Jesus Prays for Himself and Why it’s so Crucial to Follow Him

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Jesus Prays for Himself and Why it’s so Crucial to Follow Him

Ryan James Hamilton

In John 17:4-5 Jesus is praying to His father praying “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”

Jesus was asking His Father to restore Him to His original place of honor and authority, where He was since before creation. Jesus’ resurrection and ascension and Stephen’s dying exclamation (Acts 7:56) attest that Jesus did return to His exalted position at the right hand of God. The Lord has revealed to me the significance in these verses, that it is so important to do the Father’s will. I say this because Jesus was perfect and sinless, but He stepped down from His position to enter our time and show us how to live for HIs father. When we were created in the beginning, we were made perfect in the image of God. We had no sin, but once sin entered the world, we were corrupted. We just like Jesus need to have our number one focus to be doing the Father’s will, so that we as well can be restored to our original state and be glorified! This is why it is so crucial to come out from under the world and follow Jesus, because He is the only way to become “glorified bodies” in Heaven and restored once again like in the beginning.

Jesus Warns about the World’s Hatred and the Comforter to Come

father the son and holy spirit

Jesus Warns about the World’s Hatred and the Comforter to Come

Ryan James Hamilton

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. if we were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:18-19

Jesus made the first choice to love us and die for us, to invite us to live with Him forever. We make the next choice to either accept Him or reject His offer. Without His choice to die for us, we would have no choice to make. The world is going to hate us because the world hated Him first, that’s why I find It pure joy when I am being persecuted for being a follower of Jesus Christ.

But when the Comforter is come whom I will ends unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” John 18:26-27

Jesus uses two names for the Holy Spirit. “Comforter” conveys the helping, encouraging, and strengthening work of the Spirit. “Spirit of truth” paints to the teaching, illuminating and reminding work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit ministers to both the head and the heart, and both dimensions are important. If you read verse 27 really close, Jesus says, “ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.” it goes back to Genesis 1:26,

And God said, Let US make man in our image, after our likeness.”

See Jesus and the Holy Spirit were with God at the foundation of the world!

Ezekiel, God’s Chosen Watchman (Part 2)

watchmen

EZEKIEL, GOD’S CHOSEN WATCHMAN (PART 2)

RYAN JAMES HAMILTON

EZEKIEL 33:10-20:

Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins by upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we live? Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteousness be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their ways is not equal. When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby. Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.”

A BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE TO THE WORLD:

The exiles were discouraged by their past sins. This is an important turning point in this book – elsewhere in Ezekiel the people had refused to face their sins. Here, they felt heavy guilt for rebelling against God for so many years. Therefore, God assured them of forgiveness if they repented. God wants everyone to turn to him. He looks at what we are and will become, not what we have been. God gives you the opportunity to turn to Him if you will. Sincerely follow God, and ask Him to forgive you when you fail.

         Past good deeds will not save a person who decides to turn to a life of sin. Some people think that if they do enough good deeds, they can hold on to the sins they don’t want to give up. But it’s useless to try to be good in some areas so you can be deliberately bad in others. God wants wholehearted love and obedience. While good deeds will not save us, our salvation must lead to righteous actions (cross reference Ephesians 2:10; James 2:14-17). This includes restitution for past sins. God expects us to make restitution, whenever necessary, for the wrongs we have committed.

Ezekiel, God’s Chosen Watchman

watchmen

EZEKIEL, GOD’S CHOSEN WATCHMAN

RYAN JAMES HAMILTON

GOD’S MESSAGE TO EZEKIEL:

EZEKIEL 33:19:

Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

A MESSAGE TO THE WORLD AND WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THIS:

Ezekiel 33 sets forth a new direction for Ezekiel’s prophecies. Up to this point, Ezekiel has pronounced judgment upon Judah (Ezekiel 1-24) and the surrounding evil nations (Ezekiel 25-32) for their sins. After Jerusalem fell, he turned from messages of doom and judgment to messages of comfort, hope, and future restoration for God’s people (Ezekiel 33-48). God previously appointed Ezekiel to be a watchman, warning the nation of coming judgment (Ezekiel 3:17-21). Here God appointed him to be a watchman again, but this time he was to preach a message of hope. More warnings will come (Ezekiel 33:23-34:10; 36:1-7), but these are part of the larger picture of hope. God will remember to bless those who are faithful to him. We must pay attention to both aspects of Ezekiel’s message: warning and promise. Those who persist in rebelling against God should take warning. Those faithful to God should find encouragement and hope.

The Coming Day of Judgment

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        The Coming Day of Judgment

Ryan J. Hamilton

Malachi 4:1-6

For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

      Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Isreal, with the statues and judgments.

      Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

Breaking down the above scripture we can gather so much that Malachi is saying here with a lot of knowledge to apply to our lives to where God can transition our hearts and shift our ways.

Malachi 4:1-2:

In the day of the Lord, God’s wrath toward the wicked will burn like an oven (Malachi 4:1). But He will be like the healing warmth of the sun to those who love and obey Him. John the Baptist prophesied that with the coming of Jesus, the dawn was about to break with light for those in sin’s darkness (cross reference Luke 1:76-79). In Isaiah 60:20; Revelation 21:23-24, we learn that no light will be needed in God’s holy city because God himself will be the light.

Malachi 4:2:

These last verses of the Old Testament are filled with hope. Regardless of how life looks now, God controls the future, and everything will be made right. We who have loved and served God look forward to a joyful celebration. This hope for the future becomes ours when we trust God with our lives.

Malachi 4:3-4:

These statues and judgments, given to Moses at Mount Sinai, were the foundation of the nation’s civil, moral and ceremonial life (cross reference Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 4:5-6). We still must obey the moral laws because they apply to all generations.

Malachi 4:5-6:

Elijah was one of the greatest prophets who ever lives (his story is recorded in 1 Kings 17 & 2 Kings 2). With Malachi’s death, the voice of God’s prophets would come, like Elijah, to herald the Messiah’s coming (cross reference Matthew 17:10-13; Luke 1:17). This prophet was John the Baptist. John prepared people’s hearts for Jesus by urging people to repent of their sins. Christ’s coming would bring not only unity and peace but also judgment on those who refused to turn from their sins.

Malachi 4:6:

Malachi gives us practical guidelines about commitment to God: God deserves the best we have to offer (Malachi 1:7-10). We must be willing to change our wrong ways of living (Malachi 2:1-2). We should make our family a lifelong priority (Malachi 2:13-16). We should be sensitive to God’s refining process in our life (Malachi 3:3). We should tithe our income (Malachi 3:8-12). There is no room for pride (Malachi 3:13-15).

Malachi closes his messages by pointing to that great final day of judgment. For those who are committed to God, judgment day will be a day of joy because it will usher in eternity in God’s presence. Those who have ignored God will be “stubble” to be burned up (Malachi 4:1). To hep the people prepare for that day of judgment, God would send a prophet like Elijah (John the Baptist), who would prepare the way for Jesus, the Messiah. The New Testament begins with this prophet calling the people to turn from their sings to God. Such a commitment to God demands great sacrifice on our part, but we can be sure it will be worth it all in the end.

A Living Sacrifice to God

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A Living Sacrifice to God

Ryan J. Hamilton

7/14/15

Romans 12:1-21:

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but he ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many member in one body, all members ave not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour referring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. E of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high thngs, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your conceits.

Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not youselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12:1:

When sacrificing an animal according to God’s law, a priest would kill the animal, cut it in pieces, and place it on the alter. Sacrifice was important, but even in the Old Testament God made it clear that obedience from the heart was much more important (cross references: 1 Sam 15:22; Ps 40:6; Amos 5:21-24). God wants us to offer ourselves, not animals, as living sacrifices-daily laying aside our own desires to follow Him, putting all our energy and resources at His disposal and trusting Him to guide us. We do this out of gratitude that our sins have been forgiven.

Romans 12:1-2:

God has good, pleasing, and perfect plans for His children. He wants us to be transformed people with renewed minds, living to honor and obey Him. Because He wants only what is best for us, and because He gave His Son to make our new life possible, we should joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices for His service.

Paul warned Christians: “Be not conformed to this world. “Wise Christians decide that much worldly behavior is off-limits for them because it is usually selfish and often corrupting. Our refusal to conform to this world’s values must go even deeper than just behavior and customs; it must be firmly planted in our mind: “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects our mind are we truly transformed (cross reference: Romans 8:5)

Romans 12:3:

Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. The key to an honest and accurate self-evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth—our identity in Christ. Apart from Him, we aren’t capable of very much by eternal standards; in Him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service. Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God’s eyes.

Romans 12:4-5:

Paul uses the concept of the human body to teach how Christians should live and work together. Just as the parts of the body function under the direction of the brain, so Christians are to work together under the command and authority of Jesus Christ (cross references: 1 Cor 12:12-31; Eph 4:1-16).

Romans 12: 6:

God gives us gifts so we can build up His church. To use them effectively, we must (1) realize that all gifts and abilities come from God; (2) understand that not everyone has the same gifts; (3) know who we are and what we do best; (4) dedicate our gifts to God’s service and not to our own personal success; (5) be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back anything from God’s service. God’s gifts differ in nature, power, and effectiveness according to His wisdom and graciousness, not according to our faith. Our role is to be faithful and o seek ways to serve others with what Christ has given us.

Prophesying in Scripture is not always predicting the future. Often it means preaching God’s messages (cross reference 1 Cor 14:1-3).

Romans 12:6-8

Look at the list of gifts and imagine the kinds of people who would have each gift. Prophets are often bold and articulate. Servers (those in ministry) are faithful and loyal. Teachers are clear thinkers. Encouragers know how to motivate others. Givers are generous and trusting. Leaders are good organizers and managers. Those who show kindness are caring people who are happy to give their time to others. It would be difficult for one person to embody all these gifts. An assertive prophet would not usually make a good counselor, and a generous giver might fail as a leader. When you identify your own gifts ( and this list is far from complete), ask how you can use them to build up God’s family. At the same time, realize that your gifts can’t do the work of the church all alone. Be thankful for people whose gifts are completely different from yours. Let your strengths balance their weaknesses, and be grateful that their abilities make up for your deficiencies. Together you can build Christ’s church.

Romans 12:9-10

Most of us have learned how to be courteous to others – how to speak kindly, avoid hurting their feelings, and appear to take an interest in them. We may even be skilled in pretending to show compassion when we hear of others’ needs, or to become indignant when we learn of injustice. But God calls us to real and genuine love that goes far beyond being hypocritical and polite. Genuine love requires concentration and effort. It means helping others become better people. It demands our time, money, and personal involvement. No individual has the capacity to express love to a whole community, but the body of Christ in your town does. Look for people who need your love, and look for ways you and your fellow believers can love your community for Christ.

Romans 12:10:

We can honor others in one of two ways. One involves ulterior motives. We honor our bosses so they will reward us, our employees so they will work harder, the wealthy so they will contribute to our cause, the powerful so they will use their power for us and not against us. God’s way involves love. As Christians, we honor people because they have been created in God’s image, because they are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and because they have a unique contribution to make Christ’s church. Does God’s way of honoring others sound too difficult for your competitive nature? Why not try to outdo one another in showing honor? Put others first!

Romans 12:1-13:

Christian hospitality differs from social entertaining. Entertaining focuses on the host: The home must be spotless; the food must be well prepared and abundant; the host must appear relaxed and good-natured. Hospitality, by contrast, focuses on the guests’ needs, such as a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or just acceptance. Hospitality can happen in a messy home. It can happen around a dinner table where the main dish is canned soup. It can even happen while the host and the guest are doing chores together. Don’t hesitate to offer hospitality just because you are too tired, too busy, or not wealthy enough to entertain.

Romans 12:16:

Many people use their contacts and relationships for selfish ambition. They select those people who will help them climb the social ladder. Christ demonstrated and taught that we should treat all people with respect – those of a different race, the handicapped, the poor, young and old, male and female. We must never consider others as being beneath us. Paul says we need to live in harmony with others and not be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. Are you able to do humble tasks with others? Do you welcome conversation with unattractive, non-prestigious people? Are you willing to befriend newcomers and entry-level people? Or do you relate only to those who will hep you get ahead?

Romans 12:17-21:

These verses summarize the core of Christian living. If we love someone the way Christ loves us, we will be willing to forgive. If we have experienced God’s grace, we will want to ass it on to others. And remember, grace is undeserved favor. By giving an enemy a drink, we’re not excusing misdeeds; we’re recognizing, forgiving, and loving that person in spite of their sins against us – just as Christ did for us.

Romans 12:19-21:

In this day of lawsuits and incessant demands for legal rights, Paul’s command sounds almost impossible. When people hurt you deeply, instead of giving them what they deserve, Paul says to befriend them. Why does Paul tell us to forgive our enemies? (1) Forgiveness may break a cycle of retaliation and lead to mutual reconciliation. (2) It may make the enemy feel ashamed, causing a change in that person’s ways. (3) By contrast, repaying evil for evil hurts you just as much as it hurts your enemy. Even if your enemy never repents, forgiving that person will free you of a heavy load of bitterness.

Forgiveness involves both attitudes and actions. If you find it difficult to feel forgiving toward someone who has hurt you, try responding with kind actions. If appropriate, tell this person that you would like to heal your relationship. Lend a helping hand, send a gift, or smile. Many times you will discover that right feelings.

The Dangers of the Last Days

paul to timothy

The Dangers of the Last Days

Ryan J. Hamilton

2 Timothy 3:1-9

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning of the faith.  But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

Just in these 9 verses alone, contains so much knowledge that can be helpful for us to be aware of in these days we are living in now, and days to come. I am going to break down the following verses above, so that you fellow brothers and sisters can have a better understanding of what Paul is saying in the scripture. I want to present the scriptures to you so therefore you can see it is coming straight from the word of God.

2 Timothy 3:1:

Paul’s reference to the  “last days” reveals his sense of urgency. The last days began after Jesus’ resurrection when the Holy Spirit came upon the believers at Pentecost. The “last days” will continue until Christ’s second coming. This means that we are living in the last days. So we should make the most of the time that God has given us (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5).

2 Timothy 3:2-3:

Paul’s descriptive list of behavior in the last days describes our society-even, unfortunately, the behavior of many Christians. Check your life against Paul’s list. Don’t give in to society’s pressures. Don’t settle for comfort without commitment. Stand up against evil by living as God would have his people live.

2 Timothy 3:4:

Why is it so tempting to be “lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God”? Pleasure is something we can control; God cannot be controlled. Most pleasures can be obtained easily; love for God requires effort and sacrifice. Pleasure benefits of loving God are often in the future. Pleasure has a narcotic effect-it takes our minds off ourselves and our problems. Love for God reminds us of our needs and our responsibilities. Pleasure cooperates with pride: It makes us feel good when we look good in the eyes of others. To love God we must lay aside our pried and our accomplishments. Have you chosen to love pleasure, or to love God? How do you know?

2 Timothy 3:5:

The “form” or appearance of being religious includes going to church, knowing Christian doctrine, using Christian clichés, and following a community’s Christian traditions. Such practices can make a person look good, but if the inner attitudes of belief, love, and worship are lacking, the outer appearance is meaningless. Paul warns us not to be deceived by people who only appear to be Christians. It may be difficult to distinguish them from true Christians at first, but their daily behavior will give them away. The characteristics described in 2 Timothy 3:2-4 are unmistakable.

2 Timothy 3-6-7:

Because of their cultural background, women in the Ephesian church had received no formal religious training. They enjoyed their new freedom to study Christian truths, but their eagerness to learn made them a target for false teachers. Paul warned Timothy to watch out for men who would take advantage of these women. New believers need to grow in their knowledge of the Word because ignorance can make them vulnerable to deception.

2 Timothy 7:

This verse is not opposing study and learning; it is warning about ineffective learning. It is possible to be a perpetual student and never graduate to putting theory into practice. But honest seekers and true students look for answers. Remember this as you study God’s Word. Seek to find God’s truth and will for your life. Then do as he says.

2 Timothy 8-9:

According to tradition, Jannes and Jambres were two of the magicians who had counterfeited Moses’ miracles before Pharaoh (Exodus 7:11-12). Paul explained that just as Moses had exposed and defeated them (Exodus 8:18-19), God would overthrow the false teachers who were plaguing the Ephesian church.

2 Timothy 9:

We can hide our sin for a while, but eventually the truth will be revealed. Sooner or later, distraction, opposition, anger, or fatigue will wear us down, and our true hearts will be exposed. The trials of life will conspire against our efforts to maintain a religious front. We can’t pick when and where we will be tested by adversity. Build your character carefully because it will come out under stress. Live each day as if your actions will one day be known to everyone. It is useless, in the middle of a test, to acknowledge that you should have prepared. Now is the time to change anything you wouldn’t want revealed later.