Friday, 7/21/2017

 

Howdy, It is Friday Again,

 

Well, another chapter in 1 Corinthians is being completed today in our devotional series. Next week we shall begin chapter 7. It is a longer chapter with some controversial subjects in it. It should be a stimulating study and cause you to think. I do not mind facing difficult passages because I have to dig deeper to find some answers and substantiate my position on matters. Sometimes I have not studied a subject for years and it causes me to rethink and re-evaluate where I stand after I have looked at the Greek texts and the help that brings to my attention during the translation process. I am looking forward to the chapter. How are you doing in your daily readings? Personally I am reading very slowly through the book of Genesis for my personal spiritual life. I spend about one hour or so each morning reading, studying, and writing in my journal. I began in March and I am only in chapter 40. It has been a good education for me with a number of rabbit trails and challenging thoughts. I trust that you read the verse or few verses before reading the commentary on each day. Try to understand what it says before you read what I have to say about the passage. It will be of help to you as you are able to grow deeper by yourself before reading my commentary. The Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher and one of these days I will not be here. You will have to read and study on your own. As you grow you will become more and more confident about how to arrive at your own interpretation of the Word of God. It is fun, risky, but it is so rewarding as you grow in Christ. You have a great day and rejoice in the Lord!!!

 

 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 - 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (ESV)

 

Subject:  The Reason to Glorify God

 

Yes, the Holy Spirit indwells (resides) inside of your human body. You will not “feel” Him or “touch” Him from a physical sense, but He is there nonetheless. He has set up housekeeping from the moment you trusted Christ as your Savior. He wants to be the center of your every decision, your every desire, and your every thought.

 

What happened when you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He paid the price for your sins and purchased your human body for all eternity. Yet you will not live in this human body forever, but you will live in a glorified body in heaven. Our citizenship is in a place called the third heaven (Phil. 3:20; 2 Cor. 12:1-2). God has a place for us, but He is now interested in your daily walk with HIM.

 

We do not own ourselves because there was a price that must be paid for our sins. There was no way that we could redeem our bodies from this wicked state of sinfulness. It could only happen through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sanctification and justification. We needed HIM to pay for our sins through His shed blood on the cross. It was necessary for Him to make that sacrifice so that we might live forever with HIM beginning now!

 

Therefore, it is our response to His great gift for us that we would glorify God in our body. The word “glorify” means to honor and respect the God who allowed His Spirit to enter our body and He desires to take control of our every thought, word, and deed. Is that happening in and through your body? It will be a humbling experience and it will be necessary to totally submit yourself to the Lamb of God who took away all your sins.

 

You have another weekend coming up. It is important that every hour of every day be dedicated to HIM to glorify the Savior. There is no need to try and please your own lusts and pleasures in this life for they will lead to vanity and emptiness in the Christian life. You will come to that conclusion one day if you are honest with yourself. Take some time and think about this act of presenting your body as a living sacrifice before the God of the universe (Romans 12:1-2).

 

Presented to Jesus,

 

Pastor Les

 

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Thursday, 7/20/2017

 

Good Morning,

 

On Sunday afternoon I went to Menards to pick up the boards that I had special ordered a couple of weeks ago. They were delivered to the West Allis store even though we ordered them from the Waukesha store. The Waukesha store is much nice, larger, and has a bigger selection of products. You can actually find an employee to help you at that store and they seem to be more knowledge-able and able to help. Anyway, I ordered some boards (I thought) so I could stain them and put them in a few places as trim to enhance the division between the dining room and kitchen area where the peninsula is located. Also the boards were to be nailed to the two closets as door jambs. When I went to pick them up I was “disappointed” that they were only oak veneer rather than full boards. They informed me that they do not make boards for these applications in buildings but only veneer. Wow! No wonder they only cost a less than $6.00 each. The used particle board for the majority of each piece. Oh well, it will have to do…onward with the staining and polyurethane coats. They will look nice but just be “fake” boards. I wonder how much of a new construction of a house or any building is just veneer? Life changes and so does making of building products. Just make sure that we are not “fake” Christians as we live out our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ…or think we are doing it.

 

1 Corinthians 6:19 - 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, (ESV)

 

Subject:  God’s Dwelling Place

 

God dwells in the third heaven, He has dwelled in the tabernacle and then in the temple of the Jews, and now He dwells in the person of the Holy Spirit in the body of every true believer in Jesus Christ. Our bodies become a temple of the Holy Spirit within us. He lives inside our bodies and we become His sanctuary.

 

This gift of the Holy Spirit living inside of each Christian is indeed an award from God. Jesus made this promise to His twelve disciples while walking on earth in human form (John 14:17). In John 20:22 Jesus fulfills His words to them when He breathes on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Many believe this is the beginning of the Body of Christ, but it was placing the believers “in Christ.” There becomes a new level of intimacy and connection with God Himself.

 

When it came to setting up the tabernacle in the wilderness under Moses’ direction, God said, “And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell in their midst.” (Exod. 25:8). God wanted to live in the midst of His people. He has always wanted to live among the ones who knew Him personally through faith. But, Israel rebelled and turned away from God even though the tabernacle was in their midst and the pillar of fire was seen at night and the pillar of cloud was seen by day yet this was not enough to captivate the hearts of the people to obey God.

 

Later Solomon was directed by God to build the temple in Jerusalem. It was an ornate structure built to the specifications of the Heavenly Father. But, this did not seem to make any difference to the Jewish nation, Israel. They ran after false gods and idols and forsook the one true God of the universe.

 

Here we are in the dispensation of Grace and God has chosen to dwell inside of us. Does it make a difference to you as a believer in Jesus Christ? Do you sense the Holy Spirit’s presence inside of you right now? What will you do differently today because He lives in you and you have knowledge of this very fact? He wants an intimate relationship with you today and every day. He wants you to rely upon Him for every need in your life. He loves you and wants and deserves to be loved in return. Will you do that just for today?

 

Loving God daily,

 

Pastor Les

 

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, 7/19/2017

 

Hi There, Christian,

 

The kitchen remodel project is one step and day closer to completion. There are good number of small things that must be done in the coming days and weeks. When the appliances arrived last Wednesday, I thought that it would just be placing the right appliance in the right place and away we go. Not so! The dishwasher could not be connected to the quartz counter top so we cannot use that appliance. One of the refrigerator doors was scratched but we can use the refrigerator until the new door comes and is replaced. The refrigerator needs to be leveled and we have temporarily leveled it with pieces of carpet on one side…yes, we can use the refrigerator until that is taken care of today, Lord willing (between 8 a.m. and noon). The stove was crushed while in storage by the “clamp” that moves the appliances around in the storage building for Best Buy. Too much pressure was applied and dents on both sides developed. Yes, we can use the stove but another one is on order and we shall get it in a couple of weeks or so. There is a small leak under the sink, but not enough to not use the sink. We needed to seek out a connection for the water filter…the plumber had no answer for that. We went to a plumbing store and they looked for an answer and found none. Linda and I were getting ready to leave with Hannah when the owner came out and said, “I think we have found one compression fitting for you.” We went back inside and paid a little over $5.00 and were good to go. What an answer to prayer! The washer and dryer are all connected and working. So, things are coming along and one day we shall be “perfectly” completed…all in God’s time!!!

 

1 Corinthians 6:18 - 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. (ESV)

 

Subject:  Escape Sin!

 

Paul writes a command to the Corinthian believers to “avoid or escape” sexual immorality. In order to avoid sinning in this way, one must flee the situation. Paul uses this word “flee” in addressing sin to Timothy in 1 Tim. 6:11 and in 2 Tim. 2:22. In 2 Timothy Paul speaks about fleeing youthful passions and pursuing righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.

 

This is what Joseph, the son of Jacob, in the book of Genesis did when he was confronted with compromising his morals for sin. Joseph tried to stay away from Mrs. Potiphar over and over again, but one day she caught him alone in the house and said to Joseph once again, “Lie with me.” Joseph said, “No” again and she had a grip on his coat. Joseph shed his coat and fled from the situation. He was thrown in prison for over 2 years for thismoral stand for God, but God was with Joseph and he was taken out of prison and became second in command in Egypt. God has His way of rewarding a person who is sold out to the Lord.

 

Yes, the only alternative is to flee, run, or escape from the sin of immorality. The sin committed is against another person and the Lord Jesus Christ and is actually is against one’s own body. Other sins are independent of our body, but not the sin of immorality (fornication). There is a price to be paid for sinning against our own bodies as Christians.

 

In what ways do we harm our own body? This may take the form of embarrassing ourselves before others or the emotional guilt over the sin. It may be that we would contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD). It may be that the woman may become pregnant (i.e. King David) and as a result the family (her husband, Uriah) inflicted being murdered by the hand of King David. The repercussions can take many forms in the Christian life. God will chasten the believer for the immoral relationships. You and I can count on it because “whom the Lord loves, He disciplines and chastens” (Heb. 12:6).

 

So, if you are involved in mental immoral sin or physical immoral acts, flee from them. First you sin against God and you also sin against your own body. Take heed to the apostle Paul’s words which are inspired by God Himself.

 

Fleeing immoral activity,

 

Pastor Les

 

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 7/18/2017

 

Good Morning,

 

Where has the summer gone? In Wisconsin summer has been very cool and even wet. Today, Sunday, it only climbed to 71 degrees and it has been rather cool most of the summer. The other day when I went for my run it was only 73 degrees. We are about ½ way through the summer and I am sure we shall get warmer weather in August and maybe September. I enjoy and appreciate each day no matter what the temperature. When the two men came to our place with the deliverance of our appliances, George, one of the men had a summer cold and had it for about two weeks. He was still congested. I have had a cold sore last week. It is just about gone, but it was an unusual one that went inside my lower lip. That was a first for me. As I have said before, “Where is that Global Warming that I have been hearing about?” It has been cyclical for centuries and this “fact” of temperatures rising and falling is just the cycles in one’s lifetime. One has to live it out for about 70 years to catch the reality of these so-called extremes…by that time we are ready for the grave (smile). I really do not think a one degree rise or fall is a big deal and some ice melting on the North or South Pole. I do know that during the Great Tribulation that the sun will be extremely hot and there will be no wind all around the earth for some time. Now that will be some global warming from the hand of God. Well, summer will continue to come and go…this week we are look at temperatures in the 80’s. Now that is a little better!!! You have a good day!

 

1 Corinthians 6:15-17 - 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. (ESV)

 

Subject: Spiritual Unity

 

Paul just used the example of a man joined to a prostitute and how they will become one flesh. He goes on to say that a person who is joined to the Lord will become one spirit with Christ Jesus. The word “joined” means united as it is in verse 16. As stated yesterday in my devotional, a person who places their personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior is unified with Him.

 

Actually when a person is married, they become “glued” together in holy matrimony (during the wedding service). The vows that the man and woman make with each other and before the presence of God as well as all those who attend and witness the ceremony become the cement that glues the couple as one. As I have stated before in sermons, “the couple is stuck with each other” by the glue that God applies to the relationship of husband and wife. Yes, you are stuck with him or her for the rest of your life (however, you can choose to separate or divorce if you so desire to make that decision).

 

So just as in a marriage relationship, so it is in the spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a one-time commitment to place one’s faith in Jesus Christ and it is God’s commitment to give the free gift of eternal life (Rom. 6:23). The believer and the Lord become fused together as two boards are glued together never to be taken apart (i.e. plywood).

 

It is a miracle that God performs by taking a sinful human being and cleansing all their sins (past, present, and future) by the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-24; 1 John 1:7). In this wonderful event, the transition of the sins of the sinner are given over to Jesus Christ and the righteousness of Christ is given over to the sinner making the sinner a saint (holy one). The saint now become glued to Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:31-32). This is the moment of the unity with Christ.

 

Do you understand this mighty work of God? Do you know the wonderful relationship that God has made between us and Jesus Christ? This unity gives us the privilege of prayer with the heavenly Father at any time. We can call upon His name in difficult situations and ask that He come to our aid at any moment of time. Jesus Christ is the only mediator between man and God! What a blessing to our lives.

 

Joined to Jesus Christ,

 

Pastor Les

 

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.

Monday, 7/17/2017

 

Good Morning, Beloved One,

 

This morning I shall be getting up early to drive to Waterford which is about 45 minutes away from West Allis. I am planning on meeting my coach for running and when I arrive we shall be running the 4-mile run as a practice for me to know the course for August 5. My coach, Keri Hainsworth, has a busy day and week planned. In fact, she always has a busy week planned and has to execute the plan. Her husband, Winston, has a very demanding job with the Veteran’s Administration and is working extremely hard to get things done in the area of accounting. They are a special family and it will be good to run with them in the Moonlight Run in Waterford beginning at 8:30 p.m. on August 5. It is about that time I am thinking of getting myself in direction of the bedroom and sleep. But, not that Saturday night. Our run this morning shall be an enjoyable run…not too fast, but give me the ability to run the course ahead of time.

 

On another note, would you pray for Pastor Frosty Hansen who is leaving Santa Cruz, Bolivia and flying to Cochabamba, Bolivia? It is not a long flight, but it is an important mission to get some paperwork done for the country of Bolivia and the land that GMI owns. Pray for safety, for wisdom in this process, and for a completed outcome by the end of this month, July. Thanks for your prayers for him and his wife, Cathy, as she waits at home for her hubby to return.

 

1 Corinthians 6:15-16 - 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” (ESV)

 

Subject:  Sexual Unity

 

Paul begins with a question about our Christian bodies being related to Christ. It is something that every believer in Christ Jesus should know. When we trust Christ as our personal Savior, the relationship with Him is secure. Each of us becomes a member in the family of God immediately upon our day of salvation.

 

As Christians, should we take our human body in the Body of Christ and fashion (join) them with the body of a prostitute? His response is a resounding “Never!” Paul then proceeds in the next verse with a question to which we all should know the answer. Anyone who united to a prostitute in a sexual relationship becomes one body with her. Just as in marriage, the two (husband and wife) become one flesh, so in the sexual relationship, because of the intimacy and physical proximity, they become one as well.

 

No, marriage is not consummated by the physical union with another person of the opposite sex, but they still become one flesh for the moment of the sexual unity. The nearness and closeness of the two bodies in the sexual activity put the human beings in oneness. For that short period of time, the two become one.

 

When this happens in a marriage ceremony, it is for a lifetime by the power of God. When this happens at the altar (or wherever the ceremony is orchestrated) the physical lovemaking relationship will happen many times that the two come together and are one. It is an event that will happen over and over again in a normal marriage relationship. However, with a man and a prostitute, it usually a one-time event. In the case of Samson and Delilah, it became a frequent occasion and their affair became a sinful occurrence just as any unmarried male and female engage in the sexual activity outside of marriage.

 

God sees that two people in an unclean sexual relationship become one. The unity of the man and woman in a dating relationship or those that are just shacking up become one during the physical connection, but only for that moment of time. This is not to be happening with a Christian married couple. They should be committed and true to each other in the moral physical relationship in their marriage.  If you are married, please be content and delighted in your spouse until death do you part.

 

Committed to Linda,

 

Pastor Les

 

Scripture is from the ESV® Bible  (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.  Used by permission.  All rights reserved.