Our Comfort in Hope (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Thessalonians 4:14 – For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

The “asleep in Jesus,” refers to the believers who have passed away, believers who did have the hope of Christ returning for them. We also “believe that Jesus died and rose again.” God in this verse is comforting the living, letting us know that the sleeping believers’ hope of the return of Christ is still true, and still a future event, and God has not forgotten them because He will bring them with us into heaven at the “gathering together.”

I Thessalonians 4:15 – For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord {revelation}, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord {Christ Jesus} shall not prevent {precede} them which are asleep.

The Bible uses the word “asleep” for believers who have passed away, and it is an accurate translation because Christ indeed will raise them from the dead. They will feel as though they just woke up from a good night’s sleep, and they will have new bodies that live for eternity.

I Thessalonians 4:16 – For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first;

When Christ returns, the sleeping (dead) believers will rise first, this is the order in which the Bible reveals to us. When Christ returns during this “gathering together,” he himself only comes down as far as the clouds, and the believes who were once alive will be raised up and out from among all the rest of the dead to meet Christ in the clouds above. This is why the angel said to the Apostles in the Book of Acts 1:11 “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” This is what the Apostles saw “while they beheld, he {Jesus} was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Thus the return will be similar because believers will be gathered up in like manner to the gathering in the clouds, and from thence it’s off to heaven.

I Thessalonians 4:17 – Then we {believers} which are alive and remain {here on earth} shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

This is the “gathering together.” This is your hope, to “ever be with the Lord” where everlasting reunions with families, loved ones, and friends will commence and never end. This is the hope that God in Christ has given you for your comfort, for your future goals, for at that time God will dry all your tears in the warmth and love of His divine presence. Your body will also be transformed at the “gathering together” from an earthly to a heavenly body, and from a mortal to an immortal body!

I Thessalonians 4:18 – Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

With God All Things Are Possible (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Mark 9:23-24:
-23: Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
-24: And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

This is the story of the father who brought his son to Jesus’ disciples for healing, but his disciples were unable to help. The reason for this was not because the disciples had any lack of believing, but rather the father of the child was not believing. That man had someone to blame when Jesus’ disciples failed, but Jesus was able to see the bigger picture and knew that the man himself had to believe, thus Jesus taught verse 23 (above) to the father of the child. In verse 24 (above) the man began believing, and asked for help not for his son, but for himself, because he began to realize that in order for his son to be delivered he himself (as the caregiver of that child) needed to believe for his son.

When we ask Jesus Christ for help in our believing and prayer he most certainly will help, because today we can pray in the name of Jesus Christ to receive answers to our prayers. Even though that father had Jesus Christ before his very eyes, we today have Christ’s name to believe in and with.

Matthew 19:24-26:
-24: And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
-25: When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
-26: But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

These verses are sometimes used to try to prove that if you are rich, then heaven is not the place you will end up unless you give all your money away, but this could not be further from the truth. Jesus was referring to a rich man who put all his trust in his money, while the Word of God instructs us to put our trust in God. There is nothing wrong with having money or being rich. The “eye of the needle” story sounds totally impossible. Nevertheless, it is not, because the eye of the needle does not refer to a sewing needle with a little teeny hole at one end.

You see, in the biblelands there was always a smaller door within the larger, two-story “gates of the city,” and this smaller door could open at night, and this smaller, inner door was named the eye of the needle. When a weary traveler approached a city at night, the gates were always closed but he still could enter through the narrow doorway. However, his camel had to unload its burden before entering because a camel would barely fit through the smaller door. Camels were usually piled up high and wide and there would be no way to enter the city without unloading. Sometimes the eye of the needle was referred to as a “bottleneck” or “needle’s eye,” because of its shape and this door is what Jesus was referring to in his teaching of the eye of the needle. One could walk their camels into the city and carry in the camel’s burden; however, some people were just too darn stubborn to unload their burden.

A walled city symbolized God’s presence and His protection. Just as a camel needed to be unloaded of its burden, Jesus was implying that trusting in God is how people, even rich people, release their own burdens in this life and this trust allows God to watch over them (Proverbs 3:5–6). In the walled city, there would be safety for themselves, their camels, and all of their supplies. Yet some would rather “trust” in their own abilities and resources and as in the eye of the needle story, they would rather stay outside all night and keep all their stuff out there with them. Thus, they would be taking their chances against the bandits of the night. This is why Jesus says, with man on his own, things may seem impossible (and sometimes even frightening), but where there is trust and believing faith ― then there is confidence and safety, for with God all things are possible.

This is why Jesus says, with man on his own, things may seem impossible, but where there is trust, faith, and believing, then “with God all things are possible.”

Being in Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

From the Scriptures we learn about the mind of Christ who is spiritually dwelling within. When we look to the Word of God, we will recognize that being in Christ is the foundation of continuous joy and spiritual growth. We have a real premise on which to invigorate our minds as we carry the Word in our minds and God’s love in our hearts ― then we will begin to understand God’s approval of us.

II Timothy 2:15 encourages believers to, Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Some people think that the more they study their Bibles, the more they will become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the word of truth, because God has already approved us in Christ. If a premise begins in error, then the conclusions will be no closer to the truth than the original error. We cannot approve ourselves by works, for we are already approved by God’s grace (Ephesians 2:410) because we are accepted in the beloved, and the beloved is Christ; To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved- Ephesians 1:6. II Timothy 2:15 is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will come to know just how much approval we have before God because we are 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. God’s Word indeed reveals the magnificence of the new man, the Christ within and in whom we may aspire to become like, as the Word says we are in “Christ’s stead” (II Corinthians 5:20). God approves of us through His grace, “To the praise of the glory of his grace {God’s grace}, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), and the beloved is Christ Jesus, and through him we are approved, and being with him in our understanding is being in Christ.

II Corinthians 4:15–16:
-15: For all things are for your sakes {all the things promised to us in the God’s Word}, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound {to give in thankfulness} to the glory of God.
-16: For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish {although we continue getting older}, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

The abundant grace we have upon our lives causes us to be bountifully thankful in our giving glory back to our God. We faint not means that we will never get tired of thanking God for His abundant grace. The greatness of being a believer is that no matter our current age, we can always aspire to His healing Word as we are continuously renewed in the spirit of our minds with truth. In the Bible, the children of God who walk before Him are never called “has-beens” or considered “over the hill,” for the inward man (the Christ within) can always grow as we think on and speak of God’s Word.

I Timothy 4:8 records, “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Bodily exercise profiteth little means that it primarily benefits oneself, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Godliness is having a meaningful relationship with God as our heavenly Father. Godliness is enjoying the renewed mind, being spiritually fit. Godliness is learning how to be in Christ as an athlete of the spiritual realm. Godliness is proving the “good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2), which brings profit into a believer’s heart, a heart that can then reach out of themselves and help others with God’s Word. Godliness is profitable, not only at any age in this life, but will be beneficial through all eternity. Everlasting rewards will be received by a life lived in godliness, and thus, I Timothy 6:6 expresses, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Galatians 4:19: My little children {from God’s point of view we are always His precious children}, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Having Christ formed in you represents the time span that it would take from the point of your salvation until you begin truly realizing your own spiritual light (the new man), and its source, “that the excellency of the power may be of God” (II Corinthians 4:7). After learning and knowing of the Christ within (created and placed there by God) comes your realization of this miracle of having Christ formed in you. When the Word of God really begins lifting your life up and out of the old nature and you begin relying on God’s Word as the words of life and your daily spiritual food, then Christ will be formed within your conscious mind and divine inspiration will direct your path into a life of godliness.

Galatians 6:15: For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature {new creation}.

This “new creation” is the spirit that God created in us, it is our “new nature in Christ,” and this new nature places the Christian believers on a spiritual journey with God that continues until the return of Christ when we receive our new spiritual bodies that will be totally renewed in spiritual perfection. The word availeth literally means that we can become strong in our spiritual life, the new creation strengthens plus enhances our walks with the heavenly Father, for the new creation shows us the true strength that Christ within continues giving to us (Philippians 4:13). The phrases neither circumcision and nor uncircumcision refers to an outward appearance of the works of man, for our new creation is an inward gift received by God’s grace, and the best we can do is appreciate the work of God in that He hath made us accepted in the beloved and renew our minds to this inherent truth.

I could take the time to tell you how sinful the old man nature is, but I would not be telling you anything new (Isaiah 59:12), because we have lived with this nature our whole lives. Indeed, the world is full of very good people and kind deeds, but the nature of sin is also everywhere, just pick up a newspaper or watch the news and you know what you will find. Focusing on sin and its motions is the diet that the world feeds itself on, and the more they do the worse the outlook and apparent destiny of man looks. But because of the new creation there is an escape, it is in Christ, and it is much more profitable to tell you that most assuredly we have a getaway that leads us out from that old nature. We have a new and eternal nature in Christ, one separate from “the course of this world” (Ephesians 2:2); it is our promised emancipation to be in Christ, and he earned this for us in the first century! It is time that we accept it, it is time we, as the Apostle said, “Save yourselves from this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40); it has been waiting in store, and all we need to do is believe to not only acknowledge it but to enjoy our heavenly nature. This is offered from above, from the right hand of God (James 3:17–18), and this is ours in the present now, in the perfect tense of every day till forever.

II Corinthians 5:21 reads that Jesus became “sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” Jesus did not have to identify with mankind ― souls born into the nature of sin (Romans 5:12–14). Jesus was sinless, he was perfect, but for us he became sin, the righteous one for unrighteousness ones as he totally identified with man and literally tasted death for all (Hebrews 2:9). Jesus did this unselfishly because he loved you and me! We may now identify with him, yes we can ― we have been enabled to because of the love of God in us, which when applied will place us directly in Christ. We have been called to a new beginning, a rewrite of our personal histories that places us as being members in his-story, a new story of us in Christ that is being recorded down in the book of life, i.e., the living memory of God, for we have received a heavenly destiny in Christ. We will be in Christ in the eternity of heaven, as we can also be today, even though we live “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” (Philippians 2:15). Jesus our Savior takes us to a whole new dimension as we begin fellowshipping with him, coming to know all that he delivered us from and rejoicing in all that he presents to us now in grace.

I Thessalonians 1:10 says that now we are to “wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” Our deliverance from the future wrath is thankfully based on the awesome grace of God and is received by answering the call of salvation (Romans 10:910). There will be wrath coming in the future; the Bible says so, so it must be true. However, and thank God that you are totally exempt from all that wrath and you will be rescued by God’s son from heaven who will take you back to heaven with him (I Thessalonians 4:1318). Romans 5:9 states, “being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him,” and since you are justified you are equally saved from wrath. In the meanwhile, you have the blessed opportunity to allow the reality of Christ to be formed in you, as you are evermore becoming a new creation in Christ, renewed by the Word and nurtured in the light of God’s unending love.

Now, at this moment in time, we are the recipient of a heavenly call to be in Christ that was first made known and answered in the first century by the Christian church. This is a call of unparalleled proportions as we become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (see Romans 8:1617). Philippians 3:20 says, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” The word conversation means our citizenship (see Ephesians 2:1822). This is a call to daily walk in Christ, knowing we are saved forever. “For God hath not appointed {or called} us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us” (I Thessalonians 5:9–10). God has called you to Himself even before the foundation of this world.

Ephesians 1:4–5:
-4: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
-5: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.

II Thessalonians 2:13: But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

God has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, and He hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation! Could you have a greater calling? There is only one response to this calling ― answer! But how do you reply to such an awesome call? Paul wrote, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called” (Ephesians 4:1) “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory” (I Thessalonians 2:12). You answer the calling by first believing He called you to be His child. This is then fulfilled by believing in and loving His Word, by seeing your approval of God Almighty, and by enjoying the truth that this calling was and still is according to the good pleasure of his will. By not doubting that you are dearly loved by both your heavenly Father and your wonderful Savior and that you are exempt from the future wrath, this is walking worthy of your calling.

II Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature {creation}: old things {in the mind, the old nature} are passed {are passing} away; behold, all things are become {are becoming} new {in our understanding}.

God loves you so much that He calls you His Beloved in I John 3:2! Let us start from this perspective, let us realize His outlook, let us accept His viewpoint, and let us enjoy His approval as we accept His endearing love for us that is so enduring! Being in Christ is walking with the healing Word of God in our daily lives. As we continue aligning our minds with the mind of Christ, then the true impressions of Christ will rise to the surface of our understanding and reason, and this will present to us inspirations that will unmistakably reveal in our hearts that we truly are in Christ.

Ephesians 2:19–22 (The Amplified Bible):**
19: Therefore you are no longer outsiders (exiles, migrants, and aliens, excluded from the rights of citizens), but you now share citizenship with the saints (God’s own people, consecrated and set apart for Himself); and you belong to God’s [own] household.
20: You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone.
21: In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord].
22: In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit.

I John 3:1–3 (The Amplified Bible):**
1: SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.
2: Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is.
3: And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless).

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

God’s Garden

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When I recall first becoming a Christian at age twenty, one huge concern of mine was about making any kind of commitment to God because ever since I was a child I heard and learned that Christians must suffer their way up to heaven. I was told that Christians could not have any fun in life, and I really did not want any part of that kind of life. But when I finally came to the Word of God, I began realizing that walking with God was fun, and that Jesus Christ suffered so that I did not need to, as I had feared.

There is nothing equal on earth in comparison to what we currently can receive from God. I used to think that the very best time to get saved was after I enjoyed life (like on my deathbed). Yet God’s wonderful healing Word has made my life such a pleasurable joy that the old way I used to think and behave is almost like looking back on an elusive nightmare, for there is no comparison on this earth to enjoying life with God and personally knowing Jesus Christ, my Savior.

Over time, committing my life to God became easier as His Word began to lift me up from within, and it has been a wonderful experience for me to also see how God works the same miracle in the hearts of other believers.

Romans 12:1–2:
-1: I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
-2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In this study, I wanted to highlight the phrase “present your bodies a living sacrifice.” This implies that God desires us to commit ourselves (presenting the whole person – wholly unto Him); for in doing so we will begin proving to our inner conscious minds that the will of God is so “good,” and completely “acceptable,” and even “perfect!”

When we begin committing our lives to God (our bodies, i.e., our very souls) we can then begin proving to ourselves that life with Him is truly spectacular and always rewarding. This is “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10).

To name just a few things that are acceptable that can be proven are: His love that we have within, which we may daily utilize; that we have joy overflowing, which we may bask in; that we have God in Christ in us, which is certainly much greater than walking alone without God in this world. This is why the greatest giving that man could ever give is to commit oneself to God Who is the Father of Lights. Then beyond this, the receiving from our heavenly Father truly flourishes in one’s spiritual growth, and the reason why may just blow your mind (so-to-speak).

I Corinthians 3:9 (The Amplified Bible): **
For we are fellow workman (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s garden and vineyard and field under {God’s} cultivation, [you are] God’s building.

Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of God and they were to cultivate the Garden themselves (Genesis 2:15) while they lived in complete serenity with God in His divine grace. Yet as we know, they fell from grace with the entrance of sin while Paradise, the Garden of God, ceased to exist for man. However today, because of the redemption we received by the completed work of Christ, we can now walk again with God in His divine grace equal to that of Adam and Eve’s original fellowship and union with God. We are now laborers together with God in His cultivated home in fleshy tables of the human heart (II Corinthians 3:3, 4:7).

We are a new spiritual Garden of God’s making and design, wherein God provides the cultivating, nurturing, and growth of our spiritual lives, and in our hearts is where we may freely commit our very souls to Him.

In God’s Garden, we are the sweet fragrance of Christ to Him (Ephesians 5:1–2). It is interesting to note that the word for “grow” in Matthew 6:28 for the growth life of lilies is the Greek word auxano and means to grow from within without compulsion, in the best conditions, having the best light for photosynthesis to promulgate the growth of life from within. This word is also used for the growth of the temple of God whom we are (Ephesians 2:21–22), for we are continuously growing in and with God’s cultivation, immersed in the light of His love (Ephesians 4:16).

Today we walk with the Father in the Garden of His delight wherein He is our sufficiency as He continues to deliver and honor us. “He {you and I} shall call upon me {God}, and I will answer him: I will be with him in {or through} trouble; I will deliver him {from trouble}, and {I God will} honour him” (Psalms 91:15). WOW – God honors us! “For in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28); and this is why we are “called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified {by believers}” (Isaiah 61:3).

We today are God’s spiritual Garden, for we are His habitation (Ephesians 2:22), living in and enjoying our heavenly Father’s own cultivating. He gently pulls out the weeds of doubts, worries, and fears, and increases our confidence, trust, and believing faith to commit ourselves to His healing Word. Jesus said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matthew 15:13). In other words, our heavenly Father can deliver us from whatever holds us captive, no matter how deeply seated (or seeded) it may be, for God is the cultivator of the human heart.

God warms our souls in His marvelous light as He gives us spiritual growth that blossoms out from our heart’s commitment to Him.

Giving of oneself to God is the greatest act of giving because it is the greatest act of receiving God’s loving-kindness within!

We may plant and water by placing the healing Word of God in our minds. Simultaneously our heavenly Father will cultivate and give us the increase (auxano), with which we need to grow in the spiritual Garden of God’s care as we enjoy a continued perpetual springtime.

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