Who Are the Others? You and Me!

“In the Gospel of John, Jesus discusses his calling by saying that there were to be other people besides those of the first century who would hear his voice, And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd– John 10:16). Jesus is the good Shepherd and the great Shepherd and the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls and the chief Shepherd (John 10:14, Hebrews 13:20, I Peter 2:25, and 5:4). Today, you are among those others to whom Jesus was referring. Reading the words of Christ is easy, but it is an entirely different experience to actually hear his sweet voice that speaks directly to our hearts with inspiration that always strengthens believing with a heavenly calmness. Our Savior’s voice encourages, exhorts, and edifies men and women who answer his call to walk with him who walks with the Creator.” ~LMJ~

God’s Word (An Expected End)

“God’s Word and His love softens the most hardhearted hearts and warms the soul as it reaches into the innermost depths of our thought processes to enlighten our inner souls. The quick, and powerful Word (Hebrews 4:2) lifts up the downtrodden, comforts the bereaved, and encourages those who have lost hope, as the penetrating Word gives men and women the joy of inspiring them, individually, to become more Christ-like. So I encourage you to spend some time in God’s Word, seek and enjoy His thoughts, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end– Jeremiah 29:11.” ~LMJ~

A Prayer with Thankfulness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Prayer is believing with thankfulness, and believing is the HOW to our receiving from God. Prayer is what builds and strengthens our relationship with God, and gives us freedom and liberty to believe that God is present, willing, and able to answer us. Prayer is the key that helps release us from our doubts, worries, and fears, for we can daily give our concerns over to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). He in turn will manifest Himself to us, becoming our true sufficiency in life. In the Gospel of John we have a short prayer that Jesus offered, and he spoke it out to teach others around him how to pray in thankfulness.

John 11:41b-42:
-41b:  And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
-42:  And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

First notice that Jesus spoke intimately with God, calling Him Father. Secondly, notice that the very first thing he said was “I thank thee.” Being thankful is one of the greatest keys in receiving answers to our prayers. Yes, being humbly thankful even before receiving is absolutely the greatest way to receive our answers from God. Thirdly, Jesus acknowledges that God “always” hears his prayers. This is a great lesson to us so we may always know that God indeed hears the prayers of our hearts. Fourth, Jesus believed that his prayer would inspire others to believe as well. Believing in our prayers, believing that we will be receiving, is a biblical requirement for receiving from God, and will always be inspirational to others as they see our believing manifested.

“And when he {Jesus} thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth (John 11:43). Verse 43 is the climax of Jesus’ prayer, and Lazarus was raised from the dead because Jesus was thankful and he knew that God heard him.  He believed in his heart.  In Jesus’ prayer, he was thankful in advance, thankful knowing that his prayer would be completely answered, and this would also be inspiring to others. Jesus was teaching us how to believe the Father for the answers to our prayers.

Mark 11:24 – Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe {in advance} that ye receive them, and {then} ye shall have them.

The healing Word of God encourages that we first believe in our prayer, and from the lessons of Jesus we can learn that being thankful is how he believed. Thanking God in advance and believing that we have received will bring great things into our lives, to our families, and our surroundings. The Apostle Paul said “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Romans 1:8), because the first thing in prayer is thankfulness, and thankfulness builds positive believing, and all believing equals receiving. Paul thanked God in the name of Jesus Christ, teaching that our prayers offered in the name of Jesus Christ will have a positive effect to the answers we want. Jesus said, “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29b). The reason we are blessed is that we believed even before we have received the gifts and answers that we desire from the Father.  May you continue to enjoy your prayer life with thankfulness.

We Have the Mind of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him {Isaiah 40:13-14}? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who knows the mind of the Lord (i.e., the mind of God Himself), and who has instructed Him? Well the definitive answer is that no one has ever been His teacher or completely understood everything about Him. The word mind is the Greek word nous and means the entire mind, the whole mind of God’s mental perception is known only to God (Romans 11:33-34). Then the Scriptures say, “but {in contrast to the above} we have the mind {nous} of Christ.” This means that we can understand the mind of Christ completely and intimately, for we have the God-given right to have the thoughts of Christ in our minds, and the reason that we have this ability is that we have Christ within, and Christ’s mission has always been to reveal and explain God (John 17:25-26; Hebrews 13:8).

Romans 13:14a – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put the thoughts of God’s Word into our minds.  The Word of God reveals Christ (John 5:39) and Christ reveals God. Christians by virtue of receiving the gift of holy spirit have Christ within, and as we go to the Scriptures and begin understanding the words within our hearts we begin systematically putting on the mind of Christ, and enjoying the glory of the Lord.

II Corinthians 1:21-22:
-21: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
-22: Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

God sealed us with holy spirit, sealing us for Him for eternity, establishing every believer by a spiritual anointing to have and to know the mind of Christ who is living within our very hearts. “Christ {is} the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:24). So as we put on Christ in our minds via the teachings of the Scriptures we will begin to realize that “Christ who is our {real source of our spiritual} life” (Colossians 3:4), is the way to manifest the power of God. We are encouraged to put on the mind of Christ, not simply the mind that Jesus had when he walked on earth, but even more emphatically the mind that Christ currently has being eternally alive from the dead. We now have the approval of God’s healing will to know the spiritual mind of Christ and as we learn the Scriptures we will begin reflecting “the glory of the Lord.”

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Many people believe that the more we study, the more we become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the Word because God has already approved us. This verse is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will begin realizing just how much approval we have before God in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the Word of truth. God does not shame us in the Scriptures, rather He encourages and builds us up because we have the God-given approval to have the mind of Christ – daily. In the Scriptures (especially in the Epistles) we learn about the mind of Christ who is spiritually dwelling within. With God’s love in our hearts we have a real premise to enjoy the renewed mind wherein God’s divine grace allows us to know His divine approval of us. When enjoying our access to the thoughts of Christ, we will begin knowing the mind of Christ and individually displaying the glory of the Lord, and this is the epitome of understanding God’s appraisal of us.

Faith, Hope, and Charity (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Through this study, we will be looking at the words ― faith, hope, and charity to learn how they work together. Our goal is to acquire a further understanding of their meaning in the Scriptures, for they are the footing on which the more abundant life rests. In this first study, we will briefly look at all three words.

I Corinthians 13:13: And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but {and} the greatest of these is charity.

Once I was told by an individual, “charity was the best gift a person could receive from God, and everything else was insignificant in comparison” and he got this idea from the verse above. However, the Bible does not say that charity is the best gift; rather the Bible says the greatest of these is charity. Jesus said, “my Father is greater than I” in John 14:28, and this is the same Greek word that is translated greatest, though no one would say Jesus is insignificant in God’s eyes! Also, the Bible does not teach “faith and hope are not really as good.”

Let us use the earth, the sun, and the moon for a parallel example; the earth supplies the substance that sustains our lives, but still without the moon and the sun, the earth would be about as barren of a planet as you could find. In truth, we need all three to sustain ourselves and flourish in our physical lives; it is the same truth with faith, hope, and charity, we need all three to sustain ourselves and flourish in our spiritual lives.

The reason why charity is called the greatest is because it is a God-given master key for unlocking our faith, and faith opens, reveals, and insures our inner souls of “the hope of His calling” (Ephesians 1:18), which is to be with Christ for all eternity. So with charity, our faith and hope are energized.

Faith is the Greek word pistis, and means believing or believing faith and without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6), so faith is significantly important.

Hope is the Greek word elpis, and it means future hope (Romans 8:24–25); it is usually in the context of the hope or anticipation that men and women have for the return of Christ (still a future event), and I Timothy 1:1 says that Christ is our hope. Only the believer has access to the hope of Christ’s return in order to patiently wait with joy to be eternally with our Savior in heaven. Hope encourages the Christian believer to continue standing for God even through any present adversity because the future has rewards for our believing and loving in this current time of grace, so hope is also significantly important.

Charity is the Greek word agapē and means the love of God. The word greatest in I Corinthians 13:13 above would be much better understood if it were translated as the first, or the elder, or the commencement, or the foundation, as this is the proper and greater meaning of the word, because God loved us from before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God’s love for us has always existed while faith and hope both have a beginning in our lives, faith comes to the individual by hearing the Word (Romans 10:17), and man had no spiritual faith until he knew Christ (Galatians (3:22–29). And as well, our hope began growing in our hearts from the moment of our salvation when we became the children of God, a hope that we at one time were without (Ephesians 2:2; I Thessalonians 4:13). Thus, as (and when) faith and hope begin living in the heart of our understanding, then charity will magnify itself greater and greater in our lives as a viable part of the spiritual serenity we can enjoy walking with God.

Charity – being the love of God is a part of God Himself, and this part – His love – He has given to all believers (Romans 5:5; 8:36–39), while our hope and believing faith is something we learn to aspire to utilize in our daily living. We learn to believe in the promises of God through our believing faith, and we learn to hope more and more through knowing what the Word says regarding our Savior returning for us.

I Corinthians 13:12:  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; means that today we do not know it all, even with all the abundance that God’s Word reveals to us. This phrase is in reference to our believing faith, “for we walk by faith {believing faith}, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7). The next words, but then face to face is in reference to when we meet Christ face to face, because our hope is in his imminent return. Now I know in part; is again in reference to our believing faith, to believe in what we do know from God’s healing Word. But then shall I know even as I am known is again in reference to our hope, when we will receive all that we have hoped in and anticipated, because then we will have been perfected (Philippians 3:20–21), and we will be enjoying our lives with God and with Jesus Christ through eternity.

Love – God’s love – motivates our endeavors, faith – believing faith – appropriates the promises of God, and hope – Christian hope – anticipates the return of Christ. These three form a complete whole and enhance Christian character in an individual’s life. “And now abideth {or ― remains here for you} faith, hope, charity.”

Philippians 3:20–21 (The Amplified Bible):**
-20: But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior,
-21: Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself.

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