A Refuge from the Storm

For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall- Isaiah 25:4. Sometimes we cannot help the circumstance we may find ourselves in, but we can always be aware of God’s deliverance from any storm of any kind, because God is a refuge from our storms. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still- Psalms 107:29.” ~LMJ~

Jesus Christ in the Scriptures

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the book of Acts chapter 8 verse 30 we have the record of Philip who asked another man (a eunuch) a simple question. “Understandeth thou what thou readest?” This is a fair and honest question, do we understand what we read when reading the Bible? Earlier in another study we learned a little bit about the one great subject of the Scripture, Jesus Christ, without whom we do not have the key to unlock the Scriptures for we would miss the spiritual understanding that only Christ can give to the heart and soul of searching men and women. When Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading from the Scriptures, the man honestly replied: “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:31). The man was reading from the book of Isaiah 53, and he had many questions that Philip was able to answer. Let us pick up the story in Acts:

Acts 8:32-35:
-32:  The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
-33:  In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
-34:  And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray the, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
-35:  Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.

Once we begin understanding that the Scriptures reveal Jesus Christ (not just in the Gospels), and we really began to recognize him throughout the Word, he begins revealing the true essence and realities of God to our minds. The word “humiliation” (in verse 33 above) relates to the physical punishment and torture that Jesus went through on our behalf, and that he, who knew no sin became sin for us, so that we might be made as righteousness as God is (II Corinthians 5:21).

King David also wrote about the hope of Christ’s coming throughout the Book of Psalms. The Apostle Peter in teaching about the resurrection of Christ on the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 says of David that he always had Jesus Christ in the forefront of his thinking and writing.

Acts 2:25-26:
-25:  For David speaketh concerning him {recorded in the 16th Psalm}, I foresaw the Lord always before my face {by revelation}, 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:

What gave David inner joy, continued hope, and a glad tongue was knowing his Lord and Savior from the written revelation of Scripture (II Peter 1:21). The Scriptures continue giving us joy, hope, and a glad tongue – the same joys that Jesus knew when speaking the Word of God, “for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Luke 24:25-27:
-25:  Then he {Jesus} said unto them, O fools {“fools” simply means they were slow in their finding Christ in the Scriptures, Jesus was not insulting them, but making an observation}, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
-26:  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
-27:  And beginning at Moses {meaning: beginning from Genesis} and all the prophets {and ending at Malachi}, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

The Walk of Love (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Sometimes Christianity can become confusing when external tagalongs fasten themselves to the believer’s walk. There are many things that appear to be a part of the Church of God yet only hinder the believer from walking in the light of God’s Word. For instance: Have you ever been told “the Bible says that you have to do this, or you need to do this?” However, the Epistles never say “thou shalt, or thou shalt not,” regarding laws or commandments, rather the Epistles give the believers almost unimaginable freedom by offering to give us whatever we need to enjoy our eternal lives with God in Christ which has already begun in our lives.

Galatians 5:1:
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Philippians 4:19:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Anything and everything that the Epistles reveal to the believers is offered by God’s grace, and it is literally God’s love that activates our believing to receive from God. God never made the Christian lifestyle to be burdensome but rather easy to know, to live, and to enjoy. In God’s family, He is the provider for our needs, and gives us His love so that we may walk with Him being well pleasing before Him in His unending love.

Ephesians 1:4:
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.

It is man’s personal baggage, his condemnation, his own inability to be perfect which slows and hinders his personal walk and fellowship with God. But when the believer can recognize the truth that God looks at the heart and blesses our lives for believing in our Savior Jesus Christ, and that God loves us just as we are — then we can begin walking and growing in the spiritual nurturing that emanates out of God’s love for us.

I Thessalonians 3:11:
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.

The word direct means to guide and show the way. Paul was teaching that it was God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ who guides, directs, and shows the believers the godly way in which to walk before God in His family.

I Thessalonians 3:12;
And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, being in us, can inspire the desire within our hearts to walk and conduct our lives within the love of God. The purpose is so we may increase and abound in love toward each other (toward every believer) and for all other people. It is true that most people have the inability to love others outside their sphere of influence, either believers from other Churches or unbelievers in their communities.

This is a great lesson in learning that God’s love transcends all human barriers, for God’s love is spiritual and is for everyone, “for God so love the world” (John 3:16). God has given to us His love and this love can only be spiritually ascertained when manifested by loving believers.

This is not a “thou shalt” walk in love commandment, but rather this is something Christ inspires within our own hearts.

As we look to God and Christ the Lord, we will find their strength in us that increases and abounds in love so that we can apply this spiritual love in never-ending abundance. When we do apply the love of God in Christ in us we will realize how terrific love truly is, for the rewards will always return back to those who apply spiritual love.

I Thessalonians 3:13:
To the end he {Jesus Christ} may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Jesus Christ is always at work within our hearts to help us recognize and acknowledge our God-given rights of being unblameable in holiness before God our Father. This is how we are viewed (in the sight of God) at this very moment as we stand purely in God’s love, and our heavenly Father will see us this way until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ when he gathers us up to take us home in the eternity of God’s love.

The Body of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Since the day of Pentecost in the Book of Acts 2:1-4, the Christian Church of believers has belonged to God in what the Epistles call “the body of Christ.” The body of Christ has many individual members (including you and me). This body is spiritually one in Christ. The new body of Christ to which we belong grows in the knowledge of God’s Word, and lives in the sanctity of Christ who is the head of the spiritual Church. Before the day of Pentecost, the believers belonged to what was called “the bride of Christ.” One of the greatest misunderstandings in the whole of Christendom today is not recognizing this huge difference.

I Corinthians 12:12:
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

We will further discover as we go into the Epistle of Ephesians that God has set Christ to be the head of the Christian Church, and this Church is his body, and his body has many members (Ephesians 1:22-23). Christians are spiritually linked to one another in the body of Christ, and God’s will is for His children to begin understanding this dynamic truth. For knowing this gives the Christian Church as a whole, greater strength than perhaps we have ever considered or even imagined. Consider how great the power of God can be as we together believe in unison.

I Corinthians 12:14, 27:
-14: For the body is not one member, but many.
-27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

We are not simply faces in the crowd, or a no account nobody, but rather we are individual members in the body of Christ, members in particular called by God into His family to stand with one another right in the communities where we live. Thankfully the body of Christ does indeed have many individual members in almost every corner of the world.

God’s loving heart and desire is that we delight in the simplicity of the Christian lifestyle, for this brings honor to God, dignity to Christ, and joy into our lives, as we recognize our own spiritual membership into the body of Christ.

The Word Girdeth by Itself Sounds Silly, but when you are with God it is Perfect

“Psalms 18:30 reads, As for God, his way is perfect. Men may think that God’s way and His Word are full of imperfections; however, in the eyes of God, as we are taught His Word, and when we believe to live the way that is called perfect, then God begins revealing the realities of Himself to our minds. This is what is important to us who believe ─ who gives a hoot what unbelievers think? We can live it up with our heavenly Father in the way that is perfect rather than to worry what the neighbors might think about our enjoying and living in the way God teaches us. It is God that girdeth me {and you} with strength, and maketh my way {and yours} perfect– Psalms 18:32.” ~LMJ~