Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Bottom Line



This expression is usually used in reference to financial matters, regarding the value of your estate etc. But I believe it can equally well be used when we consider our "spiritual condition", how is our bottom line spiritually? We often think of our soul's condition when we think of spiritual things, you know the usual question pertains to "are you lost or saved", and what is your eternal destiny, heaven or hell? These are definitely important matters to consider, and make certain choices, which will decide where you will spend eternity. But I'm thinking of something quite different, in previous generations people used expressions like "the crucified life" or "the overcoming life". These terms are never used today to describe our life as a follower of Jesus, and I wonder why. In the book of Revelation we read about certain churches that Jesus told John to write to like (Rev 2:12-17), and notice in verse 17 "Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what He is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it".


The letter is written to the "church", but the promise is given to certain individuals within in the church who "have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying". So in other words not everyone in the church really hears and understands what the Spirit is speaking. I expect this is true in every church today as well, so not all are "over comers", and will not receive the promises meant only for those who overcome. God is sovereign and can hand out promises to whomever he chooses. So if we want to be the recipients of His promises to the over comers, we better consider carefully what all is involved. Read (Matt 7:22-23) to see that not all who claim certain gifts will qualify in judgment day. I would suggest we read more from our hero's of past generations like Andrew Murray, Dwight Moody, A.B.Simpson etc. to see what they taught about holiness and sanctification. Their topics were often on living the victorious, dedicated life "In Christ". If it was possible then, it should still be possible today, because "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb 13:8), and we can do all things through Him. The "Bottom Line" for our spiritual life is simply "Jesus living His life through us daily". Give it a try and watch it work!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                                        01/11/14                                                                                  


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

True Love



In the daily devotional in ODB today Oct. 31, 2014, the author Bill Crowder called it "What Love Is", and he used a line that caught my attention "Real love has a lot to do with sacrifice". This word "love" in our English language can be used in a number of different ways with completely different meanings. For example we might say "I love pizza", or "I love my dog or cat", or "I love my new car", or we can say "I love God". This one little word can be used for all these different examples, but we are limited to this one word. The Greek language that most of our NT scriptures were written in had several different words for "love", for example [Agape] and [Eros]. These two words in Greek were both translated into English as love, although their meaning is quite different. Agape is used in (1 John 4:7-8) where we read "God is Agape". Every time John uses love in these verses the Greek word was always Agape.


The best example of "Self sacrificing" love is what we see in (John 3:16-17) or in (Rom 5:8) where our Creator God loved us so much that He allowed His own Son Jesus to become "The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world"  (John 1:29). This is the type of love that we as followers of Jesus should be continually showing towards the other members of the "Body of Christ". If the world around us saw more of this type of "self sacrificing love" operating in our churches, I'm sure they would be more interested in knowing more about the Good News of the "Gospel of The Kingdom of God" that we are to represent! As part of the true Church that Jesus said He would build (Matt 16:18), we who are followers of Jesus and part of this true Church, often referred to as the "Body of Christ" have our work cut out for us.


How do you suppose we could improve our witness to the world around us, to show them more clearly the change of heart that happens to us when we are "born again" and become a child of our Father? I think we need to give this some serious thought, and do as Peter commands us in (1 Peter 3:15) in the NLT version "Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it". That doesn't sound too difficult does it? The main thing is to be showing sacrificial love to others in the Body of Christ that will cause others to notice, and ask you the question "why are you doing that"? Then tell them!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                                  31/10/14                                                                               

Monday, November 10, 2014

Simple Truth About End Times


Our Creator knew we would be interested in knowing about what would happen in the future, so He had a Book written called the Bible which tells us all we need to know. He chose certain people from all walks of life, and had His Holy Spirit to inspire them to just use the words He wanted them to say, (2 Tim 3:16). He chose to use Hebrew and Greek as the languages to have His Word written in, so consequently most of us have to depend on translations to know and understand His Word. He chose special people like Moses to record the first 5 chapters, called Genesis which means "beginning", and certain men like Isaiah and Daniel to write what we refer to as "The Old Testament" (OT), and people like John and Paul to record part of "The New Testament" (NT). It seems He chose Daniel to write about what will happen just before life on this planet will come to an end.


Our tiny Planet called Earth was created to sustain life of all kinds, but especially "human" life, because He tells us in (Gen 1:26) "God said let us make human beings in our image, to be like us". (NLT) As we said it would appear that God chose Daniel to be the OT prophet to whom He revealed more information to about the "end times" of life on earth. Daniel was a young teenager when he was taken to Babylon from his home in Jerusalem. He was a faithful worshipper of his God while in Babylon, and won favor with King Nebuchadnezzar because of his God given wisdom. He was the only one who could tell the king what his strange dream meant. In chapter 9 he started a long prayer to God confessing the sins of his people, and in verses 20-27 we read about the angel Gabriel being sent from God to give Daniel the answer to his prayer. It concerned a period of 70 years, divided up into 7 years plus 62 years for a total of 69 that would pass and then a period of 7 years which we refer to as "Daniel's Seventieth Week" would come sometime later. And we know from reading (Matt 24:4-14) and certain sections of Revelation plus part of Paul's letters, what will happen during this important 7 year period. All signs point to this period of 7 years as being the final 7 years of life on our planet, and it starts when a certain man who pretends to be a "man of peace" signs a treaty with Israel for 7 years, but at the "mid-point" he will reveal his true identity as the "man of lawlessness" as Paul calls him in (2 Thess 2:1-12), or in other words The Antichrist. Only Father God knows when all this will happen, but He has warned us through His servant Daniel what to expect, and when it will happen. So look for the signing of this treaty in the future!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                              05/08/14                                                                                                            

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hands Off



This article was prompted by the devotional in ODB today by Joe Stowell. He used Psalm 46 as his scriptural basis, (Psalm 46:10) "Be still and know that I am God". Joe says the word "Be still" in the Hebrew language means to "cease striving", which reminds me of a statement by Bob Mumford in his teaching in Agape Road. Bob claims that "striving" is the opposite of "abiding", which Jesus used in (John 15:1-17) to tell us what we must do in order to produce much fruit for the Kingdom of God. Joe used the example of "bobbing for apples", which I'm sure that most of us older folks have done. Your hands are tied behind your back, and you are expected to pick up an apple floating in a container filled with water. For anyone who has never tried it, let me tell you it's harder than you might think! We use our hands for so many different things, that you can't do if they are tied behind your back. Those of us who have 2 healthy hands take them for granted, and never consider what it be like to not have them.


Our natural tendency is to keep our "hands on" any given situation that might come up, so me can control the outcome to our advantage. But the scriptures tell us to do the opposite, and to take our "Hand Off" the situation and trust the outcome to God. This can make us feel very vulnerable, unless of course we believe verse 1 of this Psalm "God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble", or verse 7 which assures us "The Lord of heaven's armies is here among us, The God of Israel is our fortress". We can always depend on our faithful God who declares in (Heb 13:5-6) "Don't love money, be satisfied with what you have. For God said I will never leave you. I will never abandon you. So you can say with confidence the Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear, what can mere people do to me?" Joe finishes up with "In the midst of trouble, we can rest in God's care". Then he prays "Lord, forgive me for always wanting to manage my own affairs. Teach me to trust in Your wise and timely intervention and to keep my hands out of Your way". I believe this to be good advice for all of us to tend to think our way is the best way to handle certain situations, until we enquire of the Lord for His advice. We all have a "Flesh Nature" even after we are "born again" and realize that our old sinful nature that we inherited from our original parents Adam and Eve died with Jesus on the cross. Paul tells us how to deal with this flesh nature in (Gal 5:16-21)!!

Sincerely submitted.

Dave Jamer                                                                            03/11/14