Jerome

I Make All Things New

New

In Rev 21:5, the Lord said, Behold, I make all things new.  The Lord created everything. But because of sin and corruption, in time, He will have to make all things new. The Bible shows us some of the most important things that the Lord makes new. The Lord makes:

A new covenant – Heb 8:6-13 – in Ex 19:5, the Lord announced that He was going to make a covenant with Israel. In Ex 20, He spoke the ten commandments, the main part of this covenant, which is what we commonly call, “the law.” But as we know from reading the Old Testament and from Heb 8, Israel couldn’t keep this covenant. So, God made a new covenant with them in Jer 31:31-34, which Paul repeated in Heb 8. By making this new covenant, He made the first covenant old.

Paul said that the first covenant decayed and waxed old and is ready to vanish away. After all, once the Lord puts His laws in their mind and writes them in their heart, and all shall know Him from the least to the greatest, there is no need for the old covenant. The new covenant accomplishes all that the old covenant could not do. Notice that when the new covenant goes into effect, the old covenant vanishes away. Once God makes the new covenant with Israel, there is no need for the old.

New heavens and new earth – 2 Pet 3:10-13 – after the millennial reign of Jesus Christ, the heavens shall pass away, Rev 21:1. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” Matt 24:35. John said, “the world passeth away,” 1 Jn 2:17. Peter said, “all these things shall be dissolved.” The heavens will be on fire and shall dissolve and the elements will melt with fervent heat. And God will make new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. Notice, that when the Lord makes new heavens and a new earth, the old pass away. There is no need for the old.

A new creature – 2 Cor 5:17 – Paul wrote, “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” Notice how Paul says, “old things are passed away.” That’s just like the old covenant vanishing away and the heavens, the earth, and the world passing away. There is no more need for them and there is no more need for the old things.

Paul said, “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,” Eph 4:22. God doesn’t need him, and you don’t need him anymore, either. You just need to let him pass away. Rom 8:13 says, “if you through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.”

Instead, we are to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness,” Eph 4:24.  Col 3:10 says, “put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him.”  Unlike the corruption and deceitful lusts of the old man, the new man is created in righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge after the image of Jesus Christ.

In many respects, our lives are like an HGTV renovation. The Lord found us when we were like an old house in need of a total renovation. The Lord saw what we could look like. So, He bought us at a price. And did a big demolition. The old stuff passed away. And then He began a remodel. Each period of time that has passed has revealed more and more of what our house is going to look like. We can see so many improvements. In time, He is going to finish and we are going to be in a totally new house with no evidence of the old home at all. We are going to be just like Christ.

Just remember that when God makes a thing new, the old passes away, and the new remains. You are not or should not be anything like you was before. Let God change everything about you. Put on the new and put off the old. The old has passed away. Don’t even reflect on what it used to be like. Just let it pass away. You’re a new creature in Christ today. And your Savior said, “I make all things new.”

 

The Kingdom of God is like…

Looking at the world through a child’s innocent eyes, without prejudice or judgment, just love – Pierre Mallien

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What Does It Mean to Be Salt and Light?

 

When it came to communicating truths about the kingdom of God, Jesus had His work cut out for Him. His time was spent traveling the Judean countryside teaching complicated and abstract truths to simple and largely uneducated people.

This is why He taught in parables so often. These basic stories were easy to understand, remember, and pass on. And when Jesus wasn’t using parables, He often taught in metaphors and similes because they were effective at communicating ideas that would have been more difficult to convey.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shocks His listeners with the Beatitudes and then launches into the metaphor of salt and light to help his listeners understand how they’re called to interact with the world.

Let’s examine the implications of the image of salt and light.

The salt of the earth

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot (Matthew 5:13).

When we think of salt, we tend to think of a fairly cheap spice that we keep on the table next to our pepper. If we recall our high school science, we might remember it as the compound sodium chloride.

But that’s not how the crowd around Jesus would have thought about salt. They would have recognized its two major properties:

  1. Preservation
  2. Flavor

No one in the first century had freezers, so if you wanted to preserve meat, it had to be cured, and this was done by drying and salting it. Jesus seemed to be telling them that they were to help preserve the world where they lived.

But they were also instructed to give it flavor. Salt naturally enhances taste by intensifying certain flavors and decreasing others. Salt has the unique ability to make sweet things seem sweeter and diminish the impact of naturally bitter things.

Jesus seemed to be saying that those who were in step with God would make the world a more enjoyable place by enhancing and communicating God’s goodness. And, as Jesus pointed out, if His followers were to lose their saltiness, they would no longer be effective at protecting and amplifying God’s goodness in the world.

Light of the world

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14–16).

We have an understanding of light that first-century Jews didn’t. For instance, we know that it’s because of light that we can see the entire spectrum of colors. We know that sunlight provides the energy needed to sustain life on earth and gives us critical vitamin D.

But because most of us have never lived without electric light, we miss Jesus’ main point. When we walk into a dark room, we flick a switch and the room is bathed in light. But that wasn’t the case for the people Jesus addressed. They lit their homes at night with small oil lamps.

The picture of someone lighting a lamp and then putting it under a clay pot would have been humorous to this crowd. The only reason to light a lamp was so you could see, and just like Jesus suggested, you would place that lamp in a place where it could give off as much light as possible.

The implication was clear. Our faithfulness should be evident to all. The behavior of God’s people should be a light that draws others to it. Outsiders should be drawn to praise God when they see our good deeds.

The evidence of the faithful

The metaphors of salt and light specifically addressed the impact faithfulness should have in the world. It should illuminate and preserve. Like both salt and light, our relationship with God should have an obvious impact on everyone who comes in contact with it. Jesus isn’t just calling us to be devoted, He’s encouraging us to have an influence everywhere we go.

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HOW TO TAME TEMPTATION

GOD HELPS US TO RESIST THE DEVIL – 1 Corinthians 10:12-14 | Mission Venture  Ministries

How an Eskimo kills a wolf. (He will repeatedly coat the blade in blood, allowing it to freeze, until the blade is covered. Then, he will place the knife in the snow and as the wolf licks the blood, his tongue is numbed, and his hunger is fueled. The wolf will lick the knife, cut his own tongue, and eventually bleed himself to death out of his own lusts.) Satan uses the same tactic to defeat God’s children. He knows that he can never have your soul, but he also knows if he can cause us to succumb to temptation, then we will become powerless and useless as Christians.

 Salvation is not a barrier to temptation! On the contrary, Satan is more likely to attack the Christian than the unbeliever. After all, he already has the lost. However, temptation, while it cannot be avoided, can be overcome! While it is hard to endure temptation can be used to help us grow in Jesus. I believe every believer needs and wants to know how to turn temptation into triumph.

 When temptation arises, men usually respond in one of three ways. The primary method for dealing with the temptation is to simply give in to it. Many people live by an “If it feels good, do it,” mentality. They live like animals, doing everything they can to gratify the flesh. Nearly all lost people live like this, but sadly, so do many Christians! Others struggle against temptation daily.

They spend all their time-fighting temptation in their own strength.  They fight and fail over and over because no one can overcome his evil nature alone.  If we could defeat the power of sin on our own strength, then it would have been pointless for Jesus to die for us. This type of person hates what he does, but he goes on doing it because they do not have the power to stop.

 Finally, there are those who overcome temptation through the power of Jesus Christ. They turn their temptations into triumphs. That may sound like wishful thinking to many of you, but I want you to know that you can win over temptation. It is possible to live in victory. There are a few things that you need to know to be able to do this. Let’s think together on this thought, “How To Tame Temptation.”

                          THE SUBJECT OF TEMPTATION  (Who is affected?)

All humans are subject to temptation. Best to the least)  Jesus, Peter, David, etc!) We are daily assaulted with a wide range of temptations.  (List some!) We all have one area where we are particularly susceptible. It is not a sin to be tempted. Jesus – Heb. 4:15)  Sin enters the picture when temptation is surrendered to. Our greatest danger is to think we have arrived at a place where we are above sinning, v. 12; Pro. 16:18.  When our pride tells us that we cannot fall, then we are headed for a huge one!  Pride in this area just tempts the devil!

Why doesn’t God just kill the devil and remove the attraction for sin? If that were to happen, then you and I would lose the ability to be overcomers in Jesus. Without opposition, there is no victory! God has not called us to a life of ease, but to one of victory. A victory that we cannot enjoy until we have faced evil and overcome it.

THE SOURCE OF TEMPTATION (Where)

 “Common” – Do not think your temptations are so great, they are just like the ones we all face. They are just common, run-of-the-mill, garden variety temptations. We all get the same ones from the same sources. 1John 2:16;  Eve – Gen. There are three primary sources of temptation: the world, the flesh, and the devil. Let’s look at these three sources and how they attack us.

The World – In the Bible, the word for word means “system or order.” The Bible speaks of this system called the world and says that it is evil. 1 John 2:15; James 4:4)  It is possible for believers to become so worldly that they fail to stand out for the Lord.  We are to be different and distinct. We are not to allow the world to force us into its mold, Rom. 12:1-2; Matt. 5:13-16 Thermostat and thermometer) The world’s idea of beauty – 1 Pet. 3:3. God’s Idea is the inward beauty of the soul untouched and unspoiled by the taint of the world.

The Flesh – Born into every one of us, from the most innocent child to the godliest adult, is a bent in our nature. There is a leaning toward sin. We inherited this from our first father, Adam.  It is called “old Nature.” There is a civil war in the heart of every saved person here today – Gal.5:17! ) When we fail, we try to blame our sin on the devil. Yes, he tempts us and points us toward sin, but we are responsible for the final decision. V.13. If Satan were gone, we would still sin – Millenium – Rev. 2:27.

The Devil – His main objective, as far as you are concerned, is to cause you to fall so that God is dishonored and you become useless to the Kingdom’s work of God. He knows every weakness you have and he exploits them trying to get you to sin.  He tells you how great sin will be, that you will get by with it, that you even deserve it, but he hates you and he is plotting your defeat.  He loves to point at fallen saints and laugh before God as he stands accusing us of evil. Don’t give him the satisfaction!

  THE SEAT OF TEMPTATION (How)

Man is made in the image of the triune God.  Man is a triune being, he possesses body, soul, and spirit. When you are tempted, it will always be in one of these three areas.  We need to understand this principle and understand the areas that will come under attack if we are going to overcome our temptations. The Soul – This is the word used to describe the you that lives inside your body.  It speaks of your mind, your will, and your emotions. The world is the primary tempter of the soul.  The world says to the soul, “You need more, you can have more!”  The world always appeals to the ego or pride. A worldly person is one who is given over to the pleasures of the world. Lot – Gen. 13:10-12 – Lot looked, leaned, lived, and lost in the world.)

The flesh, referring to the “old nature” always attacks the body. We are tempted to laziness, lust, overindulgence, sexual sin, etc.  These are temptations of the flesh! David with Bathsheba – 2 Sam. 11) The spirit is the primary arena for a satanic attack. If the soul is our self-consciousness, then the spirit is our God-consciousness. Our spirit is what sets us apart from the animals. Man alone can know God! It is in the spirit that we can know God. 

The spirit is the realm of worship, John 4:24, and it is our spirit that worships and communicates with God. Satan hates this communion and the wars against the spirit in an effort to cut off our fellowship with God.  He places doubts in our minds to distract us. He places false doctrine there to turn us away from the truth. Satan attacks the spirit. In Peter’s denial of Jesus, the temptation was directed at the spirit. He isn’t under an ego attack, or under sexual assault, he was caused to doubt the truth.)

                          THE SUBDUING OF TEMPTATION (What)

 There are three words to remember when facing temptation: Flight, Faith, Fight. To Overcome The Flesh We Need Flight – The key to defeating fleshly temptations is to flee from them. 1Cor. 6:18 – “flee fornication”; 1 Cor. 10:14 – “flee idolatry”; 2 Tim. 2:22 – “flee youthful lusts”)  You cannot expose yourself to fleshly temptation and expect to walk away untouched – Pro. 6:27 – Situations to avoid!) Joseph and Potipher’s wife – Gen. 39:12) to Overcome The World We Need Faith – Faith that Jesus will take care of us when we willingly give up the attachment to worldly things. If we are loving the world, we are not loving God – 1 John 2:15; James 4:4.

If you really want victory over the world, then love Jesus more than you love it – Heb. 12:2. It is our faith in Him that offers us the victory – 1 John 5:4. To Overcome The Devil We Must Fight – If we stand up to him and fight, he will flee – James 4:7. You cannot run away from him, but you can drive him away from you. You must face him in the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  He doesn’t fear you, but he trembles before the blood of the Lamb!  Fight Satan and he will flee! Eph. 4:27; 1 Pet. 58.

I don’t know what temptations you may be dealing with within your life. However, I do know that if you are breathing, you are battling! Our greatest resource in the face of temptation is a close relationship with Jesus Christ. My counsel to you is that you bring your need to Him. Whatever, the need, the trial, or the temptation and lay it down before the Lord and expect Him to help. He has promised us grace during temptation. Why not take Him up on the offer today?

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CIRCUIT RIDERS vs. TELEVANGELISTS by Michael Edds

One of the top televangelists in the nation was recently invited to preach in Baltimore, Maryland. His terms for coming were #1. That he must be picked up by a limousine at the airport, #2. that he must have $1,000 spending money, #3. That he must be guaranteed at least $10,000 in offerings.

This same televangelist/ pastor lives in a multi-million dollar mansion eats in the finest restaurants and wear the most expensive tailor-made suits. His writings and speaking engagements have garnered millions of dollars.

He brags that he is a role model of the prosperity message of our day. He pastors a megachurch appears on national and international television has authored many books and draws tens of thousands to hear him.

To his credit, he is a powerful, commanding speaker. However, please contrast this to the following life and ministry of the great circuit rider, Francis Asbury in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

While still in his 20’s, Bishop Francis Asbury left his home and family forever in England to come to a wilderness called America. He came to be a traveling preacher/evangelist in a nation with few infrastructures such as roads, decent housing, few hotels and restaurants, poor sanitation and dangerous drinking water, few medical professionals, and limited law enforcement. The nation had recently plunged into a violent war of independence against Asbury’s native land of England. The American frontier as also ablaze with war between the colonist and Native American tribes.

Asbury was not greeted upon his arrival by a limo. He had to purchase a horse on which he traveled 6,000 a year for over 40 years. His financial reward was $60 a year, much of which he gave away or sent back to England to help his parents. He wore hand-me-downs, not tailor-made suits. He had no retirement, no insurance, no dental plan, and no 401 k. He set no fee for his ministry.

What he did receive, he often gave away. He traveled on “roads” on which his horse sank many times knee-deep in mud. If a road did not exist, he would lead his horse over the steep, rocky inclines of the Appalachians to reach a pioneer community. Many times, his feet and legs were bloodied and bruised by the horrific journey.

When he came to a river where there was no bridge or ferry, he would swim his horse across. Numerous times he was nearly drowned by an angry, swollen stream. His “hotel” on many occasions was on a dirt floor in an overcrowded, rat-infested frontier cabin. Often times he slept in the woods, on a mountain ledge, or in a damp cave.

Many days he would travel over 60 miles with nothing to eat. The paths and roads he traveled were full of dangers from murderers, thieves, wolves, bears, poisonous snakes, and roaming bands of Native Americans with whom the frontiersmen were at war. If he met someone who needed a cloak, food, or money, he would take what he had and give it to the person in need. Asbury sought out the forgotten, hidden places of early America. He traveled from New England to the Midwest, and to the Deep South spreading the Gospel of Christ.

When he would meet a person who was ill, he would minister to their physical needs with the last medication he had. He demanded nothing of others in order to come into a community. The demands he made were on himself. Frequently, his body would be racked with pain, illness, fever, hunger, and weakness. His physical being would cry out for rest and nourishment. However, his spirit ruled his body. When truly unable to travel, he would mount his horse and ride for 8 hours or more through blinding snowstorms, torrential rain, or the oppressive heat.

He too had been invited to Baltimore. In 1816 he was traveling by buggy through Virginia headed to the annual conference in Baltimore. However, he was dying. His last sermon was preached in Richmond. He had to be carried into the meeting room. He commented, “I am too weak to walk but not to preach.” They sat him on a small table and he ministered the Word for the last time. He made it as far as Spottsylvania twenty miles north of Richmond. His body was rapidly failing. He stopped at a friend’s house on Saturday.

Shortly before he left this world he was asked, “Do you feel Jesus precious?” Summoning his last remaining strength, the great circuit rider raised both hands in victory. Minutes later he laid his head on a friend’s hand and gently slipped away to be with the Lord. He owned no mansion, no land, and no bank account. His net worth was what he wore on his body. He was buried in a borrowed grave plot.

When Asbury came to America, there were few Methodist believers and fewer preachers. At the end of his ministry, there were over 200,000 Methodist believers and almost 8,000 ministers. He impacted the lives of thousands upon thousands. He changed the very course of American history.

Among his converts were poor farmers, merchants, Governors of several states, frontiersmen, slaves, Native Americans, State Supreme Court Justices, attorneys, physicians, housewives, children, youth, and people from all walks of life. He gave all he had. He sought nothing for himself.

His passion was to bring salvation and the Light of the Gospel to those in the darkness of sin. He loved a nation and made it his own even though he was not her native son.

Quite a CONTRAST between the CIRCUIT RIDER and the
TELEVANGELIST!

One was selfless, the other selfish. One was people-centered, the other ego-centered. One was a Kingdom builder, the other an empire builder. One drew souls into the Kingdom of God, the other drew the masses into an arena. One demanded of himself, the other demanded of others. One gave freely, the other commanded a price. One was a servant, the other a celebrity.

Hebrews 11:32-38 speaks about the real heroes of the faith: They were…..” tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain
a better resurrection. Still, others had trials of mocking and beatings, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were
sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented… they wandered in deserts, and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth…. of whom the world was not worthy.”

How long are we going to tolerate the “superstar syndrome” in the church? How long are we going to feed the ego and pocketbooks
of these self-seeking charlatans, regardless of how articulate they are? How long will we continue to pack their arenas and buy their CDs, DVDs, and books? How long will we pick them up in limos, and line their wallets with thousands and thousands of dollars to spend on ourselves? How long will we tolerate apostasy???

My God, how far we have fallen!!!! God is calling on us as His people to repent and turn from our wicked ways. He is calling us to seek HIS face. I am praying that God will overthrow this current, perverted religious system and will fulfill Jeremiah 3:15 and give us shepherds after His own heart…..

-Mike Edds.