What’s Grace Got To Do With It?

“Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” –Hebrews 4:16

What is grace anyway? Grace is Yahweh’s unmerited favor. It is Him withholding judgment (mercy) and extending blessings even though we don’t deserve it. It is His work for our good, even though we don’t deserve it. Grace flows out of Yahweh’s love. He is love and everything He does for us is by His grace.

Why do we need grace? Oh wait…it’s because we sin…which is not following the Law of God…which makes the need grace…which is needed because we sin…which is not following the Law of God…which makes the need for grace…which…Well, you get the picture.

In all seriousness, I have been meditating on grace…a lot…and I have come to the conclusion that grace has EVERYTHING to do with it. Not that I didn’t already know that, but what really brought it home for me was when I began studying the whole word of Yahweh and seeing His grace from the beginning.

You see, even Adam and Eve received grace from Yahweh. As a matter of fact, they were created in a state of grace by Yahweh. They walked with Him and talked with Him face to face, lived in paradise with Him, rested on the Sabbath with Him, had access to the Tree of Life…before they sinned. And Yahweh chose to create them with a free will…He gave them choices…to live His way or their own way…and they chose to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They sinned…they acted against God’s command…and because they chose to disobey Yahweh, they received His judgment. They were kicked out of the Garden of Eden and cut off from the Tree of Life. But Yahweh was still a God of Love and Grace…He foretold of the coming Savior…Yeshua…and the way back to eternal life (Genesis 3:15).

And He continued to extend grace to those who sought Him…Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Gideon, David, Hezekiah, Esther…and the list goes on and on. Read the great faith chapter, Hebrews 11. All of these and more received grace and mercy from Yahweh. What did all these heroes of the faith have in common? They sought Yahweh. They loved Yahweh with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their strength. They obeyed Yahweh.

And this grace is available to all today who truly seek the Most High God, who accept the atoning blood sacrifice of Yeshua, the Messiah. We NEED the grace of Yahweh…for our salvation and eternal life…for our daily walking out our salvation…for daily strength to obey Him…for becoming all that He has called us to be.

Grace has EVERYTHING to do with it!

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of or Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. –2 Peter 3:18

Choices

Have you ever stopped to think about happiness, love, and forgiveness? These are all great attributes, characteristics…qualities to have. And they are all commands in the Word of Yahweh. And……they are all choices, just like every command that Yahweh gives us.

That’s what I want to talk about in this post: the choice to forgive, the choice to love, and the choice to be happy. In a world where we have so little control, isn’t it comforting to know that we have choices for these wonderful things? What do I mean we have so little control? Well, when I finally woke up to the fact that there is only one aspect of my life that I have control over, it changed my whole outlook. You see, none of us has any control whatsoever about the circumstances around us, what someone else says to us, what someone else does to us…the only control we have is the choice of how we will respond to those events, words, and actions. Yes, we control our response.

Happiness is a command…and choice. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice always!” When the storms of life arise and our circumstances are not what we think they should be, we can choose to be swallowed by despair and self-pity or we can choose to rejoice in the Lord because as believers, we know He has our best interest at heart. Romans 5:3-5 says, “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” The choice is ours.

Love is a command…and a choice. Matthew 22:37-39 reiterates the commands of old, “He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” We are commanded to love God, and love our neighbor. We have a choice to love God by following His commandments (John 14:15, John 14:21, 2 John 2:6), or we can make the choice to say we love Him by following the traditions and commandments of men, or we can choose not to love Him at all. The choice is ours to make. We also make the choice to walk in love with our fellow man and walk in the fruit of the spirit or we can choose to walk in fruit of the flesh towards each other. In each of these areas, we have choices: one is biblical and honors the Most High God and leads to life; the other choice is contrary to scripture and dishonors the Most High God and leads to death. The choice is ours.

Forgiveness is a command…and a choice. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive people their wrongdoing, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well. But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing.” We have choices to make. We can make a conscious choice to forgive one another and move on, or we can choose to hang onto an offense and risk having a root of bitterness spring up harming ourselves. The choice is ours.

“But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If anyone hits you on the cheek, offer the other also. And if anyone takes away your coat, don’t hold back your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks you, and from one who takes your things, don’t ask for them back. Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do what is good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do what is good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is gracious to the ungrateful and evil. Be merciful, just as your Father is also merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.—Luke 6:27-38

Let’s make the choice today and every day to love one another, forgive one another, and rejoice always in all circumstances.

Mirror, Mirror

English: : A mirror, reflecting a vase. Españo... (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you look in the mirror,

what do you see?

Do you see your reflection,

or do you see me?

Do you see the faults of others,

that you can’t let be?

Or do you see a glimpse

of how eternity will be?

When you look in the mirror,

do you see your own faults?

Or do you look to find others’

imperfections, for yourself to exalt?

When you look in the mirror,

do you see a speck or a log?

Are you examining yourself,

or others with eyes all agog?

Do you not yet realize

oh friend of mine,

that no human is perfect

we’ve all crossed that line?

We all fall far short,

of the One who is right.

Until we put on

His robes so bright.

So let’s be humble and gentle,

bearing with each other in love.

Pursuing peace and holiness

that comes from above.

Helping one another

with arms open wide.

In His divine love

each one should abide.

When you look in the mirror,

what do you see?

When you look in the mirror,

do you see Me?

Jesus in Skinny Jeans

The Rock—His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true.—Deuteronomy 32:4

As I was meditating on what an awesome and glorious and holy God I serve, my heart became sad. Not because of Yahweh, but because of how much He is taken for granted, or worse yet, not even thought of at all. As I am willingly yielding areas of my life to the Most High God, I have become more and more aware of how much I have taken Him for granted…how much I have taken lightly the blood of the covenant. When I become aware of these areas, I confess and repent (1 John 1:9) and He forgives me. Praise Yahweh for the blood of Yeshua!!!

On this particular day, what had me saddened was (in the words of Voddie Baucham) the “sissified Jesus” that is being portrayed in much of “Christendom” today, at least in the American culture. I mean look at the “pictures” we have of Yeshua. Long flowing hair (usually blondish), short beard if any beard at all, blue eyes…you’ve all seen them. Now I wasn’t there, but I’m fairly certain that isn’t how He would have looked at all. And…are we supposed to make images of God?

Now, think of how He is being portrayed in churches across America. We’ve got Jesus in our back pockets…we can pull Him out when we need Him. He’s the “sugar daddy” in the sky…keeping us from all trouble and granting our every wish. He’s our BFF and the “big man” up there. He’s portrayed as the “if it feels right to you do it” Jesus. He’s seen as the, “I believe in you, but let me live how I want” Jesus…I can just do what I want and ask for forgiveness later Jesus. He’s the “you can come to me without repentance because how you live doesn’t really matter” Jesus.

But is that the God and Savior of the bible? Titus 2:11-14 says, “For the grace of God has appeared with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.”

Revelation 19:11-16 is an awesome picture of the Jesus I serve. “Then I saw heaven opened and there was a white horse. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and He judges and makes war in righteousness. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and many crowns were on His head. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. A sharp sword came from His mouth, so that He might strike the nations with it. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God the Almighty. And He has a name written on His robe and on His thigh: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” That’s the Jesus I serve, not some namby-pamby Jesus in skinny jeans. I serve the One who is holy and righteous, full of power and glory and can change lives and heal broken hearts…the One who was and is and is coming again to judge the world by the standard of His Word.

Will we even recognize Him when He comes again?

Will the Real Christ Stand Up Please!

“We’ve got a False Jesus being portrayed. As seen on TV, acting cool….you see he’s changed.
A different Jesus from the Bible so…allow me to bring the real Christ on stage.

Not that whack Jesus, the one not based on fact Jesus, too often displayed.

The Christ in Glory, not the one on your chain.
Because he’s the real Jesus Peace that only dwells in the saved.

So allow me to paint the picture of Christ in the Scripture preaching faith and repentance that your too cool Jesus….never seems to mention.

It seems like he’s down with all the things that you do.

But come on, there’s only one Jesus who is true.

So which one will you let reign over you? Who?
The Millionaire Jesus who just wants to make you rich?

Give you some ice, fame, money, to prove that you are blessed?

The Black Panther Jesus who throws up his black fist.

The ‘Kan…Ye…West’ Jesus who walks with no Holiness.

Which one will you choose? I said….Which one will you choose?

So I think it is long overdue to have a re-introduction of Christ.

So there won’t be any confusion as to which one is right,

because one leads to death, and the other IS life!

So allow me to, re-introduce the Christ.

Allow me to, re-introduce the Christ.

I said allow me to re-introduce the Christ!

He’s been distorted by the people and IT JUST AIN’T RIGHT!

Allow me to re-introduce the Christ.

Not someone you can pimp around to propel your cause.

Or a name you can proclaim just to cover your flaws.

Look if this is true then you’re serving a different Boss.

Your Christ is an idol and you’re probably lost.
Because Christ in the scripture? He gave a call to forsake all.

Not to wear a cross but to take up your cross and follow Him.

Because we’re holding a death sentence because of our sin.

And it’s His Mercy that His wrath hasn’t burned times ten.

Just like Sodom and Gomorrah but a curse within.

You see He gives us a chance to learn of Him!
So that He can be glorified in His rightful place.

So if we’re serving this imitation Jesus, dude, it’s like a blatant slap in the face, distorting His grace and disregarding His sacrifice.

For a worldly Christ, like the ‘Purpose Driven Life’ Jesus, who prophesied you’ll be used by him before you’re living like Jesus.
Or that S.A.T. Jesus who helps you with all your quizzes, gets you into college, allows you to pass math and physics.

The homosexual Jesus who doesn’t see you sinning.

The ‘Destiny’s Child’ Jesus who sees your Beyoncé and starts grinning.

Which one will you choose? I said…which one will you choose?
So I think it is long overdue to have a re-introduction of Christ.

So there won’t be any confusion as to which one is right,

because one leads to death, and the other IS life!

So allow me to.. re-introduce the Christ.
Allow me to … re-introduce the Christ.

He’s been distorted by the people and IT JUST AIN’T RIGHT!
So allow me to re-introduce the Christ.

Not someone that we can cover His mouth,

so we can continue our nose in the dirt,

so He doesn’t require us to repent of all sins, to be born again, to never blend in with this world,

and Broadway is the street that walks the Material Girl, she’s got you seduced, she feeds you a phony Jesus that doesn’t want to save you from your sins but wants to…”Kick it with you.”
Like…”Jesus is my Homeboy”..or “Jesus got me employed” or “Jesus is my Decoy”,

But will the real Jesus please stand up?

The ONE who is TRUE!

Because He’s been, knocked down, pushed down, and these idols come in, he wrecked it up, he wrecked it up to the point that if the real Jesus came back right now…

Dude, the Church would probably hang Him upside down!

Pin Him to one of these beams and crucify Him again.

Because he’s not down with your sin!

And it hurts me to see how the Church will defend their lifestyle.

Like, Wow! Don’t we want to know Christ?

The one who willingly gave His life to set us free from our sin you see.
And I must do this by ANY means necessary.

See, I must NEVER hide the LIGHT!

So tonight, I’m going to introduce Jesus Christ.

I said I’m going to introduce Jesus Christ because He’s been distorted by the people and IT JUST AIN’T RIGHT!

So I’m going to introduce Jesus Christ because one day…Dude….

He is coming back and it’s important that you recognize Him because the scripture talks about that.
Many people saying….”I’m Jesus….No, I’m Jesus…No, I’m Jesus”

But which one is fact?

And you got to get into the Bible to see about that,

that He’s coming in the clouds with Power and Glory, and every knee will bow, testify to His authority.

So this Jesus of the scripture better take priority,

not the one that’s accepted everywhere by the majority,

when He Himself said the world would hate Him!

So why all of a sudden does the world want to date Him?

Think about it.
Hopefully you haven’t given in to this ‘Come as you are, stay as you are’ Jesus.

He has this wonderful plan for my Life’ Jesus, ‘You don’t need repentance’ Jesus…or ‘All roads lead to Jesus.’

I hope you haven’t given in to this, but you serve the One who is Holy.

Because it will be something if on Judgment day the Jesus you’ve been serving was simply an angel of light,

which covered a legion of demons masquerading as Christ.

All this time serving a Jesus who’s not been pierced at his feet and the wrists,

who has no sword coming out of his mouth, No rod of Righteousness!

To go on day by day by day, and willingly MISS because we’re serving a created image that leads you to the Abyss.

So let’s get into scripture, so we’re not fooled by this Jesus

who when were sinning he’s still with us,

Won’t get into this Jesus that the world loves,

and he’s cool with your worldly music, worldly TV, you going to the club, your sex, your lies, your vanity, your phony love,

the very thing that caused Christ in the scripture to shed blood.
So let’s make sure we’re serving the right Christ,

not a wolf in sheep’s clothing that’s got you enticed.

The TRUE ONE, want to make you new ONE, The ONLY begotten SON!
So I think it’s long overdue for you to be introduced tonight. Everybody help me welcome…Jesus Christ!”

The Greatest Commandment

When the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test Him: Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “Love Yahweh your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”—Matthew 22:34-40

I wonder why when the Pharisees were trying to test Yeshua, (because they were trying to prove He taught against Torah) and they asked Him which command in the law is the greatest He quoted from Torah…Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18. And then I wonder why Yeshua would say that, if He came to abolish the Law…hmmm…using the Law to abolish the Law…is that even possible? And then, “All the Law and Prophets depend on these two commands.” So if we obey the Law…we fulfill these commandments and vice versa…if we obey these two commands…we fulfill the Law. Interesting…

Just some wonderings to think on…

A Tale of Two Houses

“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it. Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravaging wolves. You’ll recognize them by their fruit. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So you’ll recognize them by their fruit. Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’ Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!”—Matthew 7:13-27

I was thinking about the houses built on sand and on rock the other day, so I looked it up. I noticed that it started with the word therefore, which I have been told to back up and see what it is there for. I found it quite interesting how the verses fit together. One thing that really stuck out to me as I was reading and meditating on His Word is this: “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts will be like a sensible man who built his house on the rock.” “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.” It clearly shows that there should be action involved…James 1:22-25 comes to mind. “But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his own face in a mirror. For he looks at himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but one who does good works—this person will be blessed in what he does.”  If we take on the name of Yeshua, we are called to act like it, by keeping His commands, and walking as He walked (1 John 2:3-6).

Then I began thinking about the storm…”the rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded the house.” Is that the “storms of life”? That’s what I always thought, but I began to dig a little deeper and was led to Isaiah 28:16-17, “Therefore the Lord God said: “Look, I have laid a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; the one who believes will be unshakable. And I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the mason’s level. Hail will sweep away the false refuge, and water will flood your hiding place.”” And also, Ezekiel 13:10-13, “Since they have led My people astray saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, for when someone builds a wall they plaster it with whitewash, therefore, tell those who plaster it that it will fall. Torrential rain will come, and I will send hailstones plunging down, and a windstorm will be released. Now when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘Where is the coat of whitewash that you put on it?’ So this is what the Lord God says: I will release a windstorm in My wrath. Torrential rain will come in My anger, and hailstones will fall in destructive fury.” It sounds like the storm represents Yahweh’s judgment. And the person who hears and doesn’t act will not be able to stand in judgment; but the one who hears and acts on the Words of Yeshua will be able to withstand the time of judgment.

Now, about acting on the Words of Yeshua…”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”(John 1:1) “Yeshua is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God remains forever.” (Isaiah 40:8) “Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For I assure you: Until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all things are accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18) When I look outside, I see the earth is still here…actually I found in the Word where the heaven and earth do pass away…hint…it’s not until the end…Revelation 21:1.

Here’s the point…”His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.”—2 Peter 1:3-11

We have everything we need to pursue holiness. A paraphrase of something I read the other day…The cross is the beginning of our faith walk; not the place where we plant our chairs and remain until His return. Yeshua said, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24) We must make Yeshua our Lord, not just our Savior. Are we allowing Him be Lord of our lives? There is action required. Which foundation are we building our houses on? Are we sand dwellers or Rock dwellers?

Carnally Minded or Spiritually Minded?

light behind dark tunnel of trees

I have finally found where the word says we are not subject to God’s law. Here is the entire passage of Romans 8:1-11. But pay special attention to verse 7.

Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You however, are not it the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives in you.

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. If you are led by the Holy Spirit, He will not lead you anywhere that is contrary to God’s Word. If you are being led to something against God’s Word, check the spirit that is leading you.

Diminishing the Holiness of God

More and more I am seeing the holiness of the Most High God, Yahweh, being diminished in the eyes of people that profess to know Him. I am seeing and hearing things like you do not need to repent in order to be saved; and it doesn’t matter how we live our lives after we take on His name.

The Word of God clearly has something to say about these things. Let’s start with salvation and repentance. I’ve recently read, “We don’t need to preach about repentance. If we preach the goodness of God, people will repent.” There are some great men of God that had something to say about that.

 “They will never accept grace until they tremble before a just and holy law.” –Charles Spurgeon

 “Before I preach love, mercy, and grace, I must preach sin, law, and judgment.” –John Wesley

 While finding these quotes was quite interesting, I really wanted to know exactly what the Word of God itself had to say about the subject. So here goes…

 “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.” –2 Chronicles 7:14

“The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.”—Proverbs 28:17

“If a wicked person turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live because of this.”—Ezekiel 33:19

“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the Wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, because the kingdom of heaven has come near!”—Matthew 3:1-2

“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!”—Luke 13:3 (Yeshua speaking)

“”Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”—Acts 2:38

“Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent.” –Acts 17:30

“Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”—Romans 2:4

“Now I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because your grief led to repentance. For you were grieved as God willed, so that you didn’t experience any loss from us. For godly grief produces a repentance not to be regretted and leading to salvation, but worldly grief produces death.”—2 Corinthians 7:9-10

“For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.”—Hebrews 12:17

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your laughter must change to mourning and your joy to sorrow. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”—James 4:8-10

“The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”—2 Peter 3:9

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9

“As many as I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be committed and repent.”—Revelation 3:19

It seems that repentance is certainly a theme throughout scripture. There are many more verses where those came from. Read the word for yourselves!! While still on the subject of salvation without repentance…what seemed to come through in the article that I was reading was that we just need to believe Yeshua is the Son of God and we will be saved…which is true…in part. However, I have come to realize that the type of belief that is talked about is not just mental assent…after all even the demons believe Yeshua is the Son of God (James 2:19)…are they saved? Do all dogs go to heaven?

Now, how are we to live our lives after we take on the Name of Yeshua? Can we live any old way we want to? Well…we can…but should we? The bible has some clear commands and warnings about this.

Let’s start in Exodus 20:7…yeah you know, part of the big 10! “Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name.” I used to think that just meant cursing. But think about it…we have taken on His name. We represent Him…we are His ambassadors. (2 Corinthians 5:20). If we represent Him…and others are supposed to be able to see Him through us…and we are not setting a Godly example…wouldn’t that be misusing His name? Misrepresenting our Savior?

Some “Christians” seem to think we have no duty or responsibility to set a Godly example and walk as Yeshua walked. However, a couple of verses sprang into my mind when I read that. In Luke 17:7-10, Yeshua is speaking to His apostles about being a slave and meeting our obligation. Verse 10 says, “In the same way, when you have done all that you were commanded, you should say, “We are good-for-nothing slaves; we’ve only done our duty.” Are we not slaves to Christ? (Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:24; 1 Peter 2:16). Another verse that came to me was Romans 12:1, “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your reasonable service.”  Hmm…our reasonable service? What about working out our salvation with fear and trembling? (Philippians 2:12) What does God’s word have to say about trampling the blood of Yeshua? Hebrews 10:29 is quite clear. “How much worse punishment do you think one will deserve who has trampled on the Son of God, regarded as profane the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” Clearly, we need to regard the blood of Yeshua as holy.

Now, before you get all up in arms, I am in no way implying that we are saved by the works that we do. We are saved because Yeshua has given us His righteousness. However, if we truly believe something…shouldn’t our actions line up with our beliefs? Here’s where our belief becomes more than the belief of the demons.

While we are on the subject of salvation, why did you want to be saved? Is it because you don’t want to go to hell? Is it your fire insurance card? Is it because you want God’s blessings? Or is it just maybe because He is the holy, just, and righteous God who sent His Son to die for us because He deserves the reward for His sacrifice…because He is worthy? Because He is holy?

 “For the High and Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy says this: “I live in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the oppressed.”—Isaiah 57:15

 “Our Lord and God, You are worthy to receive glory and honor and power, because You have created all things, and because of Your will they exist and were created.”—Revelation 4:11

Ten Shekels and a Shirt

I listened to an amazing sermon today. What a timely message!

How Ten Shekels and a Shirt Came to be

By Paris Reidhead

 In over fifty years of Bible teaching and preaching “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” is the only message that I feel constrained to explain how it came to be preached.

During a Bethany Fellowship Summer Conference in the mid sixties I was preparing to speak at the Tuesday morning Bible hour. Upon returning to my room after breakfast to meditate and pray about the message for that morning hour, I felt strangely impressed that I could not deliver the message that had been prepared for the session. Instead, I felt that there was some other message that was needed which I was to bring.

After prayer, the message that came to mind was one which I had begun preparation for the ministry at the church in New York City of which I was pastor at that time. My notes were not with me, but were in a file folder in my study. An empty envelope was on the desk in my room, on the back of which I wrote the scripture texts to be used and one or two ideas that came to mind. With the envelope in my Bible marking Judges, Chapter 17, and my self utterly cast upon the Lord, I went to the auditorium where between four and five hundred people waited to hear from the Lord through me.

I remember praying, “This morning I am utterly cast upon You because I am not really prepared.” In my heart I seemed to hear His response, “Well is that so bad, already” (being from New York City it was given in a idiom I would understand.)

I delivered the message and gave an invitation. Shortly the altar across the front of the auditorium was filled with broken people seeking God.

The summer conference was soon over and I returned to New York City and the ministry there.

About ten years later, one of the Bethany Fellowship staff was in Washington, D.C., where we had moved and from where we still minister. His word was, “Paris, I want to tell you that God has repeatedly used your messages, but the exact message itself was preached only that once.

A week or two later Harry Conn from Rockford, Illinois was in Washington. He invited me to have dinner with him. In the course of the meal he said, “I buy that message of yours ‘Ten Shekels and a Shirt’ by the dozen to give people. God is really using it in lives.” My response was that if you have a copy, I would like to have it sent to me so that I can find out what it is I have said. In a few days the cassette arrived.

Since I don’t have a tape player in my office, I put the tape into the Sony dictating machine on my desk and listened through the little playback on the hand-held microphone. The element of distance in terms of time, and the distorted sound through the miniature speaker, let me listen to the message with no real awareness of who was speaking. From time to time I felt like exclaiming, “That’s right! I wish I had said that!”

Then it dawned on me that it was my voice, but God was speaking through me. I realized that on a Tuesday morning during a summer conference, God had been able to get His message across because of my utter and complete helplessness. Here it is, just as the Lord gave it.

Paris Reidhead                                                                    ©2013 Bible Teaching Ministries Inc.