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Posts Tagged ‘Word’

Sin Causes Suffering

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 5:6

Sin Caused the Savior to Suffer

Isaiah’s Man of Sorrows in Isaiah 53 best depicts the suffering of the Savior due to sin.

  • Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrow (v. 4, ESV)
  • But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities (v. 5, ESV)
  • He was oppressed, and he was afflicted (v. 7, ESV)
  • . . .cut off from the land of the living (v. 8, ESV)
  • . . . numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors (v. 12, ESV)

That is what sin caused Jesus to suffer. An entire chapter of the prophecy of Isaiah shows us what he had to undergo for us to overcome sin through Him.

The Savior’s Suffering Saved the Sinner

His suffering saved us.

John the Baptist pronounced Him as the Lamb of God who “takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:24, ESV). His final days were filled with confirmation of His mission to die for the sins of the world. John 3:16 famously shares how God’s love is the catalyst for Jesus making the sacrifice for the sake of the world to receive God’s gift of salvation.

Because He suffered we’re saved.

For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past
— Romans 3:25 (NLT)

His sacrifice included Him enduring suffering for our sake as sinners. His suffering allowed us to receive salvation. His sacrifice made it possible for us to receive salvation.

13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify6 for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
— Hebrews 9:13-14 (ESV)

When we accept Him as Savior, we accept him as “the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2; 4:10). We accept Him as the atonement for our sins, making us “bought with a price.” Therefore, our blood-stained kinship with the Apostle Paul lies in our self-proclaimed status for each saved sinner identified as a “bondservant of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1).

We’re saved because of His sacrifice.

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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.

1611

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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Not Praying in Fear

But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind.
James 1:6

Fear and doubt eat away at our faith.

Take that in for a moment.

Two things that definitely eat away at our faith: fear and doubt.

James, the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, wrote in his epistle centuries ago how we must believe when we pray “and not doubt at all” (James 1:6). Otherwise, as James wrote in the same verse, we’d be “blown about by the wind” like a wave upon the seas. If that’s the case, then we had better pray in faith without fear or doubt.

Prayer Has Power

We need to see the power that prayer has to make a difference in us. We can go to pray filled with anxiety of having to face our own fears, but while we are praying God can ignite the indwelling of His Spirit within us to aliven us and quicken us, even strengthen us. We have to believe that we’ve been endowed with this type of power through the Comforter, the Helper, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth.

Through the power that we have through prayer, we can stay connected to God. Also, we can remain confident in God not forsaking or abandoning us. He doesn’t just hang out with us. He lives within us. That’s spiritual power!

Face Your Fears in Faith

Let your prayers empower you to endure what you fear. Let prayer time encourage you to face what drove you to your knees in the first place. Trust God to enlighten you and equip you for the spiritual battle that you might face with both fear and doubt seeking to sap you of all of your God-given power.

The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

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In Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the magical phrase “Open sesame!” opens the secret hidden cave known as the den of thieves. The phrase has been mimicked and mocked throughout literature and theatre for centuries. It has been used by magicians on stage and children at play. Though many have used that phrase, few doors have been opened due to its usage.

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

The Lord Models Opening Doors for Us

“I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close. . ."
- Revelation 3:8 

The work of the Lord seems magical to us. Although His power is supernatural, it only seems magical. It isn’t magical. It is miraculous.

Read chapter 3 of Revelation. Look at what God says about doors and them being opened by Him for you and for Him to enter hearts. What God does for us by opening doors for us is beyond magical. Like I said, it’s miraculous.

That God looks upon us with enough care and compassion to grant us what no man can take away from us isn’t magical. That’s part of His supernatural power that has the capacity for causing miracles to occur in our lives.

Prayer in Faith is Key to Opening Doors

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
- Matthew 17:19-21 (NIV)

Lack of faith and unbelief subside to the power of God actively working in our lives and before our eyes.

Jesus was doing two different things in this teachable moment with His own disciples.

  • He was rebuking them for their “so little faith”
  • He was revealing to them how much power He had actually given over to them if they would just have enough faith, even “faith as small as a mustard seed”

When we pray with faith, we exercise our own God-given power. When we do so, we lean all in upon the Holy Spirit to grant us the strength to accomplish great things. We are endowed with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and that makes us powerful, powerful enough to overcome our own unbelief and lack of faith to begin with indeed.

Having the Holy Spirit alive within us, we can open doors through the power of faith. We can cause things to change in the lives of others as well as in our own lives. We have the power to make the seemingly impossible seem unreal as it unravels before the eyes of the unbeliever and a few believers, too.

“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” (Colossians 4:3, NIV). Paul submitted this prayer request to the believers at Colosse, seeking further opportunities to share the message of Jesus Christ with others. StopAndPrayTV added a video element to explain such open doors. Another blogger on WordPress put it this way: “The purpose of an open door is thus to preach the gospel of Christ and to speak the mystery of Christ.” PK Adams challenges us to rethink our outlook as Christians and see that much of this world needs the Word for more conversion to the faith rather than just a generalized labeling by our spiritual stamp of approval. Let’s keep praying for more opportunities to do the work God has called us all to do by sharing the Good News.

Prayer Challenge Reflections

This September allowed for us to engage in a 30-Day Prayer Challenge again. There were quite a few lessons learned as we worked throughout the month to remain prayerful. Personally, I found myself more vigilant about staying the course for 30 days since last year’s prayer challenge found me fighting off the spiritual attack that comes with endeavoring to do more by faith.

  • Prayer isn’t light work.
    • We need to consecrate
    • We need to concentrate
  • Problems will arise one way or another and in one form or another.
    • Prepare for problems (as much as you can)
    • Pray about problems (as much as you can)
  • Your prayer time is about the connection between both God and you.
    • Release from you to God (requests/ supplications/ petitions)
    • Response to you from God (receive/ accept)

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Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

Jacob had a problem.

He had stolen his brother’s birthright.

Jacob was a habitual trickster and swindler.

He had gotten it naturally from his own mother and her brother Laban. It was part of his nature and his upbringing and experiences, especially with family. Blogger Sandy Kirby Quandt equates the relationship between Jacob and Laban to shifting goalposts.

He wanted to protect his family from danger.

But, aside from Jacob being human with frailties just like us all, he was a special kind of believer.

Jacob had a problem and he prayed to God about it.

Not only did he pray but he prayed for God’s protection.

Elohim Shomri or Jehovah Nissi

Elohim shomri = “God is my protector”

JEHOVAH-NISSI – Our Banner, a Banner of Love and Protection

I know that I need His protection.

I stand in the need of the protection only He can provide.

I need God to be My Protector.

I need Him to be that in my personal walk with Him, in my personal relationship with Him.

Prayer for Your Own Needs

SPOILER ALERT: God already knows what we need before we even ask for it.

@Prayer

God knows your needs.

He’s omniscient. He’s all-knowing.

God knows best.

He doesn’t need you to share what you need.

After all, Jesus shared how God knows how to meet our needs better than anyone else. He supplies all that we need.

Even if we have done wrong and stand in need of His protection, God can help us.

He just desires to hear from us. He just desires that we spoke openly with Him about our need for Him as our Father. The Father desires to hear His children say it and get it off their hearts.

Look at how He helped Nehemiah with the destroyed walls.

Pray for God’s protection today.

Pray that He guides you safely to and fro.

Pray that He watches over you throughout your comings and goings.


I haven’t just been twiddling my thumbs while praying about my ministry and business. I have been actively engaging and embarking on taking further steps with both.

I recently had a chat with Allan G from Motherland located in San Diego, California, and we discussed some things about business and building community through collaboration. Check out the video via YouTube or listen to the podcast below. Share comments or thoughts on either platform to let me know how we’re doing.

Coffee and Chat with Rev Bruce S4E1 Guest Allan G from Motherland Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce

Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce returns with a conversation with Motherland on hosting its upcoming local community event in San Diego.   MOTHERLAND MARKET September 25th @marketon8thst from 10-4pm  https://www.instagram.com/motherland.us/  The video of this interview is available via the Coffee & Chat playlist on YouTube. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/bruce-jackson3/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/bruce-jackson3/support
  1. Coffee and Chat with Rev Bruce S4E1 Guest Allan G from Motherland
  2. Season 2, Episode 00, Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce Season 2 Trailer
  3. Season 2, Episode 01, Sharif Booker (Art as a Coping Mechanism)
  4. Season 2, Episode 00, Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce Back Again
  5. Coffee & Chat Episode 8 Aldo Chavez Part 3

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The Gospels in the New Testament give us some insights into the prayer life of Jesus. Other than the model of prayer Jesus taught to His disciples and the prayer time Jesus had with His disciples the night that He was betrayed, we have multiple accounts of Jesus in prayer within the Gospels. In particular, the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) give us some key verses and passages on Jesus spending time alone with God in prayer.

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, – Matthew 14:23 (ESV)

Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and slipped out to a solitary place to pray. – Mark 1:35 (NIV)

But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. – Luke 5:16 (NASB)

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

Private Time with God

Jesus showed us by example that there is value in spending private time with God. He showed us by example that there is an importance to doing it. He showed us that private time with God can strengthen us in our spiritual walk with God along the journey of life.

The Bible says it in simple terms:

  • a solitary place to pray
  • by Himself to pray
  • to the wilderness to pray

He got away from it all to go to God in prayer.

He got away from everybody else to go to God in prayer.

Consider His example and how that might look in your daily life.

Is it a secluded part of your home, away from family and pets for a moment with God? Is it a private space at a park or on a mountainside?

Find your place for private time with God in prayer.

Personal Time with God

Your private time with God is your personal time with God.

Take a moment and think about what Jesus could have been praying about while alone with God. Think about what He might have been sharing with God after healing and feeding many people, teaching about the kingdom of God to the multitudes, and sharing lessons with His own disciples as He was tested by Pharisees and others.

Photo by Thirdman on Pexels.com

Use your private time with God to get in touch with God. Get deep and personal with God. Allow yourself to get vulnerable with God. Speak openly with God. Ask what you have to ask of God. Confess what you need to confess to God.

Confess to Him.

Call upon Him.

Cry out to Him.

Commune with Him.

It is your personal time with God and make the most of it.

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". . . we must earnestly, sacrificially, and prayerfully strive to be empowered with that same power that came upon them."
- A.W. Tozer, Life in the Spirit

Earnest, Sacrificial, and Always Prayerful

Tozer spoke of the need for constant prayer from the teachers and members of the “redeemed Body of which Christ is the Head” in an earlier passage. He was adamant about such prayer in practice in order for “any church to be a church of Christ.” He said that such a pursuit in practice must be earnest, sacrificial, and constant with prayer.

Earnest

In layman’s terms, earnest means sincere and intense conviction. According to the Bible, for one to be considered earnest means to be ardent in pursuit of an object or goal. In other words, to be earnest is to be zealous.

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

“And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up” (John 217, KJV). The zeal of the faithful believer is consuming. His or her heart is filled with an intense level of conviction for God’s agenda. Such an individual desires to see the kingdom of God come about. This type of earnest individual is driven by a deep internal conviction to work towards the kingdom of God coming to fruition.

We need to be more earnest in our lives as we serve the Lord daily.

Sacrificial

What types of sacrifices have you made for the sake of the Lord?

He sacrificed for your salvation. He paid the penalty for our sins with His own life. As Isaiah reminded us through his prophecy recorded ages before the Messiah’s advent, His sacrifice healed us.

God desires you to make sacrifices. He has shown us the way.

God desires to see you make sacrifices in your life for His namesake.

Always Prayerful

I used to always wonder how in the world could Paul really expect anybody to “pray without ceasing” (1 Th. 5:17). It always baffled me how that three-word sentence just sat right there in the middle of this spiritual to-do list for believers. I just didn’t see how that could be a reasonable expectation for believers, especially for those who were just coming into the faith and a personal understanding of what it meant to be a Christian.

Then life happened.

Through the trials and tests of personal experience, I became more accustomed to having to remain in constant prayer. While under spiritual attack, you have to pray constantly.

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)

It is not as difficult as I once thought. It is a simple practice.

It is not too much to ask. It is a personal commitment.

It isn’t a burdensome thing. It provides us communion with God.

It is a simple three-word command.

It provides us a personal connection with God.

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)

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In your hands lie your destination
The book of true life you hold the key
Mystical powers to you unfold
Seek ye the half that has never been told
Get behind me satan
Get behind me satan
I’ve got chant (Chant a psalm a day)
I want to chant (Chant a psalm a day)
I’ve got chant (Chant a psalm a day)
I want to chant (Chant a psalm a day)

“Chant a Psalm” by Steel Pulse

The Prayer Book of the Bible

The Book of Psalms has been called many things. It has been considered the Hymn Book of the Bible by some. However, the Book of Psalms has also been seen as the Prayer Book of the Bible as well.

Book of Psalms Devotional

The Book of Psalms is full of prayers. It contains numerous prayers by multiple authors. David isn’t the only one who wrote psalms in the form of prayer. But authorship isn’t the only indicator of the strength of psalms as prayers.


Pray a Psalm (Chant a Psalm)

Reggae artists Steel Pulse shared “Chant a Psalm” and their album “True Democracy” in 1982. The lyrics shared here in this post show the power contained within the psalms. It wasn’t a major hit in the U.S. upon its release. It wasn’t a major hit among evangelicals either. Yet, the song still echoes the sentiments of one who finds the psalms found in the Bible to serve as motivation for staying true to developing a relationship with God through His Word.

It is through such devotion and spiritual connection to God’s Word that we as believers uphold our daily commitment to come before God with open hearts. Such a daily devotion to seeking God can serve as a catalyst for us to remain rooted in God’s Word while engaging in prayer.


As E.M. Bounds once said, “Prayer is humbling work.” We cannot get beside ourselves and lose touch with God. We need to stay connected to God through both prayer and His Word. Even the Serenity Prayer gives us a perspective of how to be humbled by our own time with God in prayer.

Open up the Book of Psalms. Read aloud one of the prayers found in the Book of Psalms with all the strength that you can muster. Stand on the sandy shores of the ocean or the rocky edges of a mountainside, taking in the majestic handiwork of God, letting the words of a prayer from Psalms cross your lips and enter into the atmosphere.

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Ask with Belief

Matthew 21:22 can be misunderstood as to say that we automatically receive whatever we desire when we ask God for it. That is not what Jesus said.

Asking is the petition made to God from our hearts. Just simply asking isn’t the answer. Asking alone doesn’t lead to us receiving blessings from God.

Belief is the key factor in prayer.

Ask and believe.

Don’t allow your prayers to go up without believing in your heart that what you’re seeking from God is of God and within His will.

God’s answers are available. His ability is awesome and mighty. He’s awaiting our unbelief to be turned into true faithfulness churned by a high degree of belief in Him.

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