Purpose of Guarding the Treasure

The purpose of this blog is to encourage readers to invest their time into the Word of God and "Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you." Paul wrote these words to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:14) in his presumed last letter before his execution. May we be those who see the word of God as a treasure, guarding it with our lives, investing in it with our hearts and minds, and reaping the fruit of an abundant life while getting to know the God who loves us and created us for His marvelous pleasure and glory.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln from his first inaugural address on March 4, 1861

By the frame of the government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.”

  • We have given a government designed to have “little power for mischief” with nearly unlimited power for mischief.
  • We the people must be of virtue while remaining vigilant to prevent those in our government from causing serious injury to our nation within a four year span.
  • This is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue, but rather an American issue.
  • It is the responsibility of every American citizen to hold their elected officials accountable for their service to our Nation.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Love Not the World

James 4:4 - You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
  • you adulteresses – James doesn’t beat around the bush here, does he? he associates these believers with those who cheat on God, we are so often unfaithful to our Christ, while He continually remains faithful to us
  • friendship with the world is hostility toward God – when we love the world more than God we commit adultery, we cheat on God, we mock His Son who laid down His life to save us from sin, we grieve the Holy Spirit within us

-Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Odds are we all know of friends and families that have been destroyed by sexual immorality, maybe even within our own family. We all know the pain and hurt this causes. God can sympathize with us and comfort us because He feels that pain too when we cheat on Him. He loves us so much that it grieves Him when we chose to trust the world over Him, when we seek the things of this world that are fleeting and will pass away.

So I ask you...Are you comfortable with this world? Do you love what the world has to offer you? If you do and answered “yes” then you are not alone, but you are at odds with God.

-1 John 2:15-17 Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.

-Matthew 6:20-21 "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

We can choose to lay up treasures here on earth through expanding our influence, power, money, possessions, popularity which we can’t take with us when we die or we can lay up treasures in heaven though sowing spiritual seeds in this life that will reap a harvest for all eternity. Where is your heart? Who has your heart, the world or God?

-Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

While we are in this world, we must not be of this world. We must not be conformed to this world, that is letting it mold and shape our behavior. The world is the current dwelling of Satan. Our citizenship is in heaven. The philosophies and goals of the world are contrary to the philosophies and goals of God. You can not do both, having one foot in the world and one with God.

Jesus said in Luke 16:13 "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches."

the world says - people are good, do your own thing, look out for yourself, get even, grab all you can because you just live once

the Bible says - people are sinful, seek God’s will for our life, look out for the interest of other, vengeance belongs to God, don’t love the world, we are accountable to God and there is a judgment for how we lived our life

  • friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God – While believers in Christ are no longer enemies of God based upon the righteousness of Christ freely given, when we as believers live our life as a friend of the world, we create conflict in our relationship with God and are in direct opposition with Him. Living in the flesh is inconsistent with who He has made us. He has made us alive in Christ and crucified our flesh. When we choose to sin we are living contrary to the new creature we are in Christ.

-Galatians 5:24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Paul declared of himself in Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

What say you?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Suffering in the Flesh

I read this passage this morning and it just floored me.

1 Peter 4:1-2 Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

To model the example of Christ we must suffer in the flesh. That means denying what our flesh tells us that we need. That means resisting temptations to gratify the flesh when it calls for gratification. That means that when the flesh pulls us to sin, we have to say "no way." That's hard! Jesus never gave in to temptations within His flesh. We give in so easily don't we. We are called to never give in - that is SUFFERING IN THE FLESH. That is long-suffering for Jesus. God and His Spirit within us is the only strength we have to achieve this victory. Only as we abide in the vine of Christ can we bear fruit and do anything.

John 15:4-5 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing."

Here are some other verses that speak to victory in the Christian life.
1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts, which wage war against the soul.
  • Abstinence from gratifying fleshly lusts within us is a key to victory.
  • We must fill the abstinence from sin with indulgence in the things of God.
Galatians 5:16-17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
  • You cannot walk in the Spirit and the flesh at the same time.
  • Walk in the Spirit and you are not walking in the flesh.

Galatians 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.
  • Sowing to the Spirit results in an eternal quality of life with Jesus.
  • Sowing to the flesh results in corruption within our hearts and dissipation.
Romans 8:6-8 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
  • Setting our mind on the Spirit, things above results in experiencing a life in Christ.
  • Living in the flesh produces hostility toward God.