Feeding on truth or wind?

Psalm 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

God will feed us:

      Jesus taught that those who seek God’s kingdom and righteousness shall be fed (Matt 6:32-33). He fed Israel in the wilderness with manna and quail and He has promised to feed us as well (Psa 33:18-19; 34:9-10). We are more important than sparrows and lilies, so we may depend upon God’s care of us.

      However, in this verse the Psalmist is not speaking of physical food but spiritual. The Hebrew word verily means “truth”, so that the verse can be read, “. . . on truth thou shalt be fed.” The spiritual life of the one who trusts in Christ will be fed and sustained by truth.

Some feed on wind:

      The unbeliever feeds on that which is not true (Isa 44:10, 20); even foolishness (Prov 15:14). Those who trust in human deliverance will be like Israel depending upon Egypt and Assyria (Hos 12:1). God will feed false prophets accordingly -- Jeremiah 23:15   “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and

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Thanks be to God

1 Corinthians 15:57   But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

     Thanksgiving is a religious holiday born out of want, sorrow and deep need. Thoise early Pilgrims who braved this new world had a deep faith in God and from that faith came our Thanksgiving holiday. There are many things we can thank God for and should thank Him for – as the song writer says, It will surprise what the Lord has done. We are told to give thanks when we make requests in prayer (Phil 4:6) and also to render thanks in and for all things (Eph 5:20; 1 Thes 5:18). But there are three notable gifts mentioned by Paul in his letters to the Corinthians in which he was led to use the particular phrase, “Thanks be unto God”.

Victory:

      The first one is in the text which says that God has given us the victory thru Jesus Christ. There are many victories we could attach to this verse, but since it uses the definite article: the” victory, he is probably thinking of one thing in particular. The context of the verse also tells us that Paul is

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Feasts and prophecy

Acts 2:1-4   And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. {2}  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. {3}  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. {4}  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Key number in Scripture:

     Numbers are important in Scripture and seven may be a key one regarding prophetic events. There are seven feast of the Lord -- Passover, Unleavened Bread, Feast of First Fruits, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles. The Sabbath is the seventh day; every seventh year is a rest for the land; there are seven sevens (year of Jubilee); and seventy sevens (Dan 9:24).  The Book of Revelation has seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vial judgments. The golden candle stick has seven lights on it, God's word is purified seven times (Psa 13:6) and numerous other occasions of seven throughout Scripture.

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Faithful men and women

2 Timothy 2:2 }  And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

      The Bible warns us about many who say they are faithful but their life shows differently (Prov 20:6). They talk a good talk but their walk is very weak.

      Paul tells Timothy that he is not only to be faithful himself but to commit what he has learned and heard from him to others who will in turn teach others and continue the work God desires to be accomplished through His people. What are the qualifications of faithful men and women that Timothy should look for in others?

Alert and aware:

      They are to be alert and aware of God’s master plan (Matt 28:19-20) and understand the reason for God’s longsuffering with the wickedness of man (2 Pet 3:8-10). He must always keep in mind and work towards Christ’s return.

Industrious and committed:

      Such people must be industrious in their work (whether it is their worldly endeavors or spiritual) and committed to God’s work. They must be conscious of the ultimate spiritual evaluation (Matt 25:14-23).

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Faith and works

James 2:22-24 {Jas 22}  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? {23}  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. {24}  Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

One passage, two apostles:

      Paul and James both used Gen 15:6 for their defense of faith without works and faith with works. Both deal with justification and both are in agreement with each other, but on the surface they appear to be opposite. James appeals to Abraham’s willingness and actions in offering his son, Isaac, to God. Although the one passage is removed from each other by several chapters and a number of years, yet they go together in showing works and faith.

      Paul uses Gen 15:6 in Gal 3:6 and Ro4:22 to show that we are not justified by works. Paul says that it is only through faith that we are justified before God (Ro 5:1). Were James and Paul at odds in their teachings?

Scripture fulfilled:

      James speaks of Scripture being fulfilled

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Exhorting one another

Hebrews 3:13   But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Exhorting:

      The Greek word in our text is para-kaleo and means: “comfort, beseech, call to one’s side, admonish, console, encourage, strengthen”, etc and literally “come along side”. Two examples of the word used by Paul are: 2 Cor 1:4; Phil 10.

      In the noun form, Jesus used it in Jn 15:26 of the Holy Spirit that He would send to us after His departure back to heaven. It has a variety of use and applications for us. The emphasis in this passage is that we are to exhort one another. In Heb 10:25 the writer tells us that this encouraging is to be accomplished by us when we join together in fellowship, worship or Bible study. Elsewhere when the word is used in Scripture, it is in relation to remaining true to the Lord or holding unto our faith (Acts 11:23; 1 Thes 2:11-12).

      It is the duty of all believers to exhort, but it is especially the duty of ministers to exhort (2 Tim 4:2). Paul used the word when addressing the

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An exemplary church

1 Thessalonians 1:1-3   Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. {2}  We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; {3}  Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

Paul’s interest in the church:

          After establishing the church in Thessalonica, Paul was forced to leave due to problems by the Jews who did not believe. This did not prevent Paul from his concern for the believers there and he wrote two letters to them to encourage and teach them and us truths for Christian life. In this first letter and our text, Paul is commending the believers for their example of being Christian and we can apply that to our churches today as we endeavor to apply Scripture and our belief to everyday living.

Their faith:

     Faith must be taken in two ways – one is our trust in God,

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Evidence of the Spirit's filling

Ephesians 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Contradiction today:

      There are many Christians and even ministers that think that it not against Scripture to drink alcoholic drinks as a “social” drinker. They will use this verse as proof that it is okay to drink as long as you do not become drunken – excess. In reality, medical science tells us that the alcohol in even one glass of beverage alcohol (beer) cannot be completely utilized by the body and the body places the unused portion in the body until it can be eliminated from the system, thus making it impossible for anyone to drink a little and not have the “slightest” effect upon them. So, then there is evidence of being filled with the effects of just a little alcohol.

      In the verse Paul counters the cult of “social” drinking by the words that follow – but be continually filled with the Holy Spirit. One cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit (which implies complete control by the Holy Spirit), if he/she has come to even the slightest degree under the control of alcohol (or anything else that

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Everything we need to know

2 Peter 1:3   According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Needy people:

Our basic needs and our perceived needs are often miles apart. Paul tells us that having food and raiment we are to be content (1 Tim 6:8). As the Israelites journeyed in the wilderness they had very little, yet God said they lacked nothing (Deut 2:7). They lived on manna and water as well as goat’s milk. They had food basics, raiment and shelter (man made and the cloud of God). God provided for their needs with manna and keeping their clothes in good condition (Deut 8:3-4).

      Agar asked that he be feed with convenient food and that God would not make him wealthy or poor (Prov 30:8-9). David said in the shepherd’s psalm that since the Lord was his Shepherd, he would not want – lack anything he needed. In the gospels, Jesus tells us not to worry about certain things because our Heavenly Father knows all about it and will provide for us better than He does the birds and the flowers

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Dogs and Danger

Philippians 3:2   Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Potential problems:

      Paul warns of potential failures in our faith and walk in the Lord. In Col 2:8 he speaks of being “spoiled” which means to be carried away as captive; to be lead away from one’s persuasion. We can be spoiled about our beliefs. Paul also mentions making “shipwreck” of our faith (1 Tim 1:19) and Peter mentions of falling away from our steadfastness” (2 Pet 3:17).

      Faith and doctrine are integral parts of our salvation. We need faith to believe and enter into the born again, new life, experience; but we must also keep our faith grounded in God’s word – the pure doctrine of Scripture. Scripture warns of these errors – Ro 16:17; Eph 5:6-14; Col 2:18; Heb 13:9; 2 Jn 8

Dogs:

      Paul mentions “dogs” as a danger to our spiritual life. The word means a literal animal, dog, but metaphorically a man of impure mind, an impudent man. The term dog is used throughout Scripture and is always used in a bad or negative sense – Deut 23:18; 2 Ki 8:13; Psa 22:16, 20; Isa 56:10, 11; Matt 7:6;

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Faith: Definition, Degrees of, Tests of

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Definition of faith:

      The “faith chapter” of Hebrews is a wonderful chapter in God’s word. Here it is defined, not as some intangible wistfulness, but as “substance” and “evidence”.

      Faith must first have a legitimate object, and that object is nothing less than the mighty Creator by Whom the worlds were created out of nothing by His very word.

      Beyond this, faith is defined, not by what it is, but by what it does. The man of faith comes to God by a more excellent sacrifice – like that of Abel (verse 4) – which typifies Christ and His death for us. Faith will, like Enoch, live to please God (Verse 5), and will, like Noah, prepare an ark – do whatever is necessary out of obedience to God – to the saving of his house (verse 70.

      True faith will, like Abraham, go out as God leads, not knowing where and willing to live in tents if necessary (verse 8, 9) as he looks for the eternal city whose Builder and maker is God (verse 10). Such faith

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Man/Woman of God

Man of God

1 Timothy 6:11  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

Man or woman of God:

      The expression “man of God” appears 78 times in the Bible with only two occurrences in the New Testament, both of these are by Paul to Timothy, the other being in 2 Timothy 3:17.  In the Old Testament it is used often of prophets or those sent by God for His work. Sometimes they are named and other times they are simply called the man of God. The first occurrence is in reference to Moses (Deut. 33:1) and often throughout the Old Testament he is called man of God. David is called man of God in Neh 12:24. In Judges when an angel appears to Manoah and his wife about Samson, he is called a man of God.

Qualities of a man or woman of God:

            Moses being called a man of God was a great leader and the law giver to Israel. He was also said to be the meekest man (Num 12:3). David being called a man of God is said to be a man after God’s

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Carest Thou Not?

Mark 4:38 (KJV) -- And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

Time of great problems:

      There are times when we have some seemingly great problems and God is no where to be found. He seems to ignore our prayers and our praying gets difficult and the sky seems like brass – our prayers just bounce back to us. If this persists too long we begin to wonder if God cares about us.

Consider the sparrows:

      Jesus talked about sparrows in teaching us not to be overly burdened about the things of this life (Lu 12:6-7). Unless there is some obvious reason (like sin – Psa 66:18; Prov 15:8, 29; Isa 59:1-2) that our prayers are not being answered, then we can reason that perhaps it is a test as Job was tested.

The disciples:

      The disciples came to Jesus in the midst of the storm with the idea He either could not help or would not – He did not care. They feared for their life believing that the

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