A man reaps what he sows

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:7-8 NIV

God has created the world with a principle of sowing and reaping.  When we sow to the things of God’s kingdom we will reap the blessings of the Lord in our lives.  The work of the Holy Spirit will be evident in our lives and we will continually grow in the character and nature of Jesus.

But when we sow to the things of the sinful nature the only result will be destruction.  If we claim to follow Christ but continue in the things of sin we simply invite destruction into our lives.  This is why the Lord calls us to repent.  Repentance means to fully turn away from the things of sin and fully turn our hearts to the Lord.

God is full of grace but He is also a loving Father who has given His children freewill.  He has given us freewill to choose how to live our lives.  Those who choose to pursue the Lord with their whole heart will experience all that God has for them.  But those who choose to live for themselves and the things of the sinful nature will in the end experience destruction.  God has given us warning after warning in His word and instruction after instruction to pursue Him and His kingdom.  May we simply pursue Him with our whole heart and remove any idol or anything that hinder our relationship with Him.

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Sexual confusion: one of the great deceptions of our day

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  2 Corinthians 4:3-4

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.  Genesis 2:23-24

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.  Genesis 1:27

One of the great deceptions of our generation is sexual confusion.  This manifest in many different forms.  Things that would fall under the umbrella of sexual confusion are homosexuality and transgender ideology.  When God created man and woman, He created a man distinctly different from a woman.  Man was created first and from man, woman was created.

God states that a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife.  When God’s word speaks of a wife it speaks of a woman because the model God gave us at the beginning of creation was Adam and Eve who were male and female.

We live in a day and age where the lie of sexual confusion permeates every aspect of our lives.  It dominates the entertainment industry, continuing to sow seeds of deception in the desire to turn people’s hearts and minds away from God and His ways.  Many today reject the existence of God and His word.  Because of this their hearts are easily deceived by the enemy.

As we continue to move forward in history we will see that the lie of sexual confusion will continue to impact more and more individuals on the earth. It is our responsibility as God’s people to defend the truth of God’s word and to preach and teach the word without compromise.

The only way a person can be set free from the lie of sexual confusion is to give one’s life to Jesus Christ because it is only the blood of Christ and the truth of God’s word that can set us free.  The way that the enemy enslaves people upon the earth is through lies and deception.  It is only the truth of God’s word that can cut through every lie of the enemy.

We will never argue anyone into God’s kingdom.  We are simply responsible to plant the truth of God’s word and water it with prayer.  We will never know the full impact of our lives until we live forever with the Lord in His kingdom.  Standing for God’s word without compromise will require sacrifice.  But the reward will be far greater than we can even imagine some day in God’s kingdom.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

James 1:2-3 NIV

Trials are key in our growth with the Lord.  We naturally desire to be comfortable at all times.  But if we were comfortable at all times we would rely upon our own strength and would be very shallow and immature in our relationship with Christ.  It is the trials and the testing of our faith that truly causes us to grow and rely fully upon the Lord.

Trials teach us to rely upon the Lord and not our own strength.  One of the most difficult thing for any new believer is giving full control over to the Lord.  We desire to be in control and rely on our own strength.  But when Christ calls us to follow Him, He calls us to deny ourselves and daily pick up our cross.  He calls us to decrease that He may increase.

Today if you find yourself in the midst of a difficult trial understand that you are not alone.  That the Lord has ordered every step and no matter what you face, He will equip you and strengthen you for all things.  We must walk one day at a time and through every step the Lord is growing us and refining us and preparing us for His glory.

Jude 3-4: Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about[b] long ago have secretly slipped in among you.They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.  Jude 3-4

Jude’s main purpose for writing his letter is to contend for the faith.  The word of God is our standard of truth.  The world we live in is filled with lies and deception and the greatest deceptions of Satan are those that would be considered half-truth.  They have an aspect of truth but when truly examined against scriptures their deception is revealed.  The problem today is many believers are ignorant of God’s word because they fail to study the scriptures and are easily deceived in this hour of history.

Jude warns of those who have slipped in among believers who are false teachers who have distorted the grace of God for a license to sin.  This is alive and well in our world today.  There are so many so called well known preachers who use the name of Jesus and the word of God to make a profit and the way they build mega ministries for their own name is by distorting the grace of God.

They preach nothing of hell and the need for holiness.  They preach on the grace of God but never speak of repentance.  They never call people to turn from their sins, but simply create a gospel message that is self-centered and causes believers to live in slavery and bondage while claiming to follow Christ.

Jesus came to set us free from the curse of sin and death and if we are truly in Christ, sin will no longer have dominion over our lives.  But if we have never fully given our hearts and lives over to Christ we will continue to be dominated by sin and temptation.  For the only way to truly be free is to lay down one’s life and pick up one’s cross.

The Jesus they preach is not the true Jesus.  For if we have truly come to Christ we will understand His holiness and righteousness and because He is holy we are called to be Holy.  As we grow in Him the Holy Spirit will convict our hearts and lives and continue to prune us so that the character and nature of Christ is produced and manifested through the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

May we heed the scriptures in this hour.  May the study of God’s word and the pursuit to know Him be the priority and obsession of our lives.  Everything in this world that is not of God and His kingdom shall pass away.  We have so many idols today and so many have allowed worthless idols to take only the place that Jesus deserves in their hearts.  God is calling us to something greater.  God is calling us to be the bride He is returning for.  May we seek Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Jude 1-2: Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James

Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and [a]brother of [b]James, [writes this letter],

To those who are the called (God’s chosen ones, the elect), dearly loved by God the Father, and kept [secure and set apart] for Jesus Christ: May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you [filling your heart with the spiritual well-being and serenity experienced by those who walk closely with God].  Jude 1-2

The one who wrote the book of Jude was the half brother of Jesus.  When Jesus was born Mary was a virgin.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit Mary became pregnant with Jesus.  But after Jesus was born, Mary had other children with Joseph and two of these children were James and Jude.

Jesus brother James wrote the book of James.  He was known as James the just and was a leader in the Jerusalem church.  Jude his brother wrote this letter and it was in defense of the truth and against the false teaching of the day.  Jude nor James believed Jesus was the Christ during his earthly ministry.  They actually believed He was out of His mind (Mark 3:20-21).  But we are told that Jesus appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:6-8) once Jesus had risen from the dead and we see from Jude’s letter that he also became a believer that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.

Jude writes this letter to those who are believers and followers of Jesus Christ.  We who have chosen to follow Christ were chosen first by Him.  We are kept by the grace of God and it is not based on our own strength or ability.  He has simply called us to draw near each day and abide in Him (John 15:5-8).  As we abide in Him we will continue to grow and experience the abundant life that Jesus proclaimed.

God’s mercy, peace, and love is only experienced by those who walk closely with Jesus Christ.  Our walk with the Lord is something we experience on a daily basis.  It is not an abstract concept nor simply theological in nature.  It is a living relationship with the Living God and the reason we experience God’s mercy, peace, and love when we walk closely with Christ is because His presence consumes our lives.  It is the Holy Spirit who fills us to overflowing and it is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives.  So many miss out on all that God has for them because they simply fail to walk closely with the Lord.  They chase after things that have no eternal value and become distracted by the lies of the enemy.  When Christ is the priority and drawing near to Him is the driving force in our lives, we will experience all that Christ has for us.

1 John 5:21: Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—

21 Little children (believers, dear ones), guard yourselves from idols—[false teachings, moral compromises, and anything that would take God’s place in your heart].  1 John 5:21

John’s last words is for us to guard ourselves from idols.  Idols not only include statues or images that people worship, an idol is anything that would try to usurp the supremacy of Christ in our lives.  Our jobs, money, sex, false teaching, and moral compromises can all become idols in our lives.  Jesus is not only to be Savior, He is to be Lord of our lives.  That means He has the priority in our lives and everything we do in our lives is done to continue to grow in our relationship with Him.  We are called to remove anything that would hinder our relationship with God.  As we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and walk according to the Spirit our hearts will be guarded from the lies and deceptions of this dark wicked world.

1 John 5:18-20: We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin

18 We know [with confidence] that anyone born of God does not habitually sin; but He (Jesus) who was born of God [carefully] keeps and protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19 We know [for a fact] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] lies in the power of the evil one [opposing God and His precepts]. 20 And we [have seen and] know [by personal experience] that the Son of God has [actually] come [to this world], and has given us understanding and insight so that we may [progressively and personally] know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true—in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.  1 John 5:18-20

If we are truly following Christ it is impossible to habitually sin.  Habitual sin is when we are living in sin and our lives are dominated by sin.  The reason this is not possible is because Christ has set us free from the curse of sin and death.  It is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to walk in victory over temptation and sin.  The only reason a persons life will be dominated by sin is if they are failing to abide daily in Jesus Christ.  Failing to abide in the Lord is a recipe for disaster and destruction.

We who have chosen to follow Christ are sons and daughters of God.  The entire world is deceived by the power and deception of Satan.  The Lord by His grace and mercy chose to come to this earth and lay down His life.  To become flesh and blood, live without sin, and give His very life in place of our lives.  Those who come to Christ are set free from the darkness and wickedness of this world.  We will be hated in this world but we have nothing to fear.  In all that we will face the Lord will empower us and equip us to be victorious.  But the key is abiding daily in Him.

John actually saw the Lord and walked with Him during His earthly ministry.  John was a eye witness to all that Jesus did with the other apostles.  He was part of Jesus inner circle with James, and Peter and John knew Christ intimately.  John refers to himself in his gospel as the disciple whom Jesus loved.  John during the ministry of Christ was known as a son of thunder with his brother James.  But as you study all that John wrote in the biblical record it is clear to see how his life was transformed by the Lord because he often focuses on the love of God.

It is the Lord who gives us understanding and insight and we progressively come to grow in the knowledge of who He is and His kingdom.  Our growth with Him is progressive because as we come to study His word, we naturally grow in greater understanding of who He is.  It is only through Jesus Christ that eternal life is found.  For those who desire to follow Him they must deny themselves and pick up their cross.  The more we draw near the more we come to know Him and His heart.

 

 

1 John 5:16-17: If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death

16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin that does not lead to death, he will pray and ask [on the believer’s behalf] and God will for him give life to those whose sin is not leading to death. There is a sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for this [kind of sin]. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin that does not lead to death [one can repent of it and be forgiven]. 1 John 5:16-17

When we see fellow brothers and sisters in the faith walking away from the Lord and pursuing the desires of the sinful nature we need to pray and intercede for them.  Every time a person begins to wander from the truth they are being deceived by the enemy.  The enemy we face is a spiritual enemy and the way we are victorious is by waging spiritual warfare that happens through prayer.  We cannot idle sit by and watch people walk to destruction.  Too many instead of praying and interceding for them spend time gossiping about what they are doing.  John doesn’t designate what the sin is that leads to death but the only sin that would lead to death would be to fully abandon faith in Jesus Christ.  It is only through Christ we have a relationship with God and have the Holy Spirit working in our lives.

Sin is wrong doing and living contradictory to God and His kingdom.  The apostle Paul in the book of Galatians chapter 5 writes of the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.  The flesh and the Spirit are contradictory to one another.  Fallen human nature desires the sinfulness and wickedness of this world while the leading of the Holy Spirit draws us to the nature and character of Christ.  This journey we walk with the Lord is a journey that happens one step at a time.  We must pray for strength, wisdom, and understanding each day.  When we see our fellow brother and sister struggling we need to pray and intercede.  May we be a people filled with the love of Christ.  May His grace and mercy fill our hearts and drive every decision we make.

1 John 5:14-15: Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.  1 John 5:14-15

We know that if we ask anything according to the will of God that the Lord hears us.  But the key is asking according to His will.  God’s plans and purposes are sovereign and He will never give us something in our lives that does not align with His will or will end up destroying us.  Sometimes our Father will simply say no and not tell us why He says no.  He simply tells us to trust Him and that His ways are higher than our ways.  But the way our desires align with the will of God is simply by abiding and growing in Him.  As we grow and abide we are transformed into the image and nature of Jesus Christ.  This simply means that our minds and hearts become one with His and we see the world as He sees it.  The very things we desire to pray are the very things that God desires to do in the earth.

Since we know He hears us we must go before His throne with confidence and without fear.  We must make prayer the priority of our lives.  Everything we accomplish on this earth is born out of prayer.  The Lord has simply told us we have not because we ask not.  Jesus told us that we must ask, seek, and knock.  Prayer is simply where the power of God is released into the earth and the Lord simply seeks those who will pray without ceasing.

1 John 5:6-8: This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth:[b] the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.  1 John 5:6-8

Jesus came by the water and the blood.  He was baptized by John the Baptist and in doing so fulfilled the will of His Father in Heaven.  He came by the blood when He went to the cross and died for our sins.  It is the Holy Spirit who bears witness of the truth of who Jesus Christ is.  That He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it.  In all that Jesus did He fulfilled the perfect will of the Father.  Because of His death and resurrection we can have new life this day in Him.

The three who bear witness in Heaven are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Both in John’s gospel and here, John refers to Jesus as the word.  They are three in one.  Some will argue against the theology of the trinity.  But God is made up of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  They are not three separate Gods in which we serve three Gods.  They are three distinct persons of the Godhead but are all one.

The three witnesses on the earth who bare witness to the truth of Jesus is the Holy Spirit, water baptism, and being born again through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  Our salvation is not based on feelings but the witness of the Holy Spirit within us.  It is the Holy Spirit who transforms us from the inside out and draws us near to the Father.  It is Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth and reveals that Jesus is truly the Son of God.  It is through God’s word that our lives are transformed.  As we come to understand the depths of God’s word our lives are truly transformed into the nature and character of Christ.