From Ben Fronczek... A Closer walk with God

A Closer walk with God

I believe that if you ask most Christians they will tell you that they would like to have a a closer relationship with God. Apart from accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior many of us are not quite sure what God wants and expects from us personally.  In Micah 6:6-8 we have an answer to that question. And what does our Lord and God really want from us? Are we to make all kind of offering and sacrifices or huge contributions to Him? No. Out of obligation to Him do we need to recite a list of prayers over and over for hours each day or go to church each time the door is open? Does God want and expect us to sell our homes and move to Africa to become missionaries? What exactly does God want and expect from you and me?

Read Micah 6:6-8 Here we see exactly what the Lord wants of us… 

“To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

“To act Justly” to me means that we need to act and be fair when it comes to how we act around others. It involves being honest and always doing the right thing. If we want to be close to God we can’t go around lying to and cheating others.  We need to give our best. This also includes our employers.

Then he said we need to…“To Love Mercy” to me this has to do with how we treat others.  The Hebrew word that Micah uses here and translates “mercy,” is a rich one. It is also carries the idea of, tender mercies, loving-kindness, steadfast love.  In relation to God’s mercy, it is used most often refers His grace, or of UNEXPECTED kindness. We are also to fill our hearts with compassion and kindness towards one another and be kind.

Notice also that the requirement here is not that we simply HAVE mercy, but rather we are to LOVE mercy. There is a big difference between the two. One is to do acts of kindness from a sense of obedience or obligation, but when we Love mercy and do kind acts it says a lot about one’s heart.

And finally Micah reports that God also really wants us to “HUMBLY WALK WITH HIM.”
“What does it mean to walk with God?”
Answer: There are several people described as “walking with God” in the Bible, for one, Enoch in Genesis 5:24. Noah is also described as “a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God (Genesis 6:9).

Walking with God is not an activity reserved for a select few. God desires all of His children to walk with Him.

What happens when we walk with someone? Imagine that you and a close friend are enjoying a walk down a country road or path.

You are in close proximity. You talk, laugh, listen, and share what’s on your hearts. Your attention is focused on this person to the exclusion of almost everything else. You notice the beauty around you or an occasional distraction, but only to point it out to your companion. You share it together. You are in harmony, and you both enjoy the peaceful time together.

Walking with God is kind of like that. When we enter into a heart felt relationship with God, He becomes our heart’s greatest desire and primary focus.

We need to realize that going to church and listening to a preacher or listening to a sermon on TV isn’t really time with God. Over and over in scripture we are told not to substitute anyone or anything for God. There is not substitute for spending time with God Himself, talking with Him, sharing our hearts with Him, and quietly listening for His response.

When we do this, things begin to happen.  As He becomes everything to us we are strengthened. Worship our Lord become an everyday part of us.

This walk is so much more than just going to church on Sunday morning.  A. W. Tozer states that the goal of every Christian should be to “live in a state of unbroken worship.” This is only possible when we walk with God.

Just like walking with a close friend requires saying “no” to other things we could do, walking with God requires letting go of anything that would be a distraction.

When the Bible speaks of “walking,” it often refers to a lifestyle. We can walk in the ways of the world as well. In the New Testament, walking with God is often called “walking in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:4).

To walk with God means you have aligned your will with His. You don’t have to be perfect; none of us are. But our heart’s desire is to seek Him out and commune with Him and do our best to please HIM, and be willing to let His Spirit commune with us and conform us to the image of His Son.

I love the story of Enoch and his walk with God    

In Genesis 5:21-24 it says, 

 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years.   24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” NIV
The NLT put it this way “ 21 When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 Enoch lived 365 years, 24 walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.” NLT

I like how the Amplified Bible translates this

21 When Enoch was 65 years old, Methuselah was born. 22 Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God after the birth of Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 And Enoch walked [in habitual fellowship] with God; and he was not, for God took him [home with Him].”

It is evident that Enoch was a great man because:

- The writer stop in a long list of recited names to mention Enoch’s special relationship with God.

- Then Later in Hebrews 11:5 Enoch is listed with those in the ‘hall of fame of faith’. It says,  

5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”

So what are some Results of Walking with God. David was a man who walked with God. One thing I like about David is how he wrote thoughts down which we now have preserved in the book of Psalms. For me it’s like peering into his personal diary or journal seeing his most intimate thoughts. In Ps. 16 we can read what spending time with God gave him.

Read Psalm 16:7-11

7 I will bless the Lord who guides me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.
10 For you will not leave my soul among the dead
or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
11 You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever.

For David walking with God provided Him with: Blessings, guidance, instruction, a sense of security knowing that His God was always right beside him. It enables him to rest, feel safe, it showed him the way of life, it gave him joy and gave him the hope of eternal life.

It is amazes me the depth of spiritual knowledge one can attain by spending much time with God. David understood so many things including the fact that God would allow him to be swept away at the end of his life, but rather he would be granted the joy of God’s own presence and would live with Him in HIS presence, forever.

Enoch also had special knowledge. Listen to what Jude records about Enoch in his letter. 

14 Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”  16 These people are grumblers and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want.”

Where did Enoch get this information about the Lord’s return and judgement? There is only one place he could have gotten this information, and that was from God Himself as he walked and talked with Him.

There is another good and positive thing seen in scripture that comes with walking with God. In Hebrews 5:11 also mentions the fact that Enoch pleased God. What Father doesn’t what his children to love him and be around him and share with him?

And finally, 

there is another blessing of walking with God;  Eternal Companionship. Somehow David knew and possessed the hope that he would one day live in God’s presence, forever.

In Enoch’s case, one day God simply took Enoch away. He probably took him home in Heaven.
Do you really want to be happy and know that you are doing what pleases God? Then act justly, always be fair, Love mercy, love to see it in others, love being kind on all occasions.

And learn to walk with God more. Get close to Him. Realize like David, that He is ever present; in your home, at work, in your car, in your bed, in church, everywhere, and then make it a practice to talk to Him. Share your inner most feelings and thought with Him. Thank Him and praise Him for His awesome nature and blessings. Like David share you concerns and fears and your belief that He will take care of you. And take time and be silent and just listen. I believe that God has His own special ways of communicating with us, of bringing us comfort, joy and strength.

It’s not something you have to do to get to heaven but it will make your life so much more better. I challenge you to make it a life goal to walk with Him, knowing that at any moment He is ready to walk with you.

From Jim McGuiggan... BIG, PLAIN, RICH TRUTHS


What is “sunrise”? It’s when the sun first appears over the horizon as the result of the earth spinning on its axis. This is true and we’re glad. But that isn’t “sunrise”! GK Chesterton would say: Sunrise is when God says to the sun, ‘Get up!’ GKC liked dictionaries but he knew they had real limits. They reduce everything to bare definitions but we’re not to criticize them for that—they’re doing the best they can.

There’s a habit of thinking that reduces so much. We can be carried away with information, explanation, definition and cognitive, rational instruction. We need information, don’t you know, but it’s too bad when we allow information to limit our vision to the dictionary or a grammar or even a pursuit of correctness.

Ask Jesus about that field of flowers and he’d say, “Beautiful isn’t it! Solomon in all his grandeur never looked that good. My Father clothed that field.” He goes onto say that before you know it the flowers will wither and be burned and yet the Father never tires of pouring out such glory. How gloriously generous He is in his giving.

Jesus would look at sparrows and speak of his Father’s generous and faithful provision. He’d pass a woman adding yeast to her dough and he’d think of his Father’s kingdom and say something like, “Remind me to look at this on our way back.” He’d see tired oxen with ill-fitting yokes that rubbed their necks raw, dragging a plough up and down, up and down, up and down a field and donkeys, heads down and burdens up to the sky on their backs. He sees them and thinks of the burdens of people and how he had come to deliver them and wishes they'd come to him. He looks up into the limitless heavens and sees them as his Holy Father’s “theater of glory”. Everything he saw, even the sadness and hurt of the world, made him think and speak of and act for his Father and his Father’s eternal purpose.

I’m for exegesis; I’m for the use of grammars, lexicons, literary models, sociological insights, hermeneutical approaches—or anything else within my reach and competence—that help us to grasp the meaning of a text, section or book. Of course!  But all the Bible study, however rich in technique and however successful in getting at “authorial intent”—if it doesn’t lead us to the massive subtext that lies beneath all the verses and all the books, if it doesn’t open out eyes to life and all there is and help us to see as Jesus saw, it’s worse than wasted time [note John 5:39]. I don’t say I know very well how to gain such insight much less that I have gained it to a marked degree. But I know as sure as I live that I know the kind of writing or speaking that doesn’t carry us there.

I’ve seen more than one lovely young person carried away by scholarship, seduced by literary and philosophical conundrums; left close to speechlessness. Well, at least, left not knowing what to do with the biblical witness to feed the people of God. Every text and even the Bible itself, becomes problematic; every biblical claim has to be rigidly scrutinized in the heady realm of academia before the scholar can make use of it for Church-feeding—especially in the presence of his scholarly peers. And while they talk to each other the People of God starve [or are left to the ceaseless and banal moralizing that passes for Church-feeding or to the rigidly religious with their exhaustive blueprints, slide-rules and books on logic placed in the church pews for the listeners to become acquainted with].

One of the leading gurus of a generation or two ago, one who specialized in the biblical Wisdom literature, ended up believing in virtually nothing distinctively Hebrew/Christian though his understanding of OT biblical texts is still highly regarded. Sigh! We can end up “correct” or seriously seeking to be and end up clinically depressed or without convictions or hope—ceaselessly on the probe for intellectual consistency and "integrity"; worshipping at the shrine of the goddess, Knowing All.

We all begin with some “givens”; with convictions we take as the foundation of whatever we’re going to build on them. Everyone does! There's no getting to a place where we can prove beyond debate and with “geometrical certainty” what we believe. The ceaseless search for indisputable truth is a losing game. God hasn't left us in the dark or short of truth and there's something sinister about our insatiable hunger to make our claims academically respectable.

Look for, ask people to help you find, ask God to provide the help you need to find the big, plain, rich truths the Bible offers and makes much of. Find those, purposing to throw in the stubborn ounces of your weight into God’s glorious and loving purpose toward humanity and cheerfully march on under the banner of Jesus Christ.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

From Mark Copeland... Do Not Be Ashamed (2 Timothy 1:8,12)

                    "THE SECOND EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY"

                       Do Not Be Ashamed (1:8,12)


1. Imprisoned and facing death, Paul encouraged Timothy not to be
   a. Of the testimony of the Lord (i.e., the gospel, doctrines) - 2 Ti 1:8
   b. Of Paul himself as a prisoner of the Lord - 2Ti 1:8
   -- For Paul himself was not ashamed, nor Onesiphorus who visited him
      - 2Ti 1:12,16-18

2. It is important that one not be ashamed...
   a. Of the Lord and His gospel - cf. Mk 8:38; Lk 9:26
   b. Of suffering in His name - cf. 1Pe 4:16
   -- Have you ever been ashamed of Jesus?  His gospel? Suffering in the
      name of Christ?

[If you have ever been embarrassed about being a Christian, let the
apostle Paul share with you the reasons why he was not ashamed.  He
overcame any shame...]


      1. "I know whom I have believed..." - 2Ti 1:12
         a. Paul had knowledge of the true person and identity of Jesus
         b. This knowledge gave Paul courage to suffer any price - cf.
            Php 3:8
      2. Who is this Jesus we follow as the Christ?
         a. In the words of Isaiah - Isa 9:6-7
            1) Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God
            2) Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
         b. In the words of Peter - Mt 16:16
            1) The Christ
            2) The Son of the Living God
         c. In the words of Paul - Col 1:15-18
            1) The image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all
            2) By Him, through Him, and for Him were all things created
            3) He is before all things, and in Him all things consist
            4) He is the head of the body, the church
            5) He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in
               all things He may have the preeminence!
         d. In the words of Jesus Himself - Re 1:10-11,17-18; 22:16
            1) "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last"
            2) "I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive
            3) "I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
            4) "I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and
               Morning Star."
      -- When we know our Lord's true identity, how can we ever be
         ashamed of Him?

      1. "I am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed
         to Him until that Day." - 2Ti 1:12
         a. Paul had committed his very soul to Jesus
         b. He was confident that Jesus was able to save him on the day
            of Judgment
      2. How faithful, dependable, is this Jesus in Whom we trust for
         a. He is able to aid those who are tempted - He 2:18; cf. 1Co 10:13
         b. He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God
            through Him - He 7:25
         c. He is able to transform our lowly bodies into glorious
            bodies - Php 3:21
         d. He will give eternal life to those who come to Him, and
            nothing can snatch them out of His Father's hand - Jn 10:
      -- When we know our Lord's faithfulness, how can we ever be
         ashamed of Him?

[The more we know and appreciate our Lord, the less likelihood we would
ever be ashamed of Him.  The same is true regarding His Words.  Again,
Paul provides an example:  he overcame any shame...]


      1. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the
         power of God" - Ro 1:16
         a. Paul knew that the message he proclaimed was powerful
         b. Even though to some it might seem foolishness - cf. 1Co 1:18
      2. What power is contained in the gospel of Christ?
         a. The power to save those who believe - Ro 1:16
         b. The power to cause one to be born again - 1Pe 1:22-25
         c. The power to work effectively in those who believe - 1 Th 2:13
         d. The power to produce fruit in those who know and understand
            it - Col 1:6
      -- When we know God's power in the gospel, how can we ever be
         ashamed of it?

      1. "but we preach Christ crucified...the wisdom of God" - 1Co 1:23-24
         a. Paul knew that the gospel contained the wisdom of God
         b. Even though it contained that which was considered
            foolishness to Greeks
      2. What wisdom is contained in the gospel of Christ?
         a. Wisdom beyond the ability of natural man to discern on his
            own - Ro 11:33
         b. Wisdom hidden for ages, but now revealed to the Lord's
            apostles - 1Co 2:6-10
         c. Wisdom that we can now learn by reading the apostles'
            writings - Ep 3:3-5
         d. Indeed, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
            especially for the truly abundant life and life eternal
            - Col 2:3; cf. Jn 10:10; 1Jn 5:11-13
      -- When we know God's wisdom in the gospel, how can we ever be
         ashamed of it?


1. Yes, we have very good reasons not to be ashamed...
   a. The Lord we serve is a great and marvelous Lord!
   b. His Word we proclaim is a great and marvelous message!
   -- All it takes is for us to be diligent in our study of such things
      - 2Ti 2:15

2. Here are two more good reasons we should not be ashamed...
   a. Jesus is not ashamed to call us brethren - He 2:11
   b. God is not ashamed to be called our God - He 11:16
   -- If They are not ashamed of us, how can we be ashamed of Them and
      Their Word?
 Do Not Be Ashamed (2 Timothy 1:8,12)
Finally, our greatest concern should be whether we will be ashamed when
the Lord returns:

   "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we
   may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."
                                                         - 1Jn 2:28

Are we abiding in Jesus by obedience to His Word...? - 1Jn 2:3-6; cf.
Mk 16:15-16; Ga 3:26-27

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading January 18

Bible Reading   

January 18

The World English Bible

Jan. 18
Genesis 18

Gen 18:1 Yahweh appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.
Gen 18:2 He lifted up his eyes and looked, and saw that three men stood opposite him. When he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself to the earth,
Gen 18:3 and said, "My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please don't go away from your servant.
Gen 18:4 Now let a little water be fetched, wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
Gen 18:5 I will get a morsel of bread so you can refresh your heart. After that you may go your way, now that you have come to your servant." They said, "Very well, do as you have said."
Gen 18:6 Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, "Quickly make ready three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes."
Gen 18:7 Abraham ran to the herd, and fetched a tender and good calf, and gave it to the servant. He hurried to dress it.
Gen 18:8 He took butter, milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them. He stood by them under the tree, and they ate.
Gen 18:9 They said to him, "Where is Sarah, your wife? He said, "See, in the tent."
Gen 18:10 He said, "I will certainly return to you when the season comes round. Behold, Sarah your wife will have a son." Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.
Gen 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age. It had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
Gen 18:12 Sarah laughed within herself, saying, "After I have grown old will I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"
Gen 18:13 Yahweh said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Will I really bear a child, yet I am old?'
Gen 18:14 Is anything too hard for Yahweh? At the set time I will return to you, when the season comes round, and Sarah will have a son."
Gen 18:15 Then Sarah denied, saying, "I didn't laugh," for she was afraid. He said, "No, but you did laugh."
Gen 18:16 The men rose up from there, and looked toward Sodom. Abraham went with them to see them on their way.
Gen 18:17 Yahweh said, "Will I hide from Abraham what I do,
Gen 18:18 seeing that Abraham has surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed in him?
Gen 18:19 For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Yahweh, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Yahweh may bring on Abraham that which he has spoken of him."
Gen 18:20 Yahweh said, "Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous,
Gen 18:21 I will go down now, and see whether their deeds are as bad as the reports which have come to me. If not, I will know."
Gen 18:22 The men turned from there, and went toward Sodom, but Abraham stood yet before Yahweh.
Gen 18:23 Abraham drew near, and said, "Will you consume the righteous with the wicked?
Gen 18:24 What if there are fifty righteous within the city? Will you consume and not spare the place for the fifty righteous who are in it?
Gen 18:25 Be it far from you to do things like that, to kill the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be like the wicked. May that be far from you. Shouldn't the Judge of all the earth do right?"
Gen 18:26 Yahweh said, "If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sake."
Gen 18:27 Abraham answered, "See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord, who am but dust and ashes.
Gen 18:28 What if there will lack five of the fifty righteous? Will you destroy all the city for lack of five?" He said, "I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there."
Gen 18:29 He spoke to him yet again, and said, "What if there are forty found there?" He said, "I will not do it for the forty's sake."
Gen 18:30 He said, "Oh don't let the Lord be angry, and I will speak. What if there are thirty found there?" He said, "I will not do it, if I find thirty there."
Gen 18:31 He said, "See now, I have taken it on myself to speak to the Lord. What if there are twenty found there?" He said, "I will not destroy it for the twenty's sake."
Gen 18:32 He said, "Oh don't let the Lord be angry, and I will speak just once more. What if ten are found there?" He said, "I will not destroy it for the ten's sake."
Gen 18:33 Yahweh went his way, as soon as he had finished communing with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.

From Gary... Grandeur, feeling and color

This picture describes a feeling I had this morning. Notice the intertwining complexities of this "wind sculpture".  It simply exudes magnificence in the complexity of its beauty. That is how I felt this morning, as I sat on my sofa, with a dog sitting on each side of me, as I viewed the bright sunshine reflecting from the yellowed sided trailer just behind ours.  The sunlight shimmered and danced with glee and even though it is only 38 degrees outside, I could feel the warmth of the blessing of God, warming my soul with its ubiquitous love. WOW, what a way to start the day!!!!  So, today's post is all about feeling, which naturally led me to think of heaven and of course, the following passage...

Revelation, Chapter 21
10 He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,  11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it were a jasper stone, clear as crystal;  12 having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.  13 On the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.  14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.  15 He who spoke with me had for a measure, a golden reed, to measure the city, its gates, and its walls.  16 The city is square, and its length is as great as its breadth. He measured the city with the reed, Twelve thousand twelve stadia. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.  17 Its wall is one hundred forty-four cubits, by the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.  18 The construction of its wall was jasper. The city was pure gold, like pure glass.  19 The foundations of the city’s wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;  20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst.  21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.  22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple.  23 The city has no need for the sun, neither of the moon, to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb.  24 The nations will walk in its light. The kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.  25 Its gates will in no way be shut by day (for there will be no night there),  26 and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it so that they may enter.  27 There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Imagine if you will, what the feeling will be like as you enter the pearly gates and see the foundations of the NEW JERUSALEM!!!  Of course this picture does not really do it justice, as the light from Almighty God is not shining through the stones, giving them an iridescent quality, but just think a moment about the emotions these hues will evoke. The complexity and joy of the experience will be akin to the first time we are blessed to be in the presence of the Triune being HIMSELF!!!  Nature can be a wonderful thing to behold, but even its splendor is nothing compared to what awaits God's one true church.  Colors may never look the same to me again!!!!