Treasures of the Heart

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

As we have been reviewing, I and II Corinthians are clearly a treasure chest of knowledge and wisdom of God’s loving heart. It is ironic to me that the Epistles of Corinthians have received such a bad rap through the years to the point that these two Epistles are the most rejected and scorned of all the Epistles in the Word of God. Corinthians contain so much wondrous truth, and believe me when I say that we (including anyone who has researched the Scriptures) have just begun to scratch the surface in our quest for the treasures of God’s wonderful Word. I sincerely pray that the Bible bytes regarding Corinthians have helped your understanding God to a much greater degree.

You may notice when you are reading from the Epistles that many of the verses appear to be somewhat difficult to understand, and you may also wonder why this is; after all, the King James Version is not really too far off from our modern day English. It is not because something is wrong with your comprehension and understanding; rather it is because God reveals His Word in precious increments (or like a Bible Byte), only to the meek and tenderhearted. In a lifetime one could not fully grasp all of God’s Word; however, God opens a genuine understanding from His pure heart day by day as we continue looking into the Scriptures willing to receive heavenly nurturing.

II Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We have received a heavenly treasure deep within our souls, in mortal earthen vessels, a treasure that reveals the words of God to our minds and understanding proportionately to our acknowledgment that God has given us the power to receive from Him, and He alone reveals His precious treasures (I Corinthians 3:6; Colossians 1:27). In II Corinthians 4:7, God wants us to understand that the ability and power to receive from Him is at His own discretion rather than ours, but which He freely gives according to our believing. As we continue receiving an understanding of the Word of God, the treasures therein will become manifested out into our lives simply by our believing as His Word instructs.

II Corinthians 4:6 – For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

The light that God commanded to shine out of darkness is spiritual light shining out of our hearts and is the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. The “face of Jesus Christ” means the countenance, the radiance, and the power of Christ that is laden within our earthen vessels is released just in the same way it was when Christ himself physically walked on this earth (John 14:12).

The treasures of the heart that God has given to us are phenomenal and as we continue walking with God, the true spiritual life of His Word will continue growing in the tender and fertile ground of our earthen vessels. So today as we continue living with this heavenly treasure in our lives, let us continue to allow God’s Word to water and stimulate the implanted and treasured healing Word in our hearts with the eternal blessings of the divine graces of our heavenly Father.

Philemon – Revealing Our Forgiveness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle to Philemon is written with great heart, care, and concern to Philemon, because Paul is asking him to forgive and take back into his home the former servant Onesimus who had run away and caused some expense and grief to Philemon.

The Scriptures do not explain what Onesimus had done or how he ended up being with the Apostle Paul who was then in prison at Rome, yet our God seems to have a way of bringing people into our lives whom we can help with His healing Word.

Philemon lived in Colossea (the same area that the Epistle of Colossians was written, in Asia Minor), and Paul expresses with endearing and intimate words of encouragement for Philemon not only to forgive, but to take his servant back as a faithful brother in Christ. Onesimus hand-delivered the Epistle to Philemon, which shows us that Onesimus had lost whatever gave him the fear to leave in the first place, for he was returning endeared to Paul.

Often Christians can receive their own forgiveness and begin walking with God themselves, yet when it comes to forgiving other people who have wronged them in one way or another, allowing the mind freely to offer the hand of friendship may be difficult.

The Epistle of Philemon is one of my personal favorites in the Bible, and especially verse 21, which we will quote in this Byte. In Philemon we can see the love of Christ working in the life of Paul as he reaches out to Philemon with great passion that can only be fulfilled with a forgiving heart.

Philemon 10-21 (The Amplified Bible*):
-10: I appeal to you for my [own spiritual] child, Onesimus [meaning profitable], whom I have begotten [in the faith] while a captive in these chains.
-11: Once he was unprofitable to you, but now he is indeed profitable to you as well as to me.
-12: I am sending him back to you in his own person [and it is like sending] my very heart.
-13: I would have chosen to keep him with me, in order that he might minister to my needs in your stead during my imprisonment for the Gospel’s sake.
-14: But it has been my wish to do nothing about it without first consulting you and getting your consent, in order that your benevolence might not seem to be the result of compulsion or of pressure but might be voluntary [on your part].
-15: Perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated [from you] for a while, that you may have him back as yours forever.
-16: Not as a slave {servant} any longer but as [something] more than a slave {servant}, as a brother [Christian], especially dear to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh [as a servant] and in the Lord [as a fellow believer].
-17: If then you consider me a partner and a comrade in fellowship, welcome and receive him as you would [welcome and receive] me.
-18: And if he has done you any wrong in any way or owes anything [to you], charge that to my account.
-19: I, Paul, write it with my own hand, I promise to repay it [in full]– and that is to say nothing [of the fact] that you owe me your very self {his spiritual self, meaning that Paul showed him the way of salvation}!
-20: Yes, brother, let me have some profit from you in the Lord, Cheer and refresh my heart in Christ.
-21: I write to you [perfectly] confident of your obedient compliance, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

The greatest compliment that Paul or anyone could ever make to an endeared friend is to say “I know that you will do even more than I would ask” and know in your heart that it is true.

Paul had no greater joy than to have believers around him like Philemon, whom Paul could simply suggest an idea and it would be done.

Do we have this kind of heart when God’s Word encourages us to forgive ourselves and/or others?  This indeed would most definitely be a blessing to God, our Father, for by doing so, we reap tremendous benefits.

Onesimus was not simply returning to his former job, but he was coming home, Colossians 4:9 records, “Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you.” Sometimes we may feel that we cannot return from where we came from because people will remember us the way we were before our salvation; however, this is not always the case.

Sometimes when our families, old friends, and acquaintances recognize the gentleness of Christ within, this may lead them to Christ (or back to Christ). Remember Jesus told one man “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” (Mark 5:19).

Once we accept Our Forgiveness in Christ (Ephesians 4:32), then we can offer forgiveness to others who may have wronged us in some way. Like Philemon who had a choice to make in forgiving his friend Onesimus, we can present the forgiveness that is ours in Jesus Christ to others, which really can free our lives from the burden of carrying around an unforgiving heart towards others. As we realize the Book of Philemon is Revealing Our Forgiveness, we will find it effortless to recognize the spiritual inner joy and thankfulness that God gives when calling us into His household and family with complete forgiveness.

*Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

To Know the Love of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When Jesus Christ walked upon this earth, one of the things that attracted people to himself and his ministry was the love he displayed for the individual. The Bible says that we today, nearly two thousand years later, can still know the love of Christ and have his same love in our lives.

Ephesians 3:17-19:
-17:  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith {believing faith}; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
-18:  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth {width}, and length, and depth, and height;
-19:  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

These verses contain more than we can study in a single Bible byte, however, today our focus is on the love of Christ. Verse 17 states that with Christ in our hearts we can be rooted and grounded in love; Christ’s love in us can become an exciting and dynamic foundation for living the Christian lifestyle.

Then, in verse 18, the Word of God shows us the four dimensions of the love of Christ. The love of Christ is the love of God in full bloom that Christ utilized in his daily life while he was here blessing people. This love of Christ does not end at the crucifixion, but currently lives in our hearts just as Christ does. With the love of Christ, we can spiritually perceive the fullness of love, its width, length, depth, and height. “Breadth (width)” indicates his love extending worldwide — to all. “Length” illustrates his love extending throughout all the ages — without end. “Height” shows his love extending up into the heavenlies — beyond the reach of negatives. “Depth” communicates his love extending into our very hearts — profound spiritual wisdom regarding how to apply the love of Christ.

In verse 19 the love of Christ “passeth knowledge,” or, beyond mere human knowledge about love. Love (the love of Christ) does not hurt, stink, or let people down like some of the songs and literature of the day claim, for the love of Christ is first and foremost spiritual and is on a higher plane than five senses love. Christ’s love is greater than most realize because it brings the Christian believer into “all the fullness of God!”

I Corinthians 8:1b:   Knowledge puffeth up, but charity {spiritual love} edifieth.

Human love and man’s basic understanding about love only puffs up the head and pulls on feelings in good and bad ways. But spiritual love is not a “head thing,” rather it is a “heart thing” delivering to the believer spiritual realities, and when applied it will always edify, build up, and encourage with unlimited blessings. The four dimensional love of Christ can always grow greater and greater in our lives.

Christ’s love can become for you endless and boundless and measureless and fathomless as it continues growing in your heart, and it leads you by the hand into all the fullness of God!

When You Are Reading from the Epistles, You May Have Noticed

“When you are reading from the Epistles, you may have noticed that many of the verses appear to be somewhat difficult to understand, and you may also wonder why this is; after all, the King James Version is not really too far off from our modern day English. It is not because something is wrong with your comprehension and understanding; rather it is because God reveals His Word in precious increments (a Bible Byte), only to the meek and tenderhearted. In a lifetime one could not fully grasp all of God’s Word; however, God opens a genuine understanding from His pure heart day by day as we continue looking into the Scriptures willing to receive heavenly nurturing; you see, we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us– II Corinthians 4:7.” ~LMJ~