Tag Archives: Testimony

We Are the Saints of Our Living God

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“Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 4:21-22)

The apostle Paul typically began and ended most of his church epistles with greetings to and from “the saints.” The context in each case shows that this term was applied to all those who were “in Christ Jesus”—that is, all true Christians. The Greek word hagios meant essentially those people or things that are set aside or consecrated to the Lord. It is frequently translated “holy” and can be applied to objects dedicated to the Lord, as in Hebrews 9:24 (“holy places made with hands”).

The term is applied also to Old Testament believers. At the time of Christ’s resurrection, we are told that “many bodies of the saints which slept arose” (Matthew 27:52).

Some of these latter have been given the supposedly exclusive right to be called saints by the Catholic church. This is simply not true as the bible makes it very clear that all whom are born of the Spirit are the Saints of God! (I Corinthians 1:2)

Editor’s commentary note

Other than “St. Mary” and “St. Peter,” the best known of these may be “St. Patrick,” the so-called “patron saint” of Ireland. Patrick was certainly a very zealous missionary, largely responsible for the conversion of the Irish from paganism back in the early fifth century, and all we know about him would confirm that he was indeed a “saint” in the true biblical sense.

Although “saints” should be altogether godly and righteous as well as set aside to the Lord, that is not necessarily always how they act. Thus, special men have been called by God (i.e., pastors, teachers, etc.) “for the perfecting of the saints” (Ephesians 4:12).

Since the sole biblical criterion to be classed as “His saints” is “them that believe,” that includes us! That being the case, should we not be zealous to see that our lives are such as “becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:3)? HMM

Be Kind… Even if it’s Your Enemy

☀ Authenticity 101: “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ Jesus has forgiven you.” ~ Ephesians 4:32

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I have to admit that, in my younger days, I would’ve simply decked the guy and moved on. But, alas, I was now a new babe in Christ Jesus and He told me – by this verse – to forgive that jerk in the same manner Jesus had already forgiven me. “Say, what? I don’t think so!” was my response to reading this verse.

Then God showed up and showed me the “Why” I had to obey His every instruction….

Flash forward a few months and it is now a very cold and bitter Saturday morning up in the backwoods of rural central Michigan. No one was traveling that day but me of course. As I inched along the icy roads, a man huddled against the wind had his thumb stuck up desperately hoping to hitch a ride back to his house. His car had stalled and he needed help.

So, having pity on the freezing soul, I pulled up alongside and motioned for him to get into my car. He quickly jumped into the passenger side of my vehicle and, upon closing the door, pulled off his wool hat. It was my nemesis!

We hadn’t even recognize each other until that very moment. I am sure he was thinking, “Say what? I don’t think so!” as I slowly pulled off the shoulder and back onto the slippery road toward his house.

After a few moments of awkward silence, my mortal enemy spoke up and asked, “Hey, I heard you are going to church now. Are you a Christian now too?”

And then, I remembered that verse.

Over the next few moments, I shared with him the new hope and life I that I found when Jesus forgave me of all the bad things I had ever done – and, granting me eternal life through the work He finished on my behalf on that cross long ago.

“John” quietly held onto every word I said and then, as I pulled up into his driveway, extended his hand toward me. I timidly shook his hand and then said, “God loves you buddy!”

Today, my former adversary is celebrating his 40th year as a “born-again” Christian!

“Lord, help me to never judge anyone as being disqualified from the possibility of becoming saved and forgiven – especially since you saved this little stinker. Amen!”

Count Your Many Blessings

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“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” (Psalm 65:11)

At year’s end, a Christian should stop to count his blessings. If he does this fairly and fully, no matter what his problems may have been during the year, he will have to confess that God, as always, has crowned the year with goodness.

The coronation figure is frequently used in Scripture to speak of God’s blessings in the Christian life. For example: “Bless the LORD. . . Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies” (Psalm 103:2, 4). Even our testings and trials are always in the context of God’s grace and love. Christ Himself wore a crown of thorns so that we may be crowned with mercy and salvation.

Consider also Psalm 5:12: “For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.” The word “compass” is the same Hebrew word as “crown,” with the basic meaning “encircle.” Other jewels in the believer’s year-end crown are God’s grace and glory. “[Wisdom] shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee” (Proverbs 4:9).

Then there is the wonderful testimony that “thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:5). Finally, the believer’s crown is none other than the Lord Himself: “In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people” (Isaiah 28:5).

Most Christians have an abundance of material blessings for which to thank the Lord. Even if they have none of these, however, God has crowned the year with goodness and favor, with lovingkindness and tender mercies, with grace and glory and honor and, best of all, with His own presence. “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2). HMM

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