference is still to what can be perceived by the senses but in such a way that the perception involves understanding. 

This is a heavy indictment of what we all do with God’s truth. How often do I hold the truth prisoner in my selfish flesh so I can rationalize what I want to do? Especially when His truth is plain to me. I realize this is talking about an unsaved man and his determined blindness – but it does have application to me. I do suppress or push away the truth when I choose to sin openly. When I am sinning openly I sense what the truth is but ignore it. Help me Lord to make the proper choices. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Keeping my eye on the ball

Scripture Read: Romans 1:8–15 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

Application: Established:στηρίζω stērizō - 1 to make stable, place firmly, set fast, fix, to render constant, confirm, one’s mind. In R. 1:11 the means of strengthening is the impartation of a spiritual gift: μεταδῶ χάρισμα ὑμῖν πνευματικόν.

Encouraged: συμπαρακαλέω symparakaleō - from sún, together, and parakaléō to comfort, console - 1 to call upon or invite or exhort at the same time or together. 2 to strengthen (comfort) with others. To call for or invite simultaneously, to invoke or exhort with others. In the NT only in the pass. meaning to be consoled, comforted with others, to receive solace and encouragement in the society of others.

This sheds light in my mind concerning what my call is really about. This is my desire – to get the Body to grow and be firm. My burden is for the foundation of our faith. That is what drives me. The idea of Paul’s desire to be physically present is an interesting one to me. Perhaps that is what makes the drive to be on the field what it is. It is not that I think I am irreplaceable – I know God does not need me – but I know that because of who He made me - with my particular gifts, that when I am physically there it makes a difference in how He uses what I am teaching. I can send long distance – but it does not seem to have the same effect. Hands on ministry is still important. I praise God for all the technology and what He can accomplish through it. Yet I also see how living in the Philippines makes a difference in what He accomplishes. I guess we all need to give serious thought to even “where” we are and if that is “where” God will find us most effective. Lord – guide me for this next step – I seek only to glorify You. Blind my mind to the desires of this age!! Thank You Lord. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Obedience leads to faith

Scripture Read:  Romans 1:1   Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, [2] which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, [3] concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, [4] who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, [5] through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name's sake, [6] among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; [7] to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


Obedience: ὑπακοή hypakoē 1 obedience, compliance, submission. 2 obedience rendered to anyone’s counsels, Elsewhere it always refers to the faith which obeys God’s will in a special sense, of relationship and subjection to that which, in the sphere of divine power and revelation, is right  More especially, it refers to subjection to the saving will of God revealed in Christ and referred to as obedience to the truth.

Faith: πίστις pistis - 1 the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. relating to Christ.  a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God.  belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same.

Here Paul gives what he has received from God (his call) and to what end that calling is to. The grace (salvation) and sentness (apostleship) is for the purpose of helping others to obey God by believing in Him and what Christ has done. This should lift my understanding of what You have called me to do Father. Yes I still need to be careful not to come on too strong when I share the gospel – but I also need to realize that it is an issue of obedience. They have freedom to reject, but at what consequence. Agreed I have no power to change that – but do I treat it to lightly. You have commanded man to believe in You. Even if he chooses to use the freedom You gave him to reject – I need to keep in my mind that that is not a little matter! What am I doing in my life that communicates that the whole reason I am still down here is to fulfill this call? By my life and words I am to “bring about” a decision in people to obey you. I feel good about my method Lord, but I need to rethink my attitude. The costs are far to great for others. Oh God fill me with Your love for all these people!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The common sense of Moderation

Scripture Read: Esther 1:1-10:3 [10] On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, [11] to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful. [12] But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him.


Merry  - יָטַב Yaṭab - 1 to be pleasant, be delightful. 2 to be glad, be joyful.

Burn  בָּעַר, בָּעַר, בָּעַר [ba`ar /baw·ar/] -  burn, i.e., a state or action of placing fire to combustible material, be very angry, formally, burn with anger, i.e., be in an intense state of anger as a figurative extension of fire as both a hot and consuming action.

What a strong indictment on the danger of trying to think straight when influenced by wine. There is no way to understand fully this text – why was she so against obeying, was he going to make her expose herself – some believe this is the issue. But either way for some reason he wanted to interrupt her party and bring her in to show her off. If he had not been drunk would he have done this? Then when she said no – and I do not know if she was drunk – his anger raged. Again how much of this was affected by his drink? The big lesson for me is not to allow anything control my thoughts and actions whether it be wine or emotions – which can make you just as drunk. Lust can drive you to do terrible things, so can anger. Lord – I pray that I can be a moderate man who does his best to think and pray before speaking and acting. Thanks for the lesson Lord.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Everyone Come – if you want to

Scripture Read:  Esther 1:5-9 And when these days were completed, the king gave a banquet lasting seven days for all the people who were present in Susa the capital, from the greatest to the least, in the court of the garden of the king's palace. [6] There were hangings of fine white and violet linen held by cords of fine purple linen on silver rings and marble columns, and couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and precious stones. [7] Drinks were served in golden vessels of various kinds, and the royal wine was plentiful according to the king's bounty. [8] And the drinking was done according to the law, there was no compulsion, for so the king had given orders to each official of his household that he should do according to the desires of each person. [9] Queen Vashti also gave a banquet for the women in the palace which belonged to King Ahasuerus.


Greatest גָּבֹול, gabowl ,גָּדֹול, gadowl, הַגְּדֹולִים
Hagdowlîm 529 occurrences;  in importance, distinguished (of men). 

Least  קָטָן, qaṭan קָטֹן, qaṭon young, small, insignificant, unimportant.
pertaining to being of low status,

Compulsion אָנַס ˒anas -  compel, i.e., to make another one do something.

What I find interesting is how much this celebration reminds me of You God. You invite the greatest to the least and You do it with free will included. No one has to come – but if they do it does not matter their station in life. You are truly a generous King oh Lord. Not a respecter of persons and yet allowing choice in whether we participate or not. Thank You for bringing me and my family to salvation. Help us Oh God! We live in evil times. Grant me the strength to see You glorified in our lives. Father please help us. Let it begin with me. I want to participate and do it in a way that brings You glory. I love You Lord.