A Good Word About Discipline

Job 36:18… “And let not His chastening make you rage at Him, let not the cost of discipline deter you” (Moffatt).

Earlier in this chapter, the writer said that it’s by adversity that God gets people to listen (v. 15). The word “discipline” has been on my mind. In this exhortation I will be using the Moffatt translation. This is an older translation and I like the wording of many passages. Job 36:16 reads, “but your wide freedom has beguiled you.” The wide freedom that our nation enjoys has led many people astray. Isaiah 48:17… “I am the Eternal your God, training you for your good, leading you by the right way.” 1 Timothy 1:4b… “the Divine order which belongs to faith”… or “the discipline which accompanies faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5… “the aim of Christian discipline is the love that springs from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith.” Proverbs 3:11… “My son, spurn not the Eternal’s schooling, never be weary of His discipline, His discipline is for the man he loves.” Psalm 94:12… “Happy is he who has Thy discipline, and Thine instruction, training him to wait on in his adversity.”

The Christian life is a way of discipline. It is not merely a doctrine. Doctrine (teaching) gives direction and content to discipline. Christianity is not just something that you believe in; it is something you believe in enough to put it into practice. There is a Divine order (discipline) to faith. Discipline starts at the center of your life and not at the margins. Psalm 106:3 reads, “Happy are they who hold to what is right, who do their duty at all times.” Every Christian from time to time needs to go over their life to see what is compatible with God and what is not. Discipline the beginnings of your projects. Don’t be too quick to grasp a project lest you find that project grasping you and taking hold of you. Discipline is the ability to carry a project through to completion. Many lives are strewn about with cast-off beginnings because they quit too soon. Discipline your time. If you haven’t time to do a thing don’t start it. Discipline your tongue. Many people ruin a good conversation because they run out of intelligence.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Moments Of Truth: Saints In Strange Places

Philippians 4:21-22… “Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household” (KJV). The word “saint” is used more for people who have died, but really, a believer is a saint in this life too. A saint is a believer “in Christ Jesus.” Paul addressed most of his epistles “to the saints,” but our text says,“saints in Caesar’s household.” This was an unlikely place to find saints. Persecution was at its worst. Nero was Caesar at the time of Paul’s writing. The Roman civilization was known for its cruelty and corruption. It was a cesspool of iniquity. Nero was a murderer, a liar, a coward, a drunkard, and incestuous. He usurped the throne and poisoned the legitimate heir. He tortured Christians by the thousands. Even with all of this, Jesus had saints in Caesar’s household. These saints sent greetings to the Philippian church. God has living witnesses everywhere, in all walks of life. Most of them are unheard of, but they are faithful to their Lord. Wherever God has placed you, in the business world, in government, in factories, in the ministry, or wherever, you are a saint in Christ Jesus. The Lord wants you to be a witness where you are. Your “Caesar’s household” can be your own home.

The world today is a messed-up world. It’s like Nero’s household and it needs witnessing saints, saints who lift up the name of Jesus and tell of how He changes lives. You are needed. Let your light shine (Matthew 5:14-16). One of the problems we see today is that most Christians shine their lights among other lights. Light was meant to shine in the darkness.

Sensationalism

SENSATIONALISM… in revival is not necessarily fanaticism. There is Divine sensationalism that comes from the supernatural acts of God. God Himself is sensational. When he spoke the worlds into existence, the morning stars sang together and worshipped. Every miracle of God in both the Old and New Testament was sensational in the eyes of the people. When the Red Sea opened, when the manna fell, when the sun stood still, when the walls of Jericho fell, it was all sensational. When Jesus healed and broke bread and raised the dead, it was very sensational. When the apostles preached and worked miracles, it was sensational. When the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost, it was sensational. Whenever and wherever God is moving by His Spirit, it should be sensational. We need more of it today… the kind that brings an awareness of God to all the levels of society. People of all walks of life need to know that God is alive.

You Are The Salt Of The Earth

YOU ARE THE SALT OF THE EARTH… It seems to me that we are going to a lot of trouble today to develop a brand of Christian that will not irritate the world. We know that salt preserves, seasons, and purifies, but we never preach that salt irritates. Real truth rubs people the wrong way sometimes. Real Christian living in this generation will irritate some people, because your righteousness is a rebuke to sinful living. The only salt that does not irritate is the salt that has lost its savor. Be a salty Christian. Irritate the sinful world by living righteously (1 John 3:13).

The Book Of Experience 

THE BOOK OF EXPERIENCE… As men and women grow older they read more from the book of experience and less from the pages of prophecy. They think more of the real worth of people and less of their shortcomings. They boast less and boost more. They conclude that snobbery of others is a confession of inferiority and consideration of others is noble and worth mentioning. They hurry less and accomplish more. They realize that age is a state of mind and that the greatest reward one can win is the respect and understanding and love of his fellow man. They also realize that man’s highest duty is to “fear God and to keep His commandments.” -Author Unknown

Receivers And Givers

RECEIVERS AND GIVERS… There are many wise failures. Often failures know more than successful people. The answer seems to lie in the fact that failures are receivers only. Into their minds they have poured facts and ideas. Like a sponge they have soaked up knowledge, hoarding it selfishly. Successful people almost always are givers. Their minds and actions are channels through which ideas pass along to others. They live creatively and productively.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Three Levels Of Relationship

Every believer will pass through three levels of relationship with Jesus Christ. For each level, there is an invitation. The first level is “Come unto Me” (Matthew 11:28). It is the invitation to find rest for your souls from the heavy burden of sin. This is a necessary step in your life. The second level is “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19). This is a closer relationship than the first one. Here, He is Lord and you are servant. Christ needs workers to carry out His mission and His purposes in this world. “Follow me; I need you.” The third level is “Abide in me” (John 15:4). This is the deepest level, where “doing” is laid aside in favor of “abiding.” In this third level you will find the key to victorious living.

Abiding in Him means three things. First, you are aware of His presence at all times. You may not see Him, but He is there, watching over you and caring for you. Second, your spirit speaks to Him about everything. The idea is this: you have an open line of communication. It’s always there. Paul said, “My spirit prayeth” (1 Corinthians 14:14). Third, you enjoy Jesus continuously. He is a real, living person to you. He is a joy and a delight. His name is refreshing to you at all times. This is kingdom living indeed. John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (NKJV).

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Turn To The Body

Acts 9:36-43… “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died: whom when they had washed, they laid her in an upper chamber. And for as much as Lydda was nigh to Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. And it was known throughout all Joppa; and many believed in the Lord. And it came to pass, that he tarried many days in Joppa with one Simon a tanner” (KJV).

I want to bring a spiritual lesson from a practical scene, so I will be taking the story out of context to bring a needed truth. Dorcas was a wonderful believer in Christ and very active in church. The human body can get sick and die, but so can the church body. It can be full of good practical works, full of hospitality, and showing mercy (Romans 12:8). The church cannot separate the secular from the sacred. When death comes, ceremonial washings follow, and believers start to live on and talk about the upper room memories and past experiences.

Meanwhile, the household of Dorcas heard about the revival going on in Lydda. Peter was there (Acts 9:32-35). A miracle of healing took place and the city turned to the Lord. The household of Dorcas realized that there were gift ministries for the church. When folks begin to hunger for more of God, something is going to happen. So, the household of Dorcas sent two men with a message for Peter: “Come to us without delay” (v. 38). In Acts 9:39, Peter comes. When he came, the people talked of what they used to have. They brought up the past, the wonderful person Dorcas had been and the works that she had done. They wept over the past.

In Acts 9:40-41, Peter does six things

a) Peter puts unbelief out… The past they were talking about were true and good things, but they were also be a hindrance to faith for “now” things. Speaking of past things is a sign of unbelief, even if they are true. The past is the “old.” “New and fresh” was the need of the hour. Nothing fresh can come from God until unbelief is put out. Many churches are not visited by the Holy Spirit because they are full of unbelief and rejection of fresh truth.

b) Peter prays… He needed a word from God. He needed discernment. He needed the will of God for this prayer. A lot of folks pray without knowing the will of God for the specific need. A word from the Lord would give Peter faith, authority, and power. Too many folks get ahead of God and step out on “assumption faith” instead of “knowledge faith.” Peter was seeking a word from the Lord. Artificial respiration was not doing Dorcas any good. Dorcas needed a miracle from God.

c) Peter turns to the body (Dorcas)… the Church. Many turn to the body and try reviving it without hearing from God. Peter calls her by name, “Tabitha” (“a gazelle”). He was identifying the problem. If he hadn’t called her by name, half of the cemetery might have awakened. Pastors need to identify the problems and then name them. Sometimes the problem in the church is sin, serious sin. It could be adultery… It could be child molestation… It could be demonic activity… It could be the tolerance of immorality.

d) Peter said to Tabitha, “Arise”… Peter preached life, not death. When you preach life, miracles can happen. The text says, “She opened her eyes” and “she sat up” (v. 40). When the Spirit begins to move and the gifts begin to operate, eyes will be opened and people will sit up and take notice. Tabitha saw Peter. Today, people will see Jesus, and find Jesus as Savior, when the Spirit moves and the gifts operate. Peter then took her by the hand and lifted her up. Help people get up. Give counsel, give a prophecy, if the Lord shows you something, or help financially if there is that kind of need.

e) Peter presents Tabitha alive… The unbelievers saw a miracle. The entire local area heard about the revival, and many believed.

f) Peter stays in Joppa… at a tanner’s house and there he sets a time for prayer. Many do not pray after a Holy Spirit revival. Peter was praying because the Lord had another great work that needed to be done.

Meanwhile, Cornelius, a man of Caesarea (Acts 10:1-48), and his household feared God, prayed a lot, and helped support the weak. He had a vision of angels telling him to send for Peter. When the Gentiles heard the preaching about Jesus Christ and believed, the Holy Spirit fell upon the Gentiles. The rest is history. In Luke 12:42-48,  Jesus teaches that there will be stewards in the end times who will give households (church assemblies) “their portion of meat in due season” (v. 42). There is “meat” for this hour too. The “meat” could be a revival, a revelation, an exhortation that refreshes and revives the saints, or something similar. Note that the “meat” comes to those who are faithful and wise stewards and who do the master’s will. Many preachers today are doing their own will and their works show it. Their portion will be the same as the portion of the unbelievers. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful” (KJV).

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Lord, Come Down, Your People Need You

Isaiah 64:1-2… “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence, As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!” (KJV) This is the thinking of many believers today. The world is a mess, including our nation. Most people think that they can go about their business without the need of God. Isaiah looks ahead and sees them sitting in the wreckage of their own making. Sooner or later they will come to realize that God is not optional, but essential. I read recently of a bumper sticker that said, “There is too much apathy in this nation, but who cares?” Our nation is not trembling today; however, the day is coming when God’s adversaries will know His name. You know, saints… you just can’t push buttons to produce spiritual results. Polish and “methods” do not produce the power of God’s presence in the church, nor in the nation. God can do more in one minute when He is present than we can do in a lifetime.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Send Me

Isaiah 6:8… “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me” (KJV).  Or, “Behold me.” Many Christians want to serve the Lord. That’s wonderful. However, they want to serve the Lord before the coal from heaven’s altar touches their lips. Before the coal touched the lips of Isaiah, he said that he was a man of unclean lips, or full of wrong words. “My speech was wrong.” After the coal cleansed Isaiah’s lips, he was ready to speak God’s words. Many people say that the “need” constitutes the call of God. There are thousands of needs, but which need am I called to minister to?

The genuine call from God is usually supernatural, and it is a directive that lets someone know the chosen area of what they are called to do. A person called by God can pass thousands of needs, because to stop and try to fill every need you find may actually be a distraction that hinders you from what God has for you to do. Many people miss out on God’s call because they are careless listeners. There are many “sounds” (voices) in the world… Which one are you hearing?

When the call came to Isaiah, he responded with, “Behold me; send me.” He heard the voice of God. Isaiah was not moved by sentiment. The human heart is soft and compassionate, easily moved by a speaker who can stir their hearts by reminding them of the multitudes begging to hear the Gospel. Except for those whom the Holy Spirit touches, sinners do not beg for the Gospel. They beg to be left alone. If sentiment is the basis for your call, you will soon be miserable, full of doubt and in despair. Human sentiment is not redemptive. We need more than emotional involvement to push back the kingdoms of darkness.

Isaiah was not moved by manipulation to serve God. Many people are manipulated into going where God has not called them. Many pastors send people out on trips just to make the church look good. Usually those sent are at the mercy of those who send them. When God calls you, you are placed at His mercy and in His supply. How can I tell who is calling me? By the test of time. When God calls, that call and His purposes for the call will grow stronger each day. There is only one way to be ready for God’s call… It is to be a careful listener.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

He Made Things Live

Ezekiel 47:9… “And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh” (KJV). What is to be the chief result of the Christian’s life? The same results that characterized the life of Jesus. He made things live. In Africa, the Nile River is called the breadbasket of Egypt because it changes the barren land into living beauty and fruitfulness. Likewise, the Lord sends us into spiritual wastelands and expects us, by the Holy Spirit, to leave it a fertile field.

John 7:38-39… “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified” (KJV). In Ezekiel, the river began at the altar, and traveled outward into the surrounding deadness. Everything that was touched by the waters lived. Take a walk into Hebrews 11 and see there the men and women of faith. From Abraham (as good as dead) came descendants that were numerous as the stars of the universe and as the sand of the sea. The deadness of Abraham’s body was the beginning of a miracle (Romans 4:17-25). Everything Jesus touched was a miracle. Jesus said, “The works that I do shall [you] do also” (John 14:12). Jesus also said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).

By the way… is your path filled with people whom you have touched in the course of your Christian life? Can you say, “I, by the Holy Spirit (the river of life in me), have made people live?” The world uses force to bring people into conformity. The Christian is filled with the river of God. Life will flow naturally through you, people will be healed, minds will be enlightened, souls will be refreshed, relationships will be made right, and the atmosphere will be filled with joy and gladness. Your purpose in life is to make the land live. Yes… you can do it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved