What Does God Desire?

Does God desire a company of people who will obey the ten commandments, give ten percent of all their income to Him, and faithfully attend worship services each week?

NO!

That was the Old Covenant. If God was happy with what was happening then, He would have never instituted a New Covenant.

If that was all God desired, He could have stayed with the Old Covenant. Why bother with Jesus dying to bring in a New Covenant?

God said the New Covenant is NOT like the Old Covenant.

JEREMIAH 31:32 NET 32 It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt. For they violated that covenant, even though I was like a faithful husband to them,” says the LORD.

The Old Covenant was primarily dependent on human effort. The New Covenant is primarily dependent on what God has done through Jesus Christ. That is why the Old Covenant was weak. Humans are fallible, but God is not.

God does not change, but His covenants do change.

God wants to live in you, and be able to express Himself through you (2 Corinthians 6:16, Colossians 1:27). God wants you to give yourself to Him unreservedly, just like He has given Himself to you.

Would you be satisfied if your spouse visited you once or twice a week and gave you ten percent of their income? What kind of relationship would that be? Would you want a part-time spouse that you shared with several others? Maybe one that just visited you on Sundays? God gave you His all, His best. God made a total commitment to you and His desire is for you to reciprocate His love and commitment.

Jesus did not die for you so you would give Him ten percent of your money or your time. Jesus expressed His love for you by giving His all. Nothing less than giving your all to Him is a decent response to what He did for you.

Does this mean you must give everything you own to a church, or to the poor? No. But it does mean you should be ready and willing to trust Jesus and obey whatever He guides you to do.


							
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Be Content With Food And Clothing?

1 TIMOTHY 6:8 NKJ 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

The word translated “content” here does not mean to accept and be satisfied with lack, and give up on any effort to improve our situation. It means “to be strong enough and have enough to help others.”

If all we have is food and clothing we should not see ourselves as poor, for God is our Father and source of supply. We have His promise to take care of us. That gives us the sufficiency to look outward and help others.

We should be thankful if all we have is food and clothing. But we should not be lazy and accept lack as being God’s ideal either.

We cannot be satisfied when others still have unmet needs. Yet to truly help others as we should, we must have more than we need. So accepting poverty is a selfish act, not a loving act.

It is wrong to love money. But it is not wrong to have money. The more money we have, the more people we can help.

If being wealthy is evil, then God would be the most evil one of all.


							
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The Holy Spirit Is Your Helper 2

JOHN 15:26 NKJ 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

Never forget that the Holy Spirit’s desire and purpose is to help you — not to hinder you.

Also, remember that the Holy Spirit is a person, and should be treated with the utmost respect.

Here are some ways the Holy Spirit desires to help you, and will help you when you allow Him to.

Teaches Us All Things

JOHN 14:26 NKJ 26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things . . . .

Tells Us Things To Come

JOHN 16:13 NKJ 13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, . . . He will tell you things to come.

Abides With Us

We are not facing life all alone — as an orphan would. The Holy Spirit is with us continually — living with us. When we need help He is never far away, but always right with us, waiting for us to call on Him for His help.

Empowers Us To Be Witnesses

ACTS 1:8 NKJ 8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Brings Life And Healing To Us

ROMANS 8:11 NKJ 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Encourages Us

ROMANS 8:16 NKJ 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

2 CORINTHIANS 13:14 NKJ 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.


							
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I Believe In A Hill Called Mt. Calvary

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The Holy Spirit Is Your Helper

JOHN 15:26 NKJ 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

The Holy Spirit’s desire and purpose is to help you — not to hinder you.

The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity of God. It is difficult for humans to understand how there can be only one God, as the Scriptures teach, yet He can reveal Himself as three persons. So do not let it be an obstacle for you.

The Holy Spirit is a person, not just a force. He should be treated with the utmost respect and shown the utmost gratitude.

Following are a few of the ways the Holy Spirit desires to help you, and will help you if you allow Him to.

In Prayer

ROMANS 8:26 NKJ 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

One weakness of humans, compared to God, is in our limited knowledge. We do not even know what is happening on the other side of a wall, let alone the other side of the country. We also do not know what people are planning to do, but the Holy Spirit knows everything. And He will help us to pray accurately and effectively.

One way the Holy Spirit helps us in prayer is by giving us utterance in a language for prayer which we have never learned. Thus we can bypass our minds with their doubt and lack of understanding of what is best, and pray according to the perfect will of God.

Guides Us

The Holy Spirit will, if allowed, guide you in every area of life; from the words you should speak, to the spouse you should marry, to the investments you should make.

JOHN 16:13 NKJ 13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you . 


							
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Into All Truth

JOHN 16:12-13 NKJ 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

“Into all truth” in verse thirteen is translated “into the full truth” or “to the complete truth” in other Bible translations.

At the very end of His earthly ministry, Jesus told His disciples there were many things He still needed to teach them. Then Jesus told them the Holy Spirit would guide them into a full and complete understanding of the truth after He left.

It took me a long time to understand this. But I finally realized that because Jesus ministered under the Old Covenant, He was not able to communicate everything we need to know about the New Covenant during His earthly ministry. Only after His death and resurrection, which brought in the New Covenant, was the Lord able, through the Holy Spirit, to explain all He had accomplished for us.

So if we believe Jesus, we must realize it is impossible to be led into all truth by reading and studying only the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

This is not to say the four Gospels are not truth, for they are. They are very important for they reveal Jesus to us. But they do not, and cannot, give us the complete and full picture of truth. For Jesus plainly said the Holy Spirit would guide His disciples into all truth only after Jesus left them — and the four Gospels primarily cover the earthly ministry of Jesus.

So it is only in the Letters (also called Epistles) to the Church (Romans through Revelation) that we finally get the complete picture of the New Covenant and understand what Jesus has accomplished.

Jesus did not give us the full, complete truth during His earthly ministry. Without the revelation of what Jesus accomplished through His death and resurrection, we don’t have the whole picture. This information was only given to us after Jesus’ resurrection, and is found only in the Letters written to the Church.

The Letters to the Church in the New Testament are also the words of Jesus, speaking to us from Heaven through the Holy Spirit, and written down by His apostles.

It is right for us to honor the words of Jesus recorded in the four Gospels, but it is a mistake to think we should place them on a higher level than the revelation Jesus gave His church after His resurrection.

What we have in the Epistles are not just the words of men, but the Words of God, written down by the Apostles of Jesus. This is where we must look to be led “into all truth” which Jesus promised His disciples would be revealed after He left them and sent the Holy Spirit.

If you are going to understand truth fully, you need divine illumination. You need help from God. Human effort and study is not enough. You need a “Guide” to lead you into all truth.


							
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What You Say Is What You Get

MARK 11:23 NKJ 23 “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, `Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will come to pass, he will have whatever he says.

Jesus said that you will have whatever you say — dependent on believing and not doubting. Think of that. What you say determines what you get in life. It did for the children of Israel. And the Bible says the things which happened to them are lessons for us.

NUMBERS 14:28 NKJ 28 “Say to them, As I live,' says the Lord,just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you:

PROVERBS 6:2 NKJ 2 you are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.

Words can get you in trouble. And words can deliver you (see Revelation 12:11 and Romans 10:10). Words control your destiny.

All of us face trouble in life and it can sometimes be tempting to wonder why God does not help us sooner and in greater measure. While there is much that we don’t understand, we must, on the basis of what Jesus said, realize we are responsible for what happens because of the words we have spoken.


							
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How Faith Works

Faith is what you believe. (In the Bible, faith is the noun form and believe is the verb form of the same word.)

Faith (a belief) is always a decision, based on some evidence, resulting in some action.

Faith in God is a choice to believe what God says is true. It is accepting God’s Word as evidence worthy of acting upon.

Faith in God and His Word operates on the same principles as faith in anything else. There are no special rules. It is all a matter of what you believe.

All humans operate on a belief system.

As we go through life we are constantly being presented with information which is evidence that we must evaluate and judge. Whenever we choose to accept the evidence presented to us as sufficient to accept as truth, then that belief is added to our belief system.

Unless and until we are presented with new evidence that causes us to decide to believe differently about a subject, we keep the same belief.

Then as we go through life, we always act (often sub- consciously) on the basis of our belief system. Sometimes we face situations in life where there is not time to think, and immediate action is required. These actions are always governed by the beliefs we have already determined (which form our belief system).

The Bible is major evidence to change your beliefs. It is a message from God, the Creator, who knows how everything works.

As we receive new evidence from the Bible, it may conflict with some of our previous beliefs. But we know that God cannot lie, and whatever He says is truth and will happen.

MARK 11:22-24 BBE 22 And Jesus, answering, said to them, Have God’s faith. 23 Truly I say to you, Whoever says to this mountain, Be taken up and be put into the sea; and has no doubt in his heart, but has faith that what he says will come about, he will have his desire. 24 For this reason I say to you, Whatever you make a request for in prayer, have faith that it has been given to you, and you will have it.

Mark 11:22 literally says “Have God faith.” Jesus was teaching us how to use our faith the same way God does. “God faith” speaks the desired result and never allows anything to change that statement. (Mark 11:23) We are God’s children, made in His image and likeness, and He is training us how things work in His creation. Once God makes a statement, He never changes it. There are words God spoke thousands of years ago, which are not yet fully manifest to us in time. But God never chooses to say anything different. God believes what He said will come to pass!

“Doubt” in Mark 11:23 does not mean “have questions.” It means a judgment (decision) that completely separates. So it would mean accepting some new evidence presented as sufficient to reverse your previous decision and statement of faith.

Receiving new evidence and deciding whether it is sufficient to change our belief is a never-ending cycle. We can be in faith one minute, and in un-faith (unbelief) the next minute — if we make a new decision based on the evidence being presented to us. The disciples had faith in John 2:11 (close to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry), and did not in Mark 16:14 (at the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry).

Fear is the opposite of Bible hope. Bible hope is a positive expectation based on and supported by a belief in God’s Word. Fear is a negative expectation based on and supported by a belief in something bad. Both involve the imagination, the seeing part of our thinking, the ability to visualize something before it happens, or after it happens.

Faith in God produces Bible hope – expecting good to happen. Faith in bad things produces fear – expecting bad to happen. Faith is the support, the foundation, the underlying thing under both hope and fear. You cannot have hope (which is a positive vision) without faith (which is a choice to believe) in something. You cannot have fear (which is a negative vision) without faith (which is a choice to believe) in something bad.

It is your belief that supports, undergirds, and provides the basis for your hope or fear. The belief was a choice you made. Then it became part of your belief system. That provides the basis for your hopes or your fears.

Faith is released and put into action by speaking what you believe with your mouth.

The primary action of faith toward God is speaking in agreement with God’s Word. And then we stand in that position of faith, regardless of feelings or circumstances, no matter how long it takes.


							
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God Gives You Ability To Get Rich

DEUTERONOMY 8:18 ICB 8 But remember the Lord your God! It is he who gives you the power to become rich. He keeps the agreement he promised to your ancestors. So it is today.

I don’t want to be critical, but so many preach, using this verse, that God wants to prosper people for one sole purpose: to give the money to God so He can afford to proclaim the Gospel to all the world. But I just don’t buy it.

I do believe God desires His people to be givers. And clearly we should proclaim the Gospel to everyone. Being selfish is the worst thing you can do. And usually the biggest enjoyment you can get from something is to give it away to someone who is thrilled with it.

But surely God is not waiting around till we get enough money to finance Him. And surely God is not worse than normal earthly parents. What earthly parent would give their children toys on Christmas, then tell them the ONLY reason they were given those gifts is so they could give them away to the neighbor kids?

I already said selfishness is wrong. If you are not a giver, you are not in God’s will. But God does not give you things only for the purpose of giving them all to someone else.

Deuteronomy 8:18 is simple: it says God is the One making you rich, and He is doing it because He said He would — not because we deserve it!

I especially like:

1 TIMOTHY 6:17 NKJ 17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

God is not the kind of being who will make you just barely scrape by — He gives us RICHLY all things to ENJOY. God gives to us because He enjoys it and because He keeps His word!


							
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Read Your Letters

1 THESSALONIANS 5:27 HCSB 27 I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the brothers.

The Bible contains both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament contains the four Gospels (Matthew through John), the book of Acts, the Letters to the Church (Romans through Jude) and the book of Revelation.

All the Bible is the inspired Word of God, and as such is an important message to us today. However, not until the resurrection of Jesus Christ did the New Covenant start, which changed everything.

God never changes, but His covenants (and thus His way of dealing with people) did change. There was an Old Covenant God had with the people of Israel. Now there is a New Covenant. And the New is not just a continuation or amplification of the Old, but is radically different.

The New Covenant did not begin until after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So everything said and done before the resurrection of Jesus was before the New Covenant started. (Even the four Gospels, although placed in the New Testament section of the Bible, are primarily a record of Jesus’ ministry before His death, which means they mostly happened before the New Covenant started.)

God is now dealing with people based on the New Covenant. If we go back and read God’s message to people who lived under the Old Covenant we cannot expect all that was said to them to apply exactly to us today.

You can learn something reading a letter written to someone else, but it is not nearly as instructive as reading a letter written directly to you.

So my top recommendation for Bible reading, especially for new believers, is to read the Letters to the Church. (Epistles is another word for Letters.) There are 21 Letters with 121 chapters. So by reading just one chapter each day, you can read all the New Testament Letters three times in a year.

If you are considering reading the Bible, this is an excellent way to start. If you are a new Christian, I strongly recommend that you start reading the Bible using this plan.

Although everyone should read the entire Bible, it is not best for you to do that until you are solidly grounded in the truths of the New Covenant, which are revealed in the Letters to the Church.

When a new Christian starts reading the whole Bible from the beginning by starting with the Old Testament, without having a clear understanding of what Jesus has provided for us with the New Covenant, confusion is likely to result.

2 CORINTHIANS 3:14-15 HCSB 14 But their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside only in Christ. 15 However, to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts,

Reading the Old Covenant, also called the books of Moses — without the knowledge of the New Covenant — is like trying to see something with a veil over your eyes. You see glimpses of truth, but you can’t clearly see the whole picture.

JOHN 1:17 HCSB 17 for although the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Once a believer has a clear understanding of God’s message to the Body of Christ, the Church, then we can read the rest of the Bible without as much chance of getting confused.

Some people recommend that a new Christian start their Bible reading with the Gospel of John. That is a good way to get acquainted with Jesus. But it still can cause confusion for someone who does not clearly understand what Jesus accomplished for them through His death and resurrection.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:14,17 HCSB 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.

Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is no New Covenant, and we are all still lost in sin.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, and thus the start of the New Covenant is a great dividing line in history. What Jesus accomplished for us changed everything.

So read your letters and find out what Jesus accomplished and what God has said directly to you!


							
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