Thankfully

“Thankfully salvation is not based on our works, but as the Scriptures reveal, salvation is by God’s grace because Christ has already done the work and paid the full price in order that we may sincerely believe to receive. We receive our salvation on account of a friend, on our friend, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). This is the friend we read about in Proverbs 18:24, there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother, and he indeed laid down his life for each and every one of us. I do believe that if you or I were the only person to believe, then this close friend would still have laid down his life so that you or I my walk with our Savior!” ~LMJ~

Giving in Love

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I wanted to share a little with you about giving with the heart of love, whether it is to your local Church (where your spiritual needs are being met), or if you are so inspired to give to a religious organization or a worthy cause. Giving for the Christian believer is first and foremost meant to build a special union between you (as an individual) and God (as your sufficiency), and is the beginning of a love-based relationship built on trust with the Creator.

God always looks at your heart (I Samuel 16:17), and He is thrilled when the heart of giving is inspired from an overall understanding of His healing Word and will.

Giving is a spiritual principle that enables the giver to receive. Many non-Christian people have used the universal principle of giving and receiving, and because the power in giving always works when applied — anyone can receive. However, only the Christian believer partners with the creator of the principle. Giving and receiving are part of the natural flow of life, and God as our Father can inspire us in love to further benefit our lives and the lives of those our gifts touch.

Today in God’s grace, each believer is encouraged to give out of having a spiritual mindset and inner heart’s desire to do so, but again I would like to remind you that giving is not a commandment but a free will offering. God will always love you regardless of whether or not you give, because God’s love to you is completely unconditional.

As giving is always between you and God, receiving is always between God and you, for He gives you free access to the throne of His grace to help you in time of need (Hebrews 4:16, Romans 5:1-2).

II Corinthians 8:12:
For if there be first a willing mind {in regards to giving} it is accepted {by God} according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

Over time, the following phrases heard – either spoken out loud or to ourselves, can strip us of the heart’s inner joys in giving with a willing mind, “you have to give” or “you must give” or “you need to give.” We were bought with a price; all debts are completely paid for by the life and blood of Jesus himself (I Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). We now eternally belong to God because of the completed work of our Savior that was initially for us, and now that we are saved the completed work of Christ is eternally in us (Colossians 1:27).

Romans 13:8:
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled {all} the law.

According to the Bible, we owe only one thing and that is love. God’s Word encourages us to love one another. We currently belong to God and have His love in our hearts (Romans 5:5).

Giving God’s love is the greatest way to return our thanks to God in thankfulness for our eternal life, and in thankfulness for all that our Savior did for us. Giving can become a tremendous blessing that enhances our spiritual quality of life, for giving gives to men and women a supernatural inlet and an outlet of tangible proofs that God is truly our sufficiency (II Corinthians 3:5).

Within the framework of love, God Himself can show us how to give of our time, and of our resources and talents, and give out of our abundance, and this indeed will give the greatest effect in places of need.

Giving from the heart of God’s love will always be a blessing, and because free will giving is within the spiritual boundaries of God’s love, the rewards will be freely returned in super abundance, and we will know that we are truly blessed of our Creator.

Our God-Given Righteousness Is Accompanied with an Abundance of Grace

“Quite often laws are disguised as fear and rituals that make us feel inadequate and unworthy to accept God’s grace and blessings. When we feel this way, something is most definitely amiss because God loves us just as we are. All we can really do in grace is to accept God’s love and learn to enjoy our lives with the Father in the abundance that His Word reveals. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain– Galatians 2:21. When anyone continues practicing and trying to obey the Law, God’s divine grace will become totally nullified in their life. The word frustrate means to reject, and this is what people actually do to the grace of God when trying to practice laws that we think will make us acceptable to God. Galatians further states that then Christ is dead in vain. The reason the Bible says is dead rather than has died is because the accomplishments of Christ are as good as dead to the individual who is trying to earn their already God-given righteousness accompanied with His abundance of grace.” ~LMJ~

Allow Me to Introduce You to the Rest of the Story…

“God becomes personally introduced to the searching heart as one comes directly face to face with His Word and finds His Son Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the lifeline to Him (John 14:6). Jesus is the subject of the Bible and thus he is the Golden Thread within all Holy Writ, and it is through him that one begins to clearly see the light.

We did not climb up into God’s grace by our own labors, but we received grace to be with Him because of the generous work of Christ. God called, God gave, God blessed, and we believed and gratefully received (end of story).” ~LMJ~

The Crown Incorruptible

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

II Kings 11:12a – And he brought forth the king’s son {Joash} and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; . . .

At Joash’s coronation as king, he received first his crown, secondly they gave to him the testimony, which was the Word of God; this was to be his standard and rule of practice in ruling his kingdom. They also anointed him.  The anointing set him apart as the king and established him as God’s servant and leader for the people.

Today in God’s grace we, His children, believe in the future crowns that we may receive from God when Christ returns for us. We are anointed today with holy spirit by God Himself (II Corinthians 1:21-22), and we have God’s Word as our standard to believe in and enjoy as we serve one another with the love of God. With God’s Word we can discover His guidelines on how to receive the crowns that will be given to believers who live in God’s love and grace.

II Timothy 2:5 – And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.

“Strive for the masteries” literally means to contend or compete in the games.  These games were common to the believers in the first century and were known as the Olympic games. Paul is teaching that when we look forward to the spiritual goal of Christ returning for us, that we must compete lawfully by the rules. The rules are recorded in God’s Word. We are saved for eternity, yet there is more to be received if we follow the guidelines recorded in Scripture, and the underlying principle to everything recorded in God’s Word is always to walk in love.

As we apply and enjoy God’s love we will literally stay in bounds.  When Christ does return, we will indeed receive the prize and be crowned, “I press toward the mark {the finish line} for the prize {the crown} of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).

Each believer can receive the crowns now offered by God, the crown incorruptible is eternal, and will be “reserved in heaven” (I Peter 1:4).

I Corinthians 9:24-26:
-24: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but {only} one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
-25: And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they {in a physical race} do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we {in a spiritual race} an incorruptible {crown}
-26: I therefore so run, not as uncertainly {because we know that we can win}; so fight {box} I, not as one that beateth the air {one who shadowboxes}:

Noting that God uses so many metaphors of competition about receiving our crowns is interesting. In a physical race one must stay in bounds, and one must be “temperate in all things.” Temperate means to have self-control in all things. In the Greek Olympics only one received the prize and only one received a crown of olive leaves, but in God’s Word all believers who strive to follow His healing Word will receive the “crown incorruptible.”

The crown incorruptible is for believers who practice self-control over life’s circumstances and walk within the bounds of God’s wonderful Word. Whenever we walk (conduct our lives) according to Scripture, then, we are more than conquerors. When we walk in love and believe the Scriptures we are literally hitting the mark rather than simply shadowboxing against the forces of evil.

Hebrews 12:1-2a
-1: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses {recorded examples of believers who believe in Hebrews chapter 11}, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us {that can knock us out of bounds}, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
-2a: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; . . .

When we keep our eyes on the goal of the coming of Christ Jesus and look to him through the Scriptures we can “run with patience the race that is set before us.”

Running with patience is like getting a second wind (an ease) which believers receive as they continue “striving lawfully.”

Then at the finish line we will receive the crown incorruptible for having patience and self-control in our own lives. Jesus as our “author and finisher of our faith” has already won, we only need to follow his lead by living in the love of God to achieve and receive the crown incorruptible.

To be continued in The Crown of Glory