Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter

Happy Resurrection Day!

There is a Peter, so the story goes,
But he does not have, a twitchy nose.
He was hot tempered, and quick with the sword,
He healed the sick, and served our Lord,
He witness Jesus die on the cross, for you and me,
The way to be saved he taught, the way to be free,
No painted eggs, nor chocolate bunny did he give,
But healing, peace, and tale of salvation, did he bring,
Yes there is a Peter, in the Easter Holiday,
But a teller of truth, and shower of the way,
This is the Peter, we should tell our kids,
Not the one, where a basket of treats, he brings.

Today is Easter, do your children know the reason we celebrate this? More importantly, do you?

John 3:
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should notperish but have eternal life.
John 1:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.


10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
So Jesus came into the world and healed the sick, raised the dead, and gave sight to the blind. Then, He fulfilled His main purpose of coming. He was killed for our Sins. He went to the Cross to pay the price for all Sin and shed His blood for us all. He did so for YOU.

If you allow His blood to be your blood, His payment for all Sin to be your payment for your Sin, and His death to be your death, you will have everlasting life of peace and happiness with Him. Easter is the day we have set aside to remember what happened.

Luke 24:
1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?

6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,

7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.

8 And they remembered his words,

9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.

10 It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.

11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

12 Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.

13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.

14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.

16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.

22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;

23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.

24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.

25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:

26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?

27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.

29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.

30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.

31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,

34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:

47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

48 And ye are witnesses of these things.

49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.

52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
This is what Easter is all about. The greatest gift you will ever receive. The gift of forgiveness and Salvation. The gift of eternal life. He did all these things, and suffered all things, so that you can enter into Heaven. So that you will not die, but have everlasting life. He paid the ultimate price so you do not have to. The greatest and final sacrifice, ever.

Happy and Blessed Easter to all of you. Is there anything wrong with painting eggs? No. Not really. Anything wrong with Chocolate Bunnies? No. Not really. But just make sure that if you do these things, you take time out to actually teach your kids the REALLY reason for the Holiday. It AIN'T about the Bunny.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Other Side of Death's River

The Other Side of Death's River

There is a story told in Brazil about a missionary who discovered a tribe of Indians in a remote part of the jungle. They lived near a large river. The tribe was friendly and in need of medical attention. A contagious disease was ravaging the population and people were dying daily. An infirmary was located in another part of the jungle and the missionary determined that the only hope for the tribe was to go to the hospital for treatment and inoculations. In order to reach the hospital, however, the Indians would have to cross the river – a feat they were unwilling to perform.

The river, they believed, was inhabited by evil spirits. To enter the water meant certain death. The missionary set about the difficult task of overcoming the superstition of the tribe.

He explained how he had crossed the river and arrived unharmed. No luck. He led the people to the bank and placed his hand in the water. The people still wouldn't believe him. He walked out into the river and splashed water on his face. The people watched closely yet were still hesitant. Finally he turned and dove into the water. He swam beneath the surface until he emerged on the other side.

Having proven that the power of the river was a farce, the missionary punched a triumphant fist into the air. He had entered the water and escaped. The Indians broke into cheers and followed him across.

Jesus saw people enslaved by their fear of a cheap power. He explained that the river of death was nothing to fear. The people wouldn't believe him. He touched a boy and called him back to life. The followers were still unconvinced. He whispered life into the dead body of a girl. The people were still cynical. He let a dead man spend four days in a grave and then called him out. Is that enough? Apparently not. For it was necessary for him to enter the river, to submerge himself in the water of death before people would believe that death had been conquered.

But after he did, after he came out on the other side of death's river, it was time to sing ... it was time to celebrate.

Max Lucado


Six Hours One Friday: Discover Forgiveness and Healing in the Middle of Loss and Failure


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Be You, Everyone Else Is Taken

“The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” 

― W.H. Auden

Or, you could just be you...

Ever look at a picture and wonder, "Do I really look like that?" Ever hear your voice on a recording and wonder "Do I really sound like that?" We all have. But is this nonsense? We have mirrors. We can hear ourselves when we speak. We do the things we do. How are these things surprising to us? They are because a picture, and a recording, is not how we see and hear ourselves, they are the way others see and hear us.

Now I'm a big guy. I get that. I've talked about that before. Yet when I see pictures of me, I am truly amazed. To me, I'm just Pete. I go to the gym. I work. I love my family and play with my Boys. I teach the Word. I love helping others find the Truth. But to others, I can be perceived, as my Niece tells me often, "A big scary guy." I will never forget this. I saw this Picture of me standing with my friend Rich. Now Rich is 6 foot Five and, weighs blah, blah, blah. Not saying. But he's a big guy. Much taller than I ETC. So I see this picture and realize, I'm actually bigger than him. I'm actually wider. I remember telling my Niece this and her response? "Duh?"

This is a normal thing. A phenomena if you will. Even though we look in mirrors, we do not see ourselves as others do. We see what we chose to see. We create a self we wish we were. A self we want to be. A reason in essence to love ourselves.

In a way, we understand this phenomena. So we attempt to become, in essence, two different people. I saw this quote the other day.. “The image of myself which I try to create in my own mind in order that I may love myself is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” I added to it "Or, you could just be you."

"But Pete, this is normal. Even Biblical. Did Paul not do this as well?" In.....

1 Corinthians 9:
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.

20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;

21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.

22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

23 And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
"So what's wrong with this? People want to be loved by others." But here is the thing. Paul did not do these things to be loved by others. He never changed who he was, for self gain or acceptance of others. He did so in the Hope that he could reach others with the Truth of God, and that "some" might be saved. Know who else did this? Jesus.

Luke 5:
27 And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.

28 And he left all, rose up, and followed him.

29 And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.

30 But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?

31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.

32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

33 And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?

34 And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?

35 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.
So not only did Jesus come into a Sinner's Home, He and His Disciples ate whatever Matthew and the others prepared, and drank whatever they drank. Which was Wine. Remember this Passage?

Matthew 11:
18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil.

19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
Think about this. Jesus was always with Sinners. He had a habit of being with people but not giving in to Sin. He was with Sinners but showed it was possible to resist Sin. He was with drunkards without getting drunk. Think about this also. He healed the sex addicted woman at the well. He did not shun her. He cast out Mary Magdalene’s demons. He did not reject her. He helped Zacchaeus overcome his greed. How, He went to his house. He touched the Leper in order to heal him. He did not run away and hide.
31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.

32 I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
It's all well and fine, and you should, go to Church and be with Brothers and Sisters in Christ. But if that is all you are doing, what profit do you have? You have to be with Sinners to reach Sinners. Jesus went to people where they were and talked to them in the middle of what they were doing. He ate with them. He drank with them. He spent time with them. He got to know them and they got to know Him. He did not go up to them and get in their face and tell them they were evil and going to hell. He did not tell them they have to change who they were in order for Him to talk to them. He went to them. Peter, Andrew, James, John, Matthew, later Saul who became Paul. All these were simply living their lives, doing the things they did, when Jesus came to them. They did not go to Him.

We should not be concerned about how others see us. We should not be creating a character, a made up person, to gain acceptance of men. We should simple be who we are.

Proverbs 31:
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
This applies to everyone. Not just Women. Jesus tells us..

Matthew 23:
28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Peter warns us of this.
1 Peter 2:
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
And in....

2 Corinthians 4:
15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Remember the story I told you about the Checkout Girl? I go into this discount Grocery, get some stuff, and go to check out. I meet this beautiful, young Black Girl at the register. I say beautiful because she is. Outside and in. You could see instantly she had a GREAT Spirit about her. I was pretty sure that she is a Child of God, although, I had never met her before, nor did I ask.. I did ask, say it with me, "How's your day going?" She said "Fine."

Next time I went in, we talked a little bit more. Seems, just me taking a few seconds to ask her about her day, helped her to remember me. Then every time I went in, we talked. We became friends. She knew me on sight, I knew her. We knew NOTHING about each other, but here we were friends. Talking about each other's lives. Like the fact she was trying to become a Teacher. How my Boys were. ETC.

So the store started this, not Promotion, but this, I don't know what you call it. But you buy this bag of food for $6.00 and they give it to a local Church to give out to those less fortunate. So every time I went in, I found myself buying one of those bags. Didn't really think about it.

So this one day, I'm checking out, and she says to me, "You are the most generous, genuine, caring, person I have met in a long time." Then she gave me one of the biggest hugs I've had in a long time. I said "Life is too short to live it through Hate." She then stopped what she was doing and said, "I wish more people would understand what you just said."

She has since moved on. She is a Teacher now. I'm telling you that those kids are blessed to have her. Now let me ask you this. Same Store. Same Girl. I go in and walk up to the register, and say to her "You better get your life right. If not, you are going to hell. You live the way I 'm telling you. Think the way I tell you. Act the way I tell you. I know better than you. Oh, and I love you." How do you think that would have went? Who is this old White guy, telling this young Black girl, ANYTHING? Who in the Hell does he think he is?

You know what the sad thing is? She said I was "generous, genuine, and caring," and it effected her. Why? Because that is becoming more and more rare. Was I trying to be? Nope. She got to SEE the real me. She SAW how I acted. She SAW the way I treated others. She witnessed my "good deeds" of buying the Bags. She may have thought all kinds of things when she first saw me. But then, she got to actually SEE who I really am, through the way I am. Just being me.

God does not want you to put on a show. Jesus never told you to pretend to be something you are not. Ever meet a fake person? We see them all the time. They portray this image when they are in public, but then we find out the real person. Most of the time, when we do, we do not like the real person. No. As Children of God, we need to simply be who we are. Jesus said...

Matthew 7:
12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
By YOUR Works, people will know you. How do you think you will be taken by others, if you say one thing, yet they witness you do the other? Go around and tell people that they are wrong for doing this or that, then they see you, doing this or that. "Do as I say, not as I do." never works. Just BE you.

I have come to understand, that just me being me, effects others. The Checkout Girl wanted to know more about me, just because of what she witnessed. Coworkers over the years, wanted to learn more about me, for just being me. People I never met before told their friends, that this or that that I posted on Online Discussion Boards, helped them and changed their lives. I never knew them, nor will I ever meet them. I had no idea that something I said, would change their lives. I was just being me.

You do not need to dress in today's fashions, drive high class expensive cars, or buy that $10.00 cup of coffee. You do not need to speak this or that way. You do not need to follow the heard. just be you. Trust me, the heard mentality is so prevalent, that when one is truly themselves, they stand out. They are noticed. A Zebra in a heard of Buffalo is noticed. Be the Zebra.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com
Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Simply James 4 Part Three

The Sin of Omission.

We have been studying the Book of James Chapter 4, and we have learned that this one Chapter, of this one Book, by one man, James, is filled with lessons that every Child of God needs to learn. What is remarkable about James, is that even though he was the Brother of Jesus, he was a nonbeliever all the way up to the Resurrection. Then he became a Leader of the Church in Jerusalem, and a Pillar of Faith.

We have learned how we shall have whatsoever we ask God to supply us with, as long as we are living for Him. As long as we are doing His Will. He will not answer our Prayers if we are Praying for greed or lust. We have learned that once we become a Child of God, we are no longer OF the World, even though we are still in it. We have learned that the World will hate us, because it first hated Him. That we should not care. But be good and faithful servants of God Himself. We learned that we need to stop relying on ourselves and start relying on God. That if we humble ourselves, it is God who gives us the power and lifts us up. If we give up ourselves to God and allow God to work through us, we will be far better off in all things.

Then we learned that there is but one Way, Truth, and Life. One Judge, and we are not He. We learned that we should not Promise, but say what we mean and mean what we say. Yes is Yes and No is No, and all else is evil. We also learned that we should be anxious for nothing and take no thought of tomorrow. For tomorrow is NEVER a guarantee.

As we go through the Book of James, Chapter 4, we see that James is pretty much echoing Jesus Himself, and teaching us the ways of God, the way it can only be taught, by the lead of the Holy Spirit himself. Here is the entire Chapter again...

James 4:
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Now James's core message is simple. Faith without Works is dead. Religion for Religion sake is meaningless and a waste of time. His last lesson in this Chapter, of his letter to the twelve tribes, is this.
"Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
What does this mean? This means that it doesn't matter if you are in Church every time the door is open. It doesn't matter if you fast during Lent. It doesn't matter if you keep the Passover, or any other Traditions. It does not matter what you do, if you are not following The Father's plan, you are doing nothing.

You may be taking great pride in being "Holy" and "Faithful to the Faith." Or a good, "Insert Religion or Denomination here." But if you are not actually serving others, you are falling into a trap of the devil. Here is the way James puts it.
16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Now most of you know what Sin is. Do not Murder. Steal. Lie. Convent. Have no other God before God. Honor your Father and Mother. ETC. But do you know the Sin of Omission? When a "certain Lawyer" asked Him what to do to be saved, Jesus asked him how he read and understood Scripture. The Lawyer answered rightly. He said "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Jesus said well done. You already know what to do.

Understand that this Lawyer was telling the truth. He knew and understood the Scriptures. He was "Religious." He was, in his mind, "Righteous." But he asked Jesus, "Who is my neighbor?" He most likely was thinking that this means his fellow Religious folks. His own kind. But Jesus answered him this way.

Luke 10:
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
A Priest, and a Levite. Now all Priests were Levites, but all Levites were not Priests. However, Levites were assigned various duties in the Tabernacle. They assisted the Priests in preparing the Cereal Offerings, and care for the Courts and the Chambers of the Sanctuary. Later the Levites were involved in interpreting the Law and thus functioned as Teachers. So needless to say, both these where "Religious folks." They knew and followed the Law.

When they came upon one in true need, they passed him by. Perhaps they thought him unworthy? Perhaps they thought he got what he deserved. Perhaps they simply did not care. But when one came upon him that was not "Religious," he was the one, that showed the man compassion. He was the one, that truly met the man's needs. Jesus told the Lawyer to go and do likewise.

This next passage needs to be one that you, as a Child of God, take to heart, and fully understand. Jesus taught, that in the time of Judgement, you will be evaluated. In....

Matthew 25:
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
You see, Jesus makes it a point to explain that these folks, Justified by God, did these things without even taking thought. They did so because that was who they were. They were following God. Then Jesus said to them....
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Then he turned to those on His left. He said this.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Now stop there for a second. just as a side note here. Notice these two points. Jesus said.."Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Then to the ones cursed, He said "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" Again, God condemns no one. It was ALWAYS God's intent to give us everlasting life with Him in Paradise. He never intended Hell to be for man. We condemn ourselves but rejecting God. Back to the message.
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Jesus also put it this way..One of the saddest and scariest passages of the Bible is this.

Matthew 7:
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 
Sad and scary yes. But when you understand what it means, Faith without Works is dead, then you can fully grasp the reason why Jesus teaches us this. If we are going through our daily lives, and we see someone in need, and we have the ability to help them, should we not?

It is good for you to be going to Church. It is good for you to keep the Sabbath. It is good for you to keep the Passover. To follow traditions. There is nothing wrong with any of it. But is there a Food Pantry in your town? Is there a Good Will outlet? Is there a person living under the bridge you cross everyday going to work or school? What are you doing to "Feed the hungry?" "Cloth the Naked?" "Give sight to the Blind?" What are you doing to actually serve God?

In...

Galatians 6:
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Jesus's, and in this case James's message, is crystal clear. "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James made it simple to understand in....

James 2:
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Think about that. If you lose your Job, lose your home, are living in a tent, and you go to Church and say "I lost my Job, home, and live in a tent, I have no way to feed my family." Which helps you more? If the Pastor of that Church says "This is horrible, come let us Pray." Then sends you away. Or one that says, "That's horrible, come let us Pray. Meanwhile, come, stay here at the Church, or in my own home. Come here, eat.?" Of course, it is the Pastor that Prayed AND supplied the needs temporarily. So you, as a Child of God, should go and do likewise.

If you know someone is in need, and you have the means or the ability to do good towards them, and you do it not, God calls that Sin. The Sin of Omission. As Children of God, we need to concern ourselves with the needs of others. Should we keep traditions and attempt to be as close to God as possible. Of course, but He is more concerned with what we are doing for others. Remember, it is a Spiritual Law. The more you give out, the more you receive. The more you do for God, the more God will do for you. Be mindful, that you do not commit the Sin of Omission. One day, it may be you in need.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Simply James 4 Part Two

Part Two, One Way, Truth, and Life. Do not Judge. Speak plainly. Do not be anxious.

We are talking about the Book of James, Chapter 4. Last time we discussed how we shall have whatsoever we ask God to supply us with, as long as we are living for Him. As long as we are doing His Will. He will not answer our Prayers if we are Praying for greed or lust. If we are attempting to manipulate God, we will find Him silent.

We have learned that once we become a Child of God, we are no longer OF the World, even though we are still in it. We have learned that the World will hate us, because it first hated Him. That we should not care. But be good and faithful servants of God Himself.

We have learned that God will not accept those that are full of pride. That we need to stop relying on ourselves and start relying on God. That if we humble ourselves, it is God who gives us the power and lifts us up. If we give up ourselves to God and allow God to work through us, we will be far better off in all things.

Let's go back to...

James 4:
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
We left it off here...
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
Simply put..

John 14:
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Do you know people, I do, who will go Church, sit in the pews, whisper to each other how this one or that one is dressed. How this one or that one got fired. How these other two are getting Divorced, ETC? They smile at them. Some even hug everyone. But they are sitting in judgement of others, while never taking thought of what they are in violation of. What Sin is in their lives? Remember what Jesus said about this sort of thing?

Luke 18:
9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
You see, you may think someone is in deserving of damnation, but who are you to judge? Do you know their heart? Who are you to condemn?

Romans 8:
33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.

34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Even God is not sitting there looking to condemn someone. He has arranged it so ALL can be forgiven, and find Salvation. Again, it's not God who condemns. We condemn ourselves. Just so there is no doubt to the fact, we are not to judge others, Jesus makes it crystal clear.

Matthew 7:
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
We are all Sinners. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 Yet? You will sit there and judge a Brother or Sister? Jesus calls those who does, hypocrites. Instead of sitting there judging them, why not get up, walk over, and ask if there is something they need? Why not say a Prayer for them? However, sit there and judge, you do so at your own risk. Remember "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."
13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
Jesus told us that we should keep our speech simple. That we should allow our Yes to be Yes, and our No to be No.

Matthew 5:
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
I have always tried to follow this teaching. Ask my kids. If I say No, it is No. They have no need of, or at least they have little hope of this changing if they continuously ask. If I say Yes, it is Yes. A Guarantee. An absolute. If I tell my kids, we will go somewhere. We go. It does not matter if I feel like it when the time comes. It doesn't matter if I am called into work. It doesn't matter if we can afford it. We GO. Or if I say Yes to something. It is Yes. They know it to be true. They have no doubts.

Here is something you should NEVER do. Trust me. NEVER promise God something you cannot deliver. When I first got Saved, I found myself with a day off. I was excited. I was on fire for God. I went out and put The Bible in my car. I got in. I Prayed to this effect. "God, I love you. I give you this day. Whatever and wherever you want me to go, and whatever you want me to do. I'm all yours." I got to the next town over and decided I would stop for coffee. Then I decided I would do this and that. I promised the day to God, I took it back.

So what happened? He took THREE from me. Long story short, my car died, I walked three miles home, and had to wait for a friend to come look at the car. After three days? I got my car back It turned out to be like a $6.00 fix. Don't promise God anything you can deliver. Trust me.

God tells us we should not do this with each other either. Simply say Yes and No. God also tells us that we should never worry about tomorrow.

Matthew 6:
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Now let's really look at this. "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow." Then "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

September 11, 2001, Tuesday, people got up. They had breakfast or coffee. They took their showers, got dressed, kissed their loved ones, went off to work. A mundane Tuesday. Just like all others. Wishing it was Friday. Thinking about "what's for dinner?" Making plans for their next day off.

8:46 a.m, a Jet flew right into the side of the World Trade Centers. 9:03 a.m, a second Jet flew into the side of the other Tower. 3000 plus people left this Earth on that day. 3000 plus people had no idea that it was the last time, they had breakfast or coffee. They took their showers, got dressed. The last time they kissed their loved ones, went off to work. A mundane Tuesday. Just like all others. Wishing it was Friday. Thinking about "what's for dinner?" Making plans for their next day off.

Will the world come to an end soon? Maybe. However, the world DID come to an end for 3000 plus people on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. I could be sitting here right now, talking abo............ You could be sitting there right now rea........ Our loved ones left behind. Tomorrow is never promised. Today is a gift.

Jesus put it this way...

Luke 12:
15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:

17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.

20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?

21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
If you really want to live by Faith, Jesus tells us this...
32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.

34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
"But Pete, come on man. They have been talking about the end of the world since Bible times. Look, we are still here. This is all nonsense." Nope. Peter addressed this. As a matter of fact, he talked about people like you..

2 Peter 3:
2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

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

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Again, just because the end of the world doesn't happen tomorrow, doesn't mean that tomorrow may not be your last day. Or mine. Or a loved one of ours. Everyday, somewhere in the world, someone goes to sleep here, and wakes up in Heaven. Everyday.

This is why the Word tells us to be anxious for nothing. To convent nothing. Forget about what you will do when you are older. What if today is your last day?

Philippians 4:
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
So to recap, today we learned that there is but one Way, Truth, and Life. One Judge, and we are not He. We learned that we should not Promise, but say what we mean and mean what we say. Yes is Yes and No is No, and all else is evil. We also learned that we should be anxious for nothing and take no thought of tomorrow. For tomorrow is NEVER a guarantee.

Next time we will wrap up James 4 with his last lesson. The Sin of Omission. Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Simply James 4 Part One

Have you heard these sayings?

"God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."

"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,"

"For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

" Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

Did you know that all these things are in one Chapter, in one Book, written by one man? James, Brother of Jesus, and what is said to be the oldest Book of the New Testament. Did you know that James was not even a believer until AFTER the Resurrection? James is a fascinating study in and of himself. Some places where it talks about him? Matthew 13:55 "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" Mark 6:3 "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him." John 7:3-5 "His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him."

He then became a head of the Church in Jerusalem following the Resurrection. Called a Pillar by Paul and one that extended his hand and authorized Paul to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. Galatians 2:9 "And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision."

This is yet another place that dispels the myth that Peter was the first Pope. Peter was the leader of the Jews. His job was to Preach the Gospel of Christ to the Jews. He wanted nothing to do with the Gentiles. Paul is the first Pope, if you will. Sanctioned and ordained by God Himself to Preach the Gospel of Christ to the non-Jews.

Now James's main foundational message is Faith without Works is dead. That we need to be more than hearers of the Word, but doers of the Word. That Religion for Religion sake is pointless. Which is probably why I feel a bit of kinship with him.

There is so much wealth in just this one Chapter, we need to truly spend some time here. Here it is..

James 4:
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
Let's look at this a bit more closely.
1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Now you know the Scriptures...

Matthew 7:
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
John 15:
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
Mark 11:
24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Does this mean that I can go out back of my House and Pray for a money tree with Hundred Dollar Bills for leaves, and I will be plucking my way to wealth tomorrow? Nope. Wait, does it not say "whatever you wish, and it will be done for you?" Then I want that money tree. It also says "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." Who was Jesus talking to? His Disciples. God tells us, through His Word, that He will give to His Children anything that they ask, they shall receive. What should the Children of God ask for? To meet their needs? Nope. Jesus told us that our Father knows what we have need of before we do. No. As Children of God, we should ask for things that will be a blessing to us, but more importantly for us to be a blessing to others.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
This is a simple truth that is rarely taught. You cannot be part of the World and serve God at the same time. You simple can't. The World is flesh. God is Spirit. If you are OF the World, you are walking in the flesh. Remember, Romans 8 declares "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Jesus put it this way..

John 15:
18 If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
When you start receiving great praise and power by Man, it's time to look in the mirror. It's time to enter into the Word. It's time to Pray. As we have discussed many times, you can be a great "Insert Religion here" all you want to be. You may receive promotions and great praise by man for the teachings and keeping of man-made traditions. But are you actually following and teaching the Truth of God?

A little bit later, Jesus even told us that it would be worse than the World simply Hating us. He said this..

John 16:
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
On the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus actually Blessed those of us, that become persecuted, because of Him and His Word. He said this...

Matthew 5:
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Think about this. How did the Apostles of the Bible die? Well, James is said to have been thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his Faith in The Christ Jesus. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a Fuller's Club. Interesting side note. This is said to be the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during the time of his temptation.

Peter was Crucified, per his request, upside down on an x shaped cross. He claimed he did not feel worthy to be Crucified the same way Jesus was. All were martyred with the exception of John, whom legend has it, was boiled in a basin of boiling oil, yet by the Grace of God survived and died of old age. Some were hung, some beheaded. Some tortured to death.

Truth is, becoming a Christian is not, all peaceful gliding through life. You will face trials and tribulations. People, some friends and even some family members, will pull away from you. Some may even end up hating you. In...

1 John 2:
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world.

17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
This is why The Word tells us over and over again, that once we receive the Spirit of Adoption, we become a new creature. We are no longer OF the World, even though we are still in it. We are now able, through the Spirit, to overcome the World and the things of it. As a Child of God, we in essence should count it a blessing when we find the World hating us. Jesus told us this would happen when we are faithful to God. Who would you rather have hating you? Man or God?
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Remember the Sermon on the Mount? It was all about being humble.

Matthew 5:
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
You see the Proud, are all about themselves. They take pleasure in their own accomplishments. They love to talk about themselves. They do everything they do, for self gain. They love the praise and admiration of others. Jesus talks about some Religious folks falling into this trap.

Matthew 6:
1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
And continuing....
16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.
What Jesus is telling us here is do not be prideful, seeking acceptance and reward from man. If that is all you seek, that you shall be rewarded with. But become humble. Do not do things for your own gain. Serve the Lord your God. Serve God Himself. Allow Him to Justify you and more importantly, Glorify you.

So to recap so far. In James 4, we have learned we shall have whatsoever we ask God to supply us with, as long as we are living for Him. As long as we are doing His Will. He will not answer our Prayers if we are praying for greed or lust. If we are attempting to manipulate God, we will find Him silent.

We have learned that once we become a Child of God, we are no longer OF the World, even though we are still in it. We have learned that the World will hate us, because it first hated Him. That we should not care. But be good and faithful servants of God Himself.

We have learned that God will not accept those that are full of pride. That we need to stop relying on ourselves and start relying on God. That if we humble ourselves, God will lift us up. Moses was humble, God made him powerful and able to do the things he did. David was humble and through God, brought down a Giant and became King. Solomon the Wisest King ever. Peter humbled himself and walked on water, and even his shadow healed people. Saul became Paul. James, Jesus's own Brother, humbled himself and became a leader of the Church. Many more examples can be found all through the Word. What they all have in common is that they humbled themselves. They gave up themselves and allowed God to work through them.

Next time we will be talking about what James tells us about judging one another, the fact there is ONE way of Salvation and Righteousness, and the fact we should be a be anxious for nothing. Then we will wrap this all up with the Sin of Omission.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

God Will Be With You, Always

No matter what happens to us, God is always with us.

We have been talking about the fall of America. We have been talking about the world growing darker, and more dangerous. We have been talking about the signs that we are heading toward World War Three. A war that will not see America joining to help out, but the actual target.

So how can this be a positive message? What could we possibly talk about to make this all OK? It will not be OK. There is nothing positive in the fall of America itself, or war of any kind. There may very well not be a happy ending.

Here is the thing. If you are a Child of God, none of this matters. Let me say this again. If you are a Child of God, none of this matters. It matters not, if we are persecuted. It matters not, if we get sick. It matters not, if the entire world was to turn on us. It matters not, where we go. It matters not, if the country falls. It matters not, if the world goes to war. No matter what happens to us, God is always with us. He tells us, we should have no fear.

Joshua 1:
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Yes, that includes Schools, and government buildings. Yes that includes everywhere. It matters not if Man says God is not allowed. God doesn't care. Wherever you go, He IS with you.

Deuteronomy 31:
6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Man says lots of things. Man considers himself to be wise. Man likes to dictate to others what to do and how to live their lives. While they themselves live as they will. However, they are nothing more than Man. Flesh and blood. Born into the world same as you. They eat, sleep, wake, go to the bathroom. They do the same things you do. It does not matter how rich they are. It does not matter how famous they are. It does not matter what positions they hold. Even Kings and Queens do the same. They are nothing more than flesh and blood.

Being flesh and blood, they are under the same Physical, and Spiritual Laws, you are. They can do nothing to you without God allowing them to do it. They can NEVER take your life. As a Child of God, your life is no longer their's to take, or even your's to give. Be comforted in the fact, that even to the point of death, you will win. Be comforted and content, knowing these truths.

Hebrews 13:
5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
Jesus Put it this way...

John 10:
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

30 I and my Father are one.
It is pretty much this simple. You say this Prayer......

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

Then you become the Child of God it talks about in....

Romans 8:
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
And
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
That is something we need to keep in mind. "To them who are the called according to his purpose." It's not about you. It's not about your desires and wants. It is about God and His plan for you and your life. In....

Jeremiah 29:
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
This is why, no matter what happens to us, no matter what happens around us, no matter who may rise up against us,,,,
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As long as you have received the Spirit of Adoption, become a Child of God, and submit to HIS Will, plan, and purpose for you and your life, there is NOTHING that can separate you from God. Nor God from you. James put it this way..

James 4:
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.

10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
There is only one way that God will turn His back on you. That is if you turn your's on Him. Then he has no more a choice than an Earthly Father who's Son walks away from him. If you are God's Child, and you are attempting to follow His Will and His plan for you, He will ALWAYS be with you. No fear. No doubt. No question, no matter what...

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}


If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

Until next time, be blessed, be a blessing, and Jesus IS Lord of all!

Psalm 61

Psalm 61 1 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. 2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed:...