05/20/14

Taking On The Armor of GOD

Taking On The Armor of God

 

 

 We walk in a hurting, disillusioned world where there is so much chaos and pain every day. It takes strength to traverse every twenty-four hour period, and if not for God’s hand in ours, we would be totally lost.

 

 

[The Armor of GOD] Finally, be strong in the LORD and in His mighty power. Put on the full Armor of GOD, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  Ephesians 6:10-11

 

 

We all know how effectively we can do a work with the proper support at hand. In this instance, our greatest support is the Word of GOD, the Bible. In this sacred volume we can find scripture to assist us in overcoming every circumstance; to teach us how to live Godly lives, and to encourage others. We can also find instruction for those circumstances that take us by surprise, such as acute illness or death. GOD designed His Word to give us hope, mercy, and joy (Psalm 30) and we are given example of David, who found peace in Jesus (Psalm 23), yet GOD also gave us David’s example of falling short of  GOD’s grace, repenting, being forgiven, and moving forward in Christ. (2 Samuel 12: 1-24)

 

 King David acts as a role model of a steadfast warrior for GOD, but he also emerges as one who needed grace and forgiveness from GOD for his sinful acts, such as the killing of Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba.  David’s example, and GOD’s way of restoring David’s life because of his true repentance through GOD’s Holy Spirit, should give us hope. If GOD loved David this much; He will also love us. If GOD disciplined David as a Father should; He will also discipline us in a way that will encourage our spiritual growth. This will lead to learning how to apply Godly principles to our lives to become over-comers and victors on earth as in Heaven.

 

 

Let us endure for the Cross those things that are designed to encourage us to love one another, as Christ loves us.  Jesus is always willing to walk by our side. He is able to keep us from falling.

 

 

Have courage in Him, Charlene

 

 

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.

05/20/14

Israel’s Right to the Land Written by John Paul Jackson

 

Article adapted from his teaching at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
For Release: January 2014

 

I am intensely interested in what God is doing in Israel. I have visited the Holy Land more than 20 times. Recently, the Lord led me to study the life of Abraham. The Jews say Abraham was born 1,948 years after Adam was created. 1948 is an interesting number. Israel became a nation in 1948 – 1,948 years after the birth of Jesus, the second Adam.

 

 Another interesting parallel is that the Tower of Babel was built in 1996 – 1,996 years from the beginning of creation. In 1996 A.D., The European Union made the Tower of Babel its insignia. I don’t think that’s an accident.

 

The Tower of Babel was in Ur which is where Abraham is from.  God called him to the land of Canaan. Lot went with him and God blessed them. Their flocks multiplied. Soon, there wasn’t enough grassland to feed both of their families. So, they separated. Lot went to the valley of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham stayed in the northern part of Canaan.

 

During that time, God brought in four kings from the east to Israel. One was the king of Babel, which is modern day Iraq. Another was the king over Persia, which is modern day Iran. There were two other kings with them as well.

 

There were five other kings. These were vassal kings. They were the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. There were three other kings with them as well. But, these five vassal kings stopped paying their taxes to the other four kings.

 

The four kings didn’t want to lose all that tax money. So, they came to Israel to fight the five kings who didn’t want to pay their taxes.

 

The four kings conquered the five vassal kings and seized everything in Sodom and Gomorrah including Lot and his family who were taken back to Ur the land they originally came from.

 

Abraham heard about it and took 318 men with him and conquered the four kings who overpowered the five kings that didn’t pay their taxes.  That was a staggering victory, not only by the numbers but by the right of conquest. Abraham now had the rights to all of the land of Israel.

 

After that, a strange individual visited Abraham. It was Melchizedek. If you really believe Melchizedek had no beginning and no end; then, you would have to admit, He wasn’t human. He’s without father, without mother, without beginning, without end.

 

And He was the King of Salem, the King of Righteousness. He’s described in many ways as Yeshua Himself. Whoever He was, He was very powerful. And, He blessed Abraham.

 

Right after that, Abraham had an encounter with God. God gave Abraham a vision of a burning oven. A torch passed between pieces of animals that were cut in half. And God made a covenant with Abraham. He told Abraham, “I will give you every place your foot has trod.” That, literally, goes back to where Abraham came from — the land of Ur.

 

Abraham has a right to the land because God gave it to him and because Abraham conquered it. Parallels also show how God has watched over Israel from the beginning. He is watching over them now.

 

credit: John Paul Jackson

Charlene’s Source: streamsministries.com

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I thought that it would help to include the scriptural reference. Charlene

 

Genesis 14 NIV

Abram Rescues Lot

 

 

14 At the time when Amraphel was king of Shinar,[a] Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goyim, these kings went to war against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboyim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). All these latter kings joined forces in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Dead Sea Valley). For twelve years they had been subject to Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.

 

In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him went out and defeated the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim and the Horites in the hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran near the desert. Then they turned back and went to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh), and they conquered the whole territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazezon Tamar.

 

Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboyim and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) marched out and drew up their battle lines in the Valley of Siddim against Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goyim, Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar—four kings against five. 10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, some of the men fell into them and the rest fled to the hills. 11 The four kings seized all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food; then they went away. 12 They also carried off Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions, since he was living in Sodom.

 

13 A man who had escaped came and reported this to Abram the Hebrew. Now Abram was living near the great trees of Mamre the Amorite, a brother[b] of Eshkol and Aner, all of whom were allied with Abram. 14 When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he called out the 318 trained men born in his household and went in pursuit as far as Dan. 15 During the night Abram divided his men to attack them and he routed them, pursuing them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus. 16 He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).

 

18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,

 

 

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
    who delivered your enemies into your hand.”

 

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

 

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.”

 

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, 23 that I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich.’ 24 I will accept nothing but what my men have eaten and the share that belongs to the men who went with me—to Aner, Eshkol and Mamre. Let them have their share.”

 

 

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 14:1 That is, Babylonia; also in verse 9

  2. Genesis 14:13 Or a relative; or an ally

 

 

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.

 

 

11/4/13

1 Corinthians 3 / 2 Corinthians 3 NIV : Let Us Not Be Puffed Up

Paul speaks of the tendency of humans to raise people above GOD. This is not necessarily a conscious act,  but it does have its consequences. On the surface of the epistle, Paul is speaking of how different ministers of the Gospel are being weighed one against another as if one has a more effective ministry than the other. The question is how do you weigh a ministry’s effectiveness?  Is it in the masses or numbers of individuals touched by the LORD through His servants? Is it in the one-on-one opportunities that allow the deeper needs of the person to be addressed? Is it the size of the congregation, the teachings, or the number of missionaries sent out into the world?

 

 

To be honest, it is all of the above and more. Where the dilemma lies is in the way that we as humans perceive the individuals who minister. There are some who are more visible than others, namely,  evangelists who are more visible through the media. These ministers of The Word receive more recognition because they are obviously doing the work. We should thank GOD for them. However, there are many who will never be visible to the masses on an international, national, or perhaps even regional level. These are the saints who labor each day in the local ministry; who perform the work without thought of reward or recognition.  Yet, even among these ministers people  tend to make comparisons, forgetting that the author and finisher of our faith is our LORD Jesus Christ.

 

 

Paul admonishes those who do not realize that the entire work of ministry is through The Spirit of The LORD, sent by Christ to labor with us here on earth as our guide, teacher, and comforter.  No one performs a perfect work except through Him; the recognition should be in Him.  Paul speaks of faith and hope that is realized through the Trinity:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We must be careful to give GOD the praise, not we as His servants. 

 

 

As born-again Christians, we should not be hampered by the veil which was split in two on the day of Christ’s death, thus the day of redemption.  We have complete access to Heaven because this veil no longer exists.  All of our needs are supplied directly by communication to the Spirit of GOD .  Do not honor man but honor The LORD. You shall receive your full reward through Him.

 

 

GOD Bless You, Charlene

 

 

 

1 Corinthians 3  NIV

 

 

 

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?

 

 

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

 

 

10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

 

 

16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

 

 

18 Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”[a]; 20 and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”[b] 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas[c] or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

 

 

Footnotes:

 

 

  1. 1 Corinthians 3:19 Job 5:13

  2. 1 Corinthians 3:20 Psalm 94:11

  3. 1 Corinthians 3:22 That is, Peter

 

2 Corinthians 3  NIV

 

 

3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

 

 

4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

 

 

The Greater Glory of the New Covenant

 

 

7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

 

 

12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away. 14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

 

 

Footnotes:

 

 

 

a. 2 Corinthians 3:18 Or reflect

 

 

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

10/20/13

Psalm 24 NIV

Psalm 24 (New International Version)

 

 

Perhaps at first glance Psalm 24 does not appear to be a warfare Psalm. David speaks of the beauty and majesty of GOD’s creation. He speaks of the beginning of the world; the first thoughts of Creation. Yet, if you read Psalm 24 with the heart of GOD you will realize that it is a Psalm of warfare, for it gives us a glimpse into the weaponry needed to fight the battles.

 

 

Weaponry is not always physical, it is predominately spiritual. David speaks of the qualifications for the job of warrior–those qualifications that touch GOD. A clean, purely minded individual who obeys the ten commandments as Jesus taught of them in the Book of Matthew Chapter 5: 17- 20 .

 

“Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true. Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with–not until the end of all things. So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what GOD requires.”

 

Does this mean that we are to be as the Pharisees were? Are we to stand around congratulating ourselves about how holy we are? No, it does not. This means that we are to obey and revere our LORD and in so doing gain control of the battleground. It is in being willing to fight the battles that we will gain strength to overcome, and to be able to enter the gate of Heaven. Jesus is the King of Glory, the LORD mighty in battle. David knew this in his spirit, we can know it also.

So, lift up your head and let the Spirit of GOD enter your doors. Be mighty and strong in this battle that we as saints face, and let GOD be the warrior in us.

 

Additional Reference: Matthew 5 through 7; Proverbs 6: 12-19; Galatians 5:19-26; 2 Samuel 1-23

 

Charlene

 

 

Of David. A Psalm.

 

 

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
for he founded it on the seas
    and established it on the waters.

 

 

 

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
    Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not trust in an idol
    or swear by a false god.[a]

 

 

 

They will receive blessing from the Lord
    and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek your face, God of Jacob.[b][c]

 

 

 

Lift up your heads, you gates;
    be lifted up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord strong and mighty,
    the Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates;
    lift them up, you ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
    The Lord Almighty—
    he is the King of glory.

 

 

Footnotes:

 

  1. Psalm 24:4 Or swear falsely

  2. Psalm 24:6 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Syriac (see also Septuagint); most Hebrew manuscripts face, Jacob

  3. Psalm 24:6 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 10.

 

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

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Charlene Kirst
08/28/13

The Yes Behind God’s “No”, Parts 1 & 2

It can become so confusing when seeking GOD’s will for our lives. We want to pursue those things that appeal to our senses and egos. Yet, obedience is the key to joy and fulfillment in Christ. Our Father knows our needs and desires more deeply than we know ourselves. Lean on His wisdom when seeking answers to life’s questions.

credit: Pastor Anton T. Wesley

Charlene’s Source: youtube

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08/15/13

Romans 14 God Accepts All

The question of what foods to eat in God’s Kingdom had become a stumbling block among the Jews and Gentiles, and the early church was suffering because of the difference of lifestyles and opinions. This was one of many challenges that the early church faced, and all was based predominately upon differences of interpretation. We as humans tend to judge easily and forgive after much struggle.

 

 

Sadly, the church today is still challenged by differences of opinion and interpretation. There are so many scripture versions as to make your head spin–and while they may all benefit the church body, we are faced with a sanctuary filled with so many different versions at a given moment that it becomes hard to read along with one another. Any area of confusion can cause division or misunderstanding. Perhaps this can inspire us to all listen to the speaker, for in so doing we all hear the same words.

 

Joy comes from acknowledging our differences to one another in an atmosphere of openness and trust.  Prayerfully this is not a means of control and challenge, but a method of  sharing in dialogue so that all may partake at the table. What is true, good, and nourishing will reveal its refreshment if we can allow others to have a right to taste different foods. The key is seeking and tasting so that truth is revealed–and as we all know, ‘the truth will set you free”.

 

Charlene

 

Romans 14

 

 

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

 

Don’t Criticize Others

 

 

14 Be willing to accept those who still have doubts about what believers can do. And don’t argue with them about their different ideas. 2 Some people believe they can eat any kind of food,[a] but those who have doubts eat only vegetables. 3 Those who know they can eat any kind of food must not feel that they are better than those who eat only vegetables. And those who eat only vegetables must not decide that those who eat all foods are wrong. God has accepted them. 4 You cannot judge the servants of someone else. Their own master decides if they are doing right or wrong. And the Lord’s servants will be right, because the Lord is able to make them right.

5 Some people might believe that one day is more important than another. And others might believe that every day is the same. Everyone should be sure about their beliefs in their own mind. 6 Those who think one day is more important than other days are doing that for the Lord. And those who eat all kinds of food are doing that for the Lord. Yes, they give thanks to God for that food. And those who refuse to eat some foods do that for the Lord. They also give thanks to God.

7 We don’t live or die just for ourselves. 8 If we live, we are living for the Lord. And if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord. 9 That is why Christ died and rose from death to live again—so that he could be Lord over those who have died and those who are living.

10 So why do you judge your brother or sister in Christ? Or why do you think that you are better than they are? We will all stand before God, and he will judge us all. 11 Yes, the Scriptures say,

 

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘Everyone will bow before me;
everyone will say that I am God.’”

 

12 So each of us will have to explain to God about the things we do.

 

Don’t Cause Others to Sin

 

13 So we should stop judging each other. Let’s decide not to do anything that will cause a problem for a brother or sister or hurt their faith. 14 I know that there is no food that is wrong to eat. The Lord Jesus is the one who convinced me of that. But if someone believes that something is wrong, then it is wrong for that person.

 

15 If you hurt the faith of your brother or sister because of something you eat, you are not really following the way of love. Don’t destroy anyone’s faith by eating something they think is wrong. Christ died for them. 16 Don’t allow what is good for you to become something they say is evil. 17 In God’s kingdom, what we eat and drink is not important. Here is what is important: a right way of life, peace, and joy—all from the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God, and they will be accepted by others.

 

19 So let’s try as hard as we can to do what will bring peace. Let’s do whatever will help each other grow stronger in faith. 20 Don’t let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All food is right to eat, but it is wrong for anyone to eat something that hurts the faith of another person. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that hurts the faith of your brother or sister.

 

22 You should keep your beliefs about these things a secret between yourself and God. It is a blessing to be able to do what you think is right without feeling guilty. 23 But anyone who eats something without being sure it is right is doing wrong. That is because they did not believe it was right. And if you do anything that you believe is not right, it is sin.

 

 

Footnotes:

 

Romans 14:2 any kind of food The Jewish law said there were some foods that Jews could not eat. When they became followers of Christ, some of them did not understand that they could now eat all foods.

 

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

 

Copyright © 2006 by World Bible Translation Center