The Owner’s Stamp

Galatians 6:17… “For I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (KJV). Moffatt’s translation reads, “The owner’s stamp of Jesus.” What a great phrase. The marks which Paul talks about were the marks of the Owner, Jesus. The likeness of Christ was borne by Paul in his body, soul, and spirit. The owner’s stamp is simply the outer sign of something that is stamped within you. A good prayer to say would be, “Jesus, put your stamp in every cell of my body. Stamp your likeness (image) in me, O Lord.” Let’s look at some of the “brand marks of Jesus” (character traits)…

1) The forgiveness of injuries… One of the greatest prayers Jesus said was, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34, KJV). Are you wearing this stamp? This mark goes deep… very deep. It means that when Christ’s likeness (brand mark) is on you, you will never again retaliate or hold resentments. It means that hatreds will never trouble you again.

2) No more self-pity… Jesus said to some women on the way to His cross, “Weep not for me” (Luke 23:28). There was no self-pity in Christ’s brand. A lot of folks have the tendency to feel sorry for themselves when something serious happens to them. The Owner’s mark reads, “No self-pity.”

3) Maintaining joy in spite of things that happen… If you follow Jesus, you will experience deliverance from fear. You will be happy when you have troubles to face. What a great “brand mark” to have stamped in you. Joy, in spite of what has happened. Gloom and doom are not longer part of your life. Why? Because you bear the Owner’s stamp of joy.

4) Courage… Not the desperate courage of the battlefield, but the quiet courage that grows daily, the courage of facing life, the courage of saying “no” when tempted to do evil, the courage that speaks the truth even though it may alienate you from friends. “Lord, stamp Your kind of courage in me.”

5) The power to take it… When things happened to Jesus, He could take it. Life has many challenges. Troubles will come, but can you take it. Some can’t handle troubles, so they turn to anger, hate, resentment, painkillers, or whining.

6) Of compassion and mercy… Jesus was sensitive to everyone’s needs, hurts, hunger, and desires. Christians should be people who care. This likeness of the Owner must be branded on every Christian.

7) Jesus gave Himself… This was His crowning mark. He cared enough to give, not only of Himself, but Himself. Christians will give money, goods, time, talents, words… but very few give themselves. The Owner’s stamp included, “I give myself too.”

The Owner’s stamp? Paul said, “I bear the Owner’s stamp in my body.”

Are you stamped with His brand?

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

It’s Your Life: You Only Have One–Use It or Lose It, Pt. 2

(Part 2 of 2)

NINE PROMISES THAT ARE OURS WHEN WE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY… These promises come in groups of three. There are three key scriptures in this psalm, and each one has three promises to help you live an overcoming life.

I. Psalm 112:1… “Praise the Lord! For all who fear God and trust in him are blessed beyond expression. Yes, happy is the man who delights in doing his commands” (TLB). The KJV uses the word “blessed.” The kind of person that God blesses is the person who delights in the Word of God. He is a man with solid principles in his life, one of which is delighting in what God is saying. He is devoted to God and his affections show it. He is a man well-acquainted with the workings of God’s government. God’s rules of conduct are written in his heart. Notice the three blessings that follow…

a) V. 2… For the family, mighty children… “His children shall be honored everywhere, for good men’s sons have a special heritage” (TLB). A lot of emphasis is put on youth today by society, and they haven’t got a very good record. Paul speaks to fathers in Ephesians 6:1-4 and exhorts them to get wisdom to guide their children from the Lord. When the parents are not strong in the Word the devil will attack their children.

b) V. 3… For the workplace, prosperity… “He himself shall be wealthy, and his good deeds will never be forgotten” (TLB). All too often, the devil brings crisis after crisis to put you further and further behind. God wants to change all of that. Wealth shall be in your house. Wealth includes the fruit of the Spirit. A lot of people would pay a great price to have the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. Often the devil’s fruit fills their homes and it robs the wealth that God wants in their lives.

c) V. 4… For your peace of mind, understanding in times of confusion… “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous” (KJV). God has wisdom for the man who delights in the Word. James 1:5 says, “If you want to know what God wants you to do, ask him, and he will gladly tell you, for he is always ready to give a bountiful supply of wisdom to all who ask him; he will not resent it” (TLB). Even Christians go through afflictions. There are lots of common trials. Micah 7:8 teaches that when people sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto them.

II. Psalm 112:5… “A good man shewth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion” (KJV). When we are upright, compassionate, and show favor to others who need help, God gives us three more promises. Often in times of someone else’s trial, we are anything but righteous and compassionate. The word “upright” here can refer to being straightforward and level-headed.

a) V. 6… When problems almost overwhelms us, we will not be shaken. “Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it” (TLB). The NIV says, “will never be shaken.” What is the devil targeting in your life, and what is he trying to stop? The Spirit is talking about the importance of your reputation and your testimony.

b) V. 7… When your loved ones are away from you, you will not fear bad news. “He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him” (TLB). God will take care of the youth. Trust Him to do it.

c) V. 8… When you are in spiritual warfare, you will have an established heart that does not fear enemies. “His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies” (KJV). When we get to heaven, we will see just how weak the devil is, but we need that “light” now. Satan has been defeated on the cross. The Bible says so.

III. Psalm 112:9… When we give to help meet the needs of others… “He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor” (KJV). Some folks need good advice and insight on giving. God promises three more great things when His people have the spirit of giving. There is power in giving, deliverance power. If you would ask the heads of giant corporations on how they became wealthy, they may tell you that it’s because they had, in their talents and abilities, the spirit of philanthropy. Notice the three blessings in this passage…

a) V. 9… There is no fear of losing out spiritually; i.e., eternal righteousness… “He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever” (KJV).

b) V. 9… Your influence is recognized; there is promotion, honor and authority… “His horn shall be exalted with honour” (KJV). Jesus said in John 12:26, “If any man serve me, him will my Father honor.” The devil wants to attack your influence. He wants to disgrace you and shame you.

c) V. 10… When the devil sees your willingness to ease the burden of others, the secret plans of the enemy will collapse. “The wicked will see and be vexed, they will gnash their teeth and waste away; the longings of the wicked will come to nothing” (NIV). King David in Psalm 118:17 knew that his enemies had secret plans to destroy him. But David said, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” (KJV).

This psalm is very easy to understand. It’s a road map out of any current crisis you may have. Paul exhorted us to work out our own salvation; i.e., we can work ourselves out of any predicament that we have gotten into by keeping the three main verses in Psalm 112. Love the Word of God and delight in it. Show mercy and compassion. Help those who are in need. Work out your own salvation and take the reins of your life. Keep in mind that working out your own salvation refers to your responsibilities after you have given your heart to Jesus Christ. Make a break from all negative attitudes.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

The Cross–Seven Words, Pt. 1

(Part 1 of 2)

John 12:32-33… “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die” (KJV). Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:23-24, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” The message of the cross must burn in our hearts. Our time on earth and our time in eternity depend on it. The death of Jesus on the cross was both natural and supernatural. It was a real death. Acts 2:23… “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” Peter tells us that Jesus had no sin (1 Peter 1:19 and 2:22). John tells us that Jesus was pure (1 John 3:5). Paul writes that Jesus knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). The death of Jesus Christ was marked out beforehand. Revelation 13:8 teaches that Jesus was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Before sin ever entered the world, God had planned salvation. The death of Christ was supernatural. Jesus said in John 10:17-18, that He laid down his life willingly. The seven words that Jesus uttered on the cross bear witness to the supernatural character of the death of Christ. We too can learn from those words…

I. The Word of Forgiveness

Luke 23:34… Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (KJV). Man had done his worst. Jesus was rejected. Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 53:12 that Jesus made intercession for the transgressors. Jesus also forgave people prior to the cross. Note Matthew 9:2, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.Matthew 9:6 states, “The Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins.” Sin can be caused by ignorance: “for they know not what they do. Leviticus 5:15-16 teaches that “if a soul commit a trespass, and sin through ignorance,” atonement had to be made (Numbers 15:22-27). People deliberately crucified Jesus, but Jesus said to the Father, “they know not what they do.” We can learn from this. We too must learn to forgive those who trespass against us. Matthew 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Note also Luke 17:3-4… “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” When Christ prayed for forgiveness, He struck at the root of human need. An unforgiving spirit causes many troubles in life. 1 John 1:9 teaches, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

II. The Word of Salvation

Luke 23:39-43… “And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (KJV). These words were spoken in response to a request by a sinner. This was no accident that two should be crucified at the same time that Jesus was crucified. Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would be numbered with the transgressors (Isaiah 53:12). One of the two was unrepentant; the other believed in Jesus. The same circumstances are prevailing today. There is no salvation to the hard-core unrepentant. When the gospel is preached, two men can listen to the same truth. One is moved by it; the other is not. One may shut his heart; the other may open his heart. One is set free; the other is not. Why? Because God does not destroy human responsibility. We too in our generation must offer the word of salvation to others. There are malefactors all around us. Peter teaches in 1 Peter 3:15, ”But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” Some folks may need the gospel message of salvation… lead them to Christ. Others may need a word of cheer… cheer them by a word of exhortation. Others may need healing… heal them by your prayer of faith. All of these are words of salvation.

III. The Word of Affection

John 19:25-27… “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home” (KJV). There was a lot of grief around the cross. Hurting people were everywhere. Mary had experienced great joy at the birth of Jesus, but now at his death there was sorrow. When Jesus saw those who were hurting, He was always moved with compassion. In time of difficulties, a word of affection is in order. Anointed relationships heal the sorrowful. Natural ties in life are as important as spiritual ties. There is a lesson in these words of Jesus for us today. Care, share, unite, and fellowship. It’s a word from the cross.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2012 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Moments Of Truth: The Brick

A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street going a bit fast in his brand-new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars when he saw something out of the corner of his eyes. As his car passed, no child appeared. Instead, a brick smashed into the driver’s side door. He slammed on the brakes and spun the Jaguar back to where the brick was thrown. He jumped out of the car and grabbed the kid that was standing there and pushed him against the car shouting, “What do you think you are doing, boy? That’s a new car and the brick that you threw is going to cost you a lot of money. Why did you do it?”

“Please sir, I’m sorry, I didn’t know what else to do,” pleaded the boy. “I threw the brick because no one else would stop.” Tears were running down the boy’s cheek as he pointed around the parked car. “It’s my brother, sir, he fell off the curb and out of his wheelchair and I can’t lift him up.” Sobbing, the boy asked, “Would you please help me get him back in the wheelchair, sir, he’s hurt and he’s too heavy for me.”

Moved beyond words, the driver of the Jaguar tried to swallow the lump in his throat. He lifted the young boy into the wheelchair and took out his handkerchief to wipe off the scrapes and cuts, checking to see if everything else was all right.

“Thank you and bless you, sir,” the grateful child said.

The man then watched the little boy push his brother down the sidewalk towards their home. It was a long walk back to his Jaguar, a long slow walk. He never did repair the dent in his door. He kept the dent there to remind him not to go through life so fast that someone had to throw a brick at him to get his attention.

Sometimes when you don’t have time to listen, life has to throw a brick at you. It’s your choice. Listen… or wait for the brick.

–Author Unknown

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Jesus’ Approach To People

Jesus was not only concerned with mankind, but with individual people as well. He not only looked at people, but into them. He could hear one voice in a crowd. He could feel one touch when touched by many. He was more concerned with life than forms and structures. He was more concerned with internal issues than with external issues. He was more concerned with imparting than informing. He was more concerned with mercy than judgment. Isaiah 11:3 reads, “His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears” (NKJV). Jesus cares about you.

Order In The House  

When Moses was told to build the tabernacle, the first thing people saw was an orderly fence. The outside world must see order in the lives of the saints. “Man looketh on the outward appearance,” the Bible teaches (1 Samuel 16:7, KJV). If so, then let them see the very best. The melody of the home is harmony between those who live there. The security of the home is loyalty. The joy of the home is love. The blessings of the home are the children. The rule of the home is service. The beauty of the home is neatness. The comfort of the home is those with contented spirits. But the maker of the home is the Lord. Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain” (NASB).

Three Tests Of Good Teaching

a) Try the spirits 1 John 4:1… Is it the message of God, or is it independent of God? Is it godly; is it clean?

b) Try the confession 1 John 4:2-3… What is the message? Does it honor the Lord or is it building up a man’s ego?

c) Try the fruit… Matthew 7:20… What is the message doing? What is it producing? What lifestyle is it promoting?

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

The Altar Worker

1 Corinthians 9:13… “and they which wait [minister] at the altar” (KJV). There is a ministry at the altar. The altar most often is between the front pew and the pulpit. However, when people are ready to accept Jesus, the altar could be anywhere. If there is someone needing spiritual help, the altar could be right there… in the home, on the street, in the car, etc. Peter teaches, “And be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). When people come to the altar, you are to be ready. People are asking from their spirit, crying out to God. Often they stand weeping because of hurts that only God knows about. A prepared tool can do a better job than a makeshift tool.

At the altar there are deep questions, such as, “Why am I here?” “Why must I be born again?” “What must I do to be saved?” “What’s happening to me; why am I crying?” “Is there help for me? I hurt so much!” You are there, ministering to these hurting and troubled people. Minister life and not death. Don’t choke them with too much Bible; they are not there for a sermon, but for prayer and guidance. Keep in mind their hearts are filled with fear. Minister peace. Don’t present a bad image of the preacher or the church. (Years ago in our church a man came up to be saved and the altar worker from another church came forward when a call for believers to come and stand with those who came forward was given. He said to the man wanting to be saved, “Don’t get saved here; come to our church.”) Not everyone that comes to minister at the altar has a pure motive.

Those ministering at the altar should never get into arguments with the seeker. Talk simply and positively. Talk faith, not doctrine. Lift up through encouragement. Don’t add your depression to theirs. Each heart is different. God looks at the heart and that’s where we are to look. Have compassion. Often those who minister at the altar get stuck on outward appearance (although outward appearance can show you a lot). At the altar, know the basic Scriptures, especially on salvation and healing. Every altar worker should have a “key” starting Scripture, either memorized or marked in the Bible. An altar worker must also be anointed and led by the Spirit, especially when backsliders come forward for restoration. One of their questions may be, “Will God take me back?” “Does God want me back?” “Will the church accept me back?” (Remember the elder brother in Luke 15.) Psalm 51:1-12 teaches that the messenger must be clean. “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee” (v. 13). Ministry at the altar is so important in these days of renewal and restoration. Get involved–you are needed.

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved

Kingdom Of God, Pt. 8

(Part 8 of 12)

Matthew 5:6… Progressive in spirit… Forward-looking… “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (KJV). The NEB says, “Hunger and thirst to see right prevail.” It is a normal thing for a Christian to love righteousness and hate iniquity. Those who live against righteousness perish; those who live for righteousness prevail. The Holy Spirit wants to build structured reality in a person’s life. This verse says “hunger and thirst” for righteousness, not hunger and thirst for happiness. The words “hunger and thirst” do not refer to lust or to covetousness. People do have appetites that must be satisfied. The word “filled” means “to be satiated,” or “and filled and filled and filled.” What are you hungering for in your life? Jesus did not say “hunger and thirst for experiences” or for blessings… or for fame… or for large crowds to minister to. That’s what most churches are seeking. Their motives and purposes are wrong. Experience comes after seeking for righteousness.

Of Jesus it is written in Hebrews 1:9, “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows” (KJV). Seek a relationship with Jesus Christ and you will feast; you will have fullness. Kingdom people seek God, and they want to see God’s justice in the earth. Righteousness is part of God’s nature or character. The Holy Spirit produces this in us. The Spirit in us is going to reign in righteousness. If you have seen Jesus, your spirit is satisfied with nothing but Him. Keep in mind, the Sermon on the Mount is life as illustrated in the person of Jesus Christ. If you seek for happiness instead of righteousness, your search is doomed from the beginning. Job 29 teaches about the friendship of God in your life and what it will do for you. When God reveals His secrets, you feast (see also Psalm 25:14).

Matthew 5:7… A forgiving spirit… “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (KJV). God’s nature is full of compassion. If there is no compassion in your life the Holy Spirit is not reigning there. The word “merciful” means “active compassion in word and deed, divine grace, active kindness, loving kindness, the personal attention God gives to people, loving deeply.” It refers to God’s active desire to remove distress from those who hurt. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4“Blessed be God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God.” The merciful people see God working with them and talking with them. Why? Because you and God are in the same business. Mercy is the master key that opens the heart of God. The Bible teaches that God is rich in mercy. The words “mercy” and “merciful” together are used over 330 times in the Bible. It was God’s mercy that saved us. If your spirit is merciful, the Holy Spirit is reigning in your life.

KINGDOM PURITY… Righteousness… Matthew 5:8… “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (KJV). The pure in heart are the undivided in heart. One of the great longings of the human heart is to see His presence everywhere. The word “pure” means “clear, clean, the cloth of white linen.” It’s taken from the root word catharsis, meaning to cleanse or make pure, to keep free from spoiling or corruption. This verse does not teach us purity on the outside only. It goes right to the seat of our life, the heart or the spirit of man. The heart is the seat of affections and motivations. Jesus, in Mark 7:20-23, states, “It is the thought-life that pollutes. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts of lust, theft, murder, adultery, wanting what belongs to others, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, pride, and all other folly. All these vile things come from within; they are what pollute you and make you unfit for God” (TLB). There is no hypocrisy in God’s nature or character. Jesus, in Matthew 6:1-8, warned about hypocrisy in giving and in praying. In Luke 12:1, Jesus said, “Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (KJV). The word “hypocrisy” means play-acting or pretence. Psalm 24:3 asks the question, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD?” Then the psalm goes on to talk about clean hands, a pure heart, and not lifting up thoughts to vanity and deceit.

Pure in heart also means no conflict of loyalties or interests, no mixture of motives, and free from sexual pollution. The reward of the pure in heart is a vision of God. The pure in heart see God backing them up and working with them. Life becomes alive or aglow with the Spirit. Everything you do is full of destiny. Life is an adventure with God. You are reigning and ruling with him. Proverbs 21:21 says, “He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.” Proverbs 22:11 reads, “He that loveth pureness of heart, for the grace of his lips the king shall be his friend.” The Holy Spirit works in a clean heart. That’s one of the characteristics of the kingdom.

(To be continued…)

Pastor George Belobaba

Copyright © 2011 by Scripture Nuggets Ministries
All rights reserved