Our Lively Hope

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Timothy 1:1 – PAUL, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

An Apostle is one who brings new spiritual light to his generation. In the Epistle of Timothy, Paul first revealed who our hope is, Jesus Christ! Christ returning for the children of God, for you and me, can become our innermost hope. There are great fears about his coming that are truly unfounded because according to the Bible the return of Christ brings great rewards, and they will be given out, rather than any Christian ever receiving wrath, condemnation, hell-fire, etcetera.

Colossians 1:4-6:
-4: Since we heard of your faith {believing} in Christ Jesus, and the love {of God} which ye have to all the saints,
-5: For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;
-6: Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

Anticipating the hope of Christ’s return brings to the heart and soul of believers great understanding as it continues to enlighten our knowledge of “the grace of God in truth.” This wonderful hope can become the first thing that we think about when rising from bed (Psalms 63:6), and hope can give us comfort even at night. The hope of Christ’s return rejuvenates our love and our believing faith. The hope is inspiring and exciting, and when we recall our hope throughout the day, it reveals to us the hope of our Savior’s speedy return! (The return is most definitely closer today than yesterday: Romans 13:11) When the hope of his return becomes a reality within the heart, it will bring to our souls spiritual fruit, fruit that we can currently receive that will enlighten the human heart with wonderful godly qualities of reassurance and inspiration that we are blessed of God with His pure hope, and that we will be blessed of Him forever more.

I Peter 1:3-4:
-3: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
-4: To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Along with an abundance of mercy we have been given a “lively hope.” This “lively hope” can assure our searching hearts of an incorruptible inheritance reserved and prepared for our reception of it at our arrival into heaven’s gates.  The hope: Christ’s return presents a wonderful future, worthy of our anticipation. Like Abraham who against hope believed in hope, we too can walk in his shoes bringing the hope directly before our very eyes, and constantly into our believing minds.

God has given you a “lively hope” that no worldly circumstance can ever change or take away from you (Romans 11:29), because you are already God’s child and heaven-bound.

The Waking Blessings from God in the Night!

“Never doubt that there is a God in the night who can bless you in your sleep. Adam was given a bride in his sleep (Genesis 2:21–22), think how thankful he must have been ― in the morning, and ready to go!

Abraham’s everlasting covenant was offered to him in the night (Genesis 15:17–18), imagine how thankful he must have been to look around at all his land ― in the morning!

Jacob’s ladder vision was in the night (Genesis 28:11–16), consider how thankful he must have been that he did not literally need to climb up that high ― in the morning!

Solomon was blessed with wisdom and unfathomable treasures in the night, in his sleep (I Kings 3:5–15), grasp how thankful he was that he did not need to go out and toil and earn all this ― in the morning!

Daniel’s prophetic visions came in the night (Daniel 8:18, 10:9–13), envision how thankful he must have been that those terrible visions of the end-times did not come to pass ― in the morning!

Paul (Acts 16:9) and others had blessed visits in the night, as God inspired His people in restful moments, thou hast visited me in the night– Psalms 17:3, and these visits caused their days to be not only anticipated, but exciting ― in the morning!

What connects all of these men together is that they answered God’s chosen call and were beloved and blessed of God, and at the time of their blessings, they knew this in their hearts. O Daniel, a man greatly beloved– Daniel 10:11, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him- II Samuel 12:24, Jacob have I loved– Romans 9:13. To Abraham God said, That in blessing I will bless thee- Genesis 22:17), and Adam was created in God’s image, and He blessed him- Genesis 5:3. And to us in grace, we are the chosen, blessed, and beloved of God (Ephesians 1:3–6) in this, our day and time to know, accept, and enjoy all of this in the here and now!” ~LMJ~

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

“Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all buried in Canaan (Genesis 49:29-30, 50:13, Canaan is the land that would be known as the land of Israel). They all believed in their hearts that at some future time they would rise to literally inherit the Promised Land. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob wanted to rise up at the place God promised them and is why they were buried in that land, for they knew that what God promised them, He was also able to perform (Romans 4:20-21), and as common sense ordains they are not yet living there, hence it is still a future event for them.” ~LMJ~

Matthew – Revealing Our Shepherd King

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When the fullness of time finally came, Jesus Christ was born into this world (Galatians 4:4). Throughout the Old Testament there were many prophecies that would highlight his life, death, resurrection, and ascension as we have seen.

The Bible reveals four major prophecies, each of which each relate to a different Gospel. In Matthew. Jesus Christ is revealed as the king of Israel, and in this day of God’s grace Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and he is also our Redeemer.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we can learn how Jesus as the King and Messiah redeemed all of humanity.

In Matthew many parables relate to a king or the kingdom of heaven. The words “kingdom of heaven” (meaning the king’s reign from heaven), is used 32 times in Matthew, while “kingdom of heaven” is only used 10 times in the other three Gospels combined. In Matthew we have the fulfillment of the King of Israel who was God’s prophesied righteous branch.

“The kingdom of heaven” is Christ’s kingdom, for he was the King from heaven, while the words “kingdom of God” represents God’s heavenly kingdom that has no beginning and no end – spanning all time.

When Christ again returns to earth, he will fully establish his kingdom of which there shall be no end. However, today in grace we are citizens of the kingdom of God and in the future we will partake in the kingdom of Christ, for we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Today the kingdom of Christ is suspended until the King returns to earth to be the King of kings. Without the king’s presence on earth, his kingdom is held in abeyance. This is why II Corinthians 5:20 says that we are “ambassadors” in “Christ’s stead.”

There is no way that any one Gospel could fully explain the life of Jesus Christ; conversely, when we examine each Gospel and study them in the light that God’s Word reflects, then the true spiritual realities of Jesus Christ’s ministry will become known in a most positive and dynamic way.

Jeremiah 23:5 – Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch {offspring}, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. {Also see Jeremiah 33:15, Zechariah 9:9.}

This righteous branch that God would raise up would be a King, and God’s offspring and is a direct revelation not only to the life of Jesus Christ but also to the Gospel of Matthew.

In Matthew’s Gospel we have the royal (or kingly) genealogy from Abraham through Kings David and Solomon to Christ. The believers during the Gospel period had been hoping for this righteous branch who would be their king; however, they lacked understanding of what a king really was because they were used to the kind of kings that were despots or dictators, such as Herod, who was indeed the opposite of Jesus Christ.

A king from a spiritual point of view would be a pastor, someone who would love and protect his people, someone who would fight for the rights of his people, and someone who would be a leader showing them how to believe and accept God’s grace.

Jesus said in Revelation 22:16 “I am the root and the offspring of David.” David was the king of Israel, and Jesus being born through Mary (as the promised seed), had every legal right to inherit the throne of David.

Now David, what was he? David was a shepherd, he was called as a shepherd to be the king of Israel, this was the true spiritual function of a king – to pastor, to bind wounds, and to dedicate his life to protect his flock, as Jesus had done.

Matthew 27:11 – And Jesus stood before the governor {Pilate}: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

The words “thou sayest” literally means you said it, or you got that right! Jesus knew who he was because he knew the prophecies written of him. Jesus further said to Pilate regarding this question of whom he was, “art thou a king then? Jesus answered {to Pilate}, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world,” (John 18:37).

God gave to Matthew the revelation to write about Jesus Christ as our shepherd king whom we can look to as “the author and finisher of our faith {believing faith}” Hebrews 12:2.

Matthew 22:37-40:
-37: Jesus said unto him {a lawyer who was tempting him}, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
-38: This is the first and great commandment.
-39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
-40: On these two commandments hang {suspend} all the law and the prophets.

Jesus as a loving King and as our example of a genuine shepherd lightened the loads that believers would carry by giving only two commandments that both relate to living in love.

It is enlightening to see how James wrote regarding this very subject of love by calling it the “royal law” in James 2:8. The reason that the law of love is royal is because it was given to us by the King.

Jesus Christ is our example of a genuine King whom we can continue looking to even today as Philippians 2:5 teaches us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus came into this world to teach and show us how to love God and man, as we continue learning how to enjoy the life of love that is called “a more excellent way” I Corinthians 12:31-13:13).

In God’s eyes we are royalty because we are His sons and daughters, and as we put on the mind of Christ we will discover Our Shepherd King who gave the ultimate sacrifice – his life – so we may receive and enjoy the more abundant life.

Being Born Again

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 I Peter 1:23: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible {seed}, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

When the Scriptures say that believers are born again, then we may believe this truth because the Word of God liveth and abideth forever. In the beginning was the Word (John 1:1), and the Word of God is still here and always will be. Since God’s Word claims that we are born again, then that is the truth and something we may put on in our thinking processes as we renew our minds by thinking with this spiritual perspective that we are born again.

Nicodemus once questioned Jesus about these same truths of being born again and this is recorded for us in the Gospel of John chapter 3. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). But Nicodemus could not comprehend the concept of being born again, thus Jesus said to him, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things” (John 3:12)?

Jesus was somewhat disappointed that Nicodemus did not understand the Word of God and said to him, “Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things” (John 3:10)? Nicodemus was a master (teacher) of the Scriptures, yet he really did not have a clue about the subject of being born again and everlasting life when speaking to Jesus who is the resurrection (see John 11:25). Jesus was in essence saying to him, “Man, how can you call yourself a Teacher and a Man of the Cloth (so-to-speak), if you do not understand even foundational truths regarding your future life!”

John 3:14–17:
-14: {Jesus is still talking to Nicodemus} And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
-15: That whosoever {this includes Nicodemus, you, and me} believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
-16: 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.
-17: For God sent not {sent NOT} his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

When we were born, we became the progeny of our mother and father; we can never change that fact. (The miracle of our birth is not that man created anything, but rather the God-given abilities that the Creator gave humanity were employed.) Oh, I know some parents would like to disown their children and vice versa; however, by virtue of birth we are the children of our parents. It is the same with God ― once we are saved (born again) we are children of our heavenly Father. We become born again, but not of corruptible seed, as is our first birth, which is corruptible because of the sin nature inlaid in man since the fall of man in Genesis (Romans 5:12). However, God’s seed is incorruptible and eternal. He is our heavenly Father for all eternity!

Galatians 3:16: Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He {God} saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy {or your} seed, which is Christ.

When we become born again, we have the spiritual seed of Christ in us, and having Christ is having eternal life (I John 5:11-13). We are, according to the Scriptures, members of the body of Christ (I Corinthians 12:27) because we have received the seed of Christ. Romans 12:5 says, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another,” because we are born again of incorruptible seed, and are now permanently members of God’s Family. Having this wonderful gift within gives us an everlasting standing in the household of God as His very own children (Ephesians 2:19-22), and this can never change. In the Old Testament, yes, the believers could lose their standing in God’s care, but today in grace because of the completed work of Jesus Christ on our behalf (I Peter 1:18-19), we are the children of God now and throughout all eternity.

Colossians 1:27: To whom God would make known {to you and I} what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The mystery is literally that the Jews and Gentiles who do become saved belong to God, and they become permanent members in the body of Christ (Ephesians 3:1-7). The foundation of this mystery is Christ; and we having everything Christ has ― his love, his peace, and his eternal life ― and we can know and enjoy the spirit of Christ in our hearts (Romans 8:9-17). The riches of this mystery are Christ in you, the hope of glory, to literally be with Christ in his glory for all eternity.

II Thessalonians 2:14: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Timothy 2:10: Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Having Christ in you and obtaining his glory are biblical testimonies, but learning how to enjoy these spiritual truths takes the renewing of our minds to what the Scriptures teach. The renewed mind is a dynamic study within the Scriptures that show and teach the children of God how to become ever more Christ-like in daily living. The first step to having and enjoying a renewed mind in this day and age of grace is to become born again, and Romans 10:9 and 10 explicitly puts the process into plain words about how to become saved, receive salvation, and be born again.

Romans 10:9–10:
-9: That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
-10: For with the heart man believeth unto {God’s own} righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto {your own} salvation.

The renewed mind process is one of the most enjoyable and exciting treasures we could ever receive, because having the renewed mind is having God’s best for us; we literally start to enjoy the spiritual qualities of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:11 continues, “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” The words shall not be ashamed means to be totally exempt from condemnation and despair because when we have the renewed mind, as promised we will know for certain that we are born again and we can know the certainty that we are going to heaven. We will never need to question or doubt in our eternal destiny again, as Nicodemus had, because our eternal life will become an apparent, present-tense reality in our hearts.

In order to enjoy God’s blessings upon our lives we first believe and confess in Romans 10:9-10 and we become born again and are members of God’s family, able to receive biblical truths that are inspiring and renewing and comforting in our new fellowship and journey together.

II Corinthians 6:2: For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Ephesians 1:13: 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.

I Thessalonians 5:9: For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.