A Diet for the Mind.

A Diet for Your Mind

In the same way that your body takes on the character of the food you feed it, your mind and emotional health take on the character of the thoughts you feed them. It is vitally important that we are given a specific diet of God’s Word for our minds.

This diet may take some getting used to. It might be difficult to restrict your intake of mental junk food, unhealthy images, and high-calorie negativity at first. But if you will focus on the items on this list, and feed your mind with thoughts, images, and friendships that reinforce them, you can truly develop a fit and healthy mind.

Here’s the list:

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8 NLT).

Paul gives us eight categories of mind food on which to fix our thoughts. Everything we are tempted to think about needs to go through the filter of these eight categories. If the thoughts don’t pass the test, reject them and replace them with thoughts that do qualify!

Paul’s Mind Diet:        

  1. Truthful Things. Our minds need to be rooted in truth, or real facts. We need to test our thoughts to be sure they are accurate and grounded in Scripture. The opposite of truth is lies, deception, and fantasy.
  2. Honorable Things. This means our thoughts need to respect God, others, and ourselves. We need to think honorably towards our spouses, children, parents, pastors, and employers.
  3. Right or Righteous Things. Our minds need to feed on things that reflect righteousness, justice, and the kingdom of God.
  4. Pure Things. We should allow no unclean or morally polluted things, including those that are sexually impure, to taint our minds.
  5. Lovely Things. We need to feed on beautiful sights, sounds, and relationships. If something is ugly or unattractive to our flesh, we need to avoid it in our minds.
  6. Admirable Things. To admire something or someone is to feel inspired by them. We need to find people and things that inspire admiration within us and focus our attention on them. We are drawn to what we admire—good or bad.
  7. Excellent Things. Our minds need a quality diet. Excellence means beyond mediocre or average. We need to read books, associate with people, and be in environments that challenge us to rise above the status quo and reach our potential.
  8. Praiseworthy Things. One way to defeat dark thinking habits is to focus on things for which you can thank and praise God. If your mind is drifting towards the negatives in your life, immediately imagine one thing for which you can sincerely thank and praise God. It can be ANYTHING. Begin to verbalize to God your praise and thanks, while allowing yourself to feel grateful. This one action alone has a powerful effect in resetting the mind and breaking negative thinking cycles.

Developing the Mind of Christ

“And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us…. But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:12, 16 NLT).

The Holy Spirit lives inside every believer to help them in the process of renewing their minds. Having the mind of Christ within us refers to the ongoing process of the Holy Spirit revealing the thoughts and plans of God to our hearts and minds.

Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit would be our Helper. One of the primary ways He helps us is in revealing the mind or thinking of Christ to us.

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me” (John 16:13 NLT).

Each believer can rely on the inner presence of the Holy Spirit to guide them. He lives inside us to tell us what Jesus and the Father want us to know. The primary way He speaks to us is through the Scriptures. We can ask Him to help us to understand God and His Word.

“Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law [Word]” (Psalm 119:18).

Feeding on the Word

By far, the most important tool we must renew our minds is the Word of God. The Bible is filled with God’s thoughts and ways (Isaiah 55:8-11). It has the power to heal our toxic thinking and deliver our minds from destructive patterns of believing and feeling.

If we will change our minds, we can change our lives. If we can change our lives, God can change our world through us!

“Humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save [heal and deliver] your souls [minds]” (James 1:21 NLT).

God’s Word is a mirror of how God sees us in Christ. The New Testament letters written to the churches are filled with powerful images of what God has done for the believer in Jesus Christ. It describes over and over what we have become “in Christ.” It tells us who we are in Christ and reveals our identity.

Importance of our Identity

We know that sin damages our identity and shows up in our soul issues. When identity damage is healed through truth being brought by the Holy Spirit from the Word of God the influence of Satan is lessened. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

God’s word has tremendous influence in the world and in humanity. We are set free by God’s influence spoken against the lies of Satan.  

What the bible calls spiritual footholds or strongholds are not about power, they are about the lies that influence the heart. The Bible teaches us the meaning of words found there in, for example, Paul uses the Greek word “Topos” to describe a foothold (Ephesians 4:27) Topos means “A place of influence.”  

When anyone has enough influence in your life, they wield power over you according to the amount of influence they have gained. Satan’s influence comes from lies. That is why Jesus said truth, not spiritual authority, sets us free (John 8:32).

To remove the enemy’s power, you simply have the remove the lie through which he gained influence.

This is why Jesus never said your path to freedom has to go through Satan.  Jesus said to come directly to Him (who is truth) for rest and peace from spiritual burdens. (Matt. 11:28). Focusing on truth allows God to work at full power while moving in perfect peace.   

Conclusion.

The more we consider the mirror of God’s Word, the more we will see ourselves as God really sees us—new creatures in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17).

When we look at ourselves in a natural mirror, we see only our physical selves. We notice the imperfections, the mistakes, the realities we wish to change. But God’s Word gives us the real picture of our true selves.

As believers in Jesus, we have been made in God’s image, and possess the love, peace, and wisdom of God. In our spirits we have been given His divine nature—the very life of God! He has made us to be more than conquerors Romans 8:37 and given us the truth over all the power of the enemy. This image is the one God longs for us to capture in our minds. He wants us to know in our heads what He has already made us to be in our hearts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAMES OF GOD– Huios Anthropos part four

Jesus said to him,

“The foxes have holes

and the birds of the air have nests,

but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 

Matthew 8:20

Huios Anthropos is Son of Man in the Greek. Anthropos is a human being, whether male or female, generically, to include all human individuals.

This name or title of Jesus appears in the New Testament 89 times. Here’s the kicker, 85 of those 89 are found in the Gospels and they are Jesus referring to Himself. This is why I say it is Jesus’ favorite name for Himself. The question I want us to ask and attempt to answer today is why. Why this name?

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi,

He was asking His disciples,

“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?

Matthew 16:13

Well let’s go to the Word of God and dig in. Let’s look at some of these 89 references to see what we learn about the Huios Anthropos.

But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.”

Matthew 9:6

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

Matthew 11:18-19

And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man,

Matthew 13:37

just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give a ransom for many Matthew 20:28

For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Luke 19:10

For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man.

John 5:26-27

From these reference we learn that Jesus, the Son of Man, has authority to forgive sins. We learn that He came eating and drinking and without any false pretense of superiority over any other man. He came sowing a good seed. He came to serve, not to be served. He came to seek and save what was lost. He has life within Himself and He also has authority to execute judgment.

Back to our references… we see that the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost… even those who were absolutely clueless that they were lost until they met Him.

Let’s think about Tarzan. Tarzan lived with the apes… and he was perfectly content there. He was not seeking to get out. He was perfectly happy swinging in the trees. He saw nothing wrong with the way things were going in his life.

Then one day something happened. One day someone enters his world from outside his world and for the first time he sees who he was created to be…

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

Genesis 1:26-29

Jesus, the Huios Anthropos, came and entered our world. He came to show us who God created us to be. He came to save us from death. He came to open our eyes and to teach us who we are and who we are supposed to be.

Jesus entered our world. He did not come as a tyrant. He did not come as a condescending dictator. He came as one of us… meeting us where we were… eating and drinking with us. Slowly teaching us by first building a relationship with us.

He came to show us that we are not to be worshiping the things of this world… we were supposed to be ruling over them. We were created to have dominion on this earth, not worship it… or those who lived on it.

He also showed us the foolishness in our man-made religious systems… and how we so easily had taken even the law and gifts of God and twisted them and made them objects of idolatry.

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat. But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples do what is not lawful to do on a Sabbath.” But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, how he entered the house of God, and they ate the consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests alone? Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Matthew 12:1-8

We had even forgotten that God had said “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;(Genesis 1:29)

Jesus came as the Son of Man to open our eyes… that we might see. Really see.

When we begin to watch and learn about this Son of Man we cannot deny that He is different… we cannot deny that we do not measure up… we cannot deny His beauty, His mercy, His love, His power, His majesty, His might and His glory.

When we look at ourselves in the presence of this Huios Anthropos we have to stop and examine and evaluate where we are in our present situation… and is it really where and who we are supposed to be.

In His presence the blind see… or the seeing become blind… so that they don’t have to see.

The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you teaching us?” So, they put him out. Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him.

John 9:30-38

Huios Anthropos, the Son of Man.

Names of God: Parakletos part three

My little children,

I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.

And if anyone sins,

we have an Advocate with the Father,

Jesus Christ the righteous;

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins;

and not for ours only,

but also, for those of the whole world.

1 John 2:1-3

Parakletos is the Greek translation of the word Advocate. Jesus is our Advocate with the Father. The word Parakletos means summoned, called to one’s side, esp. called to one’s aid, one who pleads another’s cause before a judge, a pleader, counsel for defense, legal assistant, an advocate, one who pleads another’s cause with one, an intercessoTherefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

Hebrews 2:14-18

 Our Parakletos is able to come to our aid because He is able. He is able because He is the Logos that became flesh and dwelt among us. He is a worthy Advocate because He knows us and He understands us… He has literally walked in our shoes and lived in our skin. He came to this earth and lived with us and He died for us, and He was buried, and three days later He was raised to never die again. Today He lives still. His ministry continues as He sits at the right hand of the Father and serves as our Great High Priest before Him.

The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Hebrews 7:23-27

He ever lives to make intercession on our behalf. When we call on His name He comes to our side and He stands with us. He is our go-between to the Father. We who believe, have today, in our Parakletos, the relationship with the Father that Job cried out for in the days of old…

“For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him,

That we may go to court together.

“There is no umpire between us,

Who may lay his hand upon us both?

“Let Him remove His rod from me,

And let not dread of Him terrify me

“Then I would speak and not fear Him;

But I am not like that in myself.

Job 9:32-35

“O earth, do not cover my blood,

And let there be no resting place for my cry.

“Even now, behold, my witness is in heaven,

And my advocate is on high.

“My friends are my scoffers;

My eye weeps to God.

“O that a man might plead with God

As a man with his neighbor!

Job 16:18-21

Job cried out to God for an Advocate. He cried out to God for an umpire to call the shots on the field. We have what Job cried out for… We have WHO Job longed for. Have you ever considered the magnitude of this reality? The reality that the Creator of the Universe made a way for you to have representation before His throne… a court appointed attorney… one that just is not going through the motions, but One that gave His life and is giving His eternity to eternally represent you as your personal legal representative before the highest court of all creation. Has the magnitude of this truth ever really resonated within you… or are you like the majority of modern American man who casually consider it your due right to have representation before the court even when you know beyond the shadow of a doubt you stand their guilty on all charges and yet you are hoping for a legal loop hole to jump through that will keep you from reaping the consequences of your crime on his earth?

Jesus has come as our Parakletos, but we must never forget that He does not negate, belittle, or malign the Law in order to set us free from our charges… He fulfilled the Law and yet He still chose to suffer the consequences of our sin on our behalf… this is why He says

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

I will ask the Father,

and He will give you another Helper,

that He may be with you forever;

that is the Spirit of truth,

whom the world cannot receive,

because it does not see Him or know Him,

but you know Him because He abides with you

and will be in you.

John 14:15-17

If we have Jesus as our Parakletos, then we must understand what all He went through in order for us to be able to have Him as such… and in this we should willingly and earnestly desire to keep His commandments. If we love Him our obedience to His Word should follow. It should follow because He doesn’t leave us alone to follow it… He not only intecedes on our behalf before the Father, but He also sends us a Helper to not just live with us… but IN US.

 The word Helper in the Greek here is Parakletos. Yes, the same word for Advocate from 1 John 2:1-3. You see Jesus pleads for us on high and the Holy Spirit pleads with us with in. The Holy Spirit is here within us pleading with us, aiding us, interceding for us. He has summoned to our side to lead us in the way that we should go, to strengthen us to walk in obedience to the commands of God, to correct us when we stray, and to guide us to our Advocate on High so that we might call on His name and be represented before the Father… and Jesus, our Parakletos, pleads with the Father not on behalf of our righteousness… but on behalf of His.

He is with us and in us that we might not sin as children of God… but if we do sin… He is there to intercede on our behalf and to be the propitiation for our sin… because our justification is not determined by our righteousness… but by His sacrifice  Our forgiveness is not based on our ability to ask for it, but by the very fact that it was God’s desire to grant it. He made the way for forgiveness long before we even realized we needed it.

And if He did not come and seek us out, and draw us to confession and repentance, we, left to ourselves, would die in our sin because we would never come out of our little hiding places. We would continue to point our fingers at others instead of ourselves. And we would miss the beautiful joy of grace

 

 

Names of God – Covenant part two

In the O.T. God made Himself known by His names. Which in turn meant He would be the one who meets their needs. By His name.

Name: a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person. God has made Himself known by His names.

Covenant Names.

(1)  Let’s start with Lord in Hebrew it is Jehovah. the primary meaning of the name Lord or Jehovah is the self-existent one. as in exodus 3;14 he is that is who he is therefore the external I am but Havah  from Jehovah. But Hava, from which Jehovah or Yahweh is formed signifies also to become that is to become known thus pointing to a continuous and increasing self-revelation.  Combining these meanings of Havah, we arrive at the meaning of the name Jehovah.  He is the self-existent one who reveals himself.  The name is in itself an advance upon the name “God” (EL, ELAH, or Elohim) which suggests certain attributes of Deity, as strength El or Elah the strong one and Alah, to swear to bind oneself by an oath, so implying faithfulness etc., rather than his essential being.

Elohim Gen.1:1 –root=to swear, name indicates God, under the covenant of an oath to perform certain conditions (Hebrews 6:13.)  Name implies: One in covenant; Fullness of might. Refers to absolute, unqualified, unlimited energy. A plural name Elohim  revealing God in the unity and trinity of all His divine personality and power.

(2)  it is significant that the first appearance of the name Jehovah in scripture follows the creation of man.  it was God (Elohim) who said let us make man in our image Genesis 1:26 but when man, as in the 2nd chapter of Genesis is too fill the scene and become dominant over creation it is the Lord God Jehovah (Elohim) who acts. So, the Trinity is latent in Elohim used in O.T. 2500 times.

This certainly indicates a special relationship of Deity in his Jehovah character to man and all scripture emphasizes this.

(3)  Jehovah distinctly is the redemption name of deity when sin entered in and redemption became necessary, it was Jehovah (Elohim) who sought the sinning ones Genesis 3:9-13 and clothed them with “coats of skins” Genesis 3: 21 a beautiful type of the righteousness provided by the Lord God through sacrifice Romans 3:21 -22.  The first distinct revelation of himself by his name Jehovah was in connection with the redemption of the covenant people out of Egypt exodus 3:13 -17.

As Redeemer, emphasis is laid upon those attributes of Jehovah which the sin and salvation of man bring into exercise.  these are:

(a)  His Holiness Leviticus 11:44,45; 19:1,2; 20:26; Hab. 1: 12,13.

(b)His hatred and judgement of sin Deut. 32: 35-42; Gen. 6:5-7; Ps. 11:46.

(c) His love for and redemption of sinners, but always righteously Gen. 3:21, 8:20,21; Ex.12:12.

Salvation by Jehovah apart from sacrifice is unknown to Scripture.

(4)  In his redemptive relation to man,  Jehovah has seven compound names (there are more) which reveal him as  meeting as meeting every need of man from his lost state to the end.  These compound names are:

a) Jehovah-Jireh , “The Lord will provide” The example here is Jehovah will provide sacrifice 22:13,14. Read

b) Jehovah-rapha, “The that health” Ex.15:26 read. This refers to physical healing the context shows, but the deeper healing of soul malady is implied.

c) Jehovah-nissi, “The Lord are banner.” Ex. 17:8-15 read. The name is interpreted by context. The enemy was Amalek, a type of the flesh, and the conflict that day stands for the conflict of Galatians 5:17—-the war of the Spirit against the flesh. Victory was wholly due to divine help.

d) Jehovah-Shalom, “The Lord our peace.” Or “The Lord send peace.” Judges 6:4 read.  Almost the whole ministry of Jehovah is  expressed and is illustrated in this chapter. Jehovah hates and judges sin 6:1-5; Jehovah loves and saves sinners 6:7,8, but only through sacrifice 6:19-21. Also see Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:14; Col. 1:20.

e) Jehovah- ra-ah, “The Lord my shepherd” Ps. 23 read. Jehovah is shepherding His own who are in the world John 10:7.

f) Jehovah-tsidkenu, “The Lord our righteousness” 23:5,6 read. This name of  Jehovah occurs in this prophecy  concerning the future restoration and conversion of Israel. Then Israel will call Him as Jehovah- tsidkenu —“The Lord our righteousness.”

g) Jehovah-shammah, “The Lord is present” Ezk.48:35. Herein the Lord’s abiding presence will be with His people Ex. 33:14,15;Ps.16:11; Ps.97:5,Matt.28:20; Heb. 13:5.

(5)  Lord (Jehovah) is also the distinctive name of Deity as in covenant with Israel  Ex. 19:3; 20:1,2; Jer. 31:31-34.

(6) LORD GOD (Heb. Jehovah Elohim) Reveals the majestic omnipotent God, combining the majesty and meaning of both names Zechariah 13:9; Ps. 118:27. Together they imply man’s place of conscious intelligent relationship to his creator and reveals man’s accountability to God.

Jehovah Elohim is the first compound names of Deity. Lord God is used with distinction:

(1) of the relation of Deity to man

(a) as Creator Gen. 2:7-15.

(b) as morally in authority over man Gen. 2:16,17.

(C) as creating and governing the earthly relationship of man Gen. 2:18-24. 3:16-19, 22-24.

(d) as redeeming man Gen. 3:8-15; of the relation of Deity to Israel Gen. 24:7.

 

Let’s change gears here in that I would like to bring a summary of this teaching. I have skipped a Hebrew term which encompasses a term named godesh used in the O.T. for the sanctify, consecrate, dedicate, and holy. It means set apart for the service of God.

The purpose of this message is to remind us that even though these covenant names were given to the children of Israel they reveal what encompasses the title “Lord God.”

Israel failed because they were under a covenant of “works salvation” not a covenant of “Grace”

Ephesians 2:8,9. And Romans 4:4,5.

Grace is a gift but in the gift are these promises made to us by Lord Jesus disclosing how He can and does fulfill His covenant promises to us. These are great and precious promises.  John 1:17 “For the law (legal contract) was given by Moses, But grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

Law blesses the good; grace saves the bad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Names of God: Artos

Names of God: Artos                                                part one

Artos is the Greek word for Bread. It means, food composed of flour mixed with water and baked. The Israelites made it in the form of an oblong or round cake, as thick as one’s thumb, and as large as a plate or platter hence it was not to be cut but broken. Loaves were consecrated to the Lord and it also speaks of the bread used at the love-feasts and at the Lord’s Table. It can also mean food of any kind.

We have this name of our Savior revealed to us in John 6:35 “and Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life, He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and He believes in Me shall never thirst.’” This chapter begins with the miracle of Jesus feeding a multitude with the five barley loaves and two fish of one young boy. Jesus gave them bread to fill their bellies and a miracle to fill their eyes… but what He desired was to fill their souls with eternal life.

Jesus saw that the people where not responding to the miracle of the bread in the spirit… they were all flesh. They wanted more bread and they wanted this Jesus to be King over them now… I mean really a man who could feed the nation with the breaking of a few loaves of bread. So, Jesus retreated to the mountains alone. He was not after an earthly political kingdom… His kingdom was not of this world.

The very next day the crowd returned to get more free food from Jesus. Where there is free food the people will come. That has never changed. The crowd discovers that He is not where He was… (God rarely lingers in the past, He is a moving forward kinda God)… and well they chase Him down in Capernaum.

When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” Therefore, they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:26-28)

 Oh this, is so funny to me… can you see it…

Have you ever had a child (or even an adult) who was wanting something, a toy, a happy meal, to go somewhere… and they knew the people who could make it happen… like Grandmothers and Papaws… and they walk in the door and they see them and it’s like “Hey, when did you get here?” And you know that tone, you know that this child has just seen the ones who can get them exactly what they want…

Here is the crowd… Hey, Jesus, when did you get here? Ummm hello. They were searching Him out, but they speak to Him as though they had been there all along and Jesus just showed up. And you know what they are thinking is, Dude we’re hungry and we know you can like break bread like crazy! And well we want you to show us how to do cool stuff like that!

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” So, they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’” John 6:29-31

Really? The crowd had just searched Him out and followed Him across the river to another town because they knew about the miracle of the bread and the multitude and then they come and have the audacity to ask Jesus to show them a sign… to prove Himself to them… when my guess is that it really had nothing to do with Jesus proving Himself, they just wanted to try and manipulate Him into some more free bread. Our God just does not fall for the tricks of man…

Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.

John 6:32

Jesus takes this opportunity to remind these people that Moses was not the one who gave the bread in the wilderness God was… and He is letting them know that He is not just a prophet… He is not just a man doing works for God. He is God. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven,and gives life to the world.

John 6:33

The bread of God is that which comes down out heaven… which means its origin, its home, is not of this earth. That which is of this earth can never give life because this earth is dying, only that which is of God has life and can give life. Only that which is of God can truly satisfy.

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger,

John 6:35

Jesus looks at the crowd and he looks at us and He says I am the Bread of Life. I am the Artos.

You know we live in a day we are surrounded by fakeness. We have fake hair, fake faces, fake clothes, fake boobs, and we have fake food.

Not only do we have fake food… but we have fake gods.

 Jesus, however, is not a fake. He is the Living God. If we eat of Him, we will have life because He is life. He is the Bread of Life.

Now let’s look at the process of bread becoming bread…

Bread begins here. It grows up from seeds planted.

And I will put enmity

Between you and the woman,

And between your seed and her seed;

He shall bruise you on the head,

And you shall bruise him on the heel.

Genesis 3:15

Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed.

He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one,“And to your seed,” that is, Christ.

Galatians 3:16

 Then that wheat is cut down.

Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing

Daniel 9:26

Then that wheat is beat…

and threshed and slung…

and beat and beat and beat.

The wheat goes through all this in order that from it we might receive life.

But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him

Isaiah 53:5

After the wheat is cut down, threshed, and beat it is ground Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium

and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him.

What does this statement mean? The Roman cohort were the personal guards of the governor which meant 60 professional men beat Him. I use the phrase: “He Jesus was beaten from pillar to post.” (there were pillars in the Praetorium, and the Bible says He was beaten tied to a post and whipped).

They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head,

and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him,

saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head.

After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him,

and led Him away to crucify Him.

Matthew 27:27-31

…and then the broken, beat, threshed, ground wheat is mixed with a liquid and its placed in an oven… shut up in a hot tomb to wait until it’s ready.

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.

This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.

And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb,

which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.

Matthew 27:57-60

 Then the bread comes out of the oven and it comes ready to give life to all who will eat of it.

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.

This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.

I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

John 6:48-51

So, when Jesus says that He is the Bread of Life.

He is the Artos.

He gives life because He is Life.

 

 

Strengthening The Inner Man

Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-21

Summary: . Strength from the Spirit of God in the inner man; strength in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there.

Let us turn to Ephesians 3 in our Bibles and check out the prayer Paul prayed for our inner man to be

strengthened.

Spiritual “Geritol.”

Paul asks for spiritual blessings, which are the best blessings. Strength from the Spirit of

God in the inner man (a terminology which the Greek understood and used in their daily life); strength

in the soul; the strength of faith, to serve God, and to do our duty. If the law of Christ is written in our

hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells,

there he dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a

fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of

Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length that it continues from

everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery;

the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from

Christ’s fullness may be said to be filled with the fullness of God. Should not this satisfy man? Must man

need fill himself with a thousand trifles, fancying thereby completing his happiness?

Particularly, Paul desires them not to faint on account of his afflictions in their behalf; declares that he

bows his knees in prayer before the great Father of the redeemed family, that God would be pleased to

strengthen them, and enlighten them, and give them clear views of the glorious plan.

How can ‘The Inner Man’ be strengthened?

Permanence of Christ Ephesians 3:16-17.

For many of us, this is basic Christianity. Children speak of Christ in their heart – though, we often find

this basic idea difficult as well … how is it that Christ dwells in our heart? This metaphor is strongly

related to all suggestions that our lives are connected with Christ. Whether conflict, or success, or

failings, our lives have been connected with Christ … whether Christ “dwells in our hearts” because he

is always in our thoughts, and we pray just as we breathe”, or if this is something deeper and more

mystical … Paul’s prayer is that we are tied more and more closely with Christ.

At Home

When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, it’s as if we invite Him to come and make our hearts His home.

But in a very real sense, He is not yet “at home” there until He takes full possession of every area. He

takes us on a tour of our hearts, as it were, takes a look at a room that is behind a locked door, and

says, “Child, I would like to go into this room. Would you please hand Me the key?” We might be very

unwilling to do so. We might be afraid to let Him in that room because of what we keep in it. “No, Lord.

I keep that room locked for a reason. There are things in there that it would not be appropriate for You

to see. I have some favorite sins and habits I keep in there. I’d rather You not go in there.” For Jesus to

dwell in our hearts by faith would require that we give Him the key to that room. It would be as if He

says, “Child, your heart is now My home; and I must make Myself at home everywhere – even in this

locked room. Give Me the key; and let’s clean out this room of the things that don’t belong in your life,

so that I can truly be at home in every area of your heart.”

What’s That Smell?

Later on, He takes us to a closet, sniffs, and says, “Child, there’s something smelly in this closet. Open

the door to Me and let Me have a look inside.” And we say, “No, Lord! Not that closet; because that’s

where I’ve been keeping the resentment and bitterness that I’ve been holding onto against someone.

It’s been in there for years. You can have access to everywhere else; but let’s just leave that closet

alone. Believe me; You don’t want to open that closet.” But He says, “Child; if I can’t go into this closet,

then I’m not really at home in your heart. Open the door; and let’s go in and clean those awful, putrid

things out so I can truly be at home in your heart.”

What’s Below?

Later on, still, He says, “Let’s go have a look in the basement.” You were afraid He might say that. “Oh,

Lord” you say; “Please, no! Let’s not go into the basement. I have some things in my past that I’m

deeply afraid of down there – horrible things that I try to forget. It’s dark down there; and those old

things are very frightening and very ugly. I’d rather keep them there, under lock and key, so they won’t

ever be free to bother me. Let’s just stay on the upper levels where it’s well-lit and happy.” But the Lord

says, “Child; if I can’t have full access to the basement – and you with Me when I go there – then I’m

not really at home in your heart. Take My hand. Let’s go down there, turn on the lights, and conquer

those things together.”

What’s Up Top?

And later on, still, He says, “I would like to have a look at the attic now.” And once again, you groan. “Oh

no, no, no, Lord! A thousand times no! Not up there! That’s where I keep my thought life; and I sure

don’t want you to see what goes on up there! That’s where I go to think about things, I don’t want You

to see!” And, once again, He says, “Child, if I don’t have the attic, then I’m not really at home in your

heart. Open the door to Me. Let’s go up the stairs together and clean out what’s in your mind. Let Me

be the Lord of your thought-life; and then I can be truly at home in every area of your heart.”

So then; Paul prays for us that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith – truly dwell there! He prays that

the Lord may gain access to every room in the house; so that He can truly make Himself at home. And

you can see now why Paul says that he prays that we would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in the

inner man! We would need all of the strength that the Spirit provides in order for Jesus to make Himself

at home in every area of our hearts!

But the more Christ is at home in our hearts, the more His love will permeate His home.

 

 

 

Balancing Truth and Love.

BALANCING TRUTH AND LOVE

Scripture: 2 John 1:1-1:6

Let’s go back in time to what was happening in and around the churches at Ephesus. Itinerant heretics  were traveling from town to town sowing discord among the brethren.  Then as now these vagabond Jews were imposing upon Christian hospitality. Second John is concerned with the relation of Christian truth to hospitality extended to false teachers.

Such hospitality was often abused. These men were the same group that were the subject of first John One.

Genuine Christianity could be recognized by the orthodoxy of their message and are worthy of aid; but heretical teachers, especially those who denied the Incarnation are to be rejected, John encourages “the elect lady” to continue showing hospitality, but he also warns and guards against the abuse of Christian fellowship. Throughout the epistle he stresses truth as the basis and test of fellowship. In particular, he insists on a correct belief regarding the Incarnation of Christ, and charges that those who reject this reality have gone beyond the doctrine of Christ. He urges readers of the letter to keep close to Christ by abiding in the truth.

Intro: The Apostle John personally wrote to the “elect lady” who seemed to have erred on the side of love and also needed to take heed on the side of truth. Note: the word “truth” is mentioned 4X in this epistle (vv. 1, 2, 3, 4). The word “love” is also mentioned 4X (vv. 1, 3, 5, 6). The number “four” is connected to “stability or balance” in the scriptures.”

I. GOD HAS THE PERFECT BALANCE
A. Notice that the Lord is a balanced Person. God is truth (Deut. 32:4); God is love (I John 4:16).
B. Observe that in the proper balance, God never compromises one attribute to manifest the other. God is always love and He is always truth! So, He never departs from one in order to be the other.

II. GOD EXPECTS US TO BE BALANCED
A. See Prov. 11:1. We as God’s children are to stand up for the truth – Jesus Christ (John 14:6); and the word of God is the truth (John 17:17).
B. We, as God’s children, are also to walk in the truth (II John 4); speak the truth (Eph. 4:15); and obey the truth (I Pet. 1:22)
C. We are to express the same love God has bestowed upon us. Observe that the Father’s love for the Son is the same as the Son’s love for the believer (John 15:9). The Son’s love for the believer is the same as the believer’s love for his fellow believer (John 15:12). The Lord Jesus declared that in this true biblical love for God and our fellowmen hang all the law and the prophets! (Matt. 22:40)
D. Loving one another was a new commandment issued by the Son (John 13:34). It is a –
1. A proof of our salvation (I John 3:14).
2. A token of our discipleship (John 13:35).
3. A sacrificial love (I John 3:16).
4. A mark of our love for God (I John 4:20).

III. GOD SEES THE PROBLEM OF IMBALANCE
A. Most tend to lean in one direction or the other. Note: Truth without Love becomes harsh, cruel and prideful. “Knowledge puffeth up” (I Cor. 8:1b).
B. Conversely, Love without Truth conforms to the world and believes and stands on nothing absolute.
C. An example of imbalance is “the elect lady.”

  1. 1. Truth – from the corrections in this epistle, we are compelled to believe that the elect lady had compromised truth. In verse two John gives her advice to caution her. The possession of a permanent truth is the chief reason to remain faithful and not be led astray.
  2. Love – It also seems this lady was erring to stand on the side of love.
    D. Biblical love never sacrifices truth; and biblical truth never sacrifices love. Love rejoices in truth and truth rejoices in love.

The two are inseparable! Like so many of us, the elect lady probably erred either on the side of truth or on the side of love.

In verse six John advises her to be obedient to the truth of the word because Love motivates obedience. Obedience implies a relationship.

Conclusion: Dan. 5:27 (“TEKEL”). Brethren, have you likewise been weighed in God’s balance and found wanting on the side of Truth? Or have you been weighed and found wanting on the side of Love? Biblically speaking, falling short in one is falling short in both! May we seek God’s grace and mercy today for His help in finding the balance between truth and love that He wants us to have. Let us pray!

Previous Older Entries