John 20:28 King James Version (KJV)
“And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.”
The purpose of “Equipping” blog is to provoke thought. All of us have a bias, or biases, in relation to the world that surrounds us. By being provocative in our thoughts, we may be able to learn about each bias of our understanding, and determine if our biases are valid.
Not all articles that will appear in this blog will relate to Scripture; but, there will be a purpose of righteousness in each and every post. Many people object to the idea of “personal righteousness,” with the thought that there are no absolutes in life but, there is definitely an absolute of idea in such a thought. Consider the fact that no one can honestly say that murder can not be an “absolute” barrier of society.
The Constitution of the United States Of America is based largely on Judaeo-Christian values. But, not all people who reside in the USA have a belief in the existence of God (Genesis 1:1), or in Godly righteousness. For Jews and Christians, we must base our lives on the teachings of the Bible. If our country (USA) were to abandon the teachings of Holy Scripture, our nation would no longer be a country of “In God We Trust,” and would soon become a people who are much like the other nations of the world who have a humanistic belief, and an accompanying lifestyle. So, it is imperative for those of us who want to maintain a nation that is based on Godly standards to “provoke righteous thought” in the lives of our families. Otherwise, we may accept “un-Godly decisions” of our government…a government which is supposed to abide by the laws that are set forth in our constitution.
“Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves.” These words of Matthew 10:16 are very pertinent to righteous people today. It is important for us to be aware of the things in our society that affect our society, whether it is of a righteous or unrighteousness nature. As we attempt to be shrewd and harmless, we must seek God daily for His guidance.
Matthew 6:33 New King James Version (NKJV)
33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew – Chapter 6
The teaching of God to the children of Israel, in the year 1451 B.C., can not be lessened in the world in which we live today. The application is directed to parents, in that our children should be taught the Words of God on an ongoing basis.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The articles that will appear in this blog, will provide scriptural teachings to the body of Christ, so that we will be more effective in fulfilling the Great Commission that was given to the Church (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.) In order to achieve such an effectiveness, it is necessary for believers in Christ to have an intimate relationship with God the Father, through God the Son, by the empowerment of God The Holy Spirit. God will lay a path before us that we should follow. He will equip us for the completion of that trip and ministry. There are scriptures that will help us to prepare for the ministry that God has ordained for our lives. The following scriptures are key to our being prepared for the fulfillment of God’s call on our lives; they revolve around the keys of: 1. Knowing, 2. Being, 3. Abiding, and 4. Going. Please consider the scriptures of those four points of intimacy and ministry.
Philippians 3:10, “That I might know Him.”
John 17:3 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
In this verse we see a text book definition of “eternal life,” which is an intimate relationship with God the Father, through God the Son. To “know” is to be intimate. The intimacy of this verse is parallel to that of Genesis 4:1, where it is written that Adam “knew” Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare Cain. To know someone is to have the highest degree of intimacy with that person that is possible. For us to “know” God is to have the highest degree of intimacy with Him that is possible.
In respect to knowing God, we also should consider the words of Philippians 3:10.
Philippians 3:10 New King James Version (NKJV)
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
The aspect of knowing God, is something that involves the ups and downs of having that holy relationship. Whether times are good or times are bad, we must understand that our response must be to always love God. If we win, we’ll praise Him. If we lose, we’ll praise Him. Whatever the case may be, we will always praise our Lord and Savior Jesus.
In respect to knowing God, we should also know the compassion of Christ, and the compassionate Christ.
Knowing God is also to know about the compassion of Christ, as it relates to the less-fortunate:
Matthew 25:40 New King James Version (NKJV)
40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
In order for us to know Jesus, we should also know the compassionate Christ:
Matthew 9:36 New King James Version (NKJV)
36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
In order for us to know Jesus, we should also know how the compassionate Christ responded to the needs of the needy:
Matthew 15:32 New King James Version (NKJV)
Feeding the Four Thousand
32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
Mark 3:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach,
The disciples were not only appointed/chosen by Jesus, they were appointed to “be with Jesus.” That relationship of “being” with Jesus prepared the disciples to be better able to go out and preach the Gospel of Jesus.
John 15:4 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
The aspect of abiding in Christ is two-fold. First, we are to have no known sin that is unconfessed, and of no interest in our life into which God is not brought into. It is for us to have no life in which God can not also share. Secondly, the believer in Christ takes all of their burdens to God, and gets all wisdom, life, and strength from God. It is not a ceasing of consciousness of the things of the world. But, it is a relationship with God in which nothing is allowed in the life of the believer which separates the believer from an intimate relationship with God.
Matthew 28:19 New King James Version (NKJV)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
The disciples of Jesus, who were soon to be apostles, were commissioned to “go,” teach,” “baptize,” and “teach” (vs 20), the things that they had been taught by Jesus (vs 18). The apostles died. Their commission has been passed onto others who were made disciples, who are to make disciples of others, and others, and others.
The highest point of our ministry is to lead people to a place where they will know, personally and intimately, the compassionate Christ, and when they come across a need in a person’s life, they will know the answer to the question:
“What would Jesus do?” (WWJD)
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