Don’t be ruled by fear.

Don’t be ruled by fear.

Hello again, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.

We use funds from our tours to help the needy, change lives and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach about the Holy Trinity, Love and Grace because of Jesus Christ and to tell Christians they are free from the Law, sin and death.

At most churches in Thailand the old covenant law is being taught and that Grace is not available to you if you break the law. We are training pastors about the New Repentance as written in the Bible with help from Pastors Nathan and Saia Gonmei at Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai.

On all our All Thailand Experiences Christian teaching blogs I will point to scriptures and explain the meaning on the topic.

Pastors Nathan and Salila Gonmei of Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai Thailand help explain Biblically how not to be ruled by fear in English and Thai languages in the 5 – 16 minute videos in the bible study below.

Today we’re going to talk about how not to be ruled by fear.

Even though Scripture exhorts us with the words “do not fear”, a global pandemic, political tensions, and economic instability have caused an uptick in anxiety and depression. According to the Census Bureau, an unprecedented one-third of Americans now report symptoms of clinical anxiety or depression.

Fear is “an unpleasant, often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger”. Triggered by real or nonexistent situations, fear impacts people both emotionally and physically.

People who live in perpetual fear can develop several unhealthy outcomes. These include mental health struggles, physical health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic migraines, and relational issues.

How is it possible to live beyond fear in a worry-driven world?

What Does ‘Do Not Fear’ Mean in the Bible?

No matter our worries, God already has a plan and He never leaves us to fend for ourselves.

Psalm 34:4, NIV: “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

David tells us in this verse that he sought the Lord and the Lord answered him. Apparently, before David prayed, he experienced fear; probably he feared what his enemies would do to him. In other places, David makes it clear he has no reason to be afraid (Psalm 27:3). Prior experience and knowledge told him God would still be in control. Psalm 27:1 says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” That did not mean David was immune to anxiety, and so he prayed. Graciously, the Lord removed all his fears.

Believers today might fear anything from physical injury or illness, to job insecurity, to difficulties in relationships, to political collapse, to the threat of incoming nuclear missiles, and everything in between. However, faith replaces fear. The apostle Paul did not fear an upcoming trial that might result in execution, but he knew the Lord can remove all anxiety when we pray. He counseled in Philippians 4:6–7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

The prayer of faith and fear are mutually exclusive. While believers are not guaranteed to be taken “out of” harm’s way, God has promised to see us “through” any harm (John 16:33; 17:15; Matthew 6:25–34).

Let the Love of God enter your heart. Knowing for sure that God loves you and that He will not condemn you will drive out fear. When you live in the realm of God’s Love there is no fear. When you grow or mature in the revelation of God’s love that truth will cast out fear from our lives. This is why we must study, meditate, focus on and declare God’s love.

As we mature on the understanding of God’s love for us, fear will no longer rule in our heart or mind..

1 John 4:18,NIV: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

When we are ruled by fear nothing good happens. We become paranoid, our mind and feelings get in the way of our decisions. If we make decisions based on feelings of fear and not on truth we get in the way of the Holy Spirit helping us.

Isaiah 41:10, NIV: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God calls and commands us not to fear. When we let fear take over, we take our eyes off Him and His promises. As we can see above, God gives us five reasons in one passage of Scripture alone. The entire Bible is a love letter about how His love for us will protect us and bring us home. He didn’t say we wouldn’t have trouble. He didn’t say we would face a crisis, a pandemic, or other unexpected news. He said the opposite and then He goes on to tell us not to fear.

It’s one thing to read the words, “fear not,” it’s quite another to put faith into practice over our fears. It’s not always an easy choice, but that’s what fear is — a choice. Instead, we can choose to:

  • Not allow fear and anxiety to steer our lives.
  • Choose to guard your heart.
  • Choose to focus your mind and heart on the Word of God.

The next time fear rises, turn your attention to God’s promises. Turn your spirit to His. Ignite your faith by prayer and reading His Word. Replace every fearful thought with Scripture because God is bigger than our fears. He gives us power and strength when we are at the end of our rope and we feel like we are falling into an ocean of, “what ifs.” Instead of what if, turn those thoughts to “Even if…” Because God has you in the palm of His mighty hands.

It has been said that the comforting words, Fear Not, appear in the bible 366 times, one for each day of the year, plus one for leap year. But no matter how many times these words of encouragement appear, let us always remember that they are spoken by the Creator of the Universe. He is the one Who tells His children not to fear, nor to be discouraged, because He is our God and that should be sufficient. We should simply take Him at His word.

When we experience God’s love in our lives and share it with others, we do not need to fear. The future punishment that awaits those who do not believe does not concern the “abiding” believer. The two-way relationship of God’s love in our lives gives us confidence and security. The ability to live out His love is a sign of our faith in Him, and the way for us to follow His will in order to gain eternal rewards.

Fear is associated with punishment. The believer has been fully forgiven of sins. The one who knows Christ in true fellowship lives for Him and does not need to fear future punishment. The person who experiences fear “has not been perfected in love.” In other words, those who fear punishment don’t have a complete or mature relationship with God. This certainly applies to unbelievers, but can also include believers who are not growing in Christ. It is the growing, maturing believer who can look forward to the future with joy rather than fear.
No matter our worries, God already has a plan and He never leaves us to fend for ourselves.

Psalm 23:4 NIV. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

David could walk through a dark ravine, perhaps even death, fearlessly, because the Lord walked with him. David explains his lack of fear because “you are with me.” It is interesting to observe that the “shadow of death” drew David closer to the Lord. He addresses the Lord as “you,” whereas in the peaceful places he called the Lord “he.”

A shepherd in Bible times carried a rod and a staff to protect his sheep. The ”rodwas a cudgel: a short, thick, heavy stick similar to what modern people might call a “baton” or :mace”. This was worn at the shepherd’s belt. The staff was a long, lightweight pole with a curved end—a crook—that the shepherd used to move, count, and examine the sheep at evening when they returned to the fold.

Both the rod and staff were used as weapons to protect the sheep. David trusted the Lord to protect him, just as a shepherd protected his sheep from any attacking animals. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is with believers at all times (John 10:11, 14). He promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). He is with us when we walk over rough ground as surely as He is with us “beside still waters” (Psalm 23:2). Jesus said, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

David celebrates the protection and guidance of God. Sheep guarded by a skilled shepherd are led to food and water, and protected from harm. In the same way, David praises God for giving him peace. The knowledge of God’s protection and provision are a great comfort. This psalm incorporates themes of supply, defense, assurance, and care from God.

David praises the Lord for delivering him from the Philistines, and he invites others to join him in singing joyfully to the Lord. He extols the virtue of fearing the Lord and remembering His goodness. He encourages the Lord’s people to respect God and offers wisdom leading to a long and blessed life. At the end of this psalm David emphasizes the distinction the Lord draws between the wicked and the righteous. He cares for the righteous and will not condemn them, but He condemns the wicked.

Remember Satan is the author of fear. Jesus was as much against fear as He was against sin. Many times He told people, “Don’t be afraid” (Fear not), Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

There are two things we must remember in relation to “fear”:
1. We should never take a decision based on fear, but always on the basis of faith in God.
2. Fear is Satan’s weapon. So all who try to frighten or threaten others in any way are actually in fellowship with Satan (even if they don’t know it). So we should never use that weapon on anyone (See Ephesians 6:10 and 2 Timothy 1:7).

Luke 10:19, NIV: “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”

Lets look deeper into what Jesus says here.

After Jesus returned from the wilderness where he defeated satan in battle, he quickly gained a reputation for speaking and acting as “one with authority” (Luke 4:36). The centurion whose servant was healed by Jesus caused Jesus to marvel at his faith when he showed that he understood Jesus’ power to heal had to do with his authority over sickness (Matthew 8:5-13). His authority caused demons to scream out when Jesus was present, and then obey his commands. It caused sickness to go away. He demonstrated authority over the weather, and matter (at the feeding of the 5000), and even death submitted to Jesus. Jesus gave authority to the disciples and, by his Holy Spirit, has given the same authority to his Church today.

All the evil in the world, including death, sickness, and demonic oppression is the work of Satan and demons, i.e. “snakes and scorpions.” They bluster and rage in order to terrify the people of the world and sow fear and doubt, but the truth is that the least in the Kingdom of God has authority to “trample on them.”

Jesus left his Church to plunder satan’s kingdom until the return of Christ. If only the Church could grasp this fact, there would be great swaths territory taken from the evil one. But the power of satan in this age rests with his power to lie and deceive the world, even Christians into believing that his power is greater, and we are at his mercy. It is not true. We have the power of God because He has given it to us with his salvation and his Holy Spirit.

While we may face setbacks, the evil one has no real power to harm us. Ultimately, even if we are slain, we will rise again with Christ at the “last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15:52). The worst that can happen on earth is that they may “kill the body” (Matthewt 10:28), but fearing God rightly will give you courage that, ultimately, “nothing will harm you.”

You are no longer a slave to fear, you are a child of God.

Romans 8:15, NIV: The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’

Romans 8:15 describes how God has changed every Christian’s relationship with Him through the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the previous verse, Paul wrote that all who are led by the Spirit of God are His children. Now he gets more specific. Earlier in this letter to the Romans, Paul wrote that through faith in Christ we are freed from slavery to sin and that we become “slaves to righteousness” (Romans 6:18) or “slaves to God” (Romans 6:22). Paul is not backing away from that in this verse. The word used for slaves—“doulos”—describes what was once known as indentured service: when a person swore their allegiance to remain in the service of a specific master.

Here, though, Paul assures us that God does not view us as His slaves or even just good servants. He did not free us from slavery to sin simply to add us to His team. He rescued us from sin to make us His children. That involves the Holy Spirit.

God did not give us the spirit of slavery, by giving us the Holy Spirit. Abused slaves often live in fear of their masters, and that is not the relationship God wants from us. No, Paul insists, God gave us the Spirit of adoption as his children. In other words, God legally changed the status of those who come to Him by faith in Christ to sons and daughters.

This is not a distant or strained parent/child relationship, either. This Spirit of adoption, another name for the Holy Spirit, allows us to cry out to God as little children call out to a loving daddy. The word “Abbais a Greek and English adaptation of the Aramaic word for father. It was often the word used by young children for “papa” or “daddy.” That’s the relationship God wants with us, and He has made it possible through the Spirit.

There is no condemnation for those in Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love. Having believed the gospel, we now live in the Spirit of God. That allows us to call God Abba Father. We suffer with Christ, and we suffer along with all creation while we wait for God to reveal us as His sons and daughters. With the help of the Spirit, we are confident that God is for us and loves us in Christ.

Bible Truths – Biblical Repentance

Repentance in Biblical terms is not what most people think it means. Most think it means only to try to stop sinning and ask God for forgiveness and then feel guilty, sorrowful, regret and condemning ourselves. Not so. Biblical repentance is to believe and accept that Jesus Christ is Lord and savior.

Repentance in Biblical terms is not what most people think it means. Most think it means only to try to stop sinning and ask God for forgiveness and then feel guilty, sorrowful, regret and condemning ourselves. First of all the only one to ever not sin was Jesus Christ. So to stop sinning is impossible without excepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Second, God knew we cannot obey the Law so He sent His Son Jesus Christ to take the punishment for our sins on the cross. Third, He then sent the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to guide us away from sin. Now the only way to biblical repentance is to believe and accept that Jesus Christ is Lord and savior.

Hello, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences and Bible Truths. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.

Bible Truths is a tool to explain in both English and Thai ( in video) Languages the Truth in what is available to the believer in Christ Jesus, The Holy Spirit and God the Father. We will talk about real daily situations we all face that can lead to bondage in our lives and how to escape and enjoy true Freedom.

The video lessons are in English and Thai by Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai Thailand. Pastor Nathan Gonmei will speak a sentence in English then his wife Pastor Salila will say the sentence in Thai. Now this is a spirit filled church. This is the church I belong to today.

Here we will use scripture to show the true meaning of Repentance.

Mark 1:15,NIV: “The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!'”

Mark’s first direct quote of Jesus is the announcement that God’s kingdom has arrived. The gospel message includes a sense of urgency, especially with Jesus live and in-person among those He taught. They are no longer to look forward to a future fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies; Jesus is now on the scene fulfilling God’s words among God’s people (Galatians 4:4). Scholars number hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament about the coming of Israel’s savior. Despite this, the Jews had a very inaccurate idea of what the Kingdom of God was and what the Messiah would do for them. They believed the Messiah would lead them into political independence, civil peace, and personal prosperity. Instead of a military champion, Jesus came as meek as a lamb (John 1:29), not to remove the barrier between the Jews and prosperity, but to remove the barrier between all of humanity and God Himself.

John the Baptist’s message was to repent and believe that salvation was coming. Jesus’ message is to repent and believe in the salvation that is now here. To repent, from the Greek metanoeo, is to change one’s mind and agree that one’s sins are abhorrent. It is not only remorse for sin but also a changed attitude that chooses to live for God. To believe, from the Greek pisteuo, means to be fully convinced. To “believe” and to “repent” go hand in hand. It is impossible to fully believe in Jesus’ message of salvation and not turn away from our sins (1 John 3:4–6). Christians will never be perfect on this earth, but our inclination to live a sinful life changes into a desire to live for God.

Psalm 103:10, NIV: “he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.”

This verse contains a strong admission of Israel’s sin and guilt as well as a tribute to God’s forgiveness. If God punished every sinner as that sinner deserves to be punished, no sinner would be allowed to enter heaven. Even worse, the Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Humanity getting what we deserve would mean every single one of us being separated from God, forever.

The Old Testament prophet Ezra understood that God does not punish us to the extent we deserve. He said, “And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved” (Ezra 9:13). Contrary to punishing us as we deserve, God loved us and gave His Son for us (John 3:16–17).

Jesus took the full punishment for our sins by dying in our place on the cross. Romans 5:6 announces: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:8 says “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Those who accept this are saved (John 3:16–18), but those who reject it are not (John 3:36).

Romans 8:11, NIV: “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

No matter what you are going through in life, you can be confident in the Lord because he has made you sweet and precious promises through his word. As Christians it is important to understand the spiritual truths of God. What he says about you, what he has provided you, how he loves you… so you can understand what is yours by birthright in God’s family through Jesus Christ. Did you know that you are so much more than flesh and blood if the Spirit of God lives inside of you? Your natural existence is secondary to your spiritual existence. Jesus said in John, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life” ( John 6:63 ).The spirit inside of you is life, understanding how this operates will give you the victory that Christ purchased for you.

Paul wrote that Christians are spiritually alive, because of God’s Spirit with us, but that our physical bodies are dying and will die because of sin (Romans 5:12).

Now, though, Paul assures his Christian readers that their physical bodies will be resurrected, as Christ’s was (1 Thessalonians 4:16). More specifically, he says that “if”—which in this context means “since”—God’s Spirit is in you, that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies (1 John 3:2).

Paul is clear: Resurrection is a work of the Holy Spirit of God. That’s one of the things He does. He raised Jesus from the dead, and He will do the same for all who are in Christ when the time comes. This continues the theme from this passage: that those who are saved, in Christ, are absolutely and totally free from any threat of condemnation. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love.

Our mortal bodies are simply a tent in which to house our immortal spirit and eternal soul, and as part of the old creation in Adam, they remain subject to death because of the sin of Adam. But the glorious truth in this verse is that we have hope in Christ – for the same Spirit which raised Him from the dead will also raise us up – spirit, soul, and body. We are a new creation in Christ, such that His death becomes our death and His Resurrection becomes our resurrection – for we are united with Him eternally, and have become one in Spirit with Him.

Jeremiah 29:11, ESV: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

When understood in context, we discover that the words of Jeremiah 29:11 were spoken to people in the midst of hardship and suffering; people who were likely desiring an immediate rescue. But God’s response is not to provide immediate escape from the difficult situation. Rather, God promises that He has a plan to prosper them in the midst of their current situation.

Christians facing difficult situations today can take comfort in Jeremiah 29:11 knowing that it is not a promise to immediately rescue us from hardship or suffering, but rather a promise that God has a plan for our lives and regardless of our current situation, He can work through it to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. Furthermore, Christians can take comfort in knowing that God promises to be there for us in these situations. For in the verses immediately following Jeremiah 29:11, God proclaims through Jeremiah that when you “call on me and come and pray to me… I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 19:12-13).

The Lord desires the best for His children even though we may stray far from Him. His plan for His children is to give us a future and a hope. He knows that only as we sever our reliance on the world’s destructive securities and rest our trust entirely on Christ Jesus our Lord, will we break free from the yoke of this world’s slavery.

Romans 12:2, NIV: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Paul is urging Christians to respond to God’s mercy, His forgiveness of our sin, and His inclusion of us in His family. The appropriate reaction would be offering to Him our entire lives as a form of living, breathing sacrifice.

Next, Paul writes that we must no longer be conformed to the world. The word “world” is often used in the New Testament to refer to the “world system,” or the way that every human being lives by default. John described this worldly way of living as “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life” (1 John 2:16). By instinct, all of us chase those things in pursuit of happiness and meaning.

Paul tells us to abandon the chase for pleasure, possessions, and status—to stop living like everyone else. Instead, he urges us to be transformed from the inside out. Specifically, he writes that we must be changed in how we think, to have our minds renewed so that we can begin to understand God’s will for our lives.

God may continue to provide us with pleasure, possessions, and status in various forms, but he urges us to learn how to look at life with a new question: What does God want for me? What is truly a good, acceptable, and perfect use of my life for His purposes and not just for my own?

”How should we respond to God’s great mercy to us?” The answer is to become living, breathing sacrifices, using our lives up in service to God as an ongoing act of worship. That’s what makes sense. This is not a means to earn salvation, but the natural response we should have to being saved. To do this, we will need to break free from the me-first pattern of the world and have our minds changed in order to be able understand what God wants. Then we will know how to live.

James 2:17, NIV: “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

The teaching of Christianity was revolutionary, and it still is. The emphasis of the gospel is on grace, through faith, and not by the good deeds—works—which we do. Instead of demanding sinless perfection and sacrifice, or some subjective judgment, God was offering forgiveness of sins and an eternal home with Him for all who believe in Christ. That leads to an all-important question: “What does it mean to have a saving belief in Christ?” This is the issue James is tackling in this part of Scripture.

Reading James in context with the rest of the New Testament helps us to answer that question. In this particular case, James is making a crucial point about the gospel: simple mental agreement is not enough. “Knowledge” is not “trust.” Salvation does not come when a person agrees to the facts of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. Accepting Christ is not like agreeing that the city of Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska. Such a “belief” requires no response, no action. In verses 15 and 16, James also pointed out that merely claiming something does not make the claim true. A person who says “I believe,” but does nothing to support such a belief, does not actually believe what they have claimed.

James makes clear that saving faith in Christ is active and transformative. Salvation is about placing our trust in Christ; this necessarily transforms us in such a way that we begin to make new and different choices. Living faith in Christ changes the direction of a person’s life. It always results in the believer beginning to participate in good works. Where there are no works, there is only a dead “words only” faith—the kind James refers to in the first part of verse 14.

It’s important to note here what James is not saying. He is not in any sense claiming that salvation requires good works. He’s not talking about following the law or being perfectly sinless. He’s talking about doing good works that are consistent with loving other Christians and obeying the Father. That’s what those who trust in Christ begin to do.

In other words, we are saved only by faith, and this faith which saves will produce good works. According to James, those who lack works are not saved—not because they lack works, but because their lack of works proves that they lack saving faith.

Romans 6:13, NIV: “Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.”

We have not, however, lost our desire to sin. We still want to sin, at times, even knowing how destructive our sin is. Paul has commanded us not to volunteer to sin, not to let it take control of our bodies. Now he puts an even finer point on his command. We must not present our members, any part of our bodies, for sin to use to do unrighteous things.

Notice something about that command: It insists that we have control over what we do with our own bodies. Christ’s death and the power of God’s spirit gives us that control. Those who are saved can only sin by choosing to do so.

Instead, Paul writes, we must present our bodies to God to be used for righteousness. In fact, we should do it on purpose like people who have been brought from death to life. How do we do that? We start by continually reminding ourselves that we have actually and genuinely been brought from death to life. That is who we are now, and that’s the life we are destined to lead.

Paul has made abundantly clear that those of us in Christ must engage in a kind of battle with ourselves. We have been freed, through our spiritual death and resurrection with Christ, from the power of sin. Our old self has been crucified spiritually in the same way that Christ was crucified spiritually. The result is that sin no longer has any authority over us. We have been set free.

2 Timothy 1:9, NIV: “He has saved us and called us to a holy life–not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”

In this verse, Paul transitions from the idea of suffering for the sake of gospel to the holy life to which Christians are called. Both Paul and Timothy had been saved and were given a calling to serve others in ministry. Salvation is not on the basis of great deeds, but only by the power of God (Ephesians 2:8–9). The same is true of a calling to serve others in ministry: it’s not the result of our own efforts. It is God’s purpose and grace which can be found behind the calling of every person who serves in ministry.

The last phrase in this verse speaks deeply regarding the sovereignty of God. The calling believers have to salvation and ministry has existed since before time began. This amazing truth should humble every believer, including the greatest ministry leaders. We should all recognize that our work is not based on our performance or gifts, but on the divine calling of God.

1 Timothy 1:15, NIV: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.”

Paul continues his testimony, which began in verse 12. Here he uses a phrase unique to the Pastoral Epistles—1 and 2 Timothy and Titus—and used five times by Paul: “the saying is trustworthy.” He will also use the phrase in 1 Timothy 3:1 and 4:9, as well as 2 Timothy 2:11 and Titus 3:8. Each time, the phrase emphasizes a particular point or quote Paul wants Timothy or Titus to remember.

In this verse, the statement to remember is, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” This quote may have become well known within the early churches after Paul wrote this letter. Other scholars see Paul using an existing statement to reinforce his point. As Paul matured in his faith, his writings reflected a man who transitioned from proud, to a new believer, to a mature believer who saw himself in complete need of God’s grace. Like David, Paul saw himself as sinful from his mother’s womb (Psalm 51:5).

Paul proves his spiritual humility. He recognizes that his own sins were severe (Acts 8:1-3, Acts 22:4, Acts 22:19; 26:10–11) and that he can only credit the grace of God for saving him. Paul’s change of life wasn’t due to his own efforts, but was the result of Christ’s miraculous work.

Galatians 1:23, NIV: “They only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.'”

Paul is making the case for why the Judaizers are wrong that he learned about Christ from the apostles. He has shown he wasn’t really even around the apostles for the first several years of his ministry.

In fact, he was gone from Jerusalem and Judea for so long that the Christians in that region only knew him by his two wildly different reputations: Paul—then called Saul—was originally a Pharisee who vehemently persecuted and tried to destroy the church back when he was in Jerusalem. Those who knew of his exploits would have been shocked to hear that the same man was reported to be out in Syria and Cilicia preaching that people could be saved by God’s grace through faith in Christ!

In fact, Paul learned about the gospel of God’s grace through Jesus from Jesus Himself. He was, truthfully, an apostle, and he wanted his Galatian readers to know they could trust his message about Jesus.

Galatians 1:24, NIV: “And they praised God because of me.”

Paul has just described how he had been known by the Christians in Jerusalem and Judea more by reputation than in person. The church in that region heard the stories of his radical transformation. Back when he was a Pharisee in Jerusalem, he had led the effort to destroy the church of God by chasing down and arresting Christians and even advocating for their execution. Every believer who knew of Paul—then called Saul—likely feared him for that reason.

Then suddenly, this persecutor was gone from the scene. As Paul has described, after God revealed to him the Son (Acts 9:1–22), and had commissioned him to preach to the Gentiles, Paul had gone off by himself for three years and then off to Syria and Cilicia to preach the gospel. Eventually, the Judean Christians heard about this Paul, as well. He now told people how to have their sins forgiven by God’s grace through faith in Christ.

How did the Christians in and around Jerusalem respond to the reported change? Paul reports that they praised or glorified God because of him. As his letters often express, bringing praise and glory to God is one of the ultimate goals of his life.

Paul is telling us through his testimony that anyone who repents can enjoy a rich life changing experiences because of the blood of Jesus Christ. Your sins are washed away forever if you just receive Him in your heart and believe. Then through His Grace you will enjoy a rich rewarding experiences now and forever.

Created by Randy Gaudet with contribution from Abundant Grace Church, Chiang Mai Thailand

All Thailand Experiences, What is Grace?

What is the Grace of God?

Grace is the love of God shown to the unlovely; the peace of God given to the restless; the unmerited favor of God. “Grace” is the most important concept in the Bible, Christianity, and the world. It is most clearly expressed in the promises of God revealed in Scripture and embodied in Jesus Christ.

Grace transforms our desires, motivations, and behavior, in fact, God’s grace grounds and empowers everything in the Christian life.

Hello again, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.

We use funds from our tours to help the needy, change lives and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach about the Holy Trinity, Love and Grace because of Jesus Christ and to tell Christians they are free from the Law, sin and death.

At most churches in Thailand the old covenant law is being taught and that Grace is not available to you if you break the law. We are training pastors about the New Repentance as written in the Bible with help from Pastors Nathan and Salila Gonmei at Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai.

On all our All Thailand Experiences Christian teaching blogs I will point to scriptures and explain the meaning on the topic. As our mission is to reach Thai people we will then watch or listen to Pastors Nathan and Solila give a sermon on the topic in English and Thai Languages.

Today we’re going to talk about What is the Grace of God?

The gospel of the grace of God is the message everyone needs. The word of grace is proclaimed from every page of the Bible and ultimately revealed in Jesus Christ. The last verse of the Bible summarizes the message from Genesis to Revelation: “The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all” (Revelation 22:21).

2 Peter 3:18, NIV: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him  be glory both now and forever! Amen.”

Verse 18 in the conclusion of Peter’s letter is an encouragement to keep growing in Christ. Specifically, Peter urges his readers to grow in two areas: The grace of Jesus, and their knowledge of Him.

To grow in grace does not mean to get more and more of God’s grace, necessarily. Grace, by definition, is unearned, unworked for. By His grace, God has forgiven our sins and given us full rights as His children in Christ. We can’t get more of that. But living under the grace of Jesus provides us a huge opportunity to grow spiritually stronger and deeper. Peter wrote in chapter 1 that we are not missing anything we need to lead the life God calls us to. Now it’s time to do it.

One way we grow under the grace of God is to grow in our knowledge of Christ. This implies two ideas. One of these is knowing more and more about Christ in our minds: information. The other is getting to know Jesus better and better in our relationship with Him. Both contribute to making us more productive servants (1 Peter 1:8).

Peter describes Jesus as both our Lord and our Savior. To really know Him, we must continue to grow in our understanding of what it means to live in relationship to Jesus as Lord and as Savior.

And we, like Peter, will reach a single conclusion: Jesus is the one who is due glory both in this moment and forever.

  1. Salvation (saving Grace)

Ephesians 2:8, NIV: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–.” Verse 9, “not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Those who are saved by Christ do not deserve this salvation. It is only by mercy, and by grace, that God chooses to forgive. In this section, Paul will repeat the claim that human effort has no impact on salvation whatsoever. No Christian can brag about their ”goodness,” since we are saved entirely by the grace of God, not by our own good deeds.

Paul repeatedly emphasizes that salvation is accomplished on the basis of grace, through faith. Good works, human effort, and our best intentions will never be enough to earn salvation. Every person is marked with sin, both deliberate and accidental, and for this reason we deserve to be separated from God. Only through His mercy and grace can we be saved, leaving no room for bragging. This also means that all who are saved, Jew and Gentile alike, are part of the same spiritual family. There is no cause for hostility between believers; we are all unworthy, and all saved by the same kindness of God.

Paul ended the previous verse with the teaching that salvation is a gift of God. Here, he continues with yet another reminder that works do not and cannot save us. Good deeds are important in the lives of believers, but they do not provide salvation. It has been said we work as a result of our salvation, not to provide our salvation. Paul’s Jewish upbringing had emphasized devout adherence to the law as the means to please God. He was faithful to his religion, yet did not know God. His salvation came when God revealed Himself to Paul by grace and Paul believed and was saved (Acts 9).

One reason for Paul’s frequent reminder about the futility of works is noted here, as well. If salvation could be earned, those who earned it would brag about their success in obtaining it. Paul certainly had experience with those who felt that their deeds had earned them a special favor with God (Philippians 3:2–11). The truth is, only He can provide salvation, He alone is worthy of all glory and honor. We exist as His servants, completely dependent upon Him for life and salvation.

Grace works in different ways to accomplish different things in our lives. The quality of  good fruit in your Christian life depends on how well you understand and walk in the Grace of God. You cannot experience His greatness and power in our lives without studying the Grace of God in scripture and excepting the truth about the Grace of Christ. Without Grace it is impossible to live the life God has planned for us.

  • Sanctifying Grace.

Sanctifying grace is God’s power and ability to purify us through Jesus Christ and live a holy, fruitful and abundantly blessed life in a corrupt world.

Titus 2:11, NIV: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.”

This verse turns the focus of Paul’s letter from the Christians of Crete to a discussion of the grace of God. The mention of the appearance of grace is a reference to Jesus Christ and His appearance on earth (John 1:14). The grace Jesus brought was responsible for “bringing salvation for all people.” In the past, talk of salvation was primarily focused on the Jews, as God’s chosen people. However, with the coming of Jesus, the message of salvation was spreading to both Jews and Gentiles. This concept is especially important in this letter, since Titus was a Gentile and led churches on Crete, a Gentile territory.

Paul develops this theme of human unity elsewhere in his writings. He wrote that being Jewish or Gentile, free or slave, male or female was irrelevant: all are equal in Jesus (Galatians 3:28). In Colossians 3:11, Paul says again that race and ethnicity are meaningless, in terms of our relationship to Christ.

Titus 2:12, NIV: “It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”

 Two main areas are presented here in verse 12. First, God’s grace is involved in teaching us to turn away from worldly, unrestrained, godless behaviors. The Greek of this verse uses two words with similar meanings. One is translated as “ungodliness,” or “godlessness,” the other as “worldly passions,” or “worldly lusts.” Ungodliness is simply anything which contradicts God’s will or His nature. God’s grace helps believers in Christ to reject ungodly living. In addition, it helps us reject sinful desires. God’s grace trains us, or teaches us, to avoid behaviors that are sinful.

The second major point made in verse 12 involves living with self-control, morality, and godliness. “Self-control” is an idea frequently mentioned in Paul’s letter to Titus (Titus 1:8; Titus 2:2–6; Titus 2:12). It emphasizes the importance of a disciplined life. This attitude was in sharp contrast to the lazy, self-focused lifestyle of many people in Crete (Titus 1:12–13). The Greek dikaios is translated as “righteously,” or “upright,” and literally means “proper,” or “right.” “Godly” is the polar opposite of “ungodliness,” mentioned earlier in the verse. This is from the Greek eusebos, meaning “virtuously,” or “piously.”

God’s Grace empowers us to have the ability to turn away from the sinful and lustful ways of the world and live right and proper. This power is a free gift from God. You don’t have to earn it or work for it, just believe it was given to you freely by the blood of Christ on the cross.

The more you study the Word the more Grace empowers you. The things of the world you enjoyed doing in the past that ruined your life and stole your joy will be interesting to you no more. You will start to enjoy the abundant life full of Grace with peace and joy restored and you will thank God for His Sanctifying Grace every day.

Romans 5:20, NIV: “The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,”

We have peace with God, and we stand in His grace. We rejoice both in the hope of God’s glory and in our temporary suffering. We have hope that will not disappoint, because God has already proved His love for us. Paul then compares the work of Adam in bringing sin and death into the world with the work of Christ in dying for sin in order to offer God’s free gift of grace to all who believe. Jesus, hung on a tree—a phrase implying crucifixion—paid for our sin, making it possible for all who believe to reign with Him in eternal life.

The work of Jesus Christ on the cross released Grace into our lives so growing in (studying) Grace is growing in (studying) Jesus Christ. We must understand Grace as it is written in the scriptures and not taught by man. Our growth in Christian life depends on our knowledge of the Grace of God. No matter what anyone tells you it is impossible to experience the abundant Christian life without the knowledge of Grace.

  • Strengthening Grace (living victoriously).

Strengthening Grace is God’s power and ability to help us live victoriously when dealing with challenges and circumstances of life. Grace strengthens us so we can live in victory over the powers of the devil. When we are born again we are not immune from challenges and circumstances. Thank God we have His power to strengthen us.

Romans 5:17, NIV: “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!”

Paul now writes, those who receive the abundance of God’s grace and the free gift of righteousness will themselves reign in life (now) through Jesus. In other words, receiving God’s justification by placing our faith in Christ not only frees us from the kingdom of death, it allows us to rule in the kingdom of life alongside Jesus, as the very children of God. Some translations add the word “will” before reign, since the Greek word here—basileusousin—is in the future tense. This verse very likely points to a future time when Christ’s kingdom will be fully established on earth, although our status as His co-heirs is already established (Romans 8:17).

It’s essential to notice, however, that Paul has added a qualifier in this verse: This freedom from death and life in Christ is available only through Jesus and only to those who “receive” the abundance of God’s grace. Not everyone escapes death’s reign, because not everyone receives, by faith, God’s gift of life (John 1:12).

Those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through Jesus Christ!

When you are born again you reign in life, you reign over sin and destructive addictions. You reign over sickness and disease. You reign over poverty and lack. In other words, you reign over anything that holds you back from experiencing the abundant life that Jesus died to give you!

The Lord’s desire is for you to reign in life. The more you receive the revelation of the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, the more you will experience His abundant provision for every area of your life. Now, we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of Christ (see Rom. 10:17, NASB), so keep on hearing the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness preached. The more you hear, the more you will receive.

Most Christians are sincere however they are not experiencing true power of abundant Christian living or life because their understanding of grace is missing. The true Christian life is impossible without the knowledge of Grace.

  • Sharing Grace.

Sharing grace is God’s power and ability to meet all our needs and then we have joy giving to others. This also opens our heart to others in need. This grace is more than sufficient in all things by the grace of God, overflowing with abundance so we can share God’s blessing with others.

This is a supernatural gift of God as most people are hoarders, keeping everything for themselves and selfish as that is part of the sin nature. By our own strength we cannot be generous. Through grace God gives us the spirit to give when needed.

2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Why would someone be hesitant to give to meet the needs of others? One reasonable concern might be fear that we won’t have enough left over to meet our own needs. In this way, giving for Christians becomes an act of faith, trusting God to meet our needs while becoming the method by which He meets the needs of others.

Christians can afford to trust the God who loves us. He has already proven Himself faithful by giving us His grace through our faith in Jesus. He has given us all things forever in Christ. That knowledge should help Christians to be convinced He can be counted on to continue to make all grace abound to us. He will make it so we have more than “enough” of all things at all times so we can accomplish the good works He wants to see from us.

Christians who give generously are convinced that the source of their provision will not run out—because that source is God Himself.

Paul’s explanation of benefits and opportunities tied to generous giving. The key point is that godly giving is a Christ-like act of grace. God does not intend giving to be done as an obligation, or under a cloud of legalism. Rather, it should be inspired and driven by a willing and cheerful heart. Giving is an opportunity for believers to participate with God in meeting the needs of the poor. God increases the ability of believers who give generously to give even more. This results in increasing His righteousness on earth, as well as in causing thankfulness to Him to overflow. He will be glorified by those who receive the gift and pray for those who give. God will always provide enough to supply all we need to do what God has designed for us to do.

The more we study selfishness, the more clear it is that this quality is actually a sin. With selfishness comes a sense of entitlement. And we who are born depraved sinners are entitled to nothing except for the wrath of God. All we have and are is because of God’s mercy and grace.

Striving for your own self instead of the needs of others is very wicked in the eyes of God. It is the breeding ground for all sorts of other sins. At the heart of selfishness is an absence of agape love for others. It doesn’t take any sort of self control to be selfish. Rather, we as Christians live lives that are to be in complete control of the spirit.

In 2 Corinthians we learn that Christ died for us, so that we might no longer be bound by a life of complete selfishness. After we are saved, we need to grow in sanctification. This is the process by which we are made more like Christ. We learn to be more loving, kind, brotherly, sympathetic and humble.

I encourage you to pray for humility and the love for others. Remain in the heart and mind of God (The Bible). This will help you to have His heart and mind. I encourage you to preach the gospel to yourself. Remembering the great love of God changes our heart and helps us to love others more. Be intentional and creative and find different ways to give and love others

God empowers us by His grace to be saved, to become righteous in Christ, to live Godly lives, to live victoriously, to have abundance and be generous to others. When we understand and cooperate with His grace we experience an abundant life most Christians don’t know and never experience.

Your life should be exciting, full of God’s power and blessing. If not, you do not know the true meaning of grace. You do not have the revelation of living by the grace of God. If you try to live the Christian life in your own strength you will be disappointed. Trying to live the Christian life without grace is like driving your car without gasoline. Because of this there are many Christians who do not understand grace have given up on God.

  • Serving Grace

Serving grace is God’s power and ability to serve Him and others with His divine gifts freely given to us.

1 Peter 4:10, NIV: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

Christians should not excessively invest ourselves in a world that is passing away. Believers should not divert ourselves with whatever pleasures we can find to indulge in. Instead, we should manage our minds for effective praying and love each other deeply, including sharing our homes and food with Christians in need.

Now in this verse, Peter says we should take a very different view from others in the world about anything we might call “ours.” First, he implies that we must see whatever we have as a gift from God. After all, we have nothing which God has not given to us (James 1:17). Second, we should see whatever we have been given as an opportunity to serve other Christians. In other words, we should not view anything which is “ours” as off-limits for use in serving other believers.

A steward is one entrusted to manage the property of another. Every good thing we have is ours only by God’s grace and intended to be used for His purpose. To fail to use God’s gifts to us to serve each other is to fail to be a good steward. Wisely using everything we have to serve each other is part of fulfilling our purpose as God’s set-apart people.

The Bible gives some serious warnings about living in the last days. As the time for Christ’s return for His church draws ever closer we are warned to be clear-minded and self-controlled. We are exhorted to be sober in deed and watchful in prayer. We are to have fervent love for one another knowing that love covers a multitude of sins and we are to extend gracious hospitality to all those with whom we come in contact – and to do it without complaining.

One further admonition is to be diligent in the correct and wise use of our spiritual gifts. We are called to faithfully administer our own particular gifts of the Spirit – for each gift is a holy stewardship which Christians receive from the Lord.. for the building up of the saints and to the glory of God.

Christians are given spiritual gifts to fulfill a special function within the body of Christ. Each member receives at least one spiritual gift and Peter calls us to be good stewards of all we receive from the Lord. Our gifts differ according to the grace God gives to each of us, and we are instructed to exercise them in accordance with the proportion of faith we have received.

But we are called to test the spirits to see if they are of God and the spiritual gifts we receive from the Lord must be used correctly and administered according to Biblical principles, for we can dishonor the Lord and discredit our testimony if they are are administered selfishly, incorrectly or inappropriately.

The inflow of our spiritual gifts from God should result in a beneficial outflow of His grace to others. Gifts are not for our own selfish gratification but for the edification of the body of Christ. The grace that pours into our lives should become a channel of God’s blessing, which in turn is willingly poured out in service to others… for His greater glory and praise.

All Thailand Experiences, Learn to Receive from God

Learn to Receive from God

Hello again, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.

We use funds from our tours to help the needy, change lives and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach about the Holy Trinity, Love and Grace because of Jesus Christ and to tell Christians they are free from the Law, sin and death.

At most churches in Thailand the old covenant law is being taught and that Grace is not available to you if you break the law. We are training pastors about the New Repentance as written in the Bible with help from Pastors Nathan and Saia Gonmei at Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai.

On all our All Thailand Experiences Christian teaching blogs I will point to scriptures and explain the meaning on the topic. As our mission is to reach Thai people we will then watch or listen to Pastors Nathan and Solila give a sermon on the topic in English and Thai Languages.

  • Receiving from God delights God’s heart.

Luke 10:38, NIV: “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.” 39  “She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” 40 “But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!'” 41 “Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things,” 42 “but few things are needed–or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'”

When Jesus comes to Bethany, Martha demonstrates hospitality by welcoming Jesus into the home she shares with her sister Mary. She then busies herself with the tasks of serving their guest (diakonian). Although we are not told precisely what those tasks are, a good guess is that she began preparing a meal.

Meanwhile her sister Mary sits at Jesus’ feet, listening to his words. Rather than assuming the role expected of women in her culture, she takes her place at the feet of Jesus. She assumes the posture of a student learning at the feet of a rabbi, a role traditionally reserved for men.

Many who read or hear this story may cheer for Mary in her inversion of traditional roles. Many may also empathize with Martha’s resentment of her sister for leaving her to do all the work. Jesus’ response to Martha seems less than empathetic, chiding her for her distraction and worry, and praising Mary.

The problem with Martha is not that she is busy serving and providing hospitality. Certainly Jesus commends this kind of service to the neighbor many times, notably in the parable of the Good Samaritan that immediately precedes the story of Mary and Martha. The problem with Martha is not her serving, but rather that she is worried and distracted. The word translated “distracted” in verse 40, periespato, has the connotation of being pulled or dragged in different directions.

Martha’s distraction and worry leave no room for the most important aspect of hospitality — gracious attention to the guest. In fact, she breaks all the rules of hospitality by trying to embarrass her sister in front of her guest, and by asking her guest to intervene in a family dispute. She even goes so far as to accuse Jesus of not caring about her (Lord, do you not care…?).

Martha’s worry and distraction prevent her from being truly present with Jesus, and cause her to drive a wedge between her sister and herself, and between Jesus and herself. She has missed out on the “one thing needed” for true hospitality. There is no greater hospitality than listening to your guest. How much more so when the guest is Jesus! So Jesus says that Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.

Jesus’ words to Martha may be seen as an invitation rather than a rebuke. The one thing needed is for Martha to receive the gracious presence of Jesus, to listen to his words, to know that she is valued not for what she does or how well she does it, but for who she is as a child of God.

Luke’s story is left suspended. We do not know what happened next — whether Mary and Martha were reconciled, whether they were all able to enjoy the meal that Martha had prepared, whether Martha was finally able to sit and give her full attention to Jesus.

We do know that Jesus invites all of us who are worried and distracted by many things to sit and rest in his presence, to hear his words of grace and truth, to know that we are loved and valued as children of God, to be renewed in faith and strengthened for service. There is need of only one thing: attention to our guest. As it turns out, our guest is also our host, with abundant gifts to give.

Faith pleases God and the main function of faith is receiving from God.

Ephesians 2:8, NIV: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–“

Paul returns again to his theme of grace in this classic verse. Salvation’s source is grace; the means of salvation is faith. We believe by faith to be saved (Romans 10:9), but would never choose to believe apart from the grace of God operating in our lives. That salvation would never be available, other than as a result of the grace of God. Both parts are important in the discussion of salvation.

Immediately following this declaration, Paul repeats and clarifies it. Paul does not want anyone to think salvation is based on something they had done, or could ever do. No action is good enough to provide our own salvation. No good deeds can undo the sins we have committed. Salvation is a gift. Further, it is a gift only God can provide. No matter how much we desire to give salvation to another person, we cannot. Only God can offer the gift of eternal life. Instead, we are called to proclaim the gospel, live it, share it, pray for the salvation of others, and help people grow in the grace of God. The Lord must be the one to provide salvation and does so as He chooses

Ephesians 2:9, NIV: “not by works, so that no one can boast.

Paul ended the previous verse with the teaching that salvation is a gift of God. Here, he continues with yet another reminder that works do not and cannot save us. Good deeds are important in the lives of believers, but they do not provide salvation. It has been said we work as a result of our salvation, not to provide our salvation. Paul’s Jewish upbringing had emphasized devout adherence to the law as the means to please God. He was faithful to his religion, yet did not know God. His salvation came when God revealed Himself to Paul by grace and Paul believed and was saved (Acts 9).

One reason for Paul’s frequent reminder about the futility of works is noted here, as well. If salvation could be earned, those who earned it would brag about their success in obtaining it. Paul certainly had experience with those who felt that their deeds had earned them a special favor with God (Philippians 3:2–11). The truth is, only He can provide salvation, He alone is worthy of all glory and honor. We exist as His servants, completely dependent upon Him for life and salvation.

Romans 3:22, NIV: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,”

Paul has thoroughly and completely eliminated the possibility that anyone can be made right with God by following the law. Simply put, absolutely nobody seeks God sufficiently to earn the label “righteous” (Romans 3:10). That means all people, Jew and Gentile, deserve the wrath of God for sin. Having said that, and making it clear that no person has any hope of heaven by their own efforts, Paul has suddenly thrown open the door to another way to be made righteous. To be made righteous before God is the only way to be saved from God’s wrath.

Paul sums up very clearly that the righteousness of God is available to humans through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. How is this possible? Paul will go on to show that only Jesus ever kept the law perfectly. He then died for the sins of all of us lawbreakers. When we place our faith in Jesus, God gives us credit for His righteousness and receives Jesus’ payment of His own death for our sin.

The verse ends with the beginning of a new thought: “There is no distinction.” Paul means that there is no difference between any groups of human beings. He will say in the next verse that all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. This includes every kind of people group: Jews, Gentiles, men, women, the oppressed, the oppressors, those who do good works and those who do not. Everyone sins, and none of us earn God’s glory.

2. Receiving from God should be our first priority in life.

The truth is we receive from God first then all the good fruit flows from us.

2 Peter 1:3, NIV: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

Notice God gives us everything for life and godliness. The first thing Christians must relies is that God gave us all things. We didn’t have to earn it just believe, have faith and receive it. So the foundation of the Christian life is to receive from God first. Then we can enjoy the abundant life God wants us to live.

Some Christians struggle with sin, spiritual weakness, and apathy. Are such people missing something? Have they been left unequipped by God? What have we not been given in order to lead the life God calls us to? Peter’s answer is simple: We’re not missing anything. We are fully equipped. But we have a choice about whether or not we’ll really use those spiritual tools. This requires effort on our part.

How are we equipped? It didn’t happen naturally. We weren’t born with it. We didn’t earn it through hard work or good behavior. For those in Christ, God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. Like salvation, all of this was ours when we came to know God (through faith in Christ). As Peter will make clear, knowing God, the source of all life, is the only path to being fully equipped to live as God calls us to do.

And how does He call us? By His own glory and goodness, meaning “moral excellence.” Jesus sets the standard for what is good and glorious, calls for us to follow, and fully equips us to make the journey.

  • Prevents Christian Burnout.

To enjoy a somewhat normal life in this world we must develop give and take relationships however in the spiritual world God is almighty, self sufficient and generous. We must learn to accept and receive all God’s blessing first then give thanks with praise to Him. Receiving from God will not be random but at the perfect time and place being fruitful in the right things.

Christian burnout happens when believers try again and again to please God so they can receive blessings from Him. They are believing if they only pray more or if I fast longer or give more money I will receive greater reward from God. We must understand that God wants us to receive from Him first then praise and glorify Him by sharing the good fruit He has blessed us with.

Isaiah 40:29, NIV: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”

He gives power (ability) to the faint and weary. Many of us have a hard time admitting we are faint or weary. We believe we are compromising our faith if we admit to being weary. However, if we do not accept the fact that we cannot wait effectively in our own strength we can never receive his strength. I am not talking about a “negative confession.” I am talking about letting go of one thing so we can take hold of another.

I am reminded of people I have seen who try to carry too many things at once. They think they can handle the load so they do not ask for help. If help is offered they say, “That’s OK I’ve got it.” The next thing that usually happens is that whatever they were carrying clatters to the floor. If we refuse to admit we need help, we cannot take hold of what is offered. This is not faith it is foolishness.

Paul was a man who faced major pressures and difficulties in life. There is no doubt that these pressures involved times of waiting. When he went to the Lord about the burdens he had to carry, God answered him this way.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV) And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Isaiah 40:30 “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;”

This isn’t about showing God how strong we are and asking him to give us a bit more. No, here we admit that we don’t have the strength we need. We acknowledge that we need the strength only he can give. And we wait for him, which is more than just passing time. In Hebrew, this word carries with it a sense of hopeful expectation. In the midst of hardship, we look to him as the one who works all things together for our good.

As Christians, we look to Jesus, who came to us and said: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He carried the burden of our sin and judgment upon himself on the cross. He rose again and sent his Spirit to empower us and strengthen us in all our weakness. And we now look to him and wait for him to work—ultimately looking to the day when Jesus returns to set all things right and make all things new.

Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

This promises a supernaturally renewed strength—a strength that would compare to mounting up as an eagle or running without fatigue. But what does this mean and how do we receive it? The context of this verse helps us.

The Israelites who first received this promise were worn out from their hardship. They had lived in exile in Babylon for several decades. Their perspective was darkened by despairing thoughts. They thought God either couldn’t help or didn’t care. Isaiah uses a pair of words—faint and weary—three times in the span of a few verses here. They were exhausted and burdened from the circumstances of life. They weren’t just weak in body, but weak in spirit. How could they endure the hard circumstances of life any longer?

      4.  Receiving from God keeps us humble.

As God teaches us in scripture to be a cheerful giver He also teaches us that He is the giver of everything through Grace in Christ Jesus and the Holy spirit. All we believers need to do is have faith, believe and receive. This is the foundation of the Christian life. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. God expects us to receive everything from Him.

1 Peter 5:6, NIV: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

All of us long to be glorified. We long to know that we are significant, and to have others know it, as well. That desire is not necessarily wrong. All natural human desires have some legitimate, God-honoring purpose, and a means to express it properly. In this case, we are made in God’s image, and He has built into us the desire to be exalted. The key to a biblical, Christian view of glory is paying close attention to what God says about seeking it. The Bible teaches us to quit struggling so hard to make it happen, and trust God to exalt us at the right time and place as He sees fit. He’s a good Father who loves us; let Him be in charge of bringing us glory.

As used in Scripture, “humility” does not mean weakness or self-hatred. It means a proper appreciation of how we are, in relationship to God. It means strength under control. As C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

Peter reminds us that we are not humbling ourselves under the hand of our human authorities, including the elders in the church. No, we are willingly humbling ourselves under the hand of God. When the proper time comes, He will exalt us either here, or in the life to come, or both, to some extent. Our willingness to serve, to make ourselves nothing, isn’t a declaration that we are, in fact, insignificant. Our humility in service is a declaration that our mighty God can be trusted to give us all the glory and recognition that we long for when time is right.

Proverbs 3:34, NIV: “He mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.”

The application of wisdom in Proverbs 3 shows the benefits of trusting in the Lord with one’s whole heart. Solomon credits obedience to and trust in God for longevity, success, guidance, health, reward that exceeds monetary wealth, enjoyment, peace, security, confidence, excellent human relationships, the Lord’s blessing and favor, and honor. As with all ”proverbs,” biblical or otherwise, their purpose is to impart general wisdom, not absolute prophecy. Like the original audience, modern readers are not expected to see these guidelines as absolute guarantees for any one person.

Even a self-labeled “religious” or “Christian” person can scorn God’s grace and mercy by proudly relying on his own righteousness. This is illustrated in Jesus’ story about two men who entered the temple to pray (Luke 18:9–14). One man, a proud Pharisee, recited his religious deeds and compared himself favorably to other men, including the tax collector. But the tax collector’s humility found favor in God’ sight. The tax collector stood far off, would not raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his beast and prayed humbly, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Jesus said the publican went home justified rather than the proud Pharisee. He concluded the story by saying, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14)

James 4:6, NIV: “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'”

So far in chapter 4, James has delivered a devastating diagnosis and a dire warning to his Christians readers. He has scolded them for living according to the wisdom of the world. They have been driven by envy, and the ambition to succeed at any cost. They have even been fighting with each other to get what they want.

To some extent, it feels normal to us to live that way. This is the world system we are born into, after all. But James warned believers that they are committing adultery against God by living this way! God takes this unfaithfulness personally. In fact, according to the most common translation of the previous verse, God was jealous for the Holy Spirit He had placed in them. To cheat on God by living according to the world’s system of self-reliance, refusing to let go of getting what we want, puts us in the category of God’s enemies.

Now James offers reassurance. Even if we have been living this way, we have not outrun the grace of God. This grace is given to all who trust in Christ. Our sin is serious, devastating, and wicked, but God gives more grace. He forgives our sinfulness in Christ and continues to give us the good we have not earned.

James quotes Proverbs 3:34. This relates a simple, but powerful idea: God opposes the proud. Our refusal to trust God to provide what we need, what He wants for us, and our insistence on getting what we want for ourselves is an act of pride. We are attempting to be the God of our own lives. God will lovingly, jealously oppose us when we do so—but He will not reject us in Christ.

Instead, He calls us to humble ourselves and receive more grace from Him. He calls us to repent of the sin of self-reliance and demanding what we want and yield to Him, receiving with gratitude all the good He chooses to gives us and all the seeming good He chooses to withhold.

God is calling us back to the peaceful, faithful path of trusting Him.

  • Receiving from God honors the work of Jesus.

By receiving from God we please Him, experience the true Christian life and Glorify Him at the same time. Doing and living in your own strength might produce success for the short term however without God’s blessing and Grace you will surely fail.  You see God has a plan for all of us and Jesus explains in the Martha and Mary storey (Luke 10:38-42) that timing is important. Without God’s timing we will live in a life of frustration, worry and fruitlessness as we try to do thing our own way instead of His.

1 Corinthians 1:30, NIV: “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”

Paul has written in the previous verses that, as we stand before God on judgment day, all the important and high-status people in this life who rejected faith in Christ as weak and foolish will become “nothings.” They will stop boasting about their wisdom and strength once and for all. They’ll be confronted with the reality that their rejection of Him was based in pride and arrogance, not facts or reason (James 2:19; Romans 1:18–23).

Those who God chooses to believe in Christ will also not boast. We will understand our faith, our place in Christ Jesus, to be a gift from God.

We will know that it is Christ who is the wisdom of God in human form. He is the one who made it possible for us to be declared righteous by God because we are in Christ and He is righteous. Christ is the reason we have been sanctified, meaning that God has set us apart as His own special possession (1 Corinthians 1:2). It is with Christ’s death for our sins that God has redeemed us, purchased us out of our slavery to sin, and welcomed us into His family as sons and daughters.

1 Corinthians 1:31, NIV: “Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.'”

Paul quotes from Jeremiah 9:23–24 that all boasting should be in the Lord only and not in ourselves and our wisdom and our strength. In the previous verse, Paul showed that everything that makes Christians “something” before God comes to us only in and through and because of what Christ has done for us. Our human wisdom and strength gains for us nothing of any lasting value. Knowledge is good and commendable (2 Timothy 2:15), but it cannot save us (James 2:19).

In the Lord, though, we have everything that matters, and we have it forever. Paul encourages us to boast about our high standing in God’s eyes because of what Christ has done. He encourages us to boast about God’s wisdom and strength and our place with Him because of His grace.

He has shown that those who have rejected faith in Christ because it seems foolish and weak will find humility on the day they stand before God. Nobody will boast of their own position or accomplishments or wealth before Him (1 Corinthians 1:29).

All Thailand Experiences, Needs of the Soul

Needs of the Soul

The quality of life depends on the condition of the Soul.

Mental problems are the biggest problem in our society today. Since the Soul is the source of our feelings, thoughts and emotions we must have a healthy soul for good mental health.

Hello again, I’m Randy Gaudet, founder and director of All Thailand Experiences. Those who have read my profile know how I first came to Thailand and my association with missions and churches since 1989.

We use funds from our tours to help the needy, change lives and spread the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We teach about the Holy Trinity, Love and Grace because of Jesus Christ and to tell Christians they are free from the Law, sin and death.

At most churches in Thailand the old covenant law is being taught and that Grace is not available to you if you break the law. We are training pastors about the New Repentance as written in the Bible with help from Pastors Nathan and Salila Gonmei at Abundant Grace Church in Chiang Mai.

On all our All Thailand Experiences Christian teaching blogs I will point to scriptures and explain the meaning on the topic. As our mission is to reach Thai people we will then watch or listen to Pastors Nathan and Solila give a sermon on the topic in English and Thai Languages.

Today we’re going to talk about Needs of the Soul.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, NIV: “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

In this verse Paul refers to God as “the God of peace.” God had given the Thessalonians peace when they had trusted in Jesus as their Savior. Paul insists in Romans 5:1 that justification by faith brings believers “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Further, Paul prays that God, who gives peace, would make the Thessalonians completely separated unto Himself, so that their spirit, soul, and body would be free of any valid accusation at the rapture.

Most people think of the three components of every human being as body, soul, and spirit, but Paul reverses this order, giving highest priority to the spirit and the lowest priority to the body. The spirit connects us to God and enables us to worship God and to fellowship with Him. The soul is the seat of emotions and makes us conscious of our being. The body connects us to our environment. We need to be kept faultless by God in our worship of Him and in our fellowship with Him. We need to be free of any legitimate accusation in our inner being and in our social relationships.

Spirit and Soul are not the same but they work together. We are a spirit as God created us in His own image and He is a spirit. Our spirit is eternal just as God is. Our spirit is what got born again when we received Jesus Christ. The soul does not get born again so most born again Christians continue with the same habits, thoughts and emotions as a non-believer. The soul must be renewed by the word of God.

The soul contains our thoughts, will, feelings and emotions. The soul guides us in our everyday decisions. The soul can cooperate with the flesh and against the will of God or our old self or with our born again spirit and the will of God.

  1. Our Soul Needs a Caretaker.

You are the caretaker of your soul. Just like a garden that you let weeds or seeds you do not want into the garden you get bad or undesirable fruit, your soul is the same. Let things and thoughts not in line with the will of God into your soul you get depression, sadness, doubt, worry, anxiety, sickness, bad decision making. This will prevent a blessed fruitful life given to you by your born again spirit. Your spirit needs the cooperation of your soul. They must be in agreement.

Proverbs 4:23, NIV: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

In many bible verses they talk about the heart. They are talking about the “spiritual heart” or soul not the physical heart.

To “keep” something, in this sense, means more than simply “to maintain ownership.” It refers to maintenance, care, and support. Some translations use the word “guard,” A wise person realizes that temptation is real (1 Corinthians 10:13) and takes appropriate precaution. This parallels statements made earlier, where Solomon advises his son to actively avoid evil, and those who practice it (Proverbs 4:14–15).

Scripture places a strong emphasis on the heart (soul) as the source of good or evil. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.” Jesus announced: “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

David, Solomon’s father, certainly understood how influential the heart is in how we live out our morals and values. Out of the evil of his heart he stole Uriah’s wife Bathsheba, committed adultery with her, and then arranged for Uriah’s death when he could not hide his crime (2 Samuel 11:2–5, 14–15). However, when he was under heavy conviction about his evil deed, David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). What is hidden in the heart is open to God’s eyes. First Samuel 16:7 reminds us that “the LORD sees not as a man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

It is absolutely essential, therefore, to guard the heart (soul).

  • Our Soul Needs an Anchor.

 Our soul determines whether we walk in the plan of God or not. Our will, thoughts and emotions can be controlled by worldly influences or Godly influences. For this reason our soul must be anchored in the word of God not physical or material things.

Hebrews 6:19, NIV: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,”

The purpose of these last verses in chapter 6 is encouragement. In order for Christians to move beyond spiritual immaturity, they need to experience a sense of confidence in their faith. That assurance ought to come naturally when we consider examples such as Abraham. He was given promises by God, and history proved those oaths to be true. In the prior verse, the writer began to weave three separate concepts together.

The first metaphor was that of fleeing to a refuge. This could be a reference to the Old Testament cities of refuge (Numbers 35; Joshua 20), or the general idea of a fortress or safe-house. In either case, the point is safety and security. Those within the refuge are safe from whatever danger they were fleeing.

The next image applied to our confidence is that of an anchor. This was a common symbol of hope, both before and during the early Christian church. Anchors prevent a ship from being swept away by wind or waves. What’s more interesting, and relevant to this particular use, is that anchors are often placed away from the ship. In a harbor, for instance, sailors would carry the anchor some distance away, securing it to a reef, or the shore, or the dock. This aspect of an anchor makes more sense in light of the next image brought out in this verse.

The third image used to explain our hope is that of Christ entering “the inner place behind the curtain.” This has already been referenced in the description of Christ’s High Priesthood for all believers (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14), and a reason for our confident approach to God in prayer (Hebrews 4:16). Here, it again represents the way in which Christ precedes us. The next verse will refer to Jesus as our “forerunner,” much as Hebrews 2:10 called Him the “founder of [our] salvation.”

Put together, these separate images create a powerful message of reassurance. Christ has “anchored” our hope of “refuge” in the very presence of God: the “inner place.” Prior verses pointed out the absolute and unchanging value of God’s promises (Hebrews 6:13–18).

Just as the anchor which holds a ship is not in the exact same place as the ship itself, our hope is not in this world. Rather, it is in a holier, greater place. Since Christ has gone ahead of us, in order to secure our salvation, we should absolute confidence. That confidence ought to lead us to greater faith, and growth in both truth and love. Our soul should be anchored with that of Christ not tossed around by the things of the world. We no longer have to be tossed around by wrong or false emotions or thoughts when we are anchored in God’s word and truth.

  • Our Soul Needs Rest

Rest in our soul is our relationship with Jesus Christ. Knowing our relationship with Jesus Christ causes our soul to be at rest.

Matthew 11:28, NIV: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Jesus has made an extraordinary claim and now He makes an extraordinary offer to all who hear Him. He claimed in the previous verse to be the only one who knows God the Father and to be able to reveal the Father to anyone He chooses (Matthew 11:25–27). Now He makes an invitation: if you’re struggling and tired, I can give you relief.

Here is the implication. Jesus’ Jewish listeners were engaged in a mighty struggle to know God the Father. Their religious leaders had placed enormous burdens on them (Matthew 23:4), and they were laboring to carry those burdens in hopes of being approved by God. Jesus has just said that He can reveal His Father to anyone, and He immediately offers rest to everyone who is weighed down.

Jesus is not talking about physical rest, necessarily. The following verse will describe it as rest for the soul. The path to the Father through Jesus is not one of weary labor and heavy work. Jesus’ earlier analogy about the path to life being narrow and “difficult” (Matthew 7:14) is entirely separate, and speaking from a different perspective. From the view of the world, following Christ means taking on difficult circumstances and giving up worldly pleasures. From the view of eternity—of salvation—following Christ means giving up the impossible task of carrying our own sin.

Christ does not say it here, but the gospel will reveal that Jesus is offering to carry the burden and do the work in order to lead those who come to Him—those who are “yoked” to Him—to the Father (Matthew 11:30; John 6:29).

Matthew 11:29, NIV: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

A yoke is a wooden device used to harness the working power of an animal, especially oxen. These could be made for a single animal, or to combine the power of several. Jewish people described living under obedience to the Law as having a yoke upon them. In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees made that load even heavier by adding manmade requirements and regulations on top of the law of Moses (Matthew 23:4).

Jesus has declared that He knows God the Father and that He can reveal God to whomever He chooses. Then He invited His listeners to come to Him and take His yoke, to commit to Him and put themselves under His authority. He has promised rest to those who do this (Matthew 11:28). Now He elaborates, inviting these listeners to put His yoke on them.

The implication is to allow Jesus to put His own yoke on us, the way a farmer would put one on his livestock. It means giving Jesus control and letting Him direct our efforts. The work He has will not be difficult, Jesus says. He wants them to learn from Him. Unlike the Pharisees, Jesus insists that He is gentle. He is lowly in heart (Philippians 2:6–7). He has not come to add to their burden but to give them rest for their souls.

This statement is from an entirely different perspective than Christ’s earlier comments on the wide and narrow gates. There, Jesus had said that the path to life was narrow and difficult (Matthew 7:14). In that context, Jesus was speaking of the world’s view: that following Christ meant taking on difficult circumstances. This is certainly true, since being a follower of Christ often means being persecuted (John 16:33). What Jesus refers to here, however, is the perspective of eternity. Compared to the impossible task of earning one’s own salvation (Romans 3:20; Galatians 2:16), Jesus offers something infinitely “easier” (Matthew 11:30).

By making this comment, Jesus is not offering freedom from commitment. His yoke is still a yoke: it still comes with demands from a holy God. But the apostle John will later write that obedience to the God we love is not burdensome (1 John 5:3). This is true in part, the gospels will reveal, because Jesus will carry the ultimate burden of our sin for us and will provide power in the Holy Spirit to carry out His will.

At rest also means not yo compare ourselves to non believers, materialism or things of the world. If you do you will never find rest. You need to focus on who you are in Christ with all His Grace, Love, Promises and Power, who God created you to be

It is OK to enjoy things however things can never satisfy our soul or heart.

  • Our Soul Needs Freedom.

God did not design our soul to be bound by any negative thing. If our soul does not have freedom it will never see the abundant life God has for us. A soul that is free knows the Love of God and free from the influences of life. This is why we must build our soul on the word of God not the lies of the world and Satan.

Our soul must be free from self-hatred, jealousy, fear, bitterness, hopelessness, uselessness and negative thought patterns that will destroy our lives. We must know our strength and glory in Christ who freed our soul. Without God our spirit can never be free.

2 Timothy 1:7, NIV: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Facing Our Fears 2 Timothy 1:7 By David Dann

The opening phrase of this verse may explain why Paul dwells so much on concepts such as bravery and spiritual strength when writing to Timothy. It’s possible this represented a spiritual weakness which Paul was helping Timothy to overcome. Perhaps Timothy was content in his role of serving alongside Paul and did not prefer to be the outspoken leader of a large movement of Christians. And yet, this was the role Timothy held in Ephesus at the time Paul wrote this letter. However, Paul urged Timothy to stand strong. Rather than fear, God had given a spirit or attitude of “power and love and self-control.”

“Power” has always been an important part of God’s work in the church. In the next verse, Paul notes again the “power of God.” In 2 Timothy 3:5, he will speak against those who have an appearance of godliness, but deny its power.

“Love” was also vital theme for Paul (1 Corinthians 13) as well as a prominent topic in the teachings of Jesus. Self-control was a theme in 1 Timothy (1 Timothy 2:9, 15) and appears here again. Paul routinely reminded believers under his care to exhibit self-control, as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23).

For Christians, remember your spirit is born again and you have a new nature, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit and all the blessings of redemption is in your spirit. However the soul has a big part to play in our lives. The condition of our soul determines if we receive the blessings and guidance of God and the Holy Spirit or not.

If our soul is renewed with the truth of God then our born again spirit can affect our life. If our soul is not discipled by the word of God then it is cooperating with the flesh and things of the world. 

Many new Christians when they are born again experience the same feelings, thoughts and emotions as before they were saved and wonder why. This is because their Spirit was born again but the soul was not.

What the bible says about the soul is to renew our minds with the word of God. Then our soul will align with the born again spirit and you will experience a new life. You must maintain a healthy soul to know the will of God in your life and it will produce good fruit. We are the gardener of our soul and must anchor our soul in the words of Christ.

        5. Our soul also must cultivate a life of thanksgiving.

1 Thessalonians 5:16, NIV: “Rejoice always,”

According to this verse, Christians should be joyful at all times. Practicing unconditional forgiveness allows us to obey the command to “rejoice always.” A bitter, unforgiving soul blocks joy as surely as a logjam blocks the flow of a river. Scripture recognizes that our circumstances might not always result in our being “happy,” but happiness is not the same thing as joy. Joy, in the Bible, involves a trusting hope in Christ, leading to an eternal perspective (James 1:2–3; Hebrews 12:2).

Paul practiced what he preached. When he wrote to the Philippians from prison, he didn’t live under his circumstances, instead he rose above them. Even though he was shackled, he rejoiced in the Lord (Philippians 1:17–18; 4:10). The Thessalonians’ circumstances were difficult, but they could be joyful “in the Lord.” Paul’s joy overpowered his trials. In spite of ill-treatment, brushes with death, sorrow, and virtual poverty, he always rejoiced (2 Corinthians 6:8–10).

Jesus linked joy to obedience. He said, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love…These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:10–11).

1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV: “pray continually,”

In this verse Paul encourages the Thessalonian believers to pray continually. Naturally, this does not mean to be in a state of prayer during every waking moment. Rather, we ought to be in a constantly “prayerful” state, and frequently speaking to God in actual, dedicated prayer. Even in the midst of trials, believers should recognize the immeasurable value of maintaining fellowship with God through frequent prayer.

Jesus is the supreme example of what it means to pray continually. He taught His disciples to pray (Matthew 6:5–13). He prayed before feeding the five thousand (Matthew 14:19–21). He prayed when He blessed the children (Matthew 19:13). He prayed in the morning (Mark 1:35) and in the evening (Mark 6:45–47). He prayed for His disciples and for all subsequent believers (John 17). He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36–42). He prayed from the cross (Luke 23:34).

The apostle Paul, too, prayed continuously. He prayed from prison at midnight (Acts 16:25). He prayed after giving a charge to the elders of the church at Ephesus (Acts 20:36). He prayed at Malta (Acts 28:8). He prayed for Israel (Romans 10:1). He prayed for the churches (Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:4; Colossians 1:3–12).

1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV: “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

In this verse Paul exhorts his readers to give thanks in all circumstances. He adds that it is God’s will to do so. Regardless how difficult our circumstances may be, we can find reasons to thank God. We can be thankful that all things work together for our good if we belong to Him (Romans 8:28). We can be thankful that God’s grace is sufficient to sustain us in every circumstance (2 Corinthians 12:9). We can be thankful that nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:37–39). We can be thankful that God even supports us spiritually when trials produce difficulty in our prayer life (Romans 8:26). Rough circumstances also prove the genuineness of our faith (1 Peter 1:6–7).

Paul previously wrote to “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16). Joy is not the same thing as happiness. In a similar way, Scripture notes the difference between giving thanks “for” our circumstances, as opposed to giving thanks “in” our circumstances. For example, a car wreck may not find us giving thanks for a twisted fender and smashed radiator, but we can give thanks that we have insurance and a God who is always present with us. We may not thank God for an illness, but we can be thankful for medicines and doctors. Persecution is not something we would be thankful for, but we can be thankful that God can use that hardship for our eternal benefit.