TRUTH=FREEDOM …"and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." John 8:32

Archive for February, 2015

A Responsibility to Choose!

Joshua 24:15 & 24

15: “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

24: “And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.”

There comes a time in everyone’s life when we have to make a decision…..we have to chose…..Loyalty is a noble trait, but if that loyalty makes us choose anyone or anything other than the Lord God, then it is time to abandon that loyalty. Sometimes that is painful for us, but we have a responsibility to choose:

It is our choice. God gave us a will to do or not to do. God does not and will not impose upon us; therefore it is God’s will that this service should be, not our chance, or a force upon us, but our choice. Joshua reminds the children of Israel just as God reminds us today to abandon everything that distracts us, keeps us from putting God first, and distance us from God (other gods), including family, work, school, etc……… this is our reasonable service!

When choices arise, think of the consequences and be mindful that we have to live with the consequences of our choices!

Choices

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Have some Self-Esteem

WOW! This really makes you take a good look at “relationships”……

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Killing Me Softly….. (Self Denial)

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Colossians 3:3 ESV

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Romans 8:13

For if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Galatians 2:20 ESV

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Luke 9:23 ESV

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Galatians 5:24 ESV

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Mark 8:35 ESV

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Romans 6:1-23 ESV

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. …

John 12:24 ESV

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Matthew 10:38 ESV

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

1 Corinthians 15:31 ESV

I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!

Philippians 2:1-30 ESV

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, …

1 Peter 2:24 ESV

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

2 Corinthians 4:8 ESV

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;

Romans 12:1 ESV

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

1 Peter 4:1-11 ESV

Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. …

Ephesians 4:20-24 ESV

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

John 15:1-27 ESV

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. …

Luke 14:26 ESV

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Philippians 1:21 ESV

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Romans 6:3 ESV

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

1 John 2:1-29 ESV

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: …

1 Peter 2:1-25 ESV

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. …

Ephesians 5:21 ESV

Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Romans 8:1-4 ESV

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

John 12:25 ESV

Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Psalm 44:22 ESV

Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.

Hebrews 12:2 ESV

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Colossians 1:24 ESV

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church,

Matthew 18:1-35 ESV

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, …

Galatians 6:11-14 ESV

See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Galatians 5:16 ESV

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Revelation 12:11 ESV

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

John 8:31 ESV

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,

Titus 3:5 ESV

He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Luke 14:33 ESV

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

Mark 10:45 ESV

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 16:25-26 ESV

For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Matthew 6:1-34 ESV

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. …

Ephesians 2:11-22 ESV

Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, …

Ephesians 1:7 ESV

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

John 3:1-36 

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. …

~ Min.SJRobbins, “For God so l💘ved the world”…..

Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone…….

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What did Jesus mean when He said, “Take up your cross and follow Me”?

Following Jesus is easy when life runs smoothly; our true commitment to Him is revealed during trials. Jesus assured us that trials will come to His followers (John 16:33). Discipleship demands sacrifice, and Jesus never hid that cost.

When Jesus carried His cross up Golgotha to be crucified, no one was thinking of the cross as symbolic of a burden to carry. To a person in the first-century, the cross meant one thing and one thing only: death by the most painful and humiliating means human beings could develop.

Two thousand years later, Christians view the cross as a cherished symbol of atonement, forgiveness, grace, and love. But in Jesus’ day, the cross represented nothing but torturous death. Because the Romans forced convicted criminals to carry their own crosses to the place of crucifixion, bearing a cross meant carrying their own execution device while facing ridicule along the way to death.

Therefore, “Take up your cross and follow Me” means being willing to die in order to follow Jesus. This is called “dying to self.” It’s a call to absolute surrender. After each time Jesus commanded cross bearing, He said, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:24-25). Although the call is tough, the reward is matchless.

Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? There is a cross for everyone and there’s a cross for me…….The Cross

~ Min.SJRobbins, “For God so l💘ved the world”…..

MERCY SAW ME

MERCY SAW ME and He Saw My Past Through Merciful Eyes.
The Years Had Left Scars, The Scars Had Left Pain,
How Could He Recognize Me? I Wasn’t The Same.
I Knew I Should Pay, And I Knew The Price,
For Justice And Law Demanded My Life.
But His Tender Heart, Heard My Desperate Cry;

Beautiful, That’s How Mercy Saw Me. Wherever You Go, You Can’t Go Too Far, His Eyes Of Mercy Can See Where You Are.

Though I Was Broken And So, So Lost, But Mercy Looked Past All My Faults.
The Justice Of God Saw What I Had Done, But Mercy Saw Me Through The Son, Not What I Was, But What I Could Be, That’s How Mercy Saw Me.Wherever You Go, You Can’t Go Too Far, His Eyes Of Mercy Can See Where You Are.

Yes, He Loves You Too Much To Leave You Alone. You’re Flesh Of His Flesh And You’re Bone Of His Bone.
And His Heart Cries Out For Your Heart Today.
See Yourself Through His Eyes And Then You Can Say,
Sin Had Stolen My Dignity And All My Self-Esteem, But I Was Made Brand New Again When Mercy Looked At Me.

Beautiful, That’s How Mercy Saw Me. Wherever You Go, You Can’t Go Too Far, His Eyes Of Mercy Can See Where You Are.

Mercy saw me!!

~Bishop T.D. Jakes

Follow me as I follow Christ……

*Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV

*And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. ~ 1 Corinthians 11:1 NLT

Now there can be no following without a previous forsaking. To follow Christ is to renounce all lesser loyalties. First, there must be a renunciation of sin. This, in a word, is repentance. It is the first part of Christian conversion. It can in no circumstances be bypassed. Repentance and faith belong together. We cannot follow Christ without forsaking sin. The old man must die and then be ressurected to NEW LIFE in Christ!
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ARE YOU FREE? CHRIST CAN SET YOU FREE!

Romans chapter 7 and chapter 8:1-4.
Paul in these verses writes what could be called a Christians Declaration of Independence. In these verse Paul declares that in Christ we have been set free from three things.

***1.  We are free from the LAW (“do to be”) [7:1-6]

That’s really a good summary of what keeping the law taught. If you were to be righteous by keeping the Law you had to DO certain things TO BE righteous. And do you know what? no one could ever be righteous by keeping the law. James “the half brother” of Jesus in his letter writes in James 2:10, “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it”. 
We can never be good enough or do enough to be made righteous in the eyes of God. Many times we are like those Jewish Christians. We have been set free from the requirements of the law by the blood of Christ. It is not what we do that saves us, it is what Jesus has done for us. Jesus has done all that needs to be done to make us right before God. Nothing we will ever do will add to our salvation. YET!! We too, many times, carry around the burden of believing that we have to do something to earn or to make sure we are saved. Going to church, reading our Bible, praying to God, memorizing scripture, teaching a SS class or helping the poor is not going to save anyone. Now it is true, that these things are the fruit a person who is saved, is supposed to bare. BUT they can’t save us ONLY the grace of God which we enter into through obedient faith in Christ can save us.

Romans 7 declares our freedom. are free from the Law. We are free from the burden of having to do to be. We are free and we have value in Christ.

***2. We are free from the frustration of the Flesh. [7:14-25]
This is really a tough passage, and what I want for us to do is to answer several questions that will help us understand what Paul is trying to teach here.  Before we do that we first need to understand what Paul means by “I’ in these verses. I believe that it is best to understand this as a literary device used to describe the universal struggle of mankind and especially the struggle of Christians to do right. Since we desire to do good and since we take delight in God’s word we get frustrated when sin spoils our efforts.

As Christians we want to do good. We love God, And He has been so good to us. We know what we should do. We know: we should make God #1, we should spend time with Him each day, we should pray for those who need prayer and we know we should give God our best AND we know there are things we must stop doing; being prideful gossiping, being envious and other sins.

Paul says that sometimes (and I know all of here can relate to what he is saying) that when he is doing wrong he knows it, and he still wants to do good BUT his sinful desire is so strong at times it is like it has a personality of it’s own It is almost like it is not even him doing it. But it is him, and it is us.  The truth of the matter is this: It is easier for us to do wrong then to do good. We have to work at doing good when doing wrong just seems to come naturally. This condition causes us all to lament with Paul “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death”? Thanks be to God that Through Jesus Christ we are freed from this body of death. So in oder to deal with the frustrations of messing up when we make every effort to do what’s right, we must do what Jesus encouraged His disciples to do in their moment of weakness, WATCH AND PRAY! Jesus sets us free from the frustrations of our flesh. 

***III. We are free from CONDEMNATION [8:1-4
What is condemnation? The word actually means “the result of judgment”. So a good way to understand this term would be the sentence a Judge pronounces at the end of the trail.  If you are still in your sin when you stand before God. God will bang the gavel and pronounce you guilty and sentence you to eternity in the depths of Hell. Who made it possible for our freedom from condemnation?  JESUS CHRIST.

Jesus was sinless AND He fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law. Therefore God offered Him as a sin offering and He bore the sins of the world as He died on the cross.  How are we set free?  We are set free from condemnation when we are “IN” Christ. How do we get in Christ?  “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

ONLY IN CHRIST DO WE HAVE FREEDOM–TRUE FREEDOM!
We are free from the law “Do to Be”
We are free from the frustration in life/flesh.
We are free from Condemnation.

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