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Sun, Sep 27.20

  Beaver Creek Christian Church : A nondenominational fellowship of believers in Ashe County, West Jefferson, NC Minister's Minute: Minister's Blog - Posted Every Tuesday - Friday

 

"NOT SORRY!"

NOT SORRY!

Ps 51:15-16

Reeses Cups have been using the slogan “Not Sorry!” for the last year to sell their delicious little treats. But the idea of “Not Sorry” seems to be a previlent attitude in our society. People want to fling their attitudes and opinions around without regard to who they hurt or how. It’s okay to have an opinion but check your attitude at the door. If you think your opinions are the only ones that matter.

Have you ever offended someone and thought to yourself…”Not Sorry”. What about God? Have you ever transgressed God’s law and thought “Not Sorry.” You may not have consciously thought that but when we gloss over our sins and offenses with a haughty attitude it is the same thing as saying, “Not Sorry” to God.

David did this with his sin with Bathsheba. He not only was where he wasn’t supposed to be. Then he committed adultery with a woman he lusted after. Then when she got pregnant he conspired to get Uriah, the husband to sleep with her so his sin would not be discovered. When that didn’t work he conspired again to have Uriah killed. He then took Bathsheba to be his wife.

All was cool. David strutted around the palace with his “Not Sorry” attitude.

Psalm 51:15-16

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;

you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart

you, God, will not despise.

James 4:6-10

“God opposes the proud

but shows favor to the humble.”[c]

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Peter 5:5-6

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

I have mentioned before and I say again, the key to an effective relationship with God is to walk in humility and submit to Him.

09/25/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

BFF - Best Friends Forever

John 15:13; Romand 8:6-8; Various

BFF - Best Friends Forever

John 15:13; Romans 8:6-8; Various

I have been blessed to have many great friends over the years. One of my childhood friends, Dave Deiwert, still communicate today. Dave befriended and outcast young man and made him showed him the love of Jesus. David’s sense of humor kept me laughing through Junior High. We shared Sammy Terry’s Nightmare Theater, homemade tape recordings, and church trips. We still laugh over some of the things we did as kids. David has grown into an upstanding Christian, a faithful husband, and a proud patriarch of his family. He is my friend and brother in Christ.

I have called many others friend as well. Many are lifelong friends. Some are eternal friends that I look forward to see in heaven. But only Jesus is my BFF - Best Friend Forever. Jesus was said to be a friend of tax collectors and sinners. And I’m glad that is true, for I am a sinner. And so are you. It is an honor that Jesus would want to be my friend.

In John 15, Jesus said, - Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends (Jn 15:13). He goes on to say that you are my friends if you do as I command. And his command is to love each other.

On the surface that command sounds easy. “Sure, Jesus, I can do that.” After all, I want Jesus as my BFF. I want to please Him. I want to serve him.

But then reality sets in when the ones I’m supposed to love start to annoy me, do me wrong, or make it difficult for me. That’s when the reality of what Jesus’ friendship hits me. Jesus commanded us to love as he has loves us. Jesus forgave the unforgivable, tolerated the intolerable, loved the unlovable, and died for all.

Romans 8:6-8 - You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus didn’t wait until we were lovable to love us. He didn’t wait until we were good enough to be with him. He didn’t wait… he died for us… died for me.

Now my job is to love others in the same way. Jesus showed me how to love. And he demonstrated it.

There are a lot of things that will disappoint and let us down. But Jesus never will. He is our BFF like no other. We can count on his love.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is Good, His love endures forever. (1 Ch 16:34; 2 Ch 5:13; Ps 106:1; 107;1; 118:1, 29; Ps 136:1)

09/24/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

What Can Separate Us From God's Love

Romans 8:38-39

Romans 8:38-39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

09/23/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

What’s This Honor, and Obey Stuff?

Ephesians 5:21; Various

Nightly Devotion - What’s This Honor, and Obey Stuff?

Ephesians 5:21; Various

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Over the last few months, I have had the honor of talking with two lovely people who want to get married. Most young people who come to me bubble over with mushy gushy love for each other. Cody and Marybeth have come bubbling over with mush gushy love for the Lord and they want to make sure their marriage is not only a blessed occasion but that God will have center in their lives. I am proud of them. I know they have found the first key to success in marriage.

They told me that they want a traditional service with traditional vows. Not too many people want that these days. Most young people just want God to bless the occasion but they really don’t want him meddling in their lives too much. In fact, I remember a man and woman a few years ago who said they wanted a traditional ceremony but with out all that “honor and obey stuff.”

OBEY. The word actually is submission. A Christian marriage is built on mutual submission first to God and then to each other. In fact, Ephesians 5:21 says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Submission is a word that doesn’t go over too well these days. The definition of submission is “the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.” For the modern person it means surrendering your will. And that just doesn’t seem to cut it in today’s society. After all “I’m no one’s slave!”

But mutual submission is not slavery. The Greek word ὑποτάσσω - hupotassó (hoop-ot-as’-so) literally means under arrangement. It is a willingness to submit to the plan…God’s plan (38 times). According to the Bible, God’s plan for marriage was the the man should leave his mother and father and cleave unto his wife… the two become one. They submit to God’s plan first and foremost and when they do they are under God’s umbrella of protection and his blessings.

In God’s plan, the husband is the head. But he doesn’t rule as the king of his castle or as earthly rulers. But he rules with love, compassion, forgiveness, and lots of grace. Just like Jesus. The husband rules in submission to God’s plan. The husband works with his wife for the mutual benefit of the family. That is when God’s blessings flow through him.

In God’s plan, the wife is supposed to be the one to nurture her family. She submits to God’s plan by backing up the husband as he follows God’s plan. Even when he gets off track the wife continues to follow God’s plan by praying hard for her husband and sharing God’s word with him. That is when God’s blessings flow through her.

Jesus is the example of submission. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Everything he did was in submission to God’s plan. In following God’s plan, the Father blessed him, blessed others. Jesus was glorified by God as he glorified God by obeying him. Jesus submitted to God’s plan right down to going to the cross and dying. In fact, Hebrews 12:2 says, “…For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus counted it joy to submit to God’s plan and endured every horrible part of it because he knew our redemption…our salvation depended on his submission to God’s plan. “Not my will but thine be done.”

09/22/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Fiery Darts of the Evil One - Pride

1 Peter 5:5b-9; Ephesians 6:10-20; Various

The Fiery Darts of Pride

1 Peter 5:5b-9; Ephesians 6:10-20; Various

I used to have to remind my oldest son of his pride. He would simply smile and say, “I’m the humblest.” They don’t give out awards for humility. But they do give out a lot of awards that give people a mighty big head.

And most of us don’t like to hear people rattle off all their accomplishments and achievements. Most of us don’t do that. But we do like to build ourselves up in our own eyes and in the eyes of others. A little bragging and a little of people stroking our ego often makes our heads too big to go through the door.

For Christians, our pride can cost us big time. John calls it “the pride of life” in 1 John 2:15-17. He says it is earthly and not of God. Those who are prideful are worldly. And John reminds us that the world will pass away but those who follow God’s will shall live eternally.

My Grandma used to say “Pride goeth before the fall.” I didn’t know at the time that she was quoting Proverbs 16:18 which says, “ Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Satan uses the fiery dart of pride to get us to believe we’re great, or to believe that our way is the only right way, or to believe that others are inferior to ourselves. Pride opens the door to sin: ingratitude, conceit, envy, coveting, stealing, adultery, murder, rebellion against God. And usually the person who is struck with the fiery dart of pride has a hard time realizing what it has done to them or that they are even dealing with the sin of pride. Satan himself was removed from heaven because of his pride (Is 14:13-14; Ez 28:17; 1 Tm 3:6).

So what do we do. We have to keep our eyes low and humble ourselves. How do we do this. We put on the attitude of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:5-11 says, “ In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

I believe that humility and submission are key to living a strong faith and walking close to God.

James 4:6-10 - “ God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

1 Peter 5:5b-9 -All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

Either humble yourself or be humbled by God.

-Prayer

09/18/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Fiery Darts of the Evil One - Mediocrity and Apathy

Psalms28:7; Ephesians 6:10-20; Various

The Fiery Darts of Mediocrity and Apathy

Psalms 28:7; Ephesians 6:10-20; Various

In Revelation 3:14-22, we read about the church of Laodicea that was described as being zealously luke-warm. They thought they were rich but Jesus tells them they are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. Jesus tells them that he will vomit them out of his mouth.

We all read this and we think, yeah Lord, give it to them. But the truth is that we can all become complacent when Satan strikes us with the one-two punch of the fiery darts of mediocrity and apathy. And the problem is when these arrows pierce us we don’t even care… we’re too apathetic to even care.

The Hebrew writer calls us Big babies! Hebrews 5:12-14 –In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

James 1:22 – Don’t just hear it…do it!

As Christians we are supposed to have “Mountain Moving” faith (Mt 17:20). But when we are hit with the fiery darts of mediocrity and apathy we don’t even have “mustard seed” faith. Mediocrity breed Lethargy, Lethargy breeds Apathy, Apathy breeds death.

So what do we do? Nehemiah 8:10 says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Joy breeds enthusiasm, enthusiasm breeds excitement, excitement is contagious!

Psalm 28:7 - The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.

No Junk For Jesus – Give of Your Best to the Master!!!

Casual Christian - CCLI Song # 212309 Dana Key | Eddie Degarmo© 1985

2- This life is filled

With strong distractions

One pulls from the left

One from the right

I've already made up my mind

Gonna leave this world behind

I'm gonna make my life

A living sacrifice

Chorus - I don't wanna be

I don't wanna be

A casual Christian

I don't wanna live

I don't wanna live

A lukewarm life

Because I wanna light up the night

With an everlasting light

I don't wanna live

A casual Christian life

I don't wanna live

A casual Christian life

09/17/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Fiery Darts of the Evil One - Guilt

Ephesians 6:10-20; Hebrews 10:22; Various

Hebrews 10:22 - let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

The guilty goose - Tom / Betty

The Feeling of Guilt - It’s almost like your sins are too great to be forgiven.

There are some who claim that religion is just to make you feel guilty. They believe that Our God is just waiting for people to step out of line so he can zap them with a cosmic lightening bolt and send them to Hell

The truth of the matter is that we are all guilty of sin (Ro 3:23) and the punishment for sin is death (Ro 6:23). But Christianity is not about guilt… it’s about removing guilt. In the OT is was with the blood of bulls… but the NT is about the BLOOD of JESUS that washes all our sins and guilt away.

It’s Satan who wants to remind you of your past sins and failures and accuse you of all kinds of things. He whispers lies and half-truths in your ear. He wants you to feel guilty. He shoots his fiery darts of guilt at you which work well with doubt and fear to make you ineffective in your faith and as a witness for Jesus to others.

1 Peter 3:18a - For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God…

Hebrews 7:25a -Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him…

Ephesians 2:8 - For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

BLESSED ASSURANCE - by Fanny Crosby

Perfect submission all is at rest

I in my Savior am happy and blest

Watching and waiting looking above

Filled with His goodness lost in His love

09/16/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The God of All Comfort

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Friday, September 11, 2020

2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Paul reveals four qualities of God:

1. Father of Jesus Christ - Paul gives a blessing to God. He is praising him for our Salvation in Jesus. In Acts 4:11-12, Peter reminds us that there is no other but Jesus which can save.

2. Father of mercies - The word mercies comes up again. It is plural…. more than one. The idea here is twofold: God is coming to the rescue of people who are hurting, injured and dying. Like the Red Cross after as disaster. But instead of being a natural disaster this is one of our own making…our sin. We don’t deserve to be rescued but God comes in anyway.

Mercy and grace are similar but not interchangeable. Grace is a gift we don't deserve, while mercy is not getting the punishment we deserve. Mercy is compassion. Grace is undeserved merit. Example - Policemen mercy is not giving a ticket. Grace is giving me tickets to a Casting Crown concert. God’s mercy is rescuing us and forgiving our sins… his grace is giving us abundant and eternal life.

3. God of all comfort - we are not talking about leisure or relaxation. We are talking about the one who binds all our wounds and heals our diseases (Ps 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds). He is the one who hugs us when our heart hurts, He cries with us when we lose a loved one, He embraces us with compassion, grace, and mercy.

He is the God who wipes away every tear (Re 7:17, 21:4). We often think of this in the future when we get to heaven. But it actually starts the day you believe and are baptized in Christ. Eternity starts today. It is completed when we all get to heaven where there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain. But that all starts when we put our faith and trust in our Lord and our God.

The image of God wiping away every tear is a beautiful and symbolic picture. The idea of God personally bending down and wiping our tears reminds us of how personal God’s care is for each one of us. Every reason to cry is taken away as God embraces us as a loving father who comforts his hurt child.

4. Who comforts us in our affliction - Whatever you are going through now, stop and think about who God is… the God who comforts (Theos pasēs paraklēseōs). It’s a part of who he is.

David recognized this in God. He said, Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Ps. 23:4). We can live life fearlessly because God is the God who comforts.

The prophet Isaiah records God saying, ”Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is 41:10)

God comforts us because he loves us… but he also has a purpose for us in giving us comfort. He wants us to give comfort to others in the same manner in which he comforts us… giving all of ourselves to comfort others in need with the love, grace, and mercies of God.

-Prayer

09/11/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

REST!

Matthew 11:28

Thursday, September 10, 2020

In most of the invitations Jesus issued to people he was very adamant about the cost of discipleship. He would say things like “anyone who wants to be my follower must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow in my footsteps” or “you must hate your whole family in order to be my follower.”

But in Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”‍ Before this invitation, his cousin, John the Baptizer, sent his followers to ask Jesus if he was the one. After they left he ask the crowd why they went out to see John in the wilderness. They weren’t satisfied with someone who came calling as a prophet, and they weren’t satisfied with someone who came calling as a friend. So Jesus made this invitation to them.

To the listener this invitation takes them back to the invitation that God gave in Isaiah 55.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;

and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

Seek the Lord while he may be found;

call on him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsake their ways

and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,

and to our God, for he will freely pardon. (Is 55:1-3,6-7)

This invitation is not from a prophet, a teacher, or a friend. This invitation is from God. And this invitation is to rest. In the Law of Moses, the Sabbot or Sabbath day was important…very important. From the very beginning it was God’s invitation to rest. God created man and woman on the sixth day. And on the seventh he told man and woman to rest. From what? God did all the hard work. God created almost everything before man and woman were even around. Man and woman were the last thing that God created. But that’s the point. God did all the work.

The Sabbot Rest is a time when man and women are to rest, reflect on all that their God has done, and share together in fellowship with God and each other. You can read about the Sabbath in Ge 2:1-3; Ex 20:8-11. Ex 16:29 - “Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath…”

Our Sabbot today is not limited to just one day. It’s not Saturday or Sunday… It’s everyday. Our rest is in Jesus. Our rest IS Jesus! Everyday should be a day of stillness, reflection, fellowship, and worship to the God who has given us rest. It is also a taste of our eternal place of rest in heaven.

-PRAYER

09/10/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Just Wait!

Psalm 31:24

Just Wait!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Psalm 31:24: “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!”‍

It reminds me of when the Israelites were standing with the Red Sea on one side of them and they could see the dust clouds of Pharaoh’s armies approaching in the distance. There was no where to run. There was no where to hide. There was nothing to do but wait for this angry army to come. Can you imagine their anxiety…the fear… the stress… the doubt. They cry out to Moses as the wait their doom… “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?…It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”

Some of you don’t have to imagine it because you may be going through some of that kind of stress, fear, and anxiety right now. But God gives a very clear message to you today.

Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Ex 14:13-14).


Did you hear that? You only need to be still! Just wait!

WAIT - No way, I ain’t got time for that. I hate just waiting especially when the bad things are looming. I hate waiting in the surgery waiting room. I hate waiting for the doctors office to call with test results. I hate waiting for ambulance to arrive in an emergency. I hate waiting…

BE STILL - Waiting is bad enough but be still? I want to pace the floors. I want to be active. When I’m still my mind floods with terrible thoughts… How can I be still?

Psalm 46:10 says, “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD!…” We can be still when we know that God is going to act. We can be still in knowing that he is the answer. We can be still when we trust in him.

Anticipation is the key. When you know that God is going to act… going to rescue… going to redeem… then you can be still in anticipation of when and what God is going to do.

The Key is Anticipation… Anticipation sparks excitement, excitement sparks joy, joy explodes out of you. Waiting on the Lord in anticipation of his arrival with the answers and blessings and mercy, and love, and help, and guidance, and power…. Just what you need at just the right time!

Psalm 31:24: “Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!”‍

09/09/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Steadfast Love of God

Lamentations 3:22-23

Encouraging Verses: The Stedfast Love of God

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”‍

Steadfast - firmly fixed, immovable, not subject to change. Loyal

Mercies - compassion or forbearance (see FORBEARANCE - refraining from enforcement of what is due ) shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power. A blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion. GRACE

New every morning - A clean slate today

GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS - A reminder that our God is faithful… so we need to remain faithful to him.

Verses that go along with this study: Psalm 136:1- Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.

09/09/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

IF ANYTHING IS EXCELLENT

Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:5-9

IF ANYTHING IS EXCELLENT

Philippians 4:8; 1 Peter 2:9; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Peter 1:5-9

Phil 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

School paper - teacher wrote on it “Excellent” - not good, not just a smiley face.

Excellent - extremely good, outstanding, superb, magnificent - from the latin - preeminent, to excel. It means those things that are way beyond the standard.

ἀρετή - areté (ar-et’-ay) - moral goodness, virtue. Usage: goodness, a gracious act, virtue, uprightness.

MORAL EXCELLENCE or VIRTUE = Goodness (one of the fruit of the spirit)

IF ANYTHING IS EXCELLENT-

Excellence of God -

1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises (excellencies) of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

2 Peter 1:3 - His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (excellencies).

Building in excellence -

2 Peter 1:5-9 - Goodness = moral excellence - knowing what is right and wrong and excelling in it.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

If we really want to rid ourselves of stinking thinking we need to “declare the excellences” of our God and build these same excellencies in our lives. IF ANYTHING IS EXCELLENT

09/03/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

WHATEVER IS ADMIRABLE

Philippians 4:8; Acts 7:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:7

WHATEVER IS ADMIRABLE

Philippians 4:8;

Phil 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Whatever Is Admirable? - Arousing or deserving respect and approval. Commendable. To inspire wonder. An admirer is one who gives approval of finds wonder in another.

εὔφημος - euphémos (yoo’-fay-mos) adjective meaning - well reported of, spoken in a kindly spirit, laudable, reputable. THIS IS THE ONLY PLACE THIS WORD APPEARS IN THE BIBLE.

of good report -

We have already talked about those things that God puts his seal of approval on. These are things that have the seal of approval of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Obviously… we’re not talking about one persons opinion. We are talking about things that have the approval of the body. Things that we can agree on that are worthy of our time, energy, and setting our mind on.

But having the approval of the body is not knew. The deacons in Acts 7 were to have a good reputation among the church. They were also to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Their words and actions give glory to God.

The Greek Word for witness μαρτυρία - marturia (mar-too-ree’-ah) also holds with it the idea of having a good reputation and is translated that way in 1 Timothy 3:7.

Those things that have a good report can be preachers that have a good message, tv shows that glorify goodness, apps on the computer that are good tools, or just good deeds that people do for others.

What is admirable to you? Do these things glorify God? Do these things have the approval of other believers?

09/02/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Whatever Is Lovely

Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:12-14

WHATEVER IS LOVELY

Philippians 4:8;

Phil 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

προσφιλής -prosphilés (pros-fee-lace’) is an adjective that means pleasing, agreeable and can sometimes be interpreted as grateful. It literally is a combination of two words pros which means extending and phileo which is a type of love or affection. It literally means worthy of personal affection.

It is often interpreted by Lovely . . . of good report. We have gone from setting our mind on things which are truth and things of righteousness to things of love. The phrase “of good report” is commonly used for “fair-sounding,” or “auspicious” and “acceptable.” It is therefore the outward expression of what is “lovely,” giving the acceptance which loveliness deserves.

In other words, there are a lot of things that are beautiful or lovely in the world but this verse indicates that they have to be accepted as lovely or of love. And who is the one who accepts them? It is not the world… the world is fickle about things that it considers lovely… accepted today and discarded tomorrow. I am not the one who should set such a standard because I am often oblivious or blind to things right under my nose. I believe that God sets the standard.

God created all of the world. And after each phase of his plan he stamped his approval on it by announcing “It is good.” And on the sixth day of creation after he created man and animals, he declared it to be “very good!” Unfortunately sin corrupted everything when Adam and Eve chose to disobey God.

This word is not used anywhere else in the Bible. But in secular writings it is often used to reflect virtues. These things that are approved by God are virtues such as kindliness, benevolence, mercy, compassion, agape love.

We see this idea manifested in Jesus. Jesus often saw something in people that was “lovely”. Such is the rich young ruler who came to Jesus to find out what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus said, “One thing you lack…” Matthews account states Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect…” Jesus saw the good things in this man but he wasn’t complete… lacking just one thing. He relied more on his wealth than he did on God and he went away said because he would give up his wealth to follow Jesus. Jesus was sad too because there was something there but it wasn’t complete (Mt 19:16-22; Mk 10:17-27; Lk 18:18–30).

Jesus was always looking at the virtue in people. He saw the woman who only gave a few pence but Jesus said she gave more than anyone because she gave all she had. There was a woman form Phoenicia who touched the hem of his garment. There was a Roman official who by faith knew that Jesus could heal his servant from a distance. Over and over again, Jesus saw things in people that no one else could see. He could see the things that were lovely.

Today it is hard to spot the lovely in people because there is so much hate, and violence, and anger, and greed. So we need to put on the eyes of Christ and look at others through his eyes.

Not only that but we need to make sure we are putting on these lovely things too. Cl 3:12-14 - Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

08/28/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Whatever Is Pure

Philippians 4:8; James 3:13-18; 1 Timothy 5:22; 1 John 3:1-3

WHATEVER IS PURE

Philippians 4:8;

Phil 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Whatever is HAGNOS! ἁγνός - hagnos (hag-nos’) - is an adjective that describes those things that are holy, sacred, or free from defilement of sin and the world.

So once again we are talking about things that are of God. Put your mind on sacred and holy things.

I often think of the God in this way when I read Revelation 4. It is the throne room of God. The four living creatures continually gives praises to God saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is, and is to come. (vs 8)

The 24 Elders join in singing ““You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (vs 11)

The four creatures who represent all the living creation praise God for his holy and eternal attribute. The 24 elders who represent those saved under the Old and New covenant sing praises to what God has done in creation.

We are to put our mind on God who is holy. But God also gives wisdom that comes from heaven that is first and foremost, pure, unlike the wisdom or knowledge we get in the world.

James 3:13-18 - Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure (hagnē); then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

We are supposed to put our mind on these things that are pure and holy. But we are also supposed to be pure.

1 Timothy 5:22 - Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure (hagnon).

1 John 3:1-3 - See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

All who have this hope in him purify (hanizei) themselves, just as he is pure (hagnos).

08/26/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Whatever Is Right (Just)

Philippians 4:8; Micah 6:8

WHATEVER IS RIGHT

Philippians 4:8;

Phil 4:8 - Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

δίκαιος- dikaios (dik’-ah-yos) - literally - right approved ("righteous, just") describes what is in conformity to God's own being (His will, standard of rightness); hence “upright.” - conformity to God's standard of what is just.

dikaios is a word that is used throughout the scriptures to describe a what is right or just.

We are once again talking about an attribute of God. God is just…God is righteous.

So ‘Whatever is right’ (or ‘just’) is everything that ultimately points to God, the author of all justice. So we are to set our minds on Godly things.

There are so many things in our world that aren’t right or just. These things pull our mind away from God.

Likewise, it is in Christ that the unjust are made just. So we should put on mind on Christ and allow him to focus us on right or just thinking.

We know that God requires us to be just. Micah 6:8 - He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

When we are just or act in the righteousness of our God we become a mirror image of God.

Insofar as people do just things, they mirror, or image, God. Anytime people do what is right, fair or equitable, in business, law or even refereeing in sport, we can applaud. Furthermore, we need good Christian lawyers, judges and police. This should put to death the suspicion some Christians have about ‘social justice’. Apart from the fact that justice only makes sense in society, and hence must be social, justice is at the heart of God. Paul commends whatever is just, precisely because of this.

08/25/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

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