Ginrich's Devotional Blog

July 19, 2019

Sin or Sinner

Filed under: Uncategorized,Christ,Jesus,God,love,sin,forgive — by ginrich @ 7:36 pm

Jude 1:16 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage. (NIV)

Recognize these people?  Our world is full of them.  We find them in our governments, our corporations, our legal systems, our schools, our churches—everywhere.  We even find ourselves, believers in God through His Son, Jesus Christ, tempted into these characteristics.  Praise God, Jude doesn’t stop there.  He goes on to tell us who to stay away from those natural, sinful temptations. 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21) Just because we do our best through the power of God’s Holy Spirit to keep those sinful characteristics out of our own lives doesn’t mean we’re better than the others. In verses 22-23 we read, Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.  As we often sum up, hate the sin, not the sinner.  It is in our mixing up the sinner with the sin that is one of the things that adds to the persecution.  In hating the sinner, the love of God through us is missing.  Since God loves the sinner (and we are still sinners even though forgiven through Jesus Christ) who are we to hate someone God loves?

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July 18, 2019

Selfies

Filed under: Christ,Father,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:19 pm

Jude 1:1 1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: (NIV)

We must notice this heading of Jude’s letter.  Even though Jude was a half brother of Jesus, he only mentions he is the brother of James.  What humility.  The normal human tendency would be to boast about being the half brother of Jesus.  We like to make known our connections with the great and famous.  We see people taking selfie pictures of themselves with the famous every chance they get.  This show the normal insecurity we have of who we are.  We tend to get our identity from who we know.  We, as believers in Jesus Christ are children through Him of God the Father.  The Creator of all that was, is or will ever be.  What better identity can one have than being a child of God?  Knowing our identity is in Him we must learn to reflect that identity to others.  Our “selfie” with God the Father should show through the fruits of the Holy Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22.   Let’s take time to look them up and see how our “selfie” reflects each one.

July 14, 2019

On Our Account

Filed under: body,Christ,Christian,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,prayer,repent,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:37 pm

2 Peter 3:9 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  (NIV)

I used to pray for Jesus to come quickly until I realized how selfish that is.  I know quite a few people that don’t acknowledge Who Jesus is.  They have no relationship with God.  I’m glad God is what seems slow to us in keeping His promise of Jesus coming for His Bride (the body of believers).  I’m glad He is patient with me.  I’m glad He doesn’t want anyone to perish.  But just being glad is not enough.  Just wanting others to believer is not enough.  We must take an active part in showing them the love of God so they will want to believe.  We do that through our words and our actions.  When they see us driving in traffic what do they see?  When they see us standing in a long line at a store, what do they see?  As believers we are to act as Jesus did when walking this earth.  Let us learn to take this seriously.  In the 80’ the big thing was “What would Jesus do?”  Before we act or speak, let us ask the Holy Spirit within us what Jesus wants us to do or say.”  Let none be lost on our account.

July 12, 2019

Two-Way Conversation

Filed under: Christ,faith,Father,God,Jesus,trust,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:12 pm

Habakkuk 1:2 2 How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save? (NIV)

A good example of how a conversation can go between mankind and God is this book of Habakkuk.  Though it has a prophecy, it is basically the account of a conversation Habakkuk had with God.  Habakkuk wanted to understand why it appeared God wasn’t doing anything.  At first Habakkuk couldn’t understand.  He didn’t give up.  Habakkuk kept asking questions until he understood God is God and God has His way.  Most often we believers in God through His Son, Jesus Christ, go to other believers or other sources with our questions.  We think asking God those questions is a sign of lack of faith or unreverent.  God is our Father.  Fathers want us to go to them with their children’s questions.  I encourage you to prayerfully read all of Habakkuk.  It’s a very short book.  Besides being an example of how to have a conversation with God, it is also an example of how God uses something that is very evil and against God to correct and bring back into fellowship believers who have appeared to lose their way.

July 10, 2019

James and the Church Family

James 1:1 1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
Greetings. (NIV)

I like the introduction to James in “The Message” translation of the Holy Bible.  James was a half-brother of Jesus.  He grew up with Him.  As per normal human behavior, we tend to think more critically of those closest to us even though we love them.  James grew up not believing Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.  Jesus showed Himself to James after His resurrection.  We all must believe in the resurrected Jesus to be a Christian believer.

When Christian belivers gather in churches, everything that can go wrong sooner or later does.  Outsiders, and labels them a such, the church collects sinners. Many of the people outside the hospital are every bit as sick as the ones inside, but their illnesses are either undiagnosed or disguised.  It’s simiar with sinners outside the church. (The Message Bible)

James deals with the various problems pastors have in discerning, confronting and dealing with the normal problems of sin in the body of believers.  Each of us, from time to time, are part of those problems.  Let us look to our own words and actions rather than judging the words and actions of others in our church family.  Let us be an active participant in the gathering together for worship which includes encouraging others and helping others rather than judging and criticizing.

July 8, 2019

As Jesus Lived

Filed under: Bible,commands,Jesus,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:35 pm

1 John 2:6 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (NIV)

Wow!  That’s a big command.  Living as Jesus did.  Jesus gave us sleep many a night to talk with the Father.  Jesus always stopped for interruptions.  Jesus kept His mouth shut when falsely accused.  Jesus reached out to heal a hurt rather than placing blame.  Those are just a few things about the way Jesus lived when walking on this earth.  This is impossible for us without the Holy Spirit.  It is so important for us to learn to hear the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit.  It is also important for us to really read the scriptures, the Holy Bible and become very familiar with all Jesus said and did.  Sometime just read the red-letters in your Bible.  If you don’t have a red-letter edition, I recommend you buy, download or borrow one.  It puts more consistency on the words of Jesus when we just read the red-letters.  We can’t live a Jesus did if we aren’t very familiar with how He lived when physically on this earth.

July 6, 2019

Thorns

Filed under: God,Jesus,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:24 pm

2 Corinthians 12:7 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. (NIV)

I’m not sure a thorn in the flesh is always for the purpose of humility, but mot everyone has something like a thorn in the flesh like Paul described.  We don’t know what Paul’s thorn was but most of us know what ours is.  I just spent several days in the hospital and heard the diagnosis of my thorn in the flesh.  Like Paul, I will be praying for God to remove it from me but it is up to God.  In faith and trust we accept whatever God allows to stay in our path as we walk this walk.  What counts is our response to it.  We can cry out to others, “Feel sorry for me.” Or we can respond like Paul, live with it and continue in the walk God ha for us.  Let us keep silent about our thorns and instead pass on the love of God and the good news of redemption through His Son, Jesus Christ.  We are here for the glory of God.  Let us be sure to do our part.

July 3, 2019

Testing the Spirits

Filed under: Bible,Christ,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,marriage,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:10 pm

1 John 4:1-3 1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.   (NIV)

We must remember there is a spiritual world with many different spirits.  All of the spirits clamor for our attention.  There is only One spirit we are to heed.  The Holy Spirit.  Everything the Holy Spirit says to us is in total agreement with the written word of God, the Holy Bible.  Anything that contradicts the words in the Bible, anything that changes the definition of those words, is not the Holy Spirit but one of the spirits from Satan’s domain.  There is one denomination taking a vote to change the definition of marriage from a union between a man and woman to a union between 2 individuals.  That is not in agreement with the definition of marriage given to us in the Holy Bible.  I’m sure you are tired of my always saying how important it is for us to really know the words in the Holy Bible but it is really that important.  As we draw closer and closer to the return of Jesus for His Bride  (the believers in Him) the voices of the evil spirits will be louder and louder and the cultural pressure for believers to join in with the way of the evil spirits will be greater and greater.  While we have the freedom, let’s really put the words of scripture deeply into our minds and hearts.

July 2, 2019

Holy Spirit Purpose

Filed under: Bible,Holy Spirit,Jesus,scriptures,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:06 pm

John 16:13-14 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you (NIV)

Some just thin the Holy Spirit is only for a few selected individuals or that He is just a different, no-understandable language.  The Holy Spirit is the guide we need in order to discern what is true from what is false.  He is the communicator between the Father and us.  He enables us to glorify Jesus.  Jesus tells the Holy Spirit what we need to know.  How do we learn to hear the Holy Spirit?  At first, we hear Him through the reading and meditating on the scriptures, the Holy Bible.  After we read, it is good to write down what we hear from our reading.  After we pray, it is good to write down what is in our mind after we pray.  Eventually we will see what we have written is different from the way we talk.  Gradually we become more and more familiar with how the Holy Spirits sounds to us.  By sound, I mean hearing the thoughts He speaks into our minds.  Be patient with yourself.  As it takes a baby a while to understand words, it also take us awhile to understand the Holy Spirit’s gentle whisper.

July 1, 2019

Fellowship

Filed under: Christ,commandment,Father,fellowship,glory,God,Holy Spirit,Jesus,Uncategorized — by ginrich @ 7:01 pm

1 John 1:3 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. (NIV)

We use the word fellowship in several different ways.  What does it mean to have fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ?  To be in fellowship with God we live in the knowledge of His will.  We agree with His commandments and all He does.  We share in His love for His creation.  We enjoy being in His presence. All of these are in various verses of the Holy Bible.  I encourage you to to a word search on “fellowship” to learn more of what it means to fellowship with God.  Having knowledge of what is included in fellowship will help us see what areas we are not truly fellowship with God.  We all have special groups of people with whom we enjoy fellowship from time to time.  Our fellowship with them is not all-inclusive.  Let us learn to be all-inclusive with our fellowship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

 

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