Love never fails. —1 Corinthians 13:8 read more
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May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. —John 17:23-24 read more
No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. —1 Corinthians 12:3
Paul tells us that when the Father welcomed Jesus home, the same God who said that He would not give His glory to another has either changed His mind or has recognized Jesus to be very God of very God when He bestowed on Jesus the name that is above every name.
It is therefore a direct reference to the honor that Jesus deserved; it is a direct reference to the character of Jesus, as it was to the character of God. It is a direct reference to the reputation that Jesus deserved and to the worship that He deserved.
He, who stooped so low, now took upon Himself, from the Father, the honor above all others. He was given the name that was above every name. He who emptied Himself is now lifted up to the glorious ranks of equality with God and enjoyment of that dignity, which was ever His by right, but to which He never clung. Now it is given to Him as His personal possession. Meekness—majesty!
Paul puts it very carefully, showing that God gave the name for one reason only.
God has given this name to Jesus so that at the very name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The Holy Spirit confesses that Jesus is Lord. This is the very foundation of the Christian faith; it is the lowest common denominator. By this you may know whether or not you are a Christian. If you believe this, not in your head, but in your heart, you are a Christian, and if you do not, you are not. And if you do, it is not because you have done anything spectacular. As the psalmist put it in Psalm 115:1, "Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory." It is all because the Holy Spirit has enabled us to see the truth that Jesus is Lord.
Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000). read more
I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. —John 17:6-9 read more
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. —Matthew 6:33
There is nothing wrong with being middle class as long as the Christian who is middle class is not a snob and doesn't make somebody else feel second class. That was the danger in Corinth; there were middle-class people who treated the poor as second class, and that's why God dealt with them severely (1 Cor. 11:17-32).This warning came not because they were wealthy, but because they mistreated people. If a money problem is not your thorn in the flesh today, remember that it could be tomorrow. God can take it all away from you, just like that!
Are you greedy? Do you want to get rich? God in heaven may be folding His arms and saying, "Really?" Some Christians cannot get ahead financially. I am going to tell you why. God won't let them. He is doing them an enormous favor, because it could destroy them. They already have trouble handling money, and they think, Well, if I had a little more. Almost certainly, if they had a little more they would be deeper in debt. This is the way most of us are. We are, by nature, greedy. Very few people, truly, can handle money.
Matthew 6:33 was my father's favorite verse. He never became wealthy, but he was never really poor. Perhaps you reach out for those things that are to be added, but you have it all wrong. You may say, "If I had a little bit more, I will give more time to God. If I get this much money, then I am going to start going to church more and reading my Bible more." Wrong! You will never do it! Pursue righteousness and godliness first. Take time to be alone with Him, and then all these other things will just be there!
Excerpted from The Thorn in the Flesh (Charisma House, 2004). read more
"Return, faithless Israel," declares the Lord, "I will frown on you no longer, for I am merciful. ... I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt—you have rebelled against the Lord your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me," declares the Lord. —Jeremiah 3:12-13 read more
The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice. —John 10:3-5 read more
"I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the Lord. —Jeremiah 23:3-4 read more
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