2 Corinthians 3:6 Sharing Life

 

joy of life

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Competency is the ability to do something. Most people want to be competent of something. Many wish they were competent of certain things that they do not feel competent in. There are also many people who think that they are competent in something that they are really not competent in.

Paul speaks of being competent of a new covenant, but not of the letter, but of the Spirit.

There are many believers who have studied the bible and know it very well. Some have gone to a bible college to get formal training, while others have just read it along with many commentaries. Knowing the bible in this way is good, but it is only learning the letter of the bible, it has not touched what the Spirit of the bible is.

Some believers will go around pointing fingers at people telling them what they should or should not do. They know the letter, the Law, of the Bible, but not the Spirit. When a person is pointed out what they have done wrong, it is only pointing out death. It brings on a death sentence upon the person. This is not life-giving.

God, in His infinite wisdom, brought about the new covenant, one that gives life. That new covenant is Jesus. He came to give life and give it abundantly. He did not come focusing on what not to do, but focused on what to do–living for God, how to live for God.

Every believer has been given this ability, to show life and present life. Sharing what Jesus has done for a person is bringing life to the person. It presents the ability to live a fulfilled life in Christ Jesus.

While it is needed to know what the Bible says, you must also know how to present it in a way that brings life and not death. Sharing God’s great love and mercy is a way of bringing about life to others.

Pointing fingers at sin will only bring condemnation and death.

While there is a time and place for revealing sin, it should not be your focus. Your focus should be on presenting Jesus to the lost in this world.

Are you bringing about life?

Or death?

I pray today that you will know what God’s word says; that you will know the Spirit of God’s word; that you will speak words that bring about life; and that you will know the life Jesus presents every person.

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Isaiah 35:1-2 Blooming With Joy

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel  and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. Isaiah 35:1-2

Deserts are amazing places. When there is no rain, all a person can see is sand as far as the eye can see. At the times of the rains, however, the landscape changes. Grass and flowers shoot up and blossom everywhere, almost overnight. The desert flowers shine brightly with many colors. Life arises very quickly in the desert with the rains.

Isaiah paints this picture as he describes the time of God’s splendor being revealed on the earth. That splendor is the salvation that Jesus provides. Jesus, like the rains, brings new life where everything was dead.

People living in this world, live in a desert. There is no real life, even though they feel as though they are living life to the fullest. Life is full of fear, worries, pain, suffering, meaningless, hatred, jealousy, and death. There seems to be no meaning to what is going on in the world.

Once a person accepts the forgiveness Jesus provides, there is a new life. Jesus makes a person a new creation, with new, abundant life.

It is at this point that the person bursts with shouts of joy. They have new life. Their outlook on life has changed. In what was a desert place, there is now life, blooming with great joy.

Your life may be or may have been a desert place, when you did not know Jesus. Going through life may be mundane and boring, with no excitement or joy.

Following Jesus will allow you to bloom with God’s glory and splendor. You are God’s prized possession, because of what Jesus has done for you and in you. You can know the joy of the salvation given to you. You can know abundant life that Jesus provides.

As you go through this life, allow yourself to be filled with abundant joy and life. Bloom with the characteristics of God in this desert place of a world.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your savior; that you will allow God to make you into a new creation; that you will bloom with the joy of God in this world; and that you will bring life to those around you.

Job 21:22 God’s Judgement

“Can anyone teach knowledge to God, since he judges even the highest?” Job 21:22

Job gives a great description on how the wicked live their lives. They appear to live in wealth and abundance of life, while ignoring God, yet all will still die. He points out how one person lives a full life, secure and at ease, while another lives in bitterness and suffering his entire life, but both still die and are buried in the ground. God is the one who decides how each person’s life will go.

The age-old question of believers has been asked over and over again as to why one person has an “easy” life, while another person suffers his entire life. People question why God allows these things to happen.

As people ask these questions, many will try to teach God something. They will try to point out wrongs being done by God. Often they feel that if they can just reason with God, that maybe God would see their argument and change the situation.

When Job states that God judges even the highest, he is stating that God is in control of every person’s life. He is the one who allows a person to have a “successful” life or one of “suffering” and pain.

Although those in the world, that do not follow Jesus, appear to be have a great life, they are living without any long-term hope. Their hope is only in the here and now, not in the future. They may not be paying a price for their sins now, but in the end God will have the final judgement on their lives and actions.

Believers are not to question how or why God allows what He allows. They are to trust His judgement. God will always judge fairly with every person, whether they serve Him or not. How a person lives will not change how God judges them.

The difference is that as a believer in Jesus, you have been forgiven of any wrongs you have done. The judgement is still the same–death. You do not have to die because Jesus paid that price for you.

Those who do not follow Jesus, will have to pay the price themselves in the end.

Trust God’s judgement in your life and in this world. He knows what is best for every person.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will know the price Jesus paid for you; that you will trust in God’s judgement; and that you will know the abundant life Jesus is giving you.

Grace Rules

Title: Grace Rules
Author:
Steve McVey
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Date: 1998
Pages: 203

The author looks at how many Christians are living for God, but are not always living in joy and excitement with God. People are always condemning themselves for the sins they have committed and feel that they will never measure up to God’s standard of living. They are being robbed of the abundant life that Jesus said every believer will have.

He points out that many Christians are living under the laws of many things to do or not to do. They feel that in order to please God, they must follow all the laws, both God’s and man-made, perfectly. They also impose those laws on others. This type of living is a legalistic life, living by rules, rather than by grace. If the Israelites in the Old Testament were unable to fully obey the laws of God, no one today can begin to do it either.

Looking at the New Testament, the author shows that Jesus fulfilled the law’s requirements which now allows God to pour out grace on His followers. No person is good enough to deserve the life God is willing to give through Jesus. No person will ever become good enough to earn their way into heaven.

This is where grace comes in. God is willing to give you the abundant life in and through Jesus. Jesus is to live in. You are to be controlled by Jesus and the Holy Spirit, rather than by your own thoughts and actions or this world.

It is pointed out that under the law, you have to obey God. Under grace, you will want to obey God. Previously it was a mandatory requirement. Now it is a choice desire.

The Bible calls every believer in Jesus a holy child of God, a royal priesthood. Do you believe that you are a holy child of God and a royal priesthood in God’s family?

This book will help you see the fullness of the grace God is willing to pour out on you. It will help you see how you can have your heart changed to be able to overcome sinful acts in your life.

If you are struggling with living the “full” life Jesus had promised; or if you feel like there should be more to your life with Jesus; or if you feel like you just don’t measure up to God’s standards, then this book is a great book for you to read.

This book is written in easy to read format. There are questions at the end of each chapter for you to ask yourself in response to what was written. Many scripture verses are used throughout the book. I highly recommend every believer to read this book.

Ruth 4:14 Redeemed

The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel!” Ruth 4:14

After losing her husband and two sons, Naomi was bitter and thought God was against her. She heads back to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law, Ruth. While there Ruth starts getting food from the fields of a man named Boaz. Boaz chooses to marry Ruth. In that choice he also begins to provide for Naomi.

In time Ruth gives birth to a son, who becomes the grandfather of David. The women all give praise to God because He had provided a redeemer for Ruth.

A redeemer is one who buys back something to provide for someone else. That person provides for a need or needs of another person.

When Boaz became the redeemer for Naomi, he had started something that God had in plan that would be fulfilled a thousand years later, and yet, again in the future yet to come. Following the lineage of David, you will see that Jesus was a part of it. Jesus became the ultimate redeemer.

You, along with everyone else, has fallen away from God. You had lost true life and was filled with emptiness and hopelessness. Your life was no different than that of Naomi, filled with bitterness and no provision.

When you turned to Jesus, He redeemed your life. He paid the price for your life. It was death on the cross so that you may live a full life for all eternity. God now provides for all of your needs, just as Boaz had provided for Naomi and Ruth.

God has not left you alone and destitute. All you need to do is trust in Jesus and what He has done for you. Do not reject what He is offering you. Do not reject His redeeming your life.

Give God praise for He has not left you without a redeemer today. Give Him praise for His provision of abundant life, now and forever.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know Jesus as your redeemer; that you will give God praise for His provision; and that you will share Jesus with everyone you meet.