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Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Divine Promise

2 Peter 1:2-7  "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as His divine power hath given unto us all things, that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  And beside this, giving all diligence add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience, brotherly kindness, and charity."  Then it goes on to say, 'if ye do these things you will never fall.'

This promise, I cling to, it is such a powerful promise for us today.  It is God's word and full of meaning.

If we want 'grace and peace', what should we do?  Get all the knowledge of God and of Jesus that we can get.  His divine power has given unto us all things, that pertain unto life and godliness.

If we want to be a partaker of 'His nature', then we need to study all His promises that pertain to His nature, and we will escape the corruption that is in this world and become a partaker of His divine nature.

I call these next characteristics, 'Peter's Ladder'.  It lists the things that we need to be diligent in.  First we have faith in God and we need to add to that faith virtue, (virtue means power, moral excellence and chastity)  Most of us would like this to be added to our faith.  Then there is knowledge, we all know what knowledge is, studying to learn more about a subject. Temperance is moderation in good things and abstaining from bad things that ruin our lives.  Patience is long suffering and I know we can all use more long suffering.  Brotherly kindness and love kind of go together, if we love others we will be kind to all people, just like Jesus was kind to all walks of life.  Charity means love.  Read the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians, it is all about love or charity.

This is such an important promise, I can't let it slip by without bringing your attention to it.  I love it and want to have a nature like the divine, don't you.  Let's study to have the knowledge of God that we need in order to develope His divine nature into our character, what do you think?  Great idea?  Yes, I think so.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, February 26, 2015

What shall I do?

A lot of people ask this question, What shall I do?  or What shall I do to be saved?  The answer to this question is 'to lay aside all our preconceived opinions and our hereditary and cultivated ideas at the door of investigation.  If you search the Scriptures to validate your own opinions you will never find what truth is.  We need to search the Scriptures to see what Christ says and if our learning doesn't match up with what Christ says, then what should we do?  We should throw out the preconceived learnings and take what the Scripture says. It's really that simple.  But of course, when we have been ingrained in certain theological teachings, it is hard to let go but we must obey God rather than man.  Isn't that right?

If you are convicted of truth as you search, open your mind and your heart that you may see wondrous things in the Word of God.  It is sooooo worth it!!!!!

Faith in Christ as the world's Redeemer calls for an acknowledgement of the enlightened intellect controlled by a heart that can discern and appreciate the heavenly treasure.  To have this faith means to find and accept the gospel treasure, with all the obligations which it imposes.  This is what we must do to be saved.  "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3.  Without the eye of faith we cannot see the treasure hidden in God's word. Christ gave His life to secure for us this inestimable treasure; but without regeneration through faith in His blood, there is no remission of sins, no treasure for those who do not want it bad enough to search for it.

I pray that God will abundantly bless you as you search for these hidden treasures as we would search for hidden gold or silver or costly pearls.  Please don't give up, keep moving forward in your search for truth as it is in Jesus.  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hidden Treasure

Hidden Treasure, when I was a girl, our school would have what they called a Treasure Hunt.  They would hide notes all over the place, down the alley, in the school yard and where ever there was a good place to hide them.  As I recall there were two teams and each team had a chance to find the treasure at the end of the hunt.  One team was sent one way and the other the opposite direction.  It was so much fun to see what the treasure was at the end.  I really don't recall what it was that we were so excited to get but it must have been worth all the energy and excitement.

Well, you probably know where I am going with this one, don't you?  The Bible is full of hidden treasures, we have to dig for them as we would for anything worthwhile.  The treasures are Truth from God's word.  There are so many fables out there to lead us away from the truth as it is in the Bible.  Some ministers speak fables, and then their congregations take up on it and so on until people really believe what they have heard.  If you remember the story in the Bible when Paul was preaching, the certain class of people called Bereans who went home and studied it out for themselves to see if the things Paul had said were truth.  If they needed to do that in Bible times, what do you think we need to do in this day and age.  Satan has so clouded our minds with fables that we believe most everything we hear and don't go to the Scriptures to see if those things are so.

For example:  By being careless about the laws that govern our being, we end up destroying ourselves, by wrong habits we lose the power of self-appreciation.  We lose our self-control.  We cannot reason correctly about matters that closely concern us.  We make ourselves a wreck.  We cannot find happiness because our neglect to cultivate pure, healthful principles places us under the control of habits that ruin our peace.  By wrong habits we will destroy ourselves.

The Word of God is to be our study.  It is an inexhaustible treasure: but we fail to find this treasure because we do not search for it until it is within our reach.  Christ is truth and His word is truth.  All the sayings of Christ are  valuable and we need to hide them in our heart so that we do not become careless in obeying all His laws.  There is so much wisdom in the Bible that there is no excuse for us to be careless in our life.  There is something for every need, we just need to search for it as we would for hidden treasure.  My son and I are memorizing Scripture, and it is difficult to start with but it becomes easier, the more you do it.  Start with the promises of God that meet your need and your faith will grow as your knowledge of the Word grows.  Try it, you just might like it.  Grandma Joan

Monday, February 23, 2015

Secret Ingredient

It's not really a secret but it could be to a lot of people.  So just in case you haven't heard of it, let's continue on.

I don't know how many of you bake bread, but I know most of you probably bake cookies, rolls etc.  If you forgot to put in the leavening, what would happen?  Your bread, cookies etc, would be flat as a pancake.  The leaven works secretly, you don't see it but you see the results, so it is with our spiritual life.

The spiritual leaven is 'truth', it works in our lives silently, steadily,  to transform the soul.  The natural inclinations are softened and subdued.  New thoughts, new feelings, new motives, are implanted.  A new standard of character is set up, 'The Life of Christ'.

Why do we see so many harsh words,  why are there so many that can not bear opposition to their plans and purposes?  There is seen in their lives the same anger, the same hasty speech, the same love of self, as is seen in the unconverted person.  They are the same selfish person they have always been.  Why is this?  The reason is they have not let the leaven of truth permeate their lives and convert their hearts.  God speaks through His word and His word is truth, so listen carefully when you read His word and ask to be filled with the Holy Spirits fullness and the leaven will begin to work and transform your life into a life full of blessings, like Christ's life.

Do you want your life to be a blessing?  I do, so let's listen to God's word because His word is truth and truth is the leaven that transforms our life.  Without the truth (leaven) our life will not be transformed into something beautiful like Christ's.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gardening

How many of you love to garden. I can't wait until spring when I can get my hands in the soil.  There is something about it that soothes the nerves and gratifies the heart to plant seeds and see them sprout and grow into something beautiful, either food or flowers.  I love to do both.

When I was young in my early 3o's I had a surgery that left me a nervous wreck and my aunt being a nurse when she found out about it, told me to get outdoors and get my hands in the dirt and that's exactly what I did and have done it ever since to my great delight.  It works wonders for the nervous person.  I've never had problems since to a great degree.

Every time we sow a seed we receive a harvest of some kind, don't we.  I am thinking about sowing seeds of compassion, sympathy and love.  The Bible says, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."  Galatians 6:7.   If we are sowing seeds of compassion, sympathy and love, we will reap a beautiful harvest of the same quality.

If we sow seeds of envy, anger, and dissension we will reap the same, it will spring up in a "root of bitterness, whereby many shall be defiled".  Hebrews 12:15.  Thus sowing good and evil seeds goes on for a lifetime.

"Blessed are they that sow beside all waters".  Isaiah 32:20.  This means that you will be imparting God's gifts wherever or whenever the opportunity of a need arises.  Then in 2 Corinthians 9:6 it says, "He that soweth sparingly, shall reap sparingly, and he that soweth bountifully, shall reap bountifully."

I think about my garden and how much I enjoy tending to the tender little plants that sprout up and how much joy there is in seeing the bountiful results if I have taken good care of the seeds that I have planted.  If I neglect the seeds and don't water and weed around them,  I will reap sparingly even if I reap anything at all.  The seeds need to be cared for and it is the same with our sowing seeds of character, they need to be nourished, watered and all the detrimental weeds pulled up that would destroy the beautiful character seeds that I have sown.

What a lesson on seed sowing, either in my garden in the yard or in the garden of my heart.  I pray that I may always sow seeds of kindness, love and compassion.  Life is too short to sow anything else.
May God help us to be sowing the best seeds we can sow and we will reap the best harvest.  Grandma Joan.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fruit Bearing

I don't know where I got the idea that bearing fruit for the kingdom was winning souls to Christ.  It really does win souls but that is not what the fruit is.  The Bible is very clear what the fruit is and so how could I have thought otherwise.  I'll never know, I guess.  I know for sure what it is now, and I thought maybe someone else might be mixed up on this subject too.

Galatians 5:22,23  "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law."

Pretty clear isn't it?  If we have the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, we will win souls to the kingdom by the fruit that our lives produce.  Love is so important, to love like Jesus loves is beyond our doing, but we are told that "God so love the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16.  I want love like that, don't you?  Joy is another fruit that we are to bear, and God says that "in His presence is fullness of joy", so that's easy isn't it, to stay in His presence is fullness of joy?  Psalm 16:11.  Peace, Oh how much we need peace of mind in this world of turmoil, the Bible says that "we can have peace with God", in Roman 5:1. God fills our hearts and minds with peace when we trust in Him with all our hearts.  Longsuffering, how hard is it to have the patience that we need in this sinful world?  But the Bible says that we can be "strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power for all patience and longsuffering with joy".  How wonderful is that?  Gentleness, we all know what it is to be gentle and kind, the Bible says to "take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  Matthew 11:29.  How do we learn from Him, by reading His word, such a simple solution.  Goodness, what is goodness?  Psalm 16:2 says, "You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from you".  So a connection with Jesus imparts His goodness to us.  Faith, how hard is it to have faith?  It seems to escape our understand but Jesus says that "faith comes by hearing the word of God" so to have faith we need to steep ourselves in His word and we are promised faith.  Romans 10:17.
Meekness, humility, I am sure we know what humility is but how do we get it?  By submitting to one another" 1 Peter 5:5.  Humility is the opposite of pride, and by submitting to others in a humble spirit we become meek and lowly like Jesus.  Temperance, temperance covers a lot of territory in our lives,  it means to be cautious in all the things we do, sleep, get enough for our well being, eating, don't harm our bodies with what we put into them, the same with drink, work, don't over work so that we ruin our health, all these things we can be temperate in.  See 1 Corinthians 9:25 we are to be "temperate in all things".  The Bible says that there is no law condemning these things.

As you can see the fruit of the Spirit are gifts from God that we may obtain through our connection with Him.  How easy is that?  This little study this morning was very enlightening to me, I hope it has helped you in your walk with God, it surely has me. I want to be filled with all of these fruits of the Spirit so that I may be a good mother, friend and daughter of God.  How about you?  God bless you in your study.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Grace, what is it?

"So how should we understand the plan of salvation in these last days of earth's history?  Cheap grace won't do it.  It denies the power of the Holy Spirit to change the life day by day to become more and more like Christ.  Legalism won't do it.  It blocks the only way to salvation--total dependenc on Jesus Christ, our only way to salvation.  A higher critical approach won't do it.  It destroys the very miracle of conversion and sanctification, and strips God's salvation of its power to change lives.

It is Christ's all-encompassing righteousness of justification and sanctification that will save, change, and nurture us into true disciples of Christ.  It is something that Jesus does both for us and in us.  Through His grace, we can have divine power and His character as we are made more and more like Him.

We are told that righteousness by faith is the very core of the three angels' messages, in Revelation 14.  What a privilege to urge people to turn back to the true worship of God acknowledging His all-encompassing righteousness and salvation.  The culmination of Christ's saving grace and righteousness will be to welcome Him at His second coming--proof to the world of His justifying salvation and ability to change our lives through His sanctifying power.

What a day that will be!!!!  End of article by Pastor Ted Wilson.

Are you ready?  You will be if you just follow the plan that is laid out for us in the Scriptures.  How hard is it to just give in and let God have His way in our lives?  Are we too selfish to let Him have full sway in our lives?  I hope not, it really is easier to be saved than to be lost, as the one pastor put it.  I realize all the trauma and heartache that we go through when we don't let Christ have full sway in our lives.  That is the hard life.  The easy life is to let go and let God have His way.  Grandma Joan

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Look and Live

What a simple remedy and just think, many have refused to look.  Are you one of them? I hope that I am not and that we can benefit from this worship time this morning.

"In the wilderness, when the Lord permitted poisonous serpents to sting the rebellious Israelites, Moses was directed to lift up a brazen serpent and bid all the wounded look to it and live.  But many saw no help in this Heaven-appointed remedy.  The dead and dying were all around them, and they knew without divine help their fate was certain; but they would lament their wounds, their pains, their sure death, until their strength was gone, and their eyes were glazed, when they might have had instant healing.

'As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so was the Son of man ...lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life'  John 3;14,15.  If you are conscious of your sins, do not devote all your powers to mourning over them, but look and live.  Jesus is our only Savior, and although millions who need to be healed will reject His offered mercy, not one who trusts in His merits will be left to perish.  While we realize our helpless condition without Christ, we must not be discouraged; we must rely upon a crucified and risen Savior.  Poor, sin-sick, discouraged soul, look and live.  Jesus has pledged His word; He will save all who come unto Him.

Come to Jesus, and receive rest and peace.  You may have the blessing even now.  Satan suggests that you are helpless and cannot bless yourself. It is true, you are helpless.  But lift up Jesus before him:  "I have a risen Savior.  In Him I trust, and He will never suffer me to be confounded.  In His name I triumph.  He is my righteousness and my crown of rejoicing."  Let no one feel that his case is hopeless, for it is not.  You may see that you are sinful and undone but it is just on this account that you need a Savior.  If you have sins to confess, lose no  time. These moments are golden.  'If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness'. 1 John 1:9.
Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled, for Jesus has promised it.  Precious Savior!  His arms are open to receive us, and His great heart of love is waiting to bless us.

Some seem to feel that they must be on probation and must prove to the Lord that they are reformed, before than can claim His blessing.  But these dear souls may claim the blessing even now.  They must have His grace, the Spirit of Christ, to help their infirmities , or they cannot form a Christian character.  Jesus loves to have us come to Him, just as we are--sinful, helpless, dependent."  F&W p. 37,38

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  Ask to be filled with the fullness of God and our sinful, helpless nature will be filled and we shall be overcomers in Christ's name. What a blessing to know that in our helplessness we have all the help we need to be like Him.  What more could we ask?  Grandma Joan

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Learning in the School of Christ.


This is a lesson that we all need to learn.  It is so good and refreshing to know that we can keep learning day by day and Jesus is our strength.

"We must learn in the school of Christ.  Nothing but His righteousness can entitle us to one of the blessings of the covenant of grace.  We have long desired and tried to obtain these blessings but have not received them because we have cherished the idea that we could do something to make ourselves worth of them.  We have not looked away from ourselves, believing that Jesus is a living Savior.  We must not think that our own grace and merits will save us, the grace of Christ is our only hope of salvation.  Through His prophet the Lord promises, 'Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.' Isaiah 55:7.  We must believe the naked promise, and not accept feeling for faith.  When we trust God fully, when we rely upon the merits of Jesus as a sin-pardoning Savior, we shall receive all the help that we can desire.

We look to self, as though we had power to save ourselves; but Jesus died for us because we are helpless to do this.  In Him is our hope, our justification, our righteousness.  We should not despond and fear that we have no Savior or that He has no thoughts of mercy toward us.  At this very time He is carrying on His work in our behalf, inviting us to come to Him in our helplessness and be saved. We dishonor Him by our unbelief.  It is astonishing how we treat our very best Friend, how little confidence we repose in Him who is able to save to the uttermost and who has given us every evidence of His great love. (Faith and Works p. 36)

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  Is this your struggle, thinking that your works will recommend you to the favor of God, or that you must be free from sin before you can trust Him to save you?  If this is your struggle, then be free in Christ and know that it is His power that saves, not ours.  What a relief to know this.  Grandma Joan




Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Gift From God

Do you love to receive gifts, well you are just about to receive one of the best gifts from God.  Read on.

"Repentance, as well as forgiveness, is the gift of God through Christ.  It is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that we are convicted of sin and feel our need of pardon.  None but the contrite are forgiven; but it is the grace of God that makes the heart penitent.  He is acquainted with all our weaknesses and infirmities, and He will help us.

Some who come to God by repentance and confession, and even believe that their sins are forgiven, still fail of claiming, as they should, the promises of God.  They do not see that Jesus is an ever-present Savior; and they are not ready to commit the keeping of their souls to Him, relying upon Him to prefect the work of grace begun in their hearts.  While they think they are committing themselves to God, there is a great deal of self-dependence.  There are conscientious souls that trust partly to God and partly to themselves.  They do not look to God, to be kept by His power, but depend upon watchfulness against temptation and the performance of certain duties for acceptance with Him.  There are no victories in this kind of faith.  Such persons toil to no purpose; their souls are in continual bondage, and they find not rest until their burdens are laid at the feet of Jesus.

There is need of constant watchfulness and of earnest, loving devotion, but these will come naturally when the soul is kept by the power of God through faith.  We can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to commend ourselves to divine favor.  We must not trust at all to ourselves or to our good works, but when as erring, sinful beings we come to Christ, we may find rest in His love.  God will accept every one that comes to Him trusting wholly in the merits of a crucified Savior.  Love springs up in the heart.  There may be no ecstasy of feeling, but there is an abiding, peaceful trust.  Every burden is light; for the yoke which Christ imposes is easy.  Duty becomes a delight, and sacrifice a pleasure.  The path that before seemed shrouded in darkness becomes bright with beams from the Sun of Righteousness. This is walking in the light as Christ is in the light." F&W p. 38,39.

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  Are you enjoying these worships?  It's been a long time since I have read this little book, Faith and Works, but I just found one in my daughter's garage and I grabbed it up because it is so precious to me.  I hope you find it the same.  For me it just gives me the peace and rest that I need and to trust fully in Christ for my salvation.  I once heard a sermon entitled, 'It's easier to be saved, than to be lost'.  And I wondered how is that so?  Well, this little book explains it all and that is why I am sharing it with you.
May you be blessed each morning as you read these captions.  Grandma Joan


Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Good Question!

I am  sharing some lessons that I am learning day by day that are helping me in my daily walk with God.  Please read carefully and let them help you in your daily walk.  The world is so full of sin today that it is almost impossible to avoid seeing and hearing it. So we need all the help we can get to stay on the right path spiritually.

"The question now to be asked is, Are the profess followers of Christ complying with the conditions upon which the blessing is pronounced?  Are they separating in spirit and practice from the world?  How hard to come out and be separate from worldly habits and customs!  But let us look well to it that. Satan does not allure and deceive us through false representations.  Eternal interests are here involved.  God's claims should come first; His requirements should receive our first attention.

Every child of fallen Adam must, through the transforming grace of Christ, become obedient to all God's requirements.  Many close their eyes to the plainest teachings of His Word because the cross stands directly in the way.  If they lift it, they must appear singular in the eyes of the world; and they hesitate and question and search for some excuse whereby they may shun the cross.  Satan is ever ready, and he presents plausible reasons why it would not be best to obey the Word of God just as it reads.  Thus souls are fatally deceived.

One of Satan's most successful deceptions is to lead men to claim to be sanctified, while at the same time they are living in disobedience to God's commandments.  These are described by Jesus as those who will say, '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?'

Yes, those who claim to be sanctified have a great deal to say about being saved by the blood of Jesus, but their sanctification is not through the truth as it is in Jesus.  While claiming to believe in Him, and apparently doing wonderful works in His name, they ignore His Father's law and serve as agents of the great adversary of souls to carry forward the work which he began in Eden, that of making plausible excuses for not obeying God implicitly.  Their work of leading men to dishonor God by ignoring His law will one day be unfolded before them with its true results.

The conditions of eternal life are made so plain in Good's Word that none need err, unless they choose error rather than truth because their unsanctified souls love the darkness rather than the light.

God's law is immutable and unchangeable as His character.  Whatever men my say or do to make it void does not change its claims or release them for their obligation to obey.

We need divine enlightenment daily; we should pray as did David, 'Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous thing out of Thy law; Psalm 119:18.  God will have a people upon the earth who will vindicate His honor by having respect  to all of His commandments; and His commandments are not grievous, not a yoke of bondage. David prayed in his day, 'It is time for Thee, Lord, to work; for they have made void Thy law', verse 126.

Not one of us can afford to dishonor God by living in transgression of His law.  To neglect the Bible and give ourselves up to the pursuit of worldly treasure is a loss which is beyond estimate.  Eternity alone will reveal the great sacrifice made by many to secure worldly honor and worldly advantages, at the loss of the soul, the loss of eternal riches.  They might have had that life which measure with the life of God; for Jesus died to bring the blessings and treasures of heaven within their reach, that they might not be accounted poor and wretched and miserable in the high estimate of eternity." F&W 41-43.

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  May none of us consider this life so great that we lose out on the beautiful home Jesus has gone to prepare for us.  May God bless you as you worship with me each morning!!!!!  Grandma Joan


Friday, February 13, 2015

Now Is The Time---

If ever there was a time when we needed faith and spiritual enlightenment, it is now.  Those who are watching unto prayer and are searching the Scriptures daily with an earnest desire to know and do the will of God will not be led astray by any of the deceptions of Satan.  They alone will discern the pretext which cunning men adopt to beguile and ensnare.  So much time and attention are bestowed upon the world, upon dress and eating and drinking, that no times is left for prayer and the study of the Scriptures.

We want the truth on every point, and we must search for it as for hid treasures.  Dishes of fables are presented to us on every hand, and men choose to believe error rather than truth, because the acceptance of the truth involves a cross.  Self must be denied; self must be crucified.  Therefore Satan presents to them an easier way by making void the law of God.  When God lets man have his own way, it is the darkest hour of his life.  For a willful, disobedient child to be left to have his own way, to follow the bent of his own mind and gather the dark clouds of God's judgment about him, is a terrible thing.

But Satan has his agents who are too proud to repent and who are constantly at work to tear down the cause of Jehovah and trample it under their feet. What a day of sorrow and despair when these meet their work with all its burden of results!  Souls who might have been saved to Jesus Christ have been lost through their teachings and influence.

Christ died for them that they might have life.  He opened before them the way whereby they light, through His merits, keep the law of God.  Christ says, 'I know they works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it' Revelation 3:8.  How hard men work to close that door; but they are not able.  John's testimony is, 'And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament' Revelation 11:19.  Beneath the mercy seat, within the ark, were the two tables of stone, containing the law of Jehovah.  God's faithful ones saw the light that shone forth to them from the law, to be given to the world.  And now Satan's intense activity is to close that door of light; but Jesus says that no man can shut it.  Men will turn from the light, denounce it, and despise it, but it still shines forth in clear, distinct rays to cheer and bless all who will see it.

God's children will have a fierce conflict with the adversary of souls, and it will become more exceedingly bitter as we approach the close of the conflict.  But the Lord will help those who stand in defense of His truth." F&W 46.

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  Do you believe, with all that's going on in this world today that 'now is the time' to give our hearts to Jesus and study and pray for ourselves and those of our friends and family that we will all be ready and waiting for Christ when He comes to gather us to Himself?  After studying the Scriptures and reading this little book, I believe that now is really the time to get serious about our lives and what path we will choose to walk in. How about you?  Grandma Joan

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Without Faith!

"The Bible says that, "Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him: Hebrews 11:6. There are many in the Christian world who claim that all that is necessary to salvation is to have faith; works are nothing, faith is the only essential.  But God's Word tells us that faith without works is dead, being alone.  Many refuse to obey God's commandments, yet they make a great deal of faith.  But faith must have a foundation.

God's promises are all made upon conditions.  If we do His will, if we walk in truth, then we may ask what we will, and it shall be done unto us.  While we earnestly endeavor to be obedient, God will hear our petitions; but He will not bless us in disobedience.  If we choose to disobey His commandments, we may cry, 'Faith, faith, only have faith,' and the response will come back from the sure Word of God. 'Faith without works is dead; James 2:20.  Such faith will only be as sounding brass and as a tinkling cymbal.  In order to have the benefits of God's grace we must do our part; we must faithfully work and bring forth fruits meet for repentance.

We are workers together with God.  You are not to sit in indolence, waiting for some great occasion, in order to do a great work for the master.  You are not to neglect the duty that lies directly in your pathway, but you are to improve the little opportunities that open around you.  F&W 47.

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  This should solve a lot of answers we have regarding faith and answered prayer.  I can see that I need not worry about some great work I can do for God.  Just do the things that He shows me right around me, simple duties that lie in my pathway.  When He impresses me of something in my life that should be given up, then give it up, this is my work.  We do not work our way to heaven because God has paid our redemption price through His Son.  But we do need to show our faith by our works, that's what we need to do, step out in faith when we know that we have brought our life into line with His will, then we can ask what we will and He will do it, He also gives us the strength to do His will and faith is a gift from Him too.  Be filled today with His Spirit and He will bless you abundantly when we live by His Word.  Grandma Joan

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Thoughts Of Hope

We all need hope in this world of sin and I know that there are a lot of people out there without hope and in despair.  I wish I could help them all by giving them hope, but those who read my blog will find hope and you can tell your friends about the hope you are finding here each morning as you worship with me.  May God bless you with hope this morning.

"Works will never save us; it is the merit of Christ that will avail in our behalf.  Through faith in Him, Christ will make all our imperfect efforts acceptable to God. The faith that we are required to have is not a do nothing faith; saving faith is that which works by love and purifies the soul.  He who will lift up holy hands to God without wrath and doubting will walk intelligently in the way of God's commandments.

Faith and works will keep us evenly balanced and make us successful in the work of perfecting Christian character.  Jesus says, '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'  Matthew 7:21.  Speaking of temporal food, the apostle said, 'For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.' 2 Thessalonians 3:10.  The same rule applies to our spiritual nourishment; if any would have the bread of eternal life, let him make efforts to obtain it.

There is no excuse for sin or for indolence.  Jesus has led the way, and He wishes us to follow in His steps.  He has suffered He has sacrifice as none of us can, that He might bring salvation within our reach.  We need not be discouraged.  Jesus came to our world to bring divine power to man, that through His grace, we might be transformed into His likeness.

When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man's best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit.  But He will not accept those who claim to have faith in Him and yet are disloyal to His Father's commandment.  We hear a great deal about faith, but we need to hear a great deal more about works.  Many are deceiving their own souls by living an easy-going, accommodating, cross less religion.

Matthew 16:24  Jesus said, 'If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up is cross, and follow Me.'"

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  Did you notice that 'through faith in Him, Christ will make all our imperfect efforts acceptable to God.Also have you noticed that the works we are to do is confessing and forsaking our sin and repenting of them.  I also noticed that when I put forth an effort to obey God, Jesus accepts this effort as my best service and makes up for my deficiency with His own divine merit.  Now that's hope.  Again I would like to invite you to sincerely ask God to fill you with all His fullness so that He can do the work in you and through you which is His gift of salvation for you.  May God bless you this very morning as you make your commitment to Him.  Grandma Joan


Monday, February 9, 2015

Will Worship, What Is It?

I am very, very particular about what I believe, I was led astray once and I don't want it to happen again.  Satan is very subtle in his business of causing us to lose our way on our Spiritual journey.  I thought I was headed in the right way, and I really was, but someone brought us a video to watch and I was so upset with the video that I thought about smashing the TV, not that that would have helped but then through a relative, they brought another, and another until we were convinced that we were wrong and this guy was right.  So for four years we went the way of Satan's leading.  We never left our belief in God and I still had my worships but I was seeing and hearing things that I knew in my heart was not right and it took a rude awakening to set us on the right track again and we were rebaptized and are still following the Scriptures and learning day by day truths that are so wonderful, I wonder how I ever got misled, so please don't let Satan convince you of things that are contrary to Scripture.  He is good at it and doesn't care about your soul.  Following is an example of a false theory that many have swallowed to their utter destruction and do not know it.

"God's law is the great standard of righteousness and this is a warning against modern, counterfeit sanctification which has it's origin in will-worship rather than in submission to the will of God.  (Will-worship is following ones own will or the will of another pastor or person)  This error is fast flooding the world, and as God's witnesses we shall be called to bear a decided testimony against it.  It is one of the veriest delusions of the last days and will prove a temptation to all who believe in the Scriptures as the perfect will of God.  Those who have not their faith firmly established upon the Word of God will be misled.  And the saddest part of it all is that so few who are deceived by this error ever find their way to the light again.

The Bible is the standard by which to test the claims of all who profess sanctification.  Jesus prayed that His disciples might be sanctified through the truth, and He says, 'Thy word is truth', John 17:17.  'Thy law is truth', Psalm 119:142.  All whom God is leading will manifest a high regard for the Scriptures in which His voice is heard.  The Bible will be to them 'profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works', 2 Timothy 3:16.  'Ye shall know them by their fruits', Matthew 7:16.

We need no other evidence in order to judge of men's sanctification, if they are fearful lest they shall not obey the whole will of God, if they are listening diligently to His voice trusting in His wisdom, and making His Word the man of their counsel, then, while they make no boasts of superior goodness, we may be sure that they are seeking to attain to perfection of Christian character.  But if the claimants of holiness even intimate that they are no longer required to search the Scriptures, we need not hesitate to pronounce their sanctification spurious.  They are leaning to their own understanding instead of conforming to the will of God."  F&W 51,52.

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  I always wondered what 'will-worship' meant until I read this and it is made quite clear.  I hope you understand it this morning much better than you ever have.  We don't want to be worshiping our own will and not following the will of God.  That would be disastrous.  May God help us all to stay connected to Him by asking Him to fill us with His fullness and then we won't be led astray by our own will or that of another.  God bless you this morning in your worship of Him who gave His life for you.  Grandma Joan

Sunday, February 8, 2015

What Can We Do?

We all want to know what the requirements are of a God that loves us so much as to give His only Son to die for us, such a horrible death, that even Jesus thought that He was giving His life up forever to save us.  What can we do in return for such a sacrifice on our behalf?

"God requires at this time just what He required of the holy pair in Eden--perfect obedience to His requirements.  His law remains the same in all ages.  The great standard of righteousness presented in the Old Testament is not lowered in the New.  It is not the work of the gospel to weaken the claims of God's holy law but to bring men up where they can keep its precepts.

The faith in Christ that saves the soul is not what it is represented to be by many.  'Believe, believe,' is their cry; 'only believe in Christ, and you will be saved.  It is all you have to do.'  While true faith trusts wholly in Christ for salvation, it will lead to perfect conformity to the law of God.  Faith is manifested by works.  And the apostle John declares. 'He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him', 1 John 2:4.

It is unsafe to trust to feelings or impressions; these are unreliable guides.  God's law is the only correct standard of holiness  It is by this law that character is to be judged.  If an inquirer after salvation were to ask 'What shall I do to inherit eternal life?'  the modern teachers of sanctification would answer, 'Only believe that Jesus saves you.'  But when Christ was asked this question He said, 'What is written in the law? how readest thou?'  And when the questioner replied,'Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart,...and thy neighbor as thyself,' Jesus said, 'Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live', Luke 10:25-29

True sanctification will be evidenced by a conscientious regard for all the commandments of God, by a careful improvement of every talent, by a circumspect conversation, by revealing in every act the meekness of Christ." F&W 52,53.

( Grandma Joan's remarks)  Many people are going to say, 'This is impossible', I have heard it before, myself, that it is impossible to keep God's holy law.  How can that be when we are promised the strength of Christ to do it and He says He will do it for us in Philippians 1:6 and in 2 Thessalonians 2:24.  Don't give up, trust in Christ for your strength and ask to be filled with His fullness and it becomes easy to obey, trust me, I know from experience how hard it is to do in my own strength, but when I trust in His strength, it becomes easy to do in His strength.  We want to be like Him and this is the only way that the scriptures teach us that we can do this.  Please keep praying to be filled with His fullness and you will see for yourself how He does the work in you and you will be surprised how your thoughts and feeling will change compared to previous thoughts and feelings.  God help us to be filled with His fullness, it is the only way. Grandma Joan.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Our Work.

Philippians 2;12,13  "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."

Who does the work?  It says it is God that does the work, both to will and to do.  Read on for further enlightenment.

"We have no righteousness of our own with which to meet the claims of the law of God.  But Christ has made a way of escape for us...He died for us, and now He offers to take our sins and give us His righteousness..More that this, Christ changes the heart...You are to maintain this connection with Christ by faith and the continual surrender of your will to Him, and so long as you do this, He will work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure....So we have nothing in ourselves of which to boast...Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us'. SC 62,63.

We are all sinners at the foot of the cross in need of a Savior who provides for us His righteousness.

As we consecrate ourselves to Christ and allow him to work in us to stay close to Him and His Word, we can then better understand these inspired words: 'Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His people.  When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim the as His own.' COL 69.

Christ's character is reproduced in our lives as we lean completely on Christ alone.  We must daily allow the Holy Spirit to change us more and more into the likeness of Christ.  This is the work of a lifetime.  We are to ask for Christ's character in our lives as we learn practical obedience to His Word through His power.

We aren't to work toward what may be termed 'perfectionism,' reflecting a legalistic checklist.  Nor should we point out the faults of others or bring strife into our surroundings with accusations that we are more righteous than others.  'No one who claims holiness is really holy.  Those who are registered as holy in the books of Heaven are not aware of the fact, and are the last ones to boast of their own goodness.  None of the prophets and apostles ever professed holiness...The righteous never make such a claim.  The more nearly they resemble Christ, the more they lament their unlikeness to Him.'

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  Does that clear things up for you, it sure did for me.  I love to understand the Word of God, sometimes it is a little difficult, but when we ask to be filled with His fullness, we shall be able to understand much better.  The Holy Spirit is our teacher and we are His students in the school of Christ.  Our work is to surrender and let God have control of our lives.  That seems simple enough except for one thing, we are a stubborn people and we like to control our own lives but if we are humble and come to Him with a humble spirit, he will work in us to will and to do of His good pleasure and we just let Him work in us.  I love that thought so much, it takes the burdens of life and lays them at His feet and we can rest in Him.  Grandma Joan

Friday, February 6, 2015

Born Again

Remember Jesus told Nicodemus that 'he must be born again'.  This elaborates on this subject.  Please be blessed as you read it.

"This born again experience makes us entirely new persons.  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17.  Through the leading of the holy Spirit, as we confess our sins and fall at the foot of the cross, we are cleansed of our sins and re-created into the image of God (see 1 John 1:9)

This is God's all-encompassing righteousness--we are saved by grace and we live by faith--all through Jesus Christ!  We can proclaim with Paul, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" Galatians 2:20.

When we accept Christ and His righteousness, we also follow Him in believing and accepting His beautiful truths revealed in the doctrines of the Bible--all centered in Him.  In Titus 3:5,6 , Paul indicates that it was "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit."  He further states "that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works (verses 7,8.)

The good works are the manifestation of the sanctifying power of Christ.  The Holy Spirit works in us to make us more and more like Christ.  We are totally dependent upon our relationship with Christ for sanctification.  That is Christ's righteousness."  Article by Pastor Ted Wilson.

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  Do you see how simple it is and yet we make it so hard by thinking that we have to do something to save ourselves, we have to do this and we have to do that to save ourselves, No, remember it is "not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us.  He washes us and renews us through the power of the Holy Spirit, that is why we need to pray to be filled with His Spirit each day so that He can do that for us.  God bless each of you as you surrender your lives to Him day by day.  Grandma Joan

Confused?

I don't want to confuse anyone about Justification and Sanctification, so am going to quote a pastor's thoughts on it and it seems to be a very wise way to put it.

"At times, there seems to be confusion about justification and sanctification and how they relate to each other and our salvation.  Some promote justification to the exclusion of sanctification and arrive at "Cheap Grace".  Others focus almost exclusively on sanctification and arrive at "perfectionism" or legalistic salvation by works.  But God's all encompassing righteousness involves the completeness of both justification and sanctification  It's His plan, not ours.  It's His way of bringing us into an immediate and long-term relationship with Him in preparation for spending eternity with Him.

Paul declares in Ephesians 2:8-10 that we owe everything to Christ: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone would boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."  God declares us righteous through the sacrifice of Christ.  When we accept this gift, we are declared perfect in the eyes of God.  As we humbly submit to Christ's control over our lives, His power then begins to sanctify us.  This entire change is the all-encompassing righteousness of Christ.

This is not a call for self-centered legalism but a direct call for righteousness by faith in God. Drawn by the Holy Spirit, we accept Jesus into our lives, and Christ begins changing us into His likeness so that we become more and more like Him.  This is why drunkards become sober; loose-living people become moral; mean-spirited individuals become peacemakers; self-centered people become selfless, generous benefactors.  This is why the unconverted become converted--all due to the power of God which begins producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

The provision for this right relationship is described in one of the most powerful verses of th Bible:  "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" 2 Corinthians 5:21.  God, the Father, provided His perfect Son as a sacrifice for our sins that we would be able to be covered by the perfect righteousness of Christ  This is the "born again" experience Jesus proclaimed in John 3:3, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God."  Quoted from an article by Pastor Ted Wilson.

(Grandma Joan's remarks)  I hope this has helped a lot to clear our minds on this very important subject.  I know it can be confusing, it has been in the past for me, but this article clears it up quite well and is backed by Scripture, which is very important.  Tomorrow we will talk about being 'Born Again".
May God bless you as you turn to the Scriptures for Truth and don''t forget to pray to be filled with the fullness of God, as we have been promised if we ask.  Your joy in the Lord will be full.  Grandma Joan.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Confess and Forsake

Please join me this morning for worship!  This is such good advice and takes the burden of living off us and puts in on Jesus!  What a great testimony!

1 John 1:9  "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

"God requires that we confess our sins and humble our hearts before Him; but at the same time we should have confidence in Him as a tender Father, who will not forsake those who put their trust in Him.  Many of us walk by sight not by faith.  We believe the things that are seen but do not appreciate the precious promises given us in God's Word; and yet we cannot dishonor God more decidedly than by showing that we distrust what He says and question whether the Lord is in earnest with us or is deceiving us.

God does not give us up because of our sins.  We may make mistakes and grieve His Spirit, but when we repent and come to Him with contrite hearts, He will not turn us away.  There are hindrances to be removed. Wrong feelings have been cherished, and there have been pride, self-sufficiency, impatience, an murmurings.  All these separate us from God.  Sins must be confessed; there must be a deeper work of grace in the heart." (Taken from the little book, Faith and Works p. 35).

How do we become strong in Christ?  By being filled with His Spirit daily.  Ask and you will receive.  He is waiting to fill us when we are sincere in our asking.  Don't let Satan take your peace from you, this is what he wants to do, but we don't have to let him do it.  We can have a hedge around us put there by the Holy Spirit of God.  Ask God to make you willing to be willing and He will answer a prayer like that.  He knows our weaknesses and is more than willing to cover them with His grace and in the process take them away and make us strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9  "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'"  Is that a promise worth memorizing?  Yes, it is for His grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in our weakness for when we are weak, then He can make us strong to do His will and fill us with His Holy Spirit so that we can live a life of holiness in His strength, not our strength.  Tomorrow for worship we will talk about that, trying to do things in our strength.  Grandma Joan.




Sunday, February 1, 2015

As I Think!

Proverbs 23:7  "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he."  That is a powerful statement!!  As we think in our hearts, that's what we are or become.  What do you think?  What do I think?

I think it's a good idea to dwell on God's words, so that we will be like Him.  What do you think?  I think it's a wonderful thing to ask Him to fill us with His fullness so that our thoughts will be pure and holy.  The secret to holy living.  Let's take a look at some texts that we can dwell on that will get our mind off ourselves and the world around us.

Do you have sorrow in your life?  Think about this!  Revelation 21:4  "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain for the former things have passed away."

Have you had sorrow in your life?  I think everyone has at one time or another.  Just think, no more sorrow.  I am sure everyone has lost someone in death, I've lost several that were close to me and I have suffered the sorrow that we are promised that there will be no more sorrow or crying.  A wonderful promise.  There shall be no more pain,  I have suffered pain for years now due to fractured vertebrae and I am looking forward to the day that there will be no more pain or sorrow or death.  How about you?  Do you long for the time that God will put an end to our sufferings.  I do.  Let our thoughts turn to His promises of a better life when He comes to take us home with Him.

Philippians 4:8  "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report.  If there is anything praiseworthy, meditate (or think) on these things."

We can think about things that are true and uplifting, things that are noble, noble deeds of kindness etc.,
things that are just, things that are pure, we really need to dwell on the pure things in life, there is so much that is impure, immoral, vulgar and the like, I almost am afraid to read anything anymore that is publicized. We can dwell on things that are lovely, and good reports of things that are happening around us and also in the mission fields.  There are lots of good reports to dwell on.

Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinks in his heart so is he."  Let's make sure our hearts are full of good thoughts, true, noble, just, pure and lovely and of good reports.  Then we will be what our thoughts are dwelling upon.  God wants us to be true, noble, just, pure and lovely and of good reports.  Let's not disappoint Him.  We will become what we think about, there is no doubt about that.  You can see that all around us today in crime and violence and immoral practices. God, please help us to have pure thoughts that are uplifting and noble so we will become like our thoughts.  Grandma Joan