Joy of the Gospel

The Good News of Jesus Christ

Author: Joy of the Gospel

The Temple of God

Where is the Temple of God? God's temple is not a physical. It is Jesus Christ. A picture of the inside of a random temple. Photo by Rahul from Pexels

The Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to the temple of God, even the Messenger of the covenant.

Malachi 3:1

Some think the temple of God is the temple Zerubbabel and Joshua built. Of course, there is a link between this temple in Jerusalem and Jesus. Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the high priest built this temple around 520 B.C. They built this temple after Haggai the prophet told them God wanted the temple rebuilt (Haggai 1:1-8).

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What worship makes the name of God great?

What worship makes the name of God great? A picture of a loaf of bread and a chalice (cup). This picture references the Eucharist, a ritual used to worship God. But this image does not reflect the crucial spirit behind the ritual.

People worship God in pretense or Spirit and truth. God wants people to worship Him in Spirit and truth because it is a sign of reverence. Rituals are a part of reverence but not part and parcel of it. Consequently, the Spirit and truth are crucial to any ritual.

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The heavy stone

The heavy stone. Some heavy stones are meant to be moved. But none should try to move Jesus the heavy stone. A picture of a man standing on a boulder. Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash

How is Jerusalem a heavy stone for all people (Zechariah 12:3)?

On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.

Zechariah 12:3

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A watch for home. A picture of the sea. We are like people on the seashore seeking home in a distant place. Photo by Anukrati Omar on Unsplash

The Lord is mighty and greatly to be praised.
His light shines on all nations.
Let the nations declare his goodness.
His goodness goes out to all who seek home; his mercy, to all who love.

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Prophecy, May 13, 2020. A picture of a mountain. God speaks to all and saves those who want salvation. This picture is used because there are two references to mountains in this prophecy: Bashan and Salem. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

The Lord is great. Who can stand against him?
Has not his breath went out? Has it not consumed the wicked of the earth?
The Lord speaks daily, but none listen to his voice.
The Lord cries out to us, but none hear.

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A life of completion

A life of completion. A picture of a pillow that says Life is Beauty full. However, life is only complete through Jesus Christ's grace. Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash

I believe we can “stand perfect and complete in all of God’s will” (Colossians 4:12). This unity with God’s will makes humans perfect [complete]. Full completion, accordingly, is a total adherence to God’s commandments.

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Obedience is better than sacrifice

Obedience is better than sacrifice. A picture of a church where people take part in spiritual rituals. Despite the sanctity of spiritual rituals, people should not forget that obedience to God is more important. Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

It may seem that our religion is important to God. However, religion—in the form of ritual worship—was not God’s original intention. God’s original intention was obedience.

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The voice of the Lord

The voice of the Lord. A picture of mountains. This picture shows a landscape that can be shaken by the powerful voice of the Lord. Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

A declaration about the power of the voice of the Lord.

Keep the Lord’s commandments. He will not fail you.
No one is ashamed who obeys the voice of the Lord.

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Perfect. A picture of 3 neon signs that spell the word perfect 3 times. Perfection is a relationship with Jesus. Photo by Jonathan Hoxmark on Unsplash

I believe a Christian is perfect because of his or her relationship with Jesus Christ (God’s Word). People are perfect if “Jesus Christ lives in them. This habitation gives people assurance of sharing in Jesus Christ’s glory” (Colossians 1:27-28). God judges people not from the outside but from the inside. As Scripture says, “The Lord does not see things the way people see them. People judge by the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). God sees perfection differently. He judges what is perfect by what is in each human.

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Speech pattern

Speech Pattern. This is a picture of the Scramble pieces spelling out "choose your words." This picture reflects the common sentiment of the world. However, we should note that we should choose to mimic God's speech pattern. Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I believe that a Christian must speak only God’s words if they want to be innocent before God (Matthew 12:36). Of course, it might be hard to imagine us saying only God’s words. However, “saying only God’s words” represents a speech pattern. This speech pattern mimics how God or Jesus speaks.

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False prophets

False prophets. This is a long exposure photograph of trees and light that make the peace sign. Today, some assure people that peace is evident. However, such a message ignores soul issues. Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

These trying times can cause anxiety and depression. However, we need to watch out for false prophets, especially in these trying times. The reason we need to be cautious is that false teachers offer false hopes of peace.

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Perfect. A picture of 3 neon signs that spell the word perfect 3 times. Perfection is a relationship with Jesus. Photo by Jonathan Hoxmark on Unsplash

I believe a person is perfect (complete) when that individual “allows perseverance to finish its work, so that he or she may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4). 

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Love of Life

Love of life. A picture of a woman in a field of flowers. The flowers in the photo indicate a kind of life, but there's another life, a spiritual life, that we can look forward to. Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

That “If we have a love of life and want to enjoy it, we should not say evil things or tell lies” (1 Peter 3:10). I believe that people who love life say God’s words because God’s words are eternal life. 

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Guide. An image of a lamp on the ground of a desert at night time. This image represents how the Lord can be a lamp unto us. Photo by Vladimir Fedotov on Unsplash

A petition for God to guide us and show mercy on the wicked.

Lord, you are my guide. How can I see without you?
I grope in the darkness without your hand.
You are a lamp unto my feet (Psalm 119:105).

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God’s Word

God's Word. This is a picture of the Scramble pieces spelling out "choose your words." This picture reflects the common sentiment of the world. However, we should note that we should choose God's Word. Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

That “the person who keeps his or her mouth keeps his or her life: but the person who opens wide the lips shall have destruction” (Proverbs 13:3). I believe God’s Word judges how the tongue reflects God’s Word (Jesus Christ) because God’s Word judges us.

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An image of a woman praying and kneeling in the snow with the sun in the background. This image was used because it represents how a person can pray for a miracle.

A request for God to intervene and use me as a conduit for his miracle-working power.

Lord, Heavenly Father, please take up my cause.
Hear my cry and consider it well.
Is your hand short that you cannot reach me (Numbers 11:23, Isaiah 59:1)?

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The moment of a lie

A closeup picture of a watch or clock. The picture stands for the temporal quality of a lie for the Christian.

“That you are to keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking guile” (Psalm 34:13). I believe the moment of the lie is for the Christian because the harm by a treacherous word is more than just external. Scripture says “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment” (Proverbs 12:18).

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Strange fire

A picture of a fire on the ground. It represents a generic fire but as the discourse states, there is a strange fire from hell and a Godly fire from Heaven.

That “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and setteth fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell” (James 3:6). I believe that the tongue can be set on fire by God or hell from the person who owns the tongue because each person chooses to light a strange fire or Godly fire.

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Spirit over the flesh

A picture of a woman with her hands raised up in victory in a field of sunflowers. Her expression represents how a person might feel when their spirit has overcome the flesh.

I believe that the Christian says and does what his flesh would not want to do because the Christian embraces the spirit. The Christian’s spirit overcomes the desires of the flesh. The Christian manifests the spirit over the flesh. Scripture says, “for the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:17).

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The true embrace

A picture of a heart on a frosted window, probably drawn with a finger when it was cold. The picture represents love and, in this discourse, what a person should truly love.

Christians seek the true embrace. Are we victors in the war? For I confess that “the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him]” (Galatians 3:22).

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At war

A classic painting of a war scene. This painting represents how Christians are at war with their flesh.

What war we’re in! The tongue can be perfect, but it’s at war; it fights its poison and fire constantly. “Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:21-25)!

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Serpent tongue

A picture of a snake coiled up in a black background. This picture represents everyone, in that we should consider us all to have a serpent tongue.

You have a serpent tongue. Today, “no one is righteous,” “there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue” (Romans 3:10; Psalm 5:9). “They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah” (Psalm 140:3). One might ask, Who is “their” or “they?”

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Clean mouth

A picture of a toothbrush with a blurry sink in the background. This picture represents the process of having a clean mouth.

Do we have a clean mouth? All of us are “as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee” (Isaiah 64:6).

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Transformative end

A picture of cocoons or chrysalis and a butterfly hanging from an object. This picture that juxtaposes the cocoon and transformed caterpillar into a butterfly represents how God transforms us.

“There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not” (Ecclesiastes 7:20); this fact is self-evident. But is this outcome inevitable? No. A transformative end is available to all. We are all “shaped in iniquity, and in sin did our mothers conceive us” (Psalm 51:5).

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The true inevitable

A picture of a railroad station showing many railroad tracks. This picture stands for the choices people can make that can lead to either imperfection or perfection.

We cannot make our hearts or tongues clean or purify our tongues or souls from sin (Proverbs 20:9) because “the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it” (Jeremiah 17:9)? Have not all our efforts “come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)?

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A perfect tongue

A picture of a dart board with a dart in the bullseye. This picture stands for how we can have a perfect tongue through Jesus Christ.

Do none have a perfect tongue? We will all offend or sin with our tongues, but if we turn to God and his grace, he will forgive us of our sinful mouths (2 Chronicles 6:36-42). The reason God will forgive us of our sinful mouths is that “if we confess our sins,” that is to agree that we have sinned, “he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). What a wonderful God this is!

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Taming the tongue

A picture of a face of a lion. Humans attempt to tame lions. The tongue is a wild animal like a lion that can't be tamed.

“The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:6) because it’s so quick to tell lies, gossip, slander a brother or sister, judge someone or criticize others. All of us, with the tongue, have sinned.

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© 2020 Joy of the Gospel