Enriched In Everything By Him

I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  1Corinthians 1:4-9

Corinth, the most important city in Greece during Paul’s day, was a bustling hub of worldwide commerce, degraded culture, and idolatrous religion. There Paul founded a church (Acts 18:1-17), and two of his letters are addressed: To the church of God which is at Corinth (1:2; 2Cor. 1:1). First Corinthians reveals the problems, pressures, and struggles of a church called out of a pagan society. Paul addresses a variety of problems in the lifestyle of the Corinthian church: Sectarianism which brought divisions, lawsuits, immorality, questionable practices, abuse of the Lord’s Supper (Communion), and spiritual gifts. So here, in our text Paul, is reminding the believers of their commintment to Christ, and the grace given to them to bring them to salvation, when God justified them by undeserved and unrepayable love and mercy, forgiving their sin through the work of His Son.

Enriched in everything by Him—In the present, the believer has everything the Lord has to give and therefore everything he or she needs Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 1:3). And the two particular blessing here, refer to presenting the truth of God’s Word. Let me explain, Utterance— In regards to speaking for God, believers are able to speak when God wants them to because of His enablement. Moses, in the O.T. is a good example: Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” (Exodus 4:10-11) For us today, prayer reaches out for that ability, along with diligence in study of God’s Word adds to our confidence.

Knowlege— The second part of this blessing, God provides believers with all knowledge they need in order to speak effectively for Him, by adding wisdom to us. Knowledge in any matter is important. But wisdom gives the ability to use it more effectively by it’s practical application. And because Christians should seek to glorify God in all things, wisdom teaches that love has to be used in all practical uses by having us walk in love. We know that we all have knowlege. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies (1Cor. 8:1:).

Beloved friend, every corner of our world, no matter how remote, must be touched by the message of the cross. The Savior Christ, died for the world—-and that includes people both near and far in own part of the world we live in. Each of us has the opportunity to take the gospel in our day to day lives no matter where we are, and tell someone about the love of Christ. For you have been enriched in everyway. In all your speaking, and all your knowledge, because your testimony is about Christ, and is confirmed in you by His transforming power.

May the Lord bless your walk!

A Good Name

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, Loving favor rather than silver or gold. Proverbs 22:1

This verse has a sentimental meaning to me. It has always been deeply reverenced by me. Character has a way of reminder of the kind of person you are. The memory of the righteous is blessed (Proverbs 10:7) we all might have someone in mind when stop and think who it was that deeply influenced us by their consistent repeated loving nature, encouraging words of support, and by their demonstrating way of humilty by the way they did not hide their own faults, but rather let them be used to teach others. The Bible is filled with people of good character, and reputation of godly action and good deeds. In the days of the early church, Stephen was one of the chosen by his peers to serve in a small way, yet note the character qualities desired, Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business (Acts 6:3). The responsibility was to serve the widows of their day with their daily needs, and it wasn’t good enough to just choose anyone. Persons in the church today must behave in ways that can be seen by others in a consistent way, not with merely words, but with Christ-like love that seeks to edify and meet the needs of others, all the while bringing glory and honor to Christ’s name. We have so many examples of good named individuals Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Ruth, Esther, Abigail, etc. Yet, it is through Christ, and His coming to this earth, fully God, yet fully Man, born of a virgin to unfold God’s plan of salvation. We read from Isaiah the prophet, For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end , Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order and establish it with judgement and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:6-7). The virgin’s Child will also be the royal Son of David, with rights to the Davidic throne, It’s a done deal. God reigns supremely through Christ our risen Lord, who will come back and reign and rule in sovereign righteousness. Peter the apostle said of Him, ” Nor is there salvation in any other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

For the Christian today, our walk of faith is strongly desired by God and needed in the church. We live in a world that is ruled by unrighteousness, governments that are not submitted to the authority of a sovereign God, still trying with all their efforts to seek to over throw those who do not believe what their god says to them. We live in a world that calls what God declares to be named Good, evil, and their own evil as good. Yet, we are told in Scripture, Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!

Dedicated to Kent Justice Burchell, my newborn grandson!

Walk With Wisdom

BSee then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.Ephesians 5:15-17

This word “circumspectly” the term means “accurately or precisely with great care.” We can find its meaning by what Jesus spoke of on the Sermon on the mount, “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14) To live morally is to live wisely. Biblically, a “fool” is not so named because of intellectual limits, but because of unbelief in God, and His Word. Especially as to it’s warning of judgment of sin. He or she live apart from God and against God’s laws The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7) and they can’t comprehend the truth, or their true heart condition before a holy God. Believers are no longer walking in this way, and if need be, should remind themselves to evaluate their own walk from time to time. Redeeming the time—The Greek word for “time” denotes a fixed, measured, allocated season; with the definite article “the,” it likely refers to one’s lifetime on earth as a believer. We are to make the most of our time in the midst of all that is evil being produced by the world fulfilling God’s purposes, and using every opportunity for worshipful service unto Jesus, meaning the work of our hands to glorify Him in the short span of time lived here, then after this life is over, for all eternity in His presence.

Understand what the will of God is—Knowing and understanding God’s will through His Word is spiritual wisdom. For example, God’s will revealed to us is: That people should be saved from their sins (1 Timothy 2:3-4), Be Spirit- filled (Ephesians 5:18), Be sanctified {set apart for the Lord} (1Thessalonians 4:3),This what Jesus models for us in the gospels.

As Christians today, we face situations in our daily lives that are conscience tester’s. They help us to see whether we are serious about our walk with the Lord. Knowing that our choices will have good or bad consequences. And to some extent we show what Christ is like through our perseverence and character.
Beloved friend, your willingness to be taught by God’s Word pays dividends that are far reaching into the lives of loved ones as blessings of faith and wisdom are being rewarded by God.
May the Lord bless your walk.
Dedicated to my daughter Justine, and my son-in-law Justin on this day of the birth of their first born son. Our first grandchild!

Proven Character

I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me. For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.1Corinthians 4:14-17

Despite their carnal, even sometimes hateful immaturity, Paul always looked on the Corinthian believers with an affectionate paternal care. When he wanted to warn them, he was saying “put in mind ” this purposeful admonishing as a reminder of something being wrong, and should be corrected. Today, we don’t have very many Pastor/teachers who look to be not only the voice to likewise warn the church body of it’s wrongdoing, but will always want the accountability of also being an example to the church in living by what is taught to be correct biblical behavior. Ten thousand instructors—The term actually is saying “countless tutors,” referring to the hyperbole of an unlimited number of moral guardians used with children. Yet only Paul, was there spiritual father; with no one caring like he did. This is truly an act of discipleship that Jesus taught to His own disciples. To look after the needs of others, and not just for your own selves. Timothy’s example—Timothy had been so faithfully discipled by Paul that he could be sent in the great apostles stead with confidence that he would perfectly represent him, referring to doctrine and not having to fear of any compromise. By living with this conviction, Timothy, by his own instruction and example would further reinforce the eternal truths Paul had taught him. Paul’s use of Timothy was not just in Corinth, in Philippi, Paul wrote to commend Timothy before them: But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerly care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus, But you know his proven character, that as son with his father he served with me in the gospel (Philippians 2:19-22). When Paul mentioned “like-minded” literally meant “one-souled” or often translated “kindred spirit.” Timothy was one in thought, feeling,and spirit with Paul. With a strong love for the church, he was as unique being Paul’s protege being a younger version of Paul himself.

Beloved friend, Do you have an urge to speak, something to say? (Discipling) What do you want to leave to the generation behind you? What in your life will endure through all generations like the Word of God? Do you have an ear to hear? (Being discipled) Can you be corrected by others without taking offense? Are you humble enough to be taught by someone who is younger than you? Do you follow through quickly with instruction given, or are you someone who will “put it off tillmanana”(tomorrow)? These are just some of the proven character traits that the true disciple and follower of Christ must come to terms with. But for what is at stake, meaning the lives of those whom you love, Can you be someone who can be imitated be found trustworthy to be followed? No one is perfect. In fact, the best teacher, is the person who says, ” I was wrong in how I was treating you, but I’ve repented from that, and God has shown me His mercy and forgiveness. Will you forgive me?”

May the Lord bless your walk!

Ruth and Naomi

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and when he went in to her, the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the woman (Ruth) said to Naomi, (Her Mother-in-law) “blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a close relative; and may his name be famous in Israel! And may he be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, who is better than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and became a nurse to him. Ruth 4:13-16

Here is a beautiful story of love and redemption, through the eyes of Ruth, the Moabitess, and Noami, her mother-in-law. The story of Ruth occurred in the days “when the judges ruled” Israel. Bridging the time from the judges to Israel’s monarchy. God used a famine in the land of Judah to set in motion this beautiful story, The O.T. does not again refer to Ruth, while the N.T. mentions her once in the context of Chrit’s genealogy (Matt.1:5). The name “Ruth” most likely comes from a Moabite and or Hebrew word meaning “friendship.”  Ruth arrived in Bethleham as a foreigner (2:10), became a maidservant (2:13), married wealthy Boaz (our text 4:13), and was included in the physical lineage of Jesus Christ (Matt.1:5).

Pretty cool how God will use humble beginnings in a person’s life to start something magnificently beautiful that will bless many generations to follow. Ruth’s story illustrates God’s redemptive plan extended beyond the Jews to Gentiles also (2:12). Ruth also previews a N.T. teaching that women are also co-heirs with men of God’s salvation and grace. Ruth also portrays the virtuous women written in Proverbs 31:10-11, through demonstrations of God’s sovereign and providential care of seemingly unimportant people in what seemed to be insignificant times, only to later discover how crucial it was to accomplish God’s will. Ruth’s genealogy of the messianic line, along with her husband Boaz, as a type of Christ, becomes Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer (4:1-12), allows for David’s right and thus Christ’s right, to the throne of Israel’s promised eternal kingdom.

Our text is depicting the event of the new birth of a son, and grandson, that brought so much hope, and restores new life into the heart of Noami, a woman who thought her past losses of husband, and two sons, would leave her desperate and alone. The Lord gave her conception—Reminds us that with God, nothing will be impossible, He ultimately is the restorer of life and promise of hope. Nourisher of your old age—This pictures Noami in now the place of a godly grandmother, who now will be a giver of tender and affectionate nurturing love to her God-given-grandson. The hope of a messianic king and kingdom (2 Samuel 7:1-17) finds its origin here, to be fulfilled by the Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:20) through the lineage of of David’s grandfather Obed, who was born to Boaz and Ruth the Moabitess.

Beloved friend, Christian parents, and grandparents have so much hope for their lives, and the lives of their families. By placing their lives into the saving mercy and grace of Jesus Christ’s redemptive love for them, in dying on the cross. Our joy at knowing that He has an unfolding plan of salvation for anyone who comes to Him in faith, and will receive a glorious inheritance in heaven that still awaits them. May it bring so much love and peace into your families home, and your children’s lives become the same blessing to their children after them, to the glory and praise of God!

May the Lord bless your walk!

Beware of the Leaven

In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore, whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the house tops. And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Luke 12:1-5

Here is one of the strictest warnings in all of the Bible. Jesus, clearly is stating what detests God, what God hates is hypocrisy. Leaven in Scripture has more the one meaning. The leaven of the Pharisee’s is their doctrine (Matthew 16:12) and here in our text in Luke, their hypocrisy. The two things are inextricably linked together. The most sinister influence of the Jewish leaders was a pragmatic doctrine that made room for hypocrisy. They were too concerned with externals and ceremonies and the way things appeared, and not concerned enough with matters of the heart. Jesus sternly rebuked them for their hypocrisy again and again in the gospels. Nothing covered that will not be revealed Jesus is making it clear to us, that there is no hidden sin, no secret counsels or agreements that will not be exposed when judgment comes. In fact Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians about judging others, Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God ( 1 Corinthians 4:5) The inner motives, thoughts, and attitudes which only God can know, refering to rewards in heaven will be based on not just outward service, but on inward devotion. God the Father is very concered for you. And through Jesus Christ, gives us plenty of warning and chance to correct ourselves. By fearing God, and His judgment of sin, we don’t have to fear anyone, or anything else! We should be the most thankful people. God has not found us guilty of our sins before Him, because we believed His report. That we all have been found guilty of sin, and have not kept His commandments, But we have believed in Jesus Christ, and His offer of forgiveness by faith, and now stand before God justified, and righteous and approved unto God. Now we partake in eternal life, when one day, we will be rewarded for our acts of obedience because of His grace (unmerited favor) bestowed upon us. When we take heed to warning in His Word, we find great comfort and joy in what God is doing in our life. A work of great grace unto salvation, the saving of our souls.

Beloved friend, Do not fear what man can do to you, But rather fear Him, who after our death, has power cast in hell all those who refuse His offer of forgiveness of sin.

May the Lord bless your walk!


Love For Christ

“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.John 14:15-17

Love for Christ is inseparable from obedience. Jesus gives several example’s from the Scriptures where we can examine for ourselves, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Whoever comes to Me , and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” It is not sufficient enough to say “I love You Lord,” and then not follow through with what He would tell us in His word about sin, and repentenance which means to turn away from, or to show love to others by offering your forgiveness to them. Genuine faith produces obedience, because a Tree is known by its fruits. Having said this, Jesus also knows that we could never do anything for Him without His help. I will pray the Father—The priestly and intercessory work of Christ began with the request that the Father send the Holy Spirit to indwell the people of faith. The word “another Helper” specifically means “another of the same kind,” i.e, someone like Jesus Himself, The word “Helper” From the Greek litterally means “One called along side to help” and has the idea of Someone who encourages and exhorts. When you give your heart to Jesus, He returns the favor. He will give you His Word of Promise, “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.” John 14:19

Beloved friend, There is more to know about obedience to the Lord’s commands, There’s the promise of His joy to remain in us, and that our joy may be full. And through the course of our Christian life, Jesus is sanctifying us to be His bride, in which He as the Bridegroom purchased us with His own blood, and has promised to return for His bride. Are you ready? Do you love the Lord, and keep His commands? He tells us in His Word that they are not burdensome (1John 5:3)

May the Lord bless your walk today!

Reconciled in Christ

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister. Colossians 1:19-23

To dispell any belief that Jesus, was just a prophet from God, or just a man and never fully God, Paul makes clear here that God the Father was pleased with His Son, and that in Him all the fullness of deity, all the divine powers and attributes were not spread out among created beings, but completely dwelt in Christ, Himslf alone. The Greek word for “reconcile” means to “to change” or “exchange.” Its use in the N.T. usage refers to a change in the sinner’s relationship to God. Man is reconciled to God when God restores man to a right relationship with Him through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. An intensified form of the word “reconciled” is used in this verse to refer to the total and complete reconcilliation of believers and ultimately “all things” in the created universe (But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up) 2Peter 3:10. The “heavens” refers to the physical universe. Reconcile all things to Himself—This text does not teach that, as a result, all will believe; rather it teaches that all will ultimately submit to Jesus Christ as Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). But the good news is that even though once we were enemies and alienated from God, as Scripture dictates: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23, For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord Romans 6:23 God has reconciled us through the blood of the cross of His Son. No longer do we ever have to face Him in fear of judgment, but rather as being accepted in His beloved Son, and in His righteousness. Believe it, Christ’s substitutionary death on the cross has paid the price in full of all who has ever believed in Him, making this reconciliation possible, thus resulting in the positional relationship to God the Father as “Holy in His sight”. As a result of the believer’s union with Christ in His death and resurrection, God considers Christians as holy as His Son, and blameless and above reproach, (no one can bring a charge against them who are in Christ Jesus) Romans 8:33.

Beloved friend, Those who have been reconciled will need to persevere in faith and obedience in the fact that they are not only declared righteous, be have a new nature, that of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, among whom all the fullness of God dwells. Praise the Lord for His gift of grace and mercy that we can be reconciled.

May the Lord bless your walk!