Category Archives: Galatians

Blogging Tip: Challenge Yourself

Wonderful advice from a pro on setting a blogging schedule.

KaylaAnn

Today, I’m going to talk a little bit about blog scheduling, more specifically, how often you should post a week.

I know, I know, I’ve already freaked out half of you and the other half of you are staring at the screen like this:

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Blog scheduling, meaning how often you post on your blog (not to be confused with scheduling your posts ahead of time–which you should do), is going to be different for every individual. Some bloggers post every single day. *Hats off to them*

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Some bloggers, like me, only post on the week days. Other bloggers only post 3 times a week, some only post once and so on and so forth. Like I said before, blog scheduling is different for every blogger. However, there are some consistencies that every blogger should keep in mind.

  1. If you want to grow your blog, you need to be posting at…

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Sheryl has been kind enough to get the daily prompt u[ and running again.  let’s all help her out and get on board.  You’ll find my entry on my Psalmist poetry blog.  The link is in the comments of the original post.

 

A New Daily Post Word Prompt

via A New Daily Post Word Prompt – June 22nd, 2018 – Word: Perpetual — Your Daily Word Prompt

Poor In Spirit

Matthew 5:3  (KJV)

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

I know pride.  I lived there for years, growing deeper and deeper inside myself.  My life revolved around what I wanted and what I knew to the point that I shut others out.  My wife generally had no say in anything, and I put her down consistently in her spiritual life because I was so into myself.  I enjoyed the praises of men even though I would also say God should get the glory.  I ignored her voice in raising our children many times, thinking I knew best.  And when it came to spiritual matters I always thought I had it all in control.  I had to have control in every situation, to the point of driving her to not share with me her ideas on things.  She just let it ride and fell into depression over my lack of caring.  She tried many times to point out my pride, but I did not see it and just told her I was a humble man, giving glory to God.  In fact most people saw me as a humble man.  There were  a few others that saw the arrogance, and one even mentioned it to my boss.  That prompted a discussion and I tried to understand, but I could not.  To me it was just self-confidence.  I’m amazed she put up with me

It got to the point that I thought I could get away with anything, and I started taking liberties I should not have.  Liberties that clearly were a violation of God’s laws and my workplace policies.  But I thought I was above the law.  i thought God understood. I thought my boss would never fire me.  After all, I had been there 20 years and brought them around 20% of their revenue personally and I managed the sales team. I thought I was irreplaceable.  All of this was hidden until one day it was uncovered.  My world came crashing down around me.  I was fired on the spot.

I called my wife and asked her to come home from work and broke the bad news, sin and all.  She was devastated, especially because we had fought this battle before and she thought I had it beaten.  But I fell back in and kept it from her.  Trust that she had built back up evaporated on the spot.  We met with my Pastor with the same reaction.  He had prayed hours upon hours with me at the altar to overcome my sin and thought I had beaten it.  He allowed me back on the platform and back in the pulpit only to see me betray that trust.  He said he would find help and he did.  He found Pure Life Ministries and told me I had to go there if I ever wanted to set foot in his church again.  So we raised the money and I went.

It was there that I learned how full of pride I really was.  All of these things were the result of pride that had grown unchecked for years and years.  I was even prideful when they pushed me back in the program, thinking they pushed me back so I could help the new people coming ion.  I was proud of my pride!  It was here that I learned what this first beatitude is talking about – being poor in spirit.  I was rich in my own spirit.  I trusted in myself to know the answer, to control the situation, and to always believe God understood when I did the wrong thing.  I thought I was relying on God,m but it was all head knowledge.  I was a Pharisee if you want to put a biblical title on it.  The outside of the cup looking squeaky clean, but inside I was full of filth and corruption.  Once I saw it, I worked hard to rid myself of it.  But what I learned is that you can not be rid of it.  You just have to learn to control it.  You do that by taking on humility and being poor in spirit.

I do not think it is any coincidence that Jesus starts off this major speech on our attitudes saying that we should be poor in spirit.  Poor in Spirit is humility and is probably the most important virtue we can have in our Christian walk.  Why?  Because God hates pride (Prov 6:16).  God resists people that are proud (I Peter 5:5).

Second Chronicles 7:14 is looked at by many as the ultimate scripture to cite for answered prayer.  It promises and answer and is spoken ton Samuel by God.  It is the Lords own words.  We should take it seriously.  In this passage, the very first thing God says we should do when we come to Him is humble ourselves.  Before we pray, before we seek Him, before we turn from our wicked ways, we need to humble ourselves.  We must take pride out of the other three activities of praying, seeking and turning before we can have our prayers answered in the way He promises to answer them here.  And I think this is where many in the church, and the church in general miss it.  We do not humble ourselves first.  We go right into our prayer requests, or right into that scripture search to seek and answer, or right into confessing our sins on the surface, but not from the heart.  Humility is not something we take kindly to.  We like to be rich in our spirits, to feel good and upright and just.  We don’t like to feel lowly and weak in our faith.

But when we rad the parable of the Pharisee and the publican who come to the altar to pray, it is the publican who comes away justified (Luke 18:10-14).  The Pharisee touted His good works.  The publican smote his breast ( a sign of remorse) and asked God to be merciful to him as a sinner.  God honors the second prayer more than the first.  In the Psalms, we see many times the psalmist starts out with praise to God before he goes into his own problems.  He lifts God up first.  In the Lord’s prayer it begins with lifting God up and exalting Him.  Humbling ourselves is putting God on the throne, not me.  Her is in charge, not me.  He holds the answers, not me.  He controls when the answer will come and how it will come, not me.  When have faith in that I begin to be poor in spirit.

Micah 6:8 King James Version (KJV)

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lordrequire of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

We do not like to think that God requires anything of us, but this verse is pretty clear.  I am going to center on the last requirement for purposes of this post but the other two will come u later.  Yes, these three requirements are all in the beatitudes, so they are as much New Testament teachings as Old.  It is not a matter of putting you back under the law.  These are things that are matters of the heart.  He requires that we walk humbly before Him.  What does that mean?

First, it means obedience.  Psalms 51:17 says to obey is better than sacrifice.  We can give all we want but if we are not obedient it does not matter a hill of beans.  I may tithe to my church 15% on an ongoing basis.  I may be one of the top givers in my church.  Then a missionary comes to the church and I am not all that into missions personally.  I give my money to the local assembly where I am fed on an ongoing basis.  That’s enough for me.  When the Spirit prompts me to give $100 to the missionary (which I can easily do)  I hear it as my emotions being carried away by his message and I ignore it.  I have just become disobedient.  Or maybe the Spirit prompts me to give some groceries to a family that is really in need.  He asks me to just buy them and just put them on the doorstep unknown to them.  I just slough off the words inside my head.  That is disobedience.

To obey means to put what God wants first, no matter how it makes me look.  When we put God first, we put others first.  Phil 2:3-4 says this: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.  This is poor in spirit defined.  In lowliness of mind, let us esteem others.  Their needs, their desires, their hurts, their pain.  This is the basis of intercessory prayer.  Humility flows when we put others above ourselves.

The second key to humility is the fear of the Lord.  Proverbs 22:4 tells us “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.”  The fear of the Lord and humility are coupled together here for a reason.  When we make sure God is in His rightful place in our lives, we will not exalt ourselves.  after all, when we look at who we are in comparison to Him, we have no reason to be exalted.  We are but lowly sinners, only saved by His amazing grace and mercy.  How can we possibly exalt ourselves?  I  Proverbs 27:2, we read Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.”  Self-exaltation comes from God.  Boasting of my accomplishments, my giving, my prayer life – all of these things are exalting self, which is pride.  There is nothing wrong with informing people about something you have done in the past week or month, but doing in as means of exalting yourself is pride.  it lifts you up, not God.  Let us strive for humility by exalting God in all things. This is being poor in spirit.

What comes when we are poor in spirit?  We are then walking in the Kingdom of God.  Right now, right here.  There is no waiting for a future time when he returns, or for better days ahead.  If we walk in humility, esteeming others, lifting God above all else, we are walking in the Kingdom now.  All the benefits of this kingdom become ours.  All the promises of His word become real to us.  He is our King and we are His servants.  He is a good King who loves His servants and came here to serve us.  He still serves us today, providing for our needs, protecting us from harm, healing our diseases, delivering us from evil, healing us overcome temptations.  This is Kingdom living.  It is for the poor in spirit today.  Are you ready to live in the Kingdom of Heaven?

The parable of the rich young ruler is a wonderful one to show us what it takes to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is found in Matthew 19:16-24:

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 
17 
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

Briefly, this rich young ruler could not give up what God had blessed him with and decided to walk away from Jesus.  Jesus tells His disciples it is harder for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of the needle.  We can look at that and say impossible!  The eye of a needle?

The eye of the needle was a very twisted passageway that enter the wall of Jerusalem.  It was meant for foot travelers only because it was narrow, winding, and low in height.  For a camel to go through this passageway, it would have to unload all it’s burden outside the wall and crawl on it’s knees.  this is a very difficult thing for a camel to do in the first place.  To do this and maneuver the turns makes it even more difficult.

Do you see the picture of humility here?  Unload your burdens and get down on your knees.  Depend on God for everything and bow before Him, exalting Him.  This life is not about us.  It is about us serving others as Christ came to serve us.  It is about us lifting God to the throne of our lives and exalting Him.  To enter the Kingdom of Heaven these things must be done.  It is a glorious place to be, but it will take giving ourselves up to get there.

Are you ready to give yourself up, lay down your burden, and bow before Him?  Are you ready to live in the Kingdom of Heaven?  Blessed are the Poor in spirit!  “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up.”  (James 4:10)

Be blessed

 

The Next Study

I’ve been a little delayed in starting this next series because I had my grand-daughter here for 2 weeks and that kept me busy, along with other things around the house.  I was also waiting for the Lord to reveal which way I should go next.  This morning, as I was preparing for my morning walk, I heard from Him, so now we can start our next journey.

The Sermon on the Mount will be our next bible study.  I am sure all of my followers are familiar with this great sermon from Matthew chapters 5-7.  Jesus covers so many different topics here that in today’s’ church it would not be deemed a very effective message because it goes too many different ways in such short time.  We like our nice, neat three point sermons that follow a straight line.  This sermon is about a 25 point (if not more) sermon that touches every aspect of our Christian walk.

I am going to take my time, as always, going through this, in many cases taking just one verse a day.  There is so much to learn from this that I look forward to digging deep and praying hard for God to reveal new things to me and to you as we study.  I hope you will all come along!

Be blessed

The Reason

I am re-blogging this from my new A.S.K. Principle blog. This new blog will feature information from an upcoming book. I hope many of you will follow this blog and cadd any comments to that sight on this post. Thank you

Be blesses

Pete's Bible Studies

Are your prayers being answered on a regular basis? If they are not you might want to examine the reason that you are asking what you are asking. It is critically important that if we want prayers to be answered that we ask for what God promises to give us.

In James we read that people are not getting their prayers answered because they were asking to consume it on their own lusts (James 4:3). How often do you pray for things that all about accumulating wealth in your life.  These things will bring you glory and most likely make you proud.  God knows if He answers these prayers, it will drive you away from Him. God knows effects of such a prayer would be devastating on your life  Often, He will not answer prayers like  this.

However, if He knows that you will take that wealth and give it…

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Let the New Creature Live!

Galatians 6:15-18 (KJV)

15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen

Paul  concludes his letter with a very straight forward conlusion. He says the only thing that matters for being in Christ is that the new creature shows up. This new creature is not one that walks after the flesh but he walks in the spirit. This new creature does not display the things of this world that so often destroys but it displays a fruit of the spirit which brings life. The fruit are alive and active in everything that he does. This new creature does not take glory for itself but gives all the glory to God. This new creature is not of this world and does not answer to any authority in this world but answers to the authority of Jesus Christ and lives in heavenly places.

But this new creature must to live in this world. It must rise above difficulties and trials that come its way in this world. It should walk in joy whenever Trials Come Along. It should have peace instead of anxiety. It should have unbounding patience towards everybody that it comes in contact with. Gentleness and goodness should exude from its body and its mouth at every turn no matter what the circumstances may look like. This new creature will have faith that is undeniable both in God and in those people that it comes across. It will walk in meekness knowing that it is to esteem others more highly than itself but also knowing that inside it has the power of almighty God at its disposal. And this New creature will display self control in every area of its life so that the message is brings is always calm and reassuring.

This new creature will never have corrupt communication proceed from its mouth but it will minister grace to the hearers with every word that it says. This new creature will think on things that are just, pure,  lovely,  true and honest.   It will always listen to the good report and not the bad report. It will look at things that are virtuous and praiseworthy in those around it and not focus on the negative. This is the mindset that will always be prevalent. This new creature will be content in whatever state it is in.

When we walk according to this rule peace and mercy will follow us. What more could we ask for it? When we have peace following along behind us turmoil will avoid us and we will see that God is always at work in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We will place those things in His hands and know that He will bring good about through them. This piece will pervade every other emotion that we have so that we will always trust God in every situation. And we will trust him because we know that He will have mercy upon all those who follow him. His Mercy will saturate this new creatures life more and more as he grows in Christ.

When we get to this point in our walk it is like we bear the mark of the Lord Jesus Christ. His life is so infused in ours that we always walk in the place of grace and mercy. There’s never a moment that we doubt God is working in our lives. When we trust in that new creation He has put within us we know that the old man will be defeated and the new man will rise. We know that the Holy Spirit resides within our body because we are the temple of the Holy Ghost. We know that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is always on our side and will always come to our rescue. There’s not a day we doubt in our mind about this so peace and joy is always by our side.. what a wonderful place this is to live.

Paul ends his letter with the same salute that I will give you.  May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

We have come to the conclusion of Paul’s letter and I am at a loss what direction to take this blog next.  But I know God will guide me where He wants this to go, so  keep watching for what will come next.  Whatever it is, I will learn from the words He gives me as much as you will, I am sure.

Be blessed

Give all the Glory to God

Galatians 6:11-14 (KJV)

11 Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.
12 As many as desire to make a fair shew in the flesh, they constrain you to be circumcised; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

The first thing He says was here and said that he wrote this letter by his own hand. Typically a scribe would take down word for word what Paul was saying in his letters. But for the Galatians he decided to write this letter himself and it seems like he must have had large handwriting. It’s not that this letter is very long because the letters to the Corinthians are much longer. I think he’s talking about his handwriting, that he writes in a large fashion. He wanted to make this point because he wanted them to know he was really emphatic about this point concerning the law and circumcision.

At the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Galatians he spent a lot of time talking about the fact that circumcision was of the law and he was trying to minister the grace of Christ. The people who are coming around telling them they need to be circumcised were telling them a lie. They wanted them back under the law. Now towards the end of his letter he brings up the subject again. This is how much emphasis Paul wants to put on the subject of the law versus Grace. This battle still rages in the church today. The law vs grace. Saved by grace or saved by works, which is it? To me, it’s saved by grace and kept by works. There can be no other price paid for our salvation – Jesus paid it all. Thus, we do not have to do anything to recieve that salvation except to exercise the faith that God gives to every man and place that faith in Jesus Christ. Once we have done that, works of mercy should result from our lives, and we have become new creatures in Christ..

It’s also interesting to me that this of the letter comes after he talked about walking in the spirit and not walking in the flesh. In verse 12 Paul says the only reason there is to be circumcised is so you can glory in the flesh. In other words he is equating circumcision with Walking In the Flesh here. If they were going to do that it would be because they wanted to be recognized for the fact that they had done this thing. He points that those people who were telling them they needed to be circumcised were not keeping the rest of the law. They were only concerned with people keeping that one point. But keeping one part of the law does a person no good! If you’re going to keep one part, you need to keep it all. If you’re living under grace, that is not a concern.

We see this in churches today as well. There are all kinds of rules that govern this church or that church. Having Biblical doctrine has become “uncool”. So we have decided to follow our own gospel and made our own rules to be a Christian. Some might say you must receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, others will say you must be baptized to be saved. Some say you must tithe, others will say you must do work for the church to be saved. In any case, they are trying to put you under the law, not under grace.

Grace is all about God, not all about you. Grace is what called you out of darkness into an understanding of what the gospel means. Grace is what drew you to admit you were a sinner and needed a redeemer. Grace is what helped you recognize that Jesus was the only Savior. Grace was what reached into your heart and turned that stony ground to a soft clay. Grace is what began to mold and shape your heart and mind into the new creation Christ wants you to be. And grace still works today inside you to help you work out your salvation with fear and trembling. It’s all about grace, not about works.

They wanted to glory in their flesh, to be able to say the did something to be saved. But heaven forbid did any of us should ever try to glory in our flesh, or preach a message that might change their lives and then we take the glory for it. It is God that does all of it not us. He may give us a dynamic message. God will move in a mighty way and heal people and deliver people and people might get saved. We all would love to see that kind of a service in our church. But heaven forbid when that happens I should think something of myself. Let me never glory in the flesh but always turn all the glory to God and all the things that He does for us. That’s what Paul is saying in verse 14 God forbid that I should Glory.

There is no place for Glory in my life. I am a sinner and it’s only by the precious blood of Jesus Christ that I can even live a good life. He gives me strength. He gives me hope. He gives me love and joy and peace. He gives me these things so that I can give them to others. And above all things He gives me mercy and Grace. When I see His mercy and Grace alive and active in my life, I often start to weep and say Lord why me. Why do you care so much about me. Why do you lavish your mercy and grace on me. I am undeserving of any of it. Yet you shower me with blessings every single day. I cannot count the mercy that you have in my life. I cannot count the times that your grace has caught me off guard. Precious savior may I always only glory in you. May I always give you the praise for what you have done in my life May I always make sure that everybody else knows that it’s you who’s working in my life. It’s you that’s healing me from this cancer. It’s you that is giving me the strength in my legs to go on. It’s Only You Lord.

If you are getting the glory, STOP IT! Give all the glory to God. He deserves it!

Be blessed.