Giving Our Hearts to God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In this study, we are going to be looking at one of most misunderstood sections recorded in the Gospels regarding a statement that Jesus made about a woman who gave all she had. But before we quote the passages and begin looking at what Jesus was teaching, I want to make the point that giving is a spiritual principle that will always return blessings back to the one who is the giver. God is the “possessor of heaven and earth” (Genesis 14:19, 22), and He honestly does not need financial support from His children to make His ends meet, but much more what He desires of us is our love and respect, prayer and faithfulness. There are spiritual and physical reasons for giving; giving proves to ourselves that God is real and caring for us by blessing us in multiple ways. When we know for certain that He has blessed us, then giving from a cheerful heart (which is offered in thankfulness) becomes a way of life that bountifully reaps. “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (II Corinthians 9:6), and God’s desire is that His children reap bountifully.

In the Book of Acts, we have the story of the Apostle Paul who walked up on Mars’ Hill in Athens to preach the Word of God.

Acts 17:22–25:
-22: Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
-23: For as I passed by, and beheld {and I looked on all of} your devotions {Paul is referring to all their idols, deities, statues, and altars that the Athenians had set up along the walkway leading to the top of the hill}, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him {the unknown God} declare I unto you.
-24: God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
-25: Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing {emphasis supplied}, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.

The altar with the inscription to the unknown god was set up by the Athenians because they were so into worshiping any and all the gods of the world that they had set up an extra altar just in case they may have forgotten anyone. If so, then they had that situation covered; thus, they hoped to not offend the peoples of the world who came to study and worship in their philosophically academic city, “For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:21). They were more into political correctness in Athens than we are these days. Paul was able to use the unknown god altar and theme to introduce to them the true Lord of heaven and earth, and the first thing he teaches them is that God does not dwell in manmade temples, but rather He dwells in the hearts of people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior who said, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (I Corinthians 3:6). Indeed if a believer happens to be in a temple, then so is God, but He does not dwell in empty buildings without His people being present, “the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48). Could the Scriptures be more explicit? The Scriptures teach “for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (II Corinthians 6:16).

Please, do not get me wrong, places of worship are needed and inspiring to the hearts of believers who gather in His name; as well, those places are blessed by God, but this does not change the truth that WE are the actual “habitation of God!” Indeed one can find God anyplace and miss Him anywhere, although “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). When the heart turns to Him ― then He is discovered within “written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (II Corinthians 3:3). His most sacred abode is in His beloved children, as we read in Ephesians, chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:19–22:
-19: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
-20: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
-21: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
-22: In whom ye {YOU!} also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

As far as giving directly to God, Paul taught in Acts 17:25, above, that, “Neither is {God} worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things.” There is nothing you can bring to the altar that emanates from the works of the flesh that God requires of you; NO, not your money or other gifts are required by God to prove your worth to Him because you have been already made worthy by the offering of Jesus ― on your behalf, and his gift suffices for all ― forever (Hebrews 10:12–14). Interesting to note that in the Old Testament, King David WAS a man after own God’s own heart (Acts 13:22), but today, in the New Testament, in grace, God IS a Spirit after OUR OWN HEART (John 4:23–24)! He has been trying to reach you from the beginning, and in truth, He called you from before the world began (Ephesians 1:4, II Thessalonians 2:13).

It is TRUTH that makes us free (John 8:32) rather than our finances and/or the amounts we give away in any capacity. Christians are not instructed in the Scriptures to be tithing simply for the sake of giving, or to give because they have been threatened with the supposed retribution of God or to hold to the false mindset of “give to get,” but much rather we “want to give” because we have received, then you have something to give. We can be inspired with the love of God to become cheerful givers who have placed our believing trust and hearts into the care of our heavenly Father.

Mark 12:41–44:
-41: And Jesus set over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
-42: And there came a certain poor {humble} widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
-43: And he {Jesus} called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor {humble} widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
-44: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. {This is also recorded in the Gospel of Luke 21:1–4.}

The treasury reference above is not in relation to the tithe outlined in Old Testament Law, but rather, this treasury was for many reasons, some religious and some secular, for donations such as giving to community needs for relief. (In the Companion Bible, page 1414, the footnote on this verse reads, “the treasury. Situated in the woman’s court, occupying about 200 feet square, and surrounded by a colonnade. Inside, against the wall, were thirteen receptacles, called ‘trumpets’ (from their shape): nine being for legal dues, and four for voluntary contributions. All labeled for their special objects.”) For instance, one container may have been given to help support the homeless, another for widows and the fatherless, another for disaster or famine relief, another for public works, and so on. We still have these kinds of fundraising containers today, such as for The United Way, The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, the latest catastrophe, and so forth.

Yet, unscrupulously, the standard teaching about the verses above from Mark 12 has been interpreted that this poor little widow caught the Savior’s eye ONLY because she had given away all that she needed to live on, while the rest of the people were merely giving only out of their abundance, and were not really true believers because they were not making any real sacrifice for the Lord. Then, folks like these imply in sundry ways that the more poverty we endure on earth, well then, the greater and richer our eternities will be with heavenly rewards. Oh – baloney! Come on – really? This kind of preaching may instigate a real roof-raising experience at meeting – in temple – at worship, but it completely negates the true teaching of Jesus and of any common sense or decency.

Jesus saw all the people who were giving, not just the widow. Jesus simply observed that of all the donations he personally saw that day coming into the treasury came from people’s abundance, except for that one “poor widow.” Please note that Jesus never said that everyone else was wrong, nor did he say that those people who gave of their abundance were going to hell for giving only what they didn’t need anyways, as I have heard this passage qualified. Nowhere in the Gospels did Jesus preach that giving of one’s abundance is a bad thing; besides, all those people were giving to the Temple treasury (which was a good thing).

Sometimes those who desire more money from believers to make church-ends meet, who come to see their parishioners only as “their cash flow” can fall away from what is important and that is that God is our sufficiency as much as He is theirs. They can often rise up to becoming people like Ezekiel 22:27 references, “Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.” Now I know that people like this are not everywhere, they are few and far between, but we do come across them from time to time who think that our finances are in reality theirs to coerce out and gather up in the guise of “good works for the Lord.” The shedding of blood in Ezekiel 22:27 is in reference to taking away what one honestly worked for through their efforts by way of blood, sweat, and tears.

If we ever come across their paths, then God’s Word wants us to be aware of their motives as well as their end and ours if we become their enablers by hook or crook. Leaders are instructed to, “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind” (I Peter 5:2), and filthy lucre is dishonorable gains of cash that are extracted by greed. People who are motivated to this kind of gain are “destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself” (I Timothy 6:5). “He that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want {more and more although acquiring less and less}” (Proverbs 22:16). If we give to corruption what will we reap (Galatians 6:7–8)?

Please Consider!

Haggai 1:5–7:
-5: Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
-6: Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
-7: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

This is what happens when filthy lucre is extracted from the children of God ― everybody involved comes up short! Even the funds collected from the innocent are so named filthy lucre. “Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous” (Deuteronomy 16:19). And yet, once I was told by a church leader to only witness to people who met two requirements, 1) they had to have a good paying job, and 2) they had to own a car. Why? Because on average, people who owned a car and worked hard gave more money at church and they were considered nothing more than numbers for balancing the ledgers. I’m sure Jesus never looked at one’s finances before helping them; in fact, he spent much more time with the sick, sinners, and the needy, with those society would throw away, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17), and he was “a friend of publicans and sinners” (Luke 7:34).

Presenting: God’s way of giving, “Every man shall give as he is able, according {ACCORDING} to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee” (Deuteronomy 16:17). We never are instructed to “give to get”; that is not the kind of trade-off God desires; we “get to give!” We all too often reverse God’s will by trying to out-give Him or bypassing His will altogether and never truly receive all that we could. The Bible reveals “freely ye have received, {THEN} freely give” (Matthew 10:8). All we own from God’s perspective is His to begin with, but until we really come to that realization, our stuff is still ours. The wise path is to use our stuff for His glory, then we are all in, and that is all in to receiving our personal needs met by God. Paul questions “what hast thou that thou didst not receive” (I Corinthians 4:7)? You see, all we have is either ours or His, and if you give what you need away, which was given to support you, then why would He give you what He gave you again if all you do is give it away? That is not being a faithful steward, but is an unwise act. There is nothing wrong with giving regardless of how much one gives because when one gives from the heart, then God certainly is blessed, and as well, one will always receive back more abundantly when their heart is in the gift given. But giving should never be done as payment in the hopes of receiving blessings of healing or abundance in return; it’s not tit-for-tat.

The widow in Mark 12 was most definitely giving something beyond her abundance, something no one else gave that day, but what? She had no extra money to give; in fact, she gave very little, two mites. Yet this humble widow was giving something much more precious than money, for she gave to God all her living. The key to understanding the point that Jesus was making to his disciples is in knowing the meaning of the word living, it means one’s life, she was committing herself, her life to God as her sufficiency in life.

This is what Jesus was referring to when he said that she, “cast more in than all they which have cast into the treasury” for she was casting all her cares upon God! She realized that her life was the greatest gift that she could return to God. In the Greek Text the word for “poor” is the word for humble, she was humble before God. She had recognized what so very few people do and that is that God uplifts the humble.

James 4:10 reads, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” She realized that the greatest thing that she could give was herself to God, and acknowledged Him as the real source of her happiness and her true sufficiency in life.

The notion that she gave even what she needed to live on is ridiculous. What kind of blessing or benefit would it really be if she literally starved to death? None, whatsoever!

I could say, “Gee, I wished that God would just give me a million dollars, but my true need at this very minute is that I really need a hot meal!” So if I could thank God for that, well then He can go to work and “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). Then dessert will be forthcoming, and that is the abundant life in spades!

Do you know what the difference is between one dollar and a million dollars? The amount of zeroes used. God can add zeroes to anyone who gives from the heart to bless others because zeroes are no big thing to God and are something quite marvelous when someone gives with a cheerful heart to others in need. Then He can go to work blessing their account for counting on Him as their true sufficiency in life.

When one commits their ways to the Lord, what they will receive is true spiritual freedom and the desires of their hearts, which is something one does not pay for but receives from God (see Psalms 27:2-6). One desire of the heart is to be a blessing to others, to give help or support when that is needed. All too often Christians cannot help because they are way too strapped in both time and resources, but when God gives time, redeemed time (Colossians 4:5), and the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18), then giving finds a godly way to be supportive of the needs in our communities and in our fellowship or church outreach programs.

Receiving first, as a biblical principle may seem counterintuitive to common sense but it is a principal to godly receiving. “Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee” (Proverbs 4:5–9)

I Peter 5:6:
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

A More Excellent Way (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 12:31: But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

But covet earnestly the best gifts is the way that some people try to find the “so called” best gifts in the Bible. Yet, the Apostle Paul is literally saying the opposite; sure you can try your hardest (and covet earnestly) to get the best spiritual gifts, yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Paul was writing to an entire church of believers in Corinth, saying that there was another way to conduct their lives, a better way to live than the way they were currently living, a more excellent way. This way is the way of love, to conduct our lives with charity as the following verses in chapter 13 then explain. It is to live in a more excellent way than any other way because living with the love of God in our hearts is the best way to enjoy life and experience happiness.

The basis for Paul explaining to the believers that there is a more excellent way goes back to verse 27–31 of I Corinthians chapter 12, which shows some of the gifts that the believers in the church were coveting, thus prompting Paul’s discourse.

I Corinthians 12:27–30:
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
-28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
-29: Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
-30: Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

This section of Scripture first states that we are the body of Christ and then that we are members in particular in that body. Each believer is unique within the body and each has a special place that is tailor-made for him or her with room to grow. As Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.” It is this more excellent way of God’s love that allows room to grow and enjoy life as God intended for His children.

Then within this body, there are some ministries given by God in Christ Jesus, such as Apostles and Prophets and Teachers. Also, some believers in the body work miracles very well, such as ministering healing to others. As well, there are others in the body who are very diverse in the use of additional spiritual gifts and manifestations that have been supplied by God’s grace to help us walk with Him and with each other.

The verses above are not a shopping list from which we can pick and choose the ones we personally want to have; rather, God set some, i.e., God gives to His children what is needed at the appropriate time and in the proper measure to supply whatever would fit the spiritual need within the body of Christ. Paul is saying that when and where believers simply conduct their lives in love, they will then have tapped into the more excellent way as God supplies to His church (the body of Christ) the best and most needed gifts, which will be received effortlessly and enjoyed by all.

I Corinthians chapter 13 begins explaining some of the spiritual qualities of charity. The love of God (charity) is the more excellent way because it will bring the most needed and “best gifts” right to you at the appropriate time and in the right measure. The chapter unfolds to the believers the more excellent way with explanations of some of the greatness of God’s love applied, what it will accomplish when acted upon, and also what charity will not do. For instance “{charity} doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;” (verse 5). Chapter 13 of I Corinthians is a wonderful chapter for believers to read and reread over and again.

I Corinthians 13:6: {Charity} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

Iniquity means wrongdoing, or unrighteousness. In other words, let us say we see someone who wronged us in some way in the past now going through a hard time and we think, “That is just what he deserves!” This kind of rejoicing in or finding satisfaction with someone’s misfortune is where charity cannot and will not function because that kind of thinking does not emanate out of the love of God. This is because charity thinketh no evil.

“Rejoice” is spiritual joy repeated over and again! We will have and enjoy this continuous rejoicing when and where we have charity in our lives. When we look into the Scriptures, recognizing them as divine truth from God, it will cause our hearts to rejoice. When the truth begins to hold us up, then the love of God in our hearts will also begin to bubble over into rejoicing ― abundantly. I Corinthians 13:8 reads, “Charity never faileth” when active in one’s life. Now, how often will we fail when we have God’s love in our endeavors in life? Never!

How do Christians avoid being failures? Charity never faileth. When and where we have charity in our hearts, we will succeed. If charity could fail just once, then it would be worthless for it could let us down at a most important moment. However, and thankfully, charity never faileth.

Our loving, heavenly Father has given to His children a more excellent way to live, a more excellent way to follow, and a more excellent way to love. All that any believer can do is either walk into the abundance of God’s more excellent way and learn to be loving, or not. However, when you as a believer only try to walk with God in His love, you will assuredly fulfil your God-given talents and gifts as you continue rejoicing in the truth, for you will have tapped into a new spiritual love that will never fail you, for it is God’s more excellent way.

I Peter 4: 8–11 (The Amplified Bible):**
-8: Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others].
-9: Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ’s body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).
-10: As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as [befits] good trustees of God’s many-sided grace [faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor].
-11: Whoever speaks, [let him do it as one who utters] oracles of God; whoever renders service, [let him do it] as with the strength which God furnishes abundantly, so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him be the glory and dominion forever and ever (through endless ages). Amen (so be it).

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

The New Man

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

When we believe in the inherent truth of God’s healing Word, the Word itself will begin making known to our minds the spiritual realities of having Christ within, whom the Bible defines as the New Man. Christ from within our hearts will then make known to our minds the Creator, our Father ― God. Then as we begin recognizing God as our Father ― He makes known to us the spiritual completeness of the new man (since we have the mind of Christ) that was created in us (Ephesians 1:16–23, 4:22–24). Additionally, God begins revealing to us the spiritual reality of the one body of Christ, of which body Christ is the head, and we are all members in that one body, and this one body of Christ is nurtured and grows in the love of God with the light of His Word.

Romans 12:5: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

I Corinthians 12:27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The Bible refers to those who walk with the knowledge of the one body as being spiritual (I Corinthians 2:15), for they have the inward man (Romans 8:6, and II Corinthians 4:16), who resides in their hearts ― this inward man is Christ in you (Colossians 1:27). Having Christ within means that we have the hidden man of the heart {Christ}, in that which is not corruptible (I Peter 3:4), for believers have the incorruptible seed of Christ (I Peter 1:23). But though our outward man perish {or gets older}, yet the inward man {the Christ within} is renewed day by day (II Corinthians 4:16), renewed by placing God’s Word in our minds day by day, as Paul wrote, For I delight in the law of God {in His Word} after the inward man (Romans 7:22). For the inward man builds up the believer from within as he or she accepts the renewed mind that the Word of God illustrates and allows this new man or woman to shine with effervescence as he or she reaches out to build up the one body of Christ in love.

Ephesians 4:15–16:
-15: But speaking the truth {God’s Word} in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ {for Christ is the head of the body — Ephesians 1:22–23}.
-16: From whom {Christ} the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part {this is us, see Romans 12:5, and I Corinthians 12:27 above}, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

The most effectual working part of this new body is the head, who is Jesus Christ himself, and we are encouraged to follow his lead by walking in love, and in so doing we will be assisting in the building up of the body, and in this process we will also be discovering the new man! As we learn the Scriptures and allow our renewed mind to reveal what the Word itself teaches us, we will begin supplying (or giving) to the body of Christ and further be edifying (building up) the body in love. Believing the Scriptures is how we bring the Word of God into reality, off the pages of the Bible and into our daily lives. God’s Word can give men and women a true spiritual revival that grows within the heart and supplies the mind with impressions of tangible truths contained in God’s Word. This is what gives men and women a true godly renaissance, and fuels an enjoyment in our rediscovery of eternal light and love.

 Ephesians 4:22–24:
-22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation {lifestyle, behavior} the old man {biblically the old man means ourselves before salvation}, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts {which is latent within everybody, Romans 5:14}.
-23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
-24: And that ye put on the new man {i.e., the Christ in you}, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

One of the most wonderful things about the church Epistles is that the Word of God never demands that we change our minds without something else to replace old thoughts and actions. Rather His Word always shows us how to replace old thoughts, emotions, and actions with new concepts that come to life by putting on the mind of Christ. We are encouraged to put off the old man and to put on the new man; this must be possible because the Bible tells us so, and God’s Word instructs us about how to do this successfully. Romans 6:6 says that the old man, which is the old nature in man, the nature of sin, “is crucified” with Christ, and this means we can set our old nature aside and put on a heavenly nature to walk in newness with Christ who has been resurrected and spiritually dwells within us.

Often propounded today are the “thou shalt not” sermons imbued with hellfire, brimstone, and condemnation only serving to scare people away from the truth that the new man is available to each and every one of us. In all honesty, God’s Word is always teaching us to have rather than to have not (Matthew 7:7–8, and I Thessalonians 4:12). It is the old man nature that denies the gifts of God and the new life in Christ we have been given. Jesus Christ freed believers from the course of this world (Ephesians 2:1–10), so that they (WE ― you and me) could enjoy our lives as we anticipate Jesus’ return to gather the believers up to our heavenly Father (I Thessalonians 4:14–18). Jesus had borne our sins in his own body and took them to the cross nearly two thousand years ago (I Peter 2:24), so why in the world would anyone want to resurrect and still carry them around and live in condemnation any longer? No ― not us, “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). The new man is in Christ Jesus and in him we may thoroughly enjoy our spiritual freedom (Romans 6:22, and Galatians 5:1).

In Ephesians above, the Word is specifically dealing with the renewed mind, expressing what is in our renewed minds, and that specifically is the new man which is after God, and is created in us and revealed to us throughout the Epistles.

Colossians 3:9–10:
-9: Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
-10: And {you and I} have put on the new man, which is {being} renewed in knowledge after the image of him {God} that created him {him is our created spirit, called the new man}:

The old man is as old as you are, but the new man is only as old as the day you became saved, and at that moment in time you became born again and received Christ in you and this is what God’s Word encourages you and me to enjoy in our day to day lives. By doing so, we will have tapped into a whole new realm of enlightenment and find a spiritual power base to become “more than conquerors” as Romans 8:37 boldly proclaims that “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” It is this inseparable love and belief of God’s Word that allows mortal men and women to become more than conquerors over the daily pressures of life.

Colossians 3:12–17:
-12: Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
-13: Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
-14: And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
-15: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
-16: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
-17: And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

By putting God’s Word in your believing heart, you will have more than a fighting chance to overcome the obstacles that life throws before you, because you will have the Word of God to stand on and believe. You have the hallowed opportunity to know and understand the new man, and fulfill a heavenly calling, a destiny ordained by God. Did you know that you already are a child of God, a child dearly loved by Him and by Jesus, and you have the heavenly calling to enjoy the new man, the new you, your new life in Christ ― today? Jesus came to give you a more than abundant life (John 10:10b). You have been called to this life by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and this life is realized through the new man. The abundant life is yours because Jesus paid the ultimate price, and he paved the way for you to follow because he loved you then and he still loves you ― now. “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” (II Corinthians 6:2).

Being a Christian should be the most enjoyable experience in this whole world! You are loved by God! Yes, God loves everybody, but not everyone reciprocates by returning God’s love. This makes you a very, very special somebody ― to God you are precious (I Peter 2:7). You are your heavenly Father’s child, and you are a special individual before His Majesty, and when you believe His Word you have clout with unfathomable power to back it up (Ephesians 3:20)! The world often tries to extract the joy out of the believers’ hearts as though having a life without God and Jesus is practical. Thankfully, the new man, the Christ in you can fend off these unfounded ideas and subtle notions that belittle the believer or cause him to stray.

For you ― Jesus died! For you ― Christ was raised! For you ― Christ intercedes at the right hand of God in heaven until you personally arrive! For you ― God sent His only begotten Son! Oh, yes ― indeed God did this ― for you! Just how valuable are you to God and Christ the Lord? If it was only you in this whole wide world that was going to believe, Jesus would still have offered himself, for that was the will of God, so that you could enjoy the new man in your life with His ever-renewing love, now and for all eternity!

God created within us the means to walk in newness of life, a life that is being renewed in the knowledge of God (Romans 6:4). To walk in the new man is not a command but a request from a loving Father to His beloved children so we could be “partakers of the benefit” (I Timothy 6:2). The benefit is an invitation to have a meaningful relationship with Him Who created life, for His Word shows us how to enjoy life by bringing the Christ within us ― up and out to the forefront of our lives.

II Corinthians 6:2 (The Amplified Bible):**  For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

 Ephesians 4:14–16 (The Amplified Bible)**
-14: So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.
-15: Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
-16: For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

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

Rejoice and Be Glad in Your Heart

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Acts 2:22–27:
-22:  Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
-23:  Him {Jesus}, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
-24:  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
-25:  For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:
-26:  Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
-27:  Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One {Jesus Christ} to see corruption.

King David always kept the hope of his Savior alive in his heart hundreds of years before the first coming of Christ. David always kept Jesus Christ “before my face,” meaning he always looked to Jesus and his day of deliverance. The result for looking unto Jesus was that Jesus was his hope (as well as ours), for eternal life. Knowing Jesus Christ personally through knowing the Scriptures assured David of his eternal life, which daily allowed his heart to rejoice, and as he spoke of Jesus his tongue was glad, which also gave others the hope of Christ’s return.

Psalms 28:7–8:
-7:  The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song I will praise him.
-8:  The LORD is their strength, and he is the saving strength of his anointed.

The anointed of God is Jesus Christ, and God is the saving strength of Jesus Christ (see Acts 2:22 above), Jesus is our interceder (between God and man), and Jesus Christ reveals to the heart that searches for God: the magnificence of God Himself. Knowing Christ causes our heart to greatly rejoice, and a glad tongue comes to us by speaking about the accomplishments of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Witnessing to others that Jesus died for our sins, that he was resurrected and seated at the right hand of God, and that he is returning for us at some future moment to take us home makes the tongue glad.

Acts 2:28:
Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance {presence}.

Knowing Jesus Christ gives to the believer understanding about “the ways of life” such as how to genuinely walk with God. Jesus Christ was always pleasing to God (Matthew 3:17). As we ourselves look to Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), he will also teach us how to be pleasing to God, for Jesus is always present within our hearts.