Monday’s Blog: Paul Series “Romans 13”

We continue our study of Paul’s letters this week with Romans 13. Paul begins instructing us to submit to authorities by doing what is right.

Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

v. 1-7 (NASB)

Submitting to governing authorities does not mean we are to obey their commands over God’s. As a wife, I am instructed to submit to my husband, as to the Lord (Ephesians 5:22). If my husband tells me to do something in opposition to God’s will, I am to obey God over him. I submit not doing something ungodly to my husband in return, like cursing him. If those governing us are ungodly we learned last week in Romans 12 how to reply in love. We bless (speak well of) them and allow God to be our vindicator.

Next, Paul instructs us to love one another. As we see below, love does no harm.

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

v. 8-10 (NASB)

We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are to think of what we do to others as we are doing it to ourselves. When we hurt others we are hurting ourselves.

At the end of the chapter, Paul reminds us of Christ’s return and instructs us to lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.

Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

v. 11-14 (NASB)

“Put on” means that we have to take action and arm ourselves with the armor He’s given us. Colossians 3:12-13 says, So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” God has given us everything we need to walk in love, because He has given us His perfect love, which never fails. As we celebrate Christmas this week, we not only celebrate the birth of our Savior, but God’s great and infinite love for us.

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for Your unconditional love for us. Fill us with the knowledge of Your love so that we can put on love and do what is right. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to reveal Your love to us. This Christmas, reveal that love to those who don’t know Jesus. It is not Your will for any to perish, and be apart from You, but for all to come to repentance and receive Your love through Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:9).

In Jesus’ precious name we pray, Amen!

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Matthew 24:42-44 (NASB)

*This series will continue next Monday as we study Romans 14.  Have a blessed Christmas celebrating God’s love in Jesus!


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Monday’s Blog: Christmas Day – Behind the Scenes

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

Last week I talked about the inheritance Christ came to give us. This week I want to focus on what took place in the spiritual realm at His birth.

I had a dream recently where random people were being attacked, but no one could see what was attacking them. I was with a group trying to figure out what was happening when we stumbled upon a pair of red glasses. One of the men in our group picked up the glasses, put them on and suddenly shook in terror. He quickly ripped off the glasses and destroyed them before dying from shock.

Because it was my dream, I could see what he saw when he looked through the red glasses. There were dragon-like creatures all around us attacking people and things. There was an unseen battle taking place, but it was only visible through the red glasses.

After I awoke from the dream, I didn’t think much of it until I opened the book of Revelation in my morning study. I don’t normally read Revelation because it’s hard to understand. But somehow I ended up on Revelation 12 that morning.

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born.

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.

Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. 

—Revelation 12:1-17

There are a lot of different interpretations out there on this chapter. I’m not going to try and decipher which interpretation is true. I’ll leave that to God. But there are some obvious truths we can take away from these verses.

Some argue when exactly God cast the devil and his angels to earth. I believe it at happened at the same time God sent Jesus to the earth to save us and give us victory over them. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

But even if I am wrong. I don’t think it matters. The real truth is that Satan was cast to earth. So we can’t ignore that he is here, deceiving and destroying people. In my dream, the only way we could see the dragons were through the red glasses. The only way we can see into the spiritual world is through the blood of Jesus.

We need to wake up, put on our spiritual glasses and set others free from Satan’s deception. We can’t keep our blinders on allowing him to destroy those around us. If we do, we will be like the man in my dream who destroyed the glasses because he didn’t want to see the truth, and it ended up destroying him.

THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound.

—Isaiah 61:1

My deepest passion in ministry has been not only to share God’s truths, but to share the reasons behind God’s truths. God’s commands are for our benefit, to outwit Satan. God gave us His Holy Word to equip us to overcome everything the devil throws at us.  Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

What will the truth set us free from? The truth will open our eyes to the spiritual world and set us free from deception. If we know the Truth, we can’t be deceived. Satan can’t deceive us when our eyes are open and we can see what he is doing.

Don’t be afraid of the spiritual realm. Put on Jesus and send the devil fleeing!

 

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Prayer for the week

Heavenly Father,

Praise You for sending Jesus to protect us from ALL the fiery darts Satan and his angels throw at us. Help us to be in Your Word daily, and stay connected to You, so we can be equipped to tear down the strongholds Satan has built in our lives and the lives of others. We Praise You for giving us victory in Christ Jesus.

In Jesus’s precious name, Amen!

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To stand above deception, always check what you learn from others, and stay in God’s Word daily as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11.

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

 

 

 


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Monday’s Blog: Christmas – Our True Inheritance

I forgot to mention last week that it was the last blog in our series on the Beatitudes. If you missed the series, I highly recommend following this link and reading the messages. It was a great series. You don’t want to miss it.

Since it is Christmas time, I wanted to share a revised message I wrote last Christmas, titled:

Christmas – Our True Inheritance

This week we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Christmas is meant to honor Christ, yet He is often overshadowed by Santa, gifts, shopping, holiday festivities, and other non-Christian holidays fighting to be recognized and honored.

Even though my family knows Christmas is all about Christ, I do have to admit that we often get caught up in all the glitz and glam. We love Christmas time. We love decorating and shopping for months in advance. We love baking cookies and watching Christmas shows all through December. We love piling all the kids in the car with their hot chocolates to go driving around looking at lights.

We love leaving my parents’ house on Christmas Eve with presents filled to the roof of our car. We love waking up Christmas morning to shouts of joy when our kids see presents under the tree. We love visiting family and friends during the break, making Christmas last the whole week.

With all that excitement, it’s easy to lose focus of what Christmas is all about. So today I want to step away from the holiday excitement for a moment and redirect my focus toward Jesus, and give Him His due honor this Christmas by recognizing what He has done for us.

We know Jesus was born to be the Savior of the world. But do you know how much more Jesus has given us along with salvation?

I remember as a new believer reading about the promises of the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible and thinking, “Heaven is great, but what about now? What do I have in this life? Surely, there has to be more.

I soon learned that Jesus didn’t come to just give us eternal life after we die. He came to give us eternal life now! He came to give us the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. This means that we have access to the same power and authority He had when He walked this earth.

Jesus told Peter in Matthew 16:19, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

In Luke 12, after Jesus told His disciples not to worry about their physical necessities, He said in verse 31-32, But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

Jesus came to give us what God has given Him. Everything He has is now ours through our faith in Him. We are co-heirs in His inheritance, because we are now God’s children. We were adopted into the family of God through Jesus.

The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

Romans 8:16-17, AMP

Jesus being born in the flesh was the greatest act of love. Jesus humbled Himself to be like us, to feel what we feel, to be tempted like we are tempted, to hurt like we hurt, to struggle like we struggle, in order to show us the grace that is available to us, through Him, to overcome everything in this world.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

—Hebrews 4:15-16

When Jesus walked this earth, He had victory over everything, though in the natural it may have looked like He didn’t because of the great suffering He endured. That suffering however had a purpose, which is why He endured it even though He had the power to stop it. He overcame the world for us through that suffering.

…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

—1 John 5:4-5

The authority Jesus has given us means that nothing in this world can ever have authority to rule over us without our permission. We can overcome everything through God’s grace. Nothing in this world has the authority to steal our righteousness, our peace, our joy, our hope, and our inheritance in Christ. We are truly kept safe in Him.

Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”

—Luke 17:20-21

So as you pass out gifts this Christmas, remember the amazing gift Jesus has given you—the keys to the kingdom of Heaven! God is living within you!

 The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel–which means, “God with us.”

—Matthew 1:23

 

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**Prayer for the week**

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for saving us and giving us the keys to Your kingdom, making us co-heirs with Christ. Help us to honor Jesus this Christmas, and every day, by following Him and surrendering our lives over to You. 

In Jesus’s precious name, Amen!

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I pray you all have a blessed Christmas!

*Come back next Monday as I reveal what happened behind the scenes at Christ’s birth. You don’t want to miss it!

*If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

 


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