Monday, October 11, 2010

Thankful For The Love Of God

At the Gospel Mission, we finished a series on Ruth, and started a couple of weeks of messages on a Giving Thanks in preparation for our Canadian Thanksgiving (which is today, October 11th). I preached the main part of this study for the lunch devotional yesterday, and added more verses today to round out it out.

Thankful For The Love Of God

Love is not an emotion (though it may effect them) - love is a choice. Love is an action verb. Always seeking the best for others.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 5:6-10  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

When we were at our worst, God gave His best! He proved/showed/demonstrated His love to us by sending His Son to die on the cross for our sins.

1 John 4:8-10  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1 John 4:19  We love him, because he first loved us.

We learn love through the Lord Jesus Christ's example for us - He loved us first!

Consider each point of the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13, thinking about Christ’s/God’s love as an example for us, and how our love is to be towards others and towards the Lord in return.

The word translated as charity here is the Greek word agape. It means "love," and is often referred as the deep love of God, a self-sacrificial love that desires the best for others. Matthew Henry points out that the word charity was used by the translators to indicate when they believed love towards BOTH God and man was in view in that particular verse or passage.

1 Corinthians 13:4  Charity suffereth long, - Longsuffering, forbearing. Webster's 1828 Dictionary gives this as one of his definitions for forbearance: "The exercise of patience; long suffering; indulgence towards those who injure us; lenity; delay of resentment or punishment."
In the Gospel Mission, we often see people at the lowest point in their lives, and there are some that are extremely difficult to handle at times - but love forbears and still reaches out to them, helping them and caring for them.

The Bible speaks in various places of God's forbearance towards us. Several references are:

Colossians 3:13-14 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

and is kind; - Webster’s: Kind: "1. Disposed to do good to others, and to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants or assisting them in distress; having tenderness or goodness of nature; benevolent; benignant.
2. Proceeding from tenderness or goodness of heart; benevolent; as a kind act; a kind return of favors."

Real love is not just wishing others well, but putting shoe leather on our intentions and doing good to others.

Psalm 92:1-2 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

charity envieth not; - Webster's: Envy:  "v.t. [L. invideo, in and video, to see against, that is, to look with enmity.]
1. To feel uneasiness, mortification or discontent, at the sight of superior excellence, reputation or happiness enjoyed by another; to repine at another's prosperity; to fret or grieve one's self at the real or supposed superiority of another, and to hate him on that account.
2. To grudge; to withhold maliciously.
EN'VY, n. Pain, uneasiness, mortification or discontent excited by the sight of another's superiority or success, accompanied with some degree of hatred or malignity, and often or usually with a desire or an effort to depreciate the person, and with pleasure in seeing him depressed. Envy springs from pride, ambition or love, mortified that another has obtained what one has a strong desire to possess."

Love does not hate/despise someone else because of what they have or because they are better off in some way than you. The love of God in believers - produced through the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit in us - enables us to desire and work towards the best for others, just as the Lord is working out all things for good in our own lives.

Romans 5:5b ...because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

1 John 3:17-18 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

charity vaunteth not itself, - Is not boastful; doesn’t brag about themself.

is not puffed up, - Is not inflated with pride.

I have seen many in our community and even some that come through our doors that look down on others - whether these others are clients or staff at the Mission - because the image of homelessness or low income families disgusts them. That is pride - agape love cares for others and does not elevate themselves above those in need. Neither does it look down on those who are struggling with sin in their lives, knowing we are just as prone to wander, and just as much in need of the Lord's forgiveness and cleansing in our own lives. There is no place for pride in the heart of a saved individual - the ground is level at the foot of the cross.

1 Corinthians 13:5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, - Does not act in an inappropriate manner towards others.

True love will do what is right around others, will not treat them wrong or act towards them in an ungodly way.

One passage that comes to mind about our Saviour shows that He did not flip out or act inappropriately, even when dealing with lost sinners. I cringe whenever I hear shouting in the hallways where I live, where a husband and wife (or parents and children) are yelling at each other, cursing each other out, but Jesus never did that when He ministered here on earth. He showed His love towards those around Him (and still shows it towards us), even when He needed to correct their sin.

Matthew 12:18-21 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and a smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

seeketh not her own, - Is not selfish, self-centered, is looking out for the best for others, not simply for themself.

is not easily provoked, - Not easily exasperated with others.

Following up on the book of James (which we covered at the Mission last month), love is slow to wrath, slow to be angry or frustrated with others, slow to retaliate or respond in the same manner (leaving vengeance in the Lord's hands). Sometimes it is hard not to react badly when someone is cursing you out or dumping on you (as we sometimes say), but true love tries to react in a Christ-like manner. And, no, that does not mean we never get upset at sin or someone's bad behavior - but we learn more how to bear it and deal with it it a right way that honors the Lord and responds appropriately.

thinketh no evil; - Strong's Concordance: Thinketh: "to take an inventory, i.e. estimate...:--conclude...."
- Strong's: Evil: "worthless (intrinsically such...), that is (subjectively) depraved, or (objectively) injurious:--bad, ...harm[ful], ...wicked."

Of course, love means we should not be thinking wicked or harmful thoughts about/towards others - but I find the definition here interesting. We are not to think of others as "worthless." In this ministry, we have many coming through our doors that no longer feel they are of value to others - YET God considers them of worth, and we should too - if we claim to have love for them.

1 Corinthians 13:6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, - Strong's: Rejoiceth: "to be full of 'cheer',... be glad."
- Strong's: Iniquity: "(legal) injustice (properly, the quality, by implication, the act); morally, wrongfulness (of character, life or act):--iniquity, unjust, unrighteousness, wrong."

Not glad for injustice done to others. There are many in our society, even on the street, that take pleasure when wrong is done to others, when someone is ripped off, when others are treated unfairly (kind of like bullies in school). Part of the definition refers to legal injustice done - we see a lot of that in our world, when a judge lets the wicked off and the righteous or innocent get charged falsely and lose what they have. Love does not rejoice in this!

but rejoiceth in the truth; - Strong's: Rejoiceth: "to sympathize in gladness, congratulate:--rejoice in (with)."
- Strong's: Truth: "true (as not concealing)."

Real love rejoiceth when the truth comes out, when the righteous and the innocent are vindicated. The Lord will right the injustices we face in life - whether now or in eternity.

Psalm 37:5-6 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

1 Corinthians 13:7  Beareth all things, - Strong's: Beareth: "to roof over, i.e. (figuratively) to cover with silence (endure patiently)."

Love covers the sins of others, overlooks them, does not hold them against someone.

1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

One of the main themes of the Bible is Christ's atonement for our sins. Atonement means "to cover." Jesus' blood covers the repentant believer's sins and washes them away; therefore, they are no longer held against that believer. Only God's love can do that!

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Psalm 103:10-14 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

believeth all things, - Strong's: Believeth: "to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ)."

How is your walk with the Lord? Are you growing in your faith? Love towards God is believing all that He has said.

hopeth all things, - Hope means "confident expectation."

Loving God is believing and receiving His promises - confidently expecting Him to fulfill them as He is working in your life.

endureth all things. - Strong's: Endureth: "to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere."

Loving the Lord is enduring the trials He allows in your life - knowing every single one of them has a purpose, and one of those purposes is to make you more like your Saviour. Are you trusting in your Heavenly Father - believing all things, hoping all things, enduring all things He has planned for you?

1 Corinthians 13:8a  Charity never faileth: - Never: "Not even at any time, i.e. never at all."
- Strong's: Faileth: "to drop away; specially, be driven out of one's course; figuratively, to lose, become inefficient:--...take none effect."

God's love will NEVER, EVER fail! He will ALWAYS fulfill His work in your life. He will NEVER be driven out of course in His plan for you. His love will NEVER lose its power, NEVER become inefficient, NEVER be of no effect in your life.

When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, when His love is shed abroad in our hearts and we are actively showing that love to those around us in a Christlike and Biblical manner (emphasis on loving others in a Biblical manner, because there is much fluff in our modern thinking of love), it WILL have a lasting, powerful, transforming effect on others - just as the Lord's love has had a life changing effect on you (if you are His child).

Loving others is in accordance with obeying the Lord and following His Word - ie. loving others is doing right towards them.

1 John 5:2-3 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

2 Peter 1:3-11 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Right now, faith, hope, and charity (love towards God and man) abide - they remain, are lasting, endure. In eternity, faith and hope will be done away with, they will have fulfilled their purpose. There will be no more need for faith, as we will be walking by sight, we will see our Saviour and our saved loved ones face to face. There will be no more need for hope, for confidently expecting the Lord to keep His promises, as we will see the fulfillment of all He has promised and all Bible prophecies come to pass.

However, charity - love towards God and man - will last forever. We will be dwelling in God's presence, worshipping and loving Him, and living in love with our brethren in Christ. Charity will endure forever - no wonder the greatest of these is charity (love)!

1 John 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect (complete), that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

Most of us are quite familiar with John 3:16, but how many of us know 1 John 3:16?

1 John 3:16  Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Are you thankful for God's love? Have you responded to it by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour? Are you showing that love to others?

Ah, the love of God - one of my favourite themes, and one of my favorite hymns:

The Love Of God
(Lyrics: Frederick Lehman)

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Preached October 10th/2010
Written October 11th/2010
Jerry Bouey

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Who I Am

This study builds a little on the themes covered in these two studies: The Giver, Or The Gifts? and Blessed Contrasts In Scripture Please read these two studies for more Scripture references on some of these points below.

Many before the time of Christ were waiting for the Messianic kingdom to right the wrongs in this world (grievances, violence, wrong judgment, sin - Hab 1:3-4, 13; 2:2-3). They were looking for a time (ie. an event) when a King would rule over the earth and restore order (in fulfillment of the “vision”, ie. of the Old Testament prophecies) – Jesus directs us to Himself. Hebrews 10:38.

Many of the Jews in the time of Christ were looking for a political and social Messiah. Many rejected Christ because when He came the first time, He was not here to right all the political or social wrongs, but to deal with our sins. He did not come as “King” (though He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and will come back one day to reign), but as Saviour.

Some followed Jesus for the wrong reason – because He did a miracle that provided for their needs. John 6:24-26.

They sought to make Jesus king – by force, seizing Him by violence! John 6:14-15.

When He was betrayed by Judas and surrounded by the armed guards in the Garden of Gethsemane, He refused to fight back, but gave Himself up to them. John 18:3-9, 12.

When speaking to Pilate, He stated His kingdom was not yet of this world; therefore His followers would not fight back with physical weapons. John 18:33-36.

40 days after Jesus arose, just before He ascended to Heaven, His disciples asked Him a question about His coming kingdom: Acts 1:6-7. Jesus changed their focus, then the angels pointed to His return, not just to His kingdom – ie. pointed to Him. Verses 9-11.

The Samaritan woman was waiting for the Messiah to reveal all things. Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah.” John 4:25-26.

Martha was waiting for a coming day, an event (ie. the future day of resurrection) - Jesus redirected her to a person, Himself. I Am the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:23-26.

The end of all arguments – whatever is going on in the world or in the lives of His people, God declares:
I am the LORD (or the Lord GOD - 164 times)
I am God (9 times)
I Am, and there is no other god (or saviour) beside Me (Deut 4:35, 39; 1 Sam 2:2; 2 Sam 7:22; 1 Kings 8:60; 1 Chron 17:20; Is 43:10-12; 44:6-8; 45:5-6, 18, 21-22; 46:9; Hosea 13:4; Joel 2:27)

Many in the world are running around looking for each of these things – even God’s people – but what we need more than provision, more than something to happen – what we need is Jesus Himself!

When we need (spiritual) light - He is our Light. He is Light. Psalm 27:1; 1 John 1:5.
When in need of strength - He is our strength. Psalm 28:7.
When we need wisdom - He is our wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:30.
When we need understanding - He is understanding. Proverbs 8:14.
When we need mercy and grace - He is merciful and gracious; that is His name (in the Bible, a name represents who someone is, their character). Exodus 33:19; 34:5-7.
When we need peace with God, peace of mind, peace with man - He is our peace. Ephesians 2:14.
When we are hopeless - He is our hope. 1 Timothy 1:1.
When we have no purpose or reason for living - He is our life. Colossians 3:4.
When we are scrambling, seeking the truth - the truth is in Jesus. He is the Truth. Ephesians 4:21; John 14:6.
When we are desperately seeking for someone to love us, He not only provides love - He is Love. 1 John 4:8, 16.
When we are looking for safety, security, shelter from the storms of life – He is our shield. Genesis 17:1.
When we are looking for something lasting in life, something to carry on from generation to generation – He is our inheritance. Numbers 18:20.
When we are looking for a way to be right with God, not only does the Lord provide righteousness - He is our righteousness. Jeremiah 23:6.
When looking for salvation, Jesus not only provides salvation – He is our salvation. Psalm 35:3.
Not only does Jesus save – He is our Saviour, and it is to be Him we are looking for – not just some future day or some kingdom, some future event – Jesus Himself! Titus 2:13; 2 Timothy 4:8.

What is our focus? Even as believers, are we seeking the Lord Jesus Christ for what He can do for us (and yes, we should be seeking Him for every need we have) – OR for who He is? Seeking for something we need, for something to happen - OR for Jesus Himself?

May 9th/2010
Jerry Bouey

P.S. I didn't know which blog to post this in - on this study blog or on my sermon outline blog (A Shadow Of Things To Come). It fits both, as it is basically self-contained notes. This is part of the series I have been preaching on the I Ams of Jesus, and some of the thoughts that came out of it. I think the message was received pretty well today. It certainly gave some food for thought, and was a blessing to study out and preach. I hope it is also a blessing to you.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

The Giver, Or The Gifts?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and cometh down from the Father of lights,
with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:17

Are you at life's peak, in perfect health and blessedness,
Is your life filled with abundance, wealth, and happiness,
Do you have everything you've ever wanted, almost utmost bliss,
Then I ask you, where's your faith -
In the Giver, or the gifts?

So many times we gauge our life by our position, our possessions, or our prosperity.
But what about our walk with the Lord?
Are we looking to the Giver, or the gifts?

When the nation Israel become prosperous, they took their eyes off of the Lord. Their faith was in the gifts, not the Giver. This brought them only heartache and grief. (See Deuteronomy 8) God tested the Israelites to see where their faith was, in God's Word (the Giver) or their prosperity (the gifts). Sometimes He lets His children have what they desire, but sends leanness into their souls, because they choose their desires over the Lord. (Psalm 106:15)

If the Lord took away your health, your wealth, and your physical prosperity,
where would your faith be -
In the Giver, or the gifts?

Are you blessed with all the friends that you could ever wish,
Do you have joy unending in your family relationships,
Or are you alone, abandoned, with those friends so sorely missed,
Oh where do you look for comfort -
In the Giver, or the gifts?

So many times in life we are satisfied by our earthly relationships, and we tend to neglect God. Instead of Jesus having the preeminence in our lives, He often takes second place. We are looking to our family, our friends, and our acquaintances (the gifts) to meet all our needs, to give us a sense of belonging, to let us know that we are loved, and we neglect the Lord (the Giver), except when we want something or face a crisis.

We neglect to maintain our fellowship with the Lord, and then when family or friends reject us, we cry out to God and blame Him, though He was always there. His love always remains constant and He doesn't change. We do. We walk by sight and look to the gifts, not the Giver - which we must look to in faith. Many times we use our loneliness as an excuse to go our own way, to walk in sin, to find comfort from worldly pleasures.

Yet we often forget that, in the Bible, many of God's children were abandoned, rejected, forsaken by men, but the Lord never deserted them!

We see David encouraging himself in God (1 Samuel 30:6), Jesus rejoicing that His Heavenly Father was always with Him (John 16:32), and the Apostle Paul proclaiming the Lord's faithfulness to stand by His servants when all others have turned away (2 Timothy 4:17). These men of God (and many other men and women of God throughout the Bible and throughout history) looked to the Lord for their comfort and solace. They maintained their relationship with the Lord (the Giver), so that when their other relationships (the gifts) failed, they had Something (Someone) Eternal to rely on.

They relied on the Giver, not the gifts.

Many times we look to the things of this world (the gifts) to give us satisfaction, to give us peace, to give us contentment, and we neglect to look to the Lord Jesus Christ (the Giver), who alone can give us true satisfaction, give us His perfect peace (John 14:27, and Isaiah 26:3), and to give us lasting contentment in Him.

Are you looking to the Giver, or the gifts for your real needs in life? The things of this world are only temporary, the things of Heaven are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)

Where are you looking for fulfillment in your life -
In the Giver, or the gifts?

My friend, who are you relying on -
The Giver, or the gifts?

Where does your strength come from -
The Giver, or the gifts?

Where do you look to for peace and happiness -
The Giver, or the gifts?

Where's your faith in times of trials and distress -
The Giver, or the gifts?

April 28, 2001
Jerry Bouey

Thursday, May 06, 2010


When we look through the New Testament, we find the concept of continuing in Christ and the things of God a repeating theme. It is interesting to note that there are twenty one different Greek words that are translated into English as continue (or a form thereof). Eight of these words are relevant to this study, so I wanted to take a look at them here.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives this definition for continue: “1. To remain in a state, or place; to abide for any time indefinitely. 2. To last; to be durable; to endure; to be permanent. 3. To persevere; to be steadfast or constant in any course.”

For the purpose of this study, I will list the numbers and definitions that Strong's Concordance gives for each Greek word, followed by the main verses or passages relevant to this study that use that particular Greek word. Consider each definition as you meditate on these passages.

1) 3887 parameno - from 3844 and 3306; to stay near, i.e. remain (literally, tarry; or figuratively, be permanent, persevere):--abide, continue.

James 1:22-25 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

How does a true believer keep his life clean? By tarrying near the Word of God like a man peering intently into a mirror, letting the Word reveal areas where Biblical principles need to be applied - revealing areas where his conduct, words, and thought life need to be corrected - then continually sticking by the mirror of the Word and letting its living power transform his life.

2) 3306 meno - a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy):--abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own.

John 8:31-32 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

If you want to be Jesus' disciple and have victory over sin in your life, remain in the Word of God.

John 15:9-10 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Stay in God's love - don't let this world or your flesh move you from walking daily with the Lord and keeping His commandments. If you want close fellowship with Him and His blessing upon your life, continue in His love.

1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

Stick with what the Lord has already taught you from His Word - remain there; stand and don't be moved.

Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

1 John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

The proof is in the pudding. Apostates will cast off true Biblical faith when it is no longer convenient for them, but true believers will always continue believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Father.

3) 4342 proskartereo - from 4314 and 2594; to be earnest towards, i.e. (to a thing) to persevere, be constantly diligent, or (in a place) to attend assiduously all the exercises, or (to a person) to adhere closely to (as a servitor):

Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.

The early church was fervent in seeking the Lord in prayer, for themselves and for others.

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

These Christians persevered in Bible doctrine, in fellowship with one another and in communion with their Lord. They certainly are our example to follow!

Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

Over and over again, the New Testament teaches the importance of prayer and how these early believers continued in it. Are we continuing in prayer today - being diligent in it, or are we growing listless and careless in our petitions for those around us?

4) 4357 prosmeno - from 4314 and 3306; to stay further, i.e. remain in a place, with a person; figuratively, to adhere to, persevere in:--abide still, be with, cleave unto, continue in (with).

1 Timothy 5:5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

5) 1961 epimeno - from 1909 and 3306; to stay over, i.e. remain (figuratively, persevere):--abide (in), continue (in), tarry.

Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

We are not just to start in God's grace - we are to remain in it, to tarry there! This is what the book of Galatians is all about. Too often a believer gets saved by grace, but then tries to live the Christian life in his own strength and power after that point in time. God's grace is His power given to us to enable us to live a life that is pleasing to Him (see Titus 2:11-12). I love Strong's definition for this word: "Graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude)."

Romans 11:22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

Colossians 1:20-23 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

6) 1696 emmeno - from 1722 and 3306; to stay in the same place, i.e. (figuratively) persevere:--continue.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

The term "the faith" is referring to the fundamentals of the faith, the body of doctrine by which someone must hold to be saved. A person may be confused on some doctrine - but they cannot knowingly reject the fundamentals of the faith and be saved. Jude exhorts us to "earnestly contend for the faith" (see verse 3 of this short book). There are a lot of "professing" believers out there who teach you can be a "Christian" and reject the fundamentals of the faith (for example, the deity of Christ, His finished work of redemption upon the cross, or His literal, physical resurrection) and still know the Lord, still be His child, still be saved. They are fooling themselves! When a person casts off the faith, they prove they were never saved to begin with - no matter what they may think or what experience they may have had.

A true child of God will persevere in the faith and stay there, in that exact place - nothing and no one will be able to move them from the truth.

7) 5281 hupomone - from 5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy:--enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

In accordance with the Biblical principle of reaping what you sow (see Galatians 6:7-9), a believer will be rewarded by the Lord Jesus Christ for continuing in well doing, in persevering in their service to the Lord, even when times get rough or it seems there may never be lasting fruit from their efforts. Our labour is not in vain because God will keep His Word (see 1 Corinthians 15:58).

8) 1275 diapantos - from 1223 and the genitive case of 3956; through all time, i.e. (adverbially) constantly:--alway(-s), continually.

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

If you have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ alone for salvation, you are His child forever - and it is only fitting that we praise Him all the time - yea, even forever for all He has done for us, in us, and through us for His glory!

Preached February 28th/2010
Written May 6th/2010
Jerry Bouey

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Shadow Of Things To Come

I have created a new blog for my devotional outlines. Please stop by and bookmark it if you are interested.

I wanted to have an outlet to post less developed studies or outlines from messages I have preached at the Gospel Mission. I have entitled it A Shadow Of Things To Come Lord willing, I will be posting more regularly there, as I am still regularly preaching at the Mission, but don't always find the time to work on writing up my studies.

The first few studies I will be posting will be a series I am currently preaching through on the I Ams of Jesus from the Gospel of John. The first sermon outline posted is pretty long (I Am The Bread Of Life), but most of them will not be anywhere near that length. These outlines will also contain links or quotes from other articles and poems that I have used in my devotionals. I have about 10-15 minutes to preach at a time, and sometimes I find a solid poem can really hit home the point after covering the related Bible passages. It is also a blessing to be able to preach various series, as I can develop or build upon themes covered in other messages.

I hope this new blog is a blessing to you as well.