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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 962 of Giving Thanks

"Be Strong and Courageous"
"Be strong and courageous".... the key word is "Be", not "wait to be",  not "want to be", not "aspire to be".... sounds like a command to me... God says "Be....." it is action, not submission. Deuteronomy. 31:6, 31:7, 31:23, Joshua 1:6, 1:7, 1:9, 1:18, 10:25, 1 Chronicles 22:13, 28:20, 32:7....

Do you ever "feel" like you cannot get from point A to point B because you are fearful, anxious, worried, unsure or just plain tired? We have all been there; myself included. For me, it's been many more times than I care to remember, and just recently in fact. We can stay in this state or we can walk in faith; we can't be in both. I call this a state of confusion because we are His, and everything with God is certain, if it's certain, how can we not trust our status as a child of God?

Every time I feel this way, I dive into the "Be Strong and Courageous" verses...

Deuteronomy 31:6
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:7
"Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance."
Deuteronomy 31:23
"The LORD gave this command to Joshua son of Nun: "Be strong and courageous, for you will bring the Israelites into the land I promised them on oath, and I myself will be with you."
Joshua 1:6
"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them."
Joshua 1:7
"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:18
"Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey your words, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!"
Joshua 10:25
"Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.""
1 Chronicles 22:13
"Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the LORD gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged."
1 Chronicles 28:20
"David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished."
2 Chronicles 32:7
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him."

© 2012 Giving Thanks Daily, Shawn Boreta

We are Wonderfully Made (, living to encourage and Equip His People ( and completely committed to believing greatly Psalm 139 with purpose (
Originally shared on Equip His People, Ephesians 4:11-13 on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 1:35pm

Monday, August 13, 2012

Encourage One Another - Matthew 18

Equip His People, Ephesians 4:11-13
Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Encourage One Another
Equip His People, Ephesians 4:11-13 
by Shawn Boreta

We are to love each other. Build relationships... and help one another by encouraging. In my opinion, that means getting to know one another. Not shaking their hand one minute then correcting them the next. Can we agree to "reserve the right to be smart and compassionate"? I am not here for debates or disputes, I am here to share the beautiful power that God has so graciously given to me.

Think about it, if we are constantly arguing and bickering and condemning, how does that attract someone who is not a believer? Before I grabbed onto God, I was holding on for dear life with the world. Hanging on to ever lie... and the enemy will use everything to feed that unbelief - know this, and envelope the wonderful gifts of each other, lift each other up, share and encourage. When there is question, Matthew 18...

So, in summary: Go to that person who you believe to be wrong, in sin, etc... IN PRIVATE.
Facebook is so weird, it's like we loose all sense of common decency... and I mean everyone. I know for me, if I post something that is off, or errored, I hope someone tells me. But not in a flogging sense through their words on my page.

Then, if no resolution, bring 2 others into the conversation.
Then, to the church officials/elders.

Facebook is the platform, the tool, not the blame. Re: public rebuking - I believe it is as bad as public flogging, calling an offense when a person has already been accused; and the damage has already been done, the public square is much larger, more eyes to the accused; and the sad part is, believer (new and old), as well as unbelievers get to watch as "Christians" throw stones at each other. We play the enemy's game, just like he likes it; disagreements and accusal and discourse.

In life, not on Facebook, we engage (interact, bind, absorb, engross, interest, involve) differently. We meet someone, build a relationship and permissions and formalities (known or not) are followed. I h
ave had people "friend" me here, and in the next contact (post), they have already told me what is wrong with what I am sharing. My first church, when I was a baby Christian spent more time telling me all the things that were wrong with me, and the rules to follow, that I didn't get the true Jesus until a couple years ago.... they did this publicly - so early on, I knew what didn't work for me.

The "world" is watching us... we are to attract people. Just a thought.

Rules of Engagement... easy.

We must never be the lone ranger out here - we should all have a group of friends who watch out for you, and vice versa. But we know this, don't we? Some believe that because the forum is Facebook, different than the "real" world, they can make up their own new rules and bypass manners or etiquette and especially common sense and common courtesy...

Since we are a wild kind of church here, all community, loving the Lord, serving the Lord, seeking and sharing truth, we can follow that example. We are God's community of His children. Wow, I am long winded today.

Did you know that you can totally blow a new Christian out of the water, by blurting corrections out?
Did you know that you can affect someone's walk by saying discouraging words when they are just learning how to read the Word and starting their walk?
Did you know that you can encourage someone and change their view of God with your words?
Did you know that God wants us to become more like Him and be full of forgiveness, grace and mercy?

Matthew 18 (NIV)
The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Causing to Stumble
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Dealing With Sin in the Church
15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Monday, August 6, 2012

Salvation is Secure, The LORD Promises

I had to share this wonderful article by Darci Escandon. In response to some scripture being used to support "loss of salvation".

The LORD told me early on, "I will NEVER LEAVE you Shawn, you can trust me...."

Response to the idea of loosing salvation
By Darci Escandon in Ps139 for our Ps139 group of edifiers

Hebrews 10:26-31  “26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[a] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[b] 31 It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  The author is talking about people who deliberately refuse God’s invitation. He is talking about people who refuse to get to know God. He is talking about everyone who refuses the gift of the Holy Spirit and Salvation.

Rev 3:5 “5 The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.” This has nothing to do with apostasy. All this verse is talking about is that people whose names are written in the book of life will get into Heaven. The names of all believers are registered in this book.

17:8  “8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.” This verse says that people who didn’t know God, will not have their name in the book of life. It has nothing to do with apostasy. If you do not know God and He does not know you, you won’t get into Heaven.

Proverbs 26:11  “11 As a dog returns to its vomit,  so fools repeat their folly.” The first line of this saying is quoted in 2 Peter 2:22. Like a dog that returns to his vomit: It is known everywhere that after vomiting a dog will lap up its vomit. So returns to his vomit means “eats its vomit again.” Is a fool that repeats his folly: The fool does not learn from his foolish errors but rather repeats the same foolishness over and over. The comparison is between the dog repeating the eating of its vomit and the fool repeating his mistakes. In translation it may be necessary to say, for example, “Fools always repeat their mistakes like dogs always eat their vomit.” [1]

To lose your salvation is called Apostasy. the Greek root of the word ‘apostasy’ is used for Paul’s alleged rejection of Moses and, in 2 Thess. 2:3, for an expected rebellion before the end.

First of all, the idea of apostasy or the loss of salvation stems from the Arminian view. They cite that many of their examples such as Judas, Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11), Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Timothy 2:16-18), Demas (2 Tim. 4:-10); the False teachers and those who follow them (2 Peter 2:1-2) as examples of people who had faith at one time and then lost it. As Armenian’s and those that belive that you can loose your salvation see it, only a most contrive line of reasoning can explain away the obvious impression that these individuals were actual believers who departed from their faith.  Note that the Arminans used two basic methods to formulate their view. First, they focus on didactic passages that apparently teach that it is possible to apostasize. Second, the point to historical phenomena, biblical narratives that tell of specific people who appartnly did fall away. When the author directly interprets what occurred (e.g. when Paul asserts that Hymenaeus and Alexander have made shipwreck of their faith), however, these particular passages are actually functioning as didactic material.

In addition to biblical examples, Arminians also point to various extrabibilical cases of persons from history or from their current experience who at one timegave every appearance of being regenerate yet subsequently abandoned any semblance of the Christian faith. In these caes, of course. The line of arbument is based on experiential phenomena rather than biblical teaching. [2]

Let’s explore the true biblical teaching. John 10:27-30  constitutes a powerful decloration of sercuritu. Verse 28 is especially emphatic: “I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” In the clause “and they shall perish” John uses the double negative (ou me greek) with the aorist subjunctive, which is a very emphatic way of declaring that something will not happen in the future. Jesus is categorically excluding the slightest chance of an apostasy by His sheep. A literal translation of this from Greek would be “They shall not, repreat, shall not every perish in the slightest”.

Now, as for Hebrews 6:4-6 , this passage warns the Christian Jews that if they returned to Jewish customs and beliefs, they would not go to Heaven and were cutting themselves off from God’s forgiveness. Verse 6 points to the Hewbrew Christians returning to Judiasim and thus, committing apostasy. The writer is warning against the hardness of heart that would make repentance inconvievable for the sinner and would cause the person to renounce Christ. Those who fall away cannot be restored so long as they persist in their flagrant and public rejection of Christ. The subject of ἀνακαινίζω (anakainizō, in this context, “to cause to change to a previous, preferable state”45) is not identified and could be either God (the convicting ministry of his Spirit), other Christians seeking to “restore”(RSV) their fallen brother or sister, or both. Regardless of the agent and in spite of persistency in the effort (the writer shifts from past oriented aorist tense forms to the present, continual, tense here), the word impossible (v. 4) makes it clear that in their present condition they will not respond. It is important that we consider the nature of that condition and precisely what is described as impossible.

What is their condition? The last part of v. 6 describes the degree to which their lives have actually turned in the opposite direction—they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Just how they do so is not specified. Perhaps upon their rejection of the Christ they once embraced they have come to engage in active and public opposition to his gospel, perhaps their return to an open lifestyle of sin and immorality cause the gospel to be disgraced or both. Regardless, the outcome is the same. It is clear, in a public sense for all to see and know, that they no longer regard Jesus as the Savior crucified for their sins. Their rejection is so extreme that it is as if they were nailing him to the cross all over again. There is nothing in these verses to suggest that the atonement which Jesus accomplished at the cross does not apply to the future sins of those who remain within their covenant relationship with God, repentant and grateful for the sacrifice made by their Savior. Those described here refuse to repent and have decided to reject him. This resembles closely the description of a clear and final rejection of Christ described by Peter (2 Pet 2:20–22).[3]

These verses are also suggestive as to how we see ourselves and others. Many want to know, “have I committed apostasy and am I therefore beyond the grasp of God’s grace?” The answer suggested here is that the only people beyond the grasp of God’s grace are those who wish to be. Anyone who is willing to repent—probably anyone who cares enough to ask the question—can be restored to his or her relationship to God on that condition. As to whether others around us are in such an “apostate” condition is a decision that should be left to God since any decision to repent places a person outside of the class described here and we can never be sure whether or not a person will someday make that decision. Our most appropriate response is to never give up in our efforts to restore them and allow God to make, “in the end,” the decision about their eternal fate.[4]

God is the only one that can give and take away salvation. Salvation is granted when we believe with our whole hearts that we need God, that Jesus is who He says He is, That He will come again. In fact, I just wrote a piece in EHP regarding salvation. Salvation is not granted based upon our sins or our good deeds.

Now, that does not mean that He will not hold us accountable on judgment day for our choices. There is a great division in the church about Salvation...who can be saved, how people can be saved, how people stayed saved.We have to exercise extreme caution when we want to use a verse to illustrate a point. It is with great understanding that we must understand who and what the audience was that the writer was addressing. In this case, Paul was addressing the church in Corinth. The church was headed in the wrong direction. Paul was not addressing salvation or the loss of it, rather, he was addressing the fact that the church seemed to not care about their choices. In other words, people in this world even today, are only sorry for getting caught when sinning, or the effects of their sins, but not at all for committing them.

The notes in the NIV Study bible say this “Compare Peter’s remores and repentance with Judas’s bitterness and act of suicide. Both disowned Christ. One repented and was restored to faith and service, the other took his own life. The message of 2 Corinthians 7:10 needs to be looked at in the context it was written. It is apart of verses 5-19. This section was Paul feeling Joy over Titus’s report. Paul had waited anxiously for Titus to bring information about the response of the Corinthians to his strongly worded letter (1 Cornthians). Would they reject the letter and their apostle? Would God use Paul S words to change the Corinthians? Paul rejoiced when Titus told him that God had used his strong words to bring about repentance in the Corinthians. He affirmed his unchanged devotion for the Corinthians and expressed confidence in them (7:12-16) . It is apparent, in verses 9 through 16 that God's hand was evident in the church's response. They had become sorrowful as God intended (v. 9). The phrase is literally "grieved according to God" (elyphthete kata theon). But what does this mean? Renderings include "sadness . . . used by God" (TEV), "suffering that God approves" (JB), "made sorry after a godly manner" (KJV, NKJV) and "as God would have had you sorry" (Phillips). The NASB's "made sorrowful according to the will of God" or the NIV's became sorrowful as God intended is probably the sense here.

The kind of sorrow that God intends results in a change of heart: Your sorrow led you to repentance (v. 9). This is the third reason Paul can be happy. The Corinthians did not merely regret what they had done but repented of it (v. 9). Metanoia (repentance)denotes not just a change of mind about something but a reorientation of the whole person (Goetzmann 1975:357-58). Judas felt remorse for what he had done in betraying Jesus to the authorities (metameletheis, Mt 27:3), but his remorse did not issue in repentance. Repentance, to be sure, involves a recognition that a wrong has been committed. The Corinthians, when confronted with their failure to defend Paul in the face of his detractors, felt sorry for the pain they had caused him. This is remorse. But repentance goes further. It not only recognizes the wrong committed but also seeks to rectify it. This the Corinthians did by admitting their blame and by punishing the offender (2:6; 7:11).

So, please, when you use a verse to support your thought, make sure you understand the context in which it was written and audience to which it is written to. As for using Hebrews 6:4 to back up the idea that believers will loose their faith is preposterous. A true believer will not abandon Christianity. True believers will endure their commitment to Christ because God will preserve them by His power (1 Peter 1:5). Remember, the moment a professing believer abandons Christianity, they reveal that their faith was not real. The distinctive evidence in true Christianity is endurance (Hebrews 3:14)

[1] William David Reyburn and Euan McG. Fry, A Handbook on Proverbs, UBS Handbook Series (New York: United Bible Societies, 2000), 562-63.

[2] Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Pp. 1001-1002

45 So Louw and Nida (p. 157) who point out that in other contexts forms of the word can mean “to cause something to become new and different, with the implication of becoming superior” (cf. 2 Cor 4:16 and Col 3:10 where ἀνακαινόω appears and Rom 12:2 and Titus 3:5 where ἀνακαινωσις is used). ̣Ανακαινίζω appears only here in the NT.

RSV Revised Standard Version

[3] James Girdwood and Peter Verkruyse, Hebrews, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1997), Heb 6:3.

[4] James Girdwood and Peter Verkruyse, Hebrews, The College Press NIV Commentary (Joplin, MO: College Press, 1997), Heb 6:3.