Our First Thoughts

Psalm 5:3 “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”

“The Morning Prayer”

Wherever I go today, Lord,

Wherever my path may roam;

Be with me all the way, Lord,

And bring me safely home.

Whatever I may do today, Lord,

From day-break to setting sun,

May I do it all, I pray, Lord,

As Thou wouldst have it done.

Whenever  I speak today, Lord,

May each word I choose be clean;

May none of the things I say, Lord

Be hateful, harmful, mean.

And to those I meet today, Lord,

May I do as Christ would do;

That thus I may teach His way, Lord,

And they may know Him too.

So may I journey each day, Lord,

That all the world may see

By the things I do and say, Lord,

Christ reflected in me.

                                               — Written by L. J. Ekvall.

Let God be the first thing in your thoughts every morning. The Psalmist has the correct priorities in putting God first in his day and in his life. The Psalmist also is going in the right direction in his life and in his spirit, he says “I direct my prayer unto thee“, he is not looking at self, he is not trying to live even a single day without God’s guidance, without God’s fellowship and without God’s blessing on his life. It can be very hard sometimes to put our full trust in the Lord. Trying times will come; faith will be tested greatly, but we need to always as quickly as possible find our way back to our God, our Lord, our Redeemer and in times of trial and despair most importantly our Comforter.

 

 

 

 

BLOODY HANDS?

DO YOU HAVE BLOODY HANDS?

Ezekiel 3:18-21 “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.”

We need to make sure we are sharing the truth of God’s love and forgiveness with others. It is our responsibility to share the gospel with others. It is our orders we are to follow, we are commanded to share the gospel with others. (Matthew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.) If we do not fulfill this responsibility we will have blood on our hands from those we should have; but did not share the gospel with. Do not stand at judgment one day and watch someone be cast into hell that you had the opportunity to witness to and did not. Don’t take the chance of having blood on your hands!

Thankful People

Psalm 100:1-5 KJV “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”

“Thankful people are joyful people, thankful people are practical people and thankful people will serve others….. It’s not are you happy; but are you joyful, joyfulness is different than happiness.” – Pastor Gregory Hon

What do you Think about?

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

The Lord gives us a list here of things we are to think on or we should ponder on, keep in our minds, we should seek out these characteristics to learn about so we could incorporate them more and more into ourselves. If you notice no where in this list is included our problems, our concerns, our “worries” – no the Lord does not tell us to dwell on negative attributes, He does not tell us to think on negative situations, He does not tell us to worry and agonize over things we have no control over; which we are so apt to do, to bring ourselves down to ruin the “today’s” thinking about the worst case “tomorrow’s”.

Let’s put to heart and lets determine to not let any more “today’s” go by wasted worrying and fretting instead let’s think on truth, His truth, let’s think on honesty, think on His justice, His purity and how we can live to that end. Praise Him and thank Him for His tender care and love for you. Thank Him today for His many blessings bestowed upon you. Finally, what are you thinking about? Decide today to think on the things mentioned in this verse and stop dwelling on the negatives in life.

To Know Him

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;”

Knowing Him is believing Him, it is trusting in Him, it is fellowshiping with Him, it is doing all we can to live for Him. Knowing Him is having an experimental knowledge of Him, of His attributes, of His love, His compassion, His power over our problems and difficulties. Knowing Him is anticipating His strength to help you, it is leaning on Him in the storm, it is acknowledging your helpless and sinful state and trusting Him with your eternal soul. Knowing Him is intimate, it is reassuring, it is comforting. Knowing Him enables us to do things we never thought possible. Knowing Him is letting Him have full control over your life, your desires, your ambitions and your plans. Knowing Him is such a sweet and peaceful place to dwell. Why don’t you make the decision today to get to know our Savior better, that would be one decision you would never look back on with regret. Know Him!

Correction is Better than Following after Foolishness!

It is much better to be called out for our sins or have someone correct us about our sins then to have someone encourage us to continue and go deeper in that sin. If your friends encourage you to continue in sin or encourage you to go into sin, they are not really your friends, leave them as soon as possible!

Ecclesiastes 7:5 “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.”

BE SALT & BE LIGHT

Matthew 5:13-16 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Jesus is not content for Christians to just be one of the crowd or blend in with the world. We are commanded to influence those around us toward Him. Salt is noticed when it is added to something. People should notice we are Christians and we should be changing the status quo toward Christ. Light makes things easily seen. Our influence should be readily noticed.

It is now time in our nation to take a stand for right. To stand out in a crowd for Christ. It is time to make our light, our salt our influence noticed in the world and pray earnestly it is not too late.

Act Like a Christian

We need to remember we are Christians and are commanded to live out our life as such. We are comflagmanded to be like Christ, to be reaching out to the sinner in need of a Savior instead of acting Pharisaical to them and judging them about their sin. We are told not to judge! We need to always remember to speak the truth of God’s Word in love. This does not mean we cannot speak strongly against sin, but it does mean we need to always remember to love the sinner as Christ does. We need to be seeking ways and opportunities to minister to them and demonstrate God’s love to them.

J
ohn 3:16-17 “ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

As Christians, we need to live in a way that others will know we are a Christian, but also, we should live in a way that supports the Gospel; and we need to arm ourselves with the knowledge of the Gospel. (Ephesians 6:11 – Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.) We should strive to live and teach as Christ would. We need to remember that we, no matter how persuasive, can’t force anyone to believe what they claim not to believe. Conviction is the Holy Spirit’s job not ours.

We need to live and walk true to our talk. If you are a Christian act like one, minister like one, work like one, witness like one and pray and fellowship with the Lord like one. We need to not be hypocritical in our Christian walk, we need to be true, loving and ministry minded Christians. We need to live life trying our best to be like our Savior.

I John 2:6 “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

“ADD UNTO…TAKE AWAY”

“ADD UNTO…TAKE AWAY”

Revelation 22:17-21 “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” These verses are a solemn warning to those who would seek to tamper and alter the Word of God. It is dire condemnation to them proclaimed in these verses if they add unto or they take away words from the Holy Scriptures. The New Testament refers to the “Book of Life” eight times (Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, 13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 21:27 and 22:19). Two times it referred to as the “Lambs book of life” (Revelation 13:8 & 21:27). A similar admonition as this one in Revelation 22:18-19 is found in Deuteronomy 4:2 – “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”& 12:32 – “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” given by Moses and in Malachi 4:4 – “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.” given by God Himself to close out the Old Testament.We need to first examine and review some of the changing (the adding to and taking away) of God’s word that is happening today. People were warned not to alter God’s word some 2,000 years ago in this passage in the book of Revelation. God takes His word seriously and He expects us to take His word seriously as well.

 
BIBLE VERSIONS? God promises to preserve His Word. This is called the Principle of Preservation. (Psalm 12:6-7 – The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.) The Bible is the verbal (every word, I Corinthians 2:13 – Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.), plenary (entirely, II Timothy 3:16 –All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:), inspired Word of God. There are over 5 thousand existing manuscripts of the New Testament. They are divided into 3 main groups: 1) Western texts– related to Rome, 2) Alexandrian texts, and 3) Syrian Texts – related to Antioch. The Syrian texts is where the vast majority of the texts come from, and this is where we get our King James Version of the Bible. There are over 64 thousand less words in the other versions of the Bible compared to the KJV.

 
EXAMPLE COMPARISONS OF KJV AND OTHER VERSIONS:
Luke 4:4 – And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. – KJV
Luke 4:4 – Jesus answered him, “It is written, Man does not live by bread alone. – NET – The rest of the verse is omitted. The “word of God” was left out of the Word of God! – also left out of the NIV as well.
Mark 11:26 – But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. – KJV
Mark 11:26 – Omitted from the NIV. The NIV jumps from verse 25 to verse 27. A great principle of forgiveness is left out.
Acts 3:13a – The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; – KJV
Acts 3:13a – The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. – NIV – changed Jesus from the Son of God to just a servant of God.
Acts 8:37 – And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. – KJV
Acts 8:37 – Was omitted from the NIV. The NIV jumps from verse 36 to verse 38. – By removing this verse from the NIV one may think all he needs to do is to get baptized to be saved, instead of believing with our heart in the Lord Jesus for salvation.

 
WHERE’S THE BLOOD?
Colossians 1:13-14 – Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: – KJV
Colossians 1:13-14 – For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. – NIV – WHERES THE BLOOD?! – The most important thing in all the Bible is the blood of Christ and it was taken out of this verse!

 
THE NIV IN ISAIAH 14:12 SEEMS TO CALL JESUS THE DEVIL.
Isaiah 14:12 – How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! – KJV
Isaiah 14:12 – How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to earth, you who once laid low the nations! – NIV

Jesus call himself the morning star in Revelation 22:16 – “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” The “morning star” is Jesus Christ. He is the sinless Savior. Jesus did not fall from Heaven.

 
NO COMFORT FOR THE BROKEN HEARTED?
Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, – KJV
Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, – NIV – “heal the brokenhearted” completely removed from the NIV.

This omission by the NIV is impossible to substantiate. There is no reason this should have been removed from the Word of God, because the passage in question is when Jesus was in the synagogue reading from Isaiah 61:1,2 which contains the phrase in question. The same phrase as found in the KJV Isaiah 61:1 – “He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted” & as found in NIV Isaiah 61:1 – “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted”

 
A PECULIAR PHENOMENON HAS OCCURRED TO SOME OF THESE OTHER VERSION TRANSLATORS. (Psalms 12:3 – The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things) Time Magazine had this to say about Kenneth Taylor (The Living Bible) this is from the July 1972 issue “Mysteriously half way through the paraphrase Taylor lost his voice and still speaks in a hoarse whisper. A psychiatrist who examined him suggested that the voice failure was Taylor’s psychological self-punishment for tampering with what he believed to be the Word of God.” Psalm 31:18 says “Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.” Phillip Schaff who was a collaborator on the ‘New’ Greek committee which formed the basis of the New American Standard Version also suffered from severe voice problems. His son had this to say about him “his voice so affected that he could not speak in public so as to be heard.” Finally by 1892 the power to articulate speech was gone. Proverbs 10:31b – “the froward tongue shall be cut out.” Westcott’s (of the Westcott and Hort Greek text from which all new versions are translated from) biographer cited that by 1858 “he was quite inaudible” and by 1870 “His voice reached few and was understood by still fewer”.

 
GODS WORD IS RELEVANT AND NEEDED FOR TODAY. HIS PRESERVED WORD FOR ENGLISH SPEAKING PEOPLE IS THE KING JAMES VERSION OF THE BIBLE – In 1611 the King James Bible translation was finished. It took 54 scholars 6 years to translate the Bible into English. That is how careful and serious they took their job. His word is an enduring word (I Peter 1:25a – But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.). His word is a living word. His word is a guiding and molding word. His word is an all powerful word (Hebrew 4:12 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.). The world needs God’s Word. The Christian young person needs God’s Word. The world we live in is increasingly rejecting and even mocking God and His Word. We live in a world that thinks God is old fashioned and out of style. But God’s word has the answers to all of life’s problems and difficulties. Everything we need to get through life is found in the Word of God. His Word is life. His word is truth. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.
Revelation 22:18-19 – “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

 
TREE OF LIFE, BOOK OF LIFE & LAMBS BOOK OF LIFE – There are 3 main views on this passage. We will examine each below.

 

TREE OF LIFE VIEW – some hold that since verse two of Revelation 22 references the “tree of life” that this “book of life” in verse 19 is just actually referring back to verse two. They believe this verse means someone’s life will be cut short because of adding to or taking from God’s word. This position is hard to defend once you look at the original Greek. The word translated at “tree” in verse two is “xulon” meaning a staff, timber, wood or tree. The word translated as “book” in verse 19 is “biblos” meaning a sheet or scroll or writing or a book.

 
SINGLE BOOK VIEW – meaning the “book of life” and the “Lamb’s book of life” are one in the same. This view holds that everyone’s name is written in the “book of life” at birth and if we are saved are name becomes permanent in that book. Usually Revelation 3:5 is used for this position. (Revelation 3:5 – He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.) – This view holds that verse 19 means a premature death as well. If someone adds to or takes away from God’s word their name will be removed from the “book of life” in other words their life will be taken from them possibly along with their salvation. This view seems to indicate a saved person would either never alter God’s word or that if a saved person altered God’s word they could lose their salvation. This seems to go against the promise of eternal security of the believer we find in God’s word if a saved person would alter the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches once truly saved a person is always saved. (John 10:28 – And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.)

 
TWO BOOK VIEW – this view holds that the “book of life” and the “Lamb’s book of life” are two different books. The major difference between the two is that the “book of life” contains all the names of all living people. The “Lamb’s book of life” contains the names of those who have received eternal life from the Lord. One’s name may be blotted out of the “book of life” but not out of the “Lambs book of life”. This view holds that Revelation 22:19 is referencing the “book of life” as in the catalogue of record of all living people; and if someone adds to or takes away from God’s word they will have a premature death. This view basically is when a person enters the world their name enters the “book of life”; when and if they call on Jesus to be saved their name is entered into the “Lamb’s book of life”. When a saved person passes away their name becomes permanent in the “book of life”. Once a person’s name is written in the “Lamb’s book of life” there is no way for it to be blotted out or removed. It is permanently and eternally in the “Lamb’s book of life”. Their entrance to heaven is therefore guaranteed. (Revelation 21:27 – And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life. & Ephesians 1:13-14 – In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.)

 
IN CONCLUSION: The Bible warns us not to take away anything out of the Word of God. (Revelation 22:18-19 – And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.) I think this clearly shows how serious God takes his Word and the tampering with it. The Bible says we are not to add to or take away from the Word of God. Remember how there are over 64,000 less words in the other translations? Those translations the NIV and the rest have changed, altered and dramatically taken away from God’s Word. (Deuteronomy. 4:2 – Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.) The Bible instructs us to honor and reverence God’s word. The Bible warns us to not dishonor God’s Word, it warns us to not alter God’s word or we will receive plagues of some kind (loss of speech?) and our life would be shortened as a result of this grievous sin.

HAVE A QUIET TIME VISIT WITH GOD EVERYDAY

Have a Quiet Time Visit with God Dailyb1

We need to fellowship with God on a daily basis. God desires our fellowship. “The father seeketh such to worship him” John 4:23. Whether we perceive that we get anything out of it or not have a daily quiet time with the Lord. Have it simply because God desires it of us, He desires our worship. In your quiet time praise and worship Him. Seeking to give to Him, instead of just getting something from Him. Keep your eyes on God and off yourselves, “for them that honour me I will honour” I Samuel 2:30. Use your Bible in your quiet time. Set a specific time each day, preferably morning, organize your life around it and stick to it! Your soul is your greatest need! We make sure to feed our physical man everyday so make sure to feed your spiritual man everyday!

The Bible says in Psalm 55:16 – 17 – “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” We should be seeking to fellowship with the Lord throughout our day. It is a good idea to not just read your Bible and pray just once a day but at least twice a day or more is preferable. Morning to start your day off right and the evening to end your day fellowshiping with the God.

We need to create the good habit of daily Bible reading. We either have good habits or bad habits. If we have not developed the good habit of daily Bible reading then we have developed the bad habit of NOT reading the Bible daily! Time is a factor in daily Bible reading. Lots of people say they do not have the time. Let’s look at the reality of time. James 4:14 says “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” As you see James teaches us that our time on earth is brief, but a vapor in comparison to eternity. If we do not develop the good habit of daily Bible study our time on this earth will catch up with us. We will have spent our life on earth not utilizing the time we had for Christ. Many Christians will meet God never having read His Word through once. Wouldn’t that be a shame? To meet God, to meet Christ, knowing everything that was done for you, because He loved you, and you never having bothered to completely read His love letter to you.

For the person willing to study the Bible carefully, there is great reward. (Psalm 1:1-3 – Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.) You need to make reading the Bible a pleasurable experience in order to make it a habit and keep it up. Don’t make it like work, if you are not use to reading and studying the Bible start out small and with the New Testament, Genesis, Psalms and Proverbs then progress to the rest of the Bible. Make use of Bible study aides, make sure you study in context, and make sure you study in church and at home. Most importantly make sure you are studying out of the correct Bible so you can trust you are learning correct doctrine and teaching and not missing others that are left out of the wrong versions of the Bible.

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