Posts Tagged ‘change’

God’s called us to do more.

We end up talking a lot about what could be or should be done. We could do so much more than just talk about doing something.

We could make a difference.

We could simply take the initiative and make a difference. We could make an impact in the lives of others. We could do so much more than we have done so far.

We have more work to do.

Stay tuned as I return with some inspiration and insights on doing more of the work that God has called us to do His name.

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Salvation is Designed for Sinners

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

Christians start out as sinners. Psalm 51:5 teaches us that we’ve been “brought forth in iniquity.” Iniquity is defined as “immoral or grossly unfair behavior.” In other words, the Christian translation for iniquity is sin. Thus, we’ve all came into being through sin.

You might say that such a totally depraved condition isn’t that person’s fault because he or she was born into it. The Bible goes further in the Old Testament and even the New Testament to address that.

  • Psalm 14:3 says: All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
  • Psalm 53:3 similarly says: Everyone has turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.
  • Romans 3:23 says: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

From www.unashamedofjesus.org: “It’s only by God’s grace that we are saved, period. None of us deserve to be saved” The post goes on to say: “. . . in fact all of us deserve the punishment of eternal Hell.” Douloschristos spells it out like this: “All people have sinned and are not good enough for God’s glory. People are made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift.”

Gifted Grace

God saw fit to show us grace. He offered us salvation through His grace which makes it a gift to us. Ephesians 2:9 informs us that salivation is the “gift of God.” In fact, further on in Ephesians 3:7, Paul goes on to use the phrase “the gift of the grace of God.”

The formula works pretty much in a linear flow. We were born sinful. We were at odds with God. While we were still enemies of God, He offered His Son as a sacrifice for our sinfulness to save us.

Let that sink in for you.

We were “enemies of God,” and in the meantime, God decided to grant us salvation by making a sacrifice on our behalf.

We got the gift due to His grace, not because we deserved it or did anything to earn it.

The gift of grace is the perfect fit for our trespasses, our iniquities, our transgressions, and plain and simple, our sins.

I felt the need to share this post after creating a YouTube video on the same subject. I pray that this post and the video as well as the sources below help you to see and understand how much of a gift God’s grace is to us in this life.

Post Sources

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I don’t market myself as a financial guru or anything like that. Let’s be clear on that. That’s not me.

Yet, I am clear on my calling to preach and teach the Word of God.

And God’s Word is clear on where He stands on the debate about debt.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is slave of the lender.” – Proverbs 22:7

Proverbs 22:7

God Stated His Intent

God stated that He would bless Israel “as he promised” in Deuteronomy 15:6.

God did not stutter. He did not beat around the bush.

He was straightforward and straight up, straight out telling the people how He intended to keep His promise and bless them.

He positioned them, stating that they would “lend to many nations. . . rule over many nations. . .” in Deuteronomy 15:6.

He warned them against debt. He said: “you shall not borrow” in the same verse.

He went so far as to say that other nations “shall not rule over you” in that verse, too.

How Did Things Go Wrong?

The Israelites had strayed from God’s plan for them. They had increased their debts among each other to the point of enslavement of one another. We see it in Jeremiah chapter 34 as God is seeking to fulfill his prophecy among His people. We see it when Nehemiah is seeking to rebuild the destroyed walls. Even the widow from among the “sons of the prophet” pleaded with Elisha to help her for her two sons not be taken away by the creditors. We see how debt, even among one’s own people, caused conflict and corruption among those with the upper hand.

God Wants Better For Us

Rich will rule over the poor. The borrower will serve as slave to the lender. These are the predictable outcomes of indebtedness.

The same God who promised to bless His people also warned His people as He sought to prevent them from the effects of debt. The outcome of debt is enslavement.

Look at how Jesus Ethics posts explore the topic. Consider what God had already said to His people.

Read what Solomon says in Proverbs about becoming a “slave to lender.”

Get Out of Debt

There’s a lot of talk about what Biden has introduced on student loan debt forgiveness. Then, there is plenty to understand about why Christians should not be involved in such matters due to their stewardship.

Don’t get to judging others so quickly.

The words of Paul to the believers in Rome are pretty clear that we all have fallen short and missed the mark of righteousness and holiness.

Get out of the trap of scarcity and see His ability to supply our needs.

Watch the YouTube video I have linked here and use the resources available to you to get out of debt and to be free to enjoy the abundance of God’s blessings.

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This is a major debate for some people.

For others, they’re totally unaware of it being an issue at all.


Just keep that date in mind.

1611 was the year when the King James Version (KJV) known as the Authorized Version of the Bible was published.

The video below gives some brief history on the Bible and KJV of the Bible.

When did Paul write his epistles? When was Luke commissioned to research and report of the life of Jesus? And what language was that written in?

Oh, and the Torah? Written by Moses and dictated by God also known as I AM, the first 5 books of the Bible are known as the Books of Moses. What language was that written in again?

Plenty points have been made for one side or the other. Why KJV only believers believe what they believe about the KJV. Then, there are those who promote other versions of the Bible in English. It is an argument and debate that seems to have no end in sight. yet, we’re supposed to teach the truth of our faith.

How can that be the case when we have versions that omit words or passages and some that have antiquated language?

The whole thing can make you dizzy and leave you wondering what to do about it.

I understand the debate rages among biblical scholars and some even denounce other versions of the Bible. I’m not trying to win an argument for or against the KJV. I’m trying to point out that the KJV-only argument pales in comparison to what we are called to do. I think Spurgeon echoed the sentiments of the Savior when he said we are to engage in soul-winning as our main business as Christians.

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Get it Off Your Chest

When you go to pray, just let it all out.

Empty yourself of all that is plaguing you and bothering you. Pour out the burdens weighing down your soul. Open your mouth and unleash the very things that have you holding back tears and stuck in an emotional valley of sadness and worry.

Just get it all off your chest.

Tell God the things that you won’t tell your loved ones. Tell Him what is deeply rooted within your heart. Tell Him how much you fear what’s coming up. Share with God how much you dread the feeling of the aftermath of anything that has transpired lately.

Open your mouth and get it off your chest.

Get it Off Your Mind

Once you get it off your chest, get it off your mind.

Don’t drag that dread into the rest of the day.

You did one of the best things that you could do with such situations. You’ve taken it to God and told it to God. Now, what you truly need to do is trust it to God. Trust God to handle it like He knows best. He knows better than us how to handle any situation.

You’ve gotten it off your chest.

Now do your very best to get it off your mind.

Give it Over to God

Don’t try to hold onto what God can handle better than you.

It’s off your chest.

It should be off your mind.

It is in God’s hands.

Truly He knows how to handle it the best. He knows how to deal with it the best.

You gave it over to God in prayer.

Now totally give it over to God in faith.

Believe that He will deal with it as He sees fit.

Give it totally over to God.

God’s help is available.

Prayer is a means for tapping into God’s power as well as a mechanism for telling God what’s on your heart and mind.

What we need to see is that there are resources out there among the people of faith. These resources are provided to help us. These resources are here to help us get better at getting closer to God.


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Let God Hear Your Prayers

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
    and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
    against those who do evil.

– 1 Peter 3:12 (NLT)

Our Prayers Have Power

Our prayers are said to have power.

We need to understand that power of prayer.

Our prayers have the power to get God’s attention.

Imagine that.

Peter was seeking to correct misunderstandings and misconceptions about prayer. He put an emphasis on quoting a key passage from Psalm 34. I actually like the way that another blogger lays this out via Psalm 34:12-14. In all honesty, we get a big boost to our look into the power of the believer provided by God in both the passage from the Book of Psalms and the epistle written by Peter.

We can get God’s attention.

Now that’s powerful.

Amazing things happen when you pray.

Norman Vincent Peale

Our prayers also have the power to elicit God’s answers.

I recently posted about praying with expectation. and what we truly are to expect from God is some kind of answer. Countless others have shared messages and posts regarding this power of prayer.

You should expect God’s answers, whether you receive them directly or indirectly. You should expect to see God putting things together on the basis of His will and His Word. You should expect God to fulfill His plan and His purpose through His answers to us.

We can tap into that power and that’s amazing.

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"I pray, expecting an answer."
- Andrew Murray

Pray with Expectation

The quote from Andrew Murray says it all in a nutshell.

We need to pray to God with expectation.

When we pray to God, we should expect an answer from God. In fact, we should anticipate an answer by God answering us according to His will. We should ask, believe and expect to receive God’s answer in accordance with both His purpose and His plan.

#PrayerPower long sleeve tee via Zazzle

Expecting is Not Directing

What we tell God is about our needs and our desires. We give God our petitions and requests. We submit our supplications to God.

We don’t direct God on what to do or where to go, not even how to perform what we ask.

That’s not our calling.

That’s not how that works.

Tell God and Trust God

Once you’ve prayed, remain open to receiving God’s answer.

Once you have prayed, ready yourself with expectation of God’s answer.

In anticipation of God’s answer, be ready to accept God’s will.

Acceptance is key when we look at our expectation of God answering us. Like I said, God has a purpose and and a plan. Your prayer might not fit with His plan or His purpose.

Yes, God has the power to do whatever he chooses to do. See Psalm 115:3. But even three Hebrew youths were cemented in their faith that they would hold fast to their devotion to God even if He did not rescue them from a fiery furnace in Babylon.

Come to the point in your faith where you can accept that. That’s God’s expectation of us.

Keep praying and keep expecting God’s answers with acceptance.

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“In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it”

Jeremiah 39:1 (ESV)

Jerusalem Under Siege

Jeremiah had warned them. God had tried to give them an out. There was plenty of time for them to make a move in the right direction.

They just would not listen to God’s prophet.

It led to Jerusalem being taken over by the invaders from Babylon.

It led to Babylonian officials taking over and passing judgment on the king and his nobles.

It led to Zedekiah’s sons and the nobles being slaughtered.

It led to Zedekiah having his eyes put out and him being taken in chains to Babylon.

It led to a mass exile of people to Babylon in captivity.

But it left all of the poor people and Jeremiah in the land.

Join us live Wednesday at 11 AM PST as we discuss The Fall of Jerusalem

Jeremiah Spared from Exile

“Take him, look after him well, and do him no harm, but deal with him as he tells you.”

Jeremiah 39:12 (ESV)

Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave clear instructions on the care for Jeremiah and they were carried out by Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard. Jeremiah was removed from the court of the prison and placed in another’s charge where he lived “among his own people.”

Jeremiah finds favor among the invaders despite being imprisoned and shunned by the kings and leadership of his own land. In spite of being spared the cruelty of the exile, we still experience Jeremiah’s words of agony and anguish in Lamentations that speak of this time period and give testimony to personal hopes and pleas for God’s people to turn around and repent by coming back to God.

Read what others have written on this time period and chapter as well:

Download this week’s Bible Discussion Guide and join us for our livestream at 11 AM PST on Wednesday to discuss this chapter.

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Photo by John-Mark Smith on Pexels.com

Turn up for that check and yeah I get it out the streets

Hustle like I’m starving going hard, I gotta eat

Kevin Gates, “Out of the Mud”

Someone is going to question why reference rapper Kevin Gates when speaking about Jeremiah. I’ve got an answer for that. Kevin Gates might be viewed as outspoken and challenging. That’s just like Jeremiah.

Download this week’s Bible study guide and see what I mean.

Why Would They Both be Considered Outspoken?

Gate spews raps of realism from the streets through his underground channels of distribution whether through album or mixtape, a realistic perspective that many try to downplay and keep hidden. He keeps it real, even when he speaks openly about society and stereotypes via YouTube interviews.

That’s what Jeremiah did. He spoke truth to power and was considered outspoken. He spoke the words of God and was looked upon as a problem by the court of princes in Judah (Jeremiah 38: 1-4). He was tossed in a cistern filled with mud that some deem as a “dungeon,” according to Jeremiah 38:6.

Why Would They Both be Considered Challenging?

Join us for our livestream discussion Wednesdays 11 AM PST

Kevin Gates isn’t the atypical rap image. Yes, “Out of the Mud” and other songs like “Really Really” speak of hustling and violent ways of life. But Gates is a different type of rap persona than most seeking to portray an image for their brand. He spoke openly an interview with Mike Tyson about being molested as a child and his violent upbringing.

Truthfully, if we look at it honestly, Kevin Gates is the product of his upbringing and a reflection of society leaving its children in harm’s way. That’s not what the labels tend to portray as a gangsta image to boost sales. That’s challenging for some to fathom. That’s challenging for some to understand and accept. That’s just too real for some folks.

In Jeremiah’s case, things got so bad to the point where he saw that others viewed him as challenging. He previously questioned King Zedekiah what wrong he had committed against him or others for his imprisonment (Jeremiah 37:18). Even in this chapter, Jeremiah questions if his life is in danger by answering the king of Judah according to the words of God in verse 15.

This chapter has some other discoveries, too. Jeremiah gets help from an odd place in the person of Ebed-Melech (Ebed-Melek), an Ethiopian eunuch whose name means “Servant of the King.” The eunuch sought out the king on Jeremiah’s nehalf and eventually got Jeremiah out of the muddy cistern and into more acceptable surroundings in the courtyard of the prison but still imprisoned.

That’s what comes to mind when you know you’ve developed a reputation for being challenging in the eyes of the powerful. And this chapter of Jeremiah openly depicts Jeremiah’s plight for being both outspoken and challenging in the eyes of others, especially those like King Zedekiah and the court of princes.

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When he was at the Benjamin Gate, a sentry there named Irijah the son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah, seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans.” - Jeremiah 37:13 (ESV)
Jeremiah was imprisoned falsely due to false accusations.

It was All Based on a Lie

Jeremiah was falsely imprisoned because he was falsely accused of “going over to the Chaldeans” (NASB). It was a lie. Jeremiah even said so in his protest of being seized at the time, according to verse 14. It was all based on a lie.

It didn’t matter.

But Irijah would not listen to him and seized Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. And the officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for it had been made a prison. – Jeremiah 37:15 (ESV)

False Accusations with Brutal Treatment and Cruel Confinement

Jeremiah is seized, beaten, and imprisoned due to the belief that he was an ally of the Chaldeans. He spent “many days” in captivity at the house of Jonathan the scribe. He was there under false accusations and found himself appealing to King Zedekiah to not return to confinement in that same location or potentially die.

Jeremiah also said to King Zedekiah, “What wrong have I done to you or your servants or this people, that you have put me in prison?

Jeremiah 37:18 (ESV)

No matter what Jeremiah had done. He had not lied about the inevitable invasion of Jerusalem and Judah. He had been forthright and straightforward with the words that God had shared with him. Even when summoned by the king of Judah during his imprisonment, Jeremiah still dropped the truth on the king that he would be handed over to the king of Babylon. He even appealed to the king of Judah for some relief from the confinement at Jonathan’s house.

Watch this week’s Live @ Lunch Bible Study Wednesday at 11 AM

So King Zedekiah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard. And a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard.

Jeremiah 37:21 (ESV)

Help to Hold Fast

The lies can still hold us in captivity when we have not strayed from the Word of God nor the will of God. We can find ourselves subjected to all kinds of persecution due to our obedience, but we must endure and remain steadfast.

We learn that confinement at Jonathan’s was going to kill Jeremiah, so he made his appeal to the king of Judah. Jeremiah made his appeal in the hopes of the king making things easier for him.

But it wasn’t enough to get him free.

Yet, we watch on as he endures being wrongfully imprisoned and remaining steadfast to God’s direction and orders.

Download the Bible study guide for this week and explore more of what Jeremiah endured and experienced as the Babylonian invasion raged on in Jerusalem.

Look at Jeremiah. His story does not end here. This is not the end for Jeremiah. This is just another leg in the journey for the weeping prophet.

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