ONCE UPON A [PAUSE]

In the virtual world, I’m Mario, and no one can beat me. That’s right. Soak it in you game nerds and Gamers!

There was a time when Super Smash Bros was a serious game in my life, no sister or brother could [PAUSE].

You see how inconvenient ‘pauses’ are in our lives.

Pauses, are so frustrating it makes you want to throw a gaming controller from wherever you are in the world to volcanoes in Iceland.

Why are they frustrating?!

Because pauses have the power to throw your entire game off, to cool you from your fire when you’re so hot no one wants to play against you.

So there was a time when Super Smash Bros was a serious game in my life, no sister or brother could defeat me when my character was on the platform…

And then there was Link.

The End. —I should just leave it there, but then Link would win, and I can’t have that!

The point is, pauses, while frustrating when used as a means to be a sore loser, or even, winner, are also necessary for change and growth.

I’ve written consistently for a month, and it’s time for a pause going into our Christmas season.

Of course I still plan on posting throughout December of 2021, but it will be random.

Before the new year 2022, I hit … [PAUSE] … for the love of the “game”, which is our lives coming together in celebration of the greatest gift of eternal life…

The Lord our God, Jesus Christ – Merry Christmas!

CARNAL INTELLECT – SPIRITUAL INTELLECT (Part 2)

“…the life blood encompasses the heart of the entire body (temple of the Holy Spirit) that indwells within, and mankind has received the blood transfusion of Jesus Christ for redemption. That blood is mankind’s justification for righteousness gifted at the cross where Jesus took the wrath on our behalf.”—(Part 1)

“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.”—Psalm 90:17 (NASB)

SPIRITUAL INTELLECT

How do we discern the truth from the lie with a spiritual intellect? The carnal intellect must die through belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God who died and resurrected for mankind to be made alive, and we are in-fact—being made alive.

Since the carnal intellect dies through grace by faith in Jesus Christ, we’ve been resurrected to a spiritual intellect by the gift of God. The spiritual intellect is how the believer discerns the truth about our reality, this reality of sin and evil, a reality separated from God.

But not separated from the providence of God!

Below is a passage of scripture where the apostles of Jesus are in a boat at His [Jesus’] instruction, about 3 miles out at sea from the shore, on the fourth watch (3-6am), and are straining at the oars because the wind was against them; I imagine their straining against the oars as what we do with our carnal intellect against the spiritual intellect. But what comes next I find a bit humorous—like Jesus was pulling a prank or something.

So imagine being in the boat with these apostles straining at the oars to get to the other side, Bethsaida, where Jesus instructed us to go. It’s very early in the morning, and we’re feeling the weakness of our flesh, tired, but not giving up. Then all the sudden this ghost-like man appears walking on the water (which reminds me of Genesis when the spirit hovered over the surface of the waters) who looks to be distracted because the path of the ghost-like man seems directed to move pass the boat, not to the boat, but pass the boat; still, that doesn’t change what we’re witnessing—which is a ghost-like man walking on water!

So we all scream more girly than little boys because we’re not hallucinating what we all think is a ghost; then the ghost speaks, so we scream all the louder; the ghost says to us, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.”

Still not convinced it’s Jesus, the apostle Peter demands the ghost-like man command him [Peter] to come out to Him [Jesus] on the sea. And so Jesus did.

But see the issue was that we—as though with the apostles—did not gain any insight from the miracle of the loaves that fed 5,000 people before we were instructed to go on ahead in crossing the sea. Why? Well, the scripture says it was because our hearts were hardened.

And what do you think that means, that the apostles’ heart’s were hardened?

Was it God that hardened their hearts in order that they would be traumatized by Jesus walking on the water in hopes they would understand the true nature of Jesus’ authority as the Son of God?

Lets read the passage of scripture from the gospel according to Mark:

45 And immediately Jesus had His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while He Himself *dismissed the crowd. 46 And after saying goodbye to them, He left for the mountain to pray. 47 When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land. 48 Seeing them straining at the oars—for the wind was against them—at about the fourth watch of the night, He *came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. 49 But when they saw Him walking on the sea, they thought that it was a ghost, and they cried out; 50 for they all saw Him and were terrified. But immediately He spoke with them and *said to them, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.” 51 Then He got into the boat with them, and the wind stopped; and they were utterly astonished, 52 for they had not gained any insight from the incident of the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.—Mark 6:45-52

So I don’t know about you, but if we’re of a spiritual intellect? I think we can discern that Jesus was intending to cross the sea without joining us in the boat, that is, until, of course, we all scream.

But that doesn’t satisfy as an answer to the original question, does it?

Was it God that hardened their hearts in order that they would be traumatized by Jesus walking on the water in hopes they would understand the true nature of Jesus’ authority as the Son of God?

It’s plausible; but being that Jesus was intending to move pass the boat indicates, initially, the motive was not to join them in the boat nor to frighten us to death.

So then what does this all mean?

It means our faith is what pleases God.

Our spiritual intellect is faith working out the issue of what is causing our unbelief, so that we can put that sin to death.

Our carnal intellect reacts in fear because of the darkness it’s of—our carnal intellect is a darkness that doesn’t understand the light of spiritual intellect. That’s why they got so terrified at what the carnal intellect reasons as impossible, completely foreign, because their hearts we hardened at their participation in the miracle of feeding 5,000; to be moved with compassion.

And by the grace of God at the reality of His Son moving on the surface of the waters shook them to the core, even to the degree of their questioning what kind of spirit would say, “Take courage; it is I, do not be afraid.”;(Matthew 14:28).

See, from what I believe to be of spiritual intellect, faith must be exercised with action; it isn’t enough to find assurance of information without faith, you will drown at sea if demanding Christ prove Himself by the nature of a hardened heart demanding, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”

A spiritual intellect knows Jesus, whereas a carnal intellect does not. Therefore our security of salvation is secure on good authority.

So…

“Take courage; it is I [Jesus Christ—Son of God], do not be afraid.”

Sky Building

“It’s inconveni—” Lathan stops his loud whisper, sensing the shifted eyes at his direction, the previously distracted crowd now projecting all kinds of curses.

Immediately Lathan thinks; “I’m an idiot.”

Aware of his audience, “Why am I even here?” As he gets up from the coffee bar simultaneously grabbing his drink in the direction of multiple double doors of the Sky Building until a shadow overcasts his presence with the greeters’ of the place, “Where do you think you’re going?”

These greeters are like 10′ tall and about 5,659 pounds thick. Lathan is a grasshopper in their sight.

So Lathan, out of fear for his life, said, “None of your gawdamn business is where I’m going!”—as he stares deep into their souls with the confidence of David when faced against Goliath and his brothers.

The greeters are so taken aback by such crazy boldness their reaction is hesitation and pause, not understanding what just happened as they calculate the issue.

Lathan takes a sip of his coffee, and then, proceeds toward the exit.

“That guy has foul mouth.” Lathan heard in his peripheral and thinks to himself, “Only if you knew the half of it, Hypocrites, trying to shut the way into the kingdom of heaven as you do yourselves, rather than entering therein as guides to those lost at sea.

CARNAL INTELLECT VS SPIRITUAL INTELLECT

Now that you’ve punched me in the face, and hopefully discovered a new perspective apart from the carnal. The next process in gaining knowledge for understanding that spiritual perspective of truth is the practical use of such wisdom—by restraining yourself from punching anyone else in the face. I say that jokingly, but in our day and age of intelligence the carnal perspective is cut to quick about the subtlest things which invokes all sorts of emotional instabilities and chaos to resolve what then becomes worse and worse. The solution is a spiritual intellect.

As a reminder from my previous post linked above, the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword; that sword of the Holy Spirit is experienced upon listening and or reading scriptural texts; the sword pierces through soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, even able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. But why the heart, and not the intellect? Because the life blood encompasses the heart of the entire body (temple of the Holy Spirit) that indwells within, and mankind has received the blood transfusion of Jesus Christ for redemption. That blood is mankind’s justification for righteousness gifted at the cross where Jesus took the wrath on our behalf.

However, the natural instinct to the carnal mind is to save him or hers’ own soul as if I or you had the power to do so, and that is—in my opinion—the greatest scheme of the devil, “Save your own skin.” Save it from what, or who, exactly?

The carnal mind becomes it’s own worst enemy because it’s also the enemy to the Spirit of God. That sword of God’s word is judging our motives. And I don’t think I can stress that enough as someone who related to the carnal perspective (only); the war between the carnal mind and spiritual mind is surreal.

I hate my carnal way of thinking because of the sin that means to seduce me into the lake of fire. I mean, writing that, let alone reading it—the lake of fire—is felt. Anyone with a conscience experiences the certainty of that truth, but the carnal intellect reacts in fear because it knows this truth, and that’s also why it must die. The carnal intellect will deceive at all costs for survival to godship, not repentance, but to be “God”. And no person understanding that, suppressing the truth it’s of, will survive the judgement, because they chose to save their life (carnal intellect) rather than lose it.

For what good will it do a person if he gains the whole world, but forfeits his soul? Or what will a person give in exchange for his soul?Matthew 16:26

  • The one who has found his life will lose it, and the one who has lost his life on My account will find it.Matthew 10:39
  • For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.Mark 8:35
  • For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, this is the one who will save it.Luke 9:24
  • Whoever strives to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will keep it.Luke 17:33
  • The one who loves his life loses it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life.John 12:25

“Oh but the world is so presently intoxicating and addictive by what cannot be changed. Why not enjoy it?” The carnal man continues… “It’s not intoxicating or addictiveit’s reality! Pass me another ‘virgin’ (opportunity)!” Only to meet the inevitable—unrecognizable—consequence by what appears as freedom to reality. Don’t believe that mindset, it’s a lie straight from the pit of darkness masquerading as light. And that way of thinking is what it means to be carnal (fleshly) minded only.

There may be some—or many, even—that think in terms of social science as though justified by it, “Society agrees that murder is unjust warranting judgment, as long as it’s not discriminatory.” Yah, I won’t even wish “good luck with that” it’s so contradictory. It’s also weak when weighing to measure that system of justice with the value of life, or death even, rather. Because if a criminal like Adolf Hitler, Ted Bundy, David Koresh, Jim Jones, and the list goes on and on with “life” (death) sentences in prison up 1000+ years…

I might be wrong to ask, but how can anyone think that a death sentience is a means for solace? Do the research on the most prolific serial killers and see for yourselves the amount of uncounted victims to families without solace, and dare I say that if anyone blame God for such evil they’re worse off than the serial killers.

It’s a stark reality when falling into the hands of the living God!

For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10:30-31

YO—PUNCH ME IN THE FACE

Listen, there’s too much information in the world, and everyone’s talking at once, so imma need everyone to shut the hell up for more than a few seconds. There are some things we gotta get sitchiated—situated, seriously—before we all start talking again. First of all, we need to understand something about the internet. Anyone can upload whatever. For example, do you know who the best writer in the world is?

It’s not my fault God made me the best writer in the world. I mean…what do you want from me? I’m like the Good Will Hunting of writing apart from the 12 brotha’s, but who’s counting—am I right!?

See, now, just because I used the internet to write an axiomatic truth about myself *as I laugh at my reflection in the screen* does not make it truth. So then how do I discern anything to be true that comes from the internet, especially from those of a “secular” position?

Allow me to offer an approach to not only discerning information from the internet, but from anyone or anything, everywhere.

If the objective is to gain knowledge for understanding the truth, then the approach for access is sharper than any two-edged sword; to access, you must face the meaning of death. And to face the meaning of death in light of the truth is to approach all information with not just your carnal perspective, but spiritual perspective.

The carnal perspective is a natural receptor for our objective, which need I say more when approaching information from this perspective; perhaps that it’s contingent on each and every person at their respective locations of background (upbringing)?

However, the spiritual perspective is not so natural for those carnally minded. Why? Because in order to have a spiritual perspective, the carnal intellect must die—hence the sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12).

And so if anyone reading this is not using both perspectives, then the only perspective being used…is carnal. To change that, I will present to you a question.

Do you really desire to come to the knowledge of the truth?

If you do. Then I mean to come to you as an ambassador, and so you must put your carnal intellect to death; in doing so will be an act of faith to trust in the God who makes you alive to the knowledge of the truth. That God is the Lord…

Jesus Christ!

THANKFUL FOR THE GROUND OF CONVERSION

Some will eat off plates where others off floors, but whether on the plate or floor, the ground serves as a table for much more!

And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body, which is being given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup, which is poured out for you, is the new covenant in My blood.”—Luke 22:19-20

I’m thankful for meeting in remembrance of Jesus Christ and the new covenant by His blood.

It is at the cross where the ground of conversion from condemnation to sin is forgiven by remission for righteousness within.

It is at the cross where the new foundation of an eternal covenant is laid.

I pray for all families gathering to meet around in reminiscence of stories, keeping in mind the story of the sinners conversion!

BEFORE BUILDING ON THE NEW FOUNDATION

You know, it’s easy to walk on the earth as our foundation, it’s a human experience. Yet the problem is that this foundation is becoming obsolete, growing old, and about to disappear. About to disappear is very important to emphasize, that biblical reference indicates that no matter how I build on this obsolete foundation—such as a new house or vehicle, etc.—the foundation is compromised, and so everything built thereupon will also be compromised… growing old… to disappear.

Don’t let that discourage you. After all, everything that came from the dust of the ground on which we walk will return to the dust of the ground; that is, until, God provided mankind with the new foundation!

But see, I know a guy, and gal, personally, that do not believe in the preaching of this “new foundation” let-alone to build upon it. So before I proceed to build on this new foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, the new foundation must first be laid. This is where the apostle Paul comes in, because by the grace of God given him as a wise master builder, he laid the foundation we gentiles are building upon.

Check it out!

“According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each person must be careful how he builds on it. For no one can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”—1 Corinthians 3:10-11

Now, I imagine the foundation that the apostle Paul mentioned to have laid, is in reference to where the Holy Spirit had sent him to lay that foundation of Jesus Christ. Why do I think that? Because the apostle Paul is an apostle sent to the gentiles!

Check it out!

“But I am speaking to you who are Gentiles. Therefore insofar as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I magnify my ministry if somehow I may move my own people to jealousy and save some of them. For if their rejection proves to be the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”—Romans 11:13-15

However, there were certain places where the apostle Paul was not permitted to lay that new foundation; They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, after being forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them; and passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas—Acts 16:6-8.

So there is an immediate question that prompts “Why?” In my mind.

And whether this answer is of the Holy Spirit, I’m not sure, but in my experience of evangelism there are times when I desire to share the gospel, yet my tongue remains in the language of the world; the tongue is silenced to the gospel even though the desire to share remains; yet also, at the same time, the tongue moves with grace about politics, entertainment, and the like. This, I believe, is an evidence to the governance of God that is way above the human—including the apostles’—pay grade. That is especially encouraging to know when feeling some form of guilt for thinking not to have the courage to share, which…that may or may not be true; only the Holy Spirit can help us discern those circumstances in relation to the spiritual condition of ourselves.

In light of what we’ve discovered thus far, I’m encouraged to press on in attempt to share the Word…while attentive to the Holy Spirit’s movement. If I detect that the Spirit of Jesus does not allow me to share the Word, then there must be a reason beyond my understanding that I have to trust and live with, and that’s okay.

NOTE: HEBREWS 11:1 & PSALM 90:17

This will always be a good place for me to refer back to when at an impasse on a project. These verses are awesome; on one hand to remind me of where my hope is – as my other hand holds the knife to sacrifice the most precious value that would separate me from God. So as I climb the mountain of literature to offer nothing but faith in the nature of God’s good power to judge my providence, I hope for …a ram caught in the thicket by his horns… while simultaneously prepared to sacrifice what I love most dear … because I trust in Jesus Christ.

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

From what I think I can tell by my experience of faith, is that it’s an action of spiritual transaction between me and the God of all creation; that transaction being conducted at the cross of Christ as a perpetual justification by conversion from enemy to reconciliation through Jesus—the Son of God. So now—after a 2000 year history of Christianity’s development—at this juncture—of those of us alive today—in the new covenant I have with God, the work of my hands are of a different nature and equipped to serve the KING of KINGS during my stay on earth.

So, of course, writing, on a public platform, is one of many mediums I hope to bridge between the old foundation of self that abides under wrath to the new foundation of self that escapes wrath for salvation in Jesus Christ.

My job, then, is to lay the new foundation which has already been laid at the cross of Jesus Christ for the unconverted to witness as their means to call on the name of Jesus Christ so as to be saved. Even if not a single person calls on the name of Jesus Christ by this work, my responsibility is to have fought the good fight, finish the course, and kept the faith! So here we go! Lets go Nathan! Remember this! Refer back to this post and keep going, keep pressing on with those who are of a faith as the same kind as the saints of old!

NOTE: SORTING IT OUT

I’m sorting out how to proceed from where I left off.

That impasse of “Presenting The Gospel” with Robert Govett over the meaning of ‘justification’ has me checked, so my next move for that project won’t be ready for however long, but I’m still working it out.

So how to proceed from here?

I’ve had the idea of writing fiction work because of the creativity it inspires, not necessarily bound by the conviction of truth nonfiction work—I feel—cuffs me with, as it should, but there is a fear and anxiety experienced when processing through nonfiction material. I think the fear and anxiety stems out of prophetic possibilities—all that might go wrong by how the future handles my work. But then that stifles my progress… I’ll just have sort that out.

I guess where I can start, and quite possibly will always start once at an impasse; Hebrews 11:1 and Psalm 90:17 are my favorite bible verses. I’ll start there.

7 YEARS MARRIED AND HER BIRTHDAY

7 years married today! And it’s her birthday!

Today!

Is a special day!

I love you, Laura Dooley!

As ashamed as I am to confess, when I first met Laura, she wasn’t exactly the apple of my eye. Why? Because my eyes were swollen, head sweating, face bleeding, and the ground all too comfortable after losing the fight against lustful pursuits and anger issues; I didn’t know how to discern love. And thankfully, when church friends noticed by the courage to make me aware, my face stopped bleeding and eyes recovered from the swelling; but I was still on the ground. Through prayer by the grace of God, that’s important to repeat, ….by the grace of God, discernment was given at the outstretched hand of a woman who’d noticed me since the day we first met.

I may have asked the question “Quieres casarte conmigo?” (Will you marry me?), but it was me taking her hand to lift me off the ground of a beaten and confused life to a married one.

Don’t get me wrong, she came from a dark place as well, but that perspective is of a different story entirely—and possibly told for another time.

Laura, by the glory of God in her character, is helping me become the man of God I intended to be through faith in our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. From a secular perspective that may sound cliché, possibly even from a religious perspective, but it’s true. The nature of my developing relationship to the Holy Spirit, our Helper, is of a love only Laura has the energy for… Have you met me? Have you seen my BIG 5 personality trait evaluation? Actually, rather… Have you seen Laura’s!? If it isn’t obvious by my writing, I feed on social environments. Laura however… does not. That means I can be a very exhausting person, and Laura is a special kind of woman to be dealing with someone like me, my treasure from heaven. So please, feel free to give her an applause, a hug and, if necessary, a shot of tequila—I’m joking.

For our anniversary we went to that big ball thing in Dallas, the Reunion Tower, for a wine tasting event that was very educational until about the 3rd bottle… let me explain. Of the two of us, I’ll probably have a glass of wine a week whereas Laura might have a few sips of wine a year. Now don’t get it twisted, this WineShark event idea was all Laura’s in case I’m brought before God—…The woman whom thou gavest to be with me…—it’s her fault. I’m just a man. I don’t know any better *says the guy who drinks a glass of wine a week. Nothing crazy happened. But remember, Laura takes sips of wine a year, not glasses.

The wine specialist whos’ name escapes at the moment organized this event was already a little drunk, but handled himself well as he lectured; he communicated with style while simultaneously pouring our glasses; and his associate, she was an awesome server as she kept him soberish while feeding us. The event was for about 2 hours, and everyone started out quiet. It was about the third bottle in to our tasting when people started to cut loose and talk as the specialist continued teaching us everything we needed to know about wine. But see, Laura… she didn’t particularly enjoy the flavor of the first 4 bottles we tasted and so guess who finished her glass before the next round of tasting began? You guessed it, this guy!

So it was about 3 bottles in to our tasting that I started to feel a bit relaxed, which, I think, might’ve been a good full glass by that point, it’s hard to say. Thankfully we had eaten about an hour before the event and they were providing us some munchies, so everything was kosher. Then I grabbed one of my little turkey slices they’d served and chunked it clear across the room landing perfectly in this rich dude’s glass, his head jerks up frantically scanning the room, he meets my eyes just staring at em like an idiot. Then he gets up, walks over to our table, looks at Laura, then at me, then at Laura, then back at me, gives me a million dollars and walks back to his table. I mean… I thought it was a good shot too, but a million dollars! That’s crazy! And also a lie, I just wanted spice things up a bit, but anyway… moving on.

I mean just look at that beautiful woman of mine! A daughter of God! A masterpiece! There is no greater honor than being her husband, and I pray we cherish as many moments as God graces us with as we wait with patience the coming of Jesus Christ. This experience of love, who could fathom? I’m truly blessed and thankful for her! Oh! And did I mention its her birthday! How old do you think she is? Don’t ever answer those questions, it’s always a trap, but she’s like 5,659 years old! She’s of Asian decent, that’s why. Just look at her gorgeous face! You can kinda see the chink-ness in there. It’s adorable!

Welp, that’s not the end of my story, but it is for now… I’m going back to enjoying my time with her while I have her on this amazing day!

P.S. I love you honey, thank you so much for saying “Si” to our journey in the work of God with me, you my babaes!

NOTE: I MUST KEEP WRITING

I’ve reached a point in posting consistently that a “side stitch” phenomenon is telling me to stop posting.

But I know that if I stop posting I won’t develop a well-organized, efficient mind — and one that is well-founded and certain, as Jordan Peterson wrote in his Essay_Writing_Guide (p. 3), and the reason I won’t develop that is because ‘posting’ means ‘writing’. I must. keep. writing!

I didn’t exactly meet my deadline that I was shooting for this morning, not because I hadn’t been writing, but because of the subject matter of what I was writing. From last night into this morning I was preparing my next post on Presenting The Gospel 101, but as I was preparing hit a contention that I need resolved before I move forward on that particular project—which gets me very frustrated because of the amount of time and effort put into something I thought was ready. I must. keep. writing!

Although this experience is frustrating, I’m thankful it happened or I wouldn’t grow, that’s the beauty to these experiences: growth! If I didn’t sit down to think through what I’m writing, waiting on the Spirit to move me along on the subject matter at hand, I might’ve made a serious mistake.

The nature of my contention is on the subject of justification—from a theological perspective. I’m experiencing conviction by the view Robert Govett has in his track (THE BEST MODE OF PRESENTING THE GOSPEL) about Rom. 5:18 – So then, as through one offense the result was condemnation to all mankind, so also through one act of righteousness the result was justification of life to all mankind. By which, Govett’s view to justification of life to all mankind is *…”upon” believers only.—R. Govett p. 10 (THE BEST MODE OF PRESENTING THE GOSPEL). And now to write out my conviction about that.

The conviction I have does not mean, necessarily, that I disagree with R. Govett as he explains that justification to mean what persuades man, as active and free, the option to come to Christ for salvation. Or in his words… “Evidence then has been laid before the reader sufficient to prove, that the work of Jesus has a universal aspect. That work is presented to man as a being active and free; and motives of every class are brought to bear to induce him, if possible, to seek that salvation which Jesus bestows on all who come to Him.”—R. Govett p. 10 (THE BEST MODE OF PRESENTING THE GOSPEL).

However, my understanding of justification of life to all mankind is presently different in that all mankind whether believer or unbeliever is justified by the righteous act of Jesus Christ, meaning that everyone is justified to appear before God whether saved “wheat” to be entered into the kingdom of God or judged “chaff” to be thrown into the lake of fire.

I’m of the understanding that justification is the very means by which all are resurrected to an immortal life, whether it be immortal in the kingdom of God or immortal in the lake of fire; without justification in Christ the unbelievers wouldn’t be resurrected, but annihilated, which contradicts in two ways, (1) R. Govett’s work on Eternal Suffering, and (2) the Word of God in Revelation 20.

In order for all mankind to be resurrected—whether to salvation or judgment—all must be justified, and by the righteous act of Christ all are justified, whether it be as saved (believer) to eternal life or as judged (unbeliever) to eternal punishment.

That’s my contention…

I must. keep. writing!

Presenting The Gospel 101: Warm Up and Stretch

Christian, when you’re cut to the quick (very hurt) by the insults of sin when carrying your cross, even so hurt you’d drop the cross; no matter how much the pain and agony of sin procured by our corporate condemnation long ago, even in the next hour of dispensation by apostacy, don’t leave your cross on the ground. Was is it not by the will of holy perfect love that set you free to endure the name of a son or daughter in Jesus Christ? That as the children of the last hour look upon you this hour to see their hope assured to be salvation worth every agonizing breath breathed as reward to bear much fruit? That spiritual fruit being what I get to eat in preparation of the same pain and agony due the glory of God by His grace through that faith of His only Son in our mother’s and father’s before us now at my mouth, that Savior of the whole world! Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. There are 7,000 to present the gospel, but are you among them?

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2:1-2

To learn and apply the best mode of presenting the gospel, we must discover the two agency’s that work out gospel revelation’s’:

  • The agency of the Son
  • The agency of the Holy Ghost

Let us now observe and consider the work of Robert Govett. Govett begins with…

THE SON

“The work of the Son has special reference to man’s past and open acts of sin, providing a righteousness in which the guilty may stand before God. By His present intercession also, the need of the believer is supplied; and his petitions and his praises are made acceptable.” —Robert Govett p. 3 (THE BEST MODE OF PRESENTING THE GOSPEL)

What do you think Govett means by that special reference? How does the work of the Son have special reference to man’s past and open acts of sin? What are man’s [your] past and open acts of sin?

THE SPIRIT

“The work of the Spirit has reference especially to the sinner as always inwardly evil and alienated from God. It is His gracious part to renew and sanctify.” —Robert Govett p. 3 (THE BEST MODE OF PRESENTING THE GOSPEL)

Again we see reference by the work of the Spirit, but this time it’s especially to the sinner. What do you think about the sinner as always inwardly evil and alienated from God? Why is that? What does that mean for the sinner? And what must happen for that to change?


We need to put on the appropriate attire for presenting the gospel and wielding the sword. To do this, we need to strip ourselves of the clothing of this world. These two agents are the sword by which the Word of God is held in the hands of men moved by the Holy Spirit. For us to wield the sword is to understand the wisdom of God by the fear of the Lord when presenting the gospel.

Journal Entry 11

As I’ve been writing out these Journal Entry posts have decided, before building on our New Foundation, why not go over “THE BEST MODE OF PRESENTING THE GOSPEL” by Robert Govett. It’s a 40 page booklet, and I’ve only read through the first 10 pages. So I figured, why not unlock the treasures of God’s Word through the lens of this booklet with you guys before we start building on our new foundation in Christ—not that we’re not already doing that. After all, it’s crucial we as Christians understand how to present the gospel of our new foundation before actually building on that foundation. So lets do it!

Journal Entry 10

And they said to him, “Where is He?” He *said, “I do not know.” They *brought the man who was previously blind to the Pharisees.

John 9:12-13

PRAYER

I pray, Lord, as each of your ‘seeing’ people are brought to testify of your work, will be strong and courageous. To the glory of your name, Jesus Christ. Amen.


If we’ve repented to God and have faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins, we’re on a new foundation! There is much on our subject of a new foundation that I look forward to build upon—in hope that my building will survive the test of fire. Lets see where our new foundations leads us in the days to come.

Journal Entry 9

So they were saying to him, “How then were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made mud, and spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.”

John 9:10-11

PRAYER

I pray our neighbors will have hearts’ genuine to the answers you’ve provided by sending the Holy Spirit to reveal the nature of your Word that makes our eyes see the miracle that you are; you’re seated at the right hand of the throne of God. I pray we are faithful in communicating the testimony of your work in us and the world. Please help us not use our ability through grace to see the world as an opportunity to sin by wrong motives and ideas, but for righteousness in serving the cause of your good news. In your Name, Jesus Christ. Amen.


DEATH

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:17)

The nature of death is quite difficult for me to contend with, not because of fear, or…at least, the fact it will happen in its finality one day, but rather because the experience of impending death distracts from its twofold nature—the nature of its physical process and spiritual process. So while the experience of death has a physical hold on me due the condemnation of man; how I choose to die is of another nature to death entirely. Observe…

When you open your bible and turn to 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, what does it say?

Or how about when you turn to Revelation 20:13-15, what does it read?

The two biblical passages—of which there are more—presented, reveal two realities about death, at least, from my perspective. There is (1) a biological reality and (2) a spiritual reality of death. Lets proceed to understand the biological reality…

BIOLOGICAL REALITY

I don’t think it requires much explanation for understanding our biological experience of death, but the fact of its experience, is what is of interest to me, because the law of conservation of energy states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed – but can only be converted from one form of energy to another—of which, admittedly, am totally uneducated about. The only way that that makes sense to me as a human being of energy is that an eternal God (Father) [energy] exists outside our reality and is emitted as God (Son) [energy] inside our reality for emitting [energy] God (Holy Spirit)—LOGOS—to an eternal reality. It doesn’t make sense that life would randomly come into being only to evolve to death, intelligently—”the end”. How does that make any sense to anyone?

I can testify that I experience pain in the process of death, and that communicates something beyond the scientific resolve—it’s not a biological issue. Yes, biology is the study of life, the living, so how is death biological when the very definition contradicts. Death is not biological, it’s a consequence.

I can hear you smart people… “Don’t give me that! That’s not the definition!” Nonsense! I googled the study of death, and you’re correct, it’s the study of thanatology, but the point is… It’s a thanatological (Is that even a word?…) process of a biological reality (… It is a word! Yeahhh… I’m a stewpid smart person!!!). And that means the energy of death is a process of elimination; it will eventually conclude it’s purpose (converting into another form of consequence); whereas, the energy of biology will transcend (converting into another form of experience); we can see that, especially, in our Revelation 20:13-15 passage. That brings us to the second reality of deaths’ nature.

SPIRITUAL REALITY

Since our Lord, Jesus Christ, is the propitiation of our sins, but not ours only, the entire worlds (1 John 2:2). We now have the spiritual reality to die a different death given by the Holy Spirit of God to help in our time of need. We can choose to die a death in faith by believing in Jesus Christ, entrusting Him with our soul by the Word of God. That may sound simple, but the discipline of change is not pleasant nor the process easy.

When death converts into another form, the reality will be—figuratively and literally—Hell (lake of fire). Death and Hades will be thrown into the lake of fire, the lake of fire is the second death (Revelation 20:13-15). That is a spiritual truth from a biblical God, and one not to be taken lightly as we see the world taking it. The consequence for neglecting the discipline of the Holy Spirit’s work in sanctification that saves and seals the believing soul is…a spiritual reality and of eternal significance.

If anyone reading this comes short of the fear of the Lord, then I pray you’ll consider this another plea for your souls’ salvation. I pray you’ll turn your mind and heart off to the world and “die” (For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but…) for the sake of Christ the Lord (…whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.), our gift of salvation; Jesus, is the Savior of those in the world who might believe (John 3:16-20). Do not wait for the days where you will wish you could die, but cannot:

And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Revelation 9:6

Journal Entry 8

Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

John 9:9

PRAYER

Thank you Jesus Christ, for sending the Helper— The Holy Spirit that sanctifies us not only to see, but to be changed! I pray, Lord, that those who look upon us as the work of your hands will marvel at what you are doing in the people who believe. Amen.


UNBELIEF

What is the nature of unbelief?

The serpent said to the woman, “You certainly will not die! For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will become like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5)

To extract truth from the Word of God for generating lie, is the, idea. That is what I understand the serpent did with the woman, and once that idea-seed germinated, we can see what happened to her perception about the meaning of truth; the consequence by her shift in perception suppressed the truth she knew for a “new” and “improved” “truth” generated by the word of a serpent. The Word of God became suppressed for the “Word” of that serpent that generated the woman’s unbelief for the serpent’s idea and plan to commence.

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves waist coverings. (Genesis 3:6-7)

Until tomorrow…

Journal Entry 7

So the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, “Is this not the one who used to sit and beg?”

John 9:8

PRAYER

Lord, I pray our neighbors recognize the time of our blind begging for the purpose of receiving your grace to see. Thank you for grace and faith to hope in you, Jesus Christ, for the day we’ll see your face. Amen.


SIN


To find yourself in a place with a choice – Independent will or dependent will? Which would you choose and why? How that choice is answered, I believe, reveals the nature of sin.

To have a mind with the capacity to know good and evil is to have a heart for independent will, but is an independent will of good… or evil… ? If by the grace of God my work to the outline of biblical passages presented above proves worthy, then, I believe, the reader will discover that independent will is in fact… evil. That reality of such inspiration cannot be created by man, because to be holy inspired, is to be sanctified from what—independent will—prevented revelation by inspiration of dependent will. But dependent upon who’s will goes beyond our quantum reality into the above; where the divine nature of Christ is seated. And it is there, that our faith takes us, if indeed, our faith is in Jesus Christ.

The scripture verse’s that I think prove the case for a person exercising dependent will to be of ‘good’ are these, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” and again, He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink from it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42; Luke 22:42).

Lucifer was created a divine (anointed cherub) being that was perfect until unrighteousness was found, and the gospel reveals the psychology that distinguishes Christ from the Antichrist, or Jesus Christ from Lucifer; the difference being, …yet not My will, but Yours… against …I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High (Isaiah 14:13-14). Sin… is of a will independent of God.

Until tomorrow…

Journal Entry 6

When He had said this, He spit on the ground, and made mud from the saliva, and applied the mud to his eyes, and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he left and washed, and came back seeing. 

John 9:6-7

PRAYER

I pray we come back seeing, Lord. Amen.


INQUIRY

So then what is the biblical nature of each path and their interconnected significance? And, Who is Jesus?

Okay *interlock fingers and crack knuckles* …pause… Let me get some coffee for this *gets up from seated position, proceeds to coffee maker with haste, dumps enough coffee in filter to kill a small horse* LETS DO THI— …pause… *laughs it off* Get focused; alright, here we go!

While my coffee is brewing, Lord, please grace me/us with the power and glory of You, for understanding the will of God in our lives. Thank you Father, in Jesus Christ; amen.

Figure 1

To understand the interconnected web in our figure 1 image, we first need to understand the biblical nature of each path.

LEARNING

  • REWARD
  • SIN
  • BELIEF
  • UNBELIEF
  • DEATH
REWARD
Figure 2

The biblical nature of reward revealed by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 16:7,13), from my perspective, is as follows. *Coffee now at hand* …Rejoice on that day and jump for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven… (Luke 6:23). Jesus taught of reward in heaven by our faithful endurance against the hate of the world… Blessed are you when the people hate you, and when they exclude you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man… (Luke 6:23). Which then begs the question. Am I hated by the world? Are you hated by the world? Being hated by the world is a tangible evidence to those blessed by God (which we’ll talk more about in future posts Lord willing), their reward is great in heaven. But lets back up to the first part of that phrase, Rejoice on that day… Why does Jesus say “…on that day” and not ‘today’ or ‘tomorrow’? What does Jesus mean by “day“? What is a ‘day’ to God?

[Lets see how studied we are in the Word of God; you’ll have an idea—or quite possibly know exactly—where I’m about to go by the Holy Spirit revealing His presence in you, assuring you of whether we’re on the right path; if you’re not someone studied in the Word of God, but are hungry and thirsty for learning righteousness, that appetite is the Holy Spirit serving your soul with spiritual food for growth and maturity, examine this with trusted believers; if you’re someone resisting the Spirit of Truth in the Word of God—presented in the passages of scripture following—then please consider softening your heart to the knowledge of the truth, seek the Lord at His Word and His people the Church, because God loves you.]

There are several passages to consider (Psalm 90:4; Ecclesiastes 6:6; 2 Peter 3:8; Revelation 20:2-7), but look at what the apostle Peter writes regarding the meaning of a “day” to God:

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

—Cephas (Peter)

Peter instructs us …be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2 Peter 3:8). So when we look back to what Jesus said—Rejoice on that day…—we can see that the day our Lord is referring to is a future day, the day of a thousand years; the millennial reign of Christ our Lord, Jesus. This is the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6). When a disciple—such as the apostles—suffer in this world of hatred by bearing the name of Jesus, then …your reward is great in heaven. So how are the apostles’ reward great in heaven? These men will sit on thrones, just take a moment to think about that … they’ll sit on thrones!

The scripture I’m about to present to you will reveal the nature of our great reward, and it’s such an encouragement as those of us suffer for the sake of Christ; that does not mean we inflict suffering upon ourselves by annoying people to death with what the world does not care to understand, and then call that “suffering”, because that is not suffering with Christ, that’s a desperate escape from putting in the labor of learning the Word of God and from experiencing the necessary discipline of our Father, and Lord, in heaven, by the Holy Spirit, while alive on earth. Now lets dive deep into the Word of God.

And Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

The gospel according to the apostle Matthew records the prophetic Word of Christ to our consciences by reading …the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones… and so now, right now, is that time of regeneration (Titus 3:4-6) by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8) as Jesus is already sitting on His glorious throne (Hebrews 12:1-2) mediating (Hebrews 8:6) from above through the portal [Promises/Providence]—like a ladder (John 1:51)—of His covenant down below to us here and now alive on earth awaiting with patience this great reward; the crown of the first resurrection (2 Timothy 4:7-8; Revelation 20:6) at His appearing; the millennial reign of Christ our Lord.

If you’re concerned that you are not among those of this reward. Then please listen to the Holy Spirit about the nature of that concern. I’m still exploring this revelation with prayer. Test everything presented with the Word of God by the Holy Spirit.

Until tomorrow…

Journal Entry 5

Jesus answered, It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must carry out the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

John 9:3-5

Father, thank you for the sovereignty of Christ our Lord. I pray that your readers will honor the Light that you are in this world as the people of salt and light you’ve graced them to be. Thank you for our gift; He is our Helper, the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, according to your Word (John 14:26; 16:7,13). Amen


Our featured image has evolved. In it, you’ll notice the green lines interconnecting the paths:

  • REWARD
  • SIN
  • BELIEF
  • UNBELIEF
  • DEATH

In my previous journal entry I’d expressed my concern about the nature of our green path of belief because belief, I believe, is the portal between the divine nature and human nature of which reveals the spiritual condition of a person for the sake of ministry to him or her. However, if the minister is not believing in Jesus Christ (The Minister) to be the Son of God sent of the Father for the proclamation of good news to the sinners’ remission of sin by grace through faith in Him [Jesus Christ] as salvation…then the portal to the divine that inspires that minister is being inspired by a different spirit, an evil spirit, not the Holy Spirit. And that might well be you or I if not checked, examined, and evaluated by the Word of God—which is what I mean to do by journaling the nature of my concern for discernment in following obedience (John 15:12-17).

So then what is the biblical nature of each path and their interconnected significance? For the sake of time, I may need to hold off until tomorrow, but as a note to self… Who is Jesus?—Why did I theme that? I don’t remember why I put that question in there, but whatever, I’m sure it will come back to me.

Journal Entry 4

As Jesus passed by, He saw a man who had been blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?”

John 9:1-2

Abba, thank you for the Light of your Truth. I pray those of us born blind in Adam since birth will read the saliva of spit and mud that is Jesus Christ, go wash, and come back seeing your Son. I pray those of us seeing (Church in Christ) will become blind faithful workers in honor of our Lord the Savior. Please strengthen us, bless us with courage, according to your will in Christ our Lord, Jesus. Amen.


In the featured image you’ll notice the many different arrows (“belief”, “reward”, “sin”, “unbelief”, and “death”) indicating directions, but I must clarify, they’re not directions; they’re paths. There is only one direction of which encompasses different paths of many sub-paths … paths of eternal significance leading in the direction of millennial judgement and eternal judgement (Hebrews 6:1-3, Revelation 20: 4-6, 11-15). And I pray you don’t run away at that, don’t think of judgement as what might easily be confused with a mythical tyrant god excited at the idea of punishment. That’s not what’s being communicated upon interpreting biblical judgement. And that is something I look forward to exploring together if the Lord permits.

The question I have that concerns me for every person (including myself) is the spiritual nature by which reveals the judgement of mine and your path’s—our path, individually and corporately—once the travel is concluded. For instance…

Some may look at the green path of belief and believe they’re on the right path, but what is the nature of that belief? If the nature of your belief is not in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin…then are you on the right path? Is your belief…Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Because if Jesus doesn’t know you, then the nature of your belief is in yourself, another person, or perhaps, providence, ect.; but it is not in Christ to be known by Him. D

All of these path’s are interconnected, and I’ll stop there for now, until tomorrow.

Journal Entry 3

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly My disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32

Please keep me in your Word that the truth will set me free. I pray this also for my readers. Please keep us in your Word, Lord our God. Amen.

I’ve been reading through a lot of content lately—hence my absence—and plan on organizing what I’ve learned by their work to show my work to you, readers. It takes me back to school hearing the teacher conclude their lecture, “…and don’t forget to show your work.”

I’m so thankful for those before us that did their work and showed it for our learning. I’ve taken for granted so much, and I repent.

I do want to dig into the featured photo, eventually, because there is so much to extract from it. I can also foresee it evolving… one step at a time, Nathan.

I’ve missed writing like this, it’s therapeutic; keeps me engaged and connected. It also encourages consistency, which I’ve failed miserably at, and that reminds me. I’m still doing my Proverb’s devotionals in case anyone was curious.

Alright, lets keep this simple. Lord willing I’ll have another post at 6a tomorrow. Pray I’m consistent in my work.

Love you all like the sun loves the flower!

Journal Entry 2

I think I’ve discovered that I enjoy creating the featured photo more than the writing portion of my work… okay, maybe not more, but there is a unique joy I experience from that creativity.

I’m working on a bible study project called “New Foundation” that I hope to start publishing soon, but there is a problem. I get too excited. It’s not a problem that I get excited, but when I get too excited. So when I do, I’ll rest from the project; but then when I come back, realize it’s not ready. And that’s my problem; when is it ever ready?—I ask myself.

However, I believe God has granted me the grace to work while I work—and then some—by these Journal Entry posts. I feel it relieves the pressure to my emotional dilemma preventing my progress in the edification of incoming biblical projects such as the aforementioned.

Take a look at the featured photo and notice the figure at the bottom left. If you’re curious whether your speculation is accurate, it is. As a taste of what you’ll discover when I’ve published “New Foundation”, everyone is on a visibly different path, but invisibly, in one direction. So as I sit here as the one you see in the photo, am looking deep into the recesses of my spirit, asking myself, what do the paths’ mean? And am found deeply concerned for… everyone.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalms 119:105

*Write you tomorrow— 0600 sharp!

Journal Entry – 1

I’m deeply encouraged by my brother Dallas’ 14 day Colossians Bible Study. It’s had such a tremendous impact on me (personally) throughout, but especially because of the impact it’s having and will continue to have on those whom I love. There is no greater… rather; what value can compare? From the small percentage of experience I have in this life will not compare to the eternal value of God’s Word. Thank you Lord, for Dallas, and all our family of the truly – faithful.

Grace Be With You

Colossians Bible Study Day 14 of 14

Read Colossians 4:7-18

7 Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8 I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9 He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

10 My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11 Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14 Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

16 After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

17 Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

18 I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

There is so much we can learn about the early church in this passage and then so much we can learn from each observation.

  1. Paul did not travel alone
    • You are not called to spread the gospel by yourself. Jesus did not send out the disciples one by one, but in twos (Luke 10:1). Sharing Jesus is a team sport, so when you embark on a gospel mission take a friend or two with you *Ecclesiastes 4:12).
  2. “…Nympha and the church in her house.” (Colossians 4:15)
    • Nympha was a female, and it was in her house that the church met. This observation shows us that the women were afforded a very prominent role in the early church, not just laymen membership.
    • Also, the church is not just a building that we go to; from the very beginning it was meant to impact one’s household.
  3. “My fellow prisoner” (Colossians 4:10)
    • A phrase that should be an example to us all of what it looks like to make the most of every opportunity. While Paul is literally in prison, he has been exhorting, admonishing, and teaching the Christians in Collase (and us) about the Christian faith. He is encouraging us to walk the walk knowing that we may end up like him – behind bars and in chains.

Diving Deeper

Find two more observations and write down your own lessons.

  1. _________________________
    • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. _________________________
    • ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A Final Word

I hope you enjoyed this study on Colossians. It was my first time to write a devotional and I found it challenging, but rewarding. It required me to sit in each text longer and to dig deeper into each passage for patterns and emphasis that I would have not otherwise seen.

I hope you found out new and lovely things about God, you, and others.

For all of my deep divers, thank you! I hope you were blessed by the challenges and have been rewarded with a deeper relationship with Jesus. On Day 7, I asked you to think about a habit you need to stop or start; now is the time to take your first step in starting a new habit or removing an old vice.

If you enjoyed this Bible Study on Colossians please consider forwarding day 1 to your friends/family. 

Finally, below is a checklist for you to reflect on and be encouraged about all the things you accomplished during this study.

A Checklist

__ Prayed for fellow Christians
__ Read a chapter in the gospels
__ Memorized scripture (Colossians 1: 21-23)
__ Talked with someone in need of a loving friend
__ Exposed lies that you believed
__ Discovered themes in Paul’s letters to the Colossians
__ Stopped a bad habit
__ Started a good habit
__ Spent time doing something that brought you closer to God
__ Discovered what it looked like to focus your heart and mind on ‘things above’
__ Exposed some of your prejudices
__ Found out how God views you in Colossians 3:12
__ Changed your work habits
__ Learned about biblical slavery
__ Learned what it means to submit
__ Made a commitment to pray for missionaries for 10 days__ Learned about and from the early church

Grace be with you.

This Is Grace And It Is Wonderful

Colossians Bible Study Day 13 of 14

Read Colossians 4:2-6

2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

“…know how to answer everyone.” What a huge call! How can we do this? How can we know enough to be able to answer everyone?

The answer is actually pretty simple. If our conversations are full of grace we can answer everyone (v6).

I often like to tell myself that I need to learn more before I talk to others about Jesus. However, it is grace, not knowledge, that allows us the ability to answer everyone. 

So what does grace look like? Let me tell you a story about my sister, Hope.

Shortly after Hope acquired a used car she allowed me to drive it from the front of the house to the back driveway. I was still learning to drive, but this was a really simple trip and one that I had done before. Our street was in the shape of an L and I easily maneuvered through the road in front of the houses into the alleyway. As I was beginning to turn right at the elbow of the alley I accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake… and instead of turning I ended up putting the car through a neighbors’ fence…

I forgot to mention there was construction going on in the alley.

Bordering the alley (in seemingly random spots) were large 5’-7’ feet deep holes. AND yes, I did manage to drive into the fence directly over one of those holes, suspending the front two tires in the air. Hope’s car was front wheel drive meaning that not only did I wreck my sister’s brand new car, but I also stranded it in the air as well.

I remember waiting for Hope to yell, to cry, to be angry, but instead Hope looked at me and with genuine concern asked, “Are you okay?”

Hope’s love for me far exceeded the love of her new car. It far exceeded the unfortunate situation. Hope immediately cast out my offense against her and granted me undeserved love.

This is grace and it is wonderful.


God’s grace outmatches that. It exceeds the deepest of offenses and it is far more accessible. God offers undeserved love to anyone who is willing to receive it.

“Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning.” ~ Frederick William Faber

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8

Now go and may your conversations be full of grace.

Diving Deeper

Paul tells his readers three different times to pray in this passage of scripture alone, and even asks for prayers for him and his mission. Have you been praying for missionaries? They need it. Make a commitment to pray for them everyday for the next 10 days. If you know any missionaries let them know they were prayed for. They may really need some encouragement from back home.

They Also Have A Master… In Heaven

Colossian Bible Study Day 12 of 14

*before you start please read the note about biblical slavery at the bottom of this post

Read Colossians 3:18-4:1

18 Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

Colossians 3:18-4:1 (NIV)**

Wives, husbands, children, fathers, employees, and bosses all receive instructions in this passage of scripture on how to treat others. Chances are that you fall into at least one of the categories if not more.

One of the most relevant categories may be employees, and to that group of people Paul has the most to say. In verses 23-24 he writes the same thing in three different ways. We are to work as if we are working for God, not men.

When Christians’ work as if we are working for The LORD we are serving God well. We are not serving man, not companies, not family, not money, not government, not even the church. It is our job as employees to serve God by working hard and delivering our best while we are there.

This has been difficult for me, and I confess that I have especially struggled with this when I was discontent with my job. That is no excuse. I must remind myself that as I go about work this week that I do not serve my boss or a client, but God.

As employees we must trust God will deal justly with our bosses. Hopefully your boss is kind, compassionate, and a good leader who lovingly challenges you to be your best. However, if your boss is not that way or you (as a boss) are not that way, Paul has an ominous thought for that person – they also have a Master… in heaven. His name is Yahweh.

Diving Deeper

Think about your work habits. How would they change if you believed you were working for God and not man? Is anything keeping you from changing your work habits, today? If so, is that okay?

*Your translation may use the word slaves in verses 22 & 1. The slavery Paul is speaking into is very different than the early American slavery institution. Got Questions has a very good article on slavery in the bible that I encourage you to read. In the meantime please think of ‘slaves’ more along the lines of employee and ‘master’ more along the lines of boss.

**If the word submit gives you a visceral reaction, I ask that you please pray about it, read this article, and share your feelings with a trusted Christian friend.

I Hear You Got A New Outfit

Colossians Bible Study Day 11 of 14

Read Colossians 3:12-17

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:12-17

Everyday when we put our clothes on we are surrounding ourselves with materials to protect, conceal, and express ourselves. As God’s children Paul has instructed us to clothe ourselves in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, empathy, and forgiveness. It is a long list, but it can be summed up in one word: love.

The benefit of our new wardrobe is we might also learn to have the peace of Christ. This peace should lead to thankfulness. Paul’s emphasis on this is clear; three times in verses 15-17 he calls us to be in a state of gratitude.

“…be thankful…” “…with gratitude in your hearts….” “…giving thanks…”

Gratefulness is a direct result of choosing to surround ourselves in God’s love everyday.

Imagine if everyone who read these words went out into the world with a new set of clothes. If we surrounded and expressed ourselves in compassion, humility, and forgiveness. If we were known as loving and thankful people. If, whatever we did, whether in word or deed, we did it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God, our Father.

We would change the world.

Diving Deeper

In verse 12 Paul makes three claims about you.

  1. You are God’s ______________
  2. You are ______________
  3. You are dearly ______________

Sit in those statements. What does that say about You? What does that say about God?

You Are The King’s Child

Colossians Bible Study Day 10 of 14

Read Colossians 3:5-11

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[a] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Colossians 3:5-11 (NIV)

In Chapter 2 Paul declared that the written code, regulations, and human commands/traditions were dead. They did not apply to the Christian. Now, in chapter 3, we are encouraged not to act in ways that are unpleasant to God.

Our old nature of sin and our new nature in Christ do not mix. They are oil and water, light and darkness. The sin nature that once defined our life is the very reason the wrath of God is coming.

Get rid of it.

Our new self is renewed by growing in knowledge of our Creator. In that knowledge we will discover there is no meaningful difference in race (Greek or Jew), denomination (circumcised or uncircumcised), nationality (barbarian or Scythian), & socioeconomic status (slave or free). Christ has made us all equal. We are adopted heirs to God’s inheritance with Jesus Christ.

You are The King’s Child.

Diving Deeper

What prejudices do you have? Does fear or anger grip you at the sight or mention of Republicans, Democrats, Atheists, Baptists, Rich, Poor, Californians, Texans, etc…. Confess those prejudices to God and your trusted Christian friends and ask for healing (James 5:16) and a renewed mind (Romans 12:2).

We Are To Be Free

Colossians Bible Study Day 9 of 14

Read Colossians 3:1-4

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)

1… 2… 3…

1 time Paul gives us shocking information. You died (v3).

2 times Paul tells us where our focus should be. We should set our hearts (v1) and minds (v2) on things above, not on earthly things.

3 times Paul tells us of our relationship with Jesus – past, present, and future. We have been raised with Christ (v1), our life is now hidden with Christ (v3), and we will appear with Christ in glory (v4).

We were dead with nothing to offer; we were totally separated from God. Then, God bridged the gap through Jesus. He rescued us from our death. 

Now, God has redeems our past, protects our present, and promises our future. We are now alive because of God’s work with Jesus. 

Finally, because of our new life we are to share in Jesus’ glory. Thus, we are free to focus our hearts and minds on things that are not of this world. We are to be free.

Diving Deeper

What does it mean to you to focus your heart and mind on things above?

If you don’t know, no worries. Check out the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:16-34.

Now Go Connect With God

Colossians Bible Study Day 8 of 14

“He has lost connection with the Head [Jesus], from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” Colossians 2:19 (Brackets are added by me)

What connects you to God? Baking? Walking through nature? Organizing? Music? Serving those in need? Riding Your Bike?

Think about what connects you to God. 

Now do it.

I’m going to go listen to Christmas music.

The Things We Do, Think, & Say

Colossians Bible Study Day 7 of 14

Read Colossians 2:16-23

16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions,[a] puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Colossians 2:16-23 (NIV)

Why do we do the things that we do?

Is it because of habit?

Tradition?

Why do we put candles on birthday cakes? Why can’t you publicly talk about Texas A&M without people yelling “WHOOP!” at you? How come you open the same app every time you use your phone?

These are trivial examples, but there are religious habits and traditions too.

Why do you say the same prayer every day before dinner? Is “God works in mysterious ways” really a beneficial thing to say to those who are grieving? Are you really sorry for your actions or do you just not know what to say?

God cares about our lives. He wants them to be meaningful and full of purpose. He wants us to experience life’s pleasures and to enjoy His creation, not just live our lives following cultural standards. Let us put an end to meaningless traditions and regulations, which Paul refers to as the basic principles (some versions say “elemental spirits”) of this world. Let’s stop indulging in these actions because they are based on human tradition and not on Jesus.

How do we do this? How do we turn our habits, especially our good ones, into something of substance?

It requires a mind shift.

Start with your meal-time prayer. Praying is common, but it is also sacred. You are talking with the Ruler of all the powers and authorities on Earth (2:10). Savor it and pray more often, not just at meal times.

“God works in mysterious ways.” Yes, He does, but our hurt loved-ones don’t need a well meant truism; they need shelter and refuge. You know God; so provide for them (Psalm 91:2; Hebrews 3:6). 

We should be thinking about the things we do, think, and say, so we are not participating in meaningless activities. We do this because all habits and traditions are destined to fail at bringing meaning to our lives if they are based on human commands and teachings. Please, don’t waste your time with them. Instead focus on regaining your connection with God.

Diving Deeper

Is there a habit you need to stop? Or perhaps a habit you need to bring meaning to? Dwell on it, make a plan, and we will revisit it at the end of this study. If you cannot think of one ask a close friend or significant other.

Go ahead and read over tomorrow’s devotional. It’s short, and you might need to prepare for it.

Triumphing Over Them By The Cross

Colossians Bible Study Day 6 of 14

Read Colossians 2:9-15

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Colossians 2: 9-15 (NIV)

Jesus is the ‘head over every power and authority.’ Sit in that for a moment.

Think about all the nations… Politicians… Leaders… and ask yourself who is really in control?

There is one Leader, one King of kings, & one Ruler; His name is Jesus. He has triumphed over every power and authority through His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead. He is LORD of all.

Paul then gives us some imagery for what happens when a person becomes a Christian. He uses immersion baptism to show how we are buried/submerged (putting our sinful nature to death) and then resurrected/emerged (into a new life with Jesus).

What is a new life with Jesus?

Paul explains what a new life with Jesus is later in the letter, but first he explains what it is not. A life with Jesus is not filled with written codes and regulations (v14). It is not a life marked by following the laws of the Old Testament because those have been nailed to the cross.

So if the laws and regulations of the Old Testament (like the Ten Commandments) have been put to death then how should we live?*

Diving Deeper

Paul once again lets us know that Jesus is “the fulness of the Deity” in bodily form, just like he did in Colossians 1:15-20. This idea must be important to Paul. Make a note that one theme of Colossians is ‘Jesus is God in bodily form.’ As you read through Colossians look for more themes to write down next to that one.

*Paul will give us the answer of how a Christian should live later in the Letter.

You Will Recognize Them By Their Fruit

Colossians Bible Study Day 5 of 14

Read Colossians 2:1-8

I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. 5 For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is. 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

Colossians 2:1-8 (NIV)

Paul spends a considerable amount of his letter to the Colossians addressing false teachings. In this short section of scripture alone we see two distinct warnings (v4 & 8), but there are many more throughout the letter. These false teachings are a big deal! In fact, it is the reason this letter was written to the Colossians (v2-3).

God, using Paul as his messenger, is telling us that He can be known through Jesus who provides complete understanding, wisdom, and knowledge. BUT is warning us of false teachings that appear as “fine-sounding arguments,” but are actually “deceptive philosophy.”

In light of this message we need to answer two questions 

  1. How do we differentiate fine-sounding arguments from good, sound arguments?
  2. How do we know when philosophy is deceiving us?

In the sermon on the mount Jesus gives us an excellent way to identify false teachers and false teachings.

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Matthew 7: 15-20 (NIV)

Jesus is saying we can identify false teachers and false teaching by monitoring the results of the teaching/teacher. Does your belief lead to peace or depression? Does the teacher’s life look chaotic or harmonious?

You will recognize them by their fruit.  

Diving Deeper

Think about those dark moments; the moments when you are filled with shame or regret. How did you end up there? Were you looking at porn? Did you have too much to drink? Did you say something you shouldn’t have?

First, God’s grace is sufficient and he offers you forgiveness.

Second, I am sorry that happened.

Third, if we find ourselves returning to the same hurtful activity over and over again then we might have more than just a sin problem. We might have a core belief problem. We may be trusting in a false teaching.

I challenge us to explore the areas where we continue to do wrong. Find the root cause of our repeated sin by asking why we do what we do (you might have to ask “why” several times to get there). The goal is that we would dig deep into our hearts until we find a core belief, the false teaching, that is fueling our evil-doing. I’ll give an example below.

Surface Sin – Keep thinking inappropriate sexual thoughts about people other than my spouse
Why? – I want to do those things or relive past experiences
Why? – I think it would be fun
Why? – I think sexual experiences with multiple people is better than monogamy
False Belief – Sexual experiences with multiple people is better than monogamy 

May God expose our hearts to the truth and make known any false teachings we have put our trust in. May He give us the strength to eliminate all of our wrong beliefs and discernment to recognize any false teachers.

Use Your Faith To Be A Better Friend

Colossians Bible Study Day 4 of 14

Read Colossians 1: 24 – 29

24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. 29 To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.

Colossians 1: 24-29

In verse 24 Paul writes one of the more confusing lines in all of the New Testament letters.

“… and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions…”

What could possibly be lacking from Christ’s afflictions? How dare Paul say such a thing! Right?

Well, Paul explains himself in the next verse by saying that he has become a servant “by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness…”

In other words, Paul has become a missionary, which is exactly what you and I are called to be. We, too, make up for what is lacking in regards to Christ’s affliction. Not by doing anything to earn God’s favor or forgiveness, but instead by letting others know of God’s love for them.

What an honor! We get to participate in God’s plan. He does not need us, but He has chosen us, Christians, to announce His love to the world.

How are you doing at that?

Diving Deeper

Think of someone you know who could use some love. Now schedule a time to talk with them (in person, over the phone, or for lunch). Do not feel you must share the gospel with them. Instead, pray for the meeting and then be attentive when you are with them. If an opportunity to share the gospel arises then feel the freedom to share Jesus’s love for them, but if it does not then leave in peace knowing that you have deepened a friendship.

How To Be Free Now

Colossians Bible Study Day 3 of 14

COLOSSIANS STUDY DAY 3

Read Colossians 1:21-23

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Colossians 1:21-23 (NIV)

Holy, without blemish, free from accusation. Dear Christian, these are the attributes that God sees when He looks at you. Despite everything you have done today, last week, and this past decade, you are seen as holy, without blemish, and free from accusation. Please sit with each of these images for just a little longer; describe each image in your head.

Holy = Set Apart

Without Blemish = No mark or flaw against you

Free From Accusation = Nothing to accuse you of, innocent

God views you this way because of His initiative to reconcile you through Jesus’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. God has moved toward us despite our natural inclination to run from Him. We are so blessed to have a love like that. Dwell in it.

Diving Deeper

Write verses 21-23a on a notecard and set it beside your bed. Read it before you go to bed every night and read it every morning when you wake up. Try to memorize it before the end of this study on Colossians. 

21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.
Colossians 3:21-23a

You Could Know More About God Today

Colossians Bible Study Day 2 of 14

Read Colossians 1:15-20

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 1:15-20 (NIV)

Have you ever wondered what God is like? How would He respond to humans in everyday situations? How would He treat someone of a different race, a political leader, or even an adulterer?

We know who our God is and what His character is like because Paul tells us that Jesus is the image (v15) and fullness (v19) of God. Therefore, to know more about God’s character all you have to do is open up the Gospels. In those four books you will find how Jesus is gentle when he is approached by a man with a very contagious disease called Leprosy (a disease full of social stigma at the time) in Matthew 8:1-3. We see how humble Jesus was in John 13:1-17 when he washed his disciples feet, but also how he was ferocious and an absolute FORCE (Matthew 23, John 2:13-16) when he saw people being misled by the spiritual leaders of the day.

The God of the universe is ready to be known; all you have to do is look.

Diving Deeper

Pick a chapter in the Gospels and read it.* Pay close attention to how Jesus responds to people and how people respond to Jesus. Write down the things you learned about God.

*For those who don’t know where to start or can’t choose, I recommend John 11 or Matthew 3.

You Have A Super Power

Colossians Bible Study Day 1 of 14

Read Colossians 1: 1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To God’s holy people in Colossae, the faithful brothers and sisters in Christ: Grace and peace to you from God our Father.

3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:1-14 (NIV)

Paul opens his letter with words of encouragement to the Colossians, and in his opening message we see that he has a habit of praying for the Colossians. Do you pray for your fellow Christians? This habit is something that we ought to imitate. It is often the most effective thing we can do each day to improve the lives of those dear to us.

Seriously. 

You have the opportunity and privilege to talk to the Creator of the universe and ask Him to make someone’s day, month, or life better with just a few thoughts. It is literally our only superpower, but it is a power that we often forsake or discount.

Do not miss out on your opportunity to pray for someone today.

Diving Deeper

Paul gives several reasons for why he prays for his fellow Christians. For example in verse 3 when Paul says “We always thank God… when we pray for you.” We see that one of Paul’s reasons to pray for the Colossians is to thank God for them. 

There are more reasons to pray for Christians. Find some of them in the passage above and then pray those over a brother or sister in Christ.

When Seductress turns our hearts from God | P5-V3

Pitfalls of Immorality

Proverbs 5:3

I die devotional.

That you may observe discretion
And your lips may reserve knowledge.
For the lips of an adulteress drip honey
And smoother than oil is her speech;

But in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
Sharp as a two-edged sword.


Seductress is an opposing force to the marriage covenant made between a man and woman. The covenant of marriage is a gift given by God (Gen 2:22-25). However, if our hearts lust after flesh even when married, for example… Solomon, according to the scripture presented below… then like Solomon, we’re in danger of doing evil.

1 Kings 11 —But King Solomon [defiantly] loved many foreign women—the [a]daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites. They were of the very nations of whom the Lord said to the Israelites, You shall not mingle with them, neither shall they mingle with you, for surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. Yet Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines, and his wives turned away his heart from God. For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect (complete and whole) with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abominable idol of the Ammonites! Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord, as David his father did.

I think it’s fair to assume that Seductress oppresses everyone with a sexual appetite, but how to resist the condition of lust that overtakes us when that appetite is raging — that’s the question isn’t it? I mean, our commentator seemed to express as much:

Those that are entangled in this sin should be reminded that there is but a step between them and hell, and that they are ready to drop into it.

~ Matthew Henry

Thankfully, by God’s grace, our ability to resist Seductress is made possible by faith in the Spirit of God within. At least, from my experience; I can testify to how the relationship between my faith in God and work of the Holy Spirit effectively causes Seductress to move out of my soul.

Now that does not mean that Seductress will not tempt by what pleasure I’ve experienced in sin, after all, it’s her nature to tempt. I think of her as the apostle John describes (Rev 17:4), and if my relationship with God be true… then there is no room for two; I will not compromise my soul with thinking I can have God and sexual immorality too. And the fact of my writing turning into a rhythm and rhyme, like a melody, should cause pause… because it’s not fine.

Whenever the soul embraces compromise for what is thought to be impossible to resist because of our nature to sin, we’re in danger to believing in vain, and stepping into hell.


RESOURCE

Proverbs 5 (NASB)—blueletterbible.org | biblegateway.com


COMMENTARY

Chapter 5

Matthew Henry (P5-V3) Commentary
1. That we do not listen to the charms of this sin. It is true the lips of a strange woman drop as a honey-comb (v. 3); the pleasures of fleshly lust are very tempting (like the wine that gives its colour in the cup and moves itself aright); its mouth, the kisses of its mouth, the words of its mouth, are smoother than oil, that the poisonous pill may go down glibly and there may be no suspicion of harm in it. But consider,

  • (1.) How fatal the consequences will be. What fruit will the sinner have of his honey and oil when the end will be,
    • [1.] The terrors of conscience: It is bitter as wormwood, v. 4. What was luscious in the mouth rises in the stomach and turns sour there; it cuts, in the reflection, like a two-edged sword; take it which way you will, it wounds. Solomon could speak by experience, Eccl. 7:26.
    • [2.] The torments of hell. If some that have been guilty of this sin have repented and been saved, yet the direct tendency of the sin is to destruction of body and soul; the feet of it go down to death, nay, they take hold on hell, to pull it to the sinner, as if the damnations slumbered too long, v. 5. Those that are entangled in this sin should be reminded that there is but a step between them and hell, and that they are ready to drop into it.

FROM MY CORE – ESSAY 4

So what did I mean by… “But that does not mean we continue to find ourselves in sin.”? The Bible is an awesome recourse for us to explore what the Source reveals to us about sin. While the Bible is a recourse, it is not the Source convicting us of sin, and please test me by checking—John 5:39-47 & 16:5-15. The Bible functions much like a collection of school books, a tutorage for the person learning about their soul in relation to sin, and God (Gal 3:23-29). I can add scripture verses all day supporting my delusions—as though the Bible has that authority—but the Bible does not have authority to give anyone eternal life (John 5:39-47). It is the Bible that contains the Scriptures testifying about Jesus coming to us in His Father’s name with His Father’s power, to give us life by receiving Him—the Source. This brings me back full circle to the initial question—So what did I mean… ? I mean that the Holy Spirit is our Source to find ourselves in the Lord our Savior, Jesus Christ.

It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin:

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; 10 about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see Me; 11 about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.

John 16:7-11 (AMP)

But how do I keep from sinning? How do I stop finding myself in sin? How do I do as Christ instructed, like when He said to the woman found in adultery… “Go. From now on do not sin any longer.” (John 8:11)? What do you think Jesus meant by that? And how do I remain healed after Jesus tells me—like He told the man He healed—“See, you are well! Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (John 5:14)? What do you think Christ meant by “…or something worse may happen to you.“?

Do those instructions apply to you and me right now, tomorrow, next year; … at the day of the Lord (1 Cor 5:1-5)?

[I pray you, the reader, will experience these posts and this blog as a safe place to comment; express yourself—with love in mind.]

I argue the worst thing to happen to someone who continues to find themselves in sin/s… is regression into possession of that/those sin/s as a lifestyle where many evil spirits are coming to reside:

24 “When the unclean spirit comes out of a person, it roams through waterless places in search [of a place] of rest; and not finding any, it says, ‘I will go back to my house (person) from which I came.’ 25 And when it comes, it finds the place swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in [the person] and live there; and the last state of that person becomes worse than the first.”

Luke 11:24-26 (AMP)

When I refer back to my previous essays—thinking about sin—I ask myself:

What sin am I in?

Am I still in sin?

If so …

How?

When and how does an unclean spirit come out of a person as quoted above?

What do you think?


DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—

FROM MY CORE – ESSAY 3

FELLOWSHIP

From the time Laura and I joined Watermark Community Church and were welcomed into a community group with two other couples 5 years ago, the idea of fellowship within the Body of Christ took on new meaning, which brings me to the idea aforementioned in my previous essay…

However, because I am still building out my perspective on what might be titled “Two Distinct Spirits” — the Holy Spirit and human spirit — am going to leave that alone for now. I’m having fellowship with a specific brother in Christ about this biblical perspective, and not to mention; I might build the case for “Three Distinct Spirits” as opposed to Two.

Rather, my objective is to test whether there are any compromises (2 Cor. 13:4-6) in the structure of my spiritual fortification (Matt. 12:25-29).

Now… because the foundation to my fortification is built on Christ, there should be no way for the enemy to breach (1 Cor. 3:10-15). However, that has not always been the case for me while professing to be a Christian as you’ve might’ve learned from my previous essay, and that might be the case for you reading this now.

Are you someone who professes to be Christian and yet finds yourself in sin or a sinful lifestyle?

That is not a trick question although can see how it might be interpreted that way considering what the Bible teaches:

23 …for all [b]have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…

Romans 3:23

And so I do NOT mean to insinuate that we can find ourselves without sin:

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

1 John 1:8-10

Because obviously …

We sin!

But that does not mean we continue to find ourselves in sin.

Until next time…


DISCLAIMER:
Nathan Psychology: The study of oneself for righteous behavior, and my written perspective on the experiential process of edification to sanctification. What does it mean to be born of God, overcome the world, and be made new through faith in believing Jesus Christ is the way of my salvation? I’m discovering the path through spiritual discipline—

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