The Living Sacrifice


King James Bible Study[Mark 8:34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.]

Date: Saturday, August 06, 2022
Study: The Living Sacrifice

Hello My Friend,

I woke up this morning a little later than usual, in fact, two hours later, but it was nice to get the extra rest that my body needed. I actually felt refreshed and a little lighter, as if this huge amount of weight just lifted off me, and I am not just talking about physically. Do you know that tightness you get on your body when it is inflamed or bloated? You just feel so weighed down and it hurts to move. Well, when your body goes back to normal, it kind of hurts as it has been through some distress, but it is a good hurt because you feel so much better. That is actually a good analogy in how Jesus transforms us, when we first come to Him, we are weighed down with every sin we ever committed, but as soon as we accept Him as our Saviour, that weight comes lifting off. Praise God! Of course, since we belong to Him we can expect to go through some growing pains. Jesus said this, [Matthew 7:13-14  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.]

Jesus, never said that by accepting Him did not come with some growing pains, after all, we should expect them since we are his. And no, strait is not misspelled, and actually does go hand in hand with the word straight, [Strait; Hardship; Distress; a position of difficulty, distress, or need. Straight; True; Consecutive; Solid, Direct; without a bend, angle, or curve]. Well, When I started praying this morning, I always thank God for trusting me and entrusting me with His Word. I decided to see what these two words actually mean as there is a slight difference in them, [Entrust; Commit, Employ, Confide, to commit (something) in trust to; confide, as for care, use, or performance: Trust; Confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.]

Entrust and Trust goes hand in hand just like Strait and Straight do, in fact, they all go hand in hand as we are definitely under some dire straits these days and it takes a lot of faith and a strong heart for Christ to be able to stay faithful to Him as we are facing hardships like never before. In case, we did not realize with all that is going on today, God is a little bit angry. Then again, what we are seeing is nothing new to God, unfortunately He has seen much worse, and it is going to get much worse, [Matthew 24:6-8  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.  8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.]

Today, we are reading through the Book of Zephaniah, which I realize also should have been read a couple of days sooner as this took place when Josiah was king. The Book of Zephaniah contains three chapters, the author of the book is Zephaniah and it was written to Israel and all nations. The timeline for these events took place approximately between 639BC and 609BC. The purpose of the book was to warn all nations of Judgment Day. What we are to learn from the book is that God rather save then destroy, and is mighty to save all who come to Him, [Zephaniah 3:17  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.]

Zephaniah, is the great-grandson of king Hezekiah, which also makes him a son of Josiah. In the days of Josiah, he was contemporary with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and foretells of what Jeremiah and Ezekiel did. Although Zephaniah does not have much to say in the small three chapters within this book it is a powerful message. God, is angry, and has cast judgment upon the entire earth.

[Zephaniah 1:1-6  The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.  2  I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD.  3  I will consume man and beast; I will consume the fowls of the heaven, and the fishes of the sea, and the stumblingblocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from off the land, saith the LORD.  4  I will also stretch out mine hand upon Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims with the priests;  5  And them that worship the host of heaven upon the housetops; and them that worship and that swear by the LORD, and that swear by Malcham;  6  And them that are turned back from the LORD; and those that have not sought the LORD, nor enquired for him.]

[and those that have not sought the LORD,] I have said it before, and still believe this, God has a great amount of grief over every soul that rejects Him, including those whom have never sought Him out. Think about it, every person born is from God, and yet very few acknowledge that and even more acknowledge that yet as the Bible says, goes the way of Cain, [Jude 1:11-13  Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.  12  These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;  13  Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.]

So many people believe that the reason God did not respect Cain’s offering had to do with it not being a blood sacrifice, but I do not think that that was the issue, Cain was proud and wanting God’s blessings on his achievements without giving God the credit for them, and he was not very humble at all when God told him exactly why He did not accept his offering, [Genesis 4:5-7  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.  6  And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?  7  If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.]

We cannot expect God to be okay with everything that is going on, especially among His very own people, not the children of promise or of some covenant, but those whom have proclaimed Him as their God by accepting Christ as their Saviour. He created this earth and everything on it for His most precious creation to have a place to live while they are here, and how do we thank Him? By not only destroying it with these ridiculous concepts to save the planet, and ignoring Him every step of the way. Through Zephaniah, God has declared a day of sacrifice, a day in which He will judge all those who are of the world.

[Zephaniah 1:7-9,12-13,18  Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.  8  And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.  9  In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit. 12  And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees: that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.  13  Therefore their goods shall become a booty, and their houses a desolation: they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.  18  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.]

[Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them] Do you see all those fools buying and telling you to buy silver and gold because the value of the dollar is diminishing? Well, their silver and gold will do nothing for them either. God, is addressing those who think they are hid from God, and that He does not see what they are doing. All of their efforts to save themselves will be a waste, even the juice from the fruit they worked so hard to plant will not be consumable. God, does not have to use man made weapons to rid the earth of all that is evil, and He is very patient and long suffering in that He will still give everyone an opportunity to find His Son before the final judgment comes.

[Zephaniah 2:1-3  Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired;  2  Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you.  3  Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.]

[O nation not desired;] Guess what? We, who accept Christ as our Saviour are not desired by the world, and with good reason. You know, before I truly understood the sacrifice that Jesus made for me (which we will never fully understand) and dedicated my life to Him, I tried so hard to fit in with the world, but they did not accept me. Even before we find Christ, we are not the accepted of those who are in world because we are a rare breed indeed as we do not desire the things they do. Growing up, I worked hard to achieve what I did, and I did it honestly, integrity, and pride. This was not the conceded type of pride, it was the kind of pride that gives you the drive to succeed, which is what we all should have to an extent. It is the conceded type of pride that keeps people from coming to Christ as well as from growing in Christ. And if there is one thing that God despises more it is pride, and He addressed this as we continue reading through Zephaniah.

[Zephaniah 2:8-10,15  I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border.  9  Therefore as I live, saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Surely Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, even the breeding of nettles, and saltpits, and a perpetual desolation: the residue of my people shall spoil them, and the remnant of my people shall possess them.  10  This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts. 15  This is the rejoicing city that dwelt carelessly, that said in her heart, I am, and there is none beside me: how is she become a desolation, a place for beasts to lie down in! every one that passeth by her shall hiss, and wag his hand.]

[I am, and there is none beside me:] Do you see what God is talking about here? If you recall, Moab and Ammon are the incestuous children of Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Lot, actually lived in Sodom before God had literally sent fire down from heaven and destroyed it. The only reason that God had spared Lot was because he had some faith in Him, but his love for the world had always taken place over God, and that was the very reason why He separated him from Abraham, [Genesis 13:10-11  And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar.  11  Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.]

Each and every passing day, we are one day closer to Christ’s return, in a moment, God’s anger will be poured out over the entire world. Why? Because He is a jealous God, and that same fire that He sent down upon Sodom and Gomorrah is the same fire that He will send down to rid the entire earth of all its evil.

[Zephaniah 3:1-2,5,7-8  Woe to her that is filthy and polluted, to the oppressing city!  2  She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the LORD; she drew not near to her God. 5  The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame. 7  I said, Surely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive instruction; so their dwelling should not be cut off, howsoever I punished them: but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.  8  Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.]

[but they rose early, and corrupted all their doings.] God does not want His own to be in the midst of all this, and those who are saved will be hid from all this. Perhaps more dangerous than worshiping false gods is making yourself one. We all think highly of ourselves, that is just part of our nature, but when we place ourselves above God that is when it becomes a problem. The devil did that and has a one way ticket to hell and the lake of fire waiting for him as does anyone else who is too proud to seek the LORD, [Revelation 21:7-8  He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  8  But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.]

So many people believe that Satan is in hell and comes and goes when he pleases, and that is not the case. He is a celestial being, meaning that he was once an angel, in fact, an arch angel, but that title was taken away from him when he decided that he wanted to be God, and God cast him out of heaven, [Isaiah 14:12-15  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!  13  For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:  14  I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.  15  Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.]

Unlike God, Satan cannot be in two places at one time, which is why he sends his minions to afflict us with all his evil. The way things are going right now, Jesus could return any minute to take His people out of here before things get unbearable. Well, God, warns of the day that all the earth is destroyed, but also gives hope to those who call upon Him to save them.

[Zephaniah 3:9-13  For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.  10  From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering.  11  In that day shalt thou not be ashamed for all thy doings, wherein thou hast transgressed against me: for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride, and thou shalt no more be haughty because of my holy mountain.  12  I will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the LORD.  13  The remnant of Israel shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies; neither shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth: for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid.]

[shall bring mine offering.] Jesus gave us His Son as the offering that would save every believer. What exactly is the offering that God wants us to bring Him? Ourselves. And now, He does not want us to die for Him, He wants us to live, [Proverbs 7:2-3  Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.  3  Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.]

Would you as a saved, born again Christian, honestly believe that the very people that written these books were addressing them just to Israel? Well, that would be misinformation, God, is addressing everyone and every nation, there will come a day when all of Christ’s saints will come together to one place, Jerusalem, including Jews that would finally accept the truth. And as I like to ask my church kids every week, “Who won’t be there?” And they all shout, “The devil!” God willingly saves and rejoices over anyone who comes to Him through His Son, He promises that while we may be afflicted from time to time, we will be saved from the worst.

[Zephaniah 3:16-20  In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.  17  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.  18  I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden.  19  Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.  20  At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD.]

[for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth,] What is the name that God gives all who come to Him through His Son? Christian. A true Christian will be greatly honored by God Himself. The one who became the living sacrifice, who while falls several times, gets back and never backs down in their faith, [Romans 12:1-2,11-14  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.  2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 11  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;  12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;  13  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.  14  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.]

Today’s Prayer: God, Thank You for giving us hope and assurance of the glorious day in which all nations will come together as one, speak one language, and worship only You in the kingdom that You are preparing for Your believers. You desire our fellowship, our devotion, and our reliance on You for all our needs as You delight in providing everything we have need of. Thank You for all that You do and allow in my life and in everything that You do. Lead me and guide me in Your will and ways, help me to labor only for the things that give You glory, for I know that as long as I am in You I will be taken care of and even receive much more than I imagine. I love You Lord, and pray this in Your name, Jesus, Amen.

God Bless You, I am praying for you,


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