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backwards bicycleIf you watched the video that was included with yesterday’s devotional, you saw some powerful truths wonderfully illustrated with the backwards bike.  One of those truths that was conveyed is that our minds become more rigid the older we get.  That truth reminded me of this passage:

Rom. 7:15 For that which I do, I know not. For what I would do, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do.

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law, that it is good.

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not.

19 For the good that I would do, I do not; but the evil which I would not do, that I do.

20 Now if I do that which I would not do, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

I realized what Paul was saying here.  The old man, the old way of thinking, was still very much alive and working within him.  “But wait, Ron! Didn’t Paul also say that if any man be in Christ he is a new creation, and that old things have passed away?”  Yes, he did.  But think back to one of the first truths Destin discovered in yesterday’s video: knowledge does not equal understanding.  Just because I have knowledge of something, doesn’t mean I have successfully applied it.  Reciting Bible passages doesn’t change me; applying the passages to my life changes me.  Remember when Destin said that it took him eight months to ride a backwards bike?  He stated that it took him so long because he practiced only five minutes a day.  Now, watch this response to Destin’s video by this 17 year old: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEXr9VpU1SI
This young man learned faster because he put more time into it each day.  He practiced for hours instead of minutes.
So what does this mean for us?  The first thing we must ask ourselves is how much time are we committing to learning and practicing the truths in the Bible on a daily basis?  Five minutes?  One hour?  Four hours?  How much time are you allowing yourself to learn more truths about the kingdom of God?  Once a week?  Twice a week?  The less time you commit, the longer it will take you to change.  

Book coverHere is what one person wrote upon reading A Glimpse of the Kingdom:
“By the way I enjoyed the book—I like how you thoroughly explained basic kingdom principles. The inclination at times when you go over basics is to gloss over them because you assume people know it. But I really like how you broke things down without being too technical. You wrote for the reader and not to show off your knowledge which is what I believe some writers do at times.”

This book is written for YOU, so that you may have a better understanding of the story that is written in the Bible.  Order your copy today by visiting www.ronmosbybooks.com.

Book cover“First and foremost, God is a king.  Nowhere is this more explicit than in Malachi 1:14 – Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” (NIV) God has always been a king, and his kingdom has always been in existence.  When God created the heavens and the earth, he created them while seated on his throne in the kingdom of heaven.  Additionally, God is unlike any other god or king, because he is a God of righteousness. This attribute of righteousness is unique to God alone.  There are no other gods that possess this attribute.  It was always God’s intent to inhabit his kingdom with people, and by his grace he chose Israel to be the people to whom the kingdom would be revealed. This is what the entire Old Testament is about – God promising his people, the nation of Israel, that a kingdom will come. ”

It is official – the launch date for the book is January 15, 2016!  Until then, you can purchase your advance order from either Amazon.com or Xlibris.com, or email us with your preference of paperback or hardback.  The price is $15.99 for paperback, and $24.99 for hardback.  Order now before the holidays begin!

Also, our first book event will occur on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at the Triple Moon Coffee Company, 1100 Central Ave., Middletown, OH 45044.  The event will begin at 4:00 p.m. and last until 7:00 p.m.  This is a time of fellowship and discussion about the kingdom of God, and books will be available for sale.  Share this with your friends and family!

square imageThis past Saturday, I had the privilege of delivering an impromptu speech at a local church.  Admittedly, I was not dressed for the occasion; I was there simply to provide technical support.  However, I have learned to be ready in season and out of season.  And anyone that knows me knows I am always ready to speak about the kingdom of God!  During my discourse, I explained that the narrative in Christianity today is that Jesus died for our sins.  This has become the essence of many Christians’ beliefs.  This narrative is reinforced by the emblems that we see in Christianity; specifically, the image of a man crucified upon a cross.  While it is true that Paul stated that Christ died for our sins, he didn’t stop there.  This truth is always followed by the truth that God raised Christ Jesus from the dead.  This is the truth that is to be the essence of our faith.  I shared that day that I wished the emblem that we would see hanging around the necks of Christians and hanging on the walls of homes and churches would be the image of an empty tomb.  For this is the good news – the Jesus that was crucified is the same that God made both Lord and Christ and raised from the dead.  Notice how Paul communicates this truth to the churches at Rome and Corinth:
Rom. 4:24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (ESV)
1 Cor. 15:For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. (ESV) 
The death and resurrection of Christ is symbolic to saints of God.  It symbolizes the imperative that we are to put to death our old man, and walk in the spirit of the new man.  We are to put to death the things of the flesh, which ruled our former lives, and walk in the newness of the Spirit of God, which is to rule our lives from this day forward.  This is why Paul said
2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (ESV)
Our joy is not that Christ died, but that God raised Him from the dead!  Likewise, we are not to live lives according to the flesh, which will perish, but we are to live according to the same Spirit that raised Christ Jesus from the dead.  Our emblem should be an empty tomb!

Luke 23:42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

What did Christ christ_thievesmean when He said these important words?  Today, we will examine these words in the context of other passages to determine if our belief conforms to what the Bible actually says.  First, let us consider what our Lord Jesus told His disciples prior to His crucifixion:
John 14:1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”  Notice Christ declared that He will return at a later time to take His disciples to be with Him.  In other words, Christ was going ahead of the disciples to prepare the place for them.  He did not imply at any time that the disciples would go with Him.
Next, consider what Peter said in Acts 2:

Acts 2:34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”

Peter made it clear that David did not ascend into heaven.  Instead, 1 Kings 2:10 says “Then David rested with his ancestors and was buried in the City of David.”
Finally, Paul encouraged the Thessalonian saints with these words:
1 Thess. 4: 13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
So when the Lord Jesus returns, those who are asleep in Christ will rise first.  Even more important, notice what Paul wrote to the saints: “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again.”  Our belief is that Christ ascended into heaven after God raised Him from the dead.
In light of these passages, how should we understand the statement Christ made to the thief on the cross?  To interpret Christ’s statement as saying “today, I am going to paradise and I am going to take you with me” would not be consistent with other passages in the Bible.  An understanding that would be consistent would be to interpret Christ’s statement as saying “this day, I am making a declaration that at the appropriate time, you will be with me in paradise.”  Paul admonished us not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Believing the gospel of the kingdom is the first step in transforming our minds in order that we may understand what was written.

renewedmindRomans 12: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.

This is a passage that is much easier said than done.  It requires asking and answering hard questions.  One such question is this: how has my mind been renewed if I believed the same things all of my life?  If my mind has truly been renewed, I cannot look at things the same way I did in the past.

Another hard question that must be asked and answered is this: Am I willing to put everything I have been taught to believe on the altar of sacrifice?  For how can I have the faith of Abraham if I am not willing to do what Abraham did – that is, put obedience to God before everything else, including the son of promise that he loved?

The truth is, Jesus alone doesn’t unite us.  Jesus was a man that everyone saw while he walked the earth.  What unites us is the faith of Abraham – the faith that what God promised he fulfilled in Christ Jesus, whom God raised from the dead.  The faith that we must have is not believing that Christ died, but that He was raised from the dead.  Christ’s death and resurrection was symbolic of what is to occur in us: the old man, the old understanding and the old way of thinking must die, and the new man, the new understanding and the new way of thinking is to arise within us.  This is why Paul wrote that if any man is in Christ he is a NEW creature; old things have passed away, and all things have become new.