Nuggets – Power of the Holy Spirit

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” (Acts 1:8)

This promise of our Lord signaled the beginning of the immense change from the old covenant to the new. Prior to the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28Acts 2:16) on the day of Pentecost, the saints of God were empowered both selectively and infrequently.

We, however, upon whom the “better thing” has come (Hebrews 11:40), are all temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). Since we have been “quickened” (made alive) by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18), we surely should then “walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). What, then, is the dunamis (power) that the Holy Spirit provides to us?

Obviously, the power comes from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit Himself (Ephesians 3:16-20). Our flesh has “no good thing” (Romans 7:18) to provide for an empowered, Spirit-filled life. Apart from the dwelling of God’s Spirit in us (Ephesians 1:14), we would be unable to live righteously (John 15:5).

But thanks to the omnipotent and omniscient Creator, the Holy Spirit gives us gifts to use in Christ’s assembly to mature and to encourage each other (Ephesians 4:7-16). The Holy Spirit also grants us the ability to develop His “fruit” in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Then, with the encouragement and maturity we gain through our churches, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit being obvious in our daily lives, the great privilege of sharing the gospel with the lost becomes a delightful exercise of “power” (Romans 1:16) that is clear, not only in careful words of testimony, but in and through a life empowered by the Holy Spirit (1Thessalonians 1:5). HMM III

From Days of Praise

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A tale of two Christians: Romans 14

Don’t condemn your brother or sister in the Lord. Lift them and ourselves in prayer for God’s grace and wisdom.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Romans 14-16.

“How can Christians deal with their differences?”

The grace of God through Jesus Christ imparts a tremendous freedom to believers: freedom from slavery to sin, freedom to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and freedom from the laws of the old covenant. There are also dangers in this freedom, including the dangers that believers will abuse their freedom by indulging in sin, and that conflict will arise between those who grasp the extent of their freedom by greater and lesser degrees.

Imagine two believers – Broad Bill and Narrow Nell. Bill and Nell agree on all the fundamentals of the faith including the infallibility of the Bible, the doctrine of the trinity, and salvation by faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. But Bill takes a broader, more liberal view of the freedoms available to Christians while Nell accepts a narrower, more restrictive view of what…

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Mind, body, and God’s will: Romans 12

We please Him by our daily sacrifice.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Romans 11-13.

“How can I know God’s will?”

You’ve been there. Faced with a difficult decision, afraid to make the wrong choice, wanting deeply to please God, and wishing you knew what he wanted you to do. For many of these difficult choices God’s will isn’t revealed. In fact, his will may be permissive rather than restrictive. He allows you to choose based on the wisdom he has revealed to you through his word, prayer, and the counsel of believers.

There are also actions that God has clearly commanded, leaving no doubt about his will. “Be holy, as I am holy,” is one statement of God’s revealed will. Today’s passage in Romans is another, in which Paul takes us on a step-by-step journey that leads us into the center of God’s will.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living…

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This grace in which we stand: Romans 4-7

https://hymnary.org/text/marvelous_grace_of_our_loving_lord

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Romans 4-7.

Grace is but glory begun, and glory is but grace perfected. – Jonathan Edwards

There was a current which began in the Old Testament but which flowed quietly and often unnoticed. It burst forth when Noah found favor in God’s sight. It rushed more loudly when Abraham’s faith was counted as righteousness. It languished in the Israelites’ long years of disobedience, but resurfaced in the lives of Daniel and his friends and in the promises of a new covenant made to prophets such as Ezekiel. Only in the life and resurrection of Jesus did it reach its flood stage, but since then the river of God’s grace has continued to spread across the Earth. Paul stood in the abundance of that river and declared its power to all who could not see it.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God…

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Which path are you on? Romans 1-3

None of man’s ingenious ideas are acceptable to God for salvation from sin and its penalty. Only God’s way, through a repentant heart and faith in Jesus saves man from sin and judgment. of death.

Bible in a Year Blog

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Today’s reading: Romans 1-3.

“Aren’t there many ways to find God?”

The world believes that each man may find his own path to eternity, but Paul makes it clear in the book of Romans that there is one way, one path ordained by God, the Gospel way. Paul identifies at least two other paths that men are taking, and both are dead ends. There is the godless path that many men in the Gentile world take, and the legalistic way of the Law followed by the Jews. Only the Gospel road leads all the way to God.

Gospel Power

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as…

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Nuggets – True Christian Fellowship

“That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” (Philemon 1:6)

This one-chapter epistle of Paul to his friend Philemon is essentially a personal request by Paul that Philemon forgive his runaway slave, Onesimus, and receive him back into “the church in thy house” as a new Christian, recently won to Christ (vv. 2, 10, 15-16). Our text is Paul’s prayer for Philemon and is similar to prayers by him for other believers (e.g., Colossians 1:9-10). It is an appropriate prayer on behalf of any fellow Christian. Its emphasis is on the blessings and responsibilities of true fellowship.

The “communication” of which Paul speaks is the Greek word koinonia, meaning “fellowship.” That is, genuine Christian faith involves a sharing of one’s life with others of “like precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1). That fellowship becomes “effectual” (literally, “full of power,” from the Greek energes, “energizing”) only through recognizing and appreciating all the blessings we have received through Christ.

Paul pointed out that he himself should be counted as a “partner” with Philemon (v. 17). Here the Greek is koinonos, practically the same as koinonia. Both Philemon, the wealthy Colossian master, and Onesimus, his runaway bondservant, were Paul’s spiritual children (v. 19), so they all theoretically shared “every good thing” in fellowship through Christ. Thus, Paul offered to repay anything Onesimus had stolen or any other losses, should Philemon so insist (vv. 18-19).

The demands of Christian fellowship thus might cost Onesimus his freedom, Paul his helper, and Philemon his property. True fellowship is not mere Christian socializing. It is the sharing of love and concern, time and talents, possessions and even life itself, as need and circumstance demand, with others in the household of faith. HMM

From Days of Praise

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Nuggets – For Ever and Ever…

“The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.” (Exodus 15:18)

The Bible is a book of eternity, its words “for ever . . . settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89). The theme of eternity is prominent throughout; in fact, the words “for ever,” “everlasting,” and the like occur more than 600 times. Many occurrences (49, to be exact) seem to make the concept even more complete, being combined either as “for ever and ever” or “from everlasting to everlasting.”

The first of these is in our text: “The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.” He is the eternal King of all creation! How beautiful and appropriate it is, then, to find that the last (the 49th) of these occurrences tells us that we—His redeemed saints—also “shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).

To note just a few of the other truths that will last for ever and ever, consider first of all the creation: “Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. . . . For he commanded, and they were created. He that also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass” (Psalm 148:3, 5-6). Not only the world of God but also the Word of God shall endure eternally. “All his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness. . . . So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever” (Psalm 111:7-8; 119:44).

On the other hand, those who reject God and His Word will endure forever but will be forgotten forever. “Thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever” (Psalm 9:5). “And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever” (Revelation 14:11).

“But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him” (Psalm 103:17). “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3). HMM

From Days of Praise

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What’s With Your Attitude?

Reposted from an excerpt of theologyofwork.org

Practicing gratitude and thankfulness can be a life changing decision. In this season of Thanksgiving let us make it an every day event. 

What three things are you thankful for? 

Name them today AND everyday and watch your attitude of gratitude grow daily. No matter what you are experiencing – in abundance or need, LIFE IS GOOD! You are on this planet for a positive purpose.

The blog below reminds that God can take a very small thing and turn it into more than we needed. So lets be thankful for the least of these and wait and watch God turn it into abundance. 

Oh, and by the way- I am THANKFUL for you. 🥰

Amen and amen 

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good…”Psalm 107:1

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Nuggets – The Power of a Sound Mind

“For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

The gift spoken of in the previous verse is based on a transfer of authority from God, and we are exhorted to “stir up” that gift (2 Timothy 1:6because God did not give us a “spirit of fear.” The word deilia stresses timidity or cowardice, not terror. The gift does not function well if we are too timid to use it.

The gift referred to is not power. That spiritual gift comes with dunamis—the innate ability to “do” the gift. Whatever the Holy Spirit has gifted us with upon our entrance into the Kingdom (1 Corinthians 12:4-11), that gift comes with the power necessary to implement and use it.

The gift also comes with love. Again, love is not the gift, it is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that comes with the gift. Were it not for the reflection in us of the unilateral and sacrificial love of our Redeemer, these supernatural gifts could well be misused, distorted, and abused for personal glory. Diotrephes misused his gift, failing to employ the spirit of love (3 John 1:9).

The unique Greek word sophronismos (sound mind) is a combination of the verbs “to save” and “to control.” Its basic meaning would be “safe control” or “wholesome control”—perhaps even “control that saves”—the perfect combination of abilities that empower the gift, the love that keeps the gift focused on others, and the “safety controls” to keep it from unwittingly doing damage.

“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10). HMM III

From Days of Praise

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What A Hungry Locust Taught Me

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“I will restore to you the years the locust has eaten.” Joel 2:25

It was June. It was an unusually hot summer for Tennessee. And the locusts were on it. They had popped out of holes everywhere and were attacking everything, especially my roses. They were so abundant my two young boys couldn’t play in their yard. Aggressive and destructive, their presence was unnerving.

They whirred and buzzed and munched and crawled into fans, through windows and even into mail slots. We lived with these winged demons for weeks and when they finally died off, green and brown smelly carcasses were left behind in my formerly verdant garden. Destruction.

It was years later, after I had become a follower of Christ that I read that above scripture. The occasion was during a morning devotion when I was experiencing an unexpected life crisis. I was crying and feeling as though my situation was untenable. I was being eaten up and beaten up by the situation.

And for some reason, I remembered the locusts in my Tennessee garden. I thought about the nature of something uninvited coming into your life, interfering, violating your peace and leaving damage behind that you didn’t ask for and couldn’t fix.

But God. He can.

It was an ego-busting process. A terrify family illness. An unexpected move. A job loss.

But God.

He sees the whole of our lives not in compartments but as a grand parade. He has a birds-eye view from the beginning to the middle to the end. He watches as sometimes we go off the planned Parade route… driven by our free will…but His intention for us all is to finish strong. Finish wise and trust him through the journey. If we will yield, we will get back into the route- the best one He has planned in advance for us.

And then we will have hindsight – and see the larger plan all along.

Yup. For me? New job. Better job. Moved back home. Mom’s breast cancer under control. Stronger marriage for it. More humility. Less pride. It’s was all good. Even when it was bad.

Indeed. God did restore the years that those locusts ate. And He continues to do it over and over again.

Amen and amen

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