Digging  The  Word
"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure." [PSALM 119:162]

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

God's Enemies

Whose side are you on?


1 John 2:18-21  Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come.   

19  These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.   

20  But you are not like that, for the Holy One has given you His Spirit, and all of you know the truth.  21  So I am writing to you not because you don't know the truth but because you know the difference between truth and lies.

John 10:10  The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

Can you imagine the nicest person that ever lived? Someone that always loved the people around them, they gave away everything they owned, they had kind words for everybody they knew. Can you imagine somebody hating that person? Sounds absurd doesn't it?

That's how crazy it seems to those that love God. We can't imagine that somebody so good could have an enemy and be so despised. We cannot understand the opposition in the New Testament from the religious crowd much less comprehend the hatred that was poured out on Jesus when he was beaten and crucified.

One terrible example of somebody that was against God in a great way:
Around 168 B.C. a man by the name of Antiochus Epiphanes came to the fore of Jewish history. Epiphanes means "the great one." He gave himself that name. He instituted the death penalty for anyone who circumcised a child or owned a copy of the law. He erected an altar to Zeus in the courts of the Temple. He sacrificed a pig on the altar in defiance of Jewish law. He turned the Temple chambers into brothels. -John MacArthur
This man took deliberate steps to go against God and desecrate the Temple. The things that he did give us a picture of the coming Antichrist.

“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first." -Jesus

The Bible warns us that in the last days the Antichrist will come but we need to watch out because there are a lot of other smaller antichrist that are already here. Some of these antichrist were people that had been a part of the local church but they left to follow some false teaching. Some of the people that you think are backsliders may have never been true believers.

The early church had to deal with a lot of false teachers, the devil had to do everything that he could to oppose the beginning of the church, he couldn't allow the gospel to spread without protest, he was ready to infiltrate the church with false doctrine to take away from the gospel. (Acts 20:29-30)

“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me." -Jesus

We have to be careful about where we stand. Jesus drew a line in the sand and said you have to decide which side you are on. We need to be very cautious, anybody could step across the line and be opposed to the work that God is doing, the opposition can be so subtle.

Just look at how quick and easy it happened to Simon Peter when he opposed the idea of Jesus being crucified. Even Jesus had to decide whose side he was going to be on when he was tempted by Satan. (Matthew 4:1-11, 16:23)

God's enemies will lose

Isaiah 54:17  But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from Me. I, the LORD, have spoken!
We have been warned, the ultimate victory belongs to our God, it doesn't matter what the devil or his followers do or what weapon they use. This is another fact that is difficult to understand, doesn't he know he isn't going to win? The Bible tells us that Satan's power is inferior to God's and it shows us many examples of God's power defeating Satan but he won't stop his war against God.

James 4:4  You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.

I have to decide if I am going to be friends with God or if I am going to take sides with his enemy. There are way too many people that claim to be a child of God that are being way too friendly with the world. A backslider is in a dangerous situation, we must wonder if he is really a backslider or maybe he wasn't ever a true believer, only God knows for sure. (1 John 2:19)

If you think this world is a battle ground, just remember the unseen world is doing battle far greater than what we can see and we don't know everything that is going on behind the scenes, Jesus told Peter, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you." Peter didn't have a clue about the battle and that Satan was after him. (Luke 22:31–32, Ephesians 6:12)

Lord help me to be aware of the devils strategy and to stand my ground.
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Monday, April 14, 2014

Who Do You Love

If you really love God then you will love everybody.


1 John 2:7-11  Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment--to love one another--is the same message you heard before.  Yet it is also new.

Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.

If anyone claims, "I am living in the light," but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness.  10  Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble.  11  But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.

Oh no, not that commandment again, do we still have to love everyone? We were told to love a thousand years ago way back in the book of Leviticus and now Jesus comes along and starts telling us to keep on loving. (Leviticus 19:18)

You need to realize that the Bible is a love story, it is the story of a loving God falling in love with his creation and desiring to have a relationship with man. The Bible teaches us everything we need to know about love and how to make relationships work the way they should. If you do a search on the word love in the four gospels you will find the word mentioned 73 times in 53 verses.

If you really love God then you will love everybody else. Jesus made it even more obvious that "the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13), he redefined love and took it to the next level and then he challenged us to love in the same extreme way that he did.

What do you live for

1 John 2:15-16  Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  16  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
The people of the world belong to the age of darkness, they do not live in the light and they make their decisions according to their own desires. They long to have many possessions, to be busy indulging in pleasure, achievements, or status.

Christians belong to the new age of light, the eternal kingdom where God’s values rule and his will is done. We are not to love the world or it's idea of what is important or pleasing. The only thing that we should love in this world is our Savior and our neighbor.

John 14:31  But I will do what the Father requires of Me, so that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let's be going.

I need to live like Jesus wants me to live so that the world will know that I am in love with him. Jesus knew the requirements that the Father had put on him and he was willing to be obedient to prove his love for God the father and for his neighbor.
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Living As Jesus Did

Are you living life God's way or your way?


1 John 2:3-6  And we can be sure that we know Him if we obey His commandments.  If someone claims, "I know God," but doesn't obey God's commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.   

But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love Him. That is how we know we are living in Him.  Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Most of us remember being separated from our parents in a large store when we were young. They told you not to wonder away from them but you disobeyed and now you are standing there all alone in a panic.

All of a sudden you realize that you cannot do life without them. This brief encounter makes it obvious to you that you are helpless without them and you swear that for now on you will stick to them like glue. How long does that last before you start to drift apart from them again?

We treat God the same way, he tells us how to live and that we should stick by his side but then we decide to wonder off and before too long we find ourselves in a panic. Living life our way seems like fun for a while but then something happens and we don't know what to do. We know that if we live the way that Jesus told us to live then we will have the peace and security that we desire to have in this crazy world.

The Bible makes it clear that we cannot do anything to earn a ticket to heaven but it also makes it clear that getting a ticket to heaven isn't the end of the story. We don't get to behave the way that we want just because of grace. We don't get a free ride just because we said a special prayer. In case you overlooked 1 John 2:6 let me show it to you again:

"Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did."

How can you think that you know him when it doesn't have an effect on the way you live? Do you really understand what Jesus did for you?

Obedience matters

Psalms 119:4-8  You have charged us to keep Your commandments carefully.  Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect Your decrees!  Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with Your commands.  As I learn Your righteous regulations, I will thank You by living as I should!  I will obey Your decrees. Please don't give up on me!
It is disturbing to me that many people die that didn't have any signs in their lifestyle that they "knew Him," their life didn't show any signs of a relationship with God, they were not obedient to God's commands yet their family suddenly gets all spiritual about them after they are gone. Do we have any reason to believe that they really "knew Him" and that their eternal destiny is heaven?

Human nature wants to live life to satisfy our own desires until life throws something difficult at us but for those who really know God, their love for him will bring about obedience, their lives will become increasingly like the life of Christ.

The best thing for us to do is to obey God but first we have to get to know God and know what he expects from us. The Bible makes it clear that if we really understand who we are and how bad our situation is while we are lost in our sin then obedience to God's rules won't be optional. If we really understand who God is and get to know him and realize how much he did for us then it must have an impact on the way we live.

Help me Lord to fully comprehend how much you did for me that I could never do for myself. Only then will I desire to obey you completely.

More scripture on love and obedience: John 14:15, 14:21-24, 14:31, 15:10, 21:17
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