400 - Count the Cost, Pay the Price

May 8, 2017

Life teaches us that anything worth having has a price attached to it.  Nothing of value, other than salvation, comes free.  "No pain, no gain," as the saying goes.  Jesus spoke that same truth in Luke 14:26-33. And the same principle applies when it comes to understanding and experiencing spiritual gifts.  There are some things we must do and some things we can expect.  Let's look at our part first:

You must have a desire for more of the Lord.  A desire for the Spirit's gifts.  But that desire means more than calm, wishful, thinking.  Consider the following

1 Corinthians 14:1 - Pursue love (agápē), and desire (zēlóō - to burn with zeal, to be heated or to boil with envy, to lust, covet) spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

Then you must cultivate a vibrant prayer life.  This takes time and effort.  But the rewards are life-changing.

And finally, you must be willing to fast.  Why?  Because the Lord links fasting, for some reason, with prayer and spiritual fervency.  They seem to come in a package.  Two for the price of one.

Do you want to know more about growing deep in your intimacy of the Lord?  Do you want to begin living in the realm of the gifts the Spirit has given you?  Do you want to let Him manifest HImself to the world through you (1 Cor. 12:7)?  Great.  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.

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381 - The Year of Sanctification

January 4, 2017

Many of us make resolutions this time of year.  It just seems natural.  Maybe we want to lose weight, get out of debt, or finish a long neglected project around the house.  But as a Christian, we want to somehow make our resolutions more spiritual.  That also seems natural.  So we often resolve something like this:

"I want to read my Bible more."
"I want to pray more."
"I want to share my faith more."
"I want to love more, forgive more, worship more."
"I want to live more like a Christian."
"I want to know more of God and have myself conformed to the image of His Son."

But the key to discovering the "abundant life" (John 10:10) Jesus spoke about is not in keeping resolutions, no matter how good they may be.  It's living a life of holiness.  It's practicing sanctification.  It's being set apart or consecrated unto God.  After all, we belong to Him.

But sanctification never takes place unless we first understand the way God's if / then promises work.  The promise comes after the condition.  The then follows the if.  Consider the following:

Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

(condition one) Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
(condition two) and lean not on your own understanding;
(condition three) in all your ways acknowledge Him,
(promise) and He shall direct your paths.

Want to know more.  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Proverbs 3:5-6.

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302 - God’s Name = His Nature and Character

April 19, 2015
Jesus said to pray in this manner:  "Our Father in heaven, hallowed (or, sanctify, make holy) Your name" (Matt. 6:9).

But is there more to God's name than just... God?  How can we make holy the name of God when we don't really know what that name is and what His name reveals about the nature of God?  

For example, in the Old Testament God our Father is also known as:

Jehovah-tsidkenu - Jehovah our Righteousness
Jehovah-m’kaddesh - Jehovah Who Sanctifies
Jehovah-shammah - Jehovah is There
Jehovah-shalom - Jehovah is Peace
Jehovah-rophe - Jehovah Heals
Jehovah-jireh - Jehovah Sees or His Provision Shall be Seen
Jehovah-nissi - Jehovah our Banner
Jehovah-rohi - Jehovah our Shepherd

Want to know more about God's names and His nature?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 1:9-11 and the names of God.

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295 - Just How Holy is Holy?

March 5, 2015
When the Scriptures speak of you and I being called "saints" (Col. 1:2), and when we later discover that the word "saint" actually means "holy" or "holy ones"— the question that screams to be answered is this:  Just how holy is holy?  Or, just how holy does the Lord see us as His "saints" and how holy does He expect us to live?

The answer will shock you.

Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:13-16).

Want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 1:1-2 and the meaning of being called a saint.

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279 - “Lord, Revive Us Again!”

December 29, 2014
As 2014 draws slowly to a close, I am once again reminded of our greatest need as individual Christians and as the church:  Revival!  

"And what is revival?" you ask.  

According to the Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, revival is: "the work of the Holy Spirit in restoring the people of God to a more spiritual life, witness, and work— by prayer and the Word after repentance."

Leonard Ravenhill said, "Revival is when God gets so sick and tired of being misrepresented that He shows Himself.”  And Vance Havner summed it all up when he said, "Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again."

Do you need to fall in love with Jesus all over again?  I sure do.  Come join with me and together let's ask our Great God for revival.

The following is a study on Our Need for Revival.

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273 - The Holy Spirit - Cutting Through the Chaos

November 24, 2014
There is so much confusion about the Holy Spirit today.  You have entire Christian denominations committed primarily to their particular view of the Holy Spirit:  Who He is, how He is received, the importance of gifts, are tongues real, has prophecy ceased, and of course the debate about the difference between baptism and filling of the Holy Spirit, and on and on it goes.

Ahem.

But the Scriptures are clear about the Holy Spirit and His role today.  In fact, there really shouldn't be any confusion or disagreement between Believers on this issue - especially concerning some of the more troubling passages in Acts.  And it is these very passages that we are going to examine from the Scriptures.  

Are you interested?  Good.  Then keep listening.

This is a study on the Holy Spirit.

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259 - Believers with Dirty Faces

September 15, 2014
One of the most sobering and frightening statements by God to the priests, clergy, and believers just like you and me is found in Malachi 2:3.  There God says:

“Behold, I will rebuke your descendants and spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your solemn feasts; and one will take you away with it."

Just so you know, refuse means dung, fecal matter, excrement.  That's right.  God is saying He will spread or smear excrement on the faces of His priests or clergy or you and me.

Do you want to know why God would do something as drastic as this?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on Malachi 2:1-9.

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258 - Living in the Realm of the First Importance

September 10, 2014

Jesus placed as first importance the need to count the costs (Luke 14:28) before coming to Him and partaking of His life (John 7:37-38).  But many today fail to embrace, or even consider, what it means to truly follow Christ.  We debate among ourselves trivial theological matters or define, to our own carnality, what is "permissible" in the Christian life, yet fail to understand the depths of the new life He has call us to.


It's a life, mind you, of holiness.  After all, "No man ever spoke like this Man! (John 7:46).

Want to know more about the life of faith?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on John 7:40-52.

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251 - All the Bloody Stuff We Don’t Like Talking About

August 4, 2014
Romans 12:1-2 speaks of our response to God for His abundant grace and mercy.  In essence it asks, "What are we to do with all the goodness You have shown us?"   And the answer is simple:

I beseech (or, urge, beg) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present (what) your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

And how do we go about doing that?

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, (why) that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

How does this fit in with the book of Leviticus?  Listen and find out more.

The following is a study on Leviticus 1:1-17.

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216 - Come and Experience Life Behind the Veil

August 31, 2013
Some of the most compelling passages in the book of Hebrews are found in chapter 10.  In these words the Lord tells us how we are to "draw near" to Him and how we are to "come boldly" and "enter the Holy of Holies" with Him by a "new and living way."  

Consider the following:

Let us draw near with a (1) true heart in (2) full assurance of faith, (3) having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and (4) our bodies washed with pure water.

What could be more amazing than this?

Want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study of Hebrews 10:19-25.
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