Voices

The ear is one of the most interesting parts of the body whose function comes in steps. In order for it to function properly:

  1. Sound is transmitted through the air as sound waves from the environment. The sound waves are gathered by the outer ear and sent down the ear canal to the eardrum.
  2. The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, which sets the three tiny bones in the middle ear into motion.
  3. The motion of the three bones causes the fluid in the inner ear, or cochlea, to move.
  4. The movement of the fluid in the inner ear causes the hair cells in the cochlea to bend. The hair cells change the movement into electrical impulses.
  5. These electrical impulses are transmitted to the auditory nerve and up to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.

Our ears, at least for most of us, will work normally, but we have the option to decide what we want to hear and how we hear it. Jesus said watch out how you hear (Lk8:18), because the voices we choose to hear or listen too will decide what comes or leaves our lives.  Voices that are uttered and recorded in our brains and are played back depending on the circumstances.  Paul writes that there are many voices in the world, but they all articulate a distinct tone and meaning (1Cor14:10) of which can affect us in the intended way. We can decipher how a person says things, if whether that person is sad, happy, troubled etc…, and the meaning of what he is saying. 

Luke 3:4-6

As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

John was the last of the old testament prophets and the usher of the Messiah. His voice had a message that prepared the way to the Savior of the world; Jesus Christ. His voice commanded that every valley to be filled, mountains to be brought low and roads to be made straight and smooth and for all flesh to see God’s salvation. A powerful message carried his message even though he was in the desert.  The people apparently had heard a voice; a voice for repentance, for they had come to be baptized of John (Lk3:7). Your tone of voice can have the sound of fear, failure, defeat, helplessness or victory (Is40:9) and it depends on the voice they hear; it is how the character and intentions of your communication comes. In the parable of the sower there are four ways people responds to the voice of the gospel (Lk8:11-15).  Some hear the word but the Devil takes it away, and others it is taken away because they cannot endure the trails, yet others the word is choked because of pleasures and riches; and on those in good ground the voice gives good fruit. 

Verse 1

As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation.

 verse 2

Luke 8:18
18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

verse 3

1 Corinthians  14:10 

10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.

verse 4

Luke 3:7

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

You who bring good news to Zion,  go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem,a]
lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”

Espanol

 

Your heart

The heart is one of the most protected organs in the body. It is the organ that keeps the entire body running. It is also in its figurative form the most important. It is the define as; “the centre and seat of spiritual life; the soul or mind, as it is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes, endeavours” BLB. The heart is the “home of the personal life,” and hence a man is designated, according to his heart. It is where all the wisdom is stored as noted in Solomon’s case( 1Kg3:12), it where a man’s state of being either good or bad resides (Lk8:15) and it is where the thoughts reside sometimes accusing or defending him (Ro2:15). The scriptures say that as a man thinks that’s how he is (Prv23:7).

Acts 8:20-23

20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Simon’s precondition of his heart with the thought of monetary power revealed his unchanged heart. Because this power was given by the laying of hands from the apostles; man, the thought that Peter and John might need money lured him to offer it in exchange for the power. But, the power of God has a priceless tag that no amount of money can buy, and that is why it is free. Peter and John ran across this lame man by which the free gift of God healed with no purchase necessary (Acts3:6). Before the gift of God can be received there needs to be a regenerated heart, and it can not be hardened (Ez36:26). Simon’s heart was like stone that it repelled everything that came to it. Like as in the Pharisees whose hearts were filled with evil thoughts (Mt9:4), so were Simon’s. Even though Simon was baptized and was following the preaching of the gospel through Phillip, there was one thing that needed to change and that was his heart. The Psalmist prays and says “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (ps51:10).  

Verse 1

1Kings 3:12

12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.

 verse 2

Luke 8:15
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

verse 3

Romans 2:15

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another

verse 4

Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Acts 3:6

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Ezekiel 36:26

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Matthew 9:4

And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?

 

joy of the lord

One of the things that Christians should be known for is for their fruits; their works that is associated to Christ. Though there are many religions and humanitarian organizations that helping those in need, but Christians are asked to bear much fruit; or more fruit. The expectation for the follower of Christ is greater than that for the rest of humanity. God expects more out of his children. Our godly attitude has to surpass everything else in our lives.  In 1 Peter and in Leviticus God speaks to his people saying be holy for I am holy (1pt1:16& lev19:2). The type of fruit that is expected from the true believer is at a higher standard than that of others.  God tells the prophet Isaiah to lift up a standard for his people (Is62:10), and this standard figuratively identifies us apart from everyone else. Bearing much fruit meets God’s standard which qualifies us to ask anything that we desire from him and we should receive it. 

John 15:8-11

By this my Father is glorified, that you  bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9  As the Father has loved me,  so have I loved youAbide in my love. 10  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as  I have kept  my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you,  that my joy may be in you, and that  your joy may be full.

People know what kind of Christians we are by how much fruit we bear. They can tell who we by how God answers to us when we call. Jesus said that we abide in him and his words abide in us whatever we ask it shall be ours (Jn15:7), but it requires bearing much fruit. So, we can ask ourselves how much does God answer us, when was the last time he answered my prayer request. Agape is that brotherly love that separates us from every other religion, organization or faction, and it is expected to be met as God’s standard. But, to get there Jesus said that we have to abide in his word(v10), loving people; the brothers, enemies, and man kind, is not easy especially in these troubling times. We can get wrapped up in seeking justice that we forget to love. 

It pleases God when we love one another and in turn it brings satisfaction to us when we do. That satisfaction is the joy of the Lord, and it becomes our strength (Neh8:10). Ezra the priest stood before the people of God in a moment when conviction pricked their hearts for not treating their fellow man correctly, and encourage them to go and practice agape. The joy of the Lord comes when we practice good things to others. The Psalmist says let us make a joyful noise unto the rock of our salvation (ps95:1), he says that they are blessed because they know the sound of joy (ps89:15). Today we hear a want for joy. There is more stress and friction then that of joy. In order for there to be a fullness of joy we need to abide in Christ (v11).

 

Verse 1

1 Peter 1:16

16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

 verse 2

 

Isaiah 62:10

10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.

 

verse 3

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

verse 4-6

10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

95 O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.

15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance.

 

Awake God

Memories of God’s goodness are good to ponder upon all the time, they keep our expectations of his redeeming power alive in us. Not just our redeeming moments should we think about, but friends, family and others whom God; through his wonder saving power, saved and gave the victory. The scriptures tell us that we are more than conquerors through him that loved us (Ro8:37). In fact, Paul tells us that God gives us the victory through his Son Jesus (1Cor15:57). Our victory is there or yet to come and no one can take it away, it is a promise of God. Jesus said that in this world we are going to have tribulation, but that we should not be afraid because he already has over come it (Jh16:33). Whether you have your victory now or not, stirring up those memories of redemption should be a practice throughout our daily life; in prayer or going about the day.  

Psalms 44:4-8

You are my King and my God, who decreesc] victories for Jacob.Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes.I put no trust in my bow,
my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.d]

The Psalmist writes this gospel type of psalm reminding us that God has not ceased giving his children victory in whatever battle they fight. He reminds us that the no matter the war we engage in that it is not won by the type of sword we use or the size of our army, but through God. But, there comes a time when digging into our memory banks to remind us of God’s victories is needed. It seems that through this time in the Psalmist life no victory was in sight. In fact, he felt like the enemy was on the verge of winning this battle and retreat was the only way out. God said to Zerubbabel it is not by might nor by power, but by my spirit says the Lord (Zec4:6). 

The Psalmist felt like God was no longer there with him (Ps.44:9-10), he felt like if God had left him and his people alone, when the Psalmist writes that “You gave us up to be devoured like sheep” (Ps44:11). It is that very feeling that we either we now have or will have during these difficult times. The battle against reproach is upon us, and the prophetic aspect of this psalm is going to be revealed (Ps44:15-16). The earnest desire for God to get back on the psalmist side is long for and expressed when he says “Awake Lord!, Why do you sleep (ps44:23)?” The same as, was with the disciples when they were on a boat and the storm arose and Jesus was asleep and they woke him up (Mk4:38).  

Verse 1

Romans 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

verse 3

John 16:33
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”

verse 4

Psalms 44:9-11

But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies.10 You made us retreat before the enemy,
and our adversaries have plundered us.11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations.

Psalms 44:15-16

I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame 16 at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.

Mark 4:38

Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

 

REscued

 

Anytime we are in danger we can freely call upon God and he will save us; he will rescue us at whatever cost. And, though our salvation comes to us freely, but someone; God, has to give something up. The bible says that God gave his Son so that anyone who believes could be saved (Jh3:16), so God rescued us from eternal death with his son. In a rescue mission several factors have to be taken into account, like costs and availability.  Like in the parable of the good Samaritan who saw the injured man on the road and without thinking took him and cared for him (Lk10:34-35). In bible history each king that requested to be saved from another needed to pay a price in gold, or other valuable such as land. 

Isaiah 43:1-4

3. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom,Cusha] and Seba in your stead. 4. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life.

There are certain promises that are part of God’s rescue scheme, like stability that is you will not be swept away. Also, God assures us that he will be with us, that though we walk through the fire it will not harm us. But, like every rescue mission it comes at a price, God has to decide you over someone else. The bible teaches us that we were purchased at a price, and that our body’s are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor6:19-20). The rescue mission of your soul pertain only to God, no one can save your soul (Mk8:36-37). God had a mission to save the people of Judah and he promised that he would restore them as before he had left them (Zech10:6). When God rescues someone there is a total restoration, that is what Job’s friend said that he would restore them for full well being. 

Verse 1

Luke 10:34-35

34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denariie] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

 verse 2

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

verse 3

  Mark 8:36-37

36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 37 Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

verse 4

Zechariah 10:6

“I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph.I will restore them because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.

 

Something good will come

 

There certain things that are promising and have the potential to bringing out something good, and of course there are things that from the looks of it you know that nothing good will come out of it. In fact, there are parents that when their child begins to grow they see either something good or not so good coming out of that child. There are places, jobs, areas of study, and many other things that we can automatically see that something good will not come out of it. But, one thing is for sure and that is that God changes things. He changes the dry places into streams (ps107:35), so just because something does not demonstrate promise it does not mean that there is no hope. Isaiah says; God speaking, that he will open pools in dry places (Is41:18), so something good can come out of something that is known not to product. 

John 1:46-49 46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” 48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”

The Nazarene’s were known to being simple minded, ignorant and just plain sinners, and so the Jews and pretty much everyone could not expect anything good to come out of Nazareth where Jesus grew up. In fact, ever since Samson, whom despised his gift of power and strength for sinful pleasures, could have made something good come out of Nazareth. He could have been a name changer for his people, but instead sought out the pleasures of his heart. The 17th chapter of the book of Judges tells us the story of a man in the tiny town of Nazareth that was challenged with the task of having people say “Come and see and failed”.  Now, throughout the scriptures we are invited to “Come and see”, for example the psalmist says in psalms 66:5 come and see what he Lord has done. The Samaritan women had an encounter with something good: Jesus, and she invited all her people to “come and see”(Jhn 4:28-19) and they went and saw and believed. 

Nathanael believed who Christ was because Phillip invited him to come and see. Once you come and see he will reveal his deity, as he did with Nathanael when he saw him under the fig tree.  

Verse 1

psalms 107:35

He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs;

 verse 2

Isaiah 41:18
I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.

 

verse 3

Psalms 66:5

  Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. 

verse 4

8  The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29  Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 

 

One of the things that concerns God the most is the nourishment of his sheep. Receiving sound doctrine is vital in this day and age. Understanding the things of the kingdom of God and his promises help us to press forward and obtaining victory over the enemy and his schemes. Jesus told the pharisees that they needed to eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to enter into the kingdom of God (Jhn6:55-57). The correct spiritual nourishment a child of God receives determines the favor he/she receives. We should not be tossed around with every wind of doctrines that are going around today. It will determine the type of grace we receive when we pay attention to the teachings that are out there (He13:9). Like sheep we need to be picky with what we eat, sheep will not eat any grass just because it looks good. Many churches, particularly pastors will bring to their churches whatever seems to please their congregations; and that should not be so. Congregations that are fed different types of nourishment bring about division among them.   

Zechariah 11:7

And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

After the prophet prophesied against the pastors and the type of nourishment they were feeding the sheep, he took two staves and named them; one was called beauty and they other bands.   Now, beauty he decides to break in pieces and sell it. God was tired of dealing with the people of Israel, and so he needed to pull away from them. The only way that he could pull away from his people was by sending Jesus. John says that he came to his own and his own rejected him (Jhn1:11). The prophet Isaiah said of him that he was rejected of men and that we his our faces from him (Is53:1-5). So, Jesus (AKA Beauty) needed to be broken and sold for the price of thirty pieces (Zec11:10-12, Mt26:15).  That price was the full price of a slave, and after he was sold the money was used to by the land of the potter. Jesus was going to come back in remade in the glorified body, because that is what the potter does he restores.

In fact, Isaiah said that he, Jesus poured his soul unto death for us. The grace that the people of Israel once had was removed and given to a people that were not a people; to a people who were on the road to the slaughter house. Now, the second stave was called bands, and it too was broken. Bands represents brotherhood, and the relationship between Judah and Israel was going to be broken. And, Jesus said that fathers shall be against sons, and everyone in the house shall be against each other (Lk12:53, Mic7:6). 

 

Have you ever found yourself out of luck? It is every persons dream to be called a lucky dog, where every thing you try comes out on your favor. Life would be a breeze if everything would come to us. The odds for winning the lottery today is 1 of 175 million people. Luck deals with chance, it is the force that seems to operate for good or ill on a person. It does not depends on ones ability or skill, luck is a chance that no one can control; at least from a human perspective. Luck has its streaks where for a period of time one can have everything be at their favor or not. Now, to some luck comes every so often and it is hardly present, but it comes. The scripture teaches us that both rain and the sun comes to both the good and the bad (Mt5:45).  There are those that because they get on a lucky streak become addicted to say gambling trying to keep it alive. People take many risks to see if luck is on their side. The only way one knows if luck is with one is if he/she take a chance. Solomon tells us that luck is not for the racer, worker, player or anyone in particular, but it comes to everyone (ecc9:11).   

Proverbs 16:33

33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

The outcome of luck is God driven. He decides where the lot is going to be set on. So, if there is a need for chance to be set on, then God will allow it, but then he might not. Just as with the men who needed to know why was there such a storm in the sea, and so they cast lots and found out that Jonah was the problem (Jon1:7). Because every decision is the Lord’s, we need to become risk takers for his kingdom. God’s favor is on those that please him. As Christians we do not depend on luck, if it comes it comes, but we do depend on God’s favor. The “favor of God” can be described as a divine kindness, or an act of true compassion on the part of God Himself toward needy and undeserving human recipients. One of Job’s friends said is correctly. He said that he would turn back to God and speak with him that he would gain favor from God and be restored (jb33:25-26). When it deals with the Lord’s decision, we have a small window of opportunity to change it. King Hezekiah experienced this idea of changing God’s plans when he turned on his bed and cried unto the Lord (Is38:5), and God added 15 years to his life; that is favor. God has a time of favor, and the bible calls it the day of salvation and that is today (2Cor6:2).  

Are we growing?

not just born again

Change, these days are a bit hard to accept especially since those changes are without option. Having control to a change is not always an option that we have. Some changes in our lives take more effort then other.   There is a saying that change comes from the heart, and when it speaks about the heart it refers to the spirit. There are people whose spirit is broken (pro25:28), and therefore cannot change; they are like a city without walls. 

John 3:3-5

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.a]

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.

Nicodemus could not understand the concept of being born again. His ideas for this concept were literal, and to him there was no other way. In order to see the kingdom of God, Jesus said one had to be born again. One does not have die to see the kingdom, but be reborn giving reference to a change of spirit. The word “see” in this text is in reference to being aware of the kingdom of God. 

But, what is the kingdom of God? It refers to Christ’s rule, and Nicodemus was looking at Christ as a great teacher and not God himself. Later, Jesus tells Nicodemus that in order to enter into God’s kingdom he  had to be born of water and spirit (Jhn3:5). And, by water and spirit Jesus was referring to having a humble heart and a willingness to a complete change.  

Now, in order to have a complete change the stage goes from having to be reborn to becoming like a child. And, this we see when the disciples asked Jesus who would be the greatest in the kingdom of God(Mt18:3). To “become” like a little child refers to change from being born again, to now a more mature being. Paul writes to the church in Colossians that they need to continue to grow and be rooted in Christ (Co2:6-7, 1Pt2:2-3). 

Jesus expected Nicodemus to know the spiritual context that he was referring to when he spoke to him about being reborn, and because of his immaturity he could not continue to speak concerning the spiritual things (Jhn3:12). Maturity in Chris is vital in these days and age.  We need to be mature in Christ proficient in the use of the word of God, and not babes (He5:12-13).

 

 

 

Ambassadors of Christ Church

Galatians 5:22-24

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

SUBHEADING

LIving without laws

The push to live without laws is on the up rise. We see more and more people reacting defiantly towards those who enforce the laws, such as the police. The bible calls it the spirit of lawlessness. Paul spoke of the day of the Lord and that it will not come until this spirit is manifested (2The2:4). The bible tells us that Jesus Christ is coming like a thief in the night, when no one expects him (1The5:2-3). We are expect to keep watch for the coming of Christ, else we will stay behind as in the parable of the 12 virgins (Mat25:10-13).  

Keeping watchful in times like these where we see so many signs is important for our redemption. Now, wanting to live with out laws where no one bothers you is tempting, and seems intriguing. And, we can live without laws according to Galatians. 

There those who want to live lawless are fighting a losing battle, because the law is here to stay. There is a law for everything that is against human nature. We were not created to be evil and engage in bad works. We were created to please God according to Revelation 4:11. Galatians outlines a list of sample deeds that have laws against them. But, there is a smaller list that does not have laws against them. I mean we have never received a ticket for loving someone. Paul tells us that love is the fulfillment of the law (Ro13:10). He tells us that God’s peace will rule in our hearts through Christ Jesus (Phil4:7).     

 There is no law against the fruit of the Spirit, we can exercise them without thinking that we are going to be penalized. When we practice these things we do not have to be as the proverbs describes the heathen looking behind his shoulder.(pro28:1). Paul tells us that we have been release from the law to the new way of the Spirit (Ro7:6).