No worry about sins

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

“This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,” then he says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.” Hebrews 10. 16-17

The author of the book of Hebrews writes to Jews converted to Christ who are thinking of returning to the practice of the old law. The purpose of his writing is to demonstrate how Christ is superior to the old law in every way. That being the case, they needed to continue to serve Christ and follow him. Our verses today are a quote from Jeremiah 31.33-34 referring to the future and what was to come. Under the old law sacrifices for sin had to be made each year. It was a reminder that the sacrifice of bulls and goats could not take away sin, Hebrews 10.4-5. Then God sent Jesus to earth in the body of a human. Jesus came to do the will of God and be the sacrifice that would bring forgiveness for our sins. If we obey God, that forgiveness is ours to have. We can have direct contact with God through Jesus and we do not have to go through another person. God’s law is no longer written on stone tablets. It is written in the Bible where we can read it and make it a part of our lives. With Jesus’ death on the cross, we can have forgiveness and not just a reminder. If I am forgiven, then I do not have to worry about those sins any more. God does not remember them. I stand clean in his presence not because of what I have done. Jesus paid the price for me!

#risingjoy #Hebrews #forgiveness

An optimistic eye

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)

Pero ustedes son linaje escogido, real sacerdocio, nación santa, pueblo que pertenece a Dios, para que proclamen las obras maravillosas de aquel que los llamó de las tinieblas a su luz admirable. (1 Pedro 2:9 NVI)

O LORD my God ~ hear our prayers and requests, dear heavenly Father who dwells in marvelous and unapproachable light. Bless your chosen race of Christians, wherever we may be found on this earth you assigned for us to live, in good times and harsh. Grant us the mental and spiritual strength to continue thinking and acting with an optimistic eye toward our fellow human beings and especially toward those who belong to Christ our Lord. Give wisdom to all the governing authorities in America and other nations so that we may live in peace even while going through physical and mental stagnation. Help us to walk in the light of truth and love. We plead in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

If we want to know

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light -Ephesians 5.8

Darkness and light. Such a contrast. In true darkness, nothing can be seen. However, light makes everything visible and clear. Paul uses this contrast to describe the difference between the evil that exists where God is not present and light in the Lord. The child of God is a light in the Lord. Then the apostle commands that we walk as children of the light. He goes on to say in the following verses that the fruit of the light is: all goodness, righteousness, and truth – trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. We must be readers of God’s word if we want to know how to please him. God will not accept just any kind of worship. If that were so, he would not have left instructions on how to worship. He teaches us what is good. We might have differing opinions on the matter. Neither opinion has any value if it does not match what God has left in his word. Truth. If you stop to think about it, opposite positions cannot both be truth. Who determines what truth is? Again, my opinion is just as good as your opinion! Therefore we must return to the Bible for our answers and read, read, and read again. It is hard to understand, you say? God is just. How just would it be for him to leave instructions on how to live life pleasing to him in a language that could not be understood? Many times we do not want to take the time to read his word. We are too caught up in living life in the fast lane. Or it may be that reading his word will demand that we make changes in our lives. Sometimes that is hard to do. We do not like change. Walk as children of the light!

#risingjoy #Ephesians #light

Without prejudice

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (1 Corinthians 10:23-24 ESV)

Все мне позволительно, но не все полезно; все мне позволительно, но не все назидает. Никто не ищи своего, но каждый пользы другого. (1-е Коринфянам 10:23-24 Russian)

Most holy and awesome God, our dear Father in heaven ~ thank you, Lord, for the amazing grace and mercy that comes daily without prejudice to all creation. Grant us wisdom to more fully grasp the freedom of conscience that is inherent in all followers of Christ. Help us to be engaged each day in thinking about and working for the betterment of our friends and neighbors instead of selfishly wasting valuable time on spoiling ourselves. We pray and wait for your help in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

We have to open the door

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! Listen! I am standing at the door and knocking! If anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come into his home and share a meal with him, and he with me. I will grant the one who conquers permission to sit with me on my throne, just as I too conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3.19-22

Life can be overwhelming and can seem so urgent. Everything on our to-do list were things that should have been done yesterday! Or so we think. The seemingly urgent things clamor for our attention like a siren. They interrupt our lives and many times throw it into a chaotic mess. In our verses today, we see Jesus standing at the door and knocking. He is knocking at the door of our lives and of our hearts. Notice that he does not burst through the door and force us to eat with him. No, we have to open the door. We have to allow him entrance. Listen! Do you hear his voice? He is telling us there is a different way. He disciplines us with love. He calls us to repent. He calls us to change our ways. Do we hear him? Are we listening? In Matthew 11.28-30 Jesus issues an invitation. He invites us to take on his yoke and learn from him. I have to listen to what he has to say. I have to learn from him. I do that through the word of God. At the end of my life, will I have permission to sit with him on his throne? I want to be a conqueror! Do you? Let’s open the door.

#risingjoy #Revelation #invitation

Sense of urgency

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Now because we are fellow workers, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, “I heard you at the acceptable time, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation! 2 Corinthians 6.1,2

Do you feel the sense of urgency with which Paul writes these verses? In chapter 5.20, Paul talks about being an ambassador for Christ. The job of an ambassador is to represent his government in a foreign country. Paul writes that we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making his plea through us. What plea might that be? It is the plea for reconciliation. It is the plea for repentance. As a Christian I cannot sit on the fence and expect things to go well. I must roll up my sleeves and get into the trenches. We are at war on the spiritual level. So many people need the message and hope that we have to give. Are you sharing that message? Are you living that message? In chapter 6. 4-10 Paul tells of all that he and his companions have endured to not give an occasion for offending someone. I fear that many of us would turn our backs on the Lord if we had to go through half of what Paul had been through. In truth, the Corinthians were not responding as Paul had hoped to see them respond. Hence, he urges them not to receive God’s grace in vain. You see I can fall from that grace. When that happens, the urgency should kick in! Now is the time to obey in all that we do. For it’s a fact, tomorrow is not promised. I only have the present time. I only have now!

#risingjoy #2-Corinthians #urgency

Already tried that

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7.

They had already tried that. Saul, being a head taller than many others, certainly had a regal bearing, but the humble facade of hiding in the baggage when called to be king soon gave way to erecting statues in his own honor. So Samuel was sent to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons, and despite being God’s prophet, he saw too much like a man to seek the man who seeks God’s own heart.

David came along, and he was the often-forgotten kid-brother … and young. While such an important figure such as Samuel was visiting his home and all the other brothers were present, David was watching the sheep.

This is the David who would grow up and choose God over his own desires every time (except one, i.e. the Uriah and Bathsheba incident), who would write many of the psalms, and collect money for the building of the temple he knew he would never see because he was a man of blood.

Are you a man after God’s own heart?

Doug Kashorek

sermonlines.com: subscribe, study, share

#devotional #appearances #1-Samuel

We pretended to know more

If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. (1 Corinthians 8:2-3 ESV)

Кто думает, что он знает что-нибудь, тот ничего еще не знает так, как должно знать. Но кто любит Бога, тому дано знание от Него. 1-е Коринфянам 8:2-3 Russian)

Almighty God, dear Father in heaven ~ we hallow your name that is above every name. Thank you Lord, for generously supplying all of our basic needs. There are so many mysterious things that exist in the world you have given us to inhabit and rule over it as human beings. Forgive us for the times when we have pretended to know more than we can possibly know without the wisdom of Christ the Lord. Protect us from the deadly virus that is a present to our lives and even our basic freedoms. Send us medical workers who believe in you and will use the wisdom you give them by your Spirit to search, research and discover a cure for this virus that threatens all people. We understand that our days are numbered. But, we ask that you give us loving hearts for one another as we look for that day when Christ Jesus will suddenly appear. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Better reject it

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

Everyone who goes on ahead and does not remain in the teaching of Christ does not have God. The one who remains in this teaching has both the Father and the Son. 2 John 1.9

Is it important what I believe? Is one line of thought as good as any other? So long as I say I am a Christian, then I am good, aren’t I? According to the apostle John, it is very important what I believe and to whom I give my support. If I do not remain in the teaching of Christ, I do not have God. The Bible talks of not adding to the word and not taking away from the word. Moses passed this principle to the Israelites when they were about to enter the promised land in Deuteronomy 4.2. John repeats the same principle in Revelation 22.18-19. It is a principle that many today ignore or try to pass off as not important. But what about creativity? If it goes outside of what the word of God has said, I had better reject it. Who am I to tell God how he should be worshiped? John in the verses following, 2 John 10-11, goes a step further. I should not receive in my home or greet someone who does not bring the teaching of Jesus. John says that I will share in his evil deeds. Did you catch that? Not only is the person who teaches something different considered to be evil, but also the one who receives him. Much damage may be done if I am perceived as accepting the person who is no longer faithful to the gospel message. However, the one who remains in Christ’s teaching has both the Father and the Son. Think about it. I want to remain in Christ where we have it all!

#risingjoy #2-John #teaching

Hugh’s News & Views (John The Baptist)

JOHN THE BAPTIST

In extolling the work of John the Baptist, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he” (Matthew 11:11).

This is a strange statement, and on the surface it appears to be a contradiction. How is it possible for one to not be greater than John the Baptist and yet for the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven to be greater than he? Jesus was “born of a woman” (Galatians 4:4). Was/Is He not greater than John the Baptist? Continue reading

#hughfulford, #john-the-baptist

On the cusp of falling

All the men and women, the people of Israel, whose heart moved them to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord. (Exodus 35:29 ESV)

и все мужья и жены из сынов Израилевых, которых влекло сердце принести на всякое дело, какое Господь чрез Моисея повелел сделать, приносили добровольный дар Господу. (Исход 35:29 Russian)

O LORD my God – hear our prayer dear Father in heaven as we come into your presence with songs on our lips and in our hearts. Lift up the countenance of those who are on the cusp of falling from your grace because of unbelief based upon current events in various parts of the world. Grant us the wisdom of Christ so that we will be a part of those brothers and sisters in Christ who willingly bring the best of what we have in order to spread the borders of the Kingdom of Christ. Shame those who have repeatedly held back the best for themselves instead of offering the Lord our first-fruits. Help us Lord to discover the blessings of giving. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

Let God love

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him. 1 John 4.16

There are not many things today in which one can trust. What is promoted as true today, is completely negated tomorrow. There are many reasons why this is so, but one is self-interest. However, there is one thing in which I can trust completely. God is love. I know that this is truth. No one else of my acquaintance would send their only son to die for me when I was still rebelling against them with my fist raised in defiance. God’s love is shown in his initiative. He took the first step toward a resolution. A resolution that I would never be able to put forward on my own. There is a permanence to God’s love, but with a condition. I must continue in his love, reside in it, abide in it. For if I abide in his love, God will abide in me. The result of this is the absence of fear. I have no need to fear on the day of judgment. Love of God has replaced my fear of punishment because he lives and loves in me. Are you fearful? Let God’s love into your life by obeying his truth.

#risingjoy #1-John #resolution

Prayer: Leaning toward bitterness

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. (Luke 6:32 ESV)

И если любите любящих вас, какая вам за то благодарность? ибо и грешники любящих их любят. (Луки 6:32 Russian)

Our Father who is in heaven ~ thank you, dear Lord, for making it possible for people in all the nations to call upon your holy name. O Lord God, help everyone today whose faith is wavering or leaning toward bitterness because of the current pandemic sweeping across our nation and the world. Forgive us Father for times when we strived to build friendships with people only if it would benefit our agenda. Replace such childish thinking and behavior with the wisdom of your pure love that seeks our joy and peace. We fervently pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

Cedar Key Church

#davidbinkley

I’ve never seen, I’ve never been

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we reside in God and he in us: in that he has given us of his Spirit. 1 John 4.12-13

How is it possible to believe in something that I have never seen? I believe what I have been told. I have never been to Europe, but I know that it exists. I have never seen God, but I know that he exists. I know because he has given me of his Spirit. John tells us in verse 16 of this same chapter that God is love. We see his love demonstrated through the sacrifice of Jesus for the sins of mankind. That same love is perfected, completed, matured in us. When does this happen? This love is matured in me and in you when we love one another. Not the mushy emotion of love that the world cares about. It is a love that is sacrificial and willing to put others first. It is a love that wants what is best for the other person. When we love one another, John writes that God lives in us. When God lives in us, we will love each other.

#risingjoy #1-John #love

God gives his Spirit

Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny

And the person who keeps his commandments resides in God, and God in him. Now by this we know that God resides in us: by the Spirit he has given us. 1 John 3.24

Obedience is important. Teaching our children obedience is important. When we teach our children obedience, we are steering them in the right direction. We are helping them to understand that it is important to obey God first and foremost. John tells us that the person who keeps his commandments resides or continues in God. God also continues in him. John also assures us that we can know that God lives in us. How can we know? God gives us his Spirit. The Spirit helps us in our relationship with God. Not in miraculous ways as in the times of the apostles, but in other ways. The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5.22-23 is in the singular. The characteristics listed in these verses are all a part of the fruit that the Spirit produces in our lives when we remain in God. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all a part of the fruit that the Spirit produces in our lives. 1 John 5.25 tells us that if we live by the Spirit, then we should also behave in accordance with the Spirit. We will have these characteristics if we remain in God.

#risingjoy #1-John #commandments