04/14/17

Only Through The Cross: A Completed Work

Read Matthew 27: 1-66

 

We are observing Easter of 2017.  What does Easter mean to us this year, or any year?

 

 

Is Easter now a not so major holiday? Are we focusing on the true meaning of Easter?  Mostly I see people hurrying around filling Easter baskets and creating Easter displays. Each year it seems as if the merchant’s displays are being put up earlier and earlier.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we would think to start studying the import of Christ’s sacrifice at this time?

 

 

I remember as a child participating in Easter egg hunts and looking forward to the Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies and yellow chicks–not to mention jellybeans. I still love chocolate and jellybeans–but they take a certain back seat to the true meaning behind Easter and The Cross of Christ.

 

Our Savior sacrificed his entire being for us on Calvary’s cross. There has never been or ever will be another sacrifice to match it.  That is because as Jesus said, “It is finished”.

 

He performed a completed work so that you and I could be alive this day to live in Him and to partake in Communion with Him. He performed a completed work so that we could have a right to reign with Him for eternity and the glorious indwelling of The Holy Spirit to guide us in this life. He performed a completed work so that the entire world could be ministered to and the Great Commission performed in His Name.

 

 

As it states in Matthew 27: 35-37 NKJV : “Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:

‘They divided my garments among them, And for my clothing they cast lots.”

 

 

‘Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:  THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

 

 

They did this to make fun of our Savior, but they inadvertently furthered the plans of the Kingdom of GOD.  It is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we can stand firm and declare that the Kingdom of  GOD is here. It is our duty and our desire to see those who need the King of Kings gather at the Easter Banquet table.  

 

Charlene

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014-2017 Charlene Kirst
03/15/16

Acts 17 NIV

We are to proclaim Christ and carry out the Great Commission. The title,”Unknown God”, was an indicator that these people were searching , as we all do, for their Maker and Redeemer.

 

In Thessalonica

 

17 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead. “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,” he said. 4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

 

 

5 But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a] 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other believers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here, 7 and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.” 8 When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. 9 Then they made Jason and the others post bond and let them go.

 

 

In Berea

 

 

10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.

13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas and Timothy stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.

 

 

In Athens

 

 

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

 

 

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

 

 

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]

 

 

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

 

 

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

 

 

Footnotes:

 

 

  1. Acts 17:5 Or the assembly of the people

  2. Acts 17:28 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides

  3. Acts 17:28 From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus

 

 

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

 

07/15/15

Job 28: In Praise of Wisdom GNV

Job 28: 1-28

What is of more value than wisdom? We all strive throughout our lives to attain true wisdom, and just when we think that we have found it, we realize that there is more to seek, and more to learn. Ultimate wisdom is found in GOD, the Father of Lights, who illuminates the path to total understanding.

Wisdom is a priceless commodity. As the scripture states, “Wisdom is not found among men; No one knows its true value”.  Job 28: 13

 

 

 

Charlene

 

 

In Praise of Wisdom

 

 

28 There are mines where silver is dug;
There are places where gold is refined.
We dig iron out of the ground
And melt copper out of the stones.
Miners explore the deepest darkness.
They search the depths of the earth
And dig for rocks in the darkness.
Far from where anyone lives
Or human feet ever travel,
They dig the shafts of mines.
There they work in loneliness,
Clinging to ropes in the pits.
Food grows out of the earth,
But underneath the same earth
All is torn up and crushed.
The stones of the earth contain sapphires,
And its dust contains gold.
No hawk sees the roads to the mines,
And no vulture ever flies over them.
No lion or other fierce beast ever travels those lonely roads.

 

 

Miners dig the hardest rocks,
Dig mountains away at their base.
10 As they tunnel through the rocks,
They discover precious stones.
11 They dig to the sources of[rivers
And bring to light what is hidden.
12 But where can wisdom be found?
Where can we learn to understand?

 

 

13 Wisdom is not to be found among mortals;
No one knows its true value.
14 The depths of the oceans and seas
Say that wisdom is not found there.
15 It cannot be bought with silver or gold.
16 The finest gold and jewels
Cannot equal its value.
17 It is worth more than gold,
Than a gold vase or finest glass.
18 The value of wisdom is more
Than coral or crystal or rubies.
19 The finest topaz and the purest gold
Cannot compare with the value of wisdom.

 

 

Where, then, is the source of wisdom?
Where can we learn to understand?
21 No living creature can see it,
Not even a bird in flight.
22 Even death and destruction
Admit they have heard only rumors.

 

 

23 God alone knows the way,
Knows the place where wisdom is found,
24 Because he sees the ends of the earth,
Sees everything under the sky.
25 When God gave the wind its power
And determined the size of the sea;
26 When God decided where the rain would fall,
And the path that the thunderclouds travel;
27 It was then he saw wisdom and tested its worth—
He gave it his approval.

 

 

God said to us humans,
“To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord.
To understand, you must turn from evil.”

 

 

Good News Translation (GNT)

 

 

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

06/3/15

Community and Fellowship

I was thinking about the term fellowship. It’s purest reference is to men gathered together to pursue similar goals. In today’s climate fellowship has no specific gender reference. It is a group of individuals gathered together to pursue similar goals.

 However, if you truly wanted a term to describe a group of women in Godly relationship with one another,  possessing  common goals and aspirations in Christ,  I believe the purest representative term would be community. In community there is support and caring. There is awareness of each others needs and wants and a desire to meet those needs through Christ Jesus. Encouragement and a sense of humor is needed to keep everyone buoyant and feeling alive.

Here are some scriptures to encourage your heart today and forever:

“Only the Lord Jesus can give them this hunger for spiritual things and more of Him.”  Matthew 5:6 

“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” Isaiah 65:24

“Nothing is impossible with GOD”  Luke 18:27

“Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved”  Psalm 55:22

“He staggered not at the promise of GOD through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to GOD; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able to perform” Romans 4:20-21

                           Peace passing all understanding, for He cares for you

                                                                                             Charlene

 

King James Version  Public Domain

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Charlene Kirst
02/27/15

Constructive vs Destructive Criticism

Revised February 27th, 2015

 

What is criticism? The base meaning of the word is critic or critique–the process of reviewing and expressing a negative, positive, or mixed opinion. Criticism has its purpose– it is designed to help people to grow, and to expose areas that need to be purged or at least improved in their lives. Positive criticism encourages the recipient to do more; to improve on what they already possess. It can be a mixed critique pointing out good and bad elements, and is the most revealing of all. When people are faced with negative criticism designed to tear down and discourage, the end result can be devastation and pain.

There is another form of criticism that may appear to be negative, yet upon close perusal will reveal itself as positive. This is a critique designed to point out things that can be changed to produce a positive result. This type of criticism is embodied in the teachings of Jesus Christ our Lord.

After many efforts to teach the disciples how to use the power given them to heal the sick, Jesus had to address their lack of faith. All through The Gospels we can see examples of times when Jesus had to admonish His disciples and to point out their lack of belief.

Was Jesus critical of His disciples? Yes, he was. Example: Matthew 17:15, 16  KJV revised.

There is a man whose son is plagued with seizures. The disciples, despite all of Jesus’ teachings, cannot heal him.

“LORD, have mercy on my son; for he is lunatic (luna-moon) and sore vexed; for oftentimes he falls into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples and they could not cure him.” 

Verses 17, 18, 19, and 20: Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me”. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, “Why could we not cast him out”? And Jesus said unto them, “Because of your  unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

This was an example of criticism. What was Jesus’ intention in telling them of their unbelief? To strengthen their belief. To inspire the disciples to embrace all that He was teaching them, and to recognize the power they possessed through Him. This was positive or constructive criticism. It was designed to promote growth.

Destructive criticism is designed to hurt and tear down. Pray that you can distinguish between the positive and the negative, for you do not want to discourage GOD’s people through tearing their spirits apart and leaving them in despair.

Have a criticism? Intend for it to help someone to grow, and make sure that the Voice of The LORD has uttered the words.

Likewise, try the Spirit if you have a tendency to interpret all criticism as negative. There are those lead by GOD to deliver you and me from error.

                                                             In His Name,

                                                                      Rev. Charlene

12/23/14

Can God Trust You? Sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes

If everyone understood every aspect of GOD’s will there would be no need for redemption. It is because we all struggle for understanding and enlightenment that this sermon resonates to receptive hearts. We are GOD’s chosen people. He uses us in our imperfectness to do a perfect work…

credit: Mr. Kkyham

Charlene’s Source: youtube

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10/27/14

2 Timothy 3 NIV

2 Timothy 3

New International Version (NIV)

 

 

3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.

 

 

They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

 

 

A Final Charge to Timothy

 

 

10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a]may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

 

 

Footnotes:

 

 

  1. 2 Timothy 3:17 Or that you, a man of God,

 

 

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

09/1/14

Too Tired? Rosa Parks and Queen Esther

Too Tired?

Esther 7:1-10

 Esther 7:1-10

New International Version (NIV)

 Haman Impaled

 1 So the king and Haman went to Queen Esther’s banquet, 2and as they were drinking wine on the second day, the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what is your petition? It will be given you. What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.” 3 Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life—this is my petition. And spare my people—this is my request. 4 For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.[a]

 5King Xerxes asked Queen Esther, “Who is he? Where is he—the man who has dared to do such a thing?”

 6Esther said, “An adversary and enemy! This vile Haman!”

   Then Haman was terrified before the king and queen. 7The king got up in a rage, left his wine and went out into the palace garden. But Haman, realizing that the king had already decided his fate, stayed behind to beg Queen Esther for his life.

 8Just as the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was reclining.

   The king exclaimed, “Will he even molest the queen while she is with me in the house?”

   As soon as the word left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. 9 Then Harbona, one of the eunuchs attending the king, said, “A pole reaching to a height of fifty cubits[b]stands by Haman’s house. He had it set up for Mordecai, who spoke up to help the king.”

   The king said, “Impale him on it!” 10So they impaled Haman on the pole he had set up for Mordecai. Then the king’s fury subsided.

Footnotes:

  1. Esther 7:4 Or quiet, but the compensation our adversary offers cannot be compared with the loss the king would suffer
  2. Esther 7:9 That is, about 75 feet or about 23 meters

Rosa Louise Parks was tired. The petite African American woman sat quietly, grateful to find a seat on the bus after spending most of the day on her feet. When a white passenger demanded she give up her seat, Rosa looked up. Segregation was the law in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. Blacks were expected to yield their seats on public transportation to whites. To refuse meant arrest. Rosa stayed seated, and her actions helped change the landscape of the United States. Years later, Rosa wrote that it wasn’t physical weariness that gave her such inner strength. She said, “Our mistreatment was just not right, and I was tired of it.”

Centuries earlier, another woman was faced with a decision. Like Rosa, Esther had two strikes against her in the Persian Empire: She was female and a member of an oppressed people, the Jews. Although King Xerxes had chosen Esther to be queen, she was forbidden to approach the powerful king without an invitation, and an evil prime minister named Haman was plotting to annihilate the Jews. Esther’s cousin Mordecai’s plea to intervene meant risking her own life. It took courage for Queen Esther to take a stand, just as it took courage for Rosa Parks to remain seated. Both women’s actions opened the door to freedom for their people.

Many of us may think we’re safe from the type of persecution Rosa Parks and Esther faced. But Christians are being persecuted throughout the world in places like China, theSudan and North Korea. Everyday people die for the privilege of worshiping Jesus. It is estimated that more Christians died for their faith in the twentieth century than all the previous 19 centuries combined, and the numbers appear to be rising in the twenty-first century. Even in places where there is no outright persecution, many people think Christians are naive and out of touch with so-called reality. Some people do not really know or understand the person and mission of Jesus and will take every opportunity to slander his followers.

Wherever God has placed you, he can use you to speak his truth-words of love, justice and faith to a lost world-even if it means being misunderstood or ridiculed. Yes, it may be difficult and you may be weary; but, sister, “never tire of doing what is good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13).

Reflection

  1. How did reading about Rosa Parks and Queen Esther inspire you?
  2. Have you ever felt God nudging you to speak up about a situation? What happened?
  3. What do you need to take a stand on in your home, neighborhood or in the political arena?

Esther 7:3-4
Then Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor with you, Your Majesty, and if it pleases you, grant me my life-this is my petition. And spare my people-this is my request. For I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed and annihilated. If we had merely been sold as male and female slaves, I would have kept quiet, because no such distress would justify disturbing the king.”

Related Readings

Psalm 118:6-9; Luke 21:5-19 ; 2 Timothy 3:10-17

credit: The Girlfriends

This article retrieved from www.biblegateway.com via the world-wide web

All scripture quotes are from the Holy Bible, NIV version www.biblegateway.com

07/16/14

Colossians 2: Not Philosophy; Not Legalism; but Purity in Christ

Colossians 2:  NKJV 

 

Not Philosophy but Christ

 

 

2 For I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and[a] of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it[b] with thanksgiving.

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

 

 

Not Legalism but Christ

 

 

11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins[c] of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. 18 Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not[d] seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

20 Therefore,[e] if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations— 21 “Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,” 22 which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.

 

 

Footnotes:

 

  1. Colossians 2:2 NU-Text omits both of the Father and.
  2. Colossians 2:7 NU-Text omits in it.
  3. Colossians 2:11 NU-Text omits of the sins.
  4. Colossians 2:18 NU-Text omits not.
  5. Colossians 2:20 NU-Text and M-Text omit Therefore.

 

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.