Category Archives: Devotions

Disciple or Just a Crowd follower?

During Jesus’ ministry there were hundreds and sometimes thousand following Him.  But only a few were believers (Disciples)

To many Christians, the word “disciple” is a religious term to describe the original twelve followers of Jesus. Most Christians probably would not associate themselves with being a disciple of Jesus. However, the word disciple is the Greek word, “mathaytes.” It is the Strong’s word 3101. The word translated as disciple which is the Greek word, “mathaytes” means “a pupil, a learner, a student.” In fact, in several places in the Gospels, Jesus is called Rabbi. The word “Rabbi” means “a teacher.” We can see this in John 3:2 as it is written:

" The same (Nicodemus) came to Jesus by night, and said unto
him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God ..."

Jesus is described in the Gospels as being a Rabbi or “teacher” (John 1:38, John 3:2) and His followers are called disciples or “students.” A disciple or “student” is expected to learn and grow in knowledge and understanding.

If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, Jesus is our master (teacher) and we are his disciples (students). The desire of every teacher is for their students to grow in knowledge and understanding of their subject material so that they will be able to comprehend the subject material on the same level as their teacher. The Bible talks about believers in Jesus as Messiah growing in knowledge and understanding of Him and God’s Word so that we will be conformed to His image. In Romans 8:29 it is written:

"For whom he (God) did foreknow, he (God) also did
predestinate to be conformed to the image (the exact spiritual likeness and
characteristics) of his Son (]esus) ..." 

We are conformed to the image of Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In 2 Corinthians 3:18 it is written:

"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory
of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even by the
Spirit of the Lord." 

How do we bear fruit in the Kingdom of God? We bear fruit in the Kingdom of God when we love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and seek to be disciples (students) of Jesus. In doing this, we must realize that Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.We can only bear much fruit by yielding our lives unto Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to produce within us Godly character. When we submit our lives to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to produce within us Godly character, God will prepare, train, and equip us to follow and do His Will. By following and doing the Will of God in our lives, we will bear much fruit for God and the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. In John 15:5 it is written:

"I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me,
and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do
nothing." 

After we submit and yield our lives to Jesus, we need to submit and yield our lives over to the Holy Spirit to produce Godly character within us. The fruit of the Spirit is mentioned in Galatians 5:22-25 as it is written:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such
there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

If we submit our lives to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to produce Godly character within us, God will allow us to bear much fruit in the Kingdom and we will be disciples of Jesus. In John 15:8 it is written:

"Herein is my Father glorified that you bear much fruit: so
shall you be my disciples." 

From this, we can understand that a disciple of Jesus will bear much fruit in the Kingdom of God.

SEVEN ATTRIBUTES OF A DISCIPLE

Now that we know that a disciple is a follower of Jesus and a student of God’s Word, what are the characteristics of a disciple of Jesus? I will list seven characteristics of a disciple of Jesus. They are as follows:

  1. A disciple (student) will be like his master (teacher) (Luke 6:40)
  2. A disciple (student) must lay down his fleshly life to obtain eternal life (Luke 14:26)
  3. A disciple (student) must bear his own cross (Luke 14:27)
  4. A disciple (student) will forsake all he has and deny himself to serve Jesus (Matthew 16:24, Luke 14:33)
  5. A disciple (student) will bear much fruit (John 15:8)
  6. A disciple (student) will have love one for another (John 13:34-35)
  7. A disciple (student) will continue in God’s Word (John 8:32)

In conclusion, we will be disciples (students) of Jesus when we desire and purpose in our heart to love and follow God in the same way that Jesus loved and followed the Will of God. In doing so, we need to lay down those things which keep us from giving our entire heart and life to Jesus. We must lay aside the cares of this world, the ways of this world and the desire of our own flesh that are contrary to the Will of God for our lives. By doing this, we will deny the pleasures of this world and we will take up our cross daily to follow Jesus and do the Will of God.

In order to grow in knowledge and understanding of God, we must seek to study and learn of God’s Word and the ways of the Kingdom of Heaven. When we do this, we will seek to love our neighbors as ourselves and we will love our fellow Christians. By doing all these things, we will bear much fruit in the Kingdom of God and we will be good and faithful disciples and servants of God.

The Most Important Thing

What is the most important thing a Christian can do in his or her daily life?  Attend Church?  Read the Bible?  Pray?  Love others?

While all these are important, I believe the most important is Prayer… and it is perhaps the least likely done. 

I do believe that fellowshipping with other Christians is a vital thing we need to do.  Love?  Goes without saying, but I still am working on this in my own life.  Reading the Bible?  Almost goes without saying in today’s culture.  But remember that the Bible has not been readily available to all until the last 100 years or so.  Before that Bibles were hard to come by, expensive to purchase, and of course many could not read.  There are still areas in today’s world where Bibles are not available, not translated,  or perhaps they are outlawed.  Those believers do not have it in print, just in their hearts.

But Prayer.  Praying has been available to every believer since the creation of the world.  It is the communication to and from God.  It does not need another human to pass through, nor does it take a degree, a license to pray, or permission from anyone else. 

Prayer is not a formula, although I have seen many preached and taught.  It does not need any special words or phrases, although some do help us focus.  Prayer is simply talking to God, and listening for The Holy Spirit to answer back.

Prayer does take practice, but even the most child-like prayer can reach the Throne of God.  I say it takes practice because it is like a sports game.  Although anyone can play sports, it is those who train, exercise, and commit time to practice that become comfortable doing it.  Our flesh is weak and will quickly forget, fine other excuses, or just become too busy.  In the flesh, we feel uncomfortable praying.

Practice in prayer involves doing it.  There are some helps to the beginner, but they are only helps.  It is a mistake when we copy a formula and word our prayers in a manner that is not our own.  So just do it.  Listen to some of the saints around you praying. (This takes Fellowship!)  Read some of the prayers in the Bible. (This takes Bible reading!)  But PRAY.

I have learned that Prayer can help when a bolt is rusted and stuck.  I have seen Prayer actually get the person material things they prayed for.  And I have seen Miracle Healing. 

On the flip side of that coin, I have seen similar prayers not answered[ .  I have gone through times where I felt my prayers were not even getting any higher than the ceiling of the room.  I also have once come to the point where I was so spiritually worn out I could not even pray.  Luckily, I realized it and called a prayer warrior friend to stand in the gap and pray for me, and pray for my request and needs.

But bottom line.  I think the Church and believers have lost the desire to pray.  I think too many pray out of obligation but not from love or wanting fellowship with God.  Just as the individuals need to begin again to pray, so does the Church.  Where are the Prayer Meetings?  When is the last time you saw a Group of Believers who actually spent much time in prayer?  When was the last time that group was eagerly anticipating God’s answer?

When was the last time YOU actually eagerly anticipated God’s answer?

Believing In Something You Know Ain’t True!

Just like the little boy who defined FAITH as believing in something you know ain’t true, so do many people define Prayer.  To very many church people, prayer is a hit or miss exercise.  It is ok to pray for something, just don’t get your expectations too high.

There are probably more books written on Prayer than the entire other topics.  Don’t believe me?  Just walk into any Christian book store and see how much space is given over to the subject of prayer and how much space is left over for all the other topics.  And yet we have such a void of praying Christians in our churches.

There are those who act like prayer is a great Credit Card in the Sky.  Ask and if you have enough invested in the account…  Others who fervently pray, but give God an “Way Out” just incase He says “No”.  That way they can believe in Prayer, and not be disappointed.  They use Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane where He (Jesus) says “But not my will but Thine be done.”  So like a good formula, they pray their prayer and tag that on the end, just in case God decides against them.   I know that is not what Jesus was doing.  Don’t jump me for saying that.  But I have seen many who use those words either as a magic incantation, or as a scape goat if their request were not answered.

Now truthfully, it is good to pray in God’s Will and to want His Desires over mine… is good.  But when it comes down to effective prayer, sometimes the formula or wording we tend to use is for good luck.  I once knew a pastor’s wife that was frantically serious that You Had To, You Must, It was Critical … that you Always end every prayer with the words; “In Jesus name I pray,” or else God would not hear you. 

Where did the Church Prayer Service go?  When did the Church stop?  According to Barna Research less than 25% of the Evangelical (zealous, enthusiastically, or fervent) Families pray on a daily (or weekly) schedule. 

I just recently re-posted an article about the Fruits of the Spirit, and in it I found that those who have the Fruits evident in their lives, tend to have effective prayer lives, and those with “bad” fruit, tend to have weak and ineffective prayers.

Stay tuned… in the coming week, I intend to study this more, organize my thoughts and write a sequel or two.

Bible Bogglers


BIBLE BOGGLERS
FREE BIBLE QUIZ

CLICK THE BIBLE LINK NEXT TO EACH QUESTION TO GO TO THAT CHAPTER
 

   1)  How many days did it take God to create the Heaven and the Earth?  (Genesis 1:31-2:1)

    2)  What did God do on the third day of creation?  (Genesis 1:9-13)

    3)  What did God do on the seventh day?  (Genesis 2:2-3)

    4)  What is the seventh day called?  (Exodus 20:10)

    5)  What were the names of the first two people?  (Genesis 2:19, 3:20)

    6)  What was the name of the garden where the first two people were?  (Genesis 2:8, 2:15)

    7)  What did God take from the first man to make woman with?  (Genesis 2:21)

    8)  Who tricked Eve?  (Genesis 3:1-6)

    9)  What was the name of the tree that Adam and Eve were told not to eat from? (Genesis 2:17)

  10)  How did God punish the serpent for what he did?  (Genesis 3:14-15)

  11)  How did God punish woman?  (Genesis 3:16)

  12)  How did God punish man?  (Genesis 3:17-19)

  13)  What were Adam and Eve’s first two son’s names?  (Genesis 4:1-2)

  14)  Why did Adam and Eve’s son kill his brother?  (Genesis 4:3-8)

  15)  How did God punish Cain?  (Genesis 4:11-12)

  16)  How did God protect Cain?  (Genesis 4:15)

  17)  What was Adam and Eve’s third son’s name?  (Genesis 4:25)

  18)  The oldest man in the history of the world lived 969 years.  What was his name?  (Genesis 5:27)

  19)  How many sons did Noah and his wife have?  (Genesis 6:10)

  20)  What were Noah’s son’s names?  (Genesis 6:10)

  21)  What did God tell Noah to do?  (Genesis 6:14)

  22)  How long did it rain during the Great Flood?  (Genesis 7:12)

  23)  How many of each “clean” animal were aboard the ark?  (Genesis 7:2)

  24)  What did Noah do to find out if all the water was dried up?  (Genesis 8:8)

  25)  What is the sign of God’s promise to never destroy the earth with a flood again?  (Genesis 9:11-17)

  26)  How old was Noah when the Great Flood happened?  (Genesis 7:11)

  27)  Who was in charge of building the tower of Babel?  (Genesis 10:9)

  28)  What was Abraham’s wife’s name?  (Genesis 11:29, 17:15)

  29)  What happened to Lot’s wife?  (Genesis 19:26)

  30)  What was Abraham and Sarah’s son’s name?  (Genesis 21:3)

  31)  How old was Sarah when she gave birth to Abraham’s son?  (Genesis 17:17-21)

  32)  What did God tell Abraham to do to his son?  (Genesis 22:2)

  33)  Who did Isaac marry?  (Genesis 24:67)

  34)  What did Esau trade his birthright for?  (Genesis 25:29-34)

  35)  Who dreamt of a ladder going up to Heaven?  (Genesis 28:12)

  36)  How many sons did Israel have?  (I Chronicles 2:1-2)

  37)  Who was Jacob’s favorite son?  (Genesis 37:3)

  38)  What did Jacob make for his favorite son?  (Genesis 37:3)

  39)  What were Jacob’s wives’ name’s?  (Genesis 29:23-28)

  40)  Why did Joseph’s eleven brothers hate him?  (Genesis 37:4

  41)  What did Joseph’s brothers say happened to him?  (Genesis 37:20)

  42)  Where was Joseph taken when his brothers sold him?  (Genesis 37:28)

  43)  Who was Joseph in prison with?  (Genesis 40:3)

  44)  What was Pharaoh’s captain of the guard’s name?  (Genesis 39:1)

  45)  What was Pharaoh’s dream about that Joseph interpreted?  (Genesis 41:1-7)

  46)  What did Joseph suggest to Pharaoh?  (Genesis 41:34-36)

  47)  What did Pharaoh do for Joseph?  (Genesis 41:40-41)

  48)  What was Israel’s youngest son’s name?  (Genesis 35:18)

  49)  What did Joseph have his steward put in his youngest brother’s sack?  (Genesis 44:2)

  50)  What was Joseph’s oldest brother’s name?  (Genesis 35:23)

  51)  What did the king of Egypt tell the midwives of the Hebrew women to do?  (Exodus 1:16)

  52)  Who found Moses floating in a basket?  (Exodus 2:5)

  53)  Why did Moses leave Egypt?  (Exodus 2:14-15)

  54)  Where did Moses see God?  (Exodus 3:2-6)

  55)  What did God want Moses to do?  (Exodus 3:10)

  56)  What was Moses brother’s name?  (Exodus 4:14)

  57)  Why did God send Moses brother with him?  (Exodus 4:10)

  58)  What did Moses staff turn into?  (Exodus 4:3)

  59)  Who had a hardened heart?  (Exodus 7:3)

  60)  How many plagues were there upon Egypt?  (Exodus 7-12)

  61)  What were three of the plagues?  (Exodus 7-12)

  62)  Why did the people of Israel put lamb’s blood on their door posts?  (Exodus 12:23)

  63)  What was the name of the water that Moses led the people of Israel through (Exodus 13:18)

  64)  How did Moses know which way to lead the people through the wilderness?  (Exodus 13:21)

  65)  What was the bread from Heaven called?  (Exodus 16:15)

  66)  What was Moses’ father-in-law’s name?  (Exodus 3:1)

  67)  What was Moses’ wife’s name?  (Exodus 2:21)

  68)  What is the only Commandment with a promise and what is it?  (Exodus 20:12)

  69)  What did the people of Israel do while Moses was up on the mountain?  (Exodus 32:1-6)

  70)  What was the name of the mountain where God gave Moses the Commandments? (Exodus 31:18)

  71)  What were the Commandments written on?  (Exodus 31:18)

  72)  What is the Ark of the Covenant?  (Exodus 25:16)

  73)  What were the two Holy men’s names who wanted to help Moses claim Canaan?  (Numbers 14:6-8)

  74)  What happened when people didn’t believe that God sent Moses to free His people?  (Numbers 16:32)

  75)  How did the walls of Jericho fall down?  (Joshua 6:20)

  76)  Who was the secret of Samson’s strength?  (Judges 16:17)

  77)  How did Samson kill the lion?  (Judges 14:6)

  78)  What did Samson see in the lion’s dead body, some time later?  (Judges 14:8)

  79)  Why did Samson’s wife tell the secret of his riddle?  (Judges: 14:15)

  80)  What did Samson do when his father-in-law gave his wife to another to marry?   (Judges 15:4)

  81)  What did Samson kill 1000 men with?  (Judges 15:15)

  82)  Who tricked Samson into telling the secret of his strength?  (Judges 16:18)

  83)  What did the Philistines do to Samson when they captured him?  (Judges 16:21)

  84)  How did Samson get revenge on the Philistines?  (Judges 16:28-30)

  85)  How did Eli die?  (I Samuel 4:18)

  86)  Who was Saul?  (I Samuel 9:17)

  87)  What was Saul doing when Samuel told him what God had chosen him for?   (I Samuel 9:3,20)

  88)  Who was David the son of?  (I Samuel 16:19)

  89)  What instrument did David play?  (I Samuel 16:23)

  90)  How many brothers did David have?  (I Samuel 16:10)

  91)  What was the giant of the Philistines’ name?  (I Samuel 17:4)

  92)  How many stones did David choose out of the brook?  (I Samuel 17:40)

  93)  How did David kill the giant?  (I Samuel 17:49-51)

  94)  Who was David’s best friend?  (I Samuel 18:1)

  95)  Why was Saul jealous of David?  (I Samuel 18:8)

  96)  What did it mean to David when Jonathan shot his arrow far?  (I Samuel 20:13,22)

  97)  How did Saul know that David could have killed him?  (I Samuel 24:11) –  (I Samuel 26:11-12,22-23)

  98)  How many sons did David have, not including the of the concubines and Tamar? (I Chronicles 3:1-9)

  99)  Who was the captain of David’s army?  (II Samuel 8:16)

100)  What is David known as?  (Psalms 17:8)

101)  Who killed Absalom?  (II Samuel 18:14)

102)  What city is known as “The City of David?”  (II Samuel 5:7)

103)  God told Solomon in a dream, “Ask what I shall give thee.”  What did Solomon ask? (I Kings 3:9)

104)  What did Solomon say to do to find out who the baby’s real mother was? (I Kings 3:25)   

105)  What did Solomon do for God that David wanted to do?  (I Kings 5:5)

106)  What kind of wood was used to build the Temple?  (II Chronicles 2:8)

107)  Where did the wood for the Temple come from?  (II Chronicles 2:8)

108)  What was most everything in the Temple covered in?  (II Chronicles 3:7)

109)  How long did it take to build the Temple?  (I Kings 6:38)

110)  How many proverbs did Solomon speak?  (I Kings 5:32)

111)  What king made God more angry than all the kings of Israel before him? (I Kings 16:33)

112)  What did Jezebel do to God’s Prophets?  (I Kings 18:4)

113)  What shape was the cloud that Elijah saw come up out of the sea?  (I Kings 18:44)

114)  Why did Elijah run and hide in the wilderness?  (I Kings 19:2-3)

115)  What did an angel of God bring Elijah?  (I Kings 19:6)

116)  Who was the next Prophet of God, after Elijah?  (I Kings 19:16)

117)  What did Ahab want from Naboth?  (I Kings 21:2)

118)  How did Naboth die?  (I Kings 21:13)

119)  How did Jezebel die?  (II Kings 9:33)

120)  When Elijah asked Elisha before he was taken, what did Elisha ask for?  (II Kings 2:9)

121)  How was Elijah taken up into Heaven?  (II Kings 2:11)

122)  What did Elisha do to heal the water in Jericho?  (II Kings 2:21)

123)  Why were children making fun of Elisha?  (II Kings 2:23)

124)  What happened to the children who were making fun of Elisha?  (II Kings 2:24)

125)  What did Elisha tell Naaman to do so his leprosy would be healed?  (II Kings 5:10)

126)  What was the king Ahasuerus’ wife’s name?  (Esther 1:9)

127)  How did Haman die?  (Esther 7:10)

128)  What did satan say Job would do if everything was taken away from him?  (Job 1:11)

129)  How did God reward Job after all his tribulation?  (Job 42:10)

130)  Who wrote the Book of Psalms in the Bible?  (Psalms Titles)

131)  How many Psalms are in the Book of Psalms?  (Psalm 150)

132)  Who wrote Proverbs?  (Proverbs 1:1)

133)  Who said “There is no new thing under the sun?”  (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

134)  Which king’s dream did Daniel interpret?  (Daniel 2:28)

135)  What were Daniel’s three friend’s names?  (Daniel 1:7)

136)  What name did the king give Daniel?  (Daniel 1:7)

137)  What did Daniel want to eat and drink instead of the kings meat and wine? (Daniel 1:12)

138)  What was the images feet made of in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream?  (Daniel 2:34)

139)  What did Nebuchadnezzar do to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?  (Daniel 3:20)

140)  How many men did the Nebuchadnezzar see walking in the fire?  (Daniel 3:25)

141)  What did Belshazzar do that made the Lord mad?  (Daniel 5:3-4)

142)  What happened at Belshazzar’s feast?  (Daniel 5:5)

143)  What did the Lord write to Belshazzar?  (Daniel 5:25-28)

144)  Why was Daniel thrown in the lion’s den?  (Daniel 6:10)

145)  What did God do to the lions while Daniel was in the den?  (Daniel 6:22)

146)  Where did God send Jonah?  (Jonah 1:2, 3:2)

147)  Why was Jonah thrown into the sea?  (Jonah 1:10)

148)  How long was Jonah in the belly of a fish?  (Jonah 1:17)

149)  What grew over Jonah’s booth?  (Jonah 4:6)

150)  What happened to the gourd?  (Jonah 4:7)

151)  How many generations were there from Abraham to Christ?  (Matthew 1:17)

152)  Where was Jesus born?  (Matthew 2:1)

153)  Who was the king when Jesus was born?  (Matthew 2:1)

154)  Who saw Jesus‘ star in the east?  (Matthew 2:2)

155)  What did the wise men give to Jesus?  (Matthew 2:11)

156)  How did the wise men know not to return to Herod?  (Matthew 2:12)

157)  Where did the angel of the Lord tell Joseph to take Mary and Jesus? (Matthew 2:13)

158)  What did Herod do when the wise men didn’t return?  (Matthew 2:16)

159)  How long did Mary, Joseph and Jesus stay in Egypt?  (Matthew 2:15)

160)  Who was king after Herod died?  (Matthew 2:22)

161)  What city did Joseph take Mary and Jesus to when they returned to Israel? (Matthew 2:23)

162)  Who preached in the wilderness?  (Matthew 3:1)

163)  What did John the Baptist eat?  (Matthew 3:4)

164)  Where did John baptize people?  (Matthew 3:6)

165)  What did John say Jesus would baptize with?  (Matthew 3:11)

166)  What did God say when Jesus was baptized by John?  (Matthew 3:17)

167)  After John baptized Jesus, what happened to him in the wilderness? (Matthew 4:1)

168)  How long did Jesus fast in the wilderness?  (Matthew 4:2)

169)  What was the first thing the devil wanted Jesus to do?  (Matthew 4:3)

170)  What was the second thing the devil wanted Jesus to do?  (Matthew 4:5-6)

171)  What was the third thing the devil wanted Jesus to do?  (Matthew 4:9)

172)  Who were the first two apostles?  (Matthew 4:18-19)

173)  What did the first two apostles do for a living before they followed Jesus? (Matthew 4:18)

174)  What was the name of James and John’s father?  (Matthew 4:21)

175)  What did Jesus say the meek would inherit?  (Matthew 5:5)

176)  What will happen if you judge others?  (Matthew 7:1-2)

177)  What did Jesus say to do to those who curse you?  (Matthew 5:44)

178)  What did Jesus say false prophets wear?  (Matthew 7:15)

179)  What kind of sickness did Peter’s mother have when Jesus went to his house (Matthew 8:14)

180)  What did Jesus say healed the woman who touched the hem of his garment? (Matthew 9:22)

181)  How many apostles did Jesus have?  (Matthew 10:2)

182)  What was the name of the apostle who betrayed Jesus?  (Matthew 10:4)

183)  What sin will not be forgiven?  (Matthew 12:31-32)

184)  What is a tree known by?  (Matthew 12:33)

185)  Who did Jesus say are his brothers?  (Matthew 12:50)

186)  What happens to a prophet in his own country and his own house? (Matthew 13:57)

187)  What did the disciples think when they saw Jesus walking on the sea? (Matthew 14:26)

188)  Who walked on the water with Jesus?  (Matthew 14:29)

189)  Who did Jesus say he would give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven to? (Matthew 16:19)

190)  What is a man profited, if he shall gain the  _____ _____, and lose his own soul?  (Matthew 16:26)

191)  Who was with Jesus when he was transfigured?  (Matthew 17:2)

192)  What did Jesus say you need to have, to move a mountain?  (Matthew 17:20)

193)  Where did Peter get the money to pay tribute?  (Matthew 17:27)

194)  What did Jesus say to become like in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven?  (Matthew 18:3)

195)  What happens when two or three are gathered together in Jesus name? (Matthew 18:20

196)  How many times should you forgive another?  (Matthew 18:22)

197)  What is easier for a camel to do, than for a rich man to enter Heaven?  (Matthew 19:24)

198)  What did the stone become that the builders rejected?  (Matthew 21:42)

199)  Are people married in heaven?  (Matthew 22:30)

200)  What is the greatest commandment?  (Matthew 22:37)

Bible Boggler Answers

    1)  Six days

    2)  God made the land and the seas and plant life

    3)  On the seventh day, God rested

    4)  The seventh day is called the Sabbath

    5)  The first two people were Adam and Eve

    6)  The Garden of Eden

    7)  A rib from Adam’s side

    8)  A serpent (satan)

    9)  The tree of knowledge of good and evil

  10)  Made him crawl on his belly and eat dust all the days of it’s life

  11)  Woman would have pain in having children

  12)  Man would work hard all his life

  13)  Cain and Abel

  14)  Because God liked Abel’s sacrifice better than Cain’s

  15)  What he planted wouldn’t grow and made him a wanderer on the earth

  16)  He put a mark on his forehead to protect him

  17)  Seth

  18)  Methuselah

  19)  Three

  20)  Ham, Shem and Japheth

  21)  Build an ark

  22)  Forty days and forty nights

  23)  Seven each of clean animals, and two each of unclean

  24)  Sent a dove out of the window of the ark to see if she would return

  25)  A rainbow

  26)  Six hundred years old

  27)  Nimrod

  28)  Sarai … Later, God would change her name to Sarah

  29)  She turned into a pillar of salt

  30)  Isaac

  31)  90-91 years old

  32)  Kill him for a sacrifice to God

  33)  Rebekah

  34)  A bowl of soup

  35)  Jacob

  36)  Twelve (The twelve tribes of Israel)

  37)  Joseph

  38)  A coat of many colors

  39)  Leah and Rachel

  40)  Because Israel loved him more than them

  41)  The said he was killed by a wild animal

  42)  To Egypt

  43)  Pharaoh’s butler and baker

  44)  Potiphar

  45)  Seven good years, then seven years of famine

  46)  That he store food for the first seven years, to grow rich selling it during the famine

  47)  Let him out of prison and set him in charge over all of Egypt

  48)  Benjamin

  49)  His corn money and Joseph’s silver cup

  50)  Reuben

  51)  To kill all the baby boys born to the Hebrew women

  52)  Pharaoh’s daughter

  53)  Because Pharaoh wanted to kill Moses when he killed an Egyptian

  54)  In a burning bush

  55)  God wanted Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt

  56)  Aaron

  57)  Because Moses was afraid that he didn’t speak well enough

  58)  A snake

  59)  Pharaoh

  60)  Ten

  61)  Water turned blood, frogs, lice, flies, animals died, sores, hail, fire, darkness,

          all first born died

  62)  So the Lord would Passover their home and their firstborn wouldn’t die

  63)  The Red Sea

  64)  God led them in a pillar of a cloud in the day, and in a pillar of fire at night

  65)  Manna

  66)  Jethro

  67)  Zipporah

  68)  The 5th Commandment … Honor thy father and thy mother:  that thy days

          may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

  69)  Built a golden calf to worship

  70)  Mount Sinai

  71)  Two tables of stone

  72)  Where the testimony of God was kept that God gave to Moses

  73)  Joshua and Caleb

  74)  The earth split open and swallowed them up

  75)  The people of Israel surrounded the city and all shouted at the same time at the

          top of their voices

  76)  His hair

  77)  With his bare hands

  78)  A swarm of bees and honey

  79)  The Philistines told her they would burn her and her family’s house if she didn’t tell

  80)  He lit 300 fox’s tails on fire

  81)  The jawbone of a donkey

  82)  Delilah

  83)  They poked out his eyes

  84)  He pulled down the pillars he was chained to in a house where 3000 Philistines

         were, killing them all, and himself

  85)  He fell backward out of his seat when he heard his sons had been killed and the

          ark was taken

  86)  God’s first chosen king of Israel

  87)  Looking for his dad’s lost donkeys

  88)  Jesse

  89)  The harp

  90)  Seven

  91)  Goliath

  92)  Five smooth stones

  93)  Hit him in the forehead with a stone from his sling and with Goliath’s own

          sword, David cut his head off

  94)  Jonathan, Saul’s son

  95)  Because the people said that Saul killed hundreds of men but David killed thousands

  96)  To run for his life because Saul was planning to kill him

  97)  Because David cut off a piece of his coat while he slept, and stole his spear and water

          jar, a second time

  98)  19

  99)  Joab

100)  The Apple of God’s Eye

101)  Joab and ten of his men

102)  Jerusalem

103)  For an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good

          and bad

104)  When Solomon said to divide the child in half, he knew the real mother was the one

          who said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and in no wise slay it”

105)  Built the Temple

106)  Cedar, fir and algum

107)  Lebanon

108)  Gold

109)  Seven years

110)  Three thousand

111)  Ahab

112)  She had them killed

113)  The shape of the cloud was like a man’s hand

114)  Jezebel threatened to kill him because he had all her fake prophets killed with the

          sword, so he hid

115)  A cake and a cruse of water

116)  Elisha

117)  His vineyard

118)  He was stoned to death

119)  She was thrown out a window and trampled underfoot of Jehu’s horses (then her

          flesh was eaten by dogs)

120)  “Let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me”

121)  In a whirlwind on a chariot of fire and horses of fire

122)  He sprinkled salt into it

123)  Because he was bald headed

124)  Two she bears came out of the woods and clawed 42 children

125)  Go wash in the Jordan River seven times

126)  Queen Vashti

127)  He was hung on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai

128)  He would curse God to his face

129)  The Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before

130)  David

131)  150

132)  Solomon

133)  Solomon

134)  Nebuchadnezzar’s dream

135)  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

136)  Belteshazzar

137)  Pulse (peas or beans) and water

138)  Iron and clay

139)  Put them in a burning fiery furnace

140)  Four

141)  He used the gold and silver cups from the Temple to drink out of, at his feast and

          praised false gods.

142)  He saw the fingers of God’s hand writing on the wall

143)  MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN … Which Daniel interpreted:  God hath

          numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.  Thou art weighed in the balances, and

          art found wanting.  Thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians

144)  Because he prayed to God instead of the god of King Darius

145)  God sent his angel to shut the lion’s mouths while Daniel was in the den

146)  Nineveh

147)  Jonah disobeyed God so He caused a tempest in the sea where Jonah was on a ship. 

          Jonah told the people on the ship and they knew Jonah was the cause of the tempest

148)  Three days and three nights

149)  A gourd

150)  It was eaten by a worm

151)  Forty Two

152)  Bethlehem

153)  Herod

154)  Wise men

155)  Gold, frankincense, and myrrh

156)  God warned them in a dream

157)  To Egypt

158)  Killed all the children in Bethlehem

159)  Until Herod died

160)  Archelaus, Herod’s son

161)  Nazareth

162)  John the Baptist

163)  Locusts and wild honey

164)  Jordan

165)  The Holy Ghost and with fire

166)  “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”

167)  He was tempted by the devil

168)  Forty days and forty nights

169)  Command that stones be made into bread

170)  Throw himself down off the top of the temple

171)  Worship him

172)  Simon Peter and Andrew his brother

173)  They were fishermen

174)  Zebedee

175)  The earth

176)  You will be judged

177)  Bless them

178)  Sheep’s clothing

179)  Fever

180)  Her faith

181)  Twelve

182)  Judas Iscariot

183)  Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost

184)  The tree is known by his fruit

185)  “Whoever shall do the will of my Father”

186)  He is without honor

187)  That thought they saw a spirit

188)  Peter

189)  Peter

190)  Whole world

191)  Peter, James and John

192)  Faith … as a grain of mustard seed

193)  In the mouth of a fish

194)  Become as little children

195)  He is there in the midst of them

196)  Seventy times seven times

197)  To go through the eye of a needle

198)  The head of the corner

199)  No, but are as the angels of God

200)  “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,

          and with all thy mind”

A Testimony Concerning Your Language, Your Life

Author- Heather, Year?

Often times we as Christians fail to realize just how important our words are.  The words that come from our mouths, our hearts.  People are watching us, wondering what makes us different.  Do our actions point them to Jesus?   Would Jesus be proud of us, or embarrassed & hurt by the things we say?  Am I hitting a sensitive spot on your conscience yet?  ‘Cause I know it’s tugging on mine…..

Jesus never said we had to be perfect.  But we do have to be careful.  Very careful.  We carry His name everywhere we go.  CHRIST-ian.  CHRIST-like.  We must wear it well.  Because someone’s eternity may depend upon what they see in us.  To them, we are “Jesus with skin on”.  Jesus warns us about being a stumbling block to others (Luke 17:1-2).  If He chose to address that subject, it must have been pretty important to Him, don’t you think?

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)  Speaking ungodly things out loud doesn’t make it worse in the eyes of God.  He already KNOWS your heart (Ps. 44:21), & all sin is the same in his eyes… disgusting!  However, speaking those ungodly thing out loud makes them available for all to hear, doesn’t it?  Therefore, we become a stumbling block to others, perhaps turning them away from Christ.  What a tragedy.  The apostle Paul said, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.” (Col. 4:6)  He reminds Timothy in 2 Tim.1:13 to “retain the standard of sound words you have heard from me.” 

And what about swearing?  Or using God’s name in vain.   When Moses came down off that mountain with the 10 Commandments, one of those commandments were “Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord thy God in Vain.” (Exodus 20:7)  Many do not realize that the rest of that verse reads “for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”  You see, God’s name is above every other name.  When we use it lightly, flippantly, or during times of anger, we are trampling on the highest, most important name that will ever exist.  We are trampling upon the very God of creation, spitting in His face & telling Him that He means absolutely nothing to us.  Surely there will be retribution for that, just as His word says.  

Jesus speaks to His followers, & says:  “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?  It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.” (Matthew 5:13)  It is a very dangerous thing, my friend, when you & I take the power of the tongue and use it for anything other than good, to bless, or to praise.  We will become useless, good for nothing anymore, in the sight of God.

One of my friends whom I sing with has a favorite verse:  “Let the words of my mouth & the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You, oh God.” (Psalm 19:14)  It isn’t an easy thing to do in this ol’ sin-riddled world we live in.  But it’s possible.  With God, it’s possible.

I am persuaded that man’s word is a reflection of himself.  People will only know you by how you speak.  I don’t know about you, but I want to be known as a godly person, full of grace & mercy, pleasing to God, & easily recognized by others as a Christian, someone who’s different.  I want people to look at me & say, “I want what they have.”

Let’s live out a pleasing testimony concerning our language, concerning our life.  Let’s wear the name of Jesus well.  Agreed?         

Heather

Thoughts, Vibes and Other Worthless Junk.

Brian Amerson

5/6/19

 As christians we use many phrases that we’ve grown up with that when we stop and consider what they really mean we don’t believe. I think it’s time that we stop, step back, and take a look at what we say and what we really mean and believe.

Words or phrases like knock on wood, good luck, break a leg, send good vibes my way, are just a few of the phrases that we need to consider. Many have their roots in superstitions.  Others have pagan roots.

For the most part I think these words and phrases are really fairly harmless but we ought to begin to work to get them out of our language anyway. I think it would honor God if we did.  They are so widely used that we dont give them a thought. But the one phrase on my irritant list today is when someone says they need prayer or good thoughts or good vibes.

What  I have heard said 2 or 3 times in the past month is someone reporting that they have a friend or a cousin that has a need of prayer. So the Christian friend,  brother or sister in Christ, sends the request out that they have a need for prayer — ; “I could use any thoughts, prayers, good vibes, whatever you believe in my way.”  Anyone willing to send thoughts, good vibes, or prayers their way would be appreciated.

The worst thing you can do for someone that is truly facing a tough situation is to send them thoughts and good vibes.  You might as well say that you are sending them rainbows and unicorns.  It would do them the same amount of good.

Well guess what? I don’t send out thoughts or vibes and when I need prayer I don’t want any thoughts or vibes. Good thoughts and vibes are pretty godless and don’t have any standing with prayer. Good thoughts basically ammount to wishing, and good vibes fringe on eastern mysticism and the aura.  Prayer is way above them.  Perhaps even in another world.

So if you want prayer for me don’t ask for thoughts and vibes.  And if I ask for prayer and you don’t want to pray, instead of thoughts and vibes go buy me a Hallmark card and send it in the mail.  it will probably do me a whole lot better than godless thoughts anyway.  

Come on Christians, dont be ahamed of prayer!  Stop watering it down so the unchristian won’t feel uncomfortable.  If it is prayer you need, ask. Or is it because you dont really have faith in prayer? 

There is no others means by which our requests and petitions are made known to God other than through prayer.  God does not work off of good thoughts and good vibes.  The best thing we can do as Christians when someone is going through a tough time is to pray for them.  Don’t skirt around the issue by calling it something else.  Do your friends and family a favor and pray for them.  Take their needs and their burdens to the One that can do something about it.

What Does God Think about you?

What Does God Think about you?

When it all boils down, the New Testament tells us to inspect other Christian’s lives for their fruits.  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Matt 7:16

Is It Time For Your own Fruit Inspection?   Does Your Fruit of the Spirit look Appetizing?

“You should go and bear fruit and – your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. John 15:16b

This is one of the 7 passages in John, that refers to having fruit and it abiding in our lives.

Notice also that it is “fruit” of the Spirit, not  “fruits”. Our fruit of the spirit is one piece with many different characteristics. We know the fruit is:

“Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

All believers have the fruit of Spirit available to them. You don’t have to ask God for love, joy, or peace…you already have it in you. However, you may need to ask for a greater yield of your fruit on a day to day basis. The size of the fruit is different among believers. Some people spend time cultivating their fruit so that it’s flourishing; while others tend to neglect their fruit and it becomes unproductive. Does Your Fruit of the Spirit in your life look Appetizing?

Our fruit of the spirit is one piece with many different characteristics.

Every so often believers need to make sure they are growing up spiritually. Perhaps it is time for your fruit inspection. Use the following Fruit Development Assessment (F.D.A.) to determine the condition of your spiritual fruit. Check the fruit you need the most nourishment to grow.

What is this fruit?   We know the fruit is: “Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Look at the word “abide”. This means it is consistently there, not hit and miss.

All believers have the fruit of Spirit available to them. You don’t have to ask God for love, joy, or peace…you already have it in you. However, you may need to ask for a greater yield of your fruit on a day to day basis. The size of the fruit is different among believers. Some people spend time cultivating their fruit so that it’s flourishing; while others tend to neglect their fruit and it becomes unproductive.

Love

“Dear children let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18).

Is your love unconditional? Or is your love most evident when everything goes your way? This type of fruit keeps on loving even when it’s difficult to show affection to others. The capacity to love grows out of the agape love from the heavenly Father.  This Love is hard to show on the job because some people just don’t deserve it.  Love anyway, unconditionally.

Joy

“For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Can you have joy in the chaos? Or does your moodiness hover over everyone like a cloud? Not that anyone should be joyful about the hard times, but rather your joy comes from #1) God is with you through it and #2) God uses every trial to help you become stronger in the faith.

Check your “reputation”.  Are you the person people avoid during your moody times?

Peace

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-8).

Is your inner person wrecked with anxiety and worry when everything falls apart? Or can you rest in God’s peace? There is no peace for the wicked; however, for believers it is available every time you pray and leave your concerns with God.  God knows all about your job.  He knows the deadlines, and the bill due dates.

Forbearance

“Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11).

Can you be still and wait on God? Or are you tempted to always move ahead so you can stay in control? Forbearance is a fruit that will grow with your experience of being stretched in faith especially in times of trial.  Forbearance is another word for patience; you don’t have to pray for patience…it’s there already!

Our Jobs, our Lives are going at such a fast pace… Can you succeed and still wait on the Lord?

Kindness

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful” (2 Timothy 2:24).

Do others sense your kindness in words and actions? Or are they more accustomed to your angry response? A gentle word, a soft answer, or a helping hand—all demonstrate the fruit of kindness in this culture of rudeness and selfishness.

Goodness

“Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God” (3 John 11).

Are your conversations marked with genuine virtue and honor? Or is your conversation tainted with worldly language, immoral tendencies, or gossip? Goodness doesn’t mean that you are perfect, but rather someone who sincerely reflects the integrity of God within. A believer who demonstrates the fruit of goodness has the tendency to look for the best about people.

Faithfulness

“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:2).

Does your reputation reflect dependability and steadfastness in the faith? Or do people expect you to be late, undependable, or to drop off the map on a project? Your faithfulness represents God’s Spirit dwelling within. Those who cultivate the fruit of faithfulness are compelled to complete every good work for His glory.

Gentleness

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near” (Philippians 4:5).

Is your meek spirit felt around those who live or work with you? Or do they feel that you are a hard and legalistic person to deal with? A spirit of gentleness gives grace freely and consistently. Believers and unbelievers should feel at ease around you because of your presence of gentleness.

Self-Control

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:11-12)

Do you control your appetites? Or do they control you? Believers can demonstrate a life of self-control and discipline in a world where everyday is an opportunity for gluttony. You have the power through the Spirit to control your cravings.

Forbearance

“Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:11).

Can you be still and wait on God? Or are you tempted to always move ahead so you can stay in control? Forbearance is a fruit that will grow with your experience of being stretched in faith especially in times of trial.  Forbearance is another word for patience; you don’t have to pray for patience…it’s there already!

Every Fruit should be seen in each one of the Believers.  Don’t make excuses why you do not exhibit a particular fruit.  If there are no fruits seen, or if they are rotten and moldy, you need to decide what is more important to you, Jesus or _________ (fill in the blank).  Start by praying about them every day.  Ask others to pray with you too.  Try to post the different “Fruits” around your office or work space as a reminder for you to start cultivating these missing fruits.

One side benefit of having the Fruits of the Spirit abiding in you seems to be Answered Prayers.  Read the 7 passages in John, that refer to having fruit and it abiding in our lives, and you will see that it seems to promise a stronger prayer life.  Wow… what a cool benefit!

When we pray, and our prayers are not answered, perhaps we need to check our fruit. Every so often believers need to make sure they are still growing up spiritually.

Results

Are you at 10%, 50% or 100% in your fruit productivity? What matters most is that you don’t give up growing spiritual fruit. You cultivate it with the light of Jesus, the wind from the Spirit, the bread from the Word of God, and the fellowship of the saints.

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (John 15:8).

Christians acting out their faith at home

Only 1 in 4 Christians acting out their faith at home

Twenty-five percent of professing, practicing Christians live in households that regularly pray and practice Bible reading together and conduct outreach together to others, while 28 percent live in a home that does none of the items on that list, according to new research by Barna.

The survey of 2,347 adults and teens who were identified as practicing Christians found that only a minority lived in what Barna termed “spiritually vibrant” households. The poll was conducted in partnership with Lutheran Hour Ministries as part of Barna’s new Households of Faith report.

The goal of the poll was to examine how Christian homes practiced their faith together, and not as individuals. Christians who lived alone were not included in the survey.

Practicing Christians, according to Barna, are identified as self-identified Christians who “say their faith is very important in their lives and have attended a worship service within the past month.”

Most practicing Christians, though, don’t live in spiritually vibrant homes.

Barna asked Christians about three elements of their house’s faith practice:

– Spiritual practices – defined here as praying every day or two together and reading the Bible weekly, together.

– Spiritual conversations – defined as talking about God together at least weekly.

– Hospitality – defined as welcoming non-family guests regularly, or at least several times a month.

Only 25 percent of practicing Christians live in households where these three elements are practiced, as defined. Thirty-three percent live in homes that regularly follow “spiritual practices” and “spiritual conversations,” while 14 percent live in households that practice only hospitality. A total of 28 percent of practicing Christians live in homes that never follow these practices.

“Vibrant households stand out in that they have meaningful, fun, quality time with both their housemates and extended household members,” the research said. “… Vibrant households come together for games (32%). They share meals (63% eat breakfast together and 75% eat dinner together) as well as their feelings (59%) on almost a daily basis. Vibrancy also correlates with group discipline, like working on the house or yard together (34% every day or two) or hosting household or family meetings (68%).”

Joshua 24:15  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord

Words in times of Suffering

Words have meaning…

It is tiresome to listen to rhetoric slung about these days, whether from Hollywood movies or politicians. For example, one of the worst is name calling. Children are lured by movies–one that comes to mind is “Despicable Me.”

Some politicians are labeled as crooked who in turn label groups as deplorable.

It is time to move on and remember the Judeo–Christian roots of this nation.

If one is victimized by a bully, there are multiple remedies.

_________________________

Words in times of Suffering

What we say to each other matters. A recent event reminded me of a time several years ago, when a friend shared some personal struggles with someone who was verbally abusive to her.

I listened and then asked her a question. If I called her a name, perhaps saying she was a monkey, did that make her one? She answered, “No.”.
I was trying to inject another way of looking at things into her situation. A different outlook did not undo harsh, unloving comments, but sometimes being able to share concerns will help.

This reminds me of advice from my favorite cousin for times of depression. She said that there are three things to do when one is depressed. One may “get in touch with nature” — perhaps by taking a walk. One may “do something nice for oneself” — possibly with a bubble bath. The last counsel was to “talk to a friend.”

In addition to these ideas, one may turn to the Bible and the Holy Spirit for comfort.

A favorite passage these days comes from I Peter 3:8-17:
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tender-hearted, be courteous;
Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit;
Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”
And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
Having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.
For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (New King James Version)