Your Best Life Now?

August 15, 2017

I heard a very good sermon sunday posing this question: “Can Christians live their best life now?”

John 12:24-26Truly, 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. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.

A more important question: “Is your best life now(in this world) or as a Christian is it in the world to come?”

Loving your life now means living with this life only in view

Colossians 3:1-3Put On the New Self
1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

Loving your life in this world means living your life as the world lives => seeking health, wealth, prosperity

Matthew 6:19-21“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

James 4:4 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.

Matthew 6:24No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Loving your life in this world as the world does
=> means losing it!

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Eternal life for death
What beauty for ashes
What an honor from the Father
To dwell in the house of the Lord
The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb its temple
Rev 21:22
The glory of God lighting it up
With the Lamb as its lampRev 21:23
Forever!

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The best life for those who know the Lord Jesus Christ is yet to come!

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 @Khollandsblog
Tweets:For those who know the LordJesusChrist the best life is yet to come=>But he who loves life NOW will lose it-Jn 12:25
https://t.co/2orZP8dJBG

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Related:
From Facebook:

“In his book, ” Your Best Life Now,” prosperity teacher Joel Osteen says that the key to a more rewarding life, a better home, a stronger marriage, and a better job is found in a “simple yet profound process to change the way you think about your life and help you accomplish what is truly important.” How different that is from the biblical truth that this life now is nothing compared to the life to come . . The message of the prosperity gospel is focused around the “treasures” or good things we want and can have now, while Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21) . . Jesus did not come to give us health, wealth and happiness now . . He came to save us from our sins so that we can have an eternity of bliss with Him . . Following Christ is not a ticket to all the material things men desire in this life but a ticket to eternal life . . Our desire should not be to have our best life now but to have the attitude of the apostle Paul, who had learned to be content “in whatever state I am” (Philippians 4:11).”

JMacArthur . . Good morning everyone. 😊

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Sparrow Alone

August 11, 2017

*Psalm 102 title: The psalmist laments his oppressed state, but longs for a day when the Lord will restore Jerusalem and vindicate His suffering people.

Psalm 102:7 AMPC … I am sleepless and lie awake [mourning], like a bereaved sparrow alone on the housetop.

Awake
Eyes open in the black of night –Mt 6:22-23
Mourning
Alone watching
Overwhelmed like a bereaved sparrow
Insignificant and despised
For people ignore Your wordsPs 119:139
They do not keep your law
[they hear it not, nor receive it, love it, or obey it]
Streams of tears flow from my eyesPs 119:136
Yet I do not forget Your precepts
For the righteousness of Your unchanging word
Gives me understanding and life.Ps 119:141, 144

I yearn for the Lord, more than the watchmen do for the morning –Ps 130:6

Weeping may last for the night; But joy comes in the morning! –Ps 30:5
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Today, take heart! You may feel alone like the bereaved sparrow overwhelmed in the darkness, but the Lord sees=> you are NOT forgotten, like the sparrow you are in His care. –Lk 12:6-7
STAND FIRM!! –Phil 1:27-30

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 @Khollandsblog
Tweets:

Feeling like a bereaved sparrow alone?=Take ❤!>Joy comes in the morning light of SONrise=>Even so-Lord come quickly!
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Narrow is the Way

August 8, 2017

Matthew 7:13-14Enter through the narrow(straight) gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But the gate is small(straight) and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
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Narrow is the way
Hard pressed on every side  
2Cor 4:8
Tho darkness closes in
Do not be afraid
Even in the darkest valley
Jesus stays close beside –
Ps 23:4
He is the One and Only 
The way, the truth, the life –
Jn 14:6
The straight gate –Jn 10:7
Opening to the tree of life. Rev 2:7
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Revelation 2:7Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
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Revelation 22:14Blessed are those who wash their robes{who do His commandments}, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.
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 @Khollandsblog
Tweets:
Narrow&HardPressed is the way-Fear not-Jesus stays close beside-The One&Only Straight Gate-Opens to theTree of Life!

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Narrow&HardPressed is theWay-But the straight gate is open to those with robes washed white as snow=>Do not lose ❤!
https://t.co/iPr6WMPBoq

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Word Study
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From NetBible Mt 7:14 & 2Cor 4:8

Matthew 7:13-14Enter through the narrow(straight)t[4728] gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But the gate is small(straight)[4728] and the way is narrow[2346] that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

  • straight[4728] = narrow, small
  • narrow/hard pressed[2346] = to press (as grapes), to experience trouble, affliction, distress

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2Corinthians 4:8, 16-17We are hard pressed[2346] on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair …
… 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!

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Hard Pressed?

August 7, 2017

Feeling overwhelmed?
Crushed by the darkness?
Hard pressed on every side? 
2Cor 4:8
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Don’t give up
Fix your eyes on Jesus
Keep moving forward 
Heb 12:1-3
Remember Gethsemane = oil press.

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Fresh oil is extracted from olives when they are pressed or crushed. Jesus was hard pressed in a garden of Gethsemane.

Isaiah 53:5He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.

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Don’t give up!

The gate is small(straight) and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Mt 7:14

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Word Study
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From NetBible 2Cor 4:8 & Mt 7:14

2Corinthians 4:8We are hard pressed[2346] on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair …

  • Hard pressed[2346] = to press (as grapes), to experience trouble, affliction, distress, narrow

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Matthew 7:14For the gate is small(straight) and the way is narrow[2346] that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

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From NetBible Gethsemane

  • *Probably from the Aramaic gath shemanim, “oil press”
  • *Mentioned (Mt 26:36; Mk 14:32) as a place (chorion), margin “enclosed piece of ground,” to which Jesus and the disciples retired after the last supper
  •  *Situated across the brook Kidron (Jn 18:1) probably at the foot of Mount Olives( Lk 22:39)
  • *Gethsemane has not come down to us as a scene of mirth(joy); its inexhaustible associations are the offspring of a single event–the agony of the Son of God on the evening preceding His passion(Mt 26:36-46).

 

Trust His Faithfulness

August 3, 2017


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Psalm 33:4-5For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does. 5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing loyal love.
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The word of the Lord is right and true
All His work is done in faithfulness and truth
Everything He does is worthy of our trust!
Ps 33:4
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The Lord’s faithfulness extends throughout the earth.Ps 33:5
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He will shelter you with his wings; You will find safety under His wings. His faithfulness and truth is like a shield or a protective wall.Ps 91:4
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O Lord, please do not withhold Your compassion from me. May Your unfailing loyal love, faithfulness and truth continually protect and preserve me! –Ps 40:11

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Word Study
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From NetBible Ps 33:4

  • NIV … For the word of the LORD is right and true; He is faithful in all He does.
  • NASB … ……  all His work is done in faithfulness.
  • NLT …  …….. everything He does is worthy of our trust.
  • NKJV … …… all His work is done in truth.
  • faithfulness[0530] = firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, truth

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From NetBible Ps 91:4 & Ps 40:11

  • faithfulness[0571] = firmness, steadfastness, truth, trustworthiness

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From NetBible Ps 40:11

  • compassion[07356] = tender mercies
  • unfailing loyal love[02617] = goodness, kindness, faithfulnes
    ** same word in Ps 33:5

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Related:
Take Joy in Your Shield{prayer}

Faith Testing

July 20, 2017

Proverbs 17:3 NET … The crucible is for refining silver and the furnace is for gold, likewise the Lord tests hearts.

Faith testing
Allows your patient endurance to grow
Ja 1:3
Producing proven character and hope!Ro 5:3-4

Tested proven faith is of greater worth
… than gold refined in the fire! 1Pe 1:7

The purifier sits before the crucible(Mal 3:3), fixing his eye on the metal, and taking care that the fire be not too hot, and keeping the metal in, only until he knows the dross to be completely removed by his seeing his own image reflected (Ro 8:29) in the glowing mass. So the Lord in the case of His elect (Job 23:10; Ps 66:10; Pr 17:3; Isa 48:10; Heb 12:10; 1Pe 1:7)

Hebrews 10:35-37 NLT …  So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord, no matter what happens. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised. For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay.

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Word Study
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From NetBible Prv 17:3

  • * When the Lord “tests” human hearts, the test, whatever form it takes, is designed to improve the value of the one being tested; removing impurities

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From NetBible Ja 1:3,  Heb 10:36Rom 5:3

  • NET … the testing of your faith produces endurance
  • NLT … when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow
  • BBE …  the testing of your faith gives you the power of going on in hope
  • NKJV … the testing of your faith produces patience
  • endurance[5281] =  steadfastness, constancy, perseverance, steadfast waiting for
    *in the NT the characteristic of one who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings

The Lord on High = Mighty to Save!

July 19, 2017

Psalm 93:4 AMPC … The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea.

Mightier than the waves
The Lord on high
He is mighty to save  Zeph 3:17
The Lord an ever present help in trouble –Ps 46:1
Greater than any trial you face
Forever He reigns! –Ps 29:10

Zeph3_17

Zephaniah 3:17 … The LORD your God is with you{in your midst}, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet{renew, refresh, bring into rest) you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

From NetBible Zeph 3:17

  • NET …  He renews you by His love
  • NIV … He will quiet you with His love
  • NLT …  With His love, He will calm all your fears
  • BBE … He will make His love new again

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 @Khollandsblog
Tweets:
Mightier than the waves-The Lord onHigh-Mighty to save-An ever-present help=>Greater than any trial-4ever He reigns!
https://t.co/cqYZ0KmDQY

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The Lord on High is Mightier!

July 18, 2017

O Lord, the waves roar, the waves roar and crash! –Ps 93:3
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Who is mightier than the surging(roaring) waters?Ps 93:4
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Who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves and the turmoil of the nations? –Ps 65:7
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Whose voices thunders over the mighty sea?Ps 29:3
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Do not be afraid – The Lord is our refuge and strength
An ever present help in times of trouble!Ps 46:1-3
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Be still and know
The Lord of hosts is a mighty warrior
Ps 46:10-11
The Lord on high is mighty – above all! –Ps 93:4

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name
Worship the LORD in holy array, in the beauty of holiness!
Ps 29:2
The LORD sits as Sovereign King enthroned forever!Ps 29:10
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 @Khollandsblog
Tweets:
When the waves roar&crash=>Fear not-The Lord onHigh is mighty-King above all-TheLord of hosts is with us! #PraiseHim
https://t.co/6wcXvxiHhJ

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Word Study
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Psalm 93:3-4 AMPC
3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up the roaring of their waves. 4 The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea.

  • From NetBible Ps 93:4
    * The surging(roaring) waters here symbolizes the hostile enemies of God who seek to destroy the order he has established in the world. The Lord is depicted as elevated above and sovereign over these raging waters.

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Psalm 65:6-7 AMPC
6 Who by [Your] might have founded the mountains, being girded with power, 7 Who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples?

  • From NetBible Ps 65:7
    *The raging(roaring) seas=the commotion made by the nations. The raging seas symbolize the turbulent nations of the earth (see Ps 46:1-3,6; Is 17:12)

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Psalm 46:1-3,10-11 AMPC
1 God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas, 3 Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]! …
… 10 Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth! 11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

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Psalm 29:1-3,10-11 AMPC
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Give to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness or in holy array. 3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is upon many (great) waters. …
… 10 The Lord sat as King over the deluge(flood); the Lord [still] sits as King [and] forever! 11 The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.

  • From NetBible Ps 29:3
    *The psalm depicts the Lord in the role of a warrior-king, so the thunder is his battle cry. The Lord is depicted as elevated above and sovereign over the raging waters(his enemies).
  • From NetBible Ps 29:10
    *The psalmist views the threatening chaotic sea – surging(roaring) waters, as a contemporary manifestation of the destructive waters of old(the flood –Gen 6)

Prayer in Secret = Rewarded in Open

July 16, 2017


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Matthew 6:1, 5-6 AMPC
1 Take care not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven. …
… 5 Also when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already.
6 But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.

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Galatians 1:10
10 Am I now trying to win the approval of people, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

From NetBible Gal 1:10

  • *For a Jew this concept of being a servant or slave to Christ did not connote drudgery, but honor and privilege.

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Lord, thank You for the privilege of being Christ’s servant. May my prayers be pleasing in Your sight. May they rise to You like incense; a fragrant offering through my Lord Jesus Christ. –Ps 19:14, 141:2

Good to be Near

July 15, 2017

Psalm 73:28But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord God my refuge …

Draw near
Draw nigh
Into the secret place –Ps 91:1
Safe beneath the shadow of His wings –Ps 91:4
The Lord your refuge
So good to be near and
Trust in the Lord –Ps 73:28
Beneath His wings –Ps 36:7-8,61:4,63:7
His glory, His presence a protective canopy  –Is 4:5
His banner over you is love!  –Song 2:4

Song 2:4 AMPC … He brought me to the banqueting house, and His banner over me was love [for love waved as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I was near Him].
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 @Khollandsblog
Tweets:
Draw near-Beneath His wings-So GOOD to be near-His glory Ur covering-His banner over U is love! #TrustHim -Ps 73:28
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Isaiah 4:5-6 AMPC … And the Lord will create over the whole site, over every dwelling place of Mount Zion and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy (a defense of divine love and protection). And there shall be a pavilion[tabernacle] for shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge and a shelter from storm and from rain.

From NetBible Isa 4:5-6

  • dwelling place[04349] = established place, habitation
  • canopy[02646] = divine protection, defense
  • pavilion[05521] =tabernacle, booth

Psalm 26:8 O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells.

From NetBible Ps 26:8

  • where Your glory dwells = where your glory shines, your splendor revealed