Your Personal Prayer Accompanies a Bouquet of Spiritual Fruit and God Receives the Fragrance of the Sweet-Smelling Savor of Christ in You

“Offering God your heart-felt prayer is like the note attached to a sweetly scented fruit basket sent from you to God that He will enjoy and reward. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ– II Corinthians 2:15. Not a bad thing to be, not a bad thing at all (Ephesians 5:1-2). This was Jesus’ example to us to become followers of God Who always heard and answered Jesus’ prayers (John 11:41-44). Jesus taught us that he is the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned– John 15:1-6.” Thankfully, however, If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love– John 15:7-9. This whole section in John 15 is about how to lift your prayers up to the heart of God; it is about asking for whatever you will, and as we read, it shall be done unto you, and therefore ─ for you! Your prayers can be carried up with the fruit of the life-giving energy that produces your fruit from Christ’s own vine that he first received from the husbandman. This is the sweet-smelling savor that reaches and touches the very heart of the husbandman, i.e., God, your heavenly Father! Equally, not walking in and enjoying life with Christ is the reason why so many people do not receive answers to prayer, and just as equally is the reason why those who will – will remain tapped into the true vine who is for us the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me {says Jesus}- John 14:6. With Christ we are tapped into the true vine and receive his life-giving energy that leads to the source of answered prayers. This strengthens Jesus’ place in our lives, our fulfilment of being unto God a sweet savour of Christ– II Corinthians 2:15, for ‘sticking’ with the true vine as we sprout out and up into full aromatic bloom, and certifies the Father’s glorification because we will be producing and receiving the intended results of the husbandman!”  ~LMJ~

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 Quest

“When anyone finds Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, simultaneously they will find God as their heavenly Father rather than as simply the (unknown) man upstairs. The quest for God and spirituality is a large part of the human experience that most people come to at one time or another. Some will seek Him in nature, others will look in other places, yet He only becomes personally induced to the searching heart as one comes directly face to face with His Word and truly finds Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the lifeline to Him (John 14:6).” ~LMJ~

Jesus Said, I Am The Way. . .

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Psalms 119:33 – Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

As the Psalmist (David) looked to his Redeemer, he was able to ask God to teach him the way of His statutes; today we also know Jesus Christ who is the perfect way to the Father. The Psalmist first said “teach me, O LORD,” and without God’s instruction, without the teachings of God’s Word, one would wonder aimlessly.  Whenever a believer comes to God’s healing Word with a heart to learn, great things will begin to happen in his or her life because when we receive instruction from the Word with a believing heart: that the Word emanates from God, then the lessons that God teaches us will never be forgotten.

“Teach me” means to show, to cause one to spiritually see, to point out divine revelations of grace. When we look to God’s Word with an expecting heart, then we will see the “statutes” of God’s true and faithful Word, which in turn reveals to us spiritual realities of God Himself.  God shows us the “way,” giving us spiritual inspiration (in-spirit-action), and direction. Then the Psalmist said “I shall keep it unto the end,” he will keep God’s Word for eternity, not simply until the end of his life because God’s Word lives and abides forever! As Jesus Christ “loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (John 13:1). The meaning here is that Jesus loved us beyond his death, he will continue loving us throughout eternity because he was resurrected, and he continues loving us today and forever.

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.

Psalms 18:32 It is God that girdeth me {and you} with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

Matthew 5:6 – Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Our heavenly Father is able to uplift our lives with His strength, and cause our ways to be perfect. Wow, praise God for His Word with thankfulness for receiving His divine teachings, and for him who is the way to the Father, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who let us know: “I am the way . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by {through} me” (John 14:6).

Have you ever had a question about life or about God? Then one day as you were perhaps reading the Bible, or thinking about something spiritual, then all of a sudden your question became answered! Once we receive an answer from God through His inspiration, then that hunger for the answer becomes eternally filled. Oh yes, God will continue giving understanding to life’s questions in specific areas of life, and God can and will continue inspiring us ─ these become truly precious moments of serenity and completeness that only God through Christ gives to us. This is what Jesus was referring to when speaking to the woman at the well in John chapter 4:

John 4:14 – But whosoever drinketh of the water {the word “water” is a reference referring to the Word of God} that I shall give him shall never thirst; but {because} the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

The Ways of the Lord Are Right, and the Just Shall Walk in Them

“God informs us that my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways- Isaiah 55:8. However, we can change our ways via our thoughts: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee– Psalms 43:8, and pray, Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths {have we?}- Psalms 25:4, because the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them- Hosea 14:9.” ~LMJ~