Friday, June 30, 2017

Sudden End


"Neither their silver nor their gold
will be able to save them
on the day of the Lord’s wrath.”
In the fire of His jealousy
the whole earth will be consumed,
for He will make a sudden end
of all who live on the earth.
Zephaniah 1:18

paper: When in Rome by Marta van Eck; elements: What Dreams May Come by Mystique (retired)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Born of God


No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for His seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:9-10

This passage tends to confuse people. They wonder how this can be, since people who are born again DO still sin sometimes? Some speculate that maybe it means that even though they do sin, their sins are not counted against them? What does "cannot" mean--is it in the sense of "unable" or "shouldn't"? I think the key to the passage is the word "practice." We are not perfected until we see Jesus and He finishes the process He began in us the day we were saved. However, we make a PRACTICE of trying to please Him in all we do rather than sinning deliberately. (Hebrews 10:26-27)

God cares whether we practice righteousness (which is obeying, as the opposite is unrighteousness, which is lawlessness, which is sin - 1John 3:4-8), or not. If we live for the devil, God says that's who we "belong" to. (John 8:44) We believers love what our Father loves and walk in obedience to Him. He hasn't left us alone to try to do this, since it would be impossible with our sinful nature. He has given us His Spirit. (Romans 8:7-9)

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

It is possible for us to resist and even quench Him--when we do that, there will not be "fruit" of the Spirit. (Romans 7:4-6, 1Thessalonians 5:19, Ephesians 5:1-11, Hebrews 12:7-11, James 3:17-18) Faith comes by hearing the word and so does our knowledge of God. (Romans 10:17, Romans 15:14, 1Corinthians 15:34, Ephesians 1:17, Ephesians 4:11-32, Philippians 1:9-11, Colossians 1:9-11, 2Peter 1:3-12) If we neglect our faith, we will lose sight of what it is to BE a Christian--to LIVE OUT our life IN Christ. We will be sickly Christians, both physically (1Corinthians 11:30-32) and spiritually--our lamps may run out of oil. (Matthew 25:1-13)

We do not need to live in fear that we have committed some sin, without even realizing it, that won't be forgiven until we confess it. John says that attitude shows we don't understand the perfect love of God. (1John 4:13-21) That said, it doesn't mean that we should take our forgiveness lightly such that we don't even care about obeying Jesus. (John 14:15-24, John 15:4-10, Colossians 2:6-7, Titus 2:11-15, 2Peter 3:11-12)

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10

This is how the world can tell by looking at our lives whether we are IN Jesus or not (Matthew 5:15-16 - this light includes TRUTH; John 14:6). If we love all of the same things they do then we should question how important our faith is to us. If we show more love to our unsaved friends and family than to other believers, there is something wrong. It's one thing to have a "heart for the lost" and another to be indistinguishable from them. (2Corinthians 6:14-7:1, 1Corinthians 15:33) "Brother" is fellow believer and follower of Christ. Jesus isn't interested in having "fans."

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17

Believers are supposed to be willing to "take one for the team" by suffering for Jesus' sake, whether it's because people think we're ODD that we don't want to join them in sin, or they hate us for having unpopular VALUES, or even if they threaten our lives because they hate Jesus. We're supposed to remember that it's HIM being persecuted, not really us. (1Peter 4:1-5, John 15:18-21, 1John 3:13, 2Timothy 3:12-13, 1Peter 4:12-19, 1Peter 2:20-24, Philippians 1:27-30, Hebrews 13:12-15, Hebrews 12:3-4 - or all of Hebrews 12, Acts 9:4-5)

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:12

This is why He said to count the cost. It's not easy to be a disciple of Jesus, but the rewards of overcoming in this temporary world are eternal. (Luke 9:62) Jesus set for us the example of faithfulness, no matter what, to the end. We are cautioned repeatedly in the New Testament not to be deceived, not to accept "another Jesus." (2Corinthians 11:1-4, Galatians 1:6-10, Jude 1:4)

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:13-25

Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. “Salt is good, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Luke 14:25-35

Some say that the above passage was to the Jews, not the church, which had not yet begun since this occurred prior to Jesus' victory on the cross and also Pentecost, when the indwelling Holy Spirit arrived. I would like to point out, however, that Jesus uses the same phrase about hearing as He does in each of the letters to the CHURCHES in Revelation 2, 3. We ARE special because of God dwelling IN us--there is NO doubt about that. However, we are grafted IN to Israel as well. (Romans 11) There is no difference between Jew and Gentile in the New Covenant. (Romans 2)

This really isn't too hard for us to understand. If we love Jesus, we will do as He says (not twisting His words or choosing which ones we like). If we love sin, we do not love Jesus and we are NOT born again. (John 3:3-6, James 4:4-5) "Fear" of God is a healthy respect for Him and His almighty power. If we have any sense at all, we'll remember that even as we obey out of LOVE and GRATITUDE for what our beloved Savior has done for us. Jesus "as Lord" is not an honorary title! (2Corinthians 4:5-6, 2Peter 2:1-3, Romans 10:9, Hebrews 4:13, Hebrews 10:29-31)

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:20-23 

How hard is it to see that blending in with the world, loving sin and supporting others in theirs the way unbelievers do, etc. is a FAR CRY from "struck down," "given over to death," and "slaughtered all day long"? (Romans 8:35-36, 2Corinthians 4:8-11) We are not all called to martyrdom, but we ARE all called to die to our sinful selves. That is what it is to OVERCOME. Jesus modeled it for us perfectly. (John 12:25-26, Colossians 3:2-10, Romans 6)

Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:11-14 

This is a wake up call to TRUE believers. Jesus said the way was NARROW to eternal life and BROAD to eternal destruction. His discussion continued on, in context, to the topic of OBEYING Him. Let's believe Him and take His advice. If what we would like others to "do unto us" is to approve of our sin and join in it with us, then we are NOT on the narrow road. Let's not put God to the test. Let's submit to God and resist temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11, James 4:7, 1Corinthians 10:13, 2Corinthians 12:20-13:2)

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” Matthew 7:12-27

kit, alpha: March Daze by Kristmess Designs; template challenge freebie by Lindsay Jane Designs

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

No One Who Seeks God


As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit. The poison of vipers is on their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know. There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Romans 3:10-18

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. Have they no knowledge, all the evildoers who eat up my people as they eat bread and do not call upon the LORD? Psalm 14:1-4

kit: January Daze by Kristmess Designs; template: challenge freebie by Lindsay Jane Designs

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

So-Called Gods


For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. 1 Corinthians 8:5-6

kit: Forget Me Not by Kristmess Designs

Monday, June 26, 2017

Stubble Set Ablaze


“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."  Malachi 4:1

paper by Marta van Eck, flames by Holliewood Studios

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Add an Hour


And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Matthew 6:27

kit: Margaret by Valentina Creations; template challenge freebie from Scrapbook Bytes

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Heal Me, O Lord


Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved, for You are my praise. Jeremiah 17:14

stacked papers: Aunt Lily by Kristmess Designs

Friday, June 23, 2017

Perverse or Blameless


The LORD detests those whose hearts are perverse, but He delights in those whose ways are blameless. Proverbs 11:20

Stacked papers: Aunt Lily by Kristmess Designs

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Good Name


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

kit: Aunt Lily by Kristmess Designs

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

In Your Light We See Light


How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light. Oh, continue Your steadfast love to those who know You, and Your righteousness to the upright of heart! Psalm 36:7-10

stacked papers and kit: Aunt Lily by Kristmess Designs

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Weighs the Heart


Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the heart. To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice. Haughty eyes and a proud heart, the lamp of the wicked, are sin. Proverbs 21:2-4

paper: Aunt Lily by Kristmess Designs

Monday, June 19, 2017

Not Disgraced or Ashamed


‘I was not disobedient nor did I turn back. I gave My back to those who strike Me, and My cheeks to those who pluck out the beard; I did not cover My face from humiliation and spitting. For the Lord GOD helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced. Therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.’ Isaiah 50:5-7

kit: Aunt Lily by Kristmess Designs

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fight the Good Fight


Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12

kit: Aunt Lily by Kristmess Designs

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Under His Feet


And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.  Ephesians 1:22-23

paper and stacked border: Regal Elegance by Kristmess Designs

Friday, June 16, 2017

Heirs


So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir. Galatians 4:7

paper and stacked border: Regal Elegance by Kristmess Designs

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Love One Another


I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. John 13:15-17

papers and stacked borders: Pretty Paisley by Kristmess Designs

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Love God Not Money


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

paper by Createwings (retired), pot of gold by Kristmess Designs, glow by Marta van Eck; page border by BekahE

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Love of Money


For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10

kit: Art Box 2 by Holliewood Studios

Monday, June 12, 2017

Earth and Sky Fled


Then I saw a great white throne and Him who was seated on it. From His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. Revelation 20:11

paper by Holliewood Studios, texture by me

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Love His Appearing


Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.  2 Timothy 4:8

kit and template: Vintage Valentine by Optic Illusions

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Grasshoppers


Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
Isaiah 40:21-22

kit: Boyhood and Tomboy collab by Createwings and Mle Card, template by Little Green Frog (all 3 digital scrapbook designers retired)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Wisdom is Better


Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; for wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her. Proverbs 8:10-11

paper and stacked border: Mum's the Word by Kristmess Designs

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Preeminent in Everything


He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:15-20

papers and stacked border: Mum's the Word by Kristmess Designs

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wait for Him


Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember Your ways. Isaiah 64:4-5 a

kit: Mum's the Word by Kristmess Designs

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Flee


But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.  1 Timothy 6:11

kit: Mum's the Word by Kristmess Designs

Monday, June 5, 2017

Unworthy


"I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?” Job says. “I put my hand over my mouth.” Job 40:4

kit: Mum's the Word by Kristmess Designs

Sunday, June 4, 2017

King Eternal


Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.  1 Timothy 1:17

kit: Mum's the Word by Kristmess Designs

Saturday, June 3, 2017

When You Sit, Walk, Lie Down and Rise


“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:4-9

paper and stacked border: Mum's the Word by Kristmess Designs

Friday, June 2, 2017

Walk Humbly


With what shall I come to the LORD and bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, with yearling calves? Does the LORD take delight in thousands of rams, in ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:6-8

kit: Puppy Love by Kristmess Designs

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Not of This World


“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.  Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.  But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me." John 15:18-21

kit: Puppy Love by Kristmess Designs